Small Wars Journal
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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.

Journal

by Joseph Hammond | Sat, 11/21/2020 - 8:24pm | 0 comments
The United States should pay careful attention to the brewing conflict in the Sahara which if left unchecked could contribute to destabilizing forces across North Africa and the Sahel. Renewed clashes between Polisario, a leftist rebel group, and Morocco is only the latest armed confrontation riling the continent. The past few months have seen an increase in insurgent activities in Mozambique and an outbreak of a new war in Ethiopia. In contrast, the United States has largely been distracted by the 2020 presidential campaign. The deterioration in the status quo between Morocco and Polisario in the Western Sahara deserves greater attention because decisive action now may be able to preserve a ceasefire which has largely held since 1991.          
by Eran Ortal, by Lazar Berman | Sat, 11/21/2020 - 8:16pm | 0 comments
For decades, Western militaries have confronted a stubborn operational challenge. Our enemies disappear on the battlefield, and we struggle to bring our material superiority to bear. Simultaneously, our own maneuver makes us vulnerable to attack. How can we beat an enemy we can't see? This study examines Allied anti-submarine warfare in WWII's Battle of the Atlantic, to extract contemporary lessons against stealth enemies. During the campaign, Germany attempted to blockade the British Isles through submarine attacks on Atlantic supply routes, using attrition through stealth area-denial tactics with concealed low-signature platforms.
by Josh Chang, by Peter Kouretsos | Sat, 11/21/2020 - 8:05pm | 0 comments
In a great power competition, most of the United States’ policy attention has focused on East Asia and Eastern Europe. However, the incoming Biden administration should remember George Orwell’s refrain: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” In front of the nose of U.S. leaders is an overlooked fact: a secure, peaceful, and prosperous Western Hemisphere has allowed the U.S. to confidently pursue its national interests abroad. It is imperative for the next administration to factor Latin America more greatly into U.S. strategy.
by Wade Pommer | Thu, 11/19/2020 - 1:15pm | 0 comments
A reposted essay with some big ideas that should stimulate big discussion about a critical military capability that must achieve tactical and strategic effects.
by Richard A. McConnell, by George E. Hodge, by Thad D. Weist | Tue, 11/17/2020 - 2:25pm | 0 comments
In early March 2020, instructors at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) were informed that they would have to learn to “fly” their classrooms under instrument conditions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. With very short no­tice, the instructors found themselves locked down, working from home, and reformatting classes orig­inally designed for face-to-face instruction into distance-learning (DL) mode. Although the uncertain situation had presented several significant challenges, the instructors found that having to redesign classes proved to be a catalyst for positive change and ad­vancement. In the process, they discovered that the experience made them better instructors; the redesign expanded their teaching capabilities, including learn­ing skills and modalities (standard methodologies) that instructors anticipate will be used when they return to face-to-face instruction
by Octavian Manea | Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:39am | 0 comments
Small Wars Journal interview with H. R. McMaster, Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World. From 2017 to 2018, he served as U.S. National Security Adviser.
by Batya (Батя) | Sun, 11/15/2020 - 8:37pm | 1 comment
During the grueling wars that ravaged the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Montenegro was arguably fortunate in comparison to countries like Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. Whilst it was bombed several times in NATO airstrikes, Montenegro didn’t suffer the mass destruction, ethnic cleansing, and refugee crisis that its neighbors did. The country has been lucky to avoid religious conflict through a high degree of religious tolerance and diversity throughout its history. However, in 2020 it seems that luck has run out. It’s possible that a civil war is looming in the country of the black mountains. One that has the potential to become an international conflict.
by Joshua Courter | Sun, 11/15/2020 - 7:51pm | 1 comment
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is one of the most controversial terrorist cells in world history. The reason for the controversy is that some view the IRA as a terrorist group and other view them as an organized paramilitary of freedom fighters. Since their inception as partisan freedom force in 1919 and as a radical terrorist cell in 1969, the IRA has always made excellent use of propaganda to garner support and membership for their cause. In the modern era, more than 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement, the IRA now takes to the internet to continue to gain support and new members for their cause. They make use of social media such as Facebook and YouTube to promote their ideology and agenda.
by Melanie Hartvigsen, by Jens Flinch Jørgensen | Sun, 11/15/2020 - 12:05pm | 1 comment
This article will discuss the concept of hidden numbers and the different approaches to handling the concept; further, it will relate hidden numbers to the intelligence profession and thus identify methods to estimate hidden populations. Intelligence in this connection is used as a broad term covering both intelligence in the police and law enforcement and intelligence in the military spanning from the tactical to the strategic level. The article will present methods to intelligence professionals to better reflect and choose tolls for estimating numbers and quantifiable elements of intelligence. The methods presented here can thus be seen as a catalogue for inspiration for both the intelligence analyst and for leaders in intelligence units.
by SWJ Editors | Sun, 11/15/2020 - 8:04am | 0 comments
Unfortunately we have had to remove this article at the request of the author.

Blog Posts

by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 11/24/2020 - 1:36pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 11/24/2020 - 12:36pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 11/23/2020 - 4:53pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 11/23/2020 - 3:58pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 11/22/2020 - 12:38pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 11/22/2020 - 12:20pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by SWJ Editors | Sat, 11/21/2020 - 1:29pm | 0 comments

This piece originally appeared on USIP.org.

Full Article: https://www.usip.org/publications/2020/11/best-hope-sustained-de-escalation-syria 

By Mona Yacoubian

by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 11/21/2020 - 1:09pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 11/21/2020 - 12:53pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 11/20/2020 - 12:27pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 11/20/2020 - 11:47am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 11/19/2020 - 10:04am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 11/19/2020 - 10:01am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by SWJ Editors | Wed, 11/18/2020 - 7:19pm | 1 comment

Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller marks another milestone in SOF history with action to implement Congress' intent in the 2017 NDAA Section 922 to improve civilian oversight and place ASD SO/LIC in the ADCON chain of command giving it service lik

by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 11/18/2020 - 7:43am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.