After well over a year of isolation induced by the COVD-19 pandemic, it seems Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has become so detached from reality with his wild Ukraine gamble that he may finally have adventured too far, stumbling into a trap entirely of his own making. Surprising as it is, this time it is distinctly possible his aggression, ultimately, will not provide him with any way to save face: no “offramp,” as the media seems to love to refer to a possible endgame that leaves him comfortable and not in a weak and unstable position at best (for him) or ousted at worst (obviously, the latter would be ideal for us).
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 Brian E. Frydenborg | Tue, 03/08/2022 - 6:15pm | 1 comment
by Guido Torres | Sun, 03/06/2022 - 4:42pm | 0 comments
Two decades of war have left the nation weary of intervening abroad. The nation’s most protracted conflict has taken a toll on the country, its citizens, the military, and its reputation on the international stage. However, war was inevitable after the most brazen and deadly attacks on U.S. soil on September 11, 2001. Critics have argued that going abroad as the world’s protector of democracy has unnecessarily placed it in the crosshairs of many. During the Trump administration, and even today, many have echoed the comments of John Quincy Adams’ famous foreign policy speech to not interfere in the interests of other nations. Instead, those same pundits and politicians prefer to focus domestically on America’s preservation and vitality.
by Charles T. Pinck | Sat, 03/05/2022 - 1:42pm | 0 comments
The OSS Society offers support to the Ukrainian resistance and hopes all freedom loving people around the world will do what they can to help defend a free and democratic Ukraine.
Keeping the Bear Out of the Mountains: Whole of U.S. Government Competition and Putin’s Invasion of Ukraineby Doug Livermore | Sat, 03/05/2022 - 9:08am | 0 comments
The United States (U.S.) can successfully compete with Russia by synchronizing efforts across the diplomatic, informational, military, and economic (DIME) spectrum consistent with the 2017 National Security Strategy and the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS).
by Aaron Bazin | Fri, 03/04/2022 - 4:39pm | 2 comments
Today, one can quickly see how the virtual and physical worlds are becoming increasingly interconnected, interdependent, and indistinguishable from one another. The idea of the metaverse has emerged to describe this convergence and the concept continues to gain the attention in the public consciousness. In March 2022, Goldman Sachs analysts estimated the growth of the metaverse economy could exceed $8 Trillion in coming years. Much like the airplane gave birth to the air domain, and the Internet resulted in the cyberspace domain, this article explores the idea that the metaverse may result in a new domain of warfare over time.
by Jason Crawford | Fri, 03/04/2022 - 3:38pm | 0 comments
This paper aims to analyze the process commanders and staffs use to frame the operational environment while defining the role of a sergeant major in the planning process. Ill-defined problems cause Armies to waste valuable resources to treat symptoms and risk total mission failure.
by Wes Dyson, by Kyle Martin, by Shannon C. Houck | Fri, 03/04/2022 - 3:25pm | 0 comments
United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is losing special operators via voluntary separation at an alarming rate, with some organizations manned at less than 50% of desired levels after key retention milestones such as O-3 to O-4. This is unsurprising in many ways; civilian life offers more time for family, new (and often less taxing) career opportunities, more money, and greater autonomy. While some attrition is inevitable, losing experienced operators is costly for USSOCOM. The specialized skills that operators acquire and develop during their careers require significant time and monetary investments. More critically, losing these high-value, experienced warfighters imposes costs on overall force readiness.
by Allyson Christy | Fri, 03/04/2022 - 8:11am | 0 comments
The Ukraine crisis may be a moment for reasserting U.S. power and allied unity, but it serves public distraction and hints of hypocrisy. Proposed legislation authorizing assistance to Ukraine connects “national security interests” with defending Ukraine’s sovereignty, border security, and territorial integrity. Bills in the House and Senate also support extending media outreach to Russian-speaking audiences. The House version includes a $155,500,000 appropriation to support Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty with its reach “inside the Russian Federation and surrounding countries.” Guided by such principles, it may be worth revisiting the nearly 200-year old Monroe Doctrine, a founding tenet of U.S. foreign policy restricting European interference in the Western Hemisphere and justification for U.S. authority.
