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Joint Special Operations University Press Publications



Decision-Making Considerations in Support to Resistance by Will Irwin with Foreword by Lieutenant General Kenneth E. Tovo

The intent of this monograph is to reveal to Special Operations Forces (SOF) leaders and planners the variety of considerations facing decision makers, the approaches used in strategic- and operational-level decision making, and how they can better inform and influence that process with regard to special warfare. This monograph is a companion volume to two earlier works: Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness, and How Civil Resistance Works (And Why It Matters To SOF). This third volume describes some of the factors that decision makers have faced when considering support to resistance (STR) as a foreign policy option. This monograph should shed some light on how national security officials in the past have arrived at certain conclusions or why, in some cases, presidents have directed actions that were especially risky or controversial.

Occasional Paper

Structural Violence and Relative Deprivation: Precursors to Collective Political Violence in Sierra Leone by Earl Conteh-Morgan

In this new occasional paper, Dr. Conteh-Morgan examines how the combination of structural violence and relative deprivation are associated with, and were predictors of, civil strife in Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2002. He focuses his analysis on one key question: In what ways did structural violence deepen insecurities and intensify relative deprivation in Sierra Leone and contribute to civil war? The author provides an in-depth explanation of the concept of structural violence and how it underscores the realities of human misery associated with inequality and disability. He then describes how the negative effects of structural violence of state institutions in many developing countries can lead to feelings of relative deprivation in individuals and groups in society. Dr. Conteh-Morgan then argues that Sierra Leone was plagued by structural violence and it was this condition that then contributed to a sense of relative deprivation among the population which in turn sparked the civil war that lasted from 1991 to 2002. This study provides the SOF practitioner with an in-depth analysis of how internal and external structural problems intensified political grievances, increased deprivations and widespread misery, and eventually led to the implosion of Sierra Leone into full scale civil war.

Resistance Views Seminar Essays

Resistance Views: Tartu Resistance Seminar Essays on Unconventional Warfare and Small State Resistance, Edited by Kevin D. Stringer and Glennis F. Napier

This volume is based upon the discourse, dialogue, and outcomes of the 2nd Senior Unconventional Warfare (UW) and Resistance Seminar, hosted by the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU); Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL); U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (USSOCEUR); Estonian Special Operations Forces; and the Centre for Applied Studies, Estonian National Defence College. From 4–6 November 2014, a multinational and interagency group of academics and practitioners gathered at the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia to discuss and debate the study and practice of UW and resistance. This book’s aim is to spark intensive discussion on both UW and counter-UW approaches, doctrine, and capabilities.

Chapters include:

USSOCEUR Commander Foreword

Introduction Seminar Opening Remarks

Chapter 1. Asymmetry in Russian New Generation Warfare

Chapter 2. Societal Resilience: A Basis for Whole-of-Society Approach to National Security

Chapter 3. Small State UW Doctrine: Feasibility and Application for National Defense

Chapter 4. NATO Special Operations Contribution to a Comprehensive Approach

Chapter 5. Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Unconventional Warfare

Chapter 6. Nonviolent Civil Resistance Movements: Theory and Practice

Chapter 7. Winning the Peace by Living the Way We Fight

Chapter 8. Conclusion

Occasional Paper

Countering the Islamist Insurgency by Jonathan Carroll

In this paper the author, a retired special forces colonel, discusses political violence, radicalization, terrorism, and insurgency--some of the greatest security challenges the United States and its allies face today. Despite the fact that the United States Government (USG) has developed an exceptional counterterrorism (CT) capability to find and neutralize terrorists, the threat continues to exist. In fact, the problems only seem to be getting worse, with more and more attacks happening in the United States and Western Europe, and groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and al-Qaeda recruiting thousands across the globe. The author discusses several reasons the United States isn’t more successful in its CT efforts. First, most policymakers fail to truly appreciate the nature of the problem. Second, in many cases the contemporary USG CT approach is flawed. Finally, the USG must continue to rethink Special Operations Forces employment to maximize their effectiveness against irregular threats.


