Author Biography

Amos C. Fox is a Major in the United States Army. He is currently the operations officer for the 1st Battalion, 35th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, at Fort Bliss, Texas. Previously, he served as a planner for the 1st Armored Division and the Combined Joint Force Land Component Command-Operation Inherent Resolve in the campaign to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq. His previous assignments include troop commands and staff positions in the 4th Infantry Division, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the U.S. Army Armor School’s 16th Cavalry Regiment. He has a masters in Secondary Education from Ball State University, a masters of military arts and science in Theater Operations from the U.S. Army's School of Advanced Military Studies, and a bachelors degree in Secondary Education from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.



Subject Area Keywords

Afghanistan, Conflict studies, Europe and EU, Hegemony, Iraq, Irregular warfare, Military affairs, Networks and network analysis, Russia, Small wars and insurgencies, Strategy, War studies


Modern conflict is dominated by proxy wars but the United States military fails to account for this type of environment. Instead, it speaks euphemistically by using phrases like, By, With, and Through to articulate the complexities of proxy environments. In doing so, it falls short in understanding the dynamics at work between actors in a proxy relationship, which has resulted in it doing poorly in modern proxy wars. Therefore, the United States military should embrace proxy warfare from a theoretical standpoint and develop a resultant proxy warfare doctrine. Proxy environments - dominated by principal-agent problems, the oppression of time, and power dynamics between actors - are often paradoxical, but yield two distinct models, one that is exploitative and the other being transactional. Breathing life into these theories of proxy warfare adds to the professional body of knowledge and will assist political and military leaders and advisers in proxy environments.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


The author would like to thank the Joint Plans section of the Combined Joint Force Land Component Command-Operation Inherent Resolve (July 2017-March 2018) and acknowledge their role in helping the author develop the ideas found within this article.