A Quarterly, Peer Reviewed Online Journal

The Combating Threats Exchange staff are happy to bring you the Fall 2022 of CTX. 

Asset Publisher
Letter From the Editor

I don’t know what to say. I’ve been thinking about how to write this editorial letter for a week and, not wanting to give in to the anxieties of the new headlines, I’m coming up empty. Which is ironic, given that the general theme of the articles in this issue is communication: what makes it effective, how word choice affects emotional responses, how messaging can be used—and not used—to manipulate outcomes, how a story can affect the course of a war.

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Learning from the Protestant Reformation: Connecting the 16th-Century Movement to Present-Day PSYOPS

Two pivotal moments of the last millennium started in Germany, about seventy years and 250 miles (400 km) apart: the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1450, and the Protestant Reformation, which became a Europe-wide movement when Martin Luther wrote and circulated his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517.

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QAnon’s Psychological Influence: Investigating Q’s Digital Messaging

It is difficult to imagine any commonalities between California yogis and German right-wingers -or between new-age hippies, senior military leaders, US elected politicians, and French influencers.

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The Future of Irregular Warfare Between Nation States: What We can Learn from Iran’s Success in Yemen

The world is changing and with it the threats to US national security. For nearly two decades, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been primarily concerned with counterterrorism. Now the focus has shifted to competition with near-peer nation-states, and DoD priorities for resources and training guidance have changed accordingly: more emphasis is being put on large-scale combat operations involving the deployment and maneuver of complex joint forces.

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The Fog: Part Two Occam’s Razor

I stare out of my office window. The clouds and rain in Paris seem relentless. It has been overcast for a week now and the deluge this afternoon is supposedly the heaviest Paris has experienced since 1880. I know it makes no sense, but I cannot escape the thought that somehow all of this, even the weather, is connected.

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The CTX Interview | Brigadier General Manuel Alvarez, Peruvian Army (retired)

On 27 April 2021, Brigadier General Manuel Alvarez, retired, of the Peruvian Army, was interviewed virtually by Sally Baho of Global ECCO. They discussed General Alvarez’s role in combating the violent revolutionary group Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso in Spanish), starting in the early 1980s, and his observations on the current social and political situation in Peru.

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The Written Word | The Moon is Down

John Steinbeck’s The Moon is Down is a “meta” example of motivating a resistance movement. Originally published in 1942, this novel of invasion and occupation provides instruction for resistance techniques while leveraging cunning translation methods to encourage mobilization amongst its audience.

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Publications & Announcements

How did the US Navy—the branch of the US military tasked with patrolling the oceans—ever manage to produce a unit of raiders trained to operate on land? And how, against all odds, did that unit become one of the world’s most elite commando forces, routinely striking thousands of miles from the water on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, even Central Africa?

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This journal is not an official DoD publication. The views expressed or implied within are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any governmental or nongovernmental organization or agency of the United States of America or any other country.


Copyright © 2023 by the author(s), except where otherwise noted. The Combating Threats Exchange journal (CTX) is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal available free of charge to individuals and institutions. Copies of this journal and the articles contained herein may be printed or downloaded and redistributed for personal, research, or educational purposes free of charge and without permission, except if otherwise noted. Any commercial use of CTX or the articles published herein is expressly prohibited without the written consent of the copyright holder. The copyright of all articles published herein rests with the author(s) of the article, unless otherwise noted.


  • SALLY BAHO, Copy Editor
  • LAYOUT AND DESIGN, Graduate Education Advancement Center, Naval Postgraduate School


  • VICTOR ASAL, University of Albany SUNY
  • CHRIS HARMON, Marine Corps University
  • TROELS HENNINGSEN, Royal Danish Defense College
  • PETER MCCABE, Joint Special Operations University
  • RAJAN RAVINDRAN, Indian Army (Ret.)
  • IAN C. RICE, US Army (Ret.)
  • ANNA SIMONS, Naval Postgraduate School
  • SHYAMSUNDER TEKWANI, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
  • CRAIG WHITESIDE, Naval War College


  • AMINA KATOR-MUBAREZ, Naval Postgraduate School