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 Adam Reitz | Tue, 09/14/2021 - 9:53pm | 3 comments
Traditionally most people think of using the stick of coercion when dealing with a foe and the carrot of persuasion with an ally, but we should amend our influence planning to include the possibility of applying both, as required, in a goal-centric model.  Friend or Foe?  As a target it makes little difference in designing the dialog of influence if we recognize that either would decide on an action only after weighing the pros and cons. Instead, distinguishing between whether you are trying to discourage an actor’s potential behavior or you are trying to encourage their current behavior offers planners more utility than focusing on your relationship with them.
by Mangesh Sawant | Tue, 09/14/2021 - 9:26pm | 1 comment
In the short Sherlock Holmes story from 1885, Mycroft Holmes, the intellectual panjandrum of the British government, tells his brother Sherlock about the plans of the Bruce-Partington submarine. Mycroft mentions to Holmes that the submarine’s importance can hardly be exaggerated. It has been the most jealously guarded of all government secrets. “You may take it from me,” Mycroft declares, “that naval warfare becomes impossible within the radius of a Bruce-Partington operation.”                          Stealth is the common feature between submarine warfare and urban warfare. Submarines are asymmetric weapon platforms in the vast oceans. Contemporary US and Russian submarines are sophisticated and powerful weapon platforms. One nuclear submarine can obliterate two to four cities with intercontinental ballistic missiles or target centers of gravity like aircraft carriers and military installations with cruise missiles by staying safe thousands of miles away from the target.
by Katherine Aguirre, by Robert Muggah | Mon, 09/13/2021 - 2:32pm | 2 comments
This article reviews the lethal violence statistics featured in the "Homicide Monitor"—a data visualization tracking international murder rates—confirms that Latin America and Caribbean countries are indeed suffering from a disproportionately high burden of lethal force by police compared to other parts of the world. Notwithstanding norms and standards urging restraint, countries like Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico report some of the highest levels of police killings on the planet.
by Andrew Milburn | Sun, 09/12/2021 - 11:10pm | 12 comments
Mission Command is a philosophy of decentralized decision making. Plans and orders are simply starting points, likely to soon become irrelevant amidst the fog and friction of war – what really matters is the intent of the higher commander which is linked to the overarching purpose of the operation. A subordinate is expected to be able to think on his feet, work out the best way to follow that intent, and adapt his actions to changing circumstances.  As a method, mission command has ample precedence as a highly evolved philosophy of command and control that can produce disproportionate combat results.  But while we understand the buzz words, we fail to understand the changes required in personnel management, education, and training in order to make it a cultural reality.
by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz, by Robert Bunker | Fri, 09/10/2021 - 5:36pm | 1 comment
On 17 August 2021, the ex-Secretary of Prisons (Secretaria de Administração Penitenciária – Seap), Raphael Montenegro, was arrested for corruption after meeting with a Comando Vermelho (CV or Red Command) leader in the Federal Prison in Catanduvas, Paraná. He was fired from his position the day of his arrest. Montenegro was offering to transfer gang members to less restrictive state prisons in Rio de Janeiro and overlook the gang’s activities and prison expansion in exchange for reducing violence in Rio.
by Philip Wasielewski | Wed, 09/08/2021 - 8:50pm | 1 comment
In 2014, the politico-military face of Europe changed considerably after the Russian Anschluss of Crimea and its follow-on subversion of, and incursion into, eastern Ukraine. While some decried Russia for “acting in a 19th-century fashion”, it became clear to many eastern and central European states, NATO members and non-members alike, that their 21st century security challenges now could include invasion and occupation by the Russian Federation. Nowhere in NATO was this challenge felt more acutely than in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They had regained their sovereignty after the fall of the Soviet Union, but unfortunately also regained the same geopolitical challenges to their security that they faced during their interwar existence – limited territory providing no strategic depth and a small population unable to generate conventional military forces that could deter a Kremlin hostile to their independence. In response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, NATO took specific steps to increase Baltic security. Since 2017, four multinational battlegroups totaling approximately 4,500 troops have been deployed to the Baltic states and Poland to serve as a proportionate deterrent force and to send a clear message that an attack on one would be met by troops from across the alliance. NATO has improved its security posture in the Baltics through multiple deployments and exercises and by investing in infrastructure and pre-positioned forces via the European Deterrence Initiative.
