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Thread: Suggestions for Small Wars Essay Contest?

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    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Question Suggestions for Small Wars Essay Contest?

    It's quite possible that in the near future, Small Wars Journal will be in a position to sponsor a writing contest with a significant cash award.

    We are looking for some good topics that strike to effectiveness across the community of Small Wars practitioners, don't re-hash ground that's been adequately covered, and ideally have a collateral benefit of raising interest and participation in our community from some of the important but under-represented groups.

    At this point, we're thinking that we'll probably run 3 or 4 topics that complement each other somehow, probably concurrent, maybe time phased. We will publish special editions of SWJ Magazine with the entries, and maybe some additional publishing with select partners.

    Seeking your suggestions here for essay topics, or a family of topics. Not the topic of YOUR paper, but the question(s) in the Call for Papers that we put out. +/- any suggestions on contest ROE, logistics, etc.

    For now, I'll just sit back and listen. I don't want to over-influence the brainstorming in this thread. But believe me, I'll be watching intently.

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    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    --Leadership in small wars
    --Nontraditional partners in small wars
    --Small wars after terrorism
    --A strategy for hybrid enemies

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    --technology in small wars
    --ethics in small wars
    --the constraints of logistics in small wars
    --warrior and dove in small wars
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
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    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
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    Groundskeeping Dept. SWCAdmin's Avatar
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    Thanks. All good suggestions and adding to my mental short list.

    Even just the bumper sticker subjects are helpful, and I realize for some topics less is more. But as folks begin to frame their ideas, it might be useful for some topics to use a couple of sentences or a paragraph to really frame the questions.

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    The role of neoconservative Zionist-Arabist leftist environmentalist dhimmie globalization free masons in small wars?

    Sorry.. I think I'm channeling a couple of the dearly departed from the SWC graveyard...

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Papers detailing the concerns and issues with proposed solutions in the continuing and advancing fields technolog fascilitated communication

    Papers discussing issues and solutions surrounding the Internet as a command, control, communication, coordination and force multiplier of indigenous and contemporary small warriors.

    Papers discussing the impacts of social justice and moral perils when engaging in small wars.

    Papers that examine the issues of fielding a cadre in foreign enviornments engaged in small wars without the associate big military build up.


    Is that better? I'm just pulling things people have said were issues over the last year or so.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
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    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

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    Council Member zenpundit's Avatar
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    Default A few more

    The Economics of Small Wars
    History's greatest "Small Warrior"
    Nation Building, State Failure and Small Wars
    Preventing Small Wars
    Where Does Political Conflict Stop and Small Warfare Begin?
    Small CyberWars
    Do Small Wars really exist in the Age of Globalization?
    Small Wars and Sea Power
    Small Wars and Superempowered Individuals
    When Does a War Stop Being "Small"?

    and my personal favorite:

    "It's 10:00. Do you Know Where Your Small War Is ?"

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    The effects of long-duration Small Wars upon troop retention and the subsequent knock-on consequences of that upon manning, leadership, doctrine, and professional competence, in volunteer armies.

    ...And the role of Rednecks in Small Wars - YYEEEHHAAAHHH!

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Wink How About

    Which Wars aren't Small Wars?, or at least several small ones tied together?

    Walking the line between career and mission

    Defining accountability,rationality, and feasability in Foriegn intervention's

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    The role of neoconservative Zionist-Arabist leftist environmentalist dhimmie globalization free masons in small wars?
    or, how about the role of graudates from UC Berkeley in Small Wars?

    Seriously here are a few humble suggestions from a student of history

    --Historical uses of coersion and its effectiveness in Small Wars
    --Historical view of underpinning theories of small wars: e.g., enemy centric, population centric
    --A duPicq view of the moral domain of small wars

    and of course i am in agreement with Norfolk's "role of rednecks in small wars."

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    Council Member LawVol's Avatar
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    -What is the difference between counterinsurgency and counterterrorism? Can/should the military do both?

    -The role of human security in preventing/winning small wars

    -Is the law enforcement approach (i.e. knock and announce, constrained use of force) a better approach to the application of force in small wars? Why or why not?

    -The Marine Corps has a mantra of "every Marine a rifleman." Can/should all branches of the military follow a similar training regimen to facilitate the augmentation of the Army when necessary to fight a small war? In other words, should non-combat career fields train to take up the slack given the Army's issues with continual deplyments?

