- White House: No Combat Missions for U.S. Troops in Syria by Voice of America
"The White House says U.S. special operations troops sent to Syria will not be there to engage in raids or combat."
- Obama Has Strategy for Syria, But it Faces Major Obstacles by The Washington Post
"It’s time to stop this constant refrain that President Obama has no strategy for Syria."
- Watchdog: U.S. Military Spent $43M on Afghan Gas Station by Voice of America
A U.S. Government watchdog reported the military spent nearly $43 million, on a natural gas automobile filling station.
- Strategic Insights: A New Era in Civ-Mil Relations: Rendering Advice to Those Who Do Not Want It by The Strategic Studies Institute
When it comes to national security, should one advise President Barack Obama on the best course of action or just the best course of action that he is likely or...
- Should The US Deploy Ground Troops Into Direct Combat With ISIS? by Task & Purpose
Continue on for a link to the debate at Task & Purpose.
- Can the Counterinsurgency Doctrine Be Saved? by The Diplomat
"With the apparent lack of progress and success in Afghanistan and Iraq, COIN has fallen out of favor within the political and military establishments in the U.S. and elsewhere."
- Spies, Advisors, and Grunts: Film Portrayals of Counterinsurgency in Vietnam by Taylor & Francis Group: Small Wars & Insurgencies
"Vietnam was a complex conflict, which historians and political scientists have struggled to understand."
- USSOCOM Commander's Reading List 2016 by The Joint Special Operations University Library
The Joint Special Operations University Library posts multiple reading lists. Continue on for the link.
- A History of United Nations Peacekeeping - Thematic Bibliography by The NATO Multimedia Library
"The Multimedia Library has set up a list of books and journal articles on the history of United Nations peacekeeping forces and operations."
- Ninth Annual Terrorism Conference: The War in Syria, Islamic State and the Changing Landscape of Asymmetric Threats by The Jamestown Foundation
Continue on for the agenda and a link for registration for this December 8 event.
- After the War: Veterans and Post-Conflict Issues of the Future by The Atlantic Council
Continue on for the agenda, location, how to watch it live and a registration link.
- CNAS Announces Formation of ISIS Study Group by The Center for a New American Security
Continue on for information on the new CNAS ISIS Study Group.
- Western Officials: Russia’s Syria Gamble Faces Increasing Odds by Voice of America
“The battle between Syrian forces, backed by Russian air power and rebel fighters, played itself out on social media over the course of several hours.”
- Authorization to Fight IS Group Still Divides Congress by Voice of America
"VOA's Senate correspondent spoke with multiple lawmakers about a weighty issue before Congress: authorizing the fight against the Islamic State group."
- From Army of One to Band of Tweeters by The New York Times
"The term 'band of brothers' has become almost a cliché to describe how the close personal bonds formed between soldiers translate into combat effectiveness."
- Revisiting the Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces (SASC Testimony) by The Brookings Institution
"The American strategic community has largely turned away from thinking about ground combat."
- Weak Governance Bolsters the Taliban by Shawn Snow
The U.S. focus has been on treating the symptoms of the growing instability and not the cause, weak governance by the NUG.
- What They Did Last Summer by Belmont Club
"The new methods meant that war, which was once a supreme crisis governed by constitutional limitations, was converted almost at stroke into something routine."
- The Details of Drones, From a Pilot Who Flew Them by National Public Radio
“NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Lt. Col. T. Mark McCurley, a retired drone pilot who wrote the tactical manual for the Predator. His new memoir is called Hunter Killer.”
- SWJ News & Opinion Roundup (Continuously Updated) by SWJ Editors
SWJ's "Drudge-like" National Defense & Foreign Affairs News & Opinion Page (Updated 24/7)
- The Taliban Mafia by Shawn Snow
The fractious Taliban movement is a symptom of the changing economic and political dynamics within Afghanistan.
- U.S. Admiral Sees No Change in Iranian Behavior by Associated Press
"Iran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers has done little to stop the country from pursuing activities beyond its shores that the U.S. considers destabilizing."
- CNAS Releases Report on Institutional Innovation in the U.S. Marine Corps by The Center for a New American Security
Continue on for a CNAS press release concerning this report, with links.
- Daesh Beyond the Levant Symposium by Project Gray
"This symposium will bring together scholars, research institutes, practitioners and other interested parties to discuss Daesh Beyond the Levant."
- Such as Regiments by SWJ Editors
Happy 240th Birthday Marines. Continue on for Such as Regiments and Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921.
- Iraq Military Update: 3 Moves Against Islamic State Foundering by McClatchy
"Iraqi forces’ hopes of recapturing the city of Ramadi from the Islamic State have stalled, largely because their efforts to cut resupply routes into the city have failed."
- Jordan Attack: Do Militants Benefit? by Voice of America
"To downplay the attack would not be smart, because it did not come out of emotions that are not connected to the general mood of the country."
- ‘Killing, Dying and Suffering Indelibly Marked Us All’ by Stars & Stripes
Joe Galloway’s account from the Battle of Ia Drang Valley.
- Six Rules for Wargaming: The Lessons of Millennium Challenge ’02 by War on the Rocks
"There are six rules in wargame design. JFCOM batted a thousand in violating all of them."
- JCLIS Initial Special Topics Issue on Language, Region and Culture Assessment by The Journal of Culture, Language and International Security
A look at the DoD’s language, regional expertise and culture program.
- Afghanistan Stakeholders Push Diplomacy by Voice of America
"An anticipated annual winter reduction in fighting has prompted international and regional partners to intensify efforts to encourage a revival of Afghan peace talks."
- Strategic Studies Institute: Insights, Research & Analysis by The Strategic Studies Institute
Continue on for links to eight SSI items of interest.