by Tamseel Aqdas | Wed, 09/08/2021 - 8:34pm | 2 comments
With respect to its evolving tendencies, warfare can be depicted as dynamic in nature. A discussion of the contemporary geopolitical environment discloses advancements in the philosophy and art of war. Those developments are associated with technological progression, resulting in novel strategies and implications for warfare. Contemporary evolving methods have merged with traditional understandings of warfare, marking the concept of hybrid warfare.
by Michael Ferguson | Wed, 09/08/2021 - 1:50pm | 2 comments
In 1997, between two very different wars with Iraq, military historian Williamson Murray highlighted what he saw as a disturbing trend in the US Department of Defense. A newfound obsession with supposedly revolutionary military technologies was sidelining history and strategic studies in professional military education programs. He believed this fascination was preparing the US officer corps “to repeat the Vietnam War” in the twenty-first century, only more “disastrously.”
by Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, by Rajendra G. Kulkarni, by Patrick R. Baxter, by Naoru Koizumi | Tue, 09/07/2021 - 3:39pm | 1 comment
This research article applies Social Network Analysis (SNA) toward a preliminary understanding of the relationship between the various actors that communicate on social media platforms (essentially through Twitter), report situations of risk, and inform about matters of organized crime, violence, and insecurity in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. The analysis finds that dynamics of violence and organized crime in this region have spilled over into the cyberspace. It also identifies a close relationship between law enforcement agents, state and local politicians, local and national reporters, “citizen journalists,” as well as key anonymous social media users that represent a variety of interests—including possibly those of corrupt authorities and even organized crime. The present study highlights the preponderance of anonymous accounts when reporting about organized crime in Tamaulipas.
by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz, by Robert Bunker | Sun, 09/05/2021 - 4:01pm | 1 comment
On Sunday 29 August 2021, at approximately 2200 hours, around 20 armed gunmen conducted a series of raids on three banks in Araçatuba, São Paulo, killing at least three. The armed commando wore bulletproof vests and helmets and used assault rifles, explosives, and drones. Hostages were also used as human shields to hamper their capture and facilitate escape. Blockades constructed from burning vehicles, as well as explosives were deployed to facilitate their escape during the ‘mega-robbery.’ Brazil has been plagued by this type ‘urban bank raid’ in recent years.
by Christopher K. Tucker | Thu, 09/02/2021 - 3:04pm | 4 comments
The biggest challenge to global stability and security cannot be addressed by major weapons systems. Deterrence strategies will not prevent it. More and more lethal warfighters can do nothing to overcome it. That challenge? Runaway population growth. Runaway population growth will continue to destabilize and undermine the security of key regions, and the global system, regardless of our investment in these traditional approaches to national security. This essay reviews the national security implications of rapid population growth from a US strategic perspective.
by Pedro Izquierdo | Mon, 08/30/2021 - 3:35pm | 1 comment
Review of Raúl Benítez Manaut and Elisa Gómez Sánchez, Eds. "Fuerzas Armadas, Guardia Nacional y violencia en México" en español. The text assesses the implementation of Mexico's Guardia Nacional (National Guard) in light of concerns of insecurity and militarization.
by Michael Poce | Fri, 08/27/2021 - 9:40pm | 2 comments
Author's Note: When I sat down to write this piece, I had no purpose in mind beyond catharsis and to exorcise some demons. I had no goal, audience, or particular message in mind. I just wanted to capture what I was thinking and this piece is what emerged after a lengthy and messy writing process. It is my sincerest hope that in releasing this piece to the broadest possible audience I am honoring the sacrifice of PFC Cody Board, his family, and that these words inspire others to do the same.
by Daniel Riggs | Fri, 08/27/2021 - 12:42pm | 3 comments
In this essay the author recommends that an emphasis on narrative construction and storytelling should replace argument as the means of persuasion in US Army Psychological Operations doctrine. It uniquely provides a light on past myth and mythmaking, not a myopic orientation to new tech, as just as important as any development in Psychological Operations. The article itself provides biological, evolutionary, and epistemological reasons why stories and narratives are superior to logic and arguments as the best means for behavior change, the main reason Psychological Operations exists.
by SWJ Editors | Wed, 08/25/2021 - 8:52pm | 1 comment
Ed.: This essay was written in 2009 for a US Special Operations unit that was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Given the current events in Afghanistan it is interesting to read this advice and reflect on what has taken place in the past 12 years and what is currently happening with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. It comes from a former US Special Forces NCO/officer with extensive experience in the region, who speaks the regional languages and works for an international organization.
