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 Josh Phillips | Mon, 09/12/2022 - 10:58am | 0 comments
In September 2021, Australia cancelled a $66 billion deal with the government of France to acquire a dozen new ‘Shortfin Barracuda’ diesel-electric submarines and, instead, finalized a replacement within the agreement known as the Australia, United Kingdom, United States pact - the AUKUS agreement. In this deal, the U.S. and the U.K. are to build and deliver eight new Virginia-class nuclear-powered subs to the Royal Australian Navy. This has many implications, but one factor in Australia’s decision to acquire nuclear submarines is their superior range, and the Lombok Strait in Indonesia is one area in which this range matters
by Brian E. Frydenborg | Mon, 09/12/2022 - 9:45am | 0 comments
In many ways, Ukraine’s victories are the products of a mathematical equation involving Putinism, the nature of Russian forces and behaviors, the nature of Ukraine’s forces and behaviors, and the two sides relative places in the wider world..The sum of the parts, in most cases, not going to look terribly different from what we are seeing now. The Russian failures were the almost natural outcomes of years of Putinism, years of one man above all others running the show.  This Ukraine war is the pinnacle of years of Putin’s rule, the best representation of him and the system he built, the people he elevated, the institutions he molded, the natural outcome of his leadership, and it will consume him and his system, an utterly predictable Frankenstein monster utterly predictably doing its father and creator in as can only be the case at this point.  No one can, should, or will be blamed more inside Russia (let alone the rest of the world) for this debacle, just as he would have received most of the praise from Russians had this “special military operation” succeeded (calling it a war in Russia can get you arrested).
by Matthew P. Arsenault | Sun, 09/11/2022 - 8:22pm | 6 comments
Paramilitary and death squad violence characterize much of 21st century conflict. Such political violence is “intrinsic to internal warfare."  Its most recent manifestation emerged in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s mobilization of Kadyrova paramilitaries and ``private” military companies - coupled with the recent slaughter of civilians in Bucha - suggest a high likelihood of increased paramilitary or death squad violence.  Although initial reports suggest atrocities were committed by the Russian military, we are but a short step from non-military, or paramilitary terror.
by Bol Ring | Sat, 09/10/2022 - 5:14pm | 4 comments
With a pressing issue on both recruiting and retention fronts, the Army is heading for a major drought, as explained by a Washington Military Think Tank. The problem is not confined to enlisted or conventional forces; it extends to the Officer Corps and Special Forces command. For example, in the Special Operations Commands, some organizations are less than 50% staffed due to a lack of Captains and Majors to fill those slots, creating a leadership deficit that could result in various adverse organizational outcomes. Therefore, military retention and recruiting are urgent issues that deserve scholars, military, and policy makers' attention. "We need to clearly understand why servicemembers are electing to get out of the military and to understand what would have kept them in the service," Mississippi Rep. Trent Kelly directed.
by Albert Hadi , by Paul Lieber | Sat, 09/10/2022 - 12:31pm | 1 comment
While women have long played an important role in jihad, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) now heavily relies on them utilize them to obtain its goals. Even though the physical Caliphate is no more, ISIS's military defeats – to include the recent killing of Ayman Al-Zawahir - have seemingly little impact on deterring the followers of jihad. There remains a distinct possibility of a global ISIS group resurgence, with women serving in more pivotal positions. ISIS women formerly worked mostly in the home as wives and mothers. “Over the past year and a half or so, the Islamic State has quietly shifted from insistence on a strict gender hierarchy to allowing, even celebrating, female participation in military roles”. Thus, and while ISIS continues to shift its focus from governance projects to international terror, its women will be vital members in this change. In northeastern Syria remains a notable ISIS stronghold: the al-Hawl refugee camp. Presently, it holds around 56,000 ISIS-affiliated women and their children, 10,000 of which are foreigners, who surrendered to coalition forces after Baghouz fell in March 2019. ISIS leaders consider this group, notably also its female supporters, integral to their future. While most on the international stage see refugee camps like al-Hawl in the context of developing humanitarian crises, Major General Alexus Grynkewich –Operation Inherent Resolve’s Deputy Commander for Operations - remains specifically worried about female ISIS fighters within the camp, individuals radicalizing other, to include children, within.
