Maritime Civil Affairs: A Way Forward

This article is experted and modified from a longer, previously published at Small Wars Journal. Maritime civil affairs capabilities can play an important supporting role in military operations. While each military service is required to maintain a civil affairs capability by DoD Directive 2000.13, the US Navy in 2014 divested itself of its only civil

Words Matter — Changing irregular warfare terminology can help the U.S. fight against its global competitors

Kevin Bilms argues in his recent article at War on the Rocks on irregular warfare terminology that redefining the core elements of irregular warfare (unconventional warfare, stabilization, foreign internal defense, counter-terrorism, and counterinsurgency) will help its practitioners and proponents to explain what it is they do, and why it is important. By using clearer language,

An Irregular Reading List

Welcome to our irregular warfare reading list. As anyone who reads this blog understands, continual study is necessary both to confront the dangers posed by the modern security environment and to understand irregular conflicts of the past. A deliberate course of reading is an essential component of that continual study. However busy our personal or

Barnett Rubin’s Theses on Peacemaking in Afghanistan: A Manifesto

Royalist and republican, Khalqi and Parchami, Soviet Union and the West, communist and Islamist, mujahid and Talib, Hanafi and takfiri, al Qaeda and America, warlord and technocrat, Pashtun and non-Pashtun, Islamic Emirate and Islamic State, KGB, ISI, and CIA – all have for decades carried on an uninterrupted struggle in Afghanistan. Attempts to end the war have but established new antagonisms, new conditions of conflict, new forms of warfare. The conflict generates these antagonisms rather than the reverse, forcing us to face the real origins of violence: Afghanistan’s relations to the state system from which it emerged. These theses delineate the ever-changing conflict’s constant causes, which any effort at peacemaking in Afghanistan must address.