Small Wars Journal
  • "In 1991 the Gulf War showed everyone how not to fight us, but the 2003 invasion of Iraq showed everybody how to fight us."
    -- David Kilcullen
  • “With no other security forces on hand, U.S. military was left to confront, almost alone, an Iraqi insurgency and a crime rate that grew worse throughout the year, waged in part by soldiers of the disbanded army and in part by criminals who were released from prison.”
    -- John Spratt
  • “For Dave Dilegge and Bill Nagle, founders and editors of Small Wars Journal. They gave the counterguerrilla underground a home, at a time when misguided leaders banned even the word ‘insurgency,’ though busily losing to one. Scholars, warriors, and agitators, Dave and Bill laid the foundation for battlefield success: our generation owes them a debt of gratitude.”
    -- David Kilcullen ('Counterinsugency' Dedication)
  • "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast."
    -- Old MOUT Adage
  • “It takes a brave man to be a coward in the Red Army.”
    -- Joseph Stalin

Home, Above Feeds, Annoucement

 

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

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 Mike Pultusker , by Tom Hammerle | Tue, 05/24/2022 - 5:08pm | 0 comments
After twenty years of Global War on Terrorism operations, the question of how to effectively employ United States Special Operations Forces (SOF) now, and for the next twenty years in support of national defense priorities has come to the forefront for policy-makers and military leadership. What is SOF’s value proposition in an era of strategic competition? How can SOF continue to shape the environment and remain an important tool in the American strategists’ toolbox? Among the first Americans in Afghanistan after al-Qaeda attacked the United States on 9/11, SOF has continued to be at the vanguard of efforts to counter violent extremism. The relentless pace of SOF operations in a continuous Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, Analyze (F3EA) targeting cycle continued for two decades of uninterrupted deployment. In that time, the American national defense community’s understanding of VEO behavior, assessment of risk to the homeland, and advancements in technology have matured so that countering violent extremism is no-longer a deployment-centric task.
by Pete Reider | Tue, 05/24/2022 - 4:52pm | 0 comments
     Lt. Ramsey’s War is an autobiographic tale of determination, perseverance, and survival in the Philippines during the Second World War. This is the story of Lt. Edwin Ramsey, told in his own words, of how he transformed from a naïve 1st LT in the 26th Cavalry (Cav.) to a leader of 40,000 guerillas and a vital part of U.S. plans to return to the Philippines. He is credited with leading the last U.S. Cavalry charge in American history, surviving the Japanese conquest of the Philippines, establishing himself as a guerilla leader and briefing General MacArthur. Edwin Ramsey recollects his experiences both highs and lows, discusses his motivations, and his work with indigenous forces. It is a harrowing story of one man’s fight in a larger conflict, but also offers insights into resistance movements, occupation, and collaboration with indigenous forces.
by Brian E. Frydenborg | Mon, 05/23/2022 - 3:20pm | 0 comments
George Santayana famously wrote that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Marx expanded on the thoughts of a fellow German when he wrote in an essay that “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”  The ancients Aristotle and Polybius found history to be cyclical, as did Ibn Khaldun of the Middle Ages.  The saying “the past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes” is attributed to Mark Twain.  And Stephen Hawking gave us this zinger: “We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let’s face it, is mostly the history of stupidity.” Today, Russia is proving all of these, and rather pathetically.  I have seen or heard some casual comparisons of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s current campaign in Ukraine to the Soviet-Afghan War or the recent U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but such comparison are off when compared to a little known war within World War II that would be overwhelmed and dwarfed historically by the much larger conflicts of World War II, this sub-war being a relatively small sideshow.
by McLeod Wood | Sat, 05/21/2022 - 11:05am | 0 comments
Leadership is an incredibly personal affair. It is an innately human endeavor that differs in execution from individual to individual. However, to some extent there still exists hints of ‘shopping lists’ and prescribed models that leaders are ‘required’ to follow to be successful. These lists and models are hangovers from Trait Era leadership research which incorporated the Great Man Theory of the 1840s and Trait Theory up until the 1940s. Leadership is not a black and white skill – it is opaque at best and requires constant attention and modification to get the best results out of the leader and out of the follower.  Leadership therefore is an incredibly personal affair and requires the leader to be a chameleon. This article will briefly explain the four eras of leadership theory, conduct a short comparison of US, UK, and Australian leadership doctrine, and conclude by explaining why leadership is a personal affair and being a chameleon is important to success.
by Matthew Egger | Sat, 05/21/2022 - 10:56am | 0 comments
