Small Wars Journal


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 Caroline Bechtel | Sun, 11/19/2017 - 12:19am | 2 comments

The Iraqi MoD’s presence on social media--and Facebook in particular--has been a crucial element of its military learning process since 2014.

by Douglas Hurst, by Bill Mandrick, by John McElligott | Sat, 11/18/2017 - 2:30pm | 10 comments

Responding to the crisis of ineffective governance will require governance advising during all phases of military operations.  We describe here the potential role of the SFAB in such a response.

by Christine Balling | Fri, 11/17/2017 - 6:21am | 1 comment

Recently, I spoke with four individuals about the ongoing and evolving crisis concerning Post-Independence Referendum Iraqi Kurdistan.

by Fredrick Vincenzo | Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:15pm | 19 comments

The growing lethality of N. Korea’s military increasingly undercuts America’s ability to use diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions or military force to counter its provocative behavior.

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz | Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:17pm | 1 comment

A battle for spiritual dominance and power is taking place in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

by Penny Watson, by Masoud Kazemzadeh | Mon, 11/13/2017 - 2:33am | 0 comments

The fundamentalist rulers of Iran are confident that their goal of establishing a coalition of Shia countries and regions under their control is nearing fruition.

by Tom Davis | Sun, 11/12/2017 - 5:36pm | 4 comments

Most people pay attention to the heavy hitters, but a group that needs more extensive study is the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Central Asian countries.

by B. Z. Khasru | Sat, 11/11/2017 - 2:53pm | 0 comments

President Trump has signaled his intention to further fuel the escalating arms race in Asia and profit from it.

by Justin Metz | Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:06pm | 1 comment

Congress is right to try and take back their war powers before they are eroded by yet another administration. War Powers Resolution section 8(c) represents one excellent opportunity.

by Christopher Flaherty | Thu, 11/09/2017 - 2:19pm | 2 comments

Recent analysis of the practice of decapitation by Islamist terrorists raises questions about the effectiveness of these horrific tactics in a modern world.

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan | Thu, 11/09/2017 - 1:35pm | 1 comment

SWJ/El Centro - Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 5: Brazilian Military Stability and Support Operations (SASO) in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas

by Douglas A. Livermore | Wed, 11/08/2017 - 1:40am | 1 comment

To date, the United States and its allies have failed to fully integrate their capabilities to counter Iran’s actions which threaten global stability.

by Kyle Borne | Wed, 11/08/2017 - 1:13am | 0 comments

Multi-domain battle has a nexus in the Operational Support Area of cyberspace. Often taken for granted, freedom of maneuver in the cyber domain is not guaranteed.

by Robert C. Hodges | Mon, 11/06/2017 - 9:40am | 0 comments

The expanding terrorist footprint in Bangladesh may result in the small nation becoming an Islamic militant sanctuary and a launching pad for future transnational terrorist attacks.

by Davis Narwold | Mon, 11/06/2017 - 7:56am | 5 comments

Private military companies can provide comparatively cheap and rapid solutions in warzones, while side-stepping messy political and international ties.

by Clement W. Rittenhouse, by Jason Feuring, by David S. Chadsey | Sun, 11/05/2017 - 2:49am | 0 comments

In future conflicts against near-peer enemies, hybrid 4th and 5th generation threats will challenge allied air superiority and limit the ability for CAS aircraft to loiter and provide on-call fires.

by Octavian Manea | Sat, 11/04/2017 - 9:21pm | 0 comments

A Small Wars Journal interview with General David Petraeus by Octavian Manea.

by Cristina de Esperanza Picardo | Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:30am | 0 comments

The case study of ETA offers a unique opportunity to assess the strategy and ideology of both the state and the terrorist organization in the context of dictatorship and democracy.

by Keith Nightingale | Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:25pm | 3 comments

The battle of the beret has been a long and never-ending campaign for a multitude of Army Chiefs of Staff.

by Allyson Christy | Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:59pm | 0 comments

Diversionary war theory generally denotes attention to troubled leadership that may juxtapose domestic quandaries with instigation or enjoining forces to external crises.

by Sajid Farid Shapoo | Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:00am | 1 comment

The success of Russian hybrid war is predicated on its espionage, technical intelligence collection, influence operations, and intelligence activities.

by Jonathan Zartman | Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:53am | 5 comments

Bloom has written an extraordinarily thorough and richly descriptive argument, with a variety of supporting themes.

by Keith Nightingale | Sun, 10/29/2017 - 8:03pm | 3 comments

The recent acclaimed Burns-Novick documentary on Vietnam is great cinematic art but poor history.  Unfortunately, it will be generally judged as THE history.

by Jeffrey Hasler | Sun, 10/29/2017 - 4:11pm | 9 comments

Words matter. Symbols matter. Does the Army see no meaningful difference between SF and SFAB?

by Alyssa Blair | Sat, 10/28/2017 - 4:07pm | 0 comments

With the role of sports encompassing a wide range of components of American culture, how does this role impact the development of foreign and security policies?