by Thomas J. Trent | Sat, 09/10/2022 - 12:14pm | 3 comments
The National Institute of Mental Health and the Veterans Administration were both founded in the wake of World War II. Their emphasis on mental illness resulted in the pervasive adoption and usage of a reactive disease model of mental health. Disease models are intrinsically reactive and result in diagnoses aligned with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), reflected best practices, and were perpetuated in respected scholarly sources. As a result, historical psychopathological treatment modalities negatively affect the Army's ability to fight and win the nation's wars due to increased abnormal mental health diagnoses and decreased psychological capital.
by Daniel Rice | Thu, 09/08/2022 - 6:02pm | 0 comments
This war in Ukraine is the most critical conflict in generations. It is the first major combat action on the European continent in 70 years. And the most important decision facing the west right now is not being debated in public.
by Gerald Krieger | Tue, 09/06/2022 - 4:16pm | 0 comments
The relationship between military professionals and civilian leaders is built on trust, and the military continues to be among America's most trusted vocations. The foundation of the relationship is based upon apolitical advice and counsel on the viability and suitability of military force to achieve national objectives when leaders are contemplating various instruments of national power. The American political arena in contemporary culture is among the most divisive in US history. A case study from our nation's founding through the lens of civil-military relations (CMR) can offer insights for national security professionals. The American people were equally divided between those who supported independence and those who supported the English Crown during the American Revolution. This manuscript argues that Benedict Arnold's treason against the Continental Army stemmed from his fierce resentment of non-British civilian authorities, coupled with his ego and wounded pride, rather than his love for the newly formed United States. This paper will explore some of the events leading to Arnold's treason in Philadelphia. Events in the city tumbled out of control, creating fierce resentment against civil authorities, and generating feelings in Arnold that his staunchest supporter, General George Washington, had betrayed him. One might also conclude that Washington was remiss in his assignment based upon Arnold's character. An exploration into the character of Benedict Arnold allows the reader to grasp the pitfalls and dangers of military officers in a contentious political environment. Arnold's tragic story also highlights the importance of excellent civil-military relations and the dire consequences when such ties sour.
by Matthew P. Arsenault, by Jay Hochstein | Mon, 09/05/2022 - 3:36pm | 0 comments
As Brigadier General S.B. Griffith succinctly points out, “From a purely military point of view, anti-guerilla operations may be summed up in three words: location, isolation, and eradication." This brief paper focuses on one isolation strategy of counterinsurgency warfare. Specifically, the “separation of guerrillas from their sources of information and food, [which] may require the movement and resettlement of entire communities." I examine population resettlement programs from the recent past to gauge the success and failures of various resettlement strategies.  I find strategies where the counterinsurgent credibly commits to promote improvements in the quality of life prove more successful than strategies that simply relocate the population with little or no thought to the welfare of the relocated
by Tom Ordeman, Jr. | Sun, 09/04/2022 - 7:43pm | 0 comments
Two key elements serve as hallmarks of the American military mindset. First: since at least 1945, American troops have considered themselves the undisputed "good guys," the guys in white hats, heirs to the fights against the clear evils of fascism and communism. Second: American troops love science fiction, often for its visions of revolutionary, war-winning technology, rather than for its use in the illustration of social or moral lessons. The former element manifests itself in the attitudes displayed not only by American service personnel, but also in their demeanor. American troops whose great-grandfathers may have served during the Second World War, and who may or may not have seen combat, nonetheless carry themselves as if they personally liberated Paris from the Third Reich's occupying troops. The latter element manifests itself primarily in the adoration of Star Wars, the juggernaut franchise based upon George Lucas' 1977 science fantasy remake of Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. Meanwhile, other media franchises also receive various levels of military attention.
