Small Wars Journal

COIN

Tailoring Expectations: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Scenarios in Afghanistan

Here we are eighteen years later with a resurgent Taliban and US/NATO achievements not only not consolidated but more fragile than ever and the Afghan state weaker with an unusual President in the White House, a growing war fatigue in the west and a divided Washington over the fate of its military engagement in the country.

About the Author(s)

The Decision to Depart and the Defeat of Violent Extremist Organizations

The President made it clear for some time that he is not in favor of these wars. His advisors, Senior Civilians, and Generals had almost two years to figure out how to disengage and they did not get it done. The President probably grew weary of hearing that if we depart, ISIS will resurge in the political vacuum.

About the Author(s)

A Country Study of Communist Terrorism and Islamic Radicalization in Brazil: Implications for Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations in Counter-Guerilla Warfare

Al-Qaeda religious extremist theology is a negative social movement in Brazil. Additional factors such as poverty, discrimination, and government inefficiency will permit radical Islamists to multiply and the Al-Qaeda terroristic theology to become a dangerous social movement in Brazil. Human terrain analysis and sociological intelligence notes that Al-Qaeda has embedded themselves into benevolent and peaceful Islamic communities of Brazil. Failure to believe that Al-Qaeda is not active in Brazil is a major social problem and intelligence failure.

About the Author(s)

The Ethiopian Civil War: A Failure in Counterinsurgency

The Ogaden War, though officially ending in 1978, sparked rapid militarization as well as political repression on a heightened level within Ethiopia, which in turn triggered the conflagration of the Civil War itself. Political radicalization doesn’t attack outwards but rather inwards. The Red Terror, having claimed up to possibly half a million lives.

About the Author(s)

Making Intelligence Work: A Call to Reform and Re-organize the Afghan Intelligence Community

SWJ Editor’s Note: With the U.S. troop draw-down and the increased and accelerated emphasis on Afghan security force capabilities, this may be the most important paper SWJ has ever published. "To win this war we need good intelligence. Right now, we are throwing our swords in darkness"

About the Author(s)

The Marine Corps, Counterinsurgency, and America’s Answer to the French Foreign Legion

In the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (Senate Bill 2987), Congress has proposed reorganizing America’s armed forces. Under the new model, the Army will handle conventional warfare, while the Marine Corps will handle counterinsurgencies. This reorganization would benefit all branches by aligning each branch’s culture and mentality with their respective real-world needs. In this essay, we will look at the three branches (Navy, Marine Corps, and Army) and explore how each branch will benefit, individually.

About the Author(s)

The Boer War and Malayan Emergency: Examples of British Counterinsurgency pre- and post-“Minimum Force”

Both operations were based on three key tenets of control: population control, food control and spatial control. Population control involved exerting enough force over the target population so that they would (or could) not provide support to active insurgent forces. Food control specifically targeted cattle and crops to deprive the enemy of resources and destroy fighting will and capability. Spatial control involved reducing the enemy’s operational space, preventing them from escape and evasion, and finally hunting the remnants down by exerting constant pressure through armed sweeps

About the Author(s)

Irregular Warfare Isn’t Going Away, Thai Counterinsurgency Lessons Matter

Despite America shifting its national security focus from global terrorism and insurgency to conventional, near peer threats such as Russia and China, Irregular Warfare (IW) isn’t going away. Official US national security strategy will still aim to counter global movements such as ISIS and al Qaeda, Foreign Internal Defense will remain a key US Special Forces mission, and IW will continue to be a part of Russian, Iranian, Pakistani, and Chinese hybrid warfare strategies.

About the Author(s)