Small Wars Journal

SWJ Book Review

SWJ Book Review – Killing Civilians in Civil War: The Rationale of Indiscriminate Violence

Mon, 12/07/2020 - 4:47pm
Killing civilians in war is a lightning rod for controversy.  Ethical, moral, and practical concerns frame the discussion—and more importantly the reality on the ground.  International law is clear, under International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the deliberate killing of civilians and other persons hors de combat is prohibited—that is it is a war crime.  Despite these norms, deliberate and indiscriminate killing of civilians persists. This SWJ Book Review looks at Jürgen Brandsch's assessment of the topic in "Killing Civilians in Civil War: The Rationale of Indiscriminate Violence."

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SWJ Book Review: The Lands in Between: Russia vs. The West and the New Politics of Hybrid War

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 5:55pm
There are a variety of definitions for hybrid warfare. Some are using the concept more haphazardly while others are applying a number of classifications. In 2005, former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis identified hybrid wars as a blending of modes of warfare.  This SWJ Book Review assesses Orenstein's analysis and Mattis's construct of hybrid war.

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SWJ Book Review: The Chickens of Empire Come Home to Roost - "Badges without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing"

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 11:10am
Stuart Schrader, "Badges without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing". Berkeley: University of California Press, 2019 [ ISBN: 9780520295629, paper, 416 pages].

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SWJ Book Review – “Bait: The Battle of Kham Duc Special Forces Camp”

Sat, 02/08/2020 - 10:29am
This gripping, eyewitness narrative and unique, deeply researched analysis of one of the least known large battles at the height of the Vietnam War radically contradicts all the other misinformed and misinterpreted accounts of it. This book is well written containing extensive end notes to backstop assertions.

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SWJ Book Review - The Day After: Why America Wins the War but Loses the Peace

Thu, 01/30/2020 - 12:50am
Lt. Col. Brendan Gallagher has dedicated much of his life to the study and practice of war. Through decades of soldiering on the battlefields that defined our modern era of war, Gallagher has experienced the various outcomes of war firsthand: victory, defeat and the excruciating in-between. Coupled with his extensive study on the topic, it is this experience that Gallagher offers as the foundation for his new book, "The Day After: Why America Wins the War but Loses the Peace".

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SWJ Book Review - All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 3:55am
One of the most impressive things about this book is its readability. Reading government reports is dry stuff. Yet here, Klare has carefully gleaned the Pentagon’s view of Climate Change from abstruse and difficult to come by reports to give us a highly readable 20,000-foot view of the literature. I read it leisurely in just over two days in my free time.

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SWJ Book Review: “Invisible Armies” by Max Boot

Sat, 12/14/2019 - 5:00pm
In the book "Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present", Max Boot provides an insightful look into conflicts where revolutionary movements and guerrilla forces out-maneuver and out-strategize conventional armies that are exceptionally larger.

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