Tuesday, April 30, 2024

The Niños Héroes of the Battle of Chapultepec: A Jus in Bello Analysis


This paper examines the deaths of six military cadets, the Niños Héroes (boy heroes), who died during the Mexican-American War at the Battle of Chapultepec. The justness of these deaths primarily depends on the Doctrine of Discrimination, so a detailed analysis of that doctrine is performed. The deaths are then evaluated according to this doctrine. Finally, the relation between the justness (or unjustness) of those deaths is related to the justness of the Mexican-American War as a whole.

By Adolphe Jean-Baptiste Bayot/ Carl Nebel - Published in the 1851 book
"The War Between the United States and Mexico, Illustrated".

Historical Background

The Battle of Chapultepec occurred during the Mexican-American War on 12-13 September 1847. It is named after Chapultepec Castle, a fortification standing outside Mexico City. The castle was originally constructed during the time Mexico was a territory of Spain, and it served as a summer residence for the viceroy of the colonial administration. The castle’s use changed over the years, and at the time of the battle, it was the site of a military academy.

The task of defending Mexico City from the Americans fell on General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. He had 25,000 men at his command but positioned most of them to the south of the city, where he expected the Americans to attack. General Winfield Scott decided that the best approach to capture the city was to capture the castle, which lies to the west.

The battle started at dawn on the 12th with an artillery barrage that caught Santa Anna completely unaware. He was unable to move his forces to the castle and was only able to watch from afar as General Nicolás Bravo attempted to defend it. On the second day Scott switched to an infantry attack. Meanwhile, Bravo’s men dug trenches but were unable to oppose the Americans. General Bravo ordered his men to retreat then surrendered on the morning of the 13th.

During the battle, cadets from the military academy at Chapultepec Castle participated in the fighting. When the order came to retreat, five of the cadets and one of the cadets’ lieutenants continued fighting. Five of them were shot, and one of the cadets jumped from the castle’s roof, wrapped in the Mexican flag to keep it from being captured by the Americans. These cadets became known as the Niños Héroes, the boy heroes. They ranged in age from 13 to 19.

In terms of Just War Theory, the deaths of these cadets would seem to run afoul of the Principle of Discrimination. Does it?

The Principle of Discrimination and a Practical Extension

Assuming that on both sides of a war there are innocents and non-innocents, the Principle of Discrimination stipulates that non-innocents are the only legitimate targets of attack. Just War Theorists then moves discussion from innocents vs non-innocents to legitimate vs illegitimate targets. Still, an additional requirement is required: the judgement whether an individual is a legitimate target must be easy to make. This is important from an eminently practical perspective: in situations like urban combat, it is highly likely that a warfighter will encounter both legitimate and illegitimate targets in very close proximity. A warfighter must be able to make this distinction rapidly, and JWT requires that it be made accurately.

The International Committee of Red Cross, among other agencies, has devised conditions to rapidly determine whether someone is a legitimate target. The conditions are:

  • He wears a uniform
  • He belongs to a hierarchical organization
  • He’s carrying a weapon
  • He is not hors de combat

A combatant is hors de combat if either1:

  • He is in the power of an adverse party (e.g., a prisoner who is not attempting escape)
  • He clearly expresses an intention to surrender
  • He is wounded to the point of being combat-ineffective.

The primary beneficiary of uniforms are civilians: “Combatants, when engaged in military operations, have to distinguish themselves from the civilian population to protect it from the effects of hostilities and to restrict warfare to military objectives.2” The uniform also allows the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate targets to be more abstract, meaning that it allows us to think about potential targets in terms of their ideology instead of their race, for example. It isn't clear whether the ICRC intended this or if it is just an unintended consequence.

The wearing of a uniform and the carrying of a weapon are obvious markers, and being hors de combat is frequently obvious, but what about belonging to a hierarchical organization? Determine whether a potential enemy is indeed a member of such an organization requires looking for unit insignia, rank markers, as well as behavior - saluting, for example.

Reasons for the importance of belonging to a hierarchical organization are hard to come by, but perhaps it can be justified as follows: belonging to such an organization means that the combatant is not a completely autonomous moral agent - he can be acting on orders - and this precludes rational discussion with said combatant. Of course, being in a war zone would already preclude rational discourse!

The ICRC classification doesn't match our expectations for who counts as a legitimate target, however. Most people would identify munition plant workers and weapon system researchers as legitimate and not innocent.

Legitimate Targets and Types of Warfare

Frowe compares the process of catching the right targets with the casting of a net3. If cast too wide, then all combatants plus some non-combatants would be legitimate targets. If cast too narrow, then some (but not all) combatants are considered legitimate, and no non-combatants are legitimate targets.

The example of the munitions plant worker and weapons researcher imply that we should cast the net wide. Catching all combatants has problems all its own, however: restricting discussion only to military personnel, there are some personnel who are certainly legitimate targets (e.g., front-line members, the “teeth,” who are armed and standing 10 feet away), and some whose legitimacy can be brought into question (e.g., logistic support personnel, the “tail,” operating behind the lines).

This would imply not a binary distinction, but rather a continuum of legitimate “targetability” or “target-worthiness”.

Even allowing for a sliding scale there are still complications: in traditional warfare such as the two World Wars, front-line combatants are considered the most target-worthy4. In asymmetric wars such as the Revolutionary War, logistic support personnel are usually more target-worthy5. Thus, the conditions needed for being a legitimate target depends on the type of war currently being fought.

A "Realist War Theory" Critique and Approach

An assumption that needs to be checked is the "innocence" of non-combatants. It may be more accurate to call them "supporters" or "enablers," or at least some of them. Their innocence is problematic because of the way the general citizenry frequently gets along in a totalitarian country such as Imperial Japan or East Germany. When Germany was reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall, lists of collaborators, informants, and other people who worked with the East German Stasi were released, and those were not short lists!6

Combining this analysis of combatants and supporters with the above observation about a continuum of target-worthiness would lead to the following: every person of the enemy country is a legitimate target, and the target-worthiness is prioritized by their capacity to cause harm.

As an aside, the "journalists" who screeched for war, the politicians who clamored for war, and the defense contractors who profit before, during, and after the war make for far better targets than the actual combatants due to the amount of harm they cause. Of course, this can also be argued from a JWT standpoint depending on the grasp of Frowe's net.

Applying the Doctrine to the Niños Héroes

We are now able to evaluate Battle of Chapultepec. The battle itself was a militarily necessity. What about the cadets? According to the customs of many nations, including the US7 8 and Canada9, cadets are not part of the military10.

This custom is difficult to justify - cadets would meet the ICRC's conditions for being legitimate targets. A more essential fact is that, depending on the military academy and the number of years an individual was enrolled there, the cadet may have knowledge and skills that exceed a typical front-line combatant - the cadet is lacking experience not training.

Still, assuming we equate target-worthiness with being a member of the enemy military, this custom makes the cadets illegitimate targets.

Another problem is that these cadets were children, and this may be enough for some Just War Theorists to make their targeting unjust. Reflecting this back into the civilian world via Frowe's "domestic analogy," the cadets are akin to the young people that die every weekend in Chicago or Baltimore. Their targeting by gang members or police officers would also be unjust, though it makes the news only when the police are involved.

The moral status of children is of course an enormous issue, something too large to even begin to address here. If the cadets, the children, are being used as human shields, their status would be clear: they would not be legitimate targets, but their deaths can be rationalized by the principle of double effect. But they were active participants, not human shields, and the principle of double effect would not be applicable in this way.

A Realist War Theory would view both issues (that they were cadets and that they were children) simply as follows: doing adult activities makes one into an adult. The training those cadets received makes them into military members (though not exactly members of a country's "primary" military force), and the act of fighting at Chapultepec makes them imminent threats and legitimate targets.


Based on the Principle of Discrimination, the deaths of the cadets in the battle of Chapultepec were unjust: by convention they were non-combatants.

How does the unjustness of their deaths get rolled-up into the justness of the particular battle or into the justness of the whole Mexican-American War? JWT has been used to evaluate the treatment of prisoners, single battles, the use of types of weapons, and whole entire wars, so it should be applicable to individual fatalities as well.

One approach to solving this problem is to use the Principle of Proportionality - the idea that the harm caused to non-combatants by a military action does not exceed the actual or anticipated benefits. The cadets were, technically, non-combatants, and they were certainly harmed. The actual benefit was the capture of the castle. So, while the deaths were unjust, the battle itself was just, all other things being equal.

Patrick Tomlin claims11 it is possible that each and every act of a war can be proportionate but the war as a whole is disproportionate, and that it is also possible for each act to be disproportionate but the whole war is proportionate. If he is correct, then the overall justice of a war is not related to its battles, its constituent parts.


  1. ICRC Casebook, “Hors de combat.”
  2. Toni Pfanner, “Military uniforms and the law of war.”
  3. Helen Frowe, The Ethics of War and Peace.
  4. I wish to avoid the term “high value” because it has meaning in other military situations.
  5. This gives a colorful way of contrasting symmetric and asymmetric warfare: the fighting in traditional wars is teeth-vs-teeth, while in asymmetric wars it is teeth-vs-tails.
  6. Peter Wensierski, "East Germany thrived on snitching lovers, fickle friends and envious schoolkids."
  7. N/A, “Defense Primer: Military Service Academies.”
  8. N/A, “Army ROTC FAQ.”
  9. N/A, “The Cadet Program.”
  10. Research about the military status of Military cadets was inconclusive, either for today or in 1847.
  11. Patrick Tomlin, "Proportionality in War: Revising Revisionism."



