Small Wars Journal

COIN

US Strategic Intelligence Strategy for Pakistan: Counterinsurgency, Diplomacy, and the Future

Wed, 12/18/2019 - 3:55am
Many locations where our military branches and intelligence agencies currently operate are nations are as complex and hostile as the terrorist organizations themselves. Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, and Libya are just a few that are infested with well-armed, well paid, and highly motivated terrorist groups. For all the threats and challenges that face Americas defense planners one of the greatest hurdles that must be overcome resides in Pakistan.

About the Author(s)

Here’s How U.S.-Taliban Talks Can Succeed

Sun, 12/15/2019 - 12:45pm
Following the prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban – a deal facilitated by the United States, Qatar and Pakistan – it appears that the Afghan peace talks may soon resume. US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is reportedly in Qatar holding informal talks with the Taliban. While the year-long marathon peace talks failed for several reasons, a new round of talks may present an opportunity to redress the mistakes.

About the Author(s)

Rethinking Bernard Fall’s Legacy. The Persistent Relevance of Revolutionary Warfare (Part I)

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 6:17pm
SWJ interview with Nathaniel L. Moir, Ph.D., an Ernest May Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Policy at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Moir is completing a book manuscript on Bernard Fall for publication.

About the Author(s)

Counterinsurgency in the Deep South of Thailand: A Continuing Failure?

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 11:44am
All actions have consequences, and all circumstances come after certain root causes; so does the ongoing insurgency in the southernmost provinces of Thailand, or what also known as the Deep South. The Thai ways of counterinsurgency are arguably flawed in several aspects, including the security and civil pillars of counterinsurgency. Moreover, the unstable domestic politics continues to distract the country leaders from conflicts in the south, as they are forced to focus on securing political power in Bangkok instead.

About the Author(s)

Doomed from the Skies, Damned on the Ground

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 12:55pm
Every U.S. airstrike resulting in civilian casualties nullifies the eighteen-year long endeavors of reconstruction and nation building aimed at winning the hearts and minds of Afghans in the perpetual War on Terror. The airstrikes have alarmingly augmented the xenophobia of Afghans towards the foreign troops and especially those of the United States.

About the Author(s)

Was it All Just a Dream? Revisiting “The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa” Ten Years Later

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 8:23am
Counterinsurgency isn’t dead no matter how much the U.S. military may want it to be. Ten years ago, we wrote a short parable designed to quickly inform junior leaders on the basic concepts of counterinsurgency called The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa. It seems appropriate to take this anniversary to revisit the book and the concept of counterinsurgency.

About the Author(s)

Targeting Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Pertinent Issues of Law and Strategy

Mon, 10/28/2019 - 11:00am
The US targeted killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on 26 October 2019 raises both tactical and legal questions. Although it is by no means certain that such "decapitation" tactics can tangibly diminish Jihadist terrorist threats to the United States, there is little reason to doubt their permissibility under pertinent international law. In the final analysis, such permissibility derives from our world's still-decentralized legal structure.

About the Author(s)

SWJ Book Excerpt – “War Amongst the People: Critical Assessments” - Conclusion: War, the People, and Politics SWJED Mon, 10/28/2019 - 12:44am
"War Amongst the People: Critical Assessments" - Edited by David Brown, Donette Murray, Malte Riemann, Norma Rossi and Martin A. Smith, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Published by Howgate Publishing, May 2019.

“Strange Creatures We Are, Even to Ourselves”: Understanding Insurgency and Counterinsurgency Efforts in the Irish War of Independence

Sun, 10/20/2019 - 5:41am
While still brutal, the Irish War of Independence ended with relatively little loss of life (some estimate that less than 2,000 lives were lost during the conflict) in order to secure the independence of three million people. In order to understand the result of this war and its enduring nature, it becomes incumbent upon us to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the combatants in order to understand the factors that led to its conclusion.

About the Author(s)