Small Wars Journal

Journal

Journal Articles are typically longer works with more more analysis than the news and short commentary in the SWJ Blog.

We accept contributed content from serious voices across the small wars community, then publish it here as quickly as we can, per our Editorial Policy, to help fuel timely, thoughtful, and unvarnished discussion of the diverse and complex issues inherent in small wars.

by Faruk Hadžić | Thu, 12/03/2020 - 11:05am | 0 comments
A rational analysis of the international community's failure to prevent war crimes in BiH (Bosnia and Herzegovina) can be a lesson for the future's morality model. The EU's role in Southeast Europe is inconsistent between its normative potential and current problematic aspects of process implementation policies. The recognition of Dayton's failure by the US, can pave the way for building a political community within the current "virtual entity" that does not possess vertical and horizontal legitimacy. It would be morally obligatory, even imperative, to build blueprints and state reorganization tools in the concrete.
by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz, by Robert Bunker | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 10:15pm | 0 comments
Armed gunmen attacked banks in two Brazilian cities on Monday 30 November 2020 through Tuesday 1 December 2020.  The attacks occurred in Criciúma, Santa Catarina state in southern Brazil and Cametá, Pará state in Brazil’s north.  The attackers are believed to be unrelated but share common tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).  Brazilian media refers to the style of attacks as the ‘New Cangaço’ referring to historic banditry in the 1920s-1930s.
by Eric Slater | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 12:32pm | 0 comments
The purpose of this article is to provide intelligence professionals a set tactics, techniques, and procedures for successful course of action analysis. I also cover how to maintain a cooperative environment when tasked with role-playing the enemy. This article is borne from the experience of having failed to grasp the collaborative nature of war-gaming as a lieutenant, followed by development through my captaincy as a staff intelligence officer and company commander assigned to the National Training Center.
by Sam Hayes, Jr., by Jerry Patterson, Jr. | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 12:02pm | 0 comments
The goal of this article is to show the diversity of mission sets and organizations AC CA supports, develop CA practitioners, as well as inform the larger community of CA’s value. The first section addresses the company and team’s experiences in support of U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), U.S. Army Africa (USARAF), U.S. Air Forces Africa (USAFAF), Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA), and the U.S. Agency for International Development in West Africa Regional Office (USAID-WA) objectives. The final section addresses insights from these CA Soldiers’ unique perspectives (i.e., operating with GPF and SOF elements in the joint environment, working with the RAF and the U.S. country team, conducting regional exercises and assessing HN CMO capacity, validating HN CA forces institutions and setting the conditions for regional exercises with U.S. and NATO partners, coordinating among the DOD, DOS, and the international community, and supporting the teams and managing civil information), which currently may not reflect the view of others.
by Wes Dyson | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 11:37am | 0 comments
In War by Other Means former Ambassador to India, Robert D. Blackwill, and Rhodes Scholar, Jennifer M. Harris, clearly articulate an alternate path to American success in Great Power Competition: geoeconomics.  Geoeconomics, as they define it, is “the use of economic instruments to promote and defend national interests, and to produce beneficial geopolitical results; and the effects of other nations economic actions on a country’s geopolitical goals.” The authors state that economics, and particularly geoeconomics, is the instrument of national power that the United States must employ to maintain its dominant position within the international system.
by Aaron A. Bazin, by Karla Mastracchio | Wed, 12/02/2020 - 9:41am | 0 comments
American policymakers must weigh many risks in the development, oversight, and use special operations to protect and advance the nation’s interests. If they hope to do so from an informed position, they must understand what makes special operators tick — their mindset. In this article, we present original research into the creeds the special operations community uses during selection and training as an indicator of their inherent mindset. The purpose of doing so is to provide new insight into how special operations approach some of today’s most wicked military problems.