N/A. “Defense Primer: Military Service Academies.” Congressional Research Service, 2023. Retrieved 27 April 2024 from https://sgp.fas.org/crs/natsec/IF11788.pdf

N/A. “The Cadet Program.” Canadian Cadet Organization, N/D. Retrieved 27 April 2024 from https://www.rangers2799.com/the-cadet-program.html

N/A. “Army ROTC FAQ.” University of Arkansas, N/D. Retrieved 27 April 2024 from https://armyrotc.uark.edu/

Frowe, H. The Ethics of War and Peace. Routledge, 2022.

ICRC Casebook. “Hors de combat.” International Committee of the Red Cross, N/D. Retrieved 27 April 2024 from https://casebook.icrc.org/a_to_z/glossary/hors-de-combat

Pfanner, T. “Military uniforms and the law of war.” International Review of the Red Cross 86, no. 853, (March 2004). Retrieved 27 April 2024 from https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/assets/files/other/irrc_853_pfanner.pdf

Tomlin, P. "Proportionality in War: Revising Revisionism." Ethics 131, no. 1, (October 2020). https://doi.org/10.1086/709983

Wensierski, P. "East Germany thrived on snitching lovers, fickle friends and envious schoolkids." Australian Financial Review, 23 December 2015. Last retrieved 28 April 2024 from https://www.afr.com/life-and-luxury/arts-and-culture/stasi-snitches-all-around-records-reveal-true-extent-of-telling-on-others-20151116-gkzu44

A Review of David Kilcullen’s The Dragons and the Snakes

Kilcullen’s “Dragons and Snakes,” hereafter abbreviated as “D&S,” is quite ambitious: it describes the evolution of warfare during and following the GWOT, arguing that state and non-state actors have undergone coevolution, with the end result that our adversaries’ warfighting techniques have changed in ways our military is currently unable to match.

D&S begins with a quick overview of the vast hinterland that was the time between the end of the Cold War and the earlier parts of the Global War on Terrorism. The important aspect of this overview is the relative sophistication of five of the dominant politicians of that era: Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Vladimir Putin.

When Putin came into office, he inherited the shambles that was Russia after the fall of the Soviets. To rebuild his country, he proposed to Clinton that Russia be allowed to join NATO. Other than the presidents and the prime minister, politicians at the time regarded that proposal somewhere on the spectrum between absurdity and incredulity. None of those politicians recognized what Putin was really doing: in popular vernacular, he was “trolling.”

Putin was taken seriously, with Tony Blair proposing to create a NATO-Russia Council to have Putin’s representatives meet with NATO leaders before making key decisions. Bush proposed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia. After all, Bush said that he “looked the man [Putin] in the eye. I found him very straightforward and trustworthy – I was able to get a sense of his soul.”

Eleven weeks later, Russia sent tanks into Georgia.

The Obama Administration then suggested a “reset” and created a commission to strengthen and expand security cooperation between us and Russia. Russian special forces were trained by US special forces, Russian officers received NATO training, and so on.

Yes, Putin was indeed trolling, and at a masterful level.

Kilcullen then moves into the period starting with the GWOT and leading up to today. Using a metaphor by former CIA Director James Woolsey, the author divides our enemies into “dragons” and “snakes.” The dragons are state actors (in the Westphalian sense) mainly China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The snakes are either collapsing states or non-state actors, principally Islamic terrorist organizations.

All throughout the GWOT, both the dragons and the snakes were keenly interested in our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they were doing two things: observing and evolving.

Observing other countrys' wars is nothing new: the French, British, and Prussians sent observers to watch the Civil War, with interest in tactics, strategies, and technologies. Currently, everyone is watching the Russia-Ukraine war, with keen attention paid to the use of commercial-quality drones and other tactics.

From these observations, two critical events serve to shape the evolution of military thought amongst both the dragons and the snakes: the US invasion of Iraq in 1992, and America’s difficulties in the asymmetric wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The 1992 invasion proved that the US was masterful at a particular style of war: conventional force-on-force battles with integrated land and air operations. China and Russia observed this and deduced that America cannot be dominated using this form of warfare. They also deduced something else: that Americans, in part due to the smashing success of the invasion, had constrained itself into believing that the type of war demonstrated during that invasion was the only type of warfare.

The second observation was the difficulty the US had in fighting insurgent forces in Afghanistan and Iraq as the GWOT switched from being a symmetric to an asymmetric conflict. This was also nothing new, as Russia saw in its own involvement in Afghanistan and during the Chechen Wars. What made the American experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq different was that it was America that was involved: the insurgents were able to hold their own against the same military that won so easily the pre-insurgent phase of the Iraq war. If Russia had suspicions that their losses in Afghanistan and the First Chechen War were due to military inadequacy, then America’s experience, with its preeminent military, dispelled those suspicions.

Faced with this, Russia and China had to evolve, to discover new types of warfare.

The route taken by Russia was to pursue “liminal warfare,” which adds cyber, economic, and psychological tools to the kinetic weapons endemic to conventional warfare. The idea is to operate using those new tools below a threshold (what Kilcullen calls the “response threshold”) that America and other Western nations would resort to conventional warfare. The bulk of the desired outcomes are achieved below this threshold (the luminal stages), and these desired goals are primarily to “shape” not only particular actions of the Unites States but also to provide cover or at least plausible deniability should the response threshold be crossed.

Kilcullen provides numerous examples of liminal warfare in action, the most important one being Russia’s capture of the Crimea in February 2014 – the world didn’t know what Russia was doing until it was too late.

Russia’s new approach to warfare is “vertical” in that the stages of war are cumulative, determined by the extent the US recognizes that clandestine activities occurring and our ability to determine who is performing these acts; Russia attempts to minimize the operational signatures of their operations, move the thresholds, and so on.

In contrast, Kilcullen portrays China’s approach as “horizontal.” China’s approach is to use “unrestricted warfare” as described by Qiao and Liang in their book with the same name. (Kilcullen notes that the title “Unrestricted Warfare” would be better translated as “Warfare Beyond Rules”). Unrestricted warfare uses several non-lethal tactics including international lawfare, economic aid warfare (think Belt and Road Initiative), drug war (fentanyl in particular) and so on. These tactics aren’t used in isolation, instead they use a “diversity of tactics” as Antifa would say. The number of available tactics is what gives unrestricted warfare its horizontal quality.

It is interesting to compare luminal and unrestricted warfare, but it is more illuminating to compare those forms of warfare with the way warfare is conceived in the West. The primary difference is that the West considers warfare to be strictly one involving military action, whereas liminal and unrestricted warfare involve both military and non-military forms of action.

We essentially have a mismatch in the concepts of warfare. There are three consequences to this mismatch:

  1. Many of our actions (in particular, economic policies related to international trade) we think of as peace time competition but are considered to be warfare, especially in unrestricted warfare.
  2. China and Russia can be engaging in warfare, but we don’t know it and we cannot respond militarily.
  3. Because we don’t know we’re being attacked, we cannot predict escalation.

What can be done about all this? How do we fight the ascension of these dragons? With regards to foreign policy, Kilcullen offers several options:

  1. Double down - continue interventionalist foreign policy, strengthen our military accordingly, and incorporate new technology along the lines of the Pentagon’s “Third Offset Strategy.”
  2. Go with a “managed decline” approach (presumably only regarding foreign policy).
  3. Take a Byzantine approach, meaning, delay until something better comes along.

Kilcullen’s recommendations on foreign policy are as follows:

“…return to offshore balancing, disengaging from permanent wars of occupation, ceasing any attempt to dominate rivals or spread democracy by force, and focusing instead on preserving and defending our long-term viability.”
This is very reasonable, except the part about “offshore rebalancing.” Continuing with his recommendations:
“Rather than dominating potential adversaries, our objectives can and should be much more modest: to prevent them from dominating us, to do so at an acceptable and sustainable long-term cost, and to avoid any action that harms the prosperity of and civilizational values that make our societies worth living in.”

Thus, by quitting our “forever wars,” we get a type of peace dividend: we get a chance to focus on societal resilience and attempt to reconcile our current domestic political differences.

D&S is extremely readable, even by someone lacking deep knowledge of foreign policy. The most valuable part for me was the discussion of liminal warfare. My only criticism is that it didn’t go into sufficient depth on liminal maneuvers. This is a minor complaint, and quite understandable given the text’s wide scope.


Chase, S. “Marketing Violence: A Closer Look at the “Diversity of Tactics” Slogan.” Minds of the Movement Blog, 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2024 from https://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/blog_post/marketing-violence-closer-look-diversity-tactics-slogan/

Kilcullen, D. “The Evolution of Unconventional Warfare.” Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies 2 (no. 1), 2019.

Kilcullen, D. The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Nadeau, R. "Justus Scheibert and International Observation of the Civil War". The Gettysburg Compiler, 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2024 from https://gettysburgcompiler.org/2014/12/12/justus-scheibert-and-international-observation-of-the-civil-war/

Qiao L. & Wang, X. Unrestricted Warfare. Albatross Publishers, 2020.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Comparing Effective Military and Civilian Intelligence Teams


The following notes are based on my experiences and observations while working to document and limit the damage caused by Antifa during the fiery but mostly peaceful riots of the 2020 “Summer of Love.” I participated in three “operations”:

  1. Tracking the evolution of CHAZ/CHOP in Seattle, Washington
  2. Tracking the riots in Philadelphia
  3. Tracking a major Antifa/BLM protest in one of the suburbs of Philadelphia
These operations contained elements of military intelligence, police investigation, private investigation, and corporate competitor analysis but do not fit easily into any one of those categories. However, there is much in common with military intelligence when it comes to building an effective team to monitor those riots.

