Rediscovering the Small Wars Manual: A Guide to 21st Century Warfare
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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Since the end of the Cold War, the face of modern warfare has changed. The United States no longer expects to meet a massive Soviet-style mechanized army on a conventional battlefield. The enemy is now obscure. He can appear in the form of a conventional or semi-conventional soldier, dissolve into the populace, and then revert to asymmetrical guerrilla warfare. The most dangerous enemy is now a vague non-state entity. In addition, the United States is the sole superpower in the world, and it has the responsibility of sponsoring worldwide humanitarian assistance. In response to these new threats and new military missions, the phrase Operations Other than War OOTW has been adopted, and considerable academic effort has been dedicated to defining the meaning of this term. The search to define OOTW will lead one to discover that an approach to combating these new threats and missions exists in a pre-World War II Marine Corps document called The Small Wars Manual. This rediscovered manual provides relevant and battletested guidance for combating the 21st centurys unconventional enemy. The Marine Corps should use The Small Wars Manual as a guide for its future doctrine development concerning Military Operations Other that War.
- Unconventional Warfare