by Pedro Izquierdo | Mon, 08/23/2021 - 8:33pm | 1 comment
English language review of Raúl Benítez Manaut and Elisa Gómez Sánchez, Eds. "Fuerzas Armadas, Guardia Nacional y violencia en México." The original text in Spanish assesses the implementation of Mexico's Guardia Nacional (National Guard) in light of concerns of insecurity and militarization.
by Keith Nightingale | Mon, 08/23/2021 - 8:13pm | 1 comment
A Memo for POTUS on 1 OCT 2038*
by Robert Collins | Mon, 08/23/2021 - 11:42am | 1 comment
As the world watches the precipitous and poorly planned efforts of the United States withdrawal from Afghanistan, America’s allies cannot help but to wonder how these unfolding historical events will impact their individual alliances with the U.S. Elements of the Republic of Korea (ROK – South Korea) are no different. Today, the ROK print and broadcast media is full of questions and doubt, as well as ROK politicians who view compromise with North Korea as the primary route to unification of the Korean peninsula.
by Frederick M. Shepherd | Fri, 08/20/2021 - 7:38pm | 1 comment
Venezuela, once one of the more prosperous and democratic nations in Latin America, is currently experiencing the region’s most severe political and economic crisis. This article focuses on the Venezuelan state during the crisis, and how its exercise of “despotic” capacity made it a repressive actor in relation to its citizens, and a weak actor in relation to powerful transnational groups. The larger outcome has been a Venezuelan nation increasingly vulnerable to transnational criminal organizations and other external forces.
by Keith Nightingale | Fri, 08/20/2021 - 2:23pm | 1 comment
Iconic Afghanistan Photo
by Keith Nightingale | Wed, 08/18/2021 - 4:14pm | 7 comments
From a Vietnam veteran to all veterans of Afghanistan
by SWJ Editors | Sat, 08/14/2021 - 5:33pm | 6 comments
I received the following letter from a longtime (decades long) friend and colleague with whom I served in the Army. He is former Special Forces NCO/Officer, speaks regional languages, and has extensive experience on the ground through the region to include the FATA. He is using his nom de guerre because he is serving in a sensitive position in an international organization.
by Anna Simons | Wed, 08/11/2021 - 11:01am | 3 comments
Given the vulnerabilities just described in Part One, what might the U.S. do to protect itself, thwart subversion, and retain primacy?  What kinds of counter-subversion might we engage in?  Are there more unconventional ways in which to put the military to use, especially since traditional military options like conquest and control remain off the table?    
by Anna Simons | Wed, 08/11/2021 - 10:48am | 2 comments
The aim of this article is to tackle how, and why, international competition as Washington currently conceives it is more likely to undermine than assist American primacy in the 21st century.
by Andrea Varsori | Thu, 08/05/2021 - 4:55pm | 2 comments
Over the past year, Rio’s public prosecution and investigative or Civil Police (Polícia Civil do Estado do Rio de Janeiro–PCERJ) have carried out several operations against paramilitary groups. The most consequential took place on 12 June 2021 and resulted in the capture and killing of Wellington da Silva Braga, aka “Ecko.” Ecko was leading Rio’s largest paramilitary group, so his death is in itself an important event for the city’s underworld. This piece takes Ecko’s death as the basis for an evaluation of the current and future state of the militias operating in Rio de Janeiro. It outlines the power of Ecko’s group and the importance of his criminal career. It then assesses the strength of the link between this paramilitary group and state forces. An assessment of the likely impact of Ecko's death and the potentials for reorganization of Rio's paramilitary militias is provided.
by Mark Grdovic | Tue, 08/03/2021 - 8:43pm | 2 comments
Special Operations and Joint Conventional Force HQs need to understand the specific requirements associated with planning for unconventional warfare and not expect emerging opportunities to conform with predetermined plans and scenarios.  If these unique aspects are not addressed during the conception of special operations supporting plans, at the Geographic Combatant Command level during campaign plan development, the result will likely be unconventional warfare being discounted as a viable option or subordinate headquarters (most likely to the Theater Special Operations Command or TSOC) being given tasks to conduct “unconventional warfare” that are not viable or realistic.
