Has anyone read the United States Marine Corps "Small Wars Manual" and if so, can anyone answer the below question.
Differentiate between what is valid and invalid today in the Small Wars Manual. Why?
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has devoted much thought to small wars, having developed their first Small Wars Manual in 1940. Their most recent manual defines small wars as simply an extension of warfare by additional means, noting that the object remains compelling the adversary to do one's will. The additional means describe a range of military options beyond just physical violence with which to further political objectives. Again, it is the active political dimension that differentiates small wars.
Notwithstanding, the USMC is clear that there should be no confusion as to the violence that can be associated with small wars; in this sense they remain wars in the full sense of the word: Paradoxically, small wars can be quite big when measured in terms of size of formations employed, numbers of personnel involved, numbers of casualties sustained, or amounts of resources expended. They can be characterized by such things as guerrilla, irregular, partisan, unconventional, or terrorist warfare and tactics, and could even include conventional warfare phases.
The current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have prompted renewed interest in
the theory of small wars. These conflicts started out as conventional wars, but ultimately
transformed into small wars. Conceptually, there is no reason to conclude that these
conflicts will follow the formerly dominant paradigm. Yet elements of this paradigm are
being applied in these conflicts with no clear indication that such previous small war
doctrines and ideas have retained their validity in the current context. Certainly the
character of conventional war has changed significantly over the same period. Militaries
often fight based on their understanding of success in earlier wars, but there is risk in
interpreting the operational problems in conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan using an
understanding of small wars that is close to 60 years old. It would therefore be useful to
The expert examines small wars manual for the United States. Differentiation between what is valid and invalid today in the Small Wars Manual is determined.