by Matthew A. Hughes | Sat, 11/28/2020 - 8:09pm | 0 comments
Across an Angry Sea: The SAS in the Falklands War is Lieutenant General Cedric Delves’s first-hand account of 22 Special Air Service (SAS) involvement in the 74-day war between Argentina and Great Britain over the Falkland Islands. Commanding D Squadron, 22 SAS throughout the war, Delves played a central role in this special forces unit, which emerged as a pivotal player in the British war effort. Delves directed his men in a variety of ground operations, leading military historian Max Hastings to declare that no “man saw more than he did at the sharp end of the 1982 action in the South Atlantic.”
by John Bolton | Wed, 11/25/2020 - 11:48am | 2 comments
America in (relative) decline is a common refrain in national security circles, with many evoking Rome’ Collapse or Great Britain’s fading from the heights of its power. Rome disappeared while Britain managed its decline well, shedding territories while maintaining a relatively strong domestic consensus. The appropriateness of these comparisons is generally assumed. This article offers a different point of comparison: the decline and eventual collapse of China’s Qing Dynasty amidst internal fracturing, a failure to reform, and relentless external pressure from Western Powers.
by Joseph Hammond | Sat, 11/21/2020 - 8:24pm | 0 comments
The United States should pay careful attention to the brewing conflict in the Sahara which if left unchecked could contribute to destabilizing forces across North Africa and the Sahel. Renewed clashes between Polisario, a leftist rebel group, and Morocco is only the latest armed confrontation riling the continent. The past few months have seen an increase in insurgent activities in Mozambique and an outbreak of a new war in Ethiopia. In contrast, the United States has largely been distracted by the 2020 presidential campaign. The deterioration in the status quo between Morocco and Polisario in the Western Sahara deserves greater attention because decisive action now may be able to preserve a ceasefire which has largely held since 1991.          
by Eran Ortal, by Lazar Berman | Sat, 11/21/2020 - 8:16pm | 1 comment
For decades, Western militaries have confronted a stubborn operational challenge. Our enemies disappear on the battlefield, and we struggle to bring our material superiority to bear. Simultaneously, our own maneuver makes us vulnerable to attack. How can we beat an enemy we can't see? This study examines Allied anti-submarine warfare in WWII's Battle of the Atlantic, to extract contemporary lessons against stealth enemies. During the campaign, Germany attempted to blockade the British Isles through submarine attacks on Atlantic supply routes, using attrition through stealth area-denial tactics with concealed low-signature platforms.
by Josh Chang, by Peter Kouretsos | Sat, 11/21/2020 - 8:05pm | 0 comments
In a great power competition, most of the United States’ policy attention has focused on East Asia and Eastern Europe. However, the incoming Biden administration should remember George Orwell’s refrain: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” In front of the nose of U.S. leaders is an overlooked fact: a secure, peaceful, and prosperous Western Hemisphere has allowed the U.S. to confidently pursue its national interests abroad. It is imperative for the next administration to factor Latin America more greatly into U.S. strategy.
by Wade Pommer | Thu, 11/19/2020 - 1:15pm | 0 comments
A reposted essay with some big ideas that should stimulate big discussion about a critical military capability that must achieve tactical and strategic effects.
by Richard A. McConnell, by George E. Hodge, by Thad D. Weist | Tue, 11/17/2020 - 2:25pm | 0 comments
In early March 2020, instructors at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) were informed that they would have to learn to “fly” their classrooms under instrument conditions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. With very short no­tice, the instructors found themselves locked down, working from home, and reformatting classes orig­inally designed for face-to-face instruction into distance-learning (DL) mode. Although the uncertain situation had presented several significant challenges, the instructors found that having to redesign classes proved to be a catalyst for positive change and ad­vancement. In the process, they discovered that the experience made them better instructors; the redesign expanded their teaching capabilities, including learn­ing skills and modalities (standard methodologies) that instructors anticipate will be used when they return to face-to-face instruction
by Octavian Manea | Tue, 11/17/2020 - 9:39am | 0 comments
Small Wars Journal interview with H. R. McMaster, Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World. From 2017 to 2018, he served as U.S. National Security Adviser.