by Daniel Phillips | Tue, 03/01/2022 - 2:45pm | 0 comments
The Military utilizes multiple algorithms to define and predict adversaries, develop staff estimates, and develop courses of action. These algorithms include, but are certainly not limited to: intelligence preparation of the battlefield and the Eikmeier method for center of gravity analysis. They have been developed in large part incidentally, from trial and error efforts by tacticians attempting to apply tenants of military theorists such as: Jomini, Clausewitz, and Sun Tzu. The evolution of said algorithms, grow and evolve when prodded by national security crisis’s, such as war. This ebb and flow timeline for growth allows adversaries to methodically maintain parity with American tacticians, whose focus transitions from research and development, to sustaining the force, to fiscal austerity depending on the political administration in power.
by Morgan A. Martin, by Clinton J. Williamson | Tue, 03/01/2022 - 1:50pm | 0 comments
In 2017, Mr. Darren Tromblay wrote No More Fun and Games: How China’s Acquisition of US Media Entities Threatens America’s National Security for Small Wars Journal. In his article, Mr. Tromblay posits that Chinese investments in American theater chains and film studios create pathways for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to “achieve its political objectives… with a minimum of saber-rattling”. In the ensuing four years, the PRC has expanded its de facto control over the American film industry through investments, economic coercion, and acquisitions. Overall, Mr. Tromblay’s assessment was correct; this article explores involvement in the entertainment industry, and finds that China has the placement and access to shape public perceptions. An examination of film as propaganda in general, the scope of Chinese interests in Hollywood, and CCP’s use of propaganda films will demonstrate that the PRC’s creeping influence has become a grave security threat indeed.
by Marshall Foster | Mon, 02/28/2022 - 11:27pm | 0 comments
On January 28, 2022, China released a white paper that outlined ambitious plans to advance the country's space capabilities for economic, technological, and national security aspirations. This release is in line with China’s recent increased use of space, especially for its military applications. The heightened reliance on space provides a reason for the United States to suspect that China, as it has claimed, will avoid early strikes on space systems to avoid retaliation against its own space assets. However, many U.S. pundits argue that space represents a likely escalatory domain for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to gain an advantage for a conflict in the Indo-Pacific. The assumptions that China’s need to protect its space assets and that China sees space as a domain for escalation are contradictory.
by Nilda M. Garcia | Mon, 02/28/2022 - 3:25pm | 2 comments
In northern Mexico, human smuggling has been a highly lucrative illicit activity for years. Yet, the business has become more profitable due to the rise of migrants crossing through Mexico to get to the US. Drug cartels have taken advantage of the migrant upsurge to continue broadening their criminal portfolio and are also integrating it into their social media strategies. Facebook is one platform widely used to offer smuggling services and lure migrants. Different spheres of criminal networks converge in the virtual world, including smugglers or coyotes, transporters, lifters, document forgers, and drug traffickers. Is social media facilitating the establishment of more complex and sophisticated illicit networks? Is social media use by criminal organizations for human smuggling purposes impacting migration patterns in the northern and southern Mexican borders? This article attempts to add an empirical approach to these questions and fill in the gap in the literature, mainly concentrated on journalistic accounts. This work demonstrates the established presence of drug cartels on social media, its nexus with human smuggling, and the convergence of criminal networks on platforms such as Facebook.
A Serious Threat or a Strategic Success? The Pros and Cons of Paramilitarising a Civilian Population in Ukraineby Dale Pankhurst | Sun, 02/27/2022 - 7:03pm | 0 comments
The decision by the Putin regime to initiate a Russian military invasion of the Ukraine has sparked the worst security crisis on the European continent since the Second World War. Despite fears of a sweeping and quick Russian military victory over its forces, the Ukrainian State has so far managed to launch strong and determined resistance against Russian troop movements and tank columns. This resistance has slowed down Russian advances towards the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and other strategic towns and cities. Much of these tactical successes are due to recent military assistance provided by Western states, including the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
by Nathan White, by Katherine Voyles | Sun, 02/27/2022 - 12:15pm | 1 comment
What happens during war and what happens in the aftermath of war are two different things. What’s more, how to make sense of what happens during war and how to make sense of what happens in the wake of war are also distinct from each other. Nineteen years on from the U.S.’s invasion of Iraq, the nature and character of its aftermath are unsettled; this is true even though today the war itself is unpopular with the American public. Thomas E. Ricks, an important chronicler of the war, begins his 2006 book Fiasco this way: “The consequences of his [President Bush’s] choice [to invade Iraq] won’t be clear for decades.” Fifteen years on, Ricks is still right; the consequences, for U.S. domestic politics and culture, for U.S. foreign policy, for civil-military relations, and for the U.S.’s standing in the world are still not widely understood even if some of them are increasingly visible.
