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
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    -- Old MOUT Adage
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    -- David Kilcullen ('Counterinsugency' Dedication)

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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 Andrew Straley | Fri, 10/23/2020 - 12:00pm | 0 comments
The next war will most likely take place in the information ‘cognitive’ battle-space, where the U.S. military is ill designed and ill equipped to fight. This future war will take place in ways and places far beyond the conventional Western concepts of war. The traditional ‘Western-way-of-war’ where society believes the nation is either ‘at-war’ or ‘at-peace, is a relic of the past. U.S. national policy leaders are slow to recognize the international system has changed, making the United States more vulnerable to evolving forms of hybrid warfare, asymmetric warfare and unrestricted warfare.
by James K. Wither, by Richard Mašek | Fri, 10/23/2020 - 10:42am | 0 comments
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020 arguably created the greatest global security challenge since 1945. Faced with this unanticipated threat, scholars and practitioners from the security and counterterrorism fields have struggled to understand and assess the impact of the pandemic on global and domestic terrorism
by Ridvan Bari Urcosta | Fri, 10/23/2020 - 9:50am | 0 comments
A view from Poland on the current conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. The current conflict in the South Caucasus started on 27 September with Azerbaijan air and forces armed with massive support of artillery against the positions of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh. It is a large-scale offensive against Armenia in general, and unprecedented in its nature since the beginning of the 1990s. Neither Armenia nor the international backers of stability in this region were ready for such developments.
by Ahmet Yiğitalp TULGA | Thu, 10/22/2020 - 11:02am | 0 comments
The world had faced with many terrorist organizations until 2014. However, after 2014, the world faced with the most complicated terrorist organization. This terrorist organization is ISIS or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS has been running a more different propaganda campaign, emphasizing the state-building and welfare schemes run by this organization and these elements make ISIS more complicated.
by Aaron Byrd, by Mechille Braden | Thu, 10/22/2020 - 10:54am | 0 comments
Advisors supporting our national counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency missions need a conceptual model of organizational leadership that crosses cultures and applies to a wide variety of organizations. We propose an organizational leadership model built on a set of cross-culturally defined intelligences and the Executive Core Qualifications used by the US Office of Personnel Management in evaluating senior leaders.
by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 10/21/2020 - 4:45pm | 0 comments
Remarks delivered for a SOCPAC Conference on Resistance and Resilience in Asia, February 4-4, 2020.
by William M. Darley | Wed, 10/21/2020 - 10:39am | 1 comment
The U.S. is distracted due to the current election turmoil. This makes Taiwan vulnerable. The essay outlines how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) may act against Taiwan in the coming weeks and months. It provides a concept depicting one possible course of action for an invasion of Taiwan by the PRC. The concept assumes that the PRC wants to annex Taiwan with the majority of its industrial and technological infrastructure intact with minimal fighting, which means avoiding engaging in urban warfare.
by Joseph N. Gardner | Tue, 10/20/2020 - 8:35pm | 0 comments
The world has a history of repeating themes, such as the collapse of states and global unrest, about every twenty years
by Preston McLaughlin | Tue, 10/20/2020 - 4:49pm | 0 comments
Frank “Gus” Biggio, foreword by General Stanley McChrystal, USA Ret. The Wolves of Helmand: A View From Inside The Den of Modern War. Forefront Books, 2020. Distributed by Simon and Schuster: USA. [ISBN 978-1-948677-64-6, Hardcover) 288 pages]. Due to be released on 10 November 2020.
by Peter Kent Forster | Tue, 10/20/2020 - 4:41pm | 0 comments
Ansar al-Sunna wa Jama’ah, Mozambique’s emerging jihadi umbrella group, has been active in the northern province of Cabo Delgado since 2017. Its sustainability is benefitting from a number of enablers. While it remains possible for the Mozambique government to defeat Ansar al-Sunna, the task is becoming more complex as the drivers of sustainability continue to mature. This paper identifies five key enablers, analyzes their current state, and offers practical suggestions on counter-measures

Blog Posts

by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 10/24/2020 - 11:35am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 10/24/2020 - 11:17am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 10/23/2020 - 12:14pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 10/23/2020 - 11:33am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 10/22/2020 - 11:02am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 10/22/2020 - 10:46am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by David S. Maxwell | Wed, 10/21/2020 - 11:31am | 0 comments
A Roundup of the Day's News
by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 10/21/2020 - 9:01am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by SWJ Editors | Tue, 10/20/2020 - 7:59pm | 0 comments
Updates to the USMC Commandant's Professional Reading List
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 10/20/2020 - 12:44pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 10/20/2020 - 12:20pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 10/19/2020 - 2:41pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 10/19/2020 - 1:52pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by David S. Maxwell | Sun, 10/18/2020 - 12:09pm | 0 comments
A Round-up of the Day's News
by David S. Maxwell | Sun, 10/18/2020 - 11:30am | 0 comments
A Round-up of the Day's News