Small Wars Journal

irregular warfare

Afghanistan at an Impasse SWJED Fri, 01/24/2020 - 8:51am
The war in Afghanistan is at an impasse. The current and next U.S. administrations will have to grapple with the aftereffects of an 18-year campaign in a country that has been at war for over 40 years. The war in the field is a stalemate. Neither side seems able to win. At home and abroad, among friends and even some enemies, war weariness and a desire for peace is very much in evidence, even as the fighting continues. Neither side has been able to find a path to a negotiated settlement.
After Berlin, Will Foreign Actors Back Out of Libya’s Civil War? SWJED Wed, 01/22/2020 - 11:44am
The conference was another international attempt to end Libya’s conflict, but it remains to be seen if any progress was made.

Donald Trump Eliminated a Bully. Simple.

President Trump may epitomize the kid who unabashedly challenges the menace of the schoolyard bully. Most kids? They tiptoe around bullies, nervously looking away. Most hope the bully will not take notice and simply move on without inflicting harm. Yet most kids understand these dynamics as irksome risks undermining the very sense of order, calm, and security.

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Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America: Consequences for U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security

This essay explores why Latin America is of paramount strategic importance for Iran, and what factors or events gave Iran access to the region so it could pursue its classic rampant penetration of other nations’ governments and cultural institutions.

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Challenges Within Mozambique

Mozambique presents a complex scenario of great opportunities and serious challenges. Decades of civil war between the ruling FRELIMO party and the opposition RENAMO, has driven the country into economic turmoil causing over a million deaths with even more displaced people between 1977 and 1992. The conflict finally ended with both parties signing a ceasefire in Rome that ended the worst of the bloodshed and the fabrication of a new political party, RENAMO. But after years of peace, in October 2013, RENAMO annulled the peace agreement due to a military raid on one of their camps. The following year, RENAMO challenged the results of the election accusing FRELIMO of altering the polls in favor of themselves which further exacerbated political tensions.

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Regulars vs. Irregulars: The US Army and the Indian Wars at the End of the 19th Century

Throughout most of the 19th century, the American Army fought a series of battles of various scopes against the Indian tribes, thereby accruing much experience prior to the Great Sioux War. However, the lessons learned were never consolidated into an appropriate doctrine; instead, the American Army prepared itself for battle with a regular army. This article will attempt to answer the question of why the American Army operated in this manner.

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The War in Catatumbo: Taking Stock of an Underreported War

Catatumbo seems to be a singular location where some of Latin America’s biggest problems converge, and the local population is suffering for it. This paper intends to take stock of the war’s history, its current status, and to make an argument that the War in Catatumbo deserves more attention from the international community than it is currently receiving.

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Revisiting an Alternative Approach to Fighting Small Wars: The Works of Charles Wolf Jr. and Nathan Leites, 1965 to 1970

All too often academics and practitioners concern themselves with the latest theory or framework addressing some aspect of security studies, in this case insurgency and counterinsurgency. An excessive focus on the “now” does a disservice to the knowledge and hard work of those thinkers who came before. Often times the “new” drowns out the voices of the recent past who may have pushed against the current tide and offered an alternative to what may have become common wisdom.

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US Strategic Intelligence Strategy for Pakistan: Counterinsurgency, Diplomacy, and the Future

Many locations where our military branches and intelligence agencies currently operate are nations are as complex and hostile as the terrorist organizations themselves. Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, and Libya are just a few that are infested with well-armed, well paid, and highly motivated terrorist groups. For all the threats and challenges that face Americas defense planners one of the greatest hurdles that must be overcome resides in Pakistan.

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