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 Daniel Rice | Sun, 08/13/2023 - 8:10pm | 0 comments
In the face of mounting global challenges, Congress stands at a crossroads with the M26 HIMARS Cluster Rockets. The question is simple: Why destroy these potent weapons when they can be transferred to Ukraine at no cost to the American taxpayer?
by Alejandro Duran | Mon, 07/31/2023 - 10:07pm | 0 comments
Las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia or FARC have their origin in a period of continuous and widespread political, social, and economic unrest that is commonly known as “La Violencia” in contemporary Colombian History. Identifying the underlying causes behind this important historical period is crucial to our understanding of the motivation behind the rise of the longest-lived insurgency in the western hemisphere.
by Sean Fiorella, by Tony Payan, by Daniel Potter, by Rodrigo Montes de Oca Arboleya | Sun, 07/23/2023 - 7:54pm | 0 comments
This study focuses on the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and criminal activity in Mexico. It looks at data over twenty-four months prior to and during the public health crisis. The study examines both national-level and state-by-state COVID-19 infection rates data and their relationship to four types of crime—two closely related to organized crime in the general literature, homicide and vehicle theft, and two more conventional criminal activities, muggings and domestic violence. Regarding time, it examines four different time periods—two six-month periods before and two six-month periods during the pandemic to enable comparisons by type of crime at the national level, at the individual state level, and over time. The COVID-19 infection rate appears to have had practically no influence on any of the four types of criminal activity examined in the study. Even so, different crimes did respond differently over time. At the national level, homicide rates stayed at the same levels throughout. Domestic violence rates were lower in the first period but increased in the second period analyzed. Muggings and vehicle, however, theft rates were down for both periods of analysis. The results of the study at the subnational or state level, however, show much more variation, with some states showing higher or lower level of crime depending on the type of crime, the individual state, and the period. The general conclusion is that COVID-19 seems to have had little impact on the country’s criminal landscape and other variables may explain the variation observed at the state level.
by Justin Baumann | Sun, 07/23/2023 - 7:49pm | 0 comments
This article argues that the US Army’s pursuit of Divisions as Units of Action is a mistake. It instead proposes shifting the Army force structure to Regimental Combat Teams (RCTs) as Units of Action, and Battalions as Units of Replacement, enabling more efficient logistics and sustainment across the force. It also highlights how these new unit formations align with joint expeditionary warfare that will frequently take place in urban areas and incur high casualties and resource consumption.
by Michael R. Hetzler | Wed, 07/19/2023 - 10:43am | 0 comments
Security and defense medicine is about to shift into high gear, or instead, it should. Two new and identified security policies are now past the conceptual phase and are being implemented across Western nations, democracies, and alliances.1 Strategic competition (SC) and irregular warfare (IW) will now shape international affairs, diplomatic engagement, and crisis management for at least two decades. Both policies are based on principles of competition, influence, and deterrence below the threshold of war while still preparing for war.
by Charles Davis | Tue, 07/18/2023 - 8:06pm | 0 comments
Much has been said about the global phenomena surrounding TikTok in America since President Trump’s August 2020 Executive Order 13943 was issued, then put on hold, and then altogether discarded with the change of presidential administrations. With roughly 87 million users in the United States there is a large support base for this entertaining social media platform. It is amazing what privacies we will willingly give away if the request is packaged right. Here is free entertainment and a way to engage with friends and like-minded people, just let us monitor what you like and give you more of it.
by Paul Burton | Mon, 07/17/2023 - 10:55pm | 0 comments
Checker games are short, and although they do require a strategy the complexity in contrast with chess is incomparable. The complication of nine games of chess is significant, but if your peer competitor plays “Go” (Henry Kissinger), we now have game board disconnect.  How does the Department of Defense prepare strategic and operational level thinkers to link these board games and win? Can policy makers even define what winning is? The education process to enable successful Irregular Warfare (IW) campaigning is lengthy and does not fit into the traditional professional military education model, it is an iterative lifelong learning process that combines several pillars: a unique pedagogy, didactic, methodology, a form of classical liberal arts education, self-study, and experience. Those fundamentals foundations provide the skills to think, plan, and execute in the realm of IW campaigning.
