Small Wars 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 Martin Stanton | Tue, 02/27/2024 - 8:41am | 0 comments
Due to the decisions of our elected leadership America of 2024 is more vulnerable to outside conventional and unconventional attack than it has been in over 200 years.  We’re also in a position where the possibility of conflict with nations who can conventionally and unconventionally attack us grows greater with each passing year.  Our open borders, inattention to the illegal alien invasion and inability to monitor our own Western Hemisphere neighbors effectively could cost us hugely, both as open highway for terrorists to attack us and an open flank for enemy nations to exploit.  We (the US) need to fix this, fast.
by Al Dhobaba | Mon, 02/19/2024 - 8:02am | 0 comments
In August of 2023, U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) updated its 2021 study, "Breaking Barriers: Women in Army Special Operations."1 According to an Army News Service article, the study "outlined 42 recommendations... to better address obstacles facing female Soldiers serving in special operations units and to retain its top talent," and its "findings will guide USASOC in optimizing female warfighters while noting their physical and anatomical differences." The study's focus group responses highlighted "equipment fitting, childcare, gender bias, social support, sexual harassment, pregnancy and postpartum, and morale and wellbeing." According to the USASOC commander, Lieutenant General Jonathan Braga, "Although disappointed by some of the findings and comments in the study, we are committed to addressing these issues with candor and transparency."
by Chase Whitehouse | Sun, 02/18/2024 - 1:30am | 0 comments
Organized crime groups (OCGs) in Mexico are some of the most violent and sophisticated active criminal cells. The conflict with the Mexican state, commonly understood to have begun in 2006, has resulted in approximately 400,000 casualties. The focus of this research is the discourse produced by Mexico’s OCGs. The tropes within the discourse projected by these groups present an ominous threat to the legitimacy of the Mexican state. OCGs operate, largely, in the rural areas of Mexico, those with populations that have been, in their eyes, long forgotten by the central government. These groups establish a discourse in which the state is weak, corrupt, and a distant outsider in their communities. Further, the populations of these regions should invest their trust and loyalties to the OCG rather than the state. This paper utilizes available theoretical frameworks to trace the parameters of OCG discourse to better understand how it functionally serves these groups and how it serves to undermine the legitimacy of the Mexican state. In doing so, this paper draws on the teachings of several scholars of the region from various diverse backgrounds. This paper also utilizes data collected from several organizations measuring the mood of the Mexican people surrounding their relationship with their government. Finally, this paper uses available examples of discourse through the works of prominent journalists who work in Mexico. This paper concludes that while these groups do not have a direct objective to replace the state, the discourse they produce to legitimize their activities is expansive in scope and successfully devalues the popular perception of the state.
by Martin Stanton | Wed, 02/14/2024 - 8:18pm | 0 comments
The Ukraine war which the Russians so ill-advisedly began two years ago has been fascinating to watch.  Not only for the emergence of new technologies and methods of warfighting but for the sheer grit, determination, and imagination of the Ukrainians in successfully (to a point) fending off their much larger Russian adversaries.  The Russians on the other hand put lie to their pre-war claims that they were professionalizing their military by conducting an invasion that looked far more like their ham-handed interventions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia during the 1950s and 1960s than the Red Army’s textbook 1945 campaigns in Germany and Manchuria.  For a time, it seemed to many observers (not all of whom were untrained) that the Ukrainians might be able to pull off a complete battlefield victory and eject the Russians from their country entirely.  Unfortunately, that optimism perished in the dense minefields north of Tokmak this past summer.  The fronts have been frozen (literally and figuratively) for months now, while each side girds itself for the spring.
by David G. Smith, by Allan O. Steinhardt | Mon, 02/12/2024 - 8:22pm | 0 comments
Recently, and tragically, a case study has unfolded illustrating this modern variant of warfare: Hamas’ attack on Israel. While Hamas certainly used conventional military capabilities in the attack, it was also able to innovate and greatly undercut traditional military development cycle times by using commercial technologies. On October 7, Hamas launched a horrific attack across the Israeli border. The attack contradicted Hamas’ earlier claims that it did not deliberately target civilians. A key part of this attack was based on commercial technology – commercially available drones, pickup trucks, bulldozers, motorcycles, and ATVs – or improvised technology like homemade rockets, combined with widely available military munitions, explosives, and firearms. 