The organization and processes described here are not limited to monitoring Antifa but are also applicable to the investigation of child predators and human traffickers.

The purpose here is to examine how these civilian intelligence teams operate, with the long-term goal of adapting the aspects that make military intelligence teams effective to these civilian analogs.

Goal of an Effective Intelligence Team

The goal of an effective intelligence team is to develop relevant, accurate, timely, and actionable information. This goal is realized by three “information paths” within the team:

  1. Incoming data (raw and unverified – could be called “pre-intelligence”)
  2. Analyses by individuals and teams to convert this data into intelligence (verify, deconflict, and determine significance)
  3. “Upward” movement as intelligence is organized and unified with other sources and becomes actionable.
These aren’t one-way paths, however – there must be a cycle that starts with evaluating a piece of information’s accuracy, classifying it according to relevance, and using that intel to drive follow-up investigations.

Qualities of Good Intelligence Team Members

Besides initiative, the most important quality that all team members must have is a sense of objectivity, which means that the team member:
  • Can distinguish reality from hearsay and from political bias
  • Can judge the quality of incoming data
  • Is self-aware enough to know what he/she does not know
  • Has a bearing of “effective professionalism”

A skill any analyst must possess is the ability to translate intelligence goals into relevant collection and analysis tasks. This doesn’t come naturally to many people and must be developed through experience and mentorship.

The team member must possess appropriate technical skills, such as using GIS, working with OSINT sources, having the ability to infiltrate, etc. Infiltration (either physical or on-line) is not something everyone is willing to do and requires the ability to be inconspicuous while still making important observations. We found that for best results – in general and not just for infiltration - the team member’s skills and interests must be matched to his role.

Finally, team members must understand and practice excellent OPSEC. This need was demonstrated when one of the teams tracking the riots in Philadelphia (not mine!) decided to live-stream their operations on YouTube. This allowed Antifa supporters to locate the exact hotel room from which they were operating in under 30 minutes.

Leader’s Role

The leader of an intelligence team must be able to identify intelligence gaps and set goals to fill those gaps, and clearly communicate those goals to the analysts. He must prevent team members from “going down the wrong rabbit holes” – performing investigations on topics or individuals not clearly related to the goals. He must act as a sounding board while providing analysts with a healthy dose of skepticism when appropriate.

The leader must be able to package-up the results of the team into recommendations and supporting documents for action by the relevant authorities. In the case of Antifa, child predators, or human traffickers, those authorities are law enforcement agencies.

Leadership Style

The sociologist Douglas McGregor described two broad styles of leadership, which he labeled Theory X (lack of trust in subordinates which leads to micromanagement) and Theory Y (confidence in subordinate’s ability to be self-motivated)1. McGregor recommends Theory Y, though it can devolve into “servant leadership.”

A different way of looking at Theory Y are the leadership styles known as "mission command" and the older German concept of "Auftragstaktik." Mission command has officially been a part of the US military command doctrine since the 1980s, though was practiced much earlier2, and states that a good commander sets the mission and constraints (e.g. time bounds), and lets subordinates choose the means to accomplish the mission. Auftragstaktik3 is broader and more fundamental than mission command because it is a type of military professionalism based on three virtues: “knowledge, independence, and the joy of taking responsibility.” Mission command can thus be seen as a corollary of Auftragstaktik.

Mission command and Auftragstaktik are both excellent and appropriate styles for leading effective intelligence teams, either civilian or military.

Establishing a Team

Once a group of individuals comes together to perform intelligence activities, and after basic groundwork (meeting times, communication methods, etc.) is laid, there are three tasks that must be performed: creating an area study, identifying and developing information sources, and making contacts with law enforcement.

An area study is packaged information about the team’s geographical area of interest. Besides physical aspects (physical terrain, weather, transportation systems, and critical infrastructure), the area study must include economic, political, and cultural factors (businesses, governance, law enforcement and security agencies, and political leanings). Finally, it must include a threat overview - in this case that would be information about the local Antifa members and activities. This will involve performing a RAFT (relationships, actors, functions, tensions) analysis4 on Antifa.

One assumption commonly made when doing an area study is that the adversary’s command structure lies within the area of interest. Groups such as Antifa are decentralized organizations, and human traffickers are sometimes trans-national, so a RAFT analysis not constrained by geographic area is an invaluable supplement to the traditional area study.

Certain aspects of the area study will stay constant (e.g. physical terrain) whereas others (e.g. Antifa membership) will change, sometimes rapidly, and it is important to update the area study as needed.

The new team must also identify and develop information sources. For direct human sources this includes recruiting and vetting informants, determining their accuracy and reliability, and “handling.” There are also tasks needed for indirect sources: finding mainstream media news sources and online video streams that provide on-the-spot coverage, locating and infiltrating relevant chat rooms and other messaging systems, etc. Even GIS requires setup: for example, finding and importing the correct map layers for some geographic information systems can be an involved process.

Social media is yet another source of information. Antifa members like to announce their proclivities, the larger the forum the better. Once an Antifa member’s account is located on a social media platform, it is easy to find his/her followers and monitor their posts. This is very valuable, and for remote intel operations it is one of the few available roads to inside information.

In anticipating the creation of actionable information, it is necessary to identify the consumers, those who will act on that information (after they perform their own analysis), and this usually means law enforcement agencies. Given the “hands off” approach many law enforcement agencies and district attorneys take with Antifa, it may be necessary to “shop around” to find the proper consumer. Prosecuting child predators is something most law enforcement agencies are willing to do; the record on human trafficking seems to be mixed.

Specialized Intelligence Teams

There are types of military intelligence teams, such as Female Engagement Teams, Culture Support Teams, Human Terrain Teams, and High Value Target Teams, that use specialized approaches when confronting adversaries.

Human Terrain Teams

Human Terrain Teams consist of sociologists and cultural anthropologists used to advise military personnel on social norms and taboos within a target population5. There really is no civilian analog to HTTs – private or police investigators cannot afford to maintain a staff of social scientists, and any attempt to provide cultural interpretations of events involving child predators or human traffickers is nothing but rationalizing evil.

The other types of teams do have certain parallels in civilian intelligence operations.

Female Engagement Teams

In conflict zones in which women are marginalized, like in Afghanistan, Female Engagement Teams (FETs) were used to gain the trust and confidence of Afghani women6. They were initially controversial because they involved putting female soldiers or Marines into combat situations. The effectiveness of FETs and the related Culture Support Teams were brought into question because the FET were not able to maintain prolonged contact with the female population of any particular village7. Further, FETs required a male contingency to provide security.

In civilian and law enforcement intelligence teams, women can play several specialized roles. In child predator stings, they can serve as “prey,” specifically in the time immediately prior to in-person contact by the predators. In operations to disrupt human trafficking or prostitution rings, women go undercover with the goals of observing and recording evidence of wrongdoings by the ring leaders, and (maybe) getting prostitutes to disaffect.

These civilian and law enforcement intelligence operations are more successful than FETs for several reasons: first, limited time of contact is not an issue with child predator or human trafficking operations – contact is maintained only as long as it is needed to catch the predator or disrupt the traffickers; there is no need to maintain contact in perpetuity. Second, there is no need to provide ongoing security by male team members - security is supplied only as-needed.

Another reason for the success of undercover female officers is their expected behavior while undercover: by their actions, undercover officers seek to raise standards by eliminating criminals, and there is no attempt to be “culturally sensitive” to the predators and traffickers. The same cannot be said for FET members – their presence is designed to minimize “cultural threat” while still hoping to win female hearts and minds. This was demonstrated by the requirements that FET members have male escorts and that they always keep their heads covered.

High-value Target Teams

High-value Target Teams (HTTs) are interagency operations that use network-based targeting, combine intelligence with operational capability, and employ counterterrorist and counterinsurgency methodologies in unison. The idea is to use intelligence to find leaders (high-value individuals) in the insurgency network, and then target them with sufficient force and accuracy so that they are eliminated while isolating peaceful civilians from the effects of the elimination8. This tactic was credited for success in Iraq in 2007-2008 – by eliminating the most powerful insurgents, the civilian authorities gained the time needed to establish themselves and to dominate the less powerful insurgents.

There is no direct analog of HTTs in civilian intelligence operations, simply because either the operational capability is separated from the intelligence capacity, or (as in situations described above where district attorneys are sympathetic with Antifa) the operational capability is completely absent. There are a few similarities between HTTs and civilian intelligence teams, however. The most obvious one is that both analyze their adversaries’ networks to identify leaders and to seek and exploit vulnerabilities. The other similarities mostly lie in the factors determining team success. In particular, civilian teams are small, have common purpose, are not divided by loyalties to outside agencies.

Comparison and Conclusions

Military and civilian intelligence teams share the goal of gathering valuable, timely, and actionable information about their adversaries. They both use methodologies such as RAFT analysis to organize that information and derive additional intel from it. They face the same problems – vetting sources, distinguishing false leads from actual evidence, identifying intel gaps, contending with rapidly changing intel priorities, maintaining OPSEC, and so on.

Both types of teams have similar organizations (both in terms of personnel and information flows), and their success depends on the effective leadership of competent and enthusiastic team members.

