Small Wars Journal

Iran

After the Soleimani Strike, What’s Next for Iraq and the Region? SWJED Thu, 01/09/2020 - 6:21pm
With tensions between Iran and the U.S. already simmering, the January 3 U.S. airstrike that killed powerful Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani is sure to have ripple effects across the region. Maj. Gen. Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, coordinated Iran’s military operations and proxies across the Middle East.

The Perils of Seeking an American "Victory" over Iran

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 11:59am
Following recent events in Iraq, most notably the US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleiman, President Donald Trump is apt to seek some sort of larger or longer-term “victory” over Iran. Though his favored operational stance is more likely to be incremental than sudden – that is, than some substantial “bolt-from-the-blue” war-initiating strike - there will still be multiple dangers of an uncontrolled escalation.

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An Argument Against Killing Qasem Soleimani

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 12:29pm
The decision to kill the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Quds Force is part of a broader US policy to change Iranian activities that threaten US interests and the forces that work to achieve those interests. Yet in this regard, the United States faces a fundamental misalignment of ends and means.

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Iraq’s Protesters Ousted a Prime Minister. Now What? SWJED Thu, 12/05/2019 - 3:43am
Violence remains a risk as parties resist demands for deeper change, USIP experts say.

A Hyper-Mobile Defense: Iran’s Novel Strategy to Sustain Proxy Conflicts in the Middle East

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 12:29pm
A hyper-mobile defense’s goal is to shock, not destroy, the enemy through rapid, repeated, multi-directional engagements. The fixed objectives serve to lure in vulnerable tanks, helicopters and armored personnel carriers along pre-planned routes, making them easy targets for the small strike teams. While this shock technique did not entirely destroy the Israeli force, it did disrupt the attacker’s central strategy of a swift, air-covered, armored penetration. The desire of achieving a quick, comprehensive strike for effect has long been the linchpin of effective urban conquest.

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The Prospects for Advancing US-Saudi Defense Alliance in the Shadow of the ARAMCO Attacks

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 12:16am
Following the recent attacks on Saudi ARAMCO oil fields, which according to US and Saudi intelligence assessments, involved both drones and cruise missiles, and most likely originated in Southern Iran, the future of the US-Saudi alliance has come into question as President Trump has been taking time to assess the nature of the threat and to decide on reasonable next steps that would deter Iran from further aggression in the region.

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Everything Old is New Again: Russian, Chinese, Iranian and North Korean Use of Proxies Against the United States

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 4:29am
What role do unofficial transnational and criminal organizations play in the global adversarial competition among nations occurring today? How specifically do Russia, China, Iran, North Korea or other specifically named adversary employ unofficial transnational or criminal organizations in its strategic efforts to undermine the United States or its allies?

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