Small Wars Journal
  • “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
  • "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast."
    -- Old MOUT Adage
  • “It takes a brave man to be a coward in the Red Army.”
    -- Joseph Stalin
  • "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
  • “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)

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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 Joanne Patti Munisteri | Fri, 10/30/2020 - 5:42pm | 0 comments
Turkey and Iran continue in their historically based power play in the Caucasus and the Levant.  They are squeezing territory from Armenia via their proxy war by the Azeris in Nagorno-Karabakh and the presence of Azeri jihadists in neighboring Syria.  Posing as referees to these conflicts are the Russian Federation and the United States, both of whom have significant numbers of Armenians within their own borders.
by Nate Trimble | Fri, 10/30/2020 - 5:21pm | 0 comments
   The United States (US) is in another Cold War with Russia.  The US military shares several operational spaces with the proxies of the Russian Federation and its troops in such places as the Levant, Northern Africa, South Asia, and Ukraine.  Despite or because they are not declared international armed conflicts, Russian close air support in Libya, firefights in Syria, or standoffs in Ukraine has confronted US-backed proxies that parallels the pattern of undeclared conflict during the Cold War.  
by Christian M. Bills | Fri, 10/30/2020 - 10:27am | 0 comments
      The United States is the target of countless threats from around the world. In the age of ecommerce, instant communication, and the expansion of the internet cyber threats have become some of the most terrifying adversaries. Enemies of the United States have all weaponized this ever-growing form of communication and information source and have been quick to understand that for every road closed more are presented. The internet allows these threats to combat the United States on a level playing field as they can create programs to hack into government websites, liquidate financial accounts, steal sensitive or classified information, or spread disinformation on either official or social media platforms. One group in particular has been highly successful in this new war being waged and they are known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
by Alan Cunningham | Thu, 10/29/2020 - 6:13am | 0 comments
In the start of 2020, much of the world and virtually all of the United States was consumed by news reports and developments about COVID-19, a new strain of the Coronavirus respiratory disease. Hysteria was rampant with people buying toilet paper and masks and gloves, despite news agencies and international health organizations urging against this; some did this of their own accord, but it is undeniable the effect that social media websites (like Facebook) and “news” agencies (like InfoWars) had on inciting this hysteria. Not only was misinformation spread about what individual countries were experiencing, but about the cause of the virus.
by David C. Rasmussen | Wed, 10/28/2020 - 8:52pm | 0 comments
The political divisiveness and distrust that built up around the Nixon Administration as a result of the Watergate cover-ups and investigations, ending with President Nixon’s resignation in August 1974, created a backlash to policies associated with Nixon such as détente with the Russians. Even though President Ford tried to maintain continuity with Nixon’s policies, the policy of détente had become so toxic to both Democrats and Republicans, that President Ford was forced to completely abandon it during the 1976 Republican presidential primary campaign. It was within this rare political context of bipartisan unity that the Army had the rationale it needed to make its largest doctrinal shift in the post-World War II era.
by Pasar Sherko | Wed, 10/28/2020 - 8:32pm | 0 comments
Directing violent operations against the west has been a major threat coming from Salafi-jihadi groups. While the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda is the most widely-known external attack, since the declaration of the ISIS caliphate in June 2014, conducting external operations is almost exclusive to the Islamic State.
by Paolo Pizzolo | Wed, 10/28/2020 - 8:16pm | 0 comments
This paper will describe the Greed versus Grievance Theory and why it is a useful theoretical framework to address the incentives for the outbreak of the 2011 Libyan Civil War. Specifically, it will argue that, although the greed argument can partly contribute in explaining the motivations that led the anti-Gaddafi rebel front to mobilize, the grievance argument renders a broader explanation to the uprising, as it includes relevant variables typical of Gaddafi’s regime, like: inequal income distribution, unemployment, lack of political rights, nepotism, and corruption.
by Sean McLaughlin | Tue, 10/27/2020 - 9:35pm | 0 comments
On July 1st, the Russian people approved a constitutional amendment that reset Vladimir Putin's Presidential term tally to zero, thus allowing him to remain in office until 2036 potentially. This could make Putin a President for life since he could potentially be 83 years old when his time in office ends. This is bad news for Ukraine because it ends any hope that a change of leadership in the Kremlin will lead to a negotiated end to the Russian backed insurgency in the east. Ukraine needs to now accept this hard reality and take a long-range strategic approach that will change the political dynamics of the conflict in Ukraine's favor.
by Billy Carter , by Isaac Odhiambo, by Jonathan Underwood | Tue, 10/27/2020 - 3:11pm | 0 comments
This case study is part of a larger body of work researched and produced by the students of the Military Information Support Operations (MISO) Program Design and Assessment Course at Ft. Bragg, NC. This body of work examines conflict scenarios with emphasis on determining the Psychological Operations (PSYOP) efforts and activities employed by the various competitive actors in the area of operations.
by Lawrence E. Cline | Mon, 10/26/2020 - 10:12pm | 0 comments
The Sahel region in Africa continues to be one of the most unstable regions in the world, with a variety of jihadist groups continuing to launch attacks. Although originally focused in Mali, it has metastasized into a major threat to bordering countries. The most critical security requirements continue to fall on the local military and police forces. Both before and after the external military and peace enforcement missions, local forces have had significant issues with maintaining security

Blog Posts

by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 10/30/2020 - 1:03pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 10/30/2020 - 12:17pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by SWJ Editors | Thu, 10/29/2020 - 5:08pm | 0 comments

TERRORISM FUTURES: Evolving Technology and TTPs Use

by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 10/29/2020 - 9:41am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 10/29/2020 - 9:02am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by SWJ Editors | Wed, 10/28/2020 - 2:27pm | 0 comments

Gangs in lockdown: Impact of Covid-19 restrictions on gangs in east and southern Africa

by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 10/28/2020 - 9:34am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 10/28/2020 - 8:57am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 10/27/2020 - 2:29pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 10/27/2020 - 1:34pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 10/26/2020 - 8:54am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 10/26/2020 - 8:26am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 10/25/2020 - 12:41pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 10/25/2020 - 12:29pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by SWJ Editors | Sat, 10/24/2020 - 7:17pm | 0 comments

An excellent podcast from the Modern War Institute.