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Ukraine

"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

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Journal

by Martin Stanton | Tue, 02/27/2024 - 8:41am | 0 comments
Due to the decisions of our elected leadership America of 2024 is more vulnerable to outside conventional and unconventional attack than it has been in over 200 years.  We’re also in a position where the possibility of conflict with nations who can conventionally and unconventionally attack us grows greater with each passing year.  Our open borders, inattention to the illegal alien invasion and inability to monitor our own Western Hemisphere neighbors effectively could cost us hugely, both as open highway for terrorists to attack us and an open flank for enemy nations to exploit.  We (the US) need to fix this, fast.
by Al Dhobaba | Mon, 02/19/2024 - 8:02am | 0 comments
In August of 2023, U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) updated its 2021 study, "Breaking Barriers: Women in Army Special Operations."1 According to an Army News Service article, the study "outlined 42 recommendations... to better address obstacles facing female Soldiers serving in special operations units and to retain its top talent," and its "findings will guide USASOC in optimizing female warfighters while noting their physical and anatomical differences." The study's focus group responses highlighted "equipment fitting, childcare, gender bias, social support, sexual harassment, pregnancy and postpartum, and morale and wellbeing." According to the USASOC commander, Lieutenant General Jonathan Braga, "Although disappointed by some of the findings and comments in the study, we are committed to addressing these issues with candor and transparency."
by Chase Whitehouse | Sun, 02/18/2024 - 1:30am | 0 comments
Organized crime groups (OCGs) in Mexico are some of the most violent and sophisticated active criminal cells. The conflict with the Mexican state, commonly understood to have begun in 2006, has resulted in approximately 400,000 casualties. The focus of this research is the discourse produced by Mexico’s OCGs. The tropes within the discourse projected by these groups present an ominous threat to the legitimacy of the Mexican state. OCGs operate, largely, in the rural areas of Mexico, those with populations that have been, in their eyes, long forgotten by the central government. These groups establish a discourse in which the state is weak, corrupt, and a distant outsider in their communities. Further, the populations of these regions should invest their trust and loyalties to the OCG rather than the state. This paper utilizes available theoretical frameworks to trace the parameters of OCG discourse to better understand how it functionally serves these groups and how it serves to undermine the legitimacy of the Mexican state. In doing so, this paper draws on the teachings of several scholars of the region from various diverse backgrounds. This paper also utilizes data collected from several organizations measuring the mood of the Mexican people surrounding their relationship with their government. Finally, this paper uses available examples of discourse through the works of prominent journalists who work in Mexico. This paper concludes that while these groups do not have a direct objective to replace the state, the discourse they produce to legitimize their activities is expansive in scope and successfully devalues the popular perception of the state.
by Martin Stanton | Wed, 02/14/2024 - 8:18pm | 0 comments
The Ukraine war which the Russians so ill-advisedly began two years ago has been fascinating to watch.  Not only for the emergence of new technologies and methods of warfighting but for the sheer grit, determination, and imagination of the Ukrainians in successfully (to a point) fending off their much larger Russian adversaries.  The Russians on the other hand put lie to their pre-war claims that they were professionalizing their military by conducting an invasion that looked far more like their ham-handed interventions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia during the 1950s and 1960s than the Red Army’s textbook 1945 campaigns in Germany and Manchuria.  For a time, it seemed to many observers (not all of whom were untrained) that the Ukrainians might be able to pull off a complete battlefield victory and eject the Russians from their country entirely.  Unfortunately, that optimism perished in the dense minefields north of Tokmak this past summer.  The fronts have been frozen (literally and figuratively) for months now, while each side girds itself for the spring.
by David G. Smith, by Allan O. Steinhardt | Mon, 02/12/2024 - 8:22pm | 0 comments
Recently, and tragically, a case study has unfolded illustrating this modern variant of warfare: Hamas’ attack on Israel. While Hamas certainly used conventional military capabilities in the attack, it was also able to innovate and greatly undercut traditional military development cycle times by using commercial technologies. On October 7, Hamas launched a horrific attack across the Israeli border. The attack contradicted Hamas’ earlier claims that it did not deliberately target civilians. A key part of this attack was based on commercial technology – commercially available drones, pickup trucks, bulldozers, motorcycles, and ATVs – or improvised technology like homemade rockets, combined with widely available military munitions, explosives, and firearms. 
by Nathan P. Jones | Tue, 02/06/2024 - 4:03pm | 0 comments
Book Review of Deborah Bonello's "Narcas: The Secret Rise of Women in Latin America’s Cartels" by SWJ−El Centro Senior Fellow Dr. Nathan P. Jones.
by Keith Nightingale | Thu, 02/01/2024 - 4:44am | 0 comments
56 years ago, I was sitting behind a newly ploughed berm at the Xuan Loc Airfield literally repelling hordes of VC as they attempted to storm the city.  I was the senior advisor to the 52d Vietnamese Ranger Bn and had just been introduced to the Tet Offensive.
by Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, by Charles Lewis, by William Yaworsky | Fri, 01/26/2024 - 4:27pm | 0 comments
This paper puts forward the thesis that the concept of “Too-Big-To-Fail” functions as a cover for the impunity conferred to financial elites in the United States in cases that also involve transnational organized crime, such as drug trafficking activities and drug-related violence. The authors illustrate their argument by examining the case of the HSBC bank (2012), in which no entity or person suffered a federal conviction for extensive criminal conduct for banking/financial violations that facilitated money laundering by Mexican and Colombian drug trafficking organizations. In Mexico, these criminal enterprises seek political protection through the bribery of public officials. By explaining this case, the authors demonstrate the futility of protecting big banks in related circumstances, and note that larger banking institutions have indeed failed without precipitating a collapse of the economy. The authors conclude with recommendations for reforms to the penalties typically applied in these types of cases facilitating money laundering of criminal groups.
by John Nagl, by Dan Rice | Wed, 01/17/2024 - 1:36pm | 0 comments
The cluster munitions narrative needs to change if we are to successfully deter Russia and China.  Artillery has long been the #1 killer on land battlefields, as it is in Ukraine.  While aircraft carriers, fighters, UAVs, cyber, electronic warfare, and hypersonic missiles are of course important, the Ukraine war brings into focus the importance of artillery, and especially cluster munitions, for the future deterrence of our enemies in a land war.  Cluster munitions were one of the main pillars of our Air-Land Battle defense plan against a massive Russian army with significant fire superiority in artillery, and deterrence worked from 1945-1991, when the Soviet Union finally collapsed.  But cluster munitions have disappeared from the literature on great power deterrence. 
by Vlad Dut | Fri, 01/12/2024 - 9:21pm | 0 comments
From a serving officer in the Ukraine military. The objective of this study is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the security situation in Ukraine across various domains: in the air (ACC), on land (LCC), at sea (MCC), in cyberspace (Cyber), and in space (Space). The aim is to fully understand the current situation and predict its medium-term development within the framework of applying NATO principles. An additional task involves identifying the 'Centre of Gravity (COG),' a crucial aspect that often receives insufficient attention in contemporary operational planning and combat strategies.The aim of this study is to conduct a critical evaluation of the current security situation in the most threatening areas of the front to achieve a realistic understanding and to propose measures for its improvement. Acquiring a thorough awareness of the situation during the period of russian aggression is crucial for identifying correct priorities in neutralizing the enemy's offensive potential by the military-political leadership of Ukraine. This approach also allows for consideration of the genuine challenges faced by the civilian population.

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by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 03/01/2024 - 8:16am | 0 comments

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