- Counterinsurgency and Development in FATA: Lessons from US Experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan by Georgetown Security Studies Review
"The Pakistani armed forces claim to have entered the decisive phase in their counterinsurgency operations against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan."
- Paris Attacks Live Update Sites by SWJ Editors
Continue on for links to BBC and Reuters for live updates on the attacks and hostage situation in Paris.
- Attacks Likely to Force Tougher Stance by U.S. by The New York Times
"In the last two weeks, the so-called soldiers of the caliphate appear to have demonstrated a chilling reach."
- NATO’s Turn to Attack by Foreign Policy
“There’s a time for soft power and playing the long game. But the attacks in Paris prove the Islamic State is overdue for eradication.”
- Paris, ISIS, and the Long War Against Extremism by Center for Strategic & International Studies
“The Islamic extremism that drives ISIS is only one of the world’s sources of terrorism and insurgency by non-state actors.”
- On Refugees and Terrorists by Rex Brynen
Will fear of a few evil men (or women) lead us to sacrifice our basic moral commitment to fellow human beings fleeing war, oppression, and deprivation?
- Making Expeditionary Force 21 Work by The U.S. Naval Institute
“A worst-case ‘pre-mortem’ analysis of the Marine Corps’ latest operating concept is the way ‘to avoid failure when failure is not an option.’”
- What is Article 5 of NATO’s Founding Treaty? by SWJ Editors
What is Article 5 of NATO’s Founding Treaty? - Excerpts from "NATO and the Scourge of Terrorism" - 9/11 Aftermath.
- 5 Takeaways From the Paris Attacks and the Long War Against Terrorism by The Wall Street Journal
“A massive and perhaps coordinated U.S., French, European, and Russian military response against ISIS in Syria is both necessary and inevitable.”
- What We Know About Islamic State, Its Deadly Reach by Voice of America
"The group behind the horrifying attacks in Paris has been spreading death and destruction in large parts of Iraq and Syria since 2013."
- Obama Rejects Calls for U.S. Troops to Fight Islamic State by Bloomberg News
"What won’t work, he said, is sending thousands more U.S. troops into the fight."
- What Dien Bien Phu Can Teach the French about ISIS and Syria by Kevin L. Parker
In relation to Syria and ISIS, contemporary France can learn much from their 1954 defeat at Dien Bien Phu.
- For the Islamic State, Paroxysms of Violence Portend Apocalypse by The Washington Post
“The more the West strikes, the more people are killed [in Syria], it only builds into the narrative that the end is coming.”
- U.S. Building Maritime Capacity in Southeast Asia by SWJ Editors
Continue on for the White House Fact Sheet (press release) concerning building maritime capacity in Southeast Asia.
- 14 Years of War and We Still Haven't Learned the Right Lesson by USA Today
“Force won't succeed until we defeat the ideology that gives rise to Islamist terrorism.”
- The U.S. “Whole of Government Comprehensive Strategy’s” Nine Lines of Effort to Counter ISIL by SWJ Editors
A reminder (listing) of our stated lines of effort concerning the U.S. strategy to counter IS/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
- The Stability Operations Era by The Foreign Policy Initiative
"Disenchantment with stability operations has led to a serious underestimation of what American forces achieved, as well as wishful thinking about avoiding such conflicts."
- U.S. Challenges in Afghanistan: A Discussion with John Sopko by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
Prepared remarks of John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Watson Institute for International Studies, Providence, RI, November 18, 2015.
- Baghdadi’s Bunker: Five Essential Tasks for Which the World Should Now Prepare by Paul Kamolnick
Five tasks recommended as urgent and essential to the current policy of permanently defeating ISO.
- The Myth of the $43-Million Gas Station in Afghanistan by War on the Rocks
“There are two sins in evaluating development projects. The first is asking the wrong question. The second is drawing the wrong conclusion.”
- Obama’s Overlooked Challenge to Muslims by The Atlantic
“The president has a more realistic and tragic understanding of the dysfunctions afflicting Islam than his critics acknowledge.”
- Islamic State Becoming Urban Guerrilla Threat by Agence France-Presse
"I would recommend a few more special forces, advisors and targeters on the ground with a radical increase in air support -- maybe 10 or 20 times the scale, said...
- Five Peace Agreements to Use as Guides for a Post-Islamic State Middle East by The Washington Post
"Planning the shape of the postwar Middle East may seem like a fantasy right now, as the extremists are widening their fight. But..."
- Forget the Syrian Refugees. America Needs to Bring its Afghan and Iraqi Interpreters Here First. by The Washington Post
"There’s another group of foreigners who deserve our help much more – the 50,000 men and women who served as interpreters for American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan."
- Friday Star Wars Trailer, Sort Of by SWJ Editors
Continue on for “Sea Wars: The Ike Awakens”.
- Pollard, American Who Spied for Israel, Released From U.S. Prison by Dave Dilegge
Continue on for a VOA report on spy and traitor Pollard’s release today. The entire VOA article conveys Netanyahu’s and the defense’s POV. May Pollard eventually rot in hell.
- 2015 Global Terrorism Index by Institute for Economics and Peace
“A comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 15 years with a special emphasis on 2014.”
- Military Reviews U.S. Response to ISIS Rise by The New York Times
"Analysts say supervisors were particularly eager to paint a more optimistic picture of America’s role in the conflict than was warranted.}
- Syrian Refugees and Good Strategy by Gus Gusentine
Establishing effective screening processes for Syrian refugees entering the United States can be an important part of a deliberate, foresighted strategy.
- The War on Islamic State by The Wall Street Journal
“To prevail, the West must settle on military tactics, cut off oil money, counter propaganda, strategists say.”