by Larry P. Goodson, by Marzena Żakowska  | Mon, 07/17/2023 - 5:19pm | 0 comments
This article argues that Russia's approach to hybrid warfare has undergone a shift, moving away from primarily relying on nonconventional measures and tactics towards a greater emphasis on conventional methods. The framework of the argument is constructed through an analysis of Russia's experiences in hybrid warfare across various conflicts such as the Afghan War, Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine. Methodologically, the analysis is based on the non-linear concept of hybrid warfare, commonly referred to as the “Gerasimov doctrine.” This concept acknowledges the utilization of both conventional military tactics and nonconventional tactics, emphasizing the use of nonconventional as primary measures. The evidence suggests that (i) the Georgia War of 2008 and the Ukraine War of 2014-2021 serve as the most prominent examples of Russia's approach to hybrid warfare; (ii) the comparison with the Ukraine War since February 2022 indicates that certain hybrid warfare measures may be transitioning towards a greater reliance on conventional means. This shift raises doubts about the effectiveness of implementing the hybrid warfare concept by Russia. It provides an opportunity to identify the determinants that may play a crucial role in this transformation. Consequently, the article highlights problems for further discussion to explore the evolving nature of Russia's approach to hybrid warfare and measures used for achieving national interests to preserve state security.
by Martin Stanton | Sun, 07/16/2023 - 7:46pm | 0 comments
If the war in the Ukraine has shown us one thing it’s that high intensity conflict over a prolonged period is still possible and it still produces large numbers of casualties.  The US Army has not had to deal with sustained high casualty operations since the Vietnam war.  Critically, the US has no experience replacing sustained casualties in high intensity combat since the advent of the All- Volunteer Force in 1972.  Every conflict since Vietnam has either been too brief to stress the replacement system or of sufficiently low intensity that the volunteer force could still cope with the casualties incurred.
by Justin Baumann | Sun, 07/16/2023 - 7:32pm | 0 comments
This article discusses modern war developments and their theoretical relationship to the historical concept of Grand Tactics. It argues that US army doctrine should incorporate lessons learned from Napoleonic era warfare which includes focusing on Army capabilities in Mobility, Intelligence, Communications, and Leadership.
by Martin Stanton | Fri, 06/30/2023 - 11:00pm | 0 comments
Putin may not have begun the war understanding that he was playing for existential stakes (his own survival in power), but he knows that he is now.  His conventional forces have shown themselves to be surprisingly incapable and aren’t getting better fast enough.  The impact of the war on Russia’s home front is increasing with Ukrainian strikes on Russian border towns like Belgorad.  Additionally, Putin has just seen the first shots in what promises to become a drone “War-of-the-cities” like the Scud exchanges on population centers during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.  Even with government control of the media it’s getting harder to convince the Russian man-in-the-street the war is going well.  The recent “Wagner” mutiny led by Prigozhin with its abortive march on Moscow is another clear indicator that many of Russia’s power elite are becoming increasingly restive under Putin’s leadership.
by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Fri, 06/30/2023 - 8:52pm | 0 comments
A prison riot broke out in the Women’s Prison (Centro Femenino de Adaptación Social, Támara), in Támara, Honduras on 20 June 2023. The riot, which ultimately resulted in a massacre of at least 41 inmates, started as a brawl between members of the rival Pandilla 18 (Eighteenth Street) and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gangs. The part of the prison where the riot occurred burned down and was fully destroyed. An additional five persons subsequently succumbed to their wounds. In the aftermath of the incident, which has caused a national governmental crisis, the Honduran military assumed control of prisons throughout Honduras.
