- Inside the Economic War Against the Islamic State by The Washington Post
“The Islamic State starts the new year with a drastically depleted bank account, counterterrorism officials say.”
- U.S. General Praises Iraqi Forces Fighting in Mosul by Associated Press
“Brig. Gen. Rick Uribe said he agrees with the forecast given by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that it would take another three months to liberate Mosul.”
- The Afghan War and the Evolution of Obama by The New York Times
“A strategy that went from a ‘good war’ to the shorthand ‘Afghan good enough’
reflects the president’s coming to terms with what was possible in Afghanistan.”
- Marshall Plans, Not Martial Plans by The New York Times
“The lessons of how Syria arrived at a moment of catastrophe, and how we arrived at this moment of helplessness, are clear. And if the US does not learn from...
- Military Weighs Expanded Use of Cyber, Space Weapons Against Islamic State by USA Today
"Military chiefs are prepared to give President-elect Donald Trump the options he wants to intensify the fight against the Islamic State."
- Inside Trump Defense Secretary Pick’s Efforts to Halt Torture by The New York Times
"Colleagues say the general’s handling of the episode reflects his firmly held views against torture and prisoner mistreatment, which are shared by many military."
- 1967: The Era of Big Battles in Vietnam by The New York Times
"This, they believed, would be the year to crush both the southerners fighting as the Viet Cong and their North Vietnamese allies, who had infiltrated the south."
- Top Scientists, Tech Experts to Innovate Military Under Trump Administration by Voice of America
The Pentagon has tapped some of science and technology's greatest minds to help innovate U.S. military capabilities and culture.
- Retired U.S. Military Officers Urge Trump Not to Reinstate Torture by Voice of America
Nearly 200 military officers urged president-elect Donald Trump not to reinstate torture, according to a letter acquired by The New York Times.
- Iran, Mattis, and the Real Threat to U.S. Strategic Interests in the Middle East by Center for Strategic & International Studies
"The events in Iran and the Gulf during the last week have been a grim reminder that Iran remains the major threat to U.S. strategic interests in the Gulf and...
- NWC Fall 2016 Volume - Ukraine by SWJ Editors
US Naval War College Joint Maritime Operations Students present their thoughts and approaches to one of the world’s most pressing national security problems - Ukraine.
- Army Report: Self-Doubt and Sleep Deprivation Led to 2-Star's Suicide by Army Times
An important issue that is not confined to any one rank or position.
- CNAS Releases Report by CENTCOM Commander Gen. Joseph Votel on Defeating the Virtual Caliphate by The Center for a New American Security
Continue on for an overview, the executive summary, and a link to the full report.
- Democrats Pin Hopes on Mattis to Check Trump on War and Peace by Politico
Mattis: ‘If we did not have NATO today we would need to create it.’
- James Mattis: Toughness and Restraint at the Pentagon by The New York Times
"It was encouraging that he had no qualms in stating views at odds with positions Mr. Trump campaigned on, including America’s relationship with Russia."
- Near-Term U.S. Army Modernization: Buying What Is Available and Buying Time by Lexington Institute
Continue on for the executive summary and a link to this 11 January Lexington Institute study.
- Twitter Must Do More to Block ISIS by The New York Times
"Twitter doesn’t do enough to proactively monitor, identify and remove terrorist-related accounts and hasn’t made an effective or prolonged effort to ensure that the accounts are not re-established."
- U.S. 'Thrilled' With Iraqi Progress in Mosul by Voice of America
U.S. officials are hailing the latest push by Iraqi forces into Mosul, confirming reports that a key government building has been retaken from Islamic State fighters.
- The Military Loves the Obama Doctrine. Can It Survive Trump? by Defense One
“Commanders say they’re already fighting ISIS the right way: ‘by, with, and through’ local forces.”
- Russian 'Kompromat' Remains Alive and Well by Voice of America
To be sure all governments collect intelligence, including damaging information on rivals, real or imagined. But "kompromat" is an entrenched Russian practice.
- CIA Director Warns Trump to Watch What He Says, Be Careful on Russia by Reuters
"Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday issued a stern parting rebuke to Republican Donald Trump."
- Trump Might Cause ‘the Death of Think Tanks as We Know Them’ by The Washington Post
"The president-elect favors people who have been successful in the private sector and amassed personal wealth over those who have achieved prominence in academic or policy fields."