by Batya (Батя) | Sun, 11/15/2020 - 8:37pm | 1 comment
During the grueling wars that ravaged the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Montenegro was arguably fortunate in comparison to countries like Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. Whilst it was bombed several times in NATO airstrikes, Montenegro didn’t suffer the mass destruction, ethnic cleansing, and refugee crisis that its neighbors did. The country has been lucky to avoid religious conflict through a high degree of religious tolerance and diversity throughout its history. However, in 2020 it seems that luck has run out. It’s possible that a civil war is looming in the country of the black mountains. One that has the potential to become an international conflict.
by Joshua Courter | Sun, 11/15/2020 - 7:51pm | 2 comments
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) is one of the most controversial terrorist cells in world history. The reason for the controversy is that some view the IRA as a terrorist group and other view them as an organized paramilitary of freedom fighters. Since their inception as partisan freedom force in 1919 and as a radical terrorist cell in 1969, the IRA has always made excellent use of propaganda to garner support and membership for their cause. In the modern era, more than 20 years after the Good Friday Agreement, the IRA now takes to the internet to continue to gain support and new members for their cause. They make use of social media such as Facebook and YouTube to promote their ideology and agenda.
by Melanie Hartvigsen, by Jens Flinch Jørgensen | Sun, 11/15/2020 - 12:05pm | 1 comment
This article will discuss the concept of hidden numbers and the different approaches to handling the concept; further, it will relate hidden numbers to the intelligence profession and thus identify methods to estimate hidden populations. Intelligence in this connection is used as a broad term covering both intelligence in the police and law enforcement and intelligence in the military spanning from the tactical to the strategic level. The article will present methods to intelligence professionals to better reflect and choose tolls for estimating numbers and quantifiable elements of intelligence. The methods presented here can thus be seen as a catalogue for inspiration for both the intelligence analyst and for leaders in intelligence units.
by SWJ Editors | Sun, 11/15/2020 - 8:04am | 0 comments
Unfortunately we have had to remove this article at the request of the author.
by Joshua Courter | Sat, 11/14/2020 - 6:31pm | 0 comments
This paper takes a look into the 2019 hacking of Zynga, a mobile video game developer. In the summer of 2019, mobile game developer Zynga had the login information of over 170 million accounts stolen. The accounts were uploaded to an illegal market place on the Deep Web and sold for an illicit profit. The hack is a form of cyber-trespassing and theft, as the hacker trespassed illegally into Zynga's services and committed the robbery of the 170 million accounts. On the deep web, the accounts were sold on an illegal market place for Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a "crypto-currency" typically used in darknet transactions as it's anonymous, unlike credit cards or PayPal. Details regarding how the hack was pulled off are still unknown. Details on who purchases the stolen accounts are still vague and indistinct.
by Christopher H. Brodsky | Sat, 11/14/2020 - 6:22pm | 0 comments
Since the start of the war against the Islamic State (IS) in 2014, Iraq’s Sunni Arab powerbrokers have aligned with the dominant Shi’a parties and their associated militias in partnerships based on local security and economic ties. The Sunni Arab elite have enjoyed political, economic, and military privileges from serving as the junior partners to the Shi’a militias – including the Badr Organization (Badr) and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) – in security cooperation, smuggling networks, and electoral blocs.
by Evan David Shields | Wed, 11/11/2020 - 9:54pm | 0 comments
This article examines the effects of Russian Active Measures in the United States’ domestic information environment, and explores potential countermeasures that may be implemented to combat these ongoing non-kinetic operations. For the purpose of this discourse, Active Measures is defined as covert or overt actions aimed at influencing major world events, and is often conducted within the various virtual domains that comprise the information environment. Despite the deep history of information warfare between the U.S. and Russia, we have failed to effectively adapt our strategy to reduce the impacts of these destabilizing operations in an ever-expanding domestic information environment. In order to counteract Russian Active Measures “…there needs to be a coordinated effort across the U.S. Government to organize in a manner that encompasses the full spectrum of the information domain.”