by David Mason | Fri, 09/02/2022 - 10:12am | 1 comment
Of all the things the Russian Government has done with the Wagner Group, this latest report must be the most unambiguous acknowledgement that there is no real legal separation between the two. According to the report, Russian convicts are being offered freedom and financial rewards if they agree to fight in Ukraine with the Wagner Group. Apparently, Wagner Group’s representatives have travelled to Russian prisons and urged inmates to ‘defend the motherland.’
by Eden Cole | Wed, 08/31/2022 - 5:16pm | 0 comments
"Ths article addresses NATO's imminent defence and security sector reform coordination challenges in Ukraine, outlines the defence and security sector assistance landscape, the value of a return to NATO's Joint Working Group on Defence Reform cooperation framework, key features of NATO-EU cooperation, and the challenges nations will face when systematising current and prior defence and SSR assistance."
by Pete Reider | Tue, 08/30/2022 - 7:15pm | 4 comments
The development and implementation of effective field sanitation and hygiene procedures marked a revolutionary step in battlefield technology. It marked a critical turning point in the early 20th century when the number of soldiers killed from disease an infection was proportionately less than those who died in or were wounded through combat. US planners began to address this problem following the First World War and it was at this point the US transitioned, as Vincent Cirillo notes, from the disease era to the trauma era.
by Marc Belciug | Tue, 08/30/2022 - 6:21pm | 0 comments
The First Chechen War 1994-1996 was post-Soviet Russia’s first significant largescale conflict. After a tenuous peace which resembled only a pause in hostilities, it was followed by the Second Chechen War that lasted from 1999 to 2009.  Differences notwithstanding, similarities with the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war are striking - prompting Michael Kofman, Research Program Director in the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analysis (CAN), to say that “as though the ghost of Pavel Grachev is in charge.” By analyzing Russian strategy and strategical effectiveness in historical context, and also assessing what transpired during the conflict, it becomes clear why despite a clear political objective and means to accomplish it, the Russians failed.  The one overwhelming reason is that they proved to be inflexible and ineffective in judging the enemy’s capabilities and the nature of combat.
by Garrett Martin | Thu, 08/25/2022 - 5:11pm | 0 comments
An effective grand strategy aligns the efforts of a nation’s citizens in order to meet security goals. A grand strategy cannot be successfully pursued if the people are unable or unwilling to support the nation’s proposed goals. Modern grand strategy has traditionally utilized national narratives to gain the necessary public buy-in. This article argues that the American people have now grown too incredulous of narratives to support a grand strategy; a modern grand strategy cannot rationally rely on support from a postmodern society. This article theorizes how grand strategy may still align collective efforts without a narrative by conceptualizing a “postmodern grand strategy.”
by Brian E. Frydenborg | Thu, 08/25/2022 - 1:32pm | 0 comments
Big battles and rapid taking or losing of territory are easy to understand and interpret.  When things slow down, though, there is a lot more uncertainty and speculation, but if you take the time to understand why things are slower, it can be as revealing as the big battles and large swaths of territory changing hands. We are now at an interesting time in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a moment where we are seeing two grand overall trends unite to heavily propel things in Ukraine’s favor.  These two overarching trends are that Ukraine is contributing prudence and Russia is contributing its deteriorating capabilities to the conflict in ways that are dictating the pacing and nature of much of the conflict at the moment, especially as most of the energy is now being directed towards the southern theater of action.
by Montassar Adaili | Tue, 08/23/2022 - 2:34pm | 0 comments
Over the last decade, the rise of military performance of non-state actors in wars and their use of terror, and other irregular military tactics led many scholars to speak about new wars. In 2014, the Islamic State emerged as dangerous terrorist group that applied asymmetric military tactics and succeeded in defeating regular forces and occupied territories. This paper seeks to explain the role of military tactics of non-state actors in changing the character of war by analyzing IS’s military tactics, what are they and how the terrorist organization applied them. This article offers better understanding of non-state actors’ tactics in changing the character of war.