by Robert Zager | Sat, 10/28/2017 - 12:31am | 0 comments

While DMARC is a good step to enhance some aspects of email security, it does not solve the phishing problem and adversaries routinely overcome the protections afforded.

by Philip Zager | Fri, 10/27/2017 - 4:52pm | 1 comment

This book shows that the Maginot Line is more than a metaphor for poor planning. It remains a physical series of structures that can still be visited.

by Sara Blake | Fri, 10/27/2017 - 1:24am | 0 comments

This paper discusses the tactics the Shining Path employed to spread their influence from the southern Andean highlands throughout the majority of Peru.

by Christopher Keith Johnson | Thu, 10/26/2017 - 2:06am | 3 comments

It is necessary to explore the role development, broadly defined and applied, plays in fuelling a crisis such as his been witnessed through the emergence of Boko Haram.

by SWJ Editors | Thu, 10/26/2017 - 12:11am | 11 comments

An interview with Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster – The 26th National Security Advisor on recent developments in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Qatar.

by Keith Nightingale | Wed, 10/25/2017 - 4:55pm | 7 comments

34 years ago the U.S. invaded Grenada, rescued some medical students, and rounded-up a gang of thugs and criminals, along with their Cuban communist backers.

by Felix S. Johnfinn, by Raymond H. Chester, by John D. Johnson | Wed, 10/25/2017 - 3:46pm | 0 comments

This paper aims to examine the issues of mass migration to Europe, its impact on European security and provide practical policy recommendations.

by Oded Berkowitz | Tue, 10/24/2017 - 2:29am | 0 comments

The ambush exposed Egypt’s main security weakness - its inability to effectively police the country and its long borders.

by U.S. Army TRADOC G2 Mad Scientist Initiative | Tue, 10/24/2017 - 12:23am | 0 comments

Advances in sensing, precision attack, and decision-making will fundamentally alter the character of future conflict engagements.  This premise warrants closer examination.

by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Mon, 10/23/2017 - 2:10am | 0 comments

Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #35:  Weaponized Drone/UAV/UAS Seized in Valtierrilla, Guanajuato with Remote Detonation IED (‘Papa Bomba’) Payload

by Jonathan Dworkin | Mon, 10/23/2017 - 12:39am | 0 comments

As the Peshmerga retreats in northern Iraq, two American foreign policy experts answer questions about America’s relationship with the Kurds.

by James Torrence | Mon, 10/23/2017 - 12:09am | 0 comments

Studying military history affords military professionals the opportunity to identify lessons that apply to operational environments and develop a deeper understanding of their profession.

by Shane Hasbrouck | Sun, 10/22/2017 - 5:28am | 0 comments

The interconnectivity of global economic markets and the dichotomy between the East and West directly led to a new type of conflict, coined “economic warfare”.

by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Sat, 10/21/2017 - 8:17pm | 0 comments

The provision of such aid—usually a symbolic effort—should be considered a component of ongoing cartel ‘information operations’

by Alma Keshavarz | Sat, 10/21/2017 - 7:45pm | 0 comments

"A Military History of the Modern Middle East" represents a new offering by James Brian McNabb.

by Robert Zager, by John Zager | Sat, 10/21/2017 - 1:33am | 0 comments

In this article we combine Colonel John Boyd’s Observe/Orient/Decide/Act Loop with the NSA Methodology for Adversary Obstruction to create a new cyber‑defense model.

by Christopher Keith Johnson | Fri, 10/20/2017 - 3:13am | 0 comments

Nigeria remains a fragile state fighting what many believe is a misguided war on terror to hold itself together as a republic.

by John Bolton | Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:39am | 0 comments

In Afghanistan Americans seemed determined to validate F. Scott Fitzgerald's aphorism that American lives have no second act.

by J. Overton | Thu, 10/19/2017 - 7:52am | 0 comments

While the concept and terminology of the Gray Zone is new, the geo-political situation it described is not, and the US military does have experience operating within them.

by U.S. Army TRADOC G2 Mad Scientist Initiative | Thu, 10/19/2017 - 5:03am | 0 comments

1 December deadline - continue on for information on the latest Mad Scientist call for ideas.

by Spyridon Plakoudas | Wed, 10/18/2017 - 4:58am | 0 comments

Hanna Bohman and Joanna Palani. What do a former model from Canada and a politics student from Denmark have in common?

by Christopher Elliott | Wed, 10/18/2017 - 12:18am | 0 comments

Despite the attempts of many to simulate the future using game theory et al, one less-considered variable is missing from the equation. Primatology.

by Michael Clyne | Tue, 10/17/2017 - 12:15am | 0 comments

Opportunity might reside in the administration’s focus on security, where non-traditional strategy could still address foreign extremism.

by Casey W. Wilander | Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:20am | 0 comments

Cocaine and illicit-timber trade are linked by their profitability, industrial proximity, and smuggling convenience.

by Robert E. Smith | Sun, 10/15/2017 - 2:50pm | 1 comment

Here is the latest from the US Army TRADOC G2 Mad Scientist Project - "Serious sport is war minus the shooting".