by Anthony Ippoliti | Wed, 11/11/2020 - 12:18pm | 0 comments
Iranian maritime actions in the Persian Gulf have gained renewed attention after a mid-August statement by the U.S. military that Iranian forces had boarded a civilian vessel operating in international waters near the Strait of Hormuz. The ship in question was reportedly linked to a company that had been previously sanctioned by the United States for supporting the shipment of restricted Iranian oil, and was no longer cooperating with the Iranian regime as a result of those sanctions. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Government seized Iranian petroleum being transported in violation of U.S. sanctions by four foreign-flagged vessels operating on the high seas.  The petroleum in question was en route to Venezuela, which is an Iranian ally.
by Ryan Gardiner | Wed, 11/11/2020 - 11:59am | 0 comments
Turkey’s use of bellicose rhetoric, zero-sum diplomacy, and ham-fisted military actions have isolated it from its historical NATO partners, pushing it into the welcoming embrace of America’s primary adversaries, Russia and China. Yet, while U.S. diplomats view this troublesome NATO partner with frustration, they should apply all of the economic, technological, and diplomatic leverage they have to resuscitate this relationship due as much to the harm Turkey could cause as to the benefits it could deliver.
by Alan Cunningham | Wed, 11/11/2020 - 11:54am | 0 comments
The U.S. Army Special Forces, the “Green Berets”, are the premier special operations unit of the United States Army. Born out of a need for a covert force dealing with Cold War-era operations, the Green Berets were trained as both a military and diplomatic force. The forces are trained in a variety of military tactics, ranging from intelligence gathering to direct action to counterinsurgency (COIN). However, the most important core activity that the Green Berets undertake is that of foreign internal defense (FID), defined as being “the participation by civilian agencies and military forces of a government or international organization in any of the programs or activities taken by a host nation government to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, violent extremism, terrorism, and other threats to its security ”
by Robert Bunker | Tue, 11/10/2020 - 9:02pm | 0 comments
Book review of Steven Dudley, "MS-13: The Making of America’s Most Notorious Gang." Dudley chronicles the many lives of MS-13 gang members to tell the story of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) in the United States and El Salvador.
by Ivor Wiltenburg, by Martijn Kitzen | Mon, 11/09/2020 - 4:14pm | 1 comment
In contemporary military interventions, Training, Advising and Assistance-missions (TAA) have become a mainstay. In most Western states, this is defined as ‘Military Assistance’, a Special Operations Force (SOF) prerogative. Recent interventions have necessitated conventional forces to partake in TAA-type operations, as SOF forces became operationally stretched. To conventional forces, this has become known as ‘Security Force Assistance (SFA). However, by utilizing conventional forces for TAA-type operations, a doctrinal ambiguity between ‘Military Assistance’ and ‘Security Force Assistance’ has arisen.
by Will Corry | Mon, 11/09/2020 - 3:54pm | 0 comments
The United States’ experience with irregular warfare is not exclusive to our more than fifteen-year engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq. The tactics, strategies, or lack thereof, and foundations of irregular warfare have been employed by the United States dating back to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and combatted in the Philippines and Vietnam. The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have made irregular warfare more ‘regular’ than conventional warfare in my lifetime. As United States security and defense policy shifts its focus away from these irregular conflicts to great power conflict with China and Russia, the United States will undoubtedly still face irregular warfare for the rest of the 21st century and U.S. ability to combat irregular warfare will not be without challenges.
by Paul W. Taylor | Sun, 11/08/2020 - 6:00pm | 0 comments
This article attempts an audacious undertaking: to lay the foundations for a theoretical construct for all forms of indirect statecraft. It approaches this task from an unconventional warfare perspective, but the model used is intended to be flexible enough to apply to the full breadth of what George Kennan called Political Warfare. Such an overarching theory has not yet been developed, despite having been a near constant of concern of states throughout history. This lack of intellectual foundation stems in part from a continuing misapprehension of U.S. military and civilian strategists of a war/peace dichotomy, as identified nearly 60 years ago in Kennan’s Policy Planning Memorandum, as well as a fixation on linear phase constructs.
