Small Wars Journal
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    -- David Kilcullen ('Counterinsugency' Dedication)
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    -- David Kilcullen
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    -- John Spratt
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"Small wars are operations undertaken under executive authority, wherein military force is combined with diplomatic pressure in the internal or external affairs of another state whose government is unstable, inadequate, or unsatisfactory for the preservation of life and of such interests as are determined by the foreign policy of our Nation."

-- Small Wars Manual, 1940

Small Wars Journal publishes original works from authentic voices across the spectrum of stakeholders in small wars. We also link you to relevant goings on elsewhere.  Login with your SWJ Username to comment, or Register, it's free. You can start your own threads in the Small Wars Council discussion board, but note that the board requires a separate Council Username. Follow SWJ on Twitter @smallwars.


by Nathan Jones, by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Fri, 12/04/2020 - 7:10pm | 0 comments
While violence is down for the first 10 months of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019 in Tijuana, violence in the ‘Greater Tijuana Plaza,’ including Mexicali, Ensenada, Tecate, and Playas de Rosarito in Baja California, may be on the rise as possible internal divisions emerge, alliances shift, and the Cártel de Sinaloa (CDS) and the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) battle for supremacy of the region’s drug trafficking corridor into the United States.
by Rory Andrews | Thu, 12/03/2020 - 7:13pm | 0 comments
This piece argues that the West has entirely mishandled the peace process because of a fundamental misunderstanding of Afghan politics, history and society, which has led to a binary view of the war and an overly simplistic view of Afghanistan as a nation. Utilising extensive primary and secondary research from a number of experts in the field, this essay will help demystify the illusion of the war in Afghanistan and the peace process which has come subsequently in order to offer tentative insight into the people, tribes, groups and states which all have a stake in peace in Afghanistan and who should be included in the process.
by Faruk Hadžić | Thu, 12/03/2020 - 11:05am | 0 comments
A rational analysis of the international community's failure to prevent war crimes in BiH (Bosnia and Herzegovina) can be a lesson for the future's morality model. The EU's role in Southeast Europe is inconsistent between its normative potential and current problematic aspects of process implementation policies. The recognition of Dayton's failure by the US, can pave the way for building a political community within the current "virtual entity" that does not possess vertical and horizontal legitimacy. It would be morally obligatory, even imperative, to build blueprints and state reorganization tools in the concrete.
by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz, by Robert Bunker | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 10:15pm | 0 comments
Armed gunmen attacked banks in two Brazilian cities on Monday 30 November 2020 through Tuesday 1 December 2020.  The attacks occurred in Criciúma, Santa Catarina state in southern Brazil and Cametá, Pará state in Brazil’s north.  The attackers are believed to be unrelated but share common tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).  Brazilian media refers to the style of attacks as the ‘New Cangaço’ referring to historic banditry in the 1920s-1930s.
by Eric Slater | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 12:32pm | 1 comment
The purpose of this article is to provide intelligence professionals a set tactics, techniques, and procedures for successful course of action analysis. I also cover how to maintain a cooperative environment when tasked with role-playing the enemy. This article is borne from the experience of having failed to grasp the collaborative nature of war-gaming as a lieutenant, followed by development through my captaincy as a staff intelligence officer and company commander assigned to the National Training Center.
by Sam Hayes, Jr., by Jerry Patterson, Jr. | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 12:02pm | 0 comments
The goal of this article is to show the diversity of mission sets and organizations AC CA supports, develop CA practitioners, as well as inform the larger community of CA’s value. The first section addresses the company and team’s experiences in support of U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), U.S. Army Africa (USARAF), U.S. Air Forces Africa (USAFAF), Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA), and the U.S. Agency for International Development in West Africa Regional Office (USAID-WA) objectives. The final section addresses insights from these CA Soldiers’ unique perspectives (i.e., operating with GPF and SOF elements in the joint environment, working with the RAF and the U.S. country team, conducting regional exercises and assessing HN CMO capacity, validating HN CA forces institutions and setting the conditions for regional exercises with U.S. and NATO partners, coordinating among the DOD, DOS, and the international community, and supporting the teams and managing civil information), which currently may not reflect the view of others.
by Wes Dyson | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 11:37am | 0 comments
In War by Other Means former Ambassador to India, Robert D. Blackwill, and Rhodes Scholar, Jennifer M. Harris, clearly articulate an alternate path to American success in Great Power Competition: geoeconomics.  Geoeconomics, as they define it, is “the use of economic instruments to promote and defend national interests, and to produce beneficial geopolitical results; and the effects of other nations economic actions on a country’s geopolitical goals.” The authors state that economics, and particularly geoeconomics, is the instrument of national power that the United States must employ to maintain its dominant position within the international system.
by Aaron A. Bazin, by Karla Mastracchio | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 9:41am | 0 comments
American policymakers must weigh many risks in the development, oversight, and use special operations to protect and advance the nation’s interests. If they hope to do so from an informed position, they must understand what makes special operators tick — their mindset. In this article, we present original research into the creeds the special operations community uses during selection and training as an indicator of their inherent mindset. The purpose of doing so is to provide new insight into how special operations approach some of today’s most wicked military problems.
by Matthew A. Hughes | Sat, 11/28/2020 - 8:09pm | 0 comments
Across an Angry Sea: The SAS in the Falklands War is Lieutenant General Cedric Delves’s first-hand account of 22 Special Air Service (SAS) involvement in the 74-day war between Argentina and Great Britain over the Falkland Islands. Commanding D Squadron, 22 SAS throughout the war, Delves played a central role in this special forces unit, which emerged as a pivotal player in the British war effort. Delves directed his men in a variety of ground operations, leading military historian Max Hastings to declare that no “man saw more than he did at the sharp end of the 1982 action in the South Atlantic.”
by John Bolton | Wed, 11/25/2020 - 11:48am | 2 comments
America in (relative) decline is a common refrain in national security circles, with many evoking Rome’ Collapse or Great Britain’s fading from the heights of its power. Rome disappeared while Britain managed its decline well, shedding territories while maintaining a relatively strong domestic consensus. The appropriateness of these comparisons is generally assumed. This article offers a different point of comparison: the decline and eventual collapse of China’s Qing Dynasty amidst internal fracturing, a failure to reform, and relentless external pressure from Western Powers.

Blog Posts

by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 12/04/2020 - 2:12pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 12/04/2020 - 1:19pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by SWJ Editors | Fri, 12/04/2020 - 8:40am | 0 comments

An interactive web site from NCTC. 

by SWJ Editors | Thu, 12/03/2020 - 10:31pm | 0 comments

A 12 page report on SOF from the Congressional Research Service that includes important discussion/questions about the A/SECDEF's Sec 922 directive.

by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 12/01/2020 - 2:23pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 12/01/2020 - 1:33pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 11/30/2020 - 12:13pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 11/30/2020 - 11:22am | 1 comment
A roundup of the day's news.
by SWJ Editors | Sun, 11/29/2020 - 1:00pm | 1 comment

This piece originally appeared at

Full Article:

By Scott Worden

by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 11/29/2020 - 12:55pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 11/29/2020 - 12:44pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 11/28/2020 - 11:50am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by SWJ Editors | Sat, 11/28/2020 - 10:49am | 1 comment
A nascent peace process will require dialogues at the grass roots to build its legitimacy among Libyans.
by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 11/28/2020 - 10:42am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by SWJ Editors | Fri, 11/27/2020 - 7:12pm | 0 comments

This piece originally appeared on

Full Article:

By Sarhang Hamasaeed