- Syria Options: U.S. Grand Strategy by Divergent Options
A grand U.S. strategy for Syria - three options and the risks and gains for each.
- ‘Never Trump’ National-Security Experts Fear They Are Blacklisted by The Washington Post
"They are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administrations."
- The Role of the Pentagon in the Trump Administration by War on the Rocks
“A period of looming unpredictability will make the role of the Department of Defense unusually important in shaping the Trump team’s thinking during its first year and beyond.”
- John McCain Has a Big-League Defense Buildup, Too. New White-Paper Released. by Defense News
"In a 33-page white paper, 'Restoring American Power,' McCain says the US military cannot do what he says it must."
- ‘We Have To End It’: Trump Takes Over Islamic State Fight, Vowing To Finish It by The Washington Post
“Officials credit their slow-and-steady strategy, centered on local combat power backed by U.S. air support, for the gradual recapture of much of the territory held by IS militants.”
- Pentagon Readies Aggressive ISIS Proposals for Trump by CNN News
“These options would increase the risk for US troops beyond what Obama accepted. One option would put hundreds of additional US troops into a combat role to take Raqqa.”
- A Top NATO General Echoes Trump, Calling Aspects Of Alliance ‘Obsolete’ by The Washington Post
“A top NATO general said aspects of the alliance were ‘obsolete’, saying that the Western military alliance needs to adapt for a changing world.”
- Obama’s Stark Options on ISIS: Arm Syrian Kurds or Let Trump Decide by The New York Times
"With just days left as commander in chief, President Obama is confronting a wrenching decision on whether to move ahead with plans to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters battling the IS."
- Trump Pledges War on Radical Islamic Terrorism by Voice of America
President-elect Donald Trump's campaign pledge to wage war on "radical Islamic terrorism" is about to become U.S. policy.
- Islamic State Group 'Lost Quarter of Territory' in 2016 by The British Broadcasting Corporation
“The so-called Islamic State lost almost a quarter of its territory in 2016, according to new analysis.”
- U.S. Officials Say Sizable Arab Force Identified For Raqqa Campaign by The Wall Street Journal
“The U.S.-led coalition in Syria has amassed an Arab force it considers large enough to move the fight against Islamic State into the city of Raqqa.”
- Trump’s Foreign Policy Philosophy Hard to Pin Down by Voice of America
Trump has professed no great power doctrine and his advisers discourage applying labels to his vision of the world.
- Losing in Iraq, Islamic State Seeks to Shore Up Syria Presence by Reuters
"Islamic State is fighting hard to reinforce its presence in Syria as it loses ground in Iraq."
- Five Lessons for Commander in Chief Donald Trump from the Iraq 'Surge' by Fox News
“President-elect Trump should zero in on the following lessons from the Surge.”
- President Donald John Trump’s Inaugural Address by SWJ Editors
Continue on for a video recording and the transcript of President Trump’s inaugural address.
- First Message to Defense Department from SECDEF Mattis by SWJ Editors
Short and sweet - Via USNI - SECDEF Mattis’ first message.
- The Army Handgun: A New Poster Child for Acquisition Malpractice? by Defense News
"A handgun is not an aircraft carrier... The system is broken."
- CTC Sentinel: January 2017 Issue Now Online by Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
Continue on for the latest issue of the Combating Terrorism Center’s Sentinel.
- Narrative, Cyberspace and the 21st Century Art of War by Fifth Domain
"Experts see one hybrid tactic – narrative and cyber – playing an increasingly prominent role in current conflicts."
- Marines Were Trying to Get Back to Their Maritime Roots. How's That Going? by Marine Corps Times
"The reality is, the U.S. military continues to rely on the Marines as a land force for confronting the nation’s most challenging ground-level, infantry-oriented missions."
- Vietnam ’67: At Quang Nam, a Raid and a Reckoning by The New York Times
“Not enough was being done by the government of South Vietnam to remove the causes of the insurgency or the conditions that had driven so many to want to live...
- 'Lawfare' Could Become Trump Tool Against Adversaries by Voice of America
"Use of the law as a weapon of war may find favor with the Trump administration, according to some scholars and attorneys. The concept is popularly known as lawfare."