by Martin Stanton | Fri, 06/23/2023 - 11:43am | 0 comments
In 1988 the Soviet Union began withdrawing from Afghanistan with the last troops leaving the country in January of 1989.  The Army of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) they left behind continued to receive resourcing and material from the Soviets.  A small number of Soviet soldiers remained in Afghanistan after the withdrawal in 1989 but they were overwhelmingly logisticians and technicians.  The DRA Army in the field faced the Mujaheddin alone.  They achieved some notable victories (Jalalabad in 1989) and suffered some notable defeats (Khost in 1991) but did not completely collapse until the Russians (not the Soviets – under new management) cut off funding and resourcing in early 1992.  Prior to the loss of Russian resourcing, the DRA Army, with all its imperfections, maintained a degree of combat efficacy.
by 4Sight | Fri, 06/16/2023 - 12:15pm | 0 comments
This is the second essay in our series addressing Unrestricted Warfare.  How far we will take this series is yet to be determined.  It will likely form the basis of a 4Sight seminar or roundtable.  The previous essay stressed the need to accurately define and contextualize problems, in order to develop a common operating picture.  We provided a brief caution on mirroring and introduced the concept of the Cognitive Domain, as it relates to Irregular Warfare.  This and the previous essay are primers for understanding and responding to Unrestricted Warfare.  As we begin to examine Unrestricted Warfare, it is essential to understand what drives its application.
by Andrew ‘Buster’ Crabb | Fri, 06/16/2023 - 11:53am | 0 comments
Militaries have long utilized wargaming to gain insights into operational plans and human decision-making. The social sciences (anthropology, sociology, history, economics, political science, psychology, etc.) are generally said to study human behavior, culture, and norms at the individual and group levels. This includes armed conflict and the systematic employment of violence. Social science experiments utilize controlled and repeatable conditions to understand the effects of different variables on given outcomes. If properly constructed, utilizing wargames as a vehicle for social science experiments can provide useful data to better assess the complex problems of warfare. Beginning in August of 2022, the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) designed a social science experiment centered on operational considerations from the Department of Defense’s Women, Peace, and Security Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan. The experiment leveraged a wargame embedded in one of JSOU’s courses to assess if gender-derived insights into the human elements of the operational environment strengthened operational planning. This article reviews three general challenges—research/gap spotting, experimental design, and certification by an Institutional Review Board—the JSOU professorate undertook while designing and implementing the wargaming social science experiment. It provides recommendations and key takeaways with the hopes of fostering the military’s use of wargames as a means for social science experimentation.
by Zachary Kallenborn | Tue, 05/30/2023 - 2:26am | 0 comments
Zachary Kallenborn assesses the challenges posed by drone swarms in amphibious operations.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 05/29/2023 - 6:10pm | 0 comments
Adapted from remarks at the Special Forces Association Convention.
by Robert Muggah | Mon, 05/22/2023 - 5:22pm | 1 comment
SWJ−El Centro Fellow Robert Muggah weighs in on Latin America's cocaine fueled crime wave.
by Zachary Kallenborn | Fri, 05/12/2023 - 2:48am | 1 comment
WMD, drone, and threat analyst Zachary Kallenborn weighs in on the need for a US Commission on Information Warfare in this opinion piece.
by Pilar Glaser | Tue, 05/09/2023 - 3:44pm | 3 comments
Pilar Glaser reviews "The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth" by Sam Quinones.
by Tom Ordeman, Jr. | Sat, 05/06/2023 - 10:26am | 3 comments
In 2014, the U.S. Air Force began development of the B-21 Raider, its next generation stealth bomber. However, despite having socialized a set of requirements, identified a vendor, and set a per-unit price that will inevitably skyrocket, any serious discussion of whether a need for this platform actually exists has taken place - pun intended - largely under the radar.
by Paul Burton | Fri, 05/05/2023 - 11:08am | 3 comments
As the U.S. national security establishment grapples with the change of the global environment from the post-Cold War U.S.-led unipolar world to a multipolar one, much of the investment of capital – fiscal and intellectual – has been on large scale combat operations between peer nations. Yet, if the past is prologue, much of the competition, and even conflict, between great powers will likely fall into the category of Irregular Warfare.  How to approach the Irregular Warfare problem today presents significant challenges and great opportunities. In the DOD, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has much of the responsibility for the preparation of forces to conduct and execute Irregular Warfare (IW); its forces are purpose-built for this environment.