by Mae Key-Ketter | Mon, 08/22/2022 - 8:46pm | 1 comment
Book review of Andrea J. Nichols, "Sex Trafficking in the United States: Theory, Research, Policy, and Practice by 2022 SWJ–El Centro Intern Mae Key-Ketter.
by James Rohrer | Mon, 08/22/2022 - 11:43am | 2 comments
Russian aggression in the Ukraine has all the earmarks of 19th century geopolitics.  Prior to the first Great War, war was an extension of diplomacy.  Nations took territory or otherwise expanded their spheres of influence without regard to whether the targets of their aggression had stronger claims to autonomy and control.  Some commentators expressed shock when Russia invaded Ukraine, saying they believed the world had outgrown war as a means of achieving national objectives.  How they arrived at that assumption is not clear.  The purpose of this essay is to apply the core concepts of a 19th century computer simulation war game to the current war in the Ukraine.  The drivers appear to fit the situation and may allow analysts to model developments over time.
by Richard (Dick) Newton, by Daniel Rice | Sun, 08/21/2022 - 10:50pm | 1 comment
Nuclear armed aggressor nations, such as China and Russia, cannot be allowed to invade neighboring sovereign democracies using conventional forces unchecked.  The best way to deter these aggressor nations, both Russia and China, is to arm the democracies with conventional forces capable of defending themselves or making the cost of invasion too costly for the aggressor nations in total terms. -- Provide Ukraine Excess US Air Force F-15s and F-16s...Now
by Daniel Weisz | Sat, 08/20/2022 - 6:20pm | 2 comments
The assassination of two Jesuit priests in the state of Chihuahua led to calls by the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) to protect priests, teachers, and doctors. I argue that this video is simply another form of information operations utilized to portray the cartel in a favorable light. Information operations are incredibly diverse within Mexico’s organized crime system and can include: digital campaigns to make specific cartels look better, narcocorridos (narco-ballads) to construct mythological personas for cartel members, extreme forms of violence like beheadings to communicate to rivals and the local population, food pantries to win over the local population, and even dispute resolution services to become de facto governors, etc.
by Ryan Bridley, by Scott Pastor | Fri, 08/19/2022 - 11:14am | 2 comments
     The tactical use of drones is expanding as demonstrated from the past 100 years. Drones were first created in the U.S. and United Kingdom during World War I, though neither country employed them during the war. In World War II, the Nazis created the V-1 to serve as a missile. The U.S. employed drones for surveillance missions during the Vietnam War and utilized them frequently for counter-insurgency surveillance and strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Drones are now developed in and utilized by over 100 countries and non-state actors. Drone capabilities, manufacturers, and customers will likely continue increasing and a tactical shift in utilizing drone swarms is emerging. This article provides a broad overview on the current state of drones for commercial and military use, the impact drone swarms can play in the military environment, and the options available to combat swarms.
by Dan Pace | Wed, 08/17/2022 - 3:36am | 0 comments
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to destroy the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks, dismantle the Taliban government that provided the perpetrators with safe haven, and deny Afghanistan as a base of operations for future terrorist attacks. At the time, the war received widespread international support and was generally regarded as “a legally appropriate use of force,” but by the war’s end in 2021, regard for the justice of the U.S. cause had diminished somewhat. What changed, and how did the U.S. lose the moral high ground it enjoyed in 2001?
by Patrick B. Roberson, by Stuart Gallagher, by Kurtis Gruters | Wed, 08/17/2022 - 3:24am | 1 comment
At the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS), Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS) is a job interview. Eight times a year, soldiers travel to Fort Bragg from all over the world to attend Assessment and Selection (A&S) to see if they have what it takes to become a member of the elite Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF).
