“The world can’t just stand idly by and be witness to the atrocities that are being reported in the area.”

-- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the Rohingya

USMC Recruits Navigating Final Phase - The Crucible

Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC

"Small wars are operations undertaken under executive authority, wherein military force is combined with diplomatic pressure in the internal or external affairs of another state whose government is unstable, inadequate, or unsatisfactory for the preservation of life and of such interests as are determined by the foreign policy of our Nation."

-- Small Wars Manual, 1940

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In Afghanistan Americans seemed determined to validate F. Scott Fitzgerald's aphorism that American lives have no second act.

While the concept and terminology of the Gray Zone is new, the geo-political situation it described is not, and the US military does have experience operating within them.

1 December deadline - continue on for information on the latest Mad Scientist call for ideas.

Hanna Bohman and Joanna Palani. What do a former model from Canada and a politics student from Denmark have in common?

Despite the attempts of many to simulate the future using game theory et al, one less-considered variable is missing from the equation. Primatology.

swj blog

Continue on for a video of today's White House Press briefing.

“Al Shabaab has morphed to become more of a regional terrorist organization and should no longer be considered an insurgency group within Somalia.”

"Islamists in the Philippines pledged allegiance to ISIS, devastated a city and built a model for jihadists after the fall of Raqqa."

"Its de facto capital is falling. Its territory has shriveled from the size of Portugal to a handful of outposts. Its surviving leaders are on the run."

The independence dream was felled by a lightening advance by Iraqi counter-terror units, trained and equipped by the U.S., and Shi’ite militias, trained and equipped by Iran.