by Diego Ramírez Sánchez | Thu, 05/04/2023 - 8:43pm | 4 comments
This analysis looks at the challenge of organized crime and gangs in Chile. It originally appeared in Spanish as “El Crimen Organizado en Chile: El desafío que se avecina.”
by Daniel A. Pinkston | Thu, 04/27/2023 - 10:05pm | 3 comments
As Russia’s so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine continues into its second year, most observers have been surprised by some aspects of the conflict. The consensus is that the Russian military shockingly has underperformed against Ukraine, and the Ukrainian resistance has exceeded expectations. Furthermore, students of international relations and warfare are analyzing the implications for geopolitics as well as the advances in weapon systems. While many analysts have considered the possible implications for conflict in the Taiwan Strait, it is important to understand the lessons Pyongyang is learning from Ukraine given North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities.
by Daniel Rice | Wed, 04/26/2023 - 7:01pm | 4 comments
As the global community anticipates a Ukrainian counter-offensive as spring sets in, it is imperative that the United States Congress and Department of Defense take decisive action to implement strategic changes that could save thousands of Ukrainian lives. Ukraine is not merely defending its own sovereignty, but also acting on behalf of Europe against a long-feared adversary.
by Mahmut Cengiz, by Camilo Pardo-Herrera | Tue, 04/25/2023 - 8:20pm | 1 comment
This article assesses Hezbollah's criminal enterprises in Latin America with an emphasis on its Latin American cocaine trade.
by Keith Nightingale | Sun, 04/23/2023 - 5:58pm | 2 comments
A remembrance of Operation Eagle Claw 24-25 April 1980
by Diego Ramírez Sánchez | Thu, 04/20/2023 - 4:23pm | 1 comment
This analysis in Spanish looks at the challenge of organized crime and gangs in Chile.
by Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera | Mon, 04/17/2023 - 5:31pm | 4 comments
This opinion piece takes a critical look at current calls for US military intervention to address threats from criminal cartels in Mexico.
by Jonathan D. Rosen | Wed, 04/12/2023 - 6:46pm | 1 comment
This opinion piece assesses the negotiations between the Government of El Salvador under Nayib Buckle and various Salvadoran gangs.
by John P. Sullivan | Wed, 04/05/2023 - 1:10am | 3 comments
This book review of Caryn Dolley's "Clash of the Cartels: Unmasking the global drug kingpins stalking South Africa" looks at South Africa's role in the global illicit economy.
by Daniel Rice | Sat, 03/25/2023 - 11:03am | 0 comments
The war in Ukraine is ongoing, and while the focus is on winning battles and planning reconstruction, one critical aspect is being overlooked: de-mining. As the Russian invasion has left millions of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) and landmines across 27% of Ukraine's territory, we must take urgent action to prevent further civilian casualties and ensure the future prosperity of the region. It is time for an international effort on the scale of the Marshall Plan or the Manhattan Project to address this monumental challenge.
by Howard Campbell | Fri, 03/24/2023 - 5:02pm | 1 comment
In recent years, unauthorized US border crossings by non-Mexican Latin American nationals have increased significantly. This article examines the impact that these new migrants have had on Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. It focuses especially on the period immediately preceding the COVID-19 pandemic to the present. Since 2018, Central Americans, Cubans, Haitians and Venezuelans have passed through Juárez in record numbers, and many have settled at least temporarily there. Through ethnographic observations and interviews the author analyzes the impact the new migrants have had on border society and how Juarenses have responded to each of the immigrant groups. Acts of charity and generosity toward the migrants are common, but so too are xenophobia and hostility, especially from local politicians, tabloid journalists, local law enforcement, and members of organized crime. As large numbers of migrants, especially Venezuelans at present, have flooded into downtown Juárez, the impact has been transformative to local business and street culture and led to brewing social tensions on the border that may worsen in the future.
