JSOU Publications

The newest research published by JSOU Press!

These new JSOU Press publications are available electronically in the 2013 and 2014 publications sections of the JSOU
Public website: https://jsou.socom.mil They are also available in the JSOU Library Management System:

Strategic Culture

by Russell D. Howard
Issue Date: December 2013
In this monograph, Brigadier General (retired) Russ Howard presents an alternative to traditional International Relations
Theory by asserting that a strategic culture analysis of states and non-state actors or groups is a better predictor
of behavior. Specifically, General Howard posits that studying and understanding the strategic cultures of threatening
states and non-state actors might be a more useful mechanism for analyzing potential adversaries' proclivity to using
force to further their strategic security objectives. The author delves into the strategic cultures of the United States,
China, Iran, North Korea, and al-Qaeda before analyzing commonalities among them. This foundation allows General
Howard to develop and provide practical policy guidelines. This strategic culture analysis can be beneficial to all echelons,
from the SOF operator in a village who must understand and work within the strategic culture of the operational
environment, to the policymakers who must decide national strategy.


2014 JSOU and NDIA SOLIC Division Essay Contest–First Place Essay

by Colonel Cory M. Peterson
Issue Date: February 2014
We are pleased to present this winning essay from the 2014 contest. JSOU partners with the Special Operations and
Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) to sponsor an annual
essay contest. Each year's first-place winner is recognized at the NDIA SO/LIC Symposium held in February and
awarded a $1,000 cash prize. The competition, which is open to resident and nonresident students attending Professional
Military Education (PME) institutions, has produced outstanding works on special operations issues. This year's
winning essay provides insight into what a recent PME graduate sees as a priority national security issue affecting
special operations. The JSOU intent is that the essays from this annual competition will benefit our readers professionally
and encourage future PME students to write on special operations issues.


Countering the al-Shabaab Insurgency in Somalia: Lessons for U.S. Special Operations Forces

by Graham Turbiville, Josh Meservey, and James Forest
Issue Date: February 2014
This work provides a meaningful context to al-Shabaab and the Somali milieu. The authors argue that al-Shabaab's
prospects have probably never been so low as they are now. 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.

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