Between September 2020 and the end of August 2021, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) (中国空军) made 554 intrusions into the Taiwanese air defense identification zone (ADIZ).[1] The Communist Party of China (CCP) (中国共产党) carries out these sorties to wear down the Taiwanese Air Force, intimidate the island’s inhabitants, and shake their belief in the feasibility of an independent Taiwan. The intrusions are part of a broader effort on behalf of the CCP to operate in the gray zone (灰色地带), which encompasses “intense political, economic, informational, and military competition more fervent in nature than normal steady-state diplomacy, yet short of war” to achieve unification with Taiwan.[2] The CCP operates in the gray zone because actions below the threshold of war are less costly and less likely to trigger international reprisals.
by James Torrence | Fri, 05/20/2022 - 10:31pm | 0 comments
This Review Essay of Lise Morjé Howard's "Power in Peacekeeping" looks at Power, Persuasion, and Inducement in Peacekeeping through the lens of US doctrine: both US Army FM 3-0: Operations and the Joint Multi-service Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (MTTP) for Peace Operations.
by Michael Panfil Jr. | Fri, 05/20/2022 - 2:54pm | 0 comments
The essay engages with a series of historical events known as the “Late Ottoman Genocides” (1894 – 1924) which include the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Genocides. The areas of engagement include a contextual overview of the Late Ottoman Genocides, its causation, and its consequences. Additionally, the essay utilizes the Genocide Convention (CPPCG) and genocide theory as analytical tools to develop the claim that such events constitute as acts of genocide, despite continuous denial from its perpetrators. The primary purpose of the essay is to redefine the academic narrative of the Late Ottoman Genocides towards one that is more inclusive of the Greek and Assyrian Genocides, which occurred concurrently with the Armenian Genocide.
by Allyson Christy | Wed, 05/18/2022 - 9:43am | 0 comments
Afghanistan’s geographic location embodies the earliest routes of the Silk Road and modern development would benefit the BRI, but member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) present challenges. The Eurasian security bloc actually formed over 20 years ago to focus on regional security and development, but the bloc has largely enabled an encroachment of Chinese influence. Russia has sought to counter-balance that dominance. With security a concern over Afghanistan and recent unrest in Kazakhstan, Moscow has increased military activities in Central Asia, largely through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)—China is not a member nor does membership include all SCO members. China’s grand strategy began to play out favorably with Taliban leaders in Tianjin last year. Under auspices of political deference and support for a peaceful transition of power, Chinese officials strategized talks by underscoring policies of non-interference in Afghan affairs. Foreign Minister Wang Yi used the opportunity to criticize U.S. troop departure as being “hasty” and evidence of American policy failures.
by Allyson Christy | Tue, 05/17/2022 - 5:03pm | 1 comment
The world watched in astonishment as America withdrew from Afghanistan last year. Reality hit hard in August, as departures were fast-tracked, initiating chaos, violence, tragedy—creating widespread panic as events quickly unfolded. Satellite images showed crowds rushing the Kabul International Airport; many swarmed the only runway while others tried grabbing onto military aircraft. Video later showed the horror of two people falling to their deaths after a plane was airborne. The U.S. Air Force later confirmed finding human remains inside the landing gear of a C-17. Shock peaked when a bomb exploded at the airport a few days later, killing at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members, and leaving many injured.
by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Sun, 05/15/2022 - 6:29pm | 0 comments
Anti-mafia prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci from Paraguay was assassinated on a beach in Barú, Colombia near Cartagena while on his honeymoon with his wife who witnessed the murder. The attack—with the hallmarks of a “transnational hit”—occurred on Tuesday, 10 May 2022 when a pair of attackers infiltrated the beach riding a jet ski. Pecci specialized in prosecuting transnational organized crime and narcotics trafficking cases.

Blog Posts

by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 05/24/2022 - 9:27am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

Quad Joint Leaders’ Statement | The White House

by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 05/23/2022 - 9:41am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 05/22/2022 - 12:48pm | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by SWJ Editors | Sat, 05/21/2022 - 10:41am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by SWJ Editors | Fri, 05/20/2022 - 11:19pm | 0 comments
 

by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 05/20/2022 - 9:48am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 05/19/2022 - 7:46am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 05/18/2022 - 9:38am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 05/17/2022 - 10:16am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 05/16/2022 - 11:58am | 1 comment

Access the entire article HERE.

 

by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 05/16/2022 - 10:05am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 05/15/2022 - 11:42am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 05/14/2022 - 10:30am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by SWJ Editors | Fri, 05/13/2022 - 1:42pm | 0 comments
The must watch video is at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA4e0NqyYMw This is so important I am not waiting until tomorro