They face similar adversaries: during the GWOT, military intel teams were tasked with gathering information about Islamic extremists; civilian intel teams are needed to gather info on Antifa, child predators, and human traffickers. All these enemies have either no leaders or have a decentralized organization. They are also located and operate within the common population, and so they can “blend in.”

The similarities end there.

Military intelligence teams have the advantage when it comes to available information and resources. Civilian intel teams are limited to OSINT, IMINT, and limited forms of geospatial intelligence. Military intel teams are capable of all that plus SIGINT, MASINT, etc.

Military intelligence teams and civilian intel teams differ in that the former are part of a larger organization (the U.S. military) that legally can and oftentimes does act based on the recommendations from their intel teams. Civilian intel teams are not part of a larger organization, and many district attorneys support and cover for Antifa and similar groups.

Another difference is the quantity of information that is available to each – military intel teams must contend with information overload. Civil intel teams scramble for each bit of knowledge, so in that they are like private investigators. The only situation where the volume of information is remotely comparable is with the firehose of information available from social networks.

Perhaps the most important difference between military intelligence teams and the type of teams described here is that the former is a profession. It has a shared body of knowledge; various schools such as the Joint Military Intelligence Training Center (JMITC) and the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence (USAICoE) transmit that knowledge; and it has fictional heroes such as James Bond, Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, and even Sterling Archer, to inspire people to enter that vocation. In short, military intelligence has a culture.

Civilian teams have none of that – they come together in an impromptu manner, they must invent/discover the tradecraft needed to accomplish their goals, then they disband only to be reinvented when another group of agitators gains momentum – Hamas protesters, anyone? The closest thing to being an exception are individuals and teams that hunt for child predators and human traffickers. They mostly operate using sting operations, and while the results of these operations are popularized, the implementation details best remain trade secrets. Other than this limited exception, civilian intelligence teams have no means of transmitting their experience, or creating a body of knowledge, or building a culture. It is not a profession, it is an avocation.

Which is the superior institution? In combat situations, military intelligence teams have the wherewithal and experience to be extremely effective. In riot control and law enforcement situations, civilian intelligence teams are better in at least one aspect: it is more difficult to turn civilian intel teams inwards towards mass surveillance.

2020 Antifa/BLM Riots. Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images


  1. Mind Tools Content Team, “Theory X and Theory Y: Understanding Peoples’ Motivations.”
  2. Andrew Kiser, Mission Command: The Historical Roots of Mission Command in the US Army.
  3. Donald Vandergriff, “How the Germans defined Auftragstaktik”
  4. Dale Eikmeier, “Design for Napoleon’s Corporal”
  5. Ben Connable, “Human Terrain System is Dead, Long Live … What?”
  6. Megan Katt, “Blurred Lines: Cultural Support Teams in Afghanistan”
  7. Ibid.
  8. Christopher Lamb & Evan Munsing, “Secret Weapon: High-value Target Teams as an Organizational Innovation”


Connable, B. “Human Terrain System is Dead, Long Live … What?” Military Review, January-February 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2024 from https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/January-February-2018/Human-Terrain-System-is-Dead-Long-Live-What

Eikmeier, D. “Design for Napoleon’s Corporal.” Small Wars Journal, 27 September 2010. Last retrieved on 25 April 2024 from https://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/557-eikmeier.pdf

Kiser, A. J. Mission command: The historical roots of mission command in the US Army. Defense Technical Information Center, May 2015. Last retrieved on 24 April 2024 from https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD1001514.pdf

Lamb, C. & Munsing, E. “Secret Weapon: High-value Target Teams as an Organizational Innovation.” Institute for National Strategic Studies, Strategic Perspectives, No. 4, 2011. Retrieved on 24 April 2024 from https://ndupress.ndu.edu/Portals/68/Documents/stratperspective/inss/Strategic-Perspectives-4.pdf

Mind Tools Content Team. “Theory X and Theory Y: Understanding Peoples’ Motivations.” Mind Tools website, N/D. Retrieved on 25 April 2024 from https://www.mindtools.com/adi3nc1/theory-x-and-theory-y

Vandergriff, D. E. “How the Germans defined Auftragstaktik: What mission command is – and – is not” Small Wars Journal, 21 June 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2024 from https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/how-germans-defined-auftragstaktik-what-mission-command-and-not

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Another Jus in Bello Evaluation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Just finished responding to a jus in bello analysis of Hiroshima and Nagasaki written by an active-duty Marine. He is a Staff Sergeant who is also an assistant instructor at a Naval ROTC program at a midwestern state university. Said Marine wrote an essay stating that using nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally wrong. He was using the same Just War Theory and he sites the exact same facts as I did in my previous post, but he drew the exact opposite conclusion.

Unfortunately his post is private and I don't have permission to republish it here. Below is my hastily-written response. If it wasn't so rushed, I would expand on the "non-combatant vs supporter" theme by writing:

Just War Theorists go through considerable wrangling to determine who is a legitimate target and who isn't. In her text, Frowe talks about how "wide" to cast a net in order to catch the right targets:
     too wide = all combatants plus some non-combatants
     too narrow = some (but not all) combatants plus no non-combatants.
If we do cast too wide, which non-combatants are to be included as targets? The obvious targets, like civilians working in armament plants, makes sense. I would claim that the "journalists" who screeched for war, the politicians who clamored for war, and the defense contractors who profit before, during, and after the war make for far better targets than the actual combatants due to the amount of harm they cause.

An assumption that needs to be checked is the "innocence" of non-combatants. It may be more accurate to call them "supporters" or "enablers," or at least some of them. Their innocence is problematic because of the way the general citizenry frequently get along in a totalitarian country such as Imperial Japan. When Germany was reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall, lists of collaborators, informants, and other people who worked with the East German Stasi were released, and those were not short lists!

The following is my response to his essay.

Respectfully sir, you are wrong. Here's why...

In Chapter 5, Frowe1 lays all the cards on the table regarding jus in bello criteria. After giving a straw-man version of "realism," the main part of the chapter begins by saying that jus ad bellum and jus in bello must be kept logically separate. One of the reasons given is that the combatants may be conscripts, therefore the warfighters are tools and cannot be held morally responsible for their leaders. Those who accept that reasoning don't realize that at any point in history where conscription was used, there have always been draft resisters. For those who do volunteer, Frowe states2 that "by enlisting, they wave their right not to be killed in battle by the other side. They are therefore not wronged by being killed..." It isn't exactly clear how they give up their right to life, and many would claim that the right to life is one of the reasons why we do fight.

To get the Principle of Discrimination working, Frowe then attempts to distinguish between "combatants" and "non-combatants". A "Realist War Theorist" (the belief system I hold) would instead distinguish between "combatants" and "enablers" or "combatants" and "supporters," but let's continue with her dichotomy. For JWT, this creates a 4-way classification system - friendly combatants, our non-combatants, enemy combatants, and enemy non-combatants. There is much wrangling in Chapter 5 about the "value" assigned to the people in each class. There's nothing wrong with this.

On friendly combatants vs enemy combatants, the Just War Theorist Michael Walzer states3 "the moral status of individual soldiers on both sides is very much the same" and that "they face one another as moral equals." Really? By this, US Marines and soldiers are morally equivalent to the Japanese soldiers who participated in the "rape of Nanking." This was a six week long massacre that started when the Imperial Japanese Army invaded the Chinese city of Nanking4 in December 1937, during which 200,000 to 300,000 residents were killed, anywhere from 20,000 to 80,000 women and children raped, and 30,000 to 40,000 POWs executed.

An Imperial Japanese soldier, smiling, prepares to publicly behead a Chinese boy. Bettmann/Getty Images

Combining Walzer's position with the above quote from Frowe means our men are not wronged by being killed. As leaders, the men under our command are the most valuable things in the world. Those who have not been in that position would say "if they were so valuable, you would take them out of the combat zone." That only shows a lack of understanding of what warfighters and leading warfighters are all about: they follow you because they wish to follow themselves through you.

The Principle of Discrimination requires friendly non-combatants and enemy non-combatants to also be morally equal: they are both innocents not to be harmed. Really? When I read that, the following comparison jumped to mind: when 9/11 occurred, there were pictures of New Yorkers running away from the collapsing buildings, and there were pictures of people in the Middle East jumping with joy. People who hold non-combatants on both sides are equal must say that those are the same pictures.

Our combatants are more valuable than enemy combatants, and our non-combatants are more valuable than enemy non-combatants. This is why you fight for the men beside you and those behind you. This is also why you don't change sides. Believing this doesn't make you a “rampaging militiaman” as Frowe dismissively states5 (she's obviously never met a militiaman), it just means you have your priorities straight.

Mike K


  1. Helen Frowe, The Ethics of War and Peace.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations.
  4. Iris Chang, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II.
  5. Helen Frowe, The Ethics of War and Peace.


Chang, I. The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. Basic Books, 2012.

Frowe, H. The Ethics of War and Peace. Taylor & Francis, 2022.

Walzer, M. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. Basic Books, 2015.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a Jus in Bello Evaluation


On 6 and 9 August 1945, the United States used nuclear weapons against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, resulting in anywhere from 129,000 to 226,000 deaths[1]. In discussing the ethical status of these events at the conclusion of the War in the Pacific, it is common (perhaps universal?) amongst Just War Theorists to treat the two bombings as a pair, that they were morally equivalent, i.e. the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both just or both unjust. Two other possibilities are not mentioned: that the bombing of Hiroshima was unjust but the bombing of Nagasaki was just, or the reverse, that Hiroshima was just but Nagasaki was unjust. These two possibilities are not considered here, subtle and interesting that they may be, and these events will be considered morally equivalent as the jus in bello criteria are applied.