by Garrett R. Wood | Sat, 02/26/2022 - 11:56am | 0 comments
Fresh Russian aggression is putting the Ukrainian military to the test. The conflict that began in 2014 revealed a Ukrainian military that was not prepared to defend its homeland, and both the military and the volunteer battalions that carried the weight of the conflict for the first several months reached out to the public for charitable donations to fill in critical gaps in Ukraine’s defense left by decades of corruption. Despite reforms to Ukraine’s military and defense industrial sector, crowdfunding could remain an attractive alternative method of supporting a war effort, but it is a method that comes with the risk of weakening Kyiv’s control over paramilitary groups that sometimes have extremist ties.
by Tarik Solmaz | Fri, 02/25/2022 - 4:52pm | 0 comments
Russia's latest aggression against Ukraine once again leads to concerns about ‘hybrid warfare’. However, the concept of ‘hybrid warfare’ is still as contested as it is popular. This essay argues that ‘hybrid warfare’ is a socially constructed concept rather than a clearly defined phenomenon. That is to say, the reality regarding ‘hybrid warfare’ has been constructed by publications and speeches made by scholars, practitioners, analysts, decision-makers, and journalists. Today, there are many definitions of ‘hybrid warfare’ and they significantly differ from each other. This essay identifies five main interpretations of ‘hybrid warfare’ that are related but different. The lack of conceptual and ideational clarity surrounding the concept of ‘hybrid warfare’ diminishes its explanatory value. Alongside the poor understanding of such a concept, the ideational confusion weakens the capabilities of Western states and organizations to effectively deal with what they deem ‘hybrid threats.’
by Will Turner | Thu, 02/24/2022 - 8:14pm | 0 comments
The Rhodesian Bush War, or the Zimbabwe War of Liberation, is a story of Rhodesian military successes followed by a crushing political defeat. The Rhodesian security apparatus never lost a single kinetic engagement with insurgent forces from 1965 until 1980 when Robert Mugabe was voted into office. Why then did the state not survive? Contemporary analyses point to military and technical innovation as well as tactical successes in counterinsurgency. But the same analysts often follow with disbelief at the installation of the Mugabe government, believing it to be a mistake made possible only through international meddling and chance. The Rhodesians were simply fighting the wrong war, one in which the battles did not matter as much as the understanding of the ideological and political context.
by Andrew Gibbons | Thu, 02/24/2022 - 4:14pm | 2 comments
This book, written after the American exit from Afghanistan in August 2021, recounts the US-led campaign in that country from the year 2001 and explains not just why it failed, but why it could not possibly have succeeded.
SWJ Book Review – Understanding Dark Networks: A Strategic Framework for the Use of Social Network Analysisby Isaac Poritzky | Thu, 02/24/2022 - 3:02pm | 0 comments
In this SWJ Book Review, SWJ-El Centro Intern Issac Poritzky reviews "Understanding Dark Networks: A Strategic Framework for the Use of Social Network Analysis" by Daniel Cunningham, Sean Everton, and Philip Murphy.
SWJ El Centro Book Review – The Wolfpack: the millennial mobsters who brought chaos and the cartels to the Canadian underworldby James H. Creechan | Wed, 02/23/2022 - 8:42pm | 0 comments
Book review of "The Wolfpack: the millennial mobsters who brought chaos and the cartels to the Canadian underworld.
by Keith Nightingale | Wed, 02/23/2022 - 1:42pm | 1 comment
For reflection: A view from an operator's perspective of close quarters battle and breaching the door.
