Small Wars Journal

SWJ Book Review

SWJ Book Review: "Mexico’s Illicit Drug Networks and the State Reaction" SWJED Sat, 02/09/2019 - 12:39am
What makes illicit networks resilient and why do states choose to attack some more aggressively over others? These are the questions the author—Nathan P. Jones—investigates and attempts to answer in "Mexico’s Illicit Drug Networks and the State Reaction". Dr. Jones is a non-resident scholar in drug policy and Mexico studies at the Baker Institute at Rice University in Texas and an Assistant Professor in Security Studies, Sam Houston State University.

A Woman Warrior Ahead of the Times: A SWJ Book Review of An English Woman-Sergeant in the Serbian Army by Flora Sandes

What would become the book "An English Woman-Sergeant in the Serbian Army" is a collection of journal entries and letters that she wrote between 1915-1916 when she joined the ambulance of the Second Infantry Regiment of the Serbian Army.

About the Author(s)

SWJ-El Centro Book Review: "El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency" SWJED Sun, 11/11/2018 - 5:16pm
Mexico’s cartels have become a global problem. From the manufacture and sale of drugs, to human trafficking, turf wars, among other criminal acts, narcos have an international footprint. Ioan Grillo’s "El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency", is an account of how Mexico’s cartels were once drug smugglers who later radically transformed into “paramilitary death squads”
The Leading Edge of Aviation Warfare Innovation: A SWJ Book Review of Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War by Frederick A. Talbot SWJED Tue, 10/23/2018 - 5:27am
About five years ago, I stumbled upon the audiobook of ‘Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War’ by Frederick A. Talbot while searching through the free audiobooks available on While at the time this book was written it might have been more closely aligned to the popular mechanics genre, it is one of the most fascinating military history books I have encountered.
SWJ Book Review – “Underground Warfare” SWJED Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:34am
Tunnel warfare is now becoming a contemporary concern as seen in its use by AQIM (al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb) in Mali, and by Hamas for smuggling, terrorism, and increasingly as a means of urban warfare in Gaza, Syria, and Iraq. Among other things, underground warfare is likely to merge with urban operations and proliferate in the megacity battles of tomorrow. Richemond-Barak does an excellent job of building a foundation for addressing these tactical, operational, and strategic challenges.

SWJ Book Review – Grand Strategy by Peter Layton

The book contributes to the conceptual development and understanding of the idea of grand strategy. Making grand strategy practically applicable remains one of the major contributions of the book. However, in trying to assist busy people to get practical benefit, the book simplified grand strategy as ‘problem solving method’ but all the objectives sought need not necessarily be problems.

About the Author(s)

SWJ Book Review: The Fighters by C.J. Chivers SWJED Mon, 09/10/2018 - 1:27am
C.J. Chivers, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, follows six people in their journey through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He brings to life the stories of ordinary Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines through prose that reads like a novel.
SWJ Book Review – “Danger 79er: The Life and Times of Lieutenant General James F. Hollingsworth” SWJED Wed, 05/09/2018 - 12:48am
James H. Willbanks’ biography Danger 79er of General James Francis Hollingsworth (Holly) is a welcomed addition to our understanding important U.S. generals. From his Texas roots, through what became Texas A&M, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam (with points in-between), we read how events and people shaped his perceptions and Army career, especially two other armor officers, General George S. Patton and, later, General Creighton Abrams.
SWJ Book Review: “The Village” by Bing West (Review #3 of 6) SWJED Thu, 03/29/2018 - 12:07am
Bing West gives us, in this timeless work, an incomparable portrait of the lower end of the spectrum, a small war indeed. The Marines, chronicled by Marine Captain Bing West in a RAND report, all volunteers, were given one simple order—control the five square miles of the village of Binh Nghia, day and night, and do it with rifles, not artillery or airpower. The costs were high.
Review of "Towards a Philosophy of Narco Violence in Mexico" SWJED Wed, 03/07/2018 - 8:56pm

The intent of the work is to develop a theory and philosophy behind the narco-killings taking place in contemporary Mexico.