by Nathan P. Jones | Tue, 02/06/2024 - 4:03pm | 0 comments
Book Review of Deborah Bonello's "Narcas: The Secret Rise of Women in Latin America’s Cartels" by SWJ−El Centro Senior Fellow Dr. Nathan P. Jones.
by Keith Nightingale | Thu, 02/01/2024 - 4:44am | 0 comments
56 years ago, I was sitting behind a newly ploughed berm at the Xuan Loc Airfield literally repelling hordes of VC as they attempted to storm the city.  I was the senior advisor to the 52d Vietnamese Ranger Bn and had just been introduced to the Tet Offensive.
by Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, by Charles Lewis, by William Yaworsky | Fri, 01/26/2024 - 4:27pm | 0 comments
This paper puts forward the thesis that the concept of “Too-Big-To-Fail” functions as a cover for the impunity conferred to financial elites in the United States in cases that also involve transnational organized crime, such as drug trafficking activities and drug-related violence. The authors illustrate their argument by examining the case of the HSBC bank (2012), in which no entity or person suffered a federal conviction for extensive criminal conduct for banking/financial violations that facilitated money laundering by Mexican and Colombian drug trafficking organizations. In Mexico, these criminal enterprises seek political protection through the bribery of public officials. By explaining this case, the authors demonstrate the futility of protecting big banks in related circumstances, and note that larger banking institutions have indeed failed without precipitating a collapse of the economy. The authors conclude with recommendations for reforms to the penalties typically applied in these types of cases facilitating money laundering of criminal groups.
by John Nagl, by Dan Rice | Wed, 01/17/2024 - 1:36pm | 0 comments
The cluster munitions narrative needs to change if we are to successfully deter Russia and China.  Artillery has long been the #1 killer on land battlefields, as it is in Ukraine.  While aircraft carriers, fighters, UAVs, cyber, electronic warfare, and hypersonic missiles are of course important, the Ukraine war brings into focus the importance of artillery, and especially cluster munitions, for the future deterrence of our enemies in a land war.  Cluster munitions were one of the main pillars of our Air-Land Battle defense plan against a massive Russian army with significant fire superiority in artillery, and deterrence worked from 1945-1991, when the Soviet Union finally collapsed.  But cluster munitions have disappeared from the literature on great power deterrence. 
by Vlad Dut | Fri, 01/12/2024 - 9:21pm | 0 comments
From a serving officer in the Ukraine military. The objective of this study is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the security situation in Ukraine across various domains: in the air (ACC), on land (LCC), at sea (MCC), in cyberspace (Cyber), and in space (Space). The aim is to fully understand the current situation and predict its medium-term development within the framework of applying NATO principles. An additional task involves identifying the 'Centre of Gravity (COG),' a crucial aspect that often receives insufficient attention in contemporary operational planning and combat strategies.The aim of this study is to conduct a critical evaluation of the current security situation in the most threatening areas of the front to achieve a realistic understanding and to propose measures for its improvement. Acquiring a thorough awareness of the situation during the period of russian aggression is crucial for identifying correct priorities in neutralizing the enemy's offensive potential by the military-political leadership of Ukraine. This approach also allows for consideration of the genuine challenges faced by the civilian population.
by Cüneyt Gürer, by Elena Walzack | Fri, 01/12/2024 - 10:20am | 0 comments
As the Russia-Ukraine War wages on, Turkey’s balancing position between Russia and Ukraine becomes increasingly difficult to maintain. Following the May 2023 presidential elections in Turkey, which secured his third term as president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan initiated significant political maneuvers which had the potential to unsettle the delicate equilibrium he had established among Turkey, Russia, and the West and at the same time were seen as a hopeful sign of Turkey aligning more closely with the Western alliance. During Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s visit to Turkey in July 2023, Erdogan made a surprise move and let five former Azov commanders return to Ukraine facing the risk of Russian criticism of violating the prisoner exchange agreement signed last year. During the same visit in a press conference, Erdogan reaffirmed his support for Ukraine and stated that “Ukraine deserves to be a NATO member” which was consistent with his earlier statements about Ukraine and in line with his other more recent moves bringing him closer to Turkey’s traditional Western allies.