    -How can air and space power be more effective in small wars (you knew I'd add this)?
    -john bellflower

    Rule of Law in Afghanistan

    "You must, therefore know that there are two means of fighting: one according to the laws, the other with force; the first way is proper to man, the second to beasts; but because the first, in many cases, is not sufficient, it becomes necessary to have recourse to the second." -- Niccolo Machiavelli (from The Prince)

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I agree there too

    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post

    ...And the role of Rednecks in Small Wars - YYEEEHHAAAHHH!
    Although if I remember correctly once there's a large enough contingent of redneck's involved it's usually all about working out the terms of the enemies surrender

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default *Somebody*

    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
    ...
    ...And the role of Rednecks in Small Wars - YYEEEHHAAAHHH!
    has to clean up the messes that the librul elites foment for economic reasons.

    (if we weren't fighting in them, we'd be fighting each other...)

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    Council Member LawVol's Avatar
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    Last edited by SWCAdmin; 01-19-2008 at 01:43 PM. Reason: fix link
    -john bellflower

    Rule of Law in Afghanistan

    "You must, therefore know that there are two means of fighting: one according to the laws, the other with force; the first way is proper to man, the second to beasts; but because the first, in many cases, is not sufficient, it becomes necessary to have recourse to the second." -- Niccolo Machiavelli (from The Prince)

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    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default Developing Metrics for Small Wars

    How about:

    --Developing Metrics for Small Wars
    --Security Forecasting Models for Small Wars
    --Statistical Process Control for Infrastructure Development and Operation
    --Statistical Process Control for Good Governance
    --A Comparison of Select Small Wars Metrics to 20th and 21st Century Small Wars

    Steve
    Sapere Aude

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    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    What about an essay about the roles of SOF and conventional forces in COIN? Prior to OIF, the attitude in the big Army was that COIN was the realm of SOF and they wanted no part of it. That attitude has changed (though not gone away completely) but there is still a disconnect between SOF and the conventional forces. What should each one's role be? What responibilities should be shared and what ones kept sepparate?

    Also I was reading one of Kissinger's books and he talked about how the concept of holding the state to the same moral standards as the individual is a relatively new one. At what point does the state's obligation to protect it's people outweigh moral considerations? The state must of needs do things that the individual would find unpleasant or even abhorent. How do we find and define the line that the state must not cross, even to defend its citizens?

    SFC W
    Last edited by Uboat509; 01-19-2008 at 05:27 AM. Reason: trying to type on an Iphone

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Right or Wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    Also I was reading one of Kissinger's books and he talked about how the concept of holding the state to the same moral standards as the individual is a relatively new one. At what point does the state's obligation to protect it's people outweigh moral considerations? The state must of needs do things that the individual would find unpleasant or even abhorent. How do we find and define the line that the state must not cross, even to defend its citizens?

    SFC W
    Good Topic

    I would find my personal inclination in this to be that

    When and if it becomes more about the security of the state then about the security of the people the line has probably been crossed.

    Well intended powers for well intended leaders without taking into account future leadership possibilities can generally lead to this.

    It would be a good study

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    why not ask for paper that Usefully inform practitioners as to the conduct and understanding of modern conflict.

    I am becoming more and more convinced, (by reading these forums) that trying to keep COIN in some box that is distinct from wider aspects of conflict is utterly counter-productive and even delusional. War is war. Conflict is conflict. Trying to create discrete groups of conflict does not help - witness the mess that gets made of it.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    Default The

    I would like to read the thoughts of others on the responsibilities of States that embark on small wars - or as seems increasingly common - give the nod to others. How to keep a small war from becoming a long war, several related small wars or just a major conflict.
    Looking at Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Somalia my concern is differences between transient political regimes are leading to disproportionate humanitarian crisis for the largely innocent civilian population. Would Ethiopia have invaded Somalia if not given tacit permission by the US, and why would the US back such an adventure if not in the hope of recovering some embassy bombing suspects; was the predictable disaster justifiable given the potential gains? Were the UIC really that big a threat?

    So in short ethical questions for nation states and I second,

    Selil --ethics in small wars?

    Uboat509 --At what point does the state's obligation to protect it's people outweigh moral considerations? [and I would add the state's obligation to protect other civilians from direct and indirect consequences of its actions]

    JJ --Rednecks, should they be trusted with guns - discuss?

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    Intelligence support to small units in urban operations.

    Balancing killing and building when conducting SSTRO in a major urban center.

    IDPs, refugees, ethnic/sectarian tension and terrorist infrastructure in an urban environment.

    Interagency, coalition and host nation cooperation, collaboration and interoperability at the small unit level.

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