Small Wars Journal

insurgency

Revisiting an Alternative Approach to Fighting Small Wars: The Works of Charles Wolf Jr. and Nathan Leites, 1965 to 1970

Fri, 01/10/2020 - 8:21am
All too often academics and practitioners concern themselves with the latest theory or framework addressing some aspect of security studies, in this case insurgency and counterinsurgency. An excessive focus on the “now” does a disservice to the knowledge and hard work of those thinkers who came before. Often times the “new” drowns out the voices of the recent past who may have pushed against the current tide and offered an alternative to what may have become common wisdom.

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What ‘The Afghanistan Papers’ Got Wrong SWJED Fri, 12/20/2019 - 4:30am
The problem was not that U.S. officials lied to the public—it’s that for so long many believed that the war was winnable.

US Strategic Intelligence Strategy for Pakistan: Counterinsurgency, Diplomacy, and the Future

Wed, 12/18/2019 - 3:55am
Many locations where our military branches and intelligence agencies currently operate are nations are as complex and hostile as the terrorist organizations themselves. Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, and Libya are just a few that are infested with well-armed, well paid, and highly motivated terrorist groups. For all the threats and challenges that face Americas defense planners one of the greatest hurdles that must be overcome resides in Pakistan.

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Here’s How U.S.-Taliban Talks Can Succeed

Sun, 12/15/2019 - 12:45pm
Following the prisoner swap between the Afghan government and the Taliban – a deal facilitated by the United States, Qatar and Pakistan – it appears that the Afghan peace talks may soon resume. US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is reportedly in Qatar holding informal talks with the Taliban. While the year-long marathon peace talks failed for several reasons, a new round of talks may present an opportunity to redress the mistakes.

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Rethinking Bernard Fall’s Legacy. The Persistent Relevance of Revolutionary Warfare (Part I)

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 6:17pm
SWJ interview with Nathaniel L. Moir, Ph.D., an Ernest May Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Policy at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Moir is completing a book manuscript on Bernard Fall for publication.

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Counterinsurgency in the Deep South of Thailand: A Continuing Failure?

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 11:44am
All actions have consequences, and all circumstances come after certain root causes; so does the ongoing insurgency in the southernmost provinces of Thailand, or what also known as the Deep South. The Thai ways of counterinsurgency are arguably flawed in several aspects, including the security and civil pillars of counterinsurgency. Moreover, the unstable domestic politics continues to distract the country leaders from conflicts in the south, as they are forced to focus on securing political power in Bangkok instead.

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A Month After U.S. Withdrawal, What is the State of Play in Syria?

Sat, 11/09/2019 - 6:06am
In the month since President Trump’s October 6 phone call with Turkish President Erdogan and the announced U.S. withdrawal from northeast Syria, the picture on the ground has changed immensely. Moscow has emerged as the key power broker in Syria. The Kurds, looking for protection from Turkish forces, are in Russian-brokered talks with the Assad government. These discussions could pave the way for an expanded Syrian government presence in the northeast for the first time in years.

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Was it All Just a Dream? Revisiting “The Defense of Jisr Al-Doreaa” Ten Years Later

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 8:23am
Counterinsurgency isn’t dead no matter how much the U.S. military may want it to be. Ten years ago, we wrote a short parable designed to quickly inform junior leaders on the basic concepts of counterinsurgency called The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa. It seems appropriate to take this anniversary to revisit the book and the concept of counterinsurgency.

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