Small Wars Journal


America’s Strategic Options in the Middle East SWJED Tue, 01/15/2019 - 1:11am
Before he resigned, former Defense Secretary James Mattis was reportedly working in conjunction with the Department of State to revise US policy in the Middle East. Whatever vision Mr. Mattis had will have likely died when he left office - but he had the right idea in undertaking a review.
Is Israel Winning the Underground Fight? SWJED Wed, 12/19/2018 - 6:51pm
Tunnel warfare has become as central to modern conflicts as it was in centuries past. Tunnels have been a feature of war since time immemorial, typically as an anti-personnel tactic or as a means to overcome fortifications. Their appeal has grown on the modern, high-tech-dominated battlefield, where surveillance and intelligence capabilities can detect virtually any movement of personnel or vehicles above ground.
Operation NICKEL GRASS: Decision Strategy and Execution SWJED Thu, 07/26/2018 - 1:46am
Operation NICKEL GRASS permitted an Israeli victory over the Arabs. The post-mortem assessment of the US role in the 1973 war revealed general Israeli dependence on the US in the conflict. And while Operation NICKEL GRASS was integral for an Israeli victory, the WSAG discussion and debate to its national security imperative was heavily contested.
The Second Lebanon War: Failures, Lessons Learned and the Future SWJED Mon, 05/15/2017 - 1:29am

This paper's intent is to evaluate Israel’s performance in the second Lebanon war by identifying key failures, the causes of those failures, and to draw out lessons learned.

Dangerous Diasporas: How the Trump Administration’s Visa and Immigration Regulations Leave the United States Vulnerable to Foreign Intelligence Exploitation SWJED Sat, 02/11/2017 - 3:23am

The Executive Order does nothing to address threats that emanate from countries which view their entire diaspora as composed of free-range intelligence collectors.

Assessing Iron Dome: What Makes a Weapon System Effective?

Mark Stout, a member of the faculty in the MA in Global Security Studies at Johns Hopkins, posted the following at the JHU Governmental Studies blog.


While rocket attacks are undoubtedly frightening, injuries and even infrastructure damage from the Qassams and their cousins the Grad are extremely rare and they were even before Iron Dome came online.  In 1991, the story was much the same.  Thirty-nine Iraqi missiles landed on Israel.  The result: two deaths and one severe injury.  It is true that 231 additional people were admitted to emergency rooms for injuries directly related to the explosions and several hundred others had lesser injuries.  On the other hand, another 544 Israelis were admitted to emergency rooms for “acute anxiety.”  230 people harmed themselves by administering atropine—a standard treatment for nerve gas—when, in fact, no nerve gas was present.  Another 40 people hurt themselves getting to bomb shelters.

In other words, the threats to Israel from all of these rockets and missiles has been primarily psychological and hence political.  If Patriot and Iron Dome made Israelis feel more secure, then they succeeded at their most important task, keeping people feeling secure and thus tamping down pressures for my drastic military action.

You can read the rest here.