by Tom Ordeman, Jr. | Wed, 01/10/2024 - 9:55am | 0 comments
In the opening days of 2024, events in the Red Sea provide an object lesson in the consequences of what many would characterize as a weak or ill-advised foreign policy. On October 7th, 2023, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), two terrorist organizations based in the Gaza Strip, breached a fortified border and attacked Israeli civilians. More than a thousand Israelis were killed, and several hundred were taken back to Gaza as hostages. Both Hamas and PIJ receive the bulk of their financial and operational support from the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is widely recognized as the leading sponsor of international terrorism. Of course, blame for the October 7th attack, and subsequent efforts by Hamas and PIJ to exact a toll on Israel, falls entirely upon those groups and their sponsors. However, since Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the Biden Administration's critics have suggested that America's withdrawal from Afghanistan, and President Biden's own long-term record, emboldened American enemies around the world. By October, domestic political pressure against a "blank check for Ukraine" was ongoing, caused in no small part by Biden's failure to build bi-partisan consensus for his foreign policy.
by Dave Campbell , by Enas Jahangir, by Rebekah Rodriguez | Tue, 01/09/2024 - 12:36pm | 0 comments
Prehistory spans a vast period before the advent of written records, making it difficult to pinpoint specific conflicts with great precision. However, we can identify some significant disputes and developments in human history from the time of Troy (often associated with the late Bronze Age) up to World War I. These conflicts and events are characterized by the transition from prehistoric to historic times. The Trojan War (circa 12th century BCE), as described in Homer's epics, the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey," involved a Greek coalition led by Agamemnon besieging the city of Troy. Though the historical accuracy is debated, it symbolizes the transition from the prehistoric to the historic period.
by Justin Baumann | Sun, 01/07/2024 - 2:07pm | 0 comments
If you’re looking for something new to read in 2024, this article provides a list of resources that junior officers and NCOs might find informative when trying to understand potential Large-Scale Combat Operations in the future.
by Pilar Glaser, by John P. Sullivan, by Nathan P. Jones | Fri, 01/05/2024 - 12:09am | 0 comments
Guerreros Unidos, a transnational crime organization (TCO) based in the Mexican state of Guerrero, has been linked to violent crimes, including the disappearance of 43 university students in 2014. The organization’s history of widespread violence, drug trafficking, corruption, and other crimes has made the Guerreros Unidos a notable concern to both the United States and Mexico. Understanding how this illicit network operates can provide valuable information on how to disrupt other transnational crime organizations. Social network analysis was used to map the relationships of members of the organization and measure their centrality within the network. The data for this analysis was collected from the United States v. Cuevas et al. (2014) indictment, which included wiretaps and surveillance conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This counternarcotics operation included the Illinois subnetwork of the Guerreros Unidos organization. This portion of the Guerreros Unidos network was centralized around a few highly central actors and densely interconnected. Based on this information, comparisons to other illicit networks can be made to identify trends and create strategies for disruption.
by Martin Stanton | Fri, 12/29/2023 - 2:14pm | 0 comments
A bit over two years ago, the United States experienced its greatest foreign policy defeat since Vietnam when the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) that we had brought to power in Afghanistan after 9-11 collapsed and the Taliban – whom we had deposed a full generation before – returned to power.  The disgraceful rout was hailed as a “well-organized evacuation” and a “logistical miracle” by the administration and the media.  (The tens of thousands of Afghans who had worked for us that were left behind could not be reached for comment).  Since then, we have maintained an Afghan interest section in Doha Qatar that still speaks with Taliban representatives.  However, we have no diplomatic representation in Afghanistan itself.
by Martin Stanton | Fri, 12/29/2023 - 2:07pm | 0 comments
It’s the New year’s season and the Ukraine war has largely frozen in place.  The heady hope that the Western equipped Ukrainian Army’s “summer offensive” could break through and re-establish Ukrainian sovereignty to pre-2022 borders foundered in the maze of Russian defensive belts north of Tokmak.  Ukrainian operations now seem more tied towards IO and fundraising than any coherent scheme of maneuver. Meanwhile, the Russian’s spastic and ill-thought-out counterattacks further north gain mere yards at great cost.  Both armies are desperately tired and seem to be “phoning-it-in” when responding to their respective political masters repeated urges to, ”Do more!  Do More!”.  Only the suffering of the troops is real.