by David Kimsey, by Jin Woo Kim, by John McCoy, by Charles Cuddy | Sun, 11/08/2020 - 5:51pm | 0 comments
This article conducts a three-country case study analysis with a focus and emphasis on the elements of national power as the analytic framework.  Diplomatic, Information, Military, Economic, Financial, Intelligence, Law Enforcement (DIMEFIL) are the elements of national power.  By showcasing examples across the DIMEFIL in the three countries, we provide examples of how the military effort alone does not lead to success.  Therefore, while important, the military aspect of national power must be leveraged in synch with the other elements of national power requiring fundamental interactions and cooperation through a whole of government approach to security cooperation success. 
by Kutluer Karademir, by Mahmut Cengiz | Sun, 11/08/2020 - 5:27pm | 0 comments
For many years, Turkey was a model country in the Middle East for its potential to combine Islam and democracy. Recent publications in the Western world has been labeling Turkey as an “uncertain ally” or mafia state, and international reports have been emphasizing how opponents of the Turkish government are targeted with scant evidence citing ongoing torture practices by antiterror and organized crime units of the police.
by Paolo Pizzolo | Sun, 11/08/2020 - 4:57pm | 0 comments
This paper aims to investigate to what extent the rival projects of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union on one hand and the Eastern Partnership promoted by the European Union on the other have been successful tools in integrating the countries of the South Caucasus region. It argues that, due to security issues and economic dependence, the Eurasian integration has been successful in the case of Armenia, but unsuccessful in relation to Georgia and Azerbaijan: in the case of Georgia, its Euro-Atlantic inclination and its territorial parcellation after the 2008 war averted the country’s likelihood to join Russian-led organizations, although the breakaway of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has likewise impeded or slowed down Euro-Atlantic integration
by Austin G. Commons | Sun, 11/08/2020 - 4:43pm | 2 comments
As the United States military shifts its focus from low-intensity conflict to large scale combat operations against near-peer competitors, the time and resources necessary to train for the latter detract from those needed to train for the former. Unfortunately, history and current events alike show us that low-intensity conflict will continue to be the norm. In looking toward the future of U.S. security force assistance, it may be useful to revisit a familiar scenario: a strategically important Middle Eastern country, poorly governed, threatened from within by insurgents backed by external global powers. While this narrative could be pulled from any number of recent headlines, the case in question takes place fifty years ago in the Sultanate of Oman.
by Anna Simons | Thu, 11/05/2020 - 6:56pm | 1 comment
In classic anthropological fashion, this paper uses an unusual "puzzle:" why might Special Forces soldiers engage in shirtless weightlifting in the middle of a sandstorm during an annual exercise in the Sahel? Asking this question opens the door to re-thinking how SOF operator sensibilities have changed over time -- as well as how they might need to change some more given Great Power competition.
by Richard Kaipo Lum | Thu, 11/05/2020 - 4:46pm | 0 comments
Today, we in the United States are confronted with a bewildering array of changes, occurring on multiple levels and unfolding at different rates.  The world order is clearly undergoing a set of transitions and with rising geotechnological competition and unraveling global integration, it is even more challenging to make confident statements about the future.  In fact, there is no single future “out there.”  We are always confronted by a range of possibilities for how the world could change and today, given the breadth and depth of changes underway, effectively dealing with those possibilities requires us to address the future in new ways.