by Anna Mahjar-Barducci | Wed, 08/17/2022 - 3:02am | 0 comments
Despite the severe blows inflicted by the Israeli army, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza has gained various advantages from the last war against Israel. Some Western media reported that Israel "won" the war. However, even though Israel eliminated two important leaders of the terrorist movement, the Islamic Jihad managed to strengthen its image and influence in the region. Until August 5, when Israel launched the preemptive strike against Gaza, initiating the "Breaking Dawn" operation, the Islamic Jihad was only a secondary movement, which could not compete with the popularity of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, after three days of war and about 1,100 missiles sent towards Israel, the Islamic Jihad became one of the most important resistance movements in the region and obtained Teheran's full support.
by Natalie D. Baker , by Jonathan Landry | Wed, 08/17/2022 - 1:28am | 2 comments
This essay examines the problem of violence against journalists and media workers in Mexico. We use data on killings collected over the past three decades by advocacy groups to provide an empirically rooted answer to why Mexico seems so dangerous for media workers. The reasons, tied to the country's overall governance problems, lead to impunity, government collusion with drug trafficking organizations, and widespread corruption. Further, we find some issues with collecting and maintaining data by advocacy groups, creating problems of accuracy about the scope of killings in Mexico.
by Andreas Foerster | Sun, 08/14/2022 - 12:11am | 0 comments
This paper is not the first to argue this interpretation of Alexander’s strategic thinking. However, this view usually came as a part of a greater examination of Alexander’s policies, not a self contained hypothesis in of itself. These historiographical opinions then often looked at Alexander as simply pragmatic, adapting his policy as he went to fit he needs of the moment, with minimal consideration of the young king’s long term plans before a campaign; that is to say, there is no evidence given in these sources that their authors believed Alexander had any sort of master plan.
by Jesse R. Humpal | Sat, 08/13/2022 - 3:24pm | 1 comment
A recent strategic wargame that pitted the People’s Republic of China against a U.S. backed Taiwan, resulted in the trading of intercontinental ballistic missiles, a 25-percent drop in the global economy, 10s of thousands of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Americans dead…and a protracted guerilla conflict on the small island. During the adjudication, leaders from both sides–who were played by some of U.S.’s most prominent academics, military leaders, politicians, and statesmen (they were all men)–concluded that their side behaved with restraint while the other acted as provocateur. Absent from their rationale, was an acknowledgment that in global conflict seeking manifest destiny, if just one of the sides actually acted with restraint, they would be steamrolled.
by Tom Ordeman, Jr. | Thu, 08/11/2022 - 8:48pm | 1 comment
One uncomfortable lesson from the recent conclusion of the First World War’s centenary was the reminder that, prior to its outbreak, flag and general officers were committed to utilizing Napoleonic era tactics that were long obsolete. Similarly, more than three quarters of a century after the Second World War’s conclusion, American officers continue to treat the fight against fascism as the gold standard of warfare, even as its practical lessons for modern warfare wane to near obsolescence. One rare exception to this trend has been the alternate history presented by The Man in the High Castle, Amazon Prime’s dystopian drama, which ran from 2015 to 2019.
by Patrick B. Roberson, by Stuart Gallagher, by Kurtis Gruters | Mon, 08/08/2022 - 4:26pm | 4 comments
As technology proliferates it becomes increasingly important to integrate science into operational practice. Two years ago, the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (USAJFKSWCS) embarked on an aggressive campaign to overhaul its management information system. This overhaul included a massive paradigm shift moving the organization from a transactional data approach to that of a transformational one – an approach that proactively anticipates and solves problems in advance to supplement human knowledge and inform decision making. This significant shift demanded the forging and fostering of a strong relationship between science and operations in order to realize progress and mission accomplishment. This article explores the importance of this sacred relationship and its impact on the organization by utilizing lessons learned from the past two years of work at the USAJFKSWCS.