Principle of Discrimination

The Principle of Discrimination presupposes that a distinction exists between people who are threats and those that aren’t, or who are combatants and who are non-combatants[2]. The Principle requires that non-combatants are not to be directly targeted by attacks.

At the time, precision guided weapons were decades away. Also, irregular warfare (assuming terrorist mass-casualty tactics are not employed) is capable of targeted killings (very akin to assassinations) and targeted destruction of infrastructure. America could not wait for precision weapons to be developed, and the War in the Pacific was not an asymmetric war (except for Mao Tse-Tsung's guerrillas fighting the Japanese in China).

The effective discrimination between combatants and non-combatants thus depends on the technology available and the type of war being fought. Evaluation of the use of atomic weapons must be based on those factors.

The targets of the use of the atomic bombs were not chosen to maximize the number of non-combatant deaths. Instead, they were chosen by the Target Committee for their military significance[3]: Hiroshima contained a major military base and embarkation port. Naval ordnance was manufactured in Nagasaki, and that city was also the site of major shipbuilding and ship repair facilities. One proposed target, Kyoto, was rejected because of its cultural and religious significance[4].

Because of all this, the Principle of Discrimination was respected in the use of atomic weapons: the targets were chosen so that facilities relevant to the Japanese war machine would be made unavailable.

Principle of Proportionality

The Principle of Proportionality regarding a particular tactic requires that the value gained by the tactic is "worth" the damaged caused.

No doubt playing in the minds of Americans was the recent (1 April - 22 June 1945) Battle of Okinawa[5]. In this battle, over 150,000 – 260,000 military and civilian personnel were killed on both sides[6]. These numbers are larger than the number of deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Absent use of atomic weapons, the Allies would have to invade the Japanese homeland. That operation, called Operation Downfall, was already under consideration and the number of American deaths were projected to be between 500,000 and one million[7], and that the operation would extend the war at least into February 1947.

It was expected that Emperor Hirohito would surrender following the use of atomic weapons, thus ending the war. If he did not, or if atomic weapons were not used, then the Allied invasion would go forward.

The value gained from the use of atomic weapons was thus the end of the War in the Pacific and the avoidance of what would surely be a costly land invasion. It is reasonable to say that the values gained exceeded the loss of life and damage that the atomic weapons caused.


The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were evaluated according to the Principle of Discrimination and the Principle of Proportionality. It is found that while non-combatants were indeed killed, the targets were military in nature. Also, the number of deaths caused by the bombings were less than the number of projected fatalities that would result from a ground invasion of Japan. Thus, the use of atomic weapons to end WWII passes the two jus in bello criteria.

Mushroom Clouds over Hiroshima (left) and Nagasaki (right). Photos by George R. Caron and Charles Levy


  1. Clayton Chung, Japan 1945
  2. Helen Frowe, The Ethics of War and Peace
  3. Paul Ham, The Target Committee
  4. Ibid.
  5. Joseph Alexander, The Final Campaign
  6. George Feifer, The Battle of Okinawa
  7. D. M. Giangreco, Hell to Pay


Alexander, J. The Final Campaign: Marines in the Victory on Okinawa. U.S. Marine Corps History Division, 1996.

Chung, C. Japan 1945: From Operation Downfall to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Osprey Publishing, 2008.

Feifer, G. The Battle of Okinawa: The Blood and the Bomb. Lyons Press, 2001.

Frowe. H. The Ethics of War and Peace: An Introduction. Routledge; 3rd edition, August 25, 2022.

Giangreco, D. Hell to Pay: Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan, 1945–1947. Naval Institute Press, 2017.

Ham, P. The Target Committee. Hampress Ltd., 2018.

Comparison of Three Defense Strategies


The "National Strategy for Homeland Security", "National Defense Strategy", and "Interim National Security Strategic Guidance" documents represent three different visions of what constitute American interests, and three different ways of advancing those interests.

Comparison of the Three Documents

In "National Strategy for Homeland Security" we have a statement that includes the broadest scope in what counts as national interest - not only territorial integrity but also infrastructure and key resources. The threats to these include both man-made dangers (terrorist attacks and industrial accidents), natural disasters (especially Hurricane Katrina), and mixtures of the two (infectious diseases). 

To protect all this, the goal was to prevent and disrupt terror attacks by denying access to and import of WMDs, securing the borders, cargo screening, "Intelligence-Led Policing," and engaging "key communities."

The solution that was implemented was a "bureaucratic" approach. This involved the creation of new intelligence agencies, departments, and offices such as:

  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Homeland Security Council
  • National Counterterrorism Center
  • U.S. Northern Command

Along with these new agencies there was also sweeping legislation including:

  • Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004
  • Protect America Act of 2007
  • Reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

State, local, and tribal emergency response agencies were pressured to integrate with each other and their federal counterparts. This integration included a common command structure (the FEMA ICS) as well as shared communication systems. Finally, there was a call for citizen involvement (the "see something, say something" mantra).

Mattis' "National Defense Strategy" presents the most concrete and realistic approaches to national defense. The document advocates inoperability of defense agencies with the intel community, the modernization of key capabilities, cultivating workforce talent, and to prioritize the preparedness for war. 

Of the three documents, this one is the only to recognize asymmetrical warfare and irregular tactics by requiring the agencies charged with defending the United States to "be strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable." It recognized that our enemies would engage in economic sabotage and other "Fourth Generation Warfare" tactics, and that we must "counter coercion and subversion".

The "Interim National Security Strategic Guidance" is the only one of the three to list non-military threats to the United States, specifically:

  • The pandemic
  • Economic downturn
  • Racial justice
  • "Climate emergency"

The document attributes our current geopolitical situation to changes in the "distribution of power across the world." It states that we will be unable to close the southern border overnight. 

This is the only one of the three documents to specifically mention the policies of the previous administration.


Of the three documents, the one that directly addresses how American engages in warfare is Mattis' "National Defense Strategy." It explicitly addresses the need to prepare for war and that our enemies will be using irregular tactics including economic sabotage. The Bush-era "National Strategy for Homeland Security" advocates the centralization of executive branch political power into the Department of Homeland Security. The "Interim National Security Strategic Guidance" is the only one to mention non-military threats to this country, and to treat these as equivalent in importance to military threats.

MISTER James Mattis


Homeland Security Council. (October 2007). "National Strategy for Homeland Security". Last retrieved 18 April 2021 from https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/nat_strat_homelandsecurity_2007.pdf

Department of Defense. (2018). "Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America." Last retrieved 18 April 2021 from https://dod.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2018-National-Defense-Strategy-Summary.pdf

The White House. (March 2021). “Interim National Security Strategic Guidance.” Last retrieved 18 April 2021 from https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/NSC-1v2.pdf

The Farewell Dossier


At least since the time of the Cambridge Five, the Rosenbergs, and Klaus Fuchs, the Soviet Union relied on espionage to provide it with technologies they were unwilling to develop themselves1. This use of espionage as a replacement for research and development continued into the late 1970s and early 1980s with the collection of western technologies by Line X, the operational division of the KGB's Directorate T.2

Espionage and Counter-Espionage

Line X collected designs, schematics, working products, and other information using a combination of on-site data collection (e.g. sending a spy into a Boeing plant with adhesive on his shoes to collect metal samples, visiting semiconductor firms to observe their manufacturing processes, etc.), attempting to purchase airplanes from Lockheed, using a shell company to purchase embargoed computers, planting KGB officers into the Apollo-Soyuz space mission, collecting trade secrets and proprietary information, etc.3

The spy operation was revealed in 1981, when Colonel Vladimir I. Vetrov (code-name "Farewell"), an engineer working with Line X, approached a French intelligence agency with secret documents detailing Line X. The intelligence agency alerted François Mitterrand, who then alerted Ronald Reagan. Reagan had the intelligence sent to the CIA.

The documents Farewell provided included a "shopping list" of the technologies the Soviets wished to acquire, including semiconductors, computers4, and other equipment. US intelligence agencies long thought that we were subsidizing Soviet military and industrial R&D5 6, and this shopping list supplied direct proof. Line X agents had already completed collecting about two-thirds of the technologies on that list, but for the technologies they didn't yet collect, the security agencies were able to feed faulty or outdated designs to the Line X spies.

One of the technologies supplied to the Soviets was faulty control software that resulted in a massive rupture in a Siberian pipeline. Other information included faulty microprocessor designs, rejected Space Shuttle designs, etc. The net result was to deny to the Soviets a great leap forward as an economic competitor and military threat. Investment in the faulty technologies was also put a significant strain on their economy and helped contribute to the Soviet Union's collapse.

Decisions that allowed this counter-espionage operation to be successful included:

  1. Farewell's decision to alert the French, the French's decision to alert Reagan, and Reagan's decision to have intelligence agencies investigate
  2. The use of the spy network to feed faulty technologies to the Soviets
  3. Cooperation between the FBI, CIA, and the Defense Department, with the FBI working with domestic companies to create and supply defective equipment and designs
  4. Systematic arrests of spies and complicit embassy employees that
    participated in Line X.