by Bryce Johnston | Tue, 02/22/2022 - 3:55pm | 0 comments
Russia’s support for two “breakout regions” in Ukraine has placed the spotlight on secessionist movements. Past experiences show that secessionist movements are ripe for disruption from influence campaigns. The 2017 Catalan Independence movement is a recent example of this. Governments used state media outlets to spread digital propaganda to establish narratives favorable to their policy goals. The Catalan Independence movement is not an isolated case. To combat future uses of digital media, analysts may have to use WWII-era methods to understand the intent of the propagandists. By combining Alexander George’s method of propaganda analysis with open-source sentiment analysis tools, this paper found that Russia’s state media outlet expressed more consistent support for their policy positions than Western state media outlets. Future analysts could apply these same tools to other conflicts to gain more information on the policy preferences of each state.
by Mitch Ruhl | Mon, 02/21/2022 - 10:56pm | 0 comments
As the situation in the Ukraine rapidly deteriorates, little attention has been given to the presence of paramilitary forces that have operated on both sides of the conflict since 2014. These forces, ranging from militias-turned-professional units to volunteer battalions, will play a significant role in provoking an invasion and the aftermath. Utilizing social media, previous media snapshots, and earlier assessments, this essay looks at the most prominent (para)military organizations fighting for the Ukraine and the separatists and assesses the risk they pose to escalation and a post-invasion insurgency. This essay pays particular attention to the risks inherent in the three main pro-Kyiv paramilitary organizations given the larger pool of source material and their outsized role and reflects significant concerns for post-invasion radicalization and recruitment. Separatist elements have far less source information available, resulting in a lesser focus in this essay. Given close ties to the Kremlin, the escalation risk factor of the separatists is of main concern. Given these assessments, NATO must act decisively to mitigate escalation risk factors from Ukrainian forces and combat the expansion of extremism in an insurgency.
by Tyris S. Foster Jr. | Mon, 02/21/2022 - 10:28am | 0 comments
The United States and the People’s Republic of China are competing for influence in the Pacific Ocean, from Panama to Malacca. While the United States has focused heavily on increasing its influence in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asian littorals, it has allowed China to gain a foothold in the Eastern Pacific and South American littorals. This is a result of a whole-of-Pacific approach to competition that China has utilized, while the United States’ approach has been disjointed due to current Combatant Command boundaries. This piece evaluates the extent of Chinese influence in the Eastern Pacific and South American littorals, notes the growing incongruence between U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Southern Command priorities, and argues that only a whole-of-Pacific Department of Defense strategy with integrated Combatant Command priorities will allow the United States to truly compete with China.
by Brian E. Frydenborg | Mon, 02/21/2022 - 8:55am | 0 comments
The extremely-likely-to-be-pending invasion of Ukraine by Russia would likely be the largest invasion in Europe in over half a century (since the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and, before that, the final years of World War II) and the largest European war since WWII (since Ukraine’s army today seems quite willing to fight along with many civilians, but the Czechoslovak People’s Army did not resist at all in 1968). Yet perhaps the most remarkable thing apart from the scale of all this is the predictable, soporific banality of Putin’s game plan, one visible from many miles and many years away.
by JD Fuller | Sat, 02/19/2022 - 8:49am | 0 comments
Putin's demand that NATO scale back its deployments in Eastern Europe has led to even more troops being sent to Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, whilst NATO itself has been injected with a new life and purpose not seen in a generation. Far from sowing disunity, Putin’s actions have focused minds in Western capitals more than any annual NATO conference could have achieved, leading to new conversations about the future direction of the alliance.
by B. Z. Khasru | Fri, 02/18/2022 - 12:56pm | 0 comments
Both China and America are courting Bangladesh because being next to the Bay of Bengal it can provide easy access to the Indian Ocean, which funnels much of the world trade. By controlling this sea lane, America can choke off China's economy. Bangladesh can give China an alternative land route via Burma.
by Joseph Osborne | Thu, 02/17/2022 - 4:43pm | 2 comments
The reality of 2003 Afghanistan was an environment full of insurgents, conducting insurgent type activities against a coalition that was, in large part, desperately trying to avoid saying the words insurgency or counterinsurgency. For me, this story really begins with opportunity, timing, and luck. In reality, it begins with classic Counterinsurgency (COIN) theorists like Galula and Trinquier and the intervening influence of scholars like Gordon McCormick and John Arquilla. The timely convergence of a like-minded counterinsurgency practitioners was also fortuitous. Most importantly, and despite later implicit claims of finally getting it right, this story shows that Operation WARRIOR SWEEP, and the actions in and around Zormat in 2003, represented the first real counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign in Afghanistan.
by Jennifer Walters | Thu, 02/17/2022 - 8:52am | 0 comments
When examining the conventional balance of power between NATO and Russian forces, the numbers alone are not sufficient. To better understand this balance power, it is necessary to inspect not just the sheer number of conventional forces (ground troops, tanks, and aircraft), but where these forces are located, the damage they can inflict, and the capability to reconstitute quickly in the opening salvo of a conflict. Despite a precipitous drop in total conventional force since the end of the Cold War, with these factors in mind, the balance of power tips to Russia.
