Small Wars Journal

unconventional warfare

Adding Strategic Nonviolence to the Unconventional Warfare Doctrine

In the era of great power competition, the United States can ill afford to ignore nonviolent resistance as an offensive strategy employable by ourselves, our allies, and also our enemies. The ability to achieve UW end states using strategic nonviolence will increase the options and capabilities available to policymakers and allow us to understand it when utilized against U.S. interests.

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Deterring “Competition Short of War”: Are Gray Zones the Ardennes of our Modern Maginot Line of Traditional Deterrence?

Unconventional Deterrence is not Unconventional Warfare any more than Nuclear Deterrence is Nuclear Warfare. The goal of UD is not to destabilize the societies of our enemies, rather the goal of UD is to deter our enemies from destabilizing our own society, and those of our Allies and Partners. While most of my contemporaries overly fixate on the strengths of our opponents and how they match up with inherent weaknesses of our own; I am far more interested in where their inherent weaknesses play to our strengths.

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Green Berets: Rebuilding the Guerrilla Leader Identity

Direct Action and Unconventional Warfare - one is in the movies, and the other is in the history books. Perhaps oversimplified, the differences between these two mission sets are at the heart of the Green Beret’s identity crisis. Both are clearly doctrinal Special Forces missions, but one dominates our cultural zeitgeist, while the other is relegated to a few weeks in the Q course and knowing glances at Semi-Annual Training Briefs.

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Russian Hybrid Warfare as Unconventional Warfare: Implementing a Counter-Unconventional Warfare Strategy

To date, there are dozens of scholarly articles speculating on the nature of Russian unconventional actions. This debate has only led to further inaction. Rather than debate over the appropriate response to a new generation of warfare, policymakers should recognize that the Russian government is conducting a form of warfare that has been firmly rooted in U.S. military doctrine for over 50 years.

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Social Media and Unconventional Warfare

Writing in the April issue of Special Warfare, LTC Brian Petit takes a look at the role of social media.

Social media — blogs, social-network sites, information aggregators, wikis, livecasting, video sharing — has decisively altered that most extreme of socio-politico acts: revolution. The 2011 Arab Spring revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East were engineered through citizen-centric computer and cellular-phone technologies that streamed web-enabled social exchanges. The Arab Spring has profound implications for the U.S. special-operations mission of unconventional warfare. This article posits that the study, practice and successful execution of future UW must deliberately account for and incorporate social media.

H/T Dave Maxwell