U.S. Space Shuttle vs Soviet Buran Shuttle


  1. John Fialka, “While America Sleeps”
  2. Gus Weiss, “The Farewell Dossier”
  3. Ibid.
  4. Bryan Leese, “The Cold War Computer Arms Race”
  5. CIA, "Soviet Acquisition of Western Technology".
  6. DTIC, "Soviet Acquisition of Militarily Significant Western Technology: An Update".


CIA. (April 1982). "Soviet Acquisition of Western Technology". Last retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP05C01629R000701490007-0.pdf

DTIC. (September 1985). "Soviet Acquisition of Militarily Significant Western Technology: An Update". Last retrieved from https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA160564.pdf

Fialka, J. "While America Sleeps". The Wilson Quarterly 21, No. 1 (Winter, 1997). https://www.jstor.org/stable/40259596

Leese, B. (2023). "The Cold War Computer Arms Race". Journal of Advanced Military Studies 14 no. 2. Marine Corps University. https://doi.org/10.21140/mcuj.20231402006

Weiss, G. (1996). "The Farewell Dossier: Duping the Soviets". Studies in Intelligence. Last retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/resources/csi/static/The-Farewell-Dossier.pdf

Jasr Al Doreaa: RAFT Analysis


In 1904 the British Army officer Ernest Swinton wrote a book titled The Defence of Duffer's Drift. Set during the Second Boer War, it is narrated by a freshly-minted lieutenant named N. Backsight Forethought (BF), who is tasked with holding Duffer's Drift, the only ford on the Silliassvogel River open to wheeled traffic. BF initially thought this to be a trivial problem, stating "now if they had given me a job, say like fighting the Battle of Waterloo, or Gettysburg, or Bull Run, I knew all about that, as I had crammed it up...". He fails at this trivial problem, at least at first.

The story is told in a series of six nightmares. In the first five, BF makes mistakes that result in the defeat and capture of his platoon by the Boers. At the end of each nightmare, he analyzes his mistakes and compiles a list of lessons learned. These lessons range from the obvious (defend your camp before allowing your men to rest, and do not allow stray people into your camp - they will give intel to the enemy) to the more sophisticated (a hill may not necessarily be the best place to hold). BF is able to carry these lessons into the next evolution. Finally, in the last nightmare, he is able to hold Duffer's Drift against Boer ambushes and attacks until relief arrives.

The Defence of Duffer's Drift has been used by both British and US forces, among others, as a way of teaching small unit tactics. This style of instruction has been used repeatedly ever since, and used to teach other topics such as mechanized warfare and cyber warfare.

To teach junior officers basic counter-insurgency principles for use in Iraq, US Army Captains Michael L. Burgoyne and Albert J. Marckwardt wrote a 2009 novella called The Defense of Jisr Al Doreaa. As in the The Defence of Duffer's Drift, the narrator experiences six nightmares, learning as he goes along. These six nightmares were converted into six computer-animated videos by TRADOC.

This paper is concerned with the sixth and final TRADOC video. When viewing it from the proported counter-insurgency lessons learned, one can only say "now do it for Afghanistan." Instead, the video will be considered from the standpoint of a military intelligence analyst, and a RAFT analysis will be performed on the ficticous Iraqi town of Jasr Al Doreaa and the Iraqi military, insurgents, and civilians present there.

Introduction to RAFT Analysis

RAFT Analysis is an analytic tool used to quickly identify key players, their functions, and the relations and tensions between the actors. The acronym stands for:

  • R = Relationships – connections between key players
  • A = Actors – key players
  • F = Functions – what do the actors do, what are their capabilities?
  • T = Tensions – conflicts between actors

Actors are the key players, and these actors have functions – what do they do, and what can they do? Relationships are about how are actors connected. This can be through military command structure, friendships, familial relations, etc. Tensions are the conflicts between the actors.

It makes sense to start with the actors.


2LT Phil Connors

  • Platoon leader in charge of defending the town, and establishes a base
  • Familiar with local tribes and customs but not the language
  • Believes in "hearts and minds" approach to fighting insurgents:
    • Security achieved through gaining trust and confidence of locals
    • Separate insurgents from population
    • End the day with fewer insurgents
  • Is quoted as saying "make no enemies" - take that as you will.

After Connors establishes his base, it comes under attack. This attack has three prongs: a mortar attack, a VBIED, and a direct assault by a 6-man team. Analysis of the VBIED shows that it originated in Syria. All people who initiated the mortar attack were killed. Of the 6 men who assaulted the base, 5 were killed, leaving only a man named Mohammed Jabori.

Mohammed Jabori

  • Part of a 6-man team that assaulted Connor's base
  • Rest of his team was killed
  • Was armed with AK-47 when captured
  • Local to the town of Jasr Al Doreaa
  • Works for local Al-Qaeda leader, Kaseem Fareem
  • One of his captors says "this guy is just a kid" - a kid with a mustache and a 5-o'clock shadow

Following the attack, Connors decides to go into Jasr Al Doreaa and meet with the locals. In this, he is assisted by LT Habir of the Iraqi Security Forces.

LT Habir

  • Commander of local Iraqi forces
  • Works with Connors when meeting with locals
  • Cooperates with Connors in capturing the local Al-Qaeda leader
  • Speaks both English and local language

While in town, Connors and Habir meet LT Habir's cousin, Ahmed, and they all go to Ahmed's house for tea or something.

Cousin Ahmed

  • Cousin of LT Habir
  • Friend of the mayor of Jasr Al Doreaa
  • Can identify local Al-Qaeda members including leaders
  • Key player because of his relationships and local knowledge

Once at Cousin Ahmed's house, the town mayor pays a visit. This is apparently an unscheduled meeting.

Mayor Hussein

  • Mayor of Jasr Al Doreaa
  • Embittered because of 4 years of unkept US promises
  • Afraid of reprisal for working with Americans
  • Cares about his town and relates the needs of his town to Connors and Habir:
    • Medical support - town has no doctors
    • Town needs security

During interrogation, Mohammed Jabori states that he works for the leader of the local Al-Qaeda. He gives a name, Kassim Fareed, but not how to find him. Cousin Ahmed helps out with this.

Kassim Fareed

  • Leader of local Al-Qaeda
  • Lived near Sunni mosque with bodyguards
  • Moved into town 2 weeks ago, killing several villagers
  • Considered to be a high value target
  • Captured by Connors and Habir along with 3 security guards

Kassim Fareed was captured along with three other people. It was Cousin Ahmed who identified him. Along with the four insurgents, the capturing force finds weapons and IED-making equipment.


The best way to examine relationships is through diagrams that look like this...

This diagram shows the key actors and the relationships between them. On the bottom corner is Connors; he works with LT Habir and with Cousin Ahmed using a interpreter named Mohammed. Ahmed and Habir are cousins. Ahmed and the Mayor are related in some way - friends? We don't know the details. Maybe this means Cousin Ahmed is what used to be called a "leading citizen."

Cousin Ahmed can identify members of the local Al-Qaeda insurgents including Kassim Fareed. Fareed works with Al-Qaeda. Either Fareed or some other member of the Al-Qaeda has threatened the Mayor.

Notice that Cousin Ahmed is related to the most other people in this diagram. This "centrality" implies that he has "influence" or at least knowledge of the key players. This is the type of information that can only be revealed with RAFT analysis.

With the available information we can diagram the local Al-Qaeda group...

Near the bottom is Muhammed Jabori who was captured in a raid on Connor's base. During interrogation he reveals that his manager in Al-Qauea is Kassim Fareem. He doesn't know how to locate him, however. Fareem is captured along with three of his security guards. A very valuable piece of information would be the name of Fareem's leader.

Note: we are assuming that Al-Qaeda is indeed a hierarchial organization.


Functions are the capabilities of the key actors: what they do and what can they do.

2LT Phil Connors is a prime mover (at least militarily) - he gets things done! He works well with his commander and the Iraqi Security Forces. He anticipates the town's security and medical needs, and gets police and medical training for them.

Connors is so proficient at getting things done that he almost has a superpower: he operates without von Clausewitz's "friction!"

Kassim Fareed commanded other insurgents. He possessed sufficient pull to get weapons and IED-making equipment. This means he probably supplied other insurgents with weapons and IEDs.

He might be the one who threatened Mayor Hussein for working with Americans.

Fareed's capture throws the local Al-Qaeda into disarray, at least in the short term.

Finally, Cousin Ahmed functions as the "glue" to the whole situation. He can identify key actors and form relationships with them. He's on good terms with Mayor Hussein and local Iraqi forces. He can at least identify local insurgency memvbers such as Kassim Fareed.


The ultimate tension is between Coalition and Insurgent forces, but we care about tensions between the key actors. The major tension is between the mayor of Jasr Al Doreaa and the insurgents.

Mayor Hussein feels threatened by the local Al-Qaeda for working with Americans. He doubts the ability of Iraqi forces to defend the town. Connor's commander has a similar view of Iraqi forces. The mayor is apprehensive of the town's security once the American forces leaves.

Intelligence Sources, Gaps, and Goals

The available intelligence sources include:

  • Captured Al-Qaeda members
  • Families, friends, and acquaintances of captured and killed Al-Qaeda members
  • Info from townsfolk, especially from Cousin Ahmed
  • Physical evidence from Kassim Fareed's house
  • Physical evidence from the VBIED that exploded earlier

There are several intelligence gaps, information that would be useful to have:

  • Who is Kassim Fareed's leader?
  • Are Mayor Hussain, Cousin Ahmed, and the interpreters loyal?
    • Are they playing both sides against each other?
  • About the Mayor:
    • How was he threatened? By whom?
    • Did apprehension level go down after Kassim Fareed was captured?
  • About Cousin Ahmed:
    • Who else does he know?
    • How did he get to know all these people?
    • What is the overall quality of information he can provide?