by Michael L. Burgoyne, by Albert J. Marckwardt | Thu, 03/23/2023 - 4:40pm | 4 comments
In this commentary, two former foreign area officers with experience in Latin America address the pitfalls of US military intervention against criminal cartels in Mexico's crime wars.
by Daniel Rice | Wed, 03/08/2023 - 11:03am | 2 comments
Recent media reports from outlets such as Reuters, Ukraine Business News, and Euromaidan have created unnecessary confusion and politicization around Ukraine's request for submunitions to be used in drone warfare. It is time to set the record straight and provide Ukraine with the tools it needs to effectively defend itself against Russian aggression.
by Russell W. Glenn | Mon, 03/06/2023 - 10:01pm | 4 comments
This article reviews the 1846 Battle of Monterrey from an urban operations perspective. The review provides salient lessons for contemporary military operations.
by Kyle Amonson | Sun, 03/05/2023 - 7:59pm | 0 comments
At the heart of every peacekeeping operation is the peacekeeper, the populace, and the mandate. In an international community that is currently supporting 12 United Nations peacekeeping operations (PKOs) across three continents, with over 97,000 peacekeepers, it is imperative we ask ourselves if we are fielding the appropriate technological advantages to mitigate risk in the pursuit of regional peace and stability. One key capability found in nearly every military and police force across the globe is the drone (the unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV), or unmanned aerial system (UAS), when considering the entire package. While the UAS cannot replace the interpersonal relationships of working alongside a populace during a PKO, it can provide a variety of critical capabilities to revolutionize peacekeeping and humanitarian relief. The thesis of this article is that the UN has a proven track record of successful UAS integration to add value for UN Force Commanders. However, many leaders in less developed countries are apprehensive to the application of UAS, not realizing that UN UAS are employed in the same ISR capacity, and held to the same standards, as the more expensive fixed and rotary wing assets.
by Pierre Jean Dehaene | Sun, 03/05/2023 - 7:48pm | 5 comments
This essay is a food-for-thought on the identity (culture), training and education of special forces (SF). The target audience is the special forces, the emerging wider special operations forces (SOF) community, politicians and key military decision-takers who must wield special forces. Admittedly every nation has its particularities, but many SF throughout the world have common concerns and difficulties when it comes to setting a culture that matches a clear identity. Not in terms of tasks like specialized forces, but in terms of purpose like special forces. Struggling to find a balance between too much or too little “unconventional” is also a universal phenomenon. It should be clear that there is a time for structure and optimization and there is a time for creativity and momentum. Knowing what to be in which circumstances is exactly the educational foundation of special forces: analytical acumen.
by William T. Latta | Sun, 03/05/2023 - 7:24pm | 5 comments
In large-scale combat operations (LSCO), critical decisions during armed conflict that defeat the adversary to achieve strategic and operational objectives often determine the victor. History proves that the chaotic nature of the battlefield contains many variables that shape the operational environment (OE), which requires leadership to make the right decision on time to accomplish the objectives. The United States Army implements mission command to enable subordinates on the battlefield to make the critical decisions necessary to seize the initiative that can gain an advantage over an adversary. The Battle of 73 Easting during Operation Desert Storm displays the practical application of mission command in an LSCO environment that led to a decisive victory over Iraqi forces and the liberation of Kuwait. The success at the Battle of 73 Easting was due to effective mission command, which will provide a historical case study to analyze mission command, battlefield command and control (C2), C2 warfighting function execution in an LSCOs environment.
by Joseph W. Frost | Fri, 03/03/2023 - 10:54pm | 17 comments
            Information is a critical component of any organization in the world. Specifically, the military depends on massive amounts of data to make decisions across all battlefield domains. The abundant information gained from various sources supplies joint-level leaders and staff with ample material to decipher, analyze, and create intelligence products. When given to the right people, these products can leverage opportunities that enable friendly military actions and reduce the effects of the adversary’s combat power. Joint planners have several capabilities to evaluate within information operations that aid in creating advantages for friendly forces. Joint commanders and staff must understand the information environment’s dimensions, military information support operations (MISO), civil-military operations (CMO), and military deception when planning dynamic information operations.