Countering Violent Extremism in Mali by Mark Moyar

Dr. Moyar analyzes U.S. and international efforts to counter Mali's panoply of extremist organizations. Violent opposition to Mali's government has deep roots, which include historic tensions between the Tuaregs and other ethnic groups, as well as the emergence of Salafist extremist groups in Algeria. Extremist attacks on Mali's democratic government in late 2011 and early 2012 culminated in a military coup that allowed rebels to take control of northern Mali. Because Mali had received extensive military and nonmilitary assistance from the United States and other foreign countries in the preceding years, these disasters led to the questioning of aid practices, including those of United States Special Operations Forces (USSOF). This study adds to a growing body of knowledge on special operations and counterterrorism in Africa. It also contributes to the general understanding of the troubling events in Mali, where the government continues to confront violent extremism and other forms of rebellion. Perhaps most significantly for USSOF, the monograph offers insights into the building of partner capacity.


Counterinsurgency in Somalia: Lessons Learned from the African Union Mission in Somalia, 2007-2013 by Bronwyn E. Bruton and Paul D. Williams

Ms. Bronwyn Bruton and Dr. Paul Williams bring their expertise ingovernance, conflict mitigation, and Africa, to this analysis of Somalia's attempts to establish security and build state institutions while facing the Harakat al-Shabaab insurgency. By every measure of state effectiveness-income generation and distribution, execution of the rule of law, and ability to provide basic human security-Somalia has little or no capability. The authors address the roots of Somalia's long-running conflict and examine the often conflicting motivations of the large range of actors: local, national, regional, and international. This context is essential for understanding the evolution and sustainment of Harakat al-Shabaab. With its links to al-Qaeda, Harakat al-Shabaab remains a security challenge for the entire Horn of Africa. While AMISOM's goal was to protect Somalia's weak transitional national government and stabilize the security environment, its mission went well beyond traditional peacekeeping to include warfighting, counterinsurgency operations, and humanitarian assistance. The AMISOM approach may come to characterize future operations in this region.


Countering the al-Shabaab Insurgency in Somalia: Lessons for U.S. Special Operations Forces by Graham Turbiville, Josh Meservey, and James Forest

In this report, the authors argue that al-Shabaab's current prospects have probably never been so low.This work provides a meaningful context to al-Shabaab and the Somali milieu. Al Shabaab has been pushed from all of its major strongholds by a robust international effort, and its violent Salafism has alienated many Somalis. But it still has teeth. It continues to harass coalition forces, as well as ordinary Somalis, with improvised explosive devices, suicide bombings, and assassinations. Its tactics reflect a strategic decision made by its leadership to fight a guerrilla war, a familiar role for a group that thrived by waging an anti-Ethiopian insurgency in the mid-2000s. This monograph is a useful resource for anyone who wishes to know more about the conflict in the Horn of Africa. 


Irregular Warfare: The Maoist Challenge to India's Internal Security by Prakash Singh

Mr. Prakash Singh’s monograph on the Maoist Movement in India benefits from his unique perspective as a distinguished police officer in some of the country’s most turbulent regions. He provides a detailed history of insurgency in India, including the history of uprisings starting from the Telengana insurrection of the mid-to-late 1940s to the Communist move¬ment, sponsored by Mao Zedong’s China. Mr. Singh traces the transition of the peasant-led Naxalite movement, with its roots in a single village in West Bengal, to the Communist Party of India (Maoist) Movement, which has spread to some 20 of India’s 28 states. India’s prime minister has declared more than once that the Maoist challenge is the biggest threat to the internal security of the country. How India accommodates its tribal minorities and reaches an accommodation with insurgents is a critical element for long-term regional stability. 


Afghanistan, Counterinsurgency, and the Indirect Approach by Thomas H. Henriksen

In exploring Counterinsurgency and the Indirect Approach, Dr. Thomas Henriksen assesses several cases where the United States has employed an Indirect Approach toward achieving strategic objectives, and he suggests where this concept has landed short of expectations. In the cases of Vietnam, Somalia, the Philippines, and other countries, he demonstrates that it is often difficult to fit the Indirect Approach doctrine into such a wide variety of strategic and operational environments.