by Chad M. Pillai | Tue, 07/20/2021 - 12:57pm | 16 comments
The upcoming twentieth anniversary of the September 11th attacks and the recent passing of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld require thoughtful attention as the nation completes its final troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending the longest war in U.S. history.  The war in Afghanistan and the subsequent wars in Iraq and Syria have shaped my generation's cultural image, similar to the Vietnam War's generation. In both instances, the U.S. entered the wars believing its martial superiority ensured victory and ended each war wondering what went wrong.  
by William Reber | Tue, 07/20/2021 - 12:49pm | 1 comment
Paolo Gerbaudo’s Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism is a fascinating and evocative book that is based on the author’s grass-roots experiences during the January 2011 uprising against Mubarak in Egypt, the May 2011 indignados protest in Spain, and the September 2011 Occupy Wall Street movements. He uses his findings to challenge techno-optimists, pessimists, and contemporary social movement mainstream theories. Gerbaudo, Director of the Centre for Digital Culture, argues that techno-theorists do not consider how the use of technology differs based on geography and culture. He contends in his theory of “choreography of assembly” that social media aids in setting the foundations of the nature and type of movement where “soft” leaders emerge within social media communication to guide the emotional and physical nature of a social movement.  
by Natalie D. Baker , by Gabriel Leão | Mon, 07/19/2021 - 2:16pm | 1 comment
This essay examines the concept of governance-in-action from the perspective of Brazil. The country constitutes a ‘symbiosis’ of both legitimate and criminal governance, whose lines are often blurred. We examine how the government and militias operate as forms of criminal governance, and how facções criminosas (FCs or criminal factions) fill in voids left by governmental corruption. While we agree with other scholars that FCs represent ‘criminal’ insurgencies and should be approached as such, we argue they need to be understood also for some of the ‘good’ acts they engage, and why they do so, to better identify how to mitigate their violence. These lessons could also extend to identifying future explanations for how to manage government corruption from more nuanced lenses.
by Jan Havránek, by Daniel P. Bagge | Sun, 07/18/2021 - 6:08pm | 1 comment
NATO and the West are experiencing a reversed kind of revolution in military affairs (RMA). Today’s new technologies bear far-reaching implications beyond the conduct of war. In the past, revolutions in military spilled from the battlefield to the civilian sector. They had an effect either by directly impacting the result of a given conflict or through adoption of military technical advantages in non-military aspects of life. This time, however, we see an opposite trend brought by private and non-military, non-governmental actors. In their everyday lives, general publics and governments alike face military-grade technologies developed and applied by the commercial sector. And it is the private sector that enjoys exclusivity over these technologies; the military is lagging behind. This development also poses a significant challenge to NATO, namely its ability to deliver on its core tasks. If the Alliance wants to successfully continue its political-military adaptation to a world where technologies play a major role, it will need a new approach to decision-making, operational planning, and crisis management. The following article addresses some of the key issues the Alliance needs to consider as it navigates through the new kind of revolution in military affairs: 1) the changing character of warfare; 2) the domination of the private sector over the military in deployment of commercial technology with military potential; 3) and the interdependence of decision-making and modern technology.
by Carlos De Castro Pretelt | Sat, 07/17/2021 - 2:50pm | 1 comment
It is difficult to ascertain if a security cooperation initiative is effective or not. This could be in part because most of the indicators of success used by security cooperation stakeholders may not be focused on measures of effectiveness, but of performance, i.e., quantity of equipment delivered and number of units trained.  As one begins to peel back the layers of an initiative, it becomes apparent that the necessary in-depth analysis which forecasts secondary and tertiary orders of effect may have been overlooked, along with critical, measurable metrics that explain how an initiative would specifically elicit a proposed reaction.  The example utilized by Maj Croshier described the unanticipated difficulties of providing a C-208 fixed-wing reconnaissance aircraft and Command and Control (C2) equipment to Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.  The focus of this initiative was placed mainly on the equipment, without fully accounting for the significant personnel, doctrinal, and maintenance challenges that would ensue.
by Tom Hammerle | Thu, 07/15/2021 - 1:57pm | 1 comment
The nature of American overseas military operations is once again shifting, this time away from Counterterrorism (CT) and Counter Insurgency (COIN) Operations toward an era of Strategic Competition and Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO). After nearly two decades of major operations in the Middle East, few are taking positions against the shift or promoting costly so-called “forever-wars”. But consensus on what the U.S. will no longer do does little to inform what the U.S. ought to do. 
by Malcolm Beith | Tue, 07/06/2021 - 9:09pm | 14 comments
Book review of Noah Hurowitz's "El Chapo: The Untold Story of the World's Most Infamous Drug Lord" by Malcolm Beith.