by Lee Van Arsdale, by Daniel Rice | Fri, 08/05/2022 - 9:38am | 0 comments
To the American military eye, the first impression of the Ukrainian Army is that it’s more a quasi-uniformed biker gang than an army.  An occasional pony tail, many beards in various stages of maturity, a variety of mixed uniforms, and footwear that ranges from combat boots to flip flops.  However, this impression would be dead wrong.  To an individual, these are totally committed Soldiers.  Life on the front line is anything but easy, but the dedication and love of country is universal.  There is an easy camaraderie, and all tasks are performed with professional efficiency.  From the commanding general to the brigade and battalion commanders, to the front line troops, this is a dedicated, motivated, war hardened army.  
by Brian E. Frydenborg | Thu, 08/04/2022 - 9:59am | 1 comment
Dynamics over time are the key to analyzing just about anything, and they (“why”) clearly favor Ukraine in Russia’s failing war of conquest, meaning Ukraine can possibly push Russia out entirely in the coming months by sweeping through the south all the way to Donetsk (“how”)
by Brian Phillips | Tue, 08/02/2022 - 10:19pm | 3 comments
This timely book review of Tricia L. Bacon and Elizabeth Grimm, "Terror in Transition: Leadership and Succession in Terrorist Organizations" is essential reading for understanding terrorist organizations and leadership succession.
by Dylan Nigh | Tue, 08/02/2022 - 5:23pm | 1 comment
These words were meant to inspire the world to view space travel as an inevitability. In the same vein, those in the Special Operations Force (SOF) Enterprise must view further space integration as the inevitable next step in our evolution. The twin rise in space capabilities and strategic competition makes evident the need to leave the proverbial “cradle”. While strategic changes have been signaled or initiated at higher levels, there persists a need for one more link between SOF and Space. Units and individuals must do what they can to expand space knowledge within special operations from the ground up. This article will explore the relevant background behind this need and how action can be taken.
by Thomas Matyók, by Srečko Zajc, by Maj Fritz | Mon, 08/01/2022 - 8:45pm | 0 comments
Events in Ukraine demonstrate people’s willingness to take up arms, fight, and do all that is necessary to protect themselves, their families, communities, and country. When states fail to provide security, individuals step forward and security networks develop. Pictures of men accompanying loved ones to a safe border then returning to the fight provide compelling evidence of people’s willingness to protect what is theirs; physically, mentally, and spiritually. The development of new technologies, energy sources, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), etc. may have make daily life a bit easier, but they have done little to change people’s desire to live freely, safely, and securely. Comfort alone is not good enough for a meaningful life. Freedom is. Ukraine is resilience in action and the conflict provides a laboratory for the study and advancement of individual resilience and Open Security in the 3rd Millennium. Open Security is all-of-society defense against all possible threats, internal and external, to Human Security. Open Security is self-organizing and resists formal coordination, command, and control. A way of thinking of Open Security is as a living organism. Biology, not management, explains Open Security systems.   
by Iman Basharat | Mon, 08/01/2022 - 4:13pm | 0 comments
The media is a potent tool. The transformation of media from something that could only be accessed through wires to something that was everywhere brought about a significant change in how people interacted, created narratives, and shared tales. Because they form and affect people's views on political and social issues, narratives play a significant part in our lives. Your story, and the way you choose to tell it as the state's leader, directly affects the people and states around you.
by Alan Cunningham | Mon, 08/01/2022 - 9:50am | 0 comments
For the past twenty years, the United States has been dealing with insurgencies, most prominently the one in Afghanistan. While the U.S. has conducted insurgency campaigns since the beginning of the 20th century in the Philippines, the United States still is unable to properly perform a counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy. While they have been successful in individual provinces and districts of nation-states they are involved in, some have opined that “poor outcomes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam before them are the result of a poor implementation of the U.S.’s counterinsurgency strategy” and that the U.S.’s COIN doctrine and policies are ineffective in combating insurgencies.
