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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal





Political Warfare

Political Warfare is an old term that is seeing a new life. While the concept of political warfare has not changed since shortly after World War II; the use of the term has been gaining in popularity over the past few years.

Political Warfare

Definitions of Political Warfare

Political Warfare Definition. By Wikipedia

References on Political Warfare

Kennan, George. 269. Policy Planning Staff Memoradum, Washington, May 4, 1948. Kennan's State Department policy planning staff defined the concept of political warfare in response to Soviet Union aggression and provides recommendations on establishing organizations that would conduct political warfare. Kennan advocates for a Directorate for Political Warfare inside the State Department.

USASOC, SOF Support to Political Warfare White Paper, United States Army Special Operations Command, March 10, 2015.

CRS, What is "Political  Warfare". The Congressional Research Service has published a two page document providing information and a description of the background, terminology, and tools of political warfare. PDF, January 9, 2023.

Papers on Political Warfare

Geershaneck, Kerry K., Political Warfare: Strategies for Combating China's Plan to "Win without Fighting", Marine Corps University Press, 2020, PDF, 217 pages.
https://www.usmcu.edu/Portals/218/Political Warfare_web.pdf

Cleveland, Charles et al. A 12-page paper about the use of political warfare by the United States. An America Way of Political Warfare, RAND Corporation, July 2018. Authors include Charles T. Cleveland, Ryan Crocker, Daniel Egel, Andrew M. Liepman, and David Maxwell.

Johnston, Kyle, "Why the United States Needs a National Political Warfare Center and Regional Embassies", Georgetown Security Studies Review, Volume 4, Number 2, June 2016, page 84-97.

Boot, Max. Political Warfare: Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 33,  Council on Foreign Relations, June 2013. Max Boot states that the U.S. government is in a long-term struggle for influence in the Middle East but lacks the tools to contest this struggle for 'hearts and minds'.

Chau, Donovon C., Political Warfare in Sub-Saharan Africa: U.S. Capabilities and Chinese Operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, March 2007. Strategic Studies Institute.

Corke, Sarah-Jane, "George Kennan and the Inauguration of Political Warfare", The Journal of Conflict Studies, Vol 26, No 1 (2006), The Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society.

Videos about Political Warfare

April 2014. Propaganda, Disinformation, and Dirty Tricks: The Resurgence of Russian Political Warfare, The Heritage Foundation. (Video 1 hr 51 mins long panel discussion).

News Reports on Political Warfare

June 2019. The Growing Need to Focus on Modern Political Warfare, RAND Corporation.

August 4, 2014. On Not-So-New Warfare: Political Warfare vs Hybrid Threats,  By Frank Hoffman, ISN. Hoffman finds the term 'political warfare' imprecise and questions George Kennan's understanding of military matters. He believes that the U.S. military establishment is too  narrowly focused on the increasingly 'traditional' mode of warfare and should pay more attention to the new (old) types of warfare we are certain to face - whether called 'political warfare', 'hybrid warfare', or 'unconventional warfare'.

August 16, 2013. "Re-Inventing Political Warfare". By Michael P. Noonan, U.S. News & World Report. The U.S. needs to re-think how it competes on the world stage.

June 28, 2013. Political Warfare: Changing America's Approach to the Middle East, By Max Boot and Michael Doran. Brookings Institute.

June 26, 2005. "Strategy: Political warfare neglected", U-T San Diego. Brian Michael Jenkins says that the U.S. is not employing all of its tools against the threat of terrorism.

September 25, 2001. "A Plan for Political Warfare", by Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Wall Street Journal. Brzenzinski says that the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks must include a military and political response to include use of Special Forces to conduct covert operations against terrorist organizations.



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