Mexican Cartel Strategic Note No. 34: Anti-Vehicle Mine Targeting SEDENA Convoy between Tepalcatepec and Aguililla, Michoacánby John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Wed, 02/16/2022 - 3:05pm | 0 comments
On Monday, 31 January 2022 at approximately 1030 hours (10:30 am) a Mexican Army (SEDENA) convoy travelling on a dirt road in a remote area near Apatzingán drove over a landmine. The vehicle was reportedly a ‘SandCat’ light armored vehicle (LAV). At least one, and up to four or more soldiers were said to be injured. The area where the incident occurred is reportedly in territory contested by the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) and the Cárteles Unidos (CU).
by David Jia-Lung Tsai | Tue, 02/15/2022 - 7:56pm | 0 comments
Nuclear talks between the United States and Iran resumed in Vienna on 10 February 2022. A Senior U.S. State Department official warned that if a deal is not struck within the next few weeks it will be “no longer possible to return to the JCPOA,” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. To salvage the JCPOA’s nonproliferation requirements, Washington needs to find common ground with Tehran. Preventing a potential oil spill off the coast of war-torn Yemen, where both sides have vested interests in, can be a cooperation point as negotiations move forward.
by Keith Nightingale | Tue, 02/15/2022 - 11:44am | 11 comments
As we all have, I have been watching the impressive Russian ground forces arrayed to invade Ukraine from three sides. Some comments after consultation with a good friend in the Marines: Upon due consideration, it might have been unthoughtfully wise to not place our military in harm’s way simply because it would have its clock handed to it. Our military, particularly the Army, is tailored for the 20-year war in the Sandboxes-not a Peer conflict.
by Jeremy Kofsky | Mon, 02/14/2022 - 8:56pm | 0 comments
The Marine Corps has made great strides since the 2019 release of Commandants’ Planning Guidance caused sea change within the Marine Corps regarding where the force was headed as an organization and how to best man, train, and equip the force. When partnered with Force Design 2030 and the Tentative Manual for Expeditionary Advanced Basing Operations (TM-EABO), these documents provide a definitive way forward for the Marine Corps for the next decade. The core concepts of EABO revolve around the ability to seize key terrain, which in turn denies the enemy maritime freedom of maneuver to create decision and maneuver advantage for the Joint Force. The EABO Handbook provides several examples and planning factors to support this end but fails to address a critical vulnerability planning assumption, namely, once supplies can somehow make it into a theater of action, how do you prevent the enemy from interdicting those supply chains at the tactical level?
by Sean Parrott | Mon, 02/14/2022 - 6:14am | 0 comments
Infantry units have always required indirect fire in support of maneuver. Javelins and slings gave way to bows and arrows, and so on throughout history. While modern artillery and mortar systems offer relatively imprecise fire support to the modern warrior, surgical fires in support of maneuver have long been the domain of aviation. Yet the degraded, denied environments the United States plans to compete in require fire support assets that can provide precision, long-range fires to smaller maneuver units within the enemy weapons engagement zone (WEZ). In a future fight against an enemy with peer capabilities, it cannot be assumed that close air support will be feasible in all stages of ground combat operations.
by Charity Jacobs, by Kathleen M. Carley | Fri, 02/11/2022 - 9:21pm | 1 comment
China’s gray zone operations against Taiwan are a growing coercion mechanism towards reunification by eroding Taiwan’s will to resist. Following China’s consolidation of power and control over Hong Kong and the Xinjiang autonomous region, Taiwan’s prosperous existence is becoming an increasingly prioritized threat to China’s image and global standing. China’s modern influence operations based on the Three Warfares doctrine have evolved over the last thirty years with doctrinal reflections on other nations’ wars to include a predominant focus on US modernization. These lessons learned are critical to understanding how the Communist Party of China (CPC) wields Three Warfares in a ‘peacetime wartime’ context in which there is no delineating line between peace and war. This paper discusses the historical chronology of Chinese doctrine, the founding philosophy of Chinese influence operations Three Warfares, CPC influence action arms and capabilities for overt and covert efforts, and how China mobilizes its government and citizen capabilities to execute gray zone operations using Three Warfares against Taiwan.