by Rudy L. Novak | Tue, 07/06/2021 - 12:43pm | 1 comment
Since the birth of the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1947, Airmen have struggled to define the universal skills or common knowledge that all Airmen share. The easy solution, and one adopted since the services’ establishment, is to instill a ground warrior’s mindset, with skills traditionally associated with the Army or Marines. While these skills have proven effective in shaping the current culture, do they mirror what Airmen will be asked to do in a 21st century near-peer conflict? While future, friendly and adversarial operations will include: stand-off munitions, unmanned vehicles, electronic & cyber-attacks, automated processes, robust sensor fusion, artificial intelligence, and supply chain interruptions, will the service be prepared to fully integrate or counter them through its own operations. When an Airman serves in a joint environment, can they contribute expertise that is unique to the force, regardless of their specialty or experience? Finally, is the service fully capitalizing on the talent that is recruited into its ranks every year? Presently, the answer to all of the above questions is an emphatic ‘no.’ To maximize the USAF’s contributions in the next conflict, it must supplement or replace current force-wide training with a cultivated universal technological skill set. This skill set must be shaped through a deliberate assessment of tomorrow’s challenges, instruction on transformational technologies, and the embracement of critical thinking. A new approach to talent management must also be adopted, focused on recruiting and capitalizing on crucial technological talent. This shift will not only alter the USAF’s identity, but it will also  significantly aid in continued air domain dominance well through the 21st-century. It was said that the “[p]en is mightier than the sword,” the future will prove that for the USAF, the computer will be mightier than the gun.
by Andy Phillips | Tue, 07/06/2021 - 11:42am | 1 comment
Encirclement, or the understanding that one is “surrounded by enemies,” can have a dramatic effect on the human psyche akin to that of a cornered animal who submits to its primal instincts in order to preserve its life. Reaction to an all-encompassing threat will almost certainly be violent. What the uncertainty is: who or what will be the target of this violence. A narrative of group disenfranchisement paired with individualistic sense of divine purpose are primary aspects of this psychological condition that can be used to understand the violence committed by religious groups such as the Nizari Ismailis sect of Islam and the Theravadin Buddhists in Sri Lanka. The theory of Fundamentalism can provide a useful lens in which to view and explain the escalation of such violence in groups with seemingly non-violent tenants.
by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Fri, 07/02/2021 - 5:41pm | 1 comment
Gang violence in Haiti is spiraling out of control as rival gangs fill the void in governance fueled by chronic insecurity, corruption, and violence. The resulting instability places gangs in conflict with each other and the state as they compete for territorial control. The outbreak of gang violence is exacerbating the situation, leading to a crisis disaster. This humanitarian crisis includes extreme gang violence, attacks on police stations and health care providers, while internally displaced persons converge with the Covid-19 pandemic and hurricane season to elevate insecurity. One gang leader, an ex-police officer Jimmy Chérizier, known as “Barbecue” the head of G9 Fanmi ak Alye (G9 Family and Allies) has called for ‘revolution’ to solve the situation.
by Pamela Ligouri Bunker, by Robert Bunker | Wed, 06/30/2021 - 9:03pm | 21 comments
For many years, multinational corporations have been playing revenue starved liberal-democratic states off against one-another in a ‘race to the bottom,’ driving tax rates down, leveraging tax havens, and engaging in complex transnational tax avoidance schemes. In response to these ongoing corporate profiteering excesses and attempts at achieving extra sovereign impunity, the finance ministers of the G7 states recently gathered together in London and reached an historic agreement on a global minimum corporate tax rate.
by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz, by Robert Bunker | Mon, 06/28/2021 - 3:25pm | 1 comment
An outbreak of criminal attacks on police stations, schools, public spaces, and banks erupted in the aftermath of the killing of a Comando Vermelho (CV or Red Command) leader in a confrontation with the Polícia Militar (PM) do Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil and surrounding cities on Saturday 5 June 2021. The violence started the following day on Sunday 6 June 2021 targeting police, buses, bus stations, schools, public spaces and banks in a series of shootings and arson attacks. Attacks continued through Tuesday 8 June 2021.