Pakistan's Security Paradox: Countering and Fomenting Insurgencies by Haider A. H. Mullick

Mr. Mullick's discussion of the strategic setting in Southwest Asia is particularly timely as the U.S. is diverting strategic resources from the Iraqi theater of war to the effort in Afghanistan. Concurrently, the new administration of President Obama is refocusing the national security strategy away from notions of a global war on terrorism to a security policy of a "broader engagement" with the countries of the world and particularly the Muslim world. As one part of this strategic vision, a particular effort will be made to dismantle or destroy Al Qaeda and its associates. 


What Really Happened in Northern Ireland's Counterinsurgency : Revision and Revelation by Thomas H. Henriksen

Dr. Henriksen’s selection of Northern Ireland provides a rich case study of a hotly contested space that represents an ethnic and religious conflict set in Western Europe. He provides an excellent, short, historical background to frame his analysis. Understanding the historical antecedents of an insurgency is a critical element in any case study because insurgencies are local, not global events. International issues may influence what occurs in an insurgency, but locals rise up in rebellion for their personal grievances or desires. 


India's Northeast: The Frontier in Ferment by  Prakash Singh

Prakash Singh’s monograph on the threat that insurgencies in northeast India present to the national government provides an excellent insight into a significant security challenge to the Indian state. The troubles in the eight northeastern states highlighted in Mr. Singh’s work are frequently overlooked in the West when people look at India’s security concerns, which often focus on other more widely known security challenges, both internal and external. 



Hunting Leadership Targets in Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Operations by Graham H. Turbiville, Jr.

This monograph reviews selected foreign experience in targeting insurgent and terrorist leadership. The intent is to provide a limited illustration of many efforts in various countries to locate and neutralize key combatant leaders or support cadres whose capture or death was judged contributive to eliminating a guerrilla or terrorist threat. As a dimension accompanying other counterinsurgency (COIN) measures or more developed COIN and counterterrorist strategies, the emphasis placed on leadership targeting has ranged from central to peripheral. 


The War on Terrorism: Countering Global Insurgency in the 21st Century by James A. Bates

This paper adds to the growing debate concerning the challenges of the United States strategic engagement strategy and recommends options for the emerging 21st Century. This author envisions a national interagency structure to integrate every instrument of national power. This structure will focus, collaborate and coordinate at four strategic levels: global, multi-regional, regional and national, and will implement three regional engagement strategy options. These are Conflict/Unilateral Operations, Support to Insurgencies and Security Assistance (SA) utilizing the principles of Foreign Internal Defense (FID) that will effectively facilitate the execution of the global war on terrorism (GWOT).



Logistic Support and Insurgency: Guerrilla Sustainment and Applied Lessons of Soviet Insurgent Warfare: Why It Should Still Be Studied by Graham H. Turbiville, Jr.

This is a pertinent and timely study of a critical issue facing the United States military today: how do insurgents logistically sustain and expand their operations? Graham H. Turbiville, Jr. appropriately mentions Martin Van Creveld's excellent treatise, Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton but argues persuasively that a similar study on the role of logistics in unconventional or "small" wars is sorely needed. Dr Turbiville's essay discusses logistics and sustainment of guerillas operating in the Soviet Union behind German lines during World War II. The paper is a significant step in addressing the research shortfall on insurgency logistics. 




 Operationalizing COIN by Joseph D. Celeski

In this paper, Colonel Joseph D. Celeski, U.S. Army, Retired, provides his thoughts on how we might think about, plan and conduct operations in the new threat environment of "Terro-Insurgency." In this environment insurgents are joined by various terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals to create what he calls the "Gray Stew" mix that confronts us today in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Based on his understanding of the new environment, Colonel Celeski posits a theory of counterinsurgency (COIN) and suggests techniques for developing the COIN plan and executing it employing special operations forces. He reinforces his concepts concerning COIN with a review of the war in Afghanistan. This paper is important because it reflects the experiences and thoughts of a recent special operations commander who dealt with the exigencies of COIN combat every day on the battlefield. Through a former 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) commander and two-time commander of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A), the reader, too, can gain a sense of urgency for improving our COIN strategy and doctrine and enhancing our abilities for "Operationalizing COIN."