by Ernest John C. Jadloc, by Leo Blanken, by Kevin Jones | Sat, 07/30/2022 - 11:48pm | 0 comments
Security cooperation with partner nations is increasingly important for the success of American security policy in an era of strategic competition. After twenty years of large-scale counterinsurgency operations, during which security cooperation largely consisted of the rapid building of (often inappropriate) “mirror imaged” partner forces, new thinking is required. We provide a novel and scalable mechanism for partner force enablement efforts here: grassroots innovation among partner force personnel through the leveraging of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies. More specifically, we show the potential for partner forces to create affordable, sustainable, and tailored solutions to their own capability gaps as a mechanism for better partnering.
by Artur Kalandarov | Sat, 07/30/2022 - 11:28pm | 0 comments
Recent history has shown that irregular warfare (IW) can be used as a tactic and a strategy to grind down the willingness and capacity of a larger power to pursue its objectives. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. experienced firsthand the difficulty of engaging combatants dedicated to irregular methods. Now, IW is playing a key role in Ukraine’s ability to resist Russia’s invasion. In the future, it can and likely will be a crucial aspect of small states’ resistance to revanchism. Drawing from recent and ongoing conflicts, the U.S. can harness its knowledge and experience in IW to counteract China and Russia on the global stage, while continuing to engage non-state violent extremist organizations (VEOs). This can be accomplished primarily in two ways: preparing partners and allies to engage in irregular warfare in the event of an attack, and intimidating adversaries by utilizing the prospect of IW as a deterrent.
by Daniel Rice, by Lee Van Arsdale | Sat, 07/30/2022 - 12:31pm | 1 comment
The prevailing attitude here in Kyiv is that many in the U.S. government do not yet trust the Ukrainian people. It’s a sentiment that we believe is correct and needs to be remedied immediately in the best interests of U.S. national security. We have personally traveled the battlefields with the Ukrainian Armed Forces commanders in Kyiv, Moschun, Bucha, Iripin, and the Donbas, so we have unique insights into their attitudes and values. The Ukrainian military deserves our ultimate respect and our trust. As such, the U.S. should fully arm Ukraine as if it were arming U.S. troops to fight against the entire Russian Army. Continuing to approve and send small amounts of arms and ammunition at a time could result in a catastrophic loss for Ukraine, and by extension, the United States.
by Tyler Wood | Wed, 07/27/2022 - 2:40pm | 0 comments
Recent reflections on the military strategy used by Hitler and the German Armed Forces High Command during Operation Barbarossa provide insights into similar Russian setbacks in Ukraine. Hitler’s operational blunders on his eastern front serve as a historical precedent for Putin’s ambitions and his special military operation.
by Zachariah Lee Parcels | Mon, 07/25/2022 - 8:31pm | 0 comments
Terrorists violently struggle by using or threatening to use violence against civilians to achieve political aims. Among the thousands of attacks designated as terrorism since 1970, only spec-tacularly innovative terrorist attacks take nations by surprise. Innovative terrorist tactics, strategies, and organisational arrangements exploit vulnerabilities in security apparatuses and inflict high material, psychological, social, and emotional costs. This innovation requires both cooperation and financing. This paper adopts a follow-the-money directive by qualitative-ly exploring the emergence of the crime-terror nexus, an increasingly salient terrorist financ-ing conundrum not solely explained by existing typologies. Thus, an alternative conceptualisa-tion of the Crime-Terror Nexus that incorporates terrorist innovation typologies is presented. By illuminating the learning competition between anti-terrorist forces and terrorists, the adap-tation, innovation, and imitation terrorists undertake under pressure, and decentralisation of terrorist and criminal organisations, this work elicits how these criminal-terrorist configura-tions leave terrorists with more money to execute their political aims. Therefore, amidst a re-orientation towards inter-state conflict, these criminally-enriched terrorists present a present and looming danger to international security.