by Daniel Rice | Fri, 12/29/2023 - 1:59pm | 0 comments
The prior “bad reputation” of cluster munitions has prevented the press from highlighting the significant contributions that cluster artillery munitions, supplied by the allies, have made on defeating the Russian army in Ukraine and helping to save Ukraine.   There are three significant dates that stand out in the timetable of the Ukraine War in which cluster munitions have altered the fate of the war- November 2022, July 2023, and October 2023.  And the data from these charts will show the meaning of these dates.  The fact is that cluster munitions have caused the majority of Russian casualties in this war.  
by Howard Campbell, by Charles Larratt-Smith | Mon, 12/18/2023 - 11:23pm | 0 comments
Over the last year an unprecedented wave of Venezuelan immigrants flooded the US-Mexico border prompting talk of a new migrant crisis. The Venezuelan migration to the US is part of the largest such exodus in the history of the Americas. The scale and scope of the Venezuelan migration crisis raises important questions. Why have so many Venezuelans opted to leave their country in recent years? How have Venezuelan migrants fared in other countries and how in turn have they affected those countries that receive them? What dangers and opposition do they face on their journeys? What is the future of Venezuelan migrants in the US? And how is this phenomenon impacting US-Venezuelan relations? In this article, we draw on dozens of semi-structured interviews and informal conversations conducted between 2019 and the present by the authors with Venezuelan migrants in Colombia, Mexico, and the United States. Combining these primary sources with other available academic and media-based publications, we explore why so many Venezuelans have left their country in recent years, the realities awaiting them in receiving countries and along their journeys, and what ultimately this means for this new diaspora in the United States and for the country itself.
by Robert Redding | Wed, 12/13/2023 - 6:01pm | 0 comments
Those of us of a certain age grew up thinking that the first space battles would be between units of astronauts with lasers.  However, November of 2023 saw the demonstration of Israel’s cutting-edge missile defense capabilities, when it intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen with the Arrow missile defense system. This event highlights the ever-evolving landscape of irregular warfare and the significance of nation-states being prepared to fully use capstone capabilities, which were originally developed to defend against other nation-states, in safeguarding their citizens from irregular threats posed by non-state actors. This demonstrates the dual realities of irregular warfare: nations not only engage in such conflicts to gain strategic advantages over their adversaries, but they must also defend against the same tactics when used against them. For instance, Iran's deployment of proxies equipped with advanced weapons likely demands a conventional, rather than irregular, response.
by David P. Craig | Mon, 12/04/2023 - 7:12pm | 0 comments
And so, “River City” is an apt fit for the title of John Waters’ novel, River City One (Simon and Schuster, 2023). The protagonist’s demeanor and mental state are much like those of any Marine or soldier who heard these words called over the radio. Here is a character slipping away from reality.
by John P. Sullivan, by Keaton O.K. Bunker | Fri, 12/01/2023 - 8:39pm | 0 comments
Categories: drones - unmanned aerial systems - El Centro 1 December 2023 The global rise of drones has made vast changes to how countries wage war, spy on their enemies, and even deliver goods. Terrorist groups are also rapidly incorporating drone technology for intelligence, propaganda, and attack purposes. The impact of weaponized drone use has been felt in conflicts all over the world including the Russo-Ukraine war, conflicts in the Middle East, and now it has begun to enter Africa. There have been more struggles between governments and violent nonstate actors in Africa than anywhere in the world, and now that drones are actively being used by radical Islamist terrorist organizations in the continent, it is important to analyze how they have utilized drones since 2018 and how that usage may change via an indications and warning (I&W) perspective.
by Martin Stanton | Wed, 11/29/2023 - 10:17pm | 0 comments
In the past year we have been bombarded by stories about the military – particularly the Army, experiencing a recruiting crisis that has caused major shortfalls in manning the force.  There are various reasons given for this recruiting shortfall.  From pushback against the “woke” military by traditional military families to non-participation by normally liberal/progressive communities,  the impact of the Afghan debacle and the mismanaged “Global War On Terror” (GWOT) conflicts of the first two decades of the 21st century to highly publicized veteran’s issues (suicide etc.), the involuntary separation of thousands of servicemembers who were reticent to take the COVID vaccine, changing demographics, competitive pay scales in the civilian workplace and cumbersome recruiting processes, the causes given for the recruiting crisis are legion and likely all true to some extent.  