Conclusion - Next Steps

  • Fill-in the intel gaps by:
    • Gather and analyze additional physical evidence
    • Continue getting intelligence from captured insurgents and family members
  • Identify other insurgents
  • About Cousin Ahmed:
    • Use as information source about locals and insurgents
    • Monitor his actions and contacts
  • Follow-up on Syria connection from earlier VBIED explosion
  • Look for changes in behavior of the locals following Kaseem Fareem's capture
  • Derive actionable info and pass to Connors to execute


Burgoyne, M., Marckwardt, A., & Nagl, J. (2009). The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa. University of Chicago Press. Last retrieved on 19 April 2024 from https://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/jisaldoreaa.pdf

Swinton, E. D. (1904). The Defense of Duffer's Drift. Praetorian Press. Last retrieved on 19 April 2024 from https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals/7/combat-studies-institute/csi-books/swinton.pdf

TRADOC G2 OE Enterprise G&V. (2013). The Defense of Jisr Al Doreaa - Dream 6. Retrieved 3 April 2024 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vHvae5BZRo

Monday, April 15, 2024

War of 1812: A Jus ad Bellum Analysis


In this paper the War of 1812 is examined through the lens of the jus ad bellum criteria. We begin with the historical context and major issues that lead to the war. The criteria that form the jus ad bellum – just cause, reasonable chance of success, legitimate authority and public declaration, right intention, and last resort - are evaluated using relevant historical information, and it is found that the War of 1812 satisfies those criteria.

Particular attention is paid to the diplomatic and economic means employed by the Americans in order address one of the modern criticisms of the war: that it was not a war of last resort.

Finally, the outcomes of the war are listed. While at first glance it seems counterintuitive to consider the outcomes while performing a jus ad bellum analysis, it is necessary due to a certain ambiguity in the Just War Tradition.

Historical Context

Prior to the start of the War of 1812, Great Britain and France were engaged in the Napoleonic Wars. The United States was neutral in this conflict and conducted free trade with both belligerents. As a result, both the British and French interfered with American shipping, but what earned Britain the special ire of the United States was the fact that they impressed American sailors (from both merchant and military vessels) into British service. Further, the British were inciting revolt in certain American Indian tribes against the United States.

The issues that lead the United States to declare war on Britain were as follows:

  • Impressment of American sailors by the Royal Navy
  • Stopping, searching, and seizing the cargos of American ships
  • Trade restrictions on our economic activities with France
  • Disregard for American neutrality during the Napoleonic wars
  • British support for American Indians who acted against the United States

Great Britain, meanwhile, sought to limit American expansion, specifically to prevent the annexation of Canada, to nullify the recently completed Louisiana Purchase, and to use Native Americans to create a barrier state/client state.

Application of Jus ad Bellum Criteria

When applying Just War Theory to any conflict, it is necessary to specify the time at which the evaluation is performed. Jus ad bellum criteria are used to determine whether entry into a war is just, but the evaluation of the criteria can be performed at any time, before the start of a particular war, or during that war, or after the end of that war, and it may give different results when they were applied.

To make this more complicated, evaluation of a war changes in the years following its conclusion. There are several reasons for this: first, the outcome of the war is known; second, additional information (such as government documents or tell-all biographies) becomes available; third, tempers which once ran hot have cooled, and once vivid memory has faded; fourth, veterans and other participants pass away; fifth, the general population’s level of knowledge and overall political philosophy will change; sixth, leaders may find certain aspects of a war “inconvenient” and so attempt to revise history.

McMahon1 makes a similar point (that jus ad bellum and jus in bello can get switched around temporally) when he states that proportionality should be included in jus ad bellum, under the just cause criterion, as proportionality should be debated prior to the initiation of conflict. This leads to yet another ambiguity – proportional response by whom? The United States at the start of the war was not a significant military force in comparison to Great Britain so a non-proportional response to anything would be unlikely. Would Britain’s responses (such as the burning of Washington) be proportional, and should that be considered in our calculation of just cause?

With the War of 1812, there were no hidden documents and no scandalous memoirs. There were alternative motives (the desire to annex Canada in particular), but those were not hidden motives. The following analysis is an application of jus as bellum criteria using information prior to the start of the war.

Just Cause

Augustine listed three just causes for war: defending innocents against attack, recapturing things taken, and punishing those who have done wrong. Britain had an ongoing habit of attacking our merchant and military vessels, of seizing cargo, and of forcing American sailors to join the Royal Navy. These would clearly count as just causes according to all three of Augustine’s just causes.

Right Intention

America’s intention for declaring war against the British was to redress the injuries described in the previous paragraph. There is no evidence that the intention was to militarily eliminate the United Kingdom, so it can be taken that the goal was re-establish peace once the issues that prompted the war were addressed. This peace would be preferable to that which prevailed prior to the start of the war as impressment of sailors and harassment of American shipping would end.

There were ambitions among some of the politicians strongly in favor of war, the so-called “War Hawks,” that we should annex Canada. These ambitions were not part of the official reasons for going to war, and our defeat of the Battle of Queenston Heights put an end to any such ambition.

Last Resort

Roger Peace describes2 the war as a “war of choice.” He notes that “all of the problems cited by Madison in justifying the war were long running concerns that had risen and fallen in importance over the previous two decades.” Further, Peace notes that “[T]he British exerted no sudden demands on the U.S. in 1812”3 and that “Great Britain did not attack or threaten to attack the United States in 1812.”4

His analysis fails for several reasons: there was considerable effort by the United States to use economic and diplomatic means to halt the grievances committed by Great Britain, as detailed below. Economic sanctions take time to be effective, and the United States gave Britain that time. Impressment of American sailors did occur in 1812, and would no doubt be ongoing.

There is a more fundamental problem with Peace’s analysis: The fact that Britain made no threats nor militarily attack (outside of the impressments) particularly in the year 1812 is irrelevant; there were all the previous and ongoing actions to be addressed.

Individuals and nations do not return to a state of tabula rasa from millisecond to millisecond as Peace seems to imply. There’s a continuity (with individuals this is called “character” and with nations it is called “policy”) that simply cannot be ignored. To phrase this another way: suppose Britain did militarily attack (outside of the impressments) at 11:59 PM GMT on 31 Dec 1811 – the fact that the attack occurred in the previous year by one second doesn’t make it a non-issue in the current year.

To avoid military confrontation with the British, American politicians attempted to find ways to economically sanction the British. Further, negotiations between them were attempted, but failed to resolve the issues. Despite all this, British impressment and interference in shipping continued. A history of these pre-war events is as follows5:

The Non-Importation Act of 1806 was the first attempt to sanction Great Britain over the issues that would lead to the War of 1812. The Act, passed 18 April 1806, was less than a full embargo of all British goods, and instead banned the import of specific items such as woolen clothes above a certain value, silver, paper, playing cards, beer, etc. The Act did permit the import of iron, coal, and steel which were considered too vital our economy. The Act proved to be unworkable, as other countries were found carrying banned goods on their ships. The Act was replaced by a general embargo, the Embargo Act of 1807.

In 1806 President Jefferson tasked James Monroe and William Pinkney to negotiate a treaty with Great Britain to end the impressment of American sailors and the harassment of American ships. The final version of the treaty, the Monroe-Pinkney Treaty of December 1806, did not end the practice of impressment, and so Jefferson refused to forward it to Congress for ratification.

Britain’s willingness to continue harassing American sailors and ships was demonstrated by the so-called Chesapeake-Leopard Affair (June 1807). In this, three sailors from the HMS Melampus jumped ship and joined the crew of the USS Chesapeake. The British Council asked that they be returned, but an investigation by the Secretary of the Navy revealed that the three sailors in question were all American citizens who were previously impressed into British service, so cannot be considered deserters, and thus were not returned.

In response, the British Admiralty issued an order to the captains of all British ships along the American coast requiring them to board the USS Chesapeake, should they meet her, and search for and detain British deserters.

On 22 June 1807, the HMS Leopard encountered the Chesapeake. The Chesapeake’s captain refused to allow the British to perform a search. The Leopard then fired upon the Chesapeake, killing three and injuring 18; the Americans surrendered and allowed their roster to be inspected. The British removed the three previously impressed sailors along with a fourth man.

M Dubourg, Boarding and Taking the American Ship Chesapeake, by the Officers and Crew of H.M. Ship Shannon, Commanded by Capt. Broke, June 1813 (c. 1813)

Prior to the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, British impressment of American sailors was limited to merchant vessels. The Leopard targeted instead a military vessel and was thus an escalation.

As news of these events spread, the press whipped-up popular outrage and called for war6. Jefferson realized the gravity of the events, writing7 to James Bowdoin that “this country has never been in such a state of excitement since the battle of Lexington,” but he refused to convene Congress, stating in the same letter that “we propose to give Gr. Br. An opportunity of disavowal & reparation, and to leave the question of war, non-intercourse, or other measures, uncommitted to the legislature.”8 Jefferson thus allowed tempers to cool and for additional economic sanctions to be imposed.

In response to the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair and the failure of the Non-Importation Act of 1807, the Embargo Act of 1807 was passed. This wide-ranging Act banned exports to all foreign countries and further restricted British imports. Foreign ships already in American ports were permitted to depart with their cargo intact.

