Small Wars Journal

SWJ Books

Criminal Drone Evolution: Cartel Weaponization of Aerial IEDs

Drones have become part of the contemporary landscape of conflict and crime. Like all technological developments, they start small and limited and then spread as their advantage becomes clear to their expanding user base. This text explores the proliferation of aerial drones—or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)—among the Mexican Cartels and gangs. This collection documents the evolution of drone usageby criminal cartels, gangs, and criminal armed groups (CAGs) in Mexico and beyond.

Illicit Tactical Progress: Mexican Cartel Tactical Notes 2013-2020

This book is an eye-opener that may be an appalling representation of current events in Mexico, but it is based on factual reports of the strength, manner, and frequency of the cartel violence that occurs every day in Mexico. ... As long as the cartels continue to keep their wars inside Mexico and as long as Mexico does not ask for US help, the status quo will continue, and we will see this level and scope of violence incrementally increase in that nation. – Gary J. Hale, DEA (Ret.)

Covid-19, Gangs, and Conflict: A Small Wars Journal-El Centro Reader

The Coronavirus pandemic is fueling conflict and fostering extremism while concurrently empowering gangs, cartels, and mafias in their quest for power and profit. In COVID-19, Gangs, and Conflict, Editors John P. Sullivan and Robert J. Bunker bring together a curated collection of both new and previously published material to explore the trends and potentials of the global pandemic emergency.

Mexican Drug Violence: Hybrid Warfare, Predatory Capitalism and the Logic of Cruelty

With an estimated 250,000 people killed in 15 years, the Mexican drug war is the most violent conflict in the Western world. It shows no sign of abating. In this book, Dr Teun A. Voeten analyzes the dynamics of the violence. He argues it is a new type of war called hybrid warfare: multidimensional, elusive and unpredictable, fought at different levels, with different intensities with multiple goals. The war ISIS has declared against the West is another example of hybrid warfare.

Strategic Notes on Third Generation Gangs

Strategic Notes on Third Generation Gangs builds upon the third generation street gang (3Gen Gang) theory first articulated in a series of papers by John P. Sullivan in 1997. From that foundation, Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Robert J. Bunker, editors of this volume, and others have expanded that core to articulate the threat that sophisticated gangs with transnational reach and political dimensions pose to community, national, and global security.

Strongpoint Cyber Deterrence: Lessons from Cold War Deterrence Theory & Ballistic Missile Defense Applied to Cyberspace

This important U.S. strategic studies work seeks to develop a cyber deterrence strategy by drawing upon the hard-learned lessons of the past-specifically from Cold War deterrence theory and Cold War missile defense. Ultimately, a strongpoint defense is proposed along with a decentralized and further hardened critical infrastructure approach that continually exploits emergent innovation opportunities through investment in research. – Dave Dilegge, Small Wars Journal Editor-in-Chief

Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities

Blood and Concrete: 21st Century Conflict in Urban Centers and Megacities provides a foundation for understanding urban operations and sustaining urban warfare research. This Small Wars Journal (SWJ) Anthology documents over a decade of writings on urban conflict. In addition to essays originally published at SWJ it adds new content including an introduction by the editors, a preface on “Blood and Concrete” by David Kilcullen, a foreword "Urban Warfare Studies" by John Spencer, a postscript “Cities in the Crossfire: The Rise of Urban Violence” by Margarita Konaev, and an afterword

China's Securing, Shaping, and Exploitation of Strategic Spaces: Gray Zone Response and Counter-Shi Strategies

The timing of Dr. Robert J. Bunker's new SWJ pocket book is apropos given the increasing intransigence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in both its domestic 'police state' security policies and foreign 'expansionistic' economic and military activities. This authoritarian regime-bereft of its former Marxist and Maoist ideologies except in name only-under the iron fisted leadership of 'president for life' Xi Jinping is increasingly in the news for the many draconian and predatory behaviors and actions in which it is now engaging.

Plutocratic Insurgency Reader

Plutocratic insurgency represents an emerging form of insurgency not seen since the late 19th century Gilded Age. It is being conducted by high net worth globalized elites allowing them to remove themselves from public spaces and obligations—including taxation—and to maximize their ability to generate profits transnationally. It utilizes ‘lawyers & lobbyists’ and corruption, rather than armed struggle—though mercenaries may be employed—to create shadow governance in pursuit of plutocratic policy objectives.

Rising Inequality in the United States: Armed Forces Implications and Governmental Policy Response

Rising levels of inequality, both internationally and domestically, represent a societal as well as, increasingly, a national security concern. A strong and robust middle class has long been considered an integral part of American society, required for both the functioning of its industrialized economy and armor and mechanized-infantry based armies as well as the stability of its liberal-democratic governmental system. This reality now seems imperiled with the U.S. middle class appearing to be shrinking before our eyes.

The Rise of the Narcostate (Mafia States) — A Small Wars Journal-El Centro Anthology

This book is our sixth Small Wars Journal—El Centro anthology, covering writings published between 2016 and 2017. The theme of this anthology pertains to the rise of the narcostate (mafia states) as a result of the collusion between criminal organizations and political elites—essentially authoritarian regime members, corrupted plutocrats, and other powerful societal elements.

Macro-criminalidad: Complejidad y resiliencia de las redes criminales

A Small Wars Journal and Vortex Foundation Book (Español): "Salcedo-Albarán y Garay-Salamanca han creado una obra importante y única: una poderosa y convincente explicación de la tipología de redes macro-criminales, que explica cómo las amenazas del crimen organizado son subestimadas y mal interpretadas po

Drug Trafficking, Corruption and States: How Illicit Networks Shaped Institutions in Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico

Drug Trafficking, Corruption and States (A Small Wars Journal-El Centro and Vortex Foundation Book) is cutting edge research. Garay-Salamanca and Salcedo-Albarán, along with their contributing authors help document the transition from economic to political imperatives within transnational drug cartels. Social Network Analysis is their tool for illuminating the varying dynamics of cartel-state inter-penetration and reconfiguration. 

Global Radical Islamist Insurgency: Al Qaeda and Islamic State Networks Focus Vol. I: 2007-2011—A Small Wars Journal Anthology

This anthology—the first of an initial two volume set—specifically covers Small Wars Journal writings on the Al Qaeda network spanning the years 2007-2011. It is followed by a second volume covering the years 2012-2014 that highlights both Al Qaeda and Islamic State activities. Depending on the receptivity of the readers to these volumes, future anthologies may be published.

Mexico's Criminal Insurgency: A Small Wars Journal-El Centro Anthology

In sum, this anthology represents some of the best and brightest scholars of today who are writing on the evolving security environment in Mexico and the implications this may hold for the United States. They have greatly enhanced our understanding of crime wars and criminal insurgencies—21st century war and conflict waged by non-state entities—and the impact this new form of warfare is having on states. – Dave Dilegge, SWJ Editor-in-Chief