by Walter Kunkle | Fri, 11/24/2023 - 7:45pm | 0 comments
The Soviet Union’s decade-long incursion into Afghanistan has been compared to the American experience in Vietnam. Both wars bore some surface similarities to each other, though closer examination would reveal a multitude of differences behind the circumstances that brought them about, the relative commitment both great powers had to these conflicts, and the motivations for their involvement in the first place. But one striking similarity exists: both wars saw heavy use of the helicopter in an offensive role. The U.S. had taken notice of the successes the French had seen with these weapons of war in Algeria. The Bell AH-1 Cobra that the United States came to rely on in Vietnam was the first dedicated helicopter gunship ever fielded, and proved similarly instrumental to the U.S. war effort. Inspired by this design, the Soviets incorporated notable features from the AH-1 into their own flying gunship, the Mil Mi-24 helicopter, referred to by NATO observers as the “Hind.” Borrowing further characteristics from the contemporaneous UH-60 Black Hawk transport helicopter, the Hind would make its international debut in the early 70s and come to prominence in the Soviet-Afghan War.
by Zachary Kallenborn , by Derrick Tin, MD, by Gregory R. Ciottone, MD | Fri, 11/17/2023 - 3:26pm | 0 comments
Terrorists, suicide bombers in particular, create chaos and bring death and destruction to the masses. Not only are innocent people hurt or killed, buildings and critical infrastructure will likely be damaged or destroyed. Police, firefighters, medics, and other first responders may struggle to respond when bridges and roads are compromised and saving lives means entering collapsing, contaminated buildings and potentially placing their own lives at risk. Drones are increasingly being used to help.
by J. “Lumpy” Lumbaca | Fri, 11/17/2023 - 10:39am | 0 comments
This paper proposes that a three-phase approach is necessary for Burma’s resistance movement to be victorious.  Phase One requires all ethnic minority groups to put differences aside and mass kinetic and non-kinetic efforts to defeat the junta.  Phase Two demands both substantial international support for the resistance we well as increased global pressure on the junta.  Phase Three involves minority groups agreeing to a common strategic vision for post-junta Myanmar.  It is critical that Phase One takes priority and reaches a certain level of success before any subsequent phases can effectively occur.  Phases Two and Three may take place simultaneously. 
by Lydia Kostopoulos, by Peter Cloutier, by Isaiah Wilson III | Mon, 11/13/2023 - 2:46pm | 0 comments
The full use and utility of special operations forces has been underappreciated in the context of food security. It is food (in)security that lies at the heart of every conflict today and yet invisible to most in its most fundamental context as a matter, and driver, of global security and defense. Special Operations Forces (SOF) offer unique capabilities that can respond best to USAID Administrator Samantha Powers’ concluding statement in the 2022-2026 U.S. Global Food Security Strategy that, “Conflict remains the single largest driver of food crises worldwide, so the Strategy also leverages investments in conflict mitigation, peacebuilding, and social cohesion.” The COVID pandemic has brought our global food systems to the public eye, and it is the Russo-Ukrainian War that has made the fragility of the food system all the more visible and hard-felt.
by J. “Lumpy” Lumbaca | Sun, 11/12/2023 - 4:00pm | 0 comments
To address the dangerous and illegal actions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the Indo-Pacific, the United States Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) requires a comprehensive Irregular Warfare (IW) campaign strategy. The word “campaign” is used since this is an enduring effort that requires constant assessment and refinement to ensure effectiveness. The first part of this paper outlines strategic focus areas that the IW campaign should be built upon. The second part of this paper describes specific lines of effort that may be used as building blocks toward strategic success. The emphasis on the second part of the paper is to inspire new, creative thinking toward undermining CCP malign activity.
by Sean S. Costigan | Fri, 11/10/2023 - 8:58pm | 0 comments
Book review of Mark Galeotti's "Putin's Wars: From Chechnya to Ukraine" by Professor Sean Costigan.