by George T. Díaz | Tue, 02/08/2022 - 11:04pm | 0 comments
This essay contextualizes “Operation Lone Star” and the detention of migrants in Texas state prisons within the longer history of Texas border policing which parallel and sometimes exceed federal policing efforts. In particular, this essay examines the Texas state government’s border policing efforts and considers the way state forces have attempted to police the US-Mexico border and place those it apprehends in state prisons. Furthermore, it argues that surges in state border policing stem from 1) the perception of federal inaction and 2) the perceived benefits that state representatives gain among their constituents for such efforts.
by Joshua Underwood | Mon, 02/07/2022 - 9:27pm | 0 comments
This research develops a novel concept about how external actors utilize a new form of power. Joseph Nye’s Hard and Soft power provides valuable concepts as to how countries use various tools to achieve their objectives. However, Nye’s hard power concept doesn’t illustrate Russia’s recent aggression in Georgia (2008) and Eastern Ukraine (2014). In both conflicts, Russia deployed their military force through covert operations to support and maintain control of separatist regions. Russia utilized a new form of power that allowed them to have complete deniability while achieving their political agenda before any international repercussions. Therefore, in this paper, I will argue that Russia used soft, sticky, and instead of using hard power, Russia used what I call “phantom power” in the 2008 Georgia and 2014 Eastern Ukraine Conflicts.
by Mareks Runts | Mon, 02/07/2022 - 8:58pm | 0 comments
The Forest Brothers refers to the organized armed resistance fight in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.[The movement arose in 1944 at the end of World war II and lasted until 1956. This article will explore the relevance of the Latvian Forest Brothers to the modern Latvian National Armed Forces and attempt to draw lessons from the historical experience of the 20th century movement.
by Paloma Mendoza-Cortés | Sat, 02/05/2022 - 4:34pm | 0 comments
Review of "Los servicios de inteligencia en México, ayer y hoy [The Mexican Intelligence Services, Yesterday and Today]" in English. This review examines the history and development of the Mexican intelligence services to provide a baseline for understanding contemporary intelligence challenges in Mexico.
by Paloma Mendoza-Cortés | Sat, 02/05/2022 - 4:28pm | 0 comments
Review of "Los servicios de inteligencia en México, ayer y hoy [The Mexican Intelligence Services, Yesterday and Today]" in Spanish. Esta revisión examina la historia y el desarrollo de los servicios de inteligencia mexicanos con el fin de proporcionar una base para entender los desafíos contemporáneos de la inteligencia en México.
by Meg Tucker | Fri, 02/04/2022 - 7:10am | 3 comments
It is time for U.S. Army special operations forces to redirect effort and resources away from airborne operations toward more urgent training needs in the 2021 battlespace. As an innovative organization, Army SOF is well-suited to lead in modernization, economizing assets and honing the most relevant capabilities. What better time than now to reexamine how SOF applies its resources, especially as the Department of Defense pivots to focus on Cold War 2.0?
SWJ Book Review: An Ontology of Modern Conflict: Including Conventional Combat and Unconventional Conflictby Theo Bajon | Thu, 02/03/2022 - 5:10pm | 0 comments
Understanding how modern conflict exists, evolves, and is rooted in reality through all of the related elements that interrelate with each other provides a way of understanding modern conflict as a complex event that requires some reflection on its inherent conceptualization.