by George Chkhikvadze , by Corban Pierce, by Trevor Davison, by Matthew J. McGowan | Thu, 03/02/2023 - 7:15pm | 3 comments
Endangered Fishing Village: A fishing village located on an island in an archipelago in the Indo-Pacific about 200 nautical miles from a major straight and 50 nautical miles from a major shipping route.  The fisherman, many of whom are third or fourth-generation fishermen, who have worked these waters surrounding their home for decades, are under persistent harassment from strange foreign fishing vessels.  Local vessels are chased from legacy fisheries, while foreign vessels are overfishing the area and devastating the local economy.  Within the local village, outsiders have been placing pressure on local officials to sell land surrounding the village under the pretense of building an airport and the promise of building infrastructure.  Local officials are frustrated that they cannot protect their fishermen, despite the repeated calls for support from the overtaxed Coast Guard.  Concurrently, national officials are worried about territorial encroachment and predatory economic practices across multiple islands and districts.
by Josh Phillips | Thu, 03/02/2023 - 6:51pm | 2 comments
For the past two decades, United States foreign policy has been centered around the Global War on Terror (GWOT), but this era appears to be steadily coming to a close. In light of this, as the U.S. continues to trend away from GWOT policies and operations, it must not lessen its opposition to international violence and human rights violations. Instead, it must remember to remain steadfast in its commitments to international humanitarian aid efforts that were initiated during the GWOT. The U.S. cannot afford to backslide in its progress in mitigating foreign violence, and must not forget the tools that it has at its disposal to maintain this progress. One such means that the U.S. should continue to employ is the Foreign Terrorist Designation (FTO), an important political tool that the U.S. uses to publicly identify and sanction perpetrators of international violence, and one example of how this tool should be used to protect U.S. interests can be seen ongoing Houthi rebel group crisis in Yemen, a group which the U.S. delisted as an FTO in 2021.
by Rodani Tan | Thu, 03/02/2023 - 6:39pm | 1 comment
During the Vietnam War, Builder et al. (1999) mentioned that before 1965, the fighting by the United States (U.S.) Soldiers in Vietnam had been in minor skirmishes with Viet Cong (VC) troops conducting hit-and-run counterinsurgency operations. However, the situation significantly escalated since 6 February 1965, the VC attacked the U.S. compound in Pleiku, leaving eight Americans dead and hundreds wounded. In November 1965, Colonel (COL) Thomas W. Brown ordered the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, commanded by then Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Harold G. Moore Jr., to execute an airmobile assault operation in Ia Drang valley and conduct a search and destroy operation against the VC and North Vietnamese Army (NVA). At the same time, North Vietnamese General (GEN) Chu Huy Man, with three NVA regiments, ordered preparations for conducting offensive operations in the same area of Ia Drang to inflict significant casualties against the U.S. military.
by Caleb Carr | Thu, 03/02/2023 - 6:23pm | 3 comments
The pledge on the part of various NATO countries to send advanced armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) to Ukraine to help that country in its struggle against the Russian invasion has been welcomed by those who support Kyiv’s cause as something of a deliverance. And even most analysts who have reservations about the tanks’ actual utility base their reservations on the Ukrainian tankers lack of training in specific Western models, preeminently the American Abrams MIA2 Main Battle Tank (MBT), the German Leopard II, and the British Challenger II. Granted, it will take the Ukrainians some time to master the operational technicalities of each of these models, as they have begun to do in Germany. But their most glaring shortcoming when it comes to modern armored warfare is not unique to Western tanks. Indeed, it has already been demonstrated by their use of captured Russian MBTs: they have not yet mastered the fundamentals of modern armored doctrine, either strategically or tactically. Doing so will be far more important than learning engine specs and firing modalities, if only because it will allow them to mount a far more efficient defense immediately (without waiting for Western tanks), and eventually go on the offensive, and do both in ways for which the Russians are unprepared.