by Ryan Shaw | Thu, 11/09/2023 - 8:01pm | 0 comments
A tree fell in the Pentagon forest and, judging by the response, no one was around to hear it. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs signed the Joint Concept for Competing (JCC) in February and it was published without any formal announcement. Its release was noted in Small Wars Journal; only a few news outlets and analysts offered commentary. The muted response is surprising, because it is a serious and thoughtful document that aims to revolutionize the United States’ approach to employing military power in strategic competition—it is a big tree, indeed.
by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 11/08/2023 - 9:51am | 0 comments
The wars in Ukraine and Israel both promise to be nasty, brutish, and … long. They also represent the new normal in the willingness and ability of U.S. competitors to use “irregular” means to undermine U.S. allies, partners, and friends in a bid to displace the U.S.-led international order. In Ukraine, it is Russian proxies and mercenaries in addition to conventional forces. And in Israel, it is Iranian surrogate terrorist groups. It is likely there is the invisible hand of China’s unrestricted warfare operating in the background throughout the world. (Editor's Note: Today (8 November 2023) the Special Forces Regiment is conducting its annual ceremony to honor President John F. Kennedy for his leadership and for championing the Green Berets)
by Daniel Rice | Sun, 10/29/2023 - 8:11am | 0 comments
The United States can help Ukraine win the war with one final decision:   Send the short to mid-range HIMARS cluster rockets in large quantities.   We have tens of thousands of these rockets, and they are all being scheduled for destruction. They are obsolete. But they remain lethally effective.   
by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz | Thu, 10/26/2023 - 5:04pm | 0 comments
A milícia (militia) in the Western Zone of Rio de Janeiro, known as the Bonde de Zinho (Zinho’s Band), conducted arson attacks against ~35 buses, four trucks, and one rapid transit train on Monday, 23 October 2023. The series of attacks were in retaliation for the killing of a senior militia leader Matheus da Silva Rezende, also known as the ‘Senhor de Guerra’ (Lord of War).
by Charles T. Pinck | Mon, 10/23/2023 - 7:29am | 0 comments
On 21 October 2023, The OSS Society held its annual William J. Donovan Award Dinner to honor the Office of Strategic Services and recognize historical and contemporary figures who embody the spirit of the OSS and national service. The following are the remarks from the president of The OSS Society.
by Winston G. Favor | Fri, 10/20/2023 - 11:13am | 0 comments
In his speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Democratic Republic of the Congo President Felix Tshisekedi expressed his displeasure with the UN peacekeeping mission known as MONUSCO. He said it is to be deplored that peacekeeping missions deployed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo have failed to confront the rebellions and armed conflicts tearing the country apart, nor have they protected the civilian populations. President Tshisekedi announced that he has instructed the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to begin discussions with UN authorities to accelerate the withdrawal of MONUSCO peacekeepers from December 2024 to December 2023.
by Russ Howard | Mon, 10/16/2023 - 9:51am | 0 comments
The word “if” is a conjunction and a noun. Its brevity belies its importance as a forecaster of important events. As a result of the Hamas invasion of Israel, several "ifs" must be weighing on the minds of US security professionals, including government officials and military leaders, particularly those in the special operations community.
by Daniel Rice | Fri, 10/13/2023 - 9:57pm | 0 comments
Accounting seldom plays a role in the outcomes of wars, but in this instance, an accounting error became an unexpected boon for Ukraine during a tumultuous Congressional period. With the removal of the Speaker of the House in October, there was potential for a temporary gridlock of Congressional budget approval. This raised concerns among Ukraine supporters that military aid might be interrupted. However, an unforeseen Department of Defense accounting discrepancy, which reconciled aid for the war's first year, emerged as a significant asset for the President of the United States at a critical juncture in this Congressional chaos.
by Raúl Benitez-Manaut, by Josué Ángel González Torres | Sat, 09/30/2023 - 8:50pm | 0 comments
This essay argues that the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) is currently the most powerful criminal organization in Mexico. This is due to two factors: first, due to the blows that the Mexican government, supported by the United States and its intelligence systems, has dealt to the main dominant cartel in Mexico, the Sinaloa Cartel, capturing Joaquín Guzmán, (aka) “El Chapo,” his sons and members of the leadership structure. Secondly, the CJNG has managed to control a significant part of fentanyl production and has managed to penetrate the distribution networks of this drug to the United States. For the authors, the war on drugs and the fight against fentanyl has become one of the main security problems between the two countries.