SWJ El Centro Reseña del libro – Democracy and Security in Latin America: State Capacity and Governance under Stressby Pablo A. Baisotti | Wed, 02/02/2022 - 4:45pm | 0 comments
SWJ-El Centro Fellow Pablo A. Baisotti revisa “Democracy and Security in Latin America: State Capacity and Governance under Stress [Democracia y seguridad en América Latina: La capacidad del Estado y la gobernanza bajo presión]” en español. El texto analiza la capacidad del Estado democrático en América Latina para proveer efectivamente la seguridad pública y la defensa nacional, temas históricamente fundamentales en la región. El libro consiste en una colección de trabajos académicos y aborda la naturaleza y el alcance de la gobernabilidad del Estado en América Latina y la estrecha relación entre seguridad y democracia (especialmente en tiempos de pandemia). Presenta y profundiza en los retos de la gobernanza y de algunas instituciones estatales clave como la policía, los tribunales, las fuerzas armadas y el sistema penitenciario. Para ello, los autores de esta obra analizan las distintas cuestiones desde un enfoque interdisciplinar (histórico, político, económico, militar, entre otros).
SWJ El Centro Book Review – Democracy and Security in Latin America: State Capacity and Governance under Stressby Pablo A. Baisotti | Wed, 02/02/2022 - 4:01pm | 2 comments
SWJ-El Centro Fellow Pablo A. Baisotti reviews “Democracy and Security in Latin America: State Capacity and Governance under Stress.” The text analyzes the capacity of the democratic state in Latin America to effectively provide public security and national defense, historically fundamental issues in the region. The book consists of a collection of academic papers and addresses the nature and scope of state governance in Latin America and the close relationship between security and democracy (especially in times of pandemic). It presents and elaborates on the challenges to governance and some key state institutions such as the police, the courts, the armed forces, and the penitentiary system. To this end, the authors of this work analyzed the various issues from an interdisciplinary approach (historical, political, economic, military, among others).
by Aaron R. Byrd, by M. Qasem Amiry | Wed, 02/02/2022 - 12:15pm | 0 comments
A conceptual framework for organizational capability assessment is presented. The framework has 14 elements: organizational lead, organizational support, advising lead, doctrine, organization, training, materiel, information technology, leadership, personnel, facilities, processes / policies / procedures, and intra- and inter-organizational integration. An example of using this framework to steer a workshop on developing a generator repair capability is given. The elements of the framework are useful to guide critical thinking about organizational capability, whether it is an existing capability, or a new capability is being developed.
Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 46: Los Angeles Strike Force Investigation into Alleged Weapons Trafficking Organization Providing Weapons and Ammunition to the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG)by John P. Sullivan, by Nathan P. Jones, by Robert Bunker | Mon, 01/31/2022 - 3:24pm | 0 comments
A Federal Grand Jury in Los Angeles named six defendants in a weapon smuggling organization in a 23-count indictment alleging that the cell conspired to violate federal export laws to provide weapons and ammunition to Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) operatives in Mexico. The indictment charged six individuals and asserts that they are members of a group known as the Santillan gun trafficking organization. This note also includes a social network analysis (SNA) of the cell and an analysis of the ammunition seized.
by Octavian Manea | Mon, 01/31/2022 - 11:36am | 0 comments
Interview conducted by Octavian Manea with Lt. Gen. (Ret) Frederick Benjamin Hodges, Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC. He was Commanding General, United States Army Europe from 2014 to 2017. He co-authored together with John. R. Allen and Julian Lindley-French - The Future of War and The Defense of Europe, published by Oxford University Press last year.
by SWJ Editors | Mon, 01/31/2022 - 11:27am | 0 comments
A new SWJ partnership with the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS) at Brussels School of Governance (VUB)
by Patrick Walsh | Mon, 01/31/2022 - 11:24am | 1 comment
Five pages into the book, Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in a Post-Cold War World, you realize this is not merely one more storied victory lap by a man who had 50 years in government to collect them. With some hyperbole, one could say Robert Gates is issuing a “call to arms” that America needs to change the way it uses power. But that analogy does not fit, because in this book, Gates convincingly argues that the United States needs to use many other instruments of its power more effectively, and its military power less often. When a Secretary of Defense who worked for two Presidents writes a book calling for the increased use of diplomatic, economic and information power, all military officers and anyone who works in our national security enterprise should read it.
by Jim Crotty | Sun, 01/30/2022 - 3:03pm | 0 comments
The explosion of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamine is the most significant change to the drug trade in the last twenty years. Unlike plant-based drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, which require control of large swaths of territory and a favorable climate, synthetic drugs have comparatively low barriers to entry. They are relatively cheap and easy to make, easy to conceal, and more potent than traditional drugs. From a trafficker’s perspective, they are the perfect drug. They are also incredibly lethal.