Small Wars Journal
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    -- Old MOUT Adage
  • “For Dave Dilegge and Bill Nagle, founders and editors of Small Wars Journal. They gave the counterguerrilla underground a home, at a time when misguided leaders banned even the word ‘insurgency,’ though busily losing to one. Scholars, warriors, and agitators, Dave and Bill laid the foundation for battlefield success: our generation owes them a debt of gratitude.”
    -- David Kilcullen ('Counterinsugency' Dedication)
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    -- Joseph Stalin
  • "In 1991 the Gulf War showed everyone how not to fight us, but the 2003 invasion of Iraq showed everybody how to fight us."
    -- David Kilcullen
  • “With no other security forces on hand, U.S. military was left to confront, almost alone, an Iraqi insurgency and a crime rate that grew worse throughout the year, waged in part by soldiers of the disbanded army and in part by criminals who were released from prison.”
    -- John Spratt

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SWJ is rebuilding our team following our tragic, unexpected loss of Dave, has an enduring vision that is still way too necessary, and will ease out of our operational pause. El Centro remains fully mission capable, and the rest of our operation will catch up.

"Small wars are operations undertaken under executive authority, wherein military force is combined with diplomatic pressure in the internal or external affairs of another state whose government is unstable, inadequate, or unsatisfactory for the preservation of life and of such interests as are determined by the foreign policy of our Nation."

-- Small Wars Manual, 1940

Small Wars Journal publishes original works from authentic voices across the spectrum of stakeholders in small wars. We also link you to relevant goings on elsewhere.  Login with your SWJ Username to comment, or Register, it's free. You can start your own threads in the Small Wars Council discussion board, but note that the board requires a separate Council Username. Follow SWJ on Twitter @smallwars.


by Alexander Elfes | Fri, 07/10/2020 - 3:43pm | 0 comments
Lieutenant Alexander Elfes, Platoon Commander, 1st Military Police Battalion, Australian Army provides an overview of the May 2020 Warrant Officer Class 1 Ken Bullman OAM lecture series (KBLS) on 'Mexico's criminal Insurgencies" by Dr John P. Sullivan.
by Thomas Dyrenforth | Fri, 07/10/2020 - 8:20am | 0 comments
By increasing IMET opportunities for sub-Saharan African partners, the U.S. can counter Chinese influence by building interoperability with African militaries, strengthening strategic relationships, developing English language capacities, and promoting American values—all directly supporting U.S. security interests in Africa. This increased engagement is especially timely during a period of global power competition as other countries will gladly fill this void.
by Angelo Thomas | Sun, 07/05/2020 - 8:51pm | 0 comments
A Year Inside MS-13 is the product of Juan Jose Martínez’s one year stay in 2011 with the Guanacos Criminales Salvatrucha (GCS)—an MS-13 clica (clique)—in the suburbs of San Salvador. Translated from Spanish, the book provides an inside perspective on MS-13 which unfolds through the telling of highly detailed vignettes.
by John P. Sullivan | Fri, 07/03/2020 - 12:06am | 0 comments
Review of P.W. Singer and August Cole's "Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution."
by Alma Keshavarz, by Robert Bunker | Wed, 07/01/2020 - 9:47pm | 0 comments
On 27 May 2020, Acting DEA Administrator Timothy J. Shea and United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman charged Adel El Zabayar—a former Venezuelan National Assembly member—in a Manhattan federal court with narcoterrorism, a cocaine importation conspiracy, a series of weapons related charges, and money laundering. The charges were based on a DEA agent’s testimony and his broader investigation into El Zabayara’s links to Venezuelan Cártel de los Soles, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), Hezbollah (Hizballah), and Hamas.
by Shawn Creamer | Wed, 07/01/2020 - 7:57pm | 0 comments
The United States needs a different North Korea approach that addresses American national security interests but limits the danger of strategic weapons use and does not default to hostilities, forceful subjugation, or occupation by the United States. This paper proposes an alternative path for America’s leadership to consider. 
by Robert C. Jones | Tue, 06/30/2020 - 4:54pm | 2 comments
This paper explores how ideas influence strategic thinking, using the example of how defining concepts such as "insurgency", "warfare", and "complexity" set a tone and framework for counterinsurgency strategy.
by Lemar Alexander Farhad | Thu, 06/25/2020 - 10:00am | 4 comments
Drawing from his career experiences of reforming military and security forces of partner and allied nations, LTC Lemar Farhad suggests a new way of thinking about policing in America; a novel paradigm for recruitment, training, evaluation, and monitoring of police officers.
by Sam Mullins | Thu, 06/25/2020 - 9:29am | 0 comments
Violent extremists and terrorists have undoubtedly seized upon the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to peddle their propaganda and try and exploit the situation to their advantage. But are we perhaps over-estimating the threat? This paper argues that while there is indeed much to be concerned about, there is also reason to believe that terrorists’ gains may be far more modest than many people seem to think, particularly in the short-term.
by Robert Bunker | Sat, 06/20/2020 - 9:19pm | 0 comments
This SWJ El Centro Review Essay looks at a recent book on Mara Salvatrucha, "Operation Devil Horns: The Take Down of MS-13 in San Francisco" in the context of MS-13 gang culture and organizational characteristics.

Blog Posts

by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 07/09/2020 - 3:58pm | 1 comment
Special News Drop
by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 07/09/2020 - 3:53pm | 0 comments
Special News Drop
by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 07/09/2020 - 9:50am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 07/09/2020 - 7:51am | 0 comments

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

by SWJ Editors | Wed, 07/08/2020 - 7:39pm | 0 comments
Small Wars Journal – El Centro Fellows Gary J. Hale and Nathan P. Jones just published a Policy Brief on Organized Crime and COVID-19 at the Center for the United States and Mexico at Rice University’s Baker institute for Public Policy.
by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 07/08/2020 - 10:14am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 07/08/2020 - 8:29am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 07/07/2020 - 11:34am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 07/07/2020 - 11:17am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 07/06/2020 - 10:33am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 07/06/2020 - 10:08am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 07/05/2020 - 12:10pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 07/05/2020 - 11:50am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day's news.
by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 07/03/2020 - 10:25am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 07/03/2020 - 8:39am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.