by Diego Ramírez Sánchez | Sat, 09/30/2023 - 6:24pm | 0 comments
Book Review of "Mientras llega la alegría: transición inconclusa en las relaciones cívico-policiales (Chile, 1990-1994)." This review in English recounts the evolution of policing in Chile from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet to the first democratic government of Patricio Aylwin.
by Raúl Benitez-Manaut, by Josué Ángel González Torres | Sat, 09/30/2023 - 4:32pm | 0 comments
El presente ensayo sostiene la tesis de que el Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) es actualmente la organización criminal más poderosa de México. Ello se debe a dos factores: en primer lugar, debido a los golpes que el gobierno mexicano, apoyado por Estados Unidos y sus sistemas de inteligencia, le ha dado al principal Cártel dominante en México, el de Sinaloa, capturando a Joaquín Guzmán, (a) El Chapo, sus hijos y miembros de la estructura de liderazgo. En segundo lugar, a que el CJNG ha logrado controlar parte importante de la producción de fentanilo y ha logrado penetrar las redes de distribución de esta droga hacia los Estados Unidos. Para los autores, la guerra a las drogas y el combate al fentanilo se ha convertido en uno de los principales problemas de seguridad entre ambos países.
by Diego Ramírez Sánchez | Sat, 09/30/2023 - 3:59pm | 0 comments
Book Review of "Mientras llega la alegría: transición inconclusa en las relaciones cívico-policiales (Chile, 1990-1994)." This review in Spanish recounts the evolution of policing in Chile from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet to the first democratic government of Patricio Aylwin. Reseña del libro "Mientras llega la alegría: transición inconclusa en las relaciones cívico-policiales (Chile, 1990-1994)". Esta reseña en español relata la evolución de las relaciones cívico-policiales en Chile desde la dictadura de Augusto Pinochet hasta el primer gobierno democrático de Patricio Aylwin.
by Atlas Vanguard | Tue, 09/26/2023 - 4:28pm | 0 comments
The purpose of this article is to offer for discussion the changing landscape of the Army’s Civilian Career Management. Huge civilian management decisions are currently underway with no inputs from Army senior leadership. These changes, done in a void, lack a clearly defined problem to solve and no in-depth studies have been completed. This will potentially cause serious long term negative effects. The loss of the SES led Functional Advisor (FA) team undermines the value proposition of our civilian workforce. The lack of strategic processes and Army process driven guidance is leading the Army Civilian Career Management Activity (ACCMA) down a path of irrelevance and a potential return to the status quo ante of 2010. Strategic discourse offers an opportunity to for Army Senior Leaders to add their voices and help shape what needs Army Civilian professionals require to transform into the Army of 2040. First the article will overview strategic documents and highlight the difference between those documents and a research study. It will then walk through the current decision process and the removal of the SES functional advisor from ACCMAs decisions and discuss the tertiary effects of those decisions.
by Vanda Felbab-Brown | Tue, 09/19/2023 - 10:20pm | 0 comments
This article explores the sources of urban insecurity and violence in Karachi, Pakistan since the 1990s. Based on fieldwork, the article also examines and assesses the effects and effectiveness of a wide-range of anti-crime measures, including the deployments of national military and paramilitary forces, the role of national and local police forces as well as of politicians, the business community, and civil society in responding to violent crime and a broad set of local illicit economies. As Pakistan’s key transportation and manufacturing hub and economic engine, Karachi is also deeply intermeshed in global smuggling networks. Moreover, in Karachi, crime and violence, including, but beyond terrorism, are also deeply intertwined with ethnic politics.
by Keaton O.K. Bunker | Thu, 09/14/2023 - 3:49pm | 0 comments
Book Review of David C. Rapoport's "Waves of Global Terrorism" by SWJ−El Centro Intern Keaton O.K. Bunker.