Great Britain was anticipating an American embargo, so it established trade with Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South America. The net result of the Embargo Act was to further British success in that region as it removed the United States as a competitor.

For Americans, the net result of this Act was an economic downturn in the New England area. It also undermined Jefferson’s traditional advocacy of free trade.

The Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 replaced the Embargo Act of 1807. One of the last acts of the Jefferson presidency, it lifted trade embargos on all countries except for Great Britain and France. The Act suffered from problems of enforceability just like the earlier Acts and proved to be ineffective against both Great Britain and France.

Macon’s Bill Number 2, which went into effect on 14 May 1810, was yet another attempt to stop both British and French interference in American shipping. The Bill operated by lifting embargoes against both countries for three months. If either the British or the French ceased disrupting American shipping, then America would embargo the other, unless that other country also agreed to cease interference. President Monroe was an opponent of the Bill, believing that Napoleon would exploit it to force Britain and the United States into war, but he did sign it into law. Napoleon did indeed manipulate the situation as Monroe thought he would.

In the six years prior to the start of the War of 1812 we see the United States attempting negotiations and imposing economic sanctions directly in response to most of the issues for which the war was initiated. While these non-violent attempts were made, Britain continued to harass American ships and sailors. Other sanctions, such as blockading British ports, were outside the abilities of the US Navy at that time. The War of 1812 can thus be considered a war of last resort.

It is worth noting that attempts at economic sanctions against Great Britain continued even after the War of 1812 started.

Legitimate Authority

In a message sent to Congress on 1 June 1812, then-president James Madison detailed grievances against the United Kingdom. He did not explicitly call for a declaration of war. The House and Senate, in closed debates, deliberated the proper course of action, eventually voting in favor of a declaration of war.

The vote was far from unanimous: the main opponents were members of the Federalist Party. They favored strong economic ties with Great Britain, and being based in New England, they were hurt by Jefferson’s various embargos. As Britain and Canada were New England’s primary trading partners, the war would be sure to do further damage to that region’s economy.

The Constitution places the ability to declare war on the shoulders of Congress, and Congress did exactly that by passing “An Act Declaring War between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Dependencies Thereof and the United States of America and Their Territories” on 18 June 1812, which was signed by Madison.

Reasonable Chance of Success

The JWT principle requiring the reasonable chance of success can be thought of as a prohibition against “wars of bravado” or “hopeless cause wars,” meaning wars that were initiated solely on issues of national pride or honor, or for the signaling of righteousness, etc. Politicians of this era were well-acquainted with this principle. For example, Jefferson, while he was Vice President under John Adams, realized that the fledgling US Navy was insufficient to contend with the Barbary pirates, and so agreed to pay them tribute even though he was opposed to doing so. This changed by 1801, and the Tripoli War (First Barbary War) was undertaken only following the naval buildup that occurred during the Quasi-War of 1798-1800.

Despite this increase in the US Navy’s size, the Royal Navy was still the superior force. However, the bulk of Britain’s land and naval forces were engaged in the Napoleonic Wars.

Following his defeat in Russia and the loss of Paris, Napoleon was forced to abdicate on 12 April 1814 and go into exile in Elba9. Some British forces were then transferred to fight the Americans10. The United States’ odds of victory decreased because of the arrival of additional British forces, but the end of the Napoleonic Wars could not be predicted prior to the start of the War of 1812.

It must be remembered that the British weren’t our only enemies in the War of 1812: there were British allies amongst the Native Americans, particularly the Iroquois and Tecumseh’s Confederacy. The militias of the various states were well-versed in irregular warfare and were qualified to fight them.

Thus, even before the end of the Napoleonic Wars, an American victory was not a foregone conclusion. Absent the additional British forces made available by the cessation of conflict in Europe, an American defeat was not guaranteed, either.

Outcomes of the War

Some have criticized the War of 1812 because under the Treaty of Ghent, the territory claimed by both sides remained unchanged11. This misses the point of the war: the War of 1812 was not fought over land. America may have wanted to annex Canada, and Great Britain may have wanted to nullify the Louisiana Purchase, but those were not among the issues for which we entered the war. Instead, the issues were the rights of sailors and of shipping and the use of American Indians by the British to interfere with our internal affairs.

Another criticism is that the War had no winners12. This is not correct either – the United States was certainly the winner13. The British impressment of American sailors stopped, as did the habit of stopping, searching, and seizing American vessels. There was also a “moral victory” in what could be called the Second American Revolution14. We entered the so-called “Era of Good Feelings” - particularly after our victory in the Battle of New Orleans. The US Navy grew to the point that we were able to use “gunboat diplomacy” to quickly end the Second Barbary War. The war also created a new set of post-Revolutionary War heroes, including Andrew Jackson, William Eaton, Presley O’Bannon, Oliver Hazard Perry, and so on.

The war also had a clear loser: the Indians. Tecumseh’s Confederacy dissolved after the Battle of the Thames, and the Creek Nation ceded territory (what is now Alabama and southern Georgia) after losing the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814).


The War of 1812 clearly satisfies the jus ad bellum criteria, with the possible exception of the guarantee of success doctrine.

It was declared by the proper authority using the correct legislative process.

It was fought to defend the rights of American sailors, of maritime commerce, and consequently American sovereignty. These goals, these just causes, are usually summed up in the phrase “freedom of the seas.”

Despite Roger Peace’s protestations15, the United States did attempt diplomatic and economic solutions, and while these attempts were ongoing, British impressment not only continued against merchant vessels, but expanded to military vessels. The war was certainly one of last resort.

America’s success was not a forgone conclusion. At the start of the War of 1812, Britain was involved in the Napoleonic Wars, which consumed a great amount of their military capabilities. So, while Britain was a formidable enemy it was not an invincible one as the outcome of the war demonstrated. America’s second enemy in the war, the American Indian tribes who allied themselves with Britain, were no match for our militia forces.

Finally, we had the right intentions: the goal was to reaffirm the rights of sailors, to defend shipping, and halt British influence among the American Indians. Further, the resulting peace was a better one than existed prior to the war. The extent we were successful in both was described thusly by Theodore Roosevelt:

“We were contending for "Free Trade and Sailors' Rights": by the former expression, freedom to trade wherever we chose without hindrance save from the power with whom we were trading; and by the latter, that a man who happened to be on the sea should have the same protection accorded to a man who remained on land. Nominally, neither of these questions was settled by, or even alluded to, in the treaty of peace; but the immense increase of reputation that the navy acquired during the war practically decided both points in our favor. Our sailors had gained too great a name for any one to molest them with impunity again.”16


  1. McMahan, J. “Just Cause for War.” Ethics and International Affairs 19, no. 3 (2005):1-21.
  2. Roger Peace. “The War of 1812.” United States Foreign Policy History and Resource Guide website, 2016, https://peacehistory-usfp.org/the-war-of-1812.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. The following is from Allan R. Millett, Maslowski, P., & Feis, W. B. For the common defense: A military history of the United States from 1607 to 2012 Free Press, 2012 (3rd ed.).
  6. Edwin M. Gaines. “The Chesapeake Affair: Virginians Mobilize to Defend National Honor” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 64, no. 2 (April 1956): 131-142. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4246209
  7. Jefferson, T. “From Thomas Jefferson to James Bowdoin, 10 July 1807” https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/99-01-02-5926
  8. Ibid.
  9. David Bell. The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It. Mariner Books, 2014
  10. Hickey, D. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict. University of Illinois Press, 2012.
  11. Roger Peace. “The War of 1812.” United States Foreign Policy History and Resource Guide website, 2016, https://peacehistory-usfp.org/the-war-of-1812.
  12. David Bell. The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It. Mariner Books, 2014
  13. Willard Sterne Randall. Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution. St. Martin's Press, 2017.
  14. Walter R. Borneman. 1812: The War that Forged a Nation. Harper Perennial, 2005.
  15. Roger Peace. “The War of 1812.” United States Foreign Policy History and Resource Guide website, 2016, https://peacehistory-usfp.org/the-war-of-1812.
  16. Roosevelt, T. The Naval War of 1812, or the history of the United States Navy during the last war with Great Britain, to which is appended an account of the Battle of New Orleans. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1882.


Bell, D. The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It. Mariner Books, 2014

Borneman, W. 1812: The War that Forged a Nation. Harper Perennial, 2005.

Gaines, E. “The Chesapeake Affair: Virginians Mobilize to Defend National Honor” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 64, no. 2 (April 1956): 131-142. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4246209

Hickey, D. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict. University of Illinois Press, 2012. 

Jefferson, T. “From Thomas Jefferson to James Bowdoin, 10 July 1807” https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/99-01-02-5926

McMahan, J. “Just Cause for War.” Ethics and International Affairs 19, no. 3 (2005):1-21. 

Millett, A. R., Maslowski, P., & Feis, W. B. For the common defense: A military history of the United States from 1607 to 2012 Free Press, 2012 (3rd ed.).  

Peace, Roger. “The War of 1812.” United States Foreign Policy History and Resource Guide website, 2016, https://peacehistory-usfp.org/the-war-of-1812

Randall, W. Unshackling America: How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution. St. Martin's Press, 2017.

Roosevelt, T. The Naval War of 1812, or the history of the United States Navy during the last war with Great Britain, to which is appended an account of the Battle of New Orleans. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1882. https://ia902600.us.archive.org/32/items/navalwarof1812or00roosuoft/navalwarof1812or00roosuoft.pdf