by Zachary Kallenborn | Mon, 07/25/2022 - 5:44pm | 2 comments
Zachary Kallenborn makes the case for Anti-Rail Landmines in Ukraine. Coupling old school concepts with modern capabilities can vastly improve effectiveness: the Civil War did not have dedicated special operations forces to emplace landmines, open-source imagery to easily map a country’s entire rail network, network analysis techniques and tools to identify strategic chokepoints, and modern long-range fires from rocket artillery to drones and aircraft for follow-up strikes on fixed trains and military engineers. Anti-rail landmines should not only serve US operators, but could be provided to allied nations.
by Brian E. Frydenborg | Sun, 07/24/2022 - 10:18pm | 0 comments
Too many analysts frame the current actions and reactions in centering on Russia and Ukraine in narrow terms, around Ukraine’s recent moves towards the West or the events of 2014. So even before the February 2022 massive escalation by Russian President Vladimir Putin of the eight-year-long war in Ukraine, there has been a chorus of voices—each and every single one myopic, ridiculous, and not worthy of serious consideration—saying that, we, the United States/NATO/the West should, to some degree or another, not help Ukraine militarily (too much) and/or not increase Ukraine’s aid (too much) because, somehow, if we do, that would be a “provocation” against Russia.
by James Rohrer | Sun, 07/24/2022 - 10:12pm | 0 comments
Wargmaing. Insurrection is possible in any nation where a portion of the population is dissatisfied due to long-standing grievances.  In the United States, we might assume that insurrection could not be successful because the US military is reputed to be the best in the world, vast sums of taxpayers’ funds having been invested to develop high-tech weaponry. On the other hand, even primitive tribesmen have been effective against modern armies.  This raises the question: could American insurgents be effective against the American army?... The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the effectiveness of insurgents against the modern army in a particular tactical scenario.  Results are contingent on the validity of the wargaming method (the rule set).  The findings may have implications for national security.
by Sean Jacobs | Sun, 07/24/2022 - 10:04pm | 1 comment
US Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent remarks to Pacific Island leaders they have not previously “received the diplomatic attention and support you deserve” has acknowledged a key gap in US foreign policy – a consistent, comprehensive South Pacific presence. Her remarks, delivered to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), and emerging only weeks after Secretary of State Blinken’s regional visit, are certainly welcomed. It had been almost four decades since a US Secretary of State visited Suva, Fiji’s capital, and over a decade since Secretary of State Clinton visited the Cook Islands and the South Pacific’s largest nation – Papua New Guinea (PNG). Ostensibly to counter China’s re-energised economic and security support to South Pacific states, both Harris’ remarks and Blinken’s presence have served as a reminder of US intentions for “authentic engagement that speaks to the real needs of the islanders,” according to Blinken, and for the “US to include on the agenda items that Pacific countries have identified as priorities for them.”
by G. Murphy Donovan | Thu, 07/21/2022 - 8:48pm | 2 comments
We might now call the proxy war in Ukraine a tale of two Victorias; a contest between the world views of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Indiana Congresswoman Victoria Spartz. 
by Connor L. Mitchell | Thu, 07/21/2022 - 10:47am | 0 comments
February 24, 2022 marked the date in which Russian foreign affairs nullified their own prior diplomatic legitimacy on the international stage. Vladimir Putin’s “Special Military Operation,” a façade for an illegal invasion of a sovereign country, dramatically reversed Russia’s prior claims that any suggestion of a Russian military excursion into Ukraine was “Western Propaganda.”
by Donatas Palavenis | Thu, 07/21/2022 - 10:33am | 1 comment
The analysis evaluates the effectiveness of 12.7 mm and 30 mm calibre weapons, that could be installed in the turret of IFV Boxer. The case study analyses the Lithuanian situation as there is an intent to acquire 120 units of IFV Boxer. However, the analysis could be useful for other NATO /EU countries if they are looking for effective weaponry to win contemporary land battles.
by Carlos Frederico de Oliveira Pereira | Mon, 07/18/2022 - 1:51pm | 3 comments
This two-part commentary critiques ADPF 635 (an injunction for infringement of a fundamental principle) in the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF) ADPF No. 635, also known as the "ADPF Favelas Case" limited police action in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.