by James P. Micciche | Fri, 06/25/2021 - 10:46am | 2 comments
In the paradigm of strategic competition the United States should increase the use of strategic deception to impede competitor’s decision-making processes, increase rival competition costs, and better protect U.S. interests. Security Cooperation is an instrument that enables the generation of strategic deception by potentially confusing rival nations about what the U.S. interests and objectives are or even causing that rival to expend unnecessary resources. The United States Army is the service best postured to support combatant commanders to develop and execute strategic deception through cooperation. Executing any form of strategic deception entails a level of risk to reputation but provides the United States an invaluable tool in a geopolitical environment in which competition below levels of conflict has become the norm. 
by Bayasgalan Lkhagvasuren | Mon, 06/21/2021 - 11:12am | 1 comment
A Mongolian Special Forces officer reviews Otto C. Fiala's "Resistance Operating Concept"
by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Sun, 06/20/2021 - 8:07pm | 3 comments
At least five persons were killed and another 39 injured in a prison riot between Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). The riot—which involved deployment of grenades and AK-47s—began at approximately 0800 hours (8:00 AM) in the ‘La Tolva’ maximum security prison in Morecelí, El Paraiso near Tegucigalpa in eastern Honduras.
by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 06/19/2021 - 11:40pm | 4 comments
A book review of North Korea in a Nutshell: A Contemporary Overview By Kongdan Oh and Ralph Hassig 
by Preston McLaughlin | Fri, 06/18/2021 - 3:28pm | 4 comments
Book review of The Changing of the Guard: The British Army Since 9/11 by Simon Akam. It is an unofficial oral history. Created by hundreds of interviews as well as documents and personal observations by the author. It will be recognized over time as the definitive cultural history of the British Army from 2001-2021.
by Michael F. Masters Jr. | Thu, 06/17/2021 - 9:16am | 1 comment
  The USMC's contributions to the future pacific fight are outlined in the recently released tri-service maritime strategy. However, the document only vaguely mentions Naval SOF's unique skill sets and ability to prepare the operating environment for maritime force access without delineating clear lines of effort or aligning resources. To visualize the possibilities of future USMC-SOF I3D, it is helpful to consider a continuum of conventional force and SOF cooperation from deconfliction measures on the low end to opportunities for Integration, Interdependence, and Interoperability on the high-end. 
by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Wed, 06/16/2021 - 7:42pm | 1 comment
On Friday 11 June 2021, two gunmen attacked beach vendors on a tourist beach in Cancún, killing two vendors and injuring an American tourist. The attackers accessed the beach from the sea via personal watercraft and then left the scene after the assault on the same craft. Similar incidents have taken at Mexican beaches over the past five years.
by Nick Kramer | Wed, 06/16/2021 - 4:23pm | 1 comment
The United States occupied Haiti and ran many of its critical governmental functions between 1915-1934 in one of America’s most protracted conflicts and occupations. During this occupation, multiple internal conflicts arose that required the small garrison of American Marines and the Marine-led Haitian Gendarmerie to execute brief but generally effective counterinsurgency campaigns. An examination of these campaigns will illuminate what lessons can be drawn for contemporary and future use. 
by Daniel Weisz | Tue, 06/15/2021 - 1:53pm | 8 comments
This review essay is a long-form review and commentary on Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca, "Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Human Rights Violation." Tampa: Vortex, 2021. The text provides a detailed social network analysis of the complex corruption situation in Venezuela.
by Keith Nightingale | Mon, 06/14/2021 - 1:03pm | 2 comments
In honor of the Army's 246th Birthday
by Barnett S. Koven | Mon, 06/07/2021 - 1:38pm | 1 comment
U.S. defense planning is hampered by a binary conception of peace and war. An effective response will require a more nuanced approach. Specifically, it will require the U.S. and its allies and partners to better equip Ukrainian forces for both kinetic and non-kinetic operations. The latter must focus on denying the opposition force, in this case Russia, the ability to remain in the Gray Zone.
by Philip Schrooten, by Jolan Silkens | Sat, 06/05/2021 - 3:11pm | 2 comments
As leaders of the Sahel convened in Chad’s capital N'djamena to discuss flaring jihadist violence, Chadian President Déby announced on 15 February 2021 the deployment of an additional 1,200 soldiers to the border zone between Niger, Mali and Burkino Faso.[i][ii] French President Macron also ruled out a withdrawal of forces despite dwindling domestic support for French operations in the region.[iii] Crisis Group expert Hannah Armstrong says one year after France stepped up its military presence in the region, it is as clear as ever that conventional military engagement has failed to deliver a knockout blow to armed jihadist groups.[iv]