by Tom Ordeman, Jr. | Sun, 09/03/2023 - 5:05pm | 0 comments
In August of 2021, coalition forces - centered on a persistent NATO task force - orchestrated a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. Before the international community could clear the last of their troops, administrators, and aid workers, the Taliban reclaimed de facto control of Afghanistan, signaling the unequivocal failure of a twenty-year-long engagement. The coalition's intervention began as a near-flawless unconventional warfare (UW) campaign, and escalated into a conventional campaign before devolving into a disunited mixture of nation-building and counterinsurgency. As NATO divided Afghanistan into a series of fiefdoms overseen by individual member countries, the Taliban re-organized and re-infiltrated. By exploiting continuous missteps by the coalition, international community, and Afghan government, the Taliban managed to turn the coalition's scheduled evacuation into a rout. This largely mirrored other recent campaigns in Iraq, and later Syria and Libya. This mixture of partial and outright failures contributes to a series of inevitable conclusions.
by Martin Stanton | Sat, 09/02/2023 - 9:43pm | 0 comments
          Since early June the Ukrainian’s summer offensive has enmeshed itself in the Russian’s defensive belts and has made little headway.  Observing the scene from afar, if I had to guess as to whether the Ukrainians will (a) be able to break through all the Russians defensive belts and conduct grand sweeping maneuver warfare that will reach Melitipol and eventually liberate Crimea. Or (b) they will continue to be stymied like General Model’s forces were in their attack on the Russian defensive belts in the northern part of the Kursk salient eighty years ago, my money would be on the latter, with the Russians being able to contain the Ukrainian’s offensive. The issue is that while the Russians may be able to hold off the Ukrainians, that’s not the same thing as defeating them.  The Russian army has been savaged in the Ukraine with much of its offensive capability wasted in badly conceived and executed operations during the first few months of the war.  So don’t look for any far-ranging Operational Maneuver Groups of Red Army lore from them either.  Instead, what we find is a high-tech version of the Western front in the first world war.  An eastern European Passchendaele – with drones.
by Tom Ordeman, Jr. | Sat, 08/26/2023 - 8:30pm | 0 comments
Following an aborted Thanksgiving 2021 attempt that mostly involved me falling asleep, I recently made a concerted effort to plough through David Albright and Andrea Stricker's 2018 volume, Taiwan's Former Nuclear Weapons Program: Nuclear Weapons On-Demand. While Albright and Stricker's volume adds to the corpus of cold war case studies, its contents leave a great deal to be desired, and arguably neglect many of the most important questions raised by their subject matter.
by Daniel Rice | Fri, 08/18/2023 - 12:56pm | 0 comments
Note: The first Demining conference by the American University in Kyiv was held in May with some 500 participants from all sectors Ukraine society as well as the international community.  There 8 expert panel members , 4 from Ukraine, and 4 international experts. The American University Kyiv is powered by Arizona State University and is the 1st American style university in Ukraine with the mission to transform advanced education in Ukraine.   The American University in Kyiv plans to have a second conference at West Point to bring the key decision makers from Ukraine, who need resources, to the United States, to be introduced to those who have the resources, from various US military units as well as US government agencies.   
by Paul Burton | Wed, 08/16/2023 - 10:06pm | 0 comments
Policy, in its relation to traditional warfare, is arguably most influential at the beginning of and near the end of the conflict, but what about an Irregular War (IW) that is protracted? Policy and its relationship to IW, sometimes called Political Warfare, blurs the lines, both in its relationship to strategy and its weight during campaign execution. Options for Irregular Warfare policy present challenges as well as opportunities, and framing the problem properly is vital. Military planners are successful when they can match means to objective, and end states are clearly defined. In this current peer conflict, the policy of containment will not be sufficient, and that is why a policy of flexible “constrainment” is needed.
by Mahmut Cengiz | Tue, 08/15/2023 - 7:55pm | 0 comments
It has been a trend in Latin America to see how terrorist groups have evolved into criminal groups involved in the cocaine trade. Revolutionary and leftist organizations have generated revenue from the cocaine trade when they have pursued ideological goals. Moreover, they ended up in the cocaine trade when they were defeated by the military or negotiated with the local governments. The groups in Colombia have followed suit. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia or FARC) were involved in the cocaine trade long years and became one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine in the region. After the FARC ended due to negotiations, the group has created dissident groups that has followed the FARC’s ideology or become involved in the cocaine trade. This article analyzes revolutionary and paramilitary groups and how they evolve into cocaine groups. After examining the FARC’s negotiations with the government, it concentrates on the FARC dissident groups and discusses the likely results of successful talks with the ELN.