by Ioannis Koskinas | Wed, 03/01/2023 - 6:11pm | 2 comments
In late 2022, the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) quietly divested the combat aviation advisor (CAA) capability, the only unit in the Air Force specifically trained, organized, and equipped for irregular warfare (IW). Within a few months, AFSOC converted the 6th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) from one uniquely suited for building partner capacity, security force assistance, and aviation foreign internal defense (AvFID) to another one of the multiple AFSOC squadrons flying the MC-130J airlift aircraft. For nearly 30 years, the 6th SOS was the Air Force’s only organization dedicated to IW and AvFID. But, contrary to the 2022 Defense Department Special Operations Vision and Strategy that aimed to bolster integrated deterrence by advancing partnerships and enhancing relationship with allies, partners, and the interagency, AFSOC scrapped the Air Force’s only IW capability. This has diminished U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) capacity to meet its national security objectives. Since August 2022, new commanders have taken the reins at USSOCOM and at AFSOC. This paper hopes that they take stock of the unforced error made by their predecessors and reinstitute the CAA mission in the Air Force and USSOCOM’s kit bags of asymmetric air power advantages.
by Brandon Sanders | Fri, 02/24/2023 - 7:30pm | 5 comments
For several reasons, the Army is wrestling with recruitment shortfalls. As with many problems in the military, the tendency is to “whip out the money gun” and shoot the problem right in the face. However, we need to be very careful with doing that in this context. Simply flooding the internet and airwaves with promises of $50k bonuses and a life of benefits may only set us up for failure in the next conflict. Instead, we should look at how to tailor our communication and Soldier experience to let our future warriors become what they truly want to be.
by Daniel Rice | Tue, 02/21/2023 - 5:11pm | 1 comment
The Battle of Kyiv is a story of Ukrainian resilience and strategic prowess, and a remarkable victory against a larger and better-equipped enemy. Sun Tzu famously wrote that "most battles are won before they are fought," and this was certainly the case in Kyiv. Despite being outnumbered and under-equipped, the Ukrainian Armed Forces emerged victorious, thanks to better leader development, leadership, strategy, and training.
by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz, by Robert Bunker | Tue, 02/21/2023 - 4:36pm | 2 comments
The Ministério Público do Rio Grande do Norte (MPRN)—public prosecutor’s office in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil—launched Operação Plata (Operation Plata) on Tuesday, 14 February 2023 to investigate money laundering related to drug trafficking by a suspected leader of the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC). The cell investigated laundered money through multiple means. Most notably, their laundering efforts including establishing evangelical churches as front operations.
by Pierre Jean Dehaene | Tue, 02/21/2023 - 10:08am | 3 comments
What can military organizations learn from one of the oldest natural mechanisms of survivability? Natural selection has for millions of years determined the species that get to live on. It was commonly thought that survivability was a matter of strength and/or fitness, but these (brute) notions less accurately describe what is in fact the mechanism of adaptability. The “fittest” species is the one best able to adapt to its constantly shifting environment. Essentially being less prone to developing dangers and more efficient with energy. Organisms and organizations are not so different. They both compete and exist within dynamic and fluctuating ecosystems. Organizations must adapt rapidly, especially organizations that exist to protect their people and government. This essay will look at the building blocks of natural selection as a framework for thinking about organizations. I will concentrate on the special forces, but the claims and reasoning presented in this essay are applicable to any military organization. How must we integrate the qualities of organisms that are able to survive and thrive in a dynamic competitive order?
by Richard A. Dean | Tue, 02/21/2023 - 9:59am | 3 comments
Make no mistake: if left unchecked, the war in Ukraine will bring about wider conflict. Today, the world over, executives and their tutors view the turmoil in Ukraine with an ever-increasing sense of dread. To properly grasp this circumstance, consider the morphing response of the Western world. A year ago, they responded to Russian provocations with rhetoric. Yesterday, they answered with shoulder-fired missiles and artillery. Today, they reply with tanks. Now, the greater world stands at a juncture, one created by an ill-fated mixture of interest, policy, and sentiment. The question to be asked now – the point that must be settled – is where to go from here?