by Philip Neri | Thu, 11/05/2020 - 2:59pm | 0 comments
A force that must contend with an aspect of the operational environment that it is not prepared for must adapt to achieve its objectives. Therefore, the reciprocal of readiness is adaptability. Military forces seek to man, train, and equip so that any adaptation required is not beyond the reach of its tactical formations. However, the accumulated manning, training, and equipping of a nation’s fleets, aircraft squadrons, and brigades does not equate to a qualitative assessment of overall military readiness. Incorporating the five distinct categories of force structure, modernization, institution, force projection, and sustainability, in addition to the tactical readiness metrics builds a comprehensive readiness framework.
by Robert C. Jones | Wed, 11/04/2020 - 2:46pm | 0 comments
What are the operations we need to select, train, organize and equip the force to conduct that are truly “Special” and also relevant to the challenges facing our nation in this evolving strategic environment? This is the most important question facing United States Special Operations Command today. But it’s not one we spend much time on.
by Robert C. Jones | Wed, 11/04/2020 - 2:03pm | 1 comment
Critical Points of Understanding for Guiding a Durable Peace in Afghanistan
by John Bolton | Mon, 11/02/2020 - 9:38pm | 0 comments
This spring the Army had a real-world Mission Command challenge as COVID-19 forced continued operations and training while within Social Distancing guidelines. Units began operating remotely, using a variety of platforms and apps including Line, WhatsApp, and zoom. Some utilized Defense Collaboration Services while others relied on teleconference lines. A common theme, however, is that many tactical units did not deploy their Mission Command Systems (MCS) Command Post of the Future (CPOF) connected via JNN/CPN/STT - the systems designed for communication during combat and tested during every Combat Training Center (CTC) rotation. In other words, at a critical moment, systems either failed or simply fell by the wayside, unused because of broad agreement on a lack of utility.
by Lisa Merriam | Mon, 11/02/2020 - 3:24pm | 8 comments
ISIS and Antifa much alike. “Mass movements are interchangeable,” said Eric Hoffer in The True Believer. From Hezbollah to Al Qaeda, from Occupy Wall Street to the Revolution Abolition Movement, these groups share more than an anti-American philosophy. They use the same marketing techniques. We explain how ISIS retails its ideology in our book Weaponized Marketing: Defeating Islamic Jihad with Marketing that Built the World’s Top Brands. Antifa is going to market the same way.
by Lorris Beverelli | Sun, 11/01/2020 - 1:20pm | 0 comments
France, once more, faces terrorism. The murder of French teacher Samuel Paty on October 16th, 2020 by a radical Muslim and the knife attack in Nice less than two weeks later on October 29th led to political and social-level talks in the country about France and radical Islamic terrorism. Among these discussions, people have mentioned that France was “at war” against “Islamist terrorism” or the ideology of “radical Islamism.”
by Daniel H. McCauley, by Sadi Sadiyev, by Rashad Tahirov | Sun, 11/01/2020 - 12:59pm | 0 comments
There is no question that leadership is foundational to the “profession of arms”. Yet the Services treat leadership at senior ranks as a “given” based upon the results of an officer’s success at the tactical level. Certainly, as officers progress up through the ranks to senior leadership positions, some of the skills required to be successful are, in fact, transferrable from their tactical leadership experiences. Many of the leadership skills necessary to lead organizations successfully at the senior levels, however, are entirely new.
by Daniel Weisz | Sat, 10/31/2020 - 9:08pm | 0 comments
Book review of Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley, "Votes, Drugs, and Violence: The Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico." Trejo and Ley conceptualize cartels and organized crime groups (OCGs) as political actors that read and react to the political environment in Mexico and demonstrate that there is a symbiotic type of relationship between the OCGs or cartels and an informal level of the state.
by Sarah Koch | Sat, 10/31/2020 - 10:56am | 0 comments
Western society’s connectivity is accompanied by a new national security risk: cyberattacks. To a degree almost unimaginable a decade earlier, disruptive and destructive cyberattacks have become central to multi-domain warfare in interstate conflict. Our critical infrastructure, banking, and military systems rely on connectivity in cyberspace. Paradoxically, those who are at the forefront of these emerging technologies are also the most susceptible to attack.
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.