- Shaken by Trump’s Criticism of NATO, Europe Mulls Building Own Military Force by Voice of America
"With Britain set to leave the bloc within the next few years, the calls for a European Union military force could grow louder."
- Fighting Islamic Extremism: Making Muslims Partners and Not Enemies by Center for Strategic & International Studies
"There are times when quick action can do more harm than good. The way in which the United States deals with violent Islamic extremism and terrorism is a case in...
- Mattis: New Game Plan on ISIS? by The San Diego Union-Tribune
"It appears that new Defense Secretary James Mattis is preparing to start as early as Friday, when Trump is scheduled to visit the Pentagon."
- White House Disavows 'Enhanced Interrogation' Order by Voice of America
Senator McCain said he had been assured by defense chief Mattis and new CIA Director Pompeo that they would adhere to the Army Field Manual's limits on interrogation of terrorist...
- The Shaky State Of The Islamic State by National Public Radio
“President Trump inherits the battle at a moment when the extremist group is losing ground in Iraq and Syria. The group's self-declared caliphate is looking increasingly fragile.”
- U.S. General: Liberation of Mosul Involves ‘Hardest’ Urban Combat in Recent History by Stars & Stripes
"The operation to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul is the most intense urban combat anywhere in the world in recent times."
- Why Trump Could Bring Back Secret Prisons and Waterboarding by The Christian Science Monitor
"A draft executive order, reportedly from the White House, could revive currently prohibited interrogation methods, which include waterboarding, and secret, 'black site' prisons."
- Trump Likely to Present JCS With Objectives for Fighting ISIS by CNN News
"President Donald Trump will likely give the Joint Chiefs of Staff Friday a series of objectives for fighting ISIS so the military can design the strategic and tactical options."
- Trump Promises ‘Great Rebuilding of the Armed Forces’ While Signing Executive Order at the Pentagon by The Washington Post
"New ships and planes, additional Special Operations forces and the modernization of the nuclear arsenal, while cutting projects that are not considered the highest priorities."
- Prospects for the Rule of Law in Cyberspace by The Strategic Studies Institute
The application of international law and legal principles in cyberspace is a topic that has caused confusion, doubt, and interminable discussions.
- 5 Reasons ‘America First’ Won’t Work Without Our Allies by The Hill
"Many critics have focused on the downsides of alliances and have lost sight of what allies and coalition partners contribute to American interests."
- Trump's Call for a Deadlier Islamic State Push May Hit Limits by Reuters
“Any shifts by the U.S. military would have broad repercussions for U.S. relationships across the Middle East.”
- With National Security Council Shakeup, Steve Bannon Gets A Seat At The Table by National Public Radio
President Trump has reorganized the NSC by elevating his chief strategist Steve Bannon and demoting the DNI and the CJCS.
- Robert Gates: 'Big Mistake' to Push Key Intelligence, Military Leaders Out of Security Council Meetings by ABC News
“The Former Defense Secretary and CIA Director called it "a big mistake" by President Trump to downgrade the status of the director of the DNI and the CJCS on the...
- Presidential Memorandum: Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria by SWJ Editors
National Security Presidential Memorandum - Full Text - The White House Office of the Press Secretary
- State Department Draft Cable Protests Trump Immigration Ban by The Wall Street Journal
“Over 100 officers warn the restrictions will hurt U.S. efforts to prevent terrorist attacks.”
- Pentagon Working On a List of Iraqis to Protect From Immigration Ban by Stars & Stripes
"The Pentagon is compiling a list of Iraqis who have risked their lives to assist U.S. forces in order to exempt them from the immigration ban."
- Is North Korea’s Collapse Imminent? by Voice of America
Despite a growing narrative that North Korea might be teetering on the verge of collapse, there is a lack of consensus among U.S. experts on the imminent downfall of the...
- US Military Botching Online Fight Against Islamic State, AP Investigation Finds by Associated Press
“On any given day at MacDill Air Force Base, web crawlers scour social media for potential recruits to the Islamic State group.”
- New ISIS Video Shows Them Using Drones to Conduct ‘Airstrikes’ in Mosul by Robert Bunker
Via “Heavy”, watch ISIS employing drones in Iraq.
- The Journal of Culture, Language and International Security - Winter Issue 2017 Now Online by LanguaCulture
Continue on for the Editors' Introductory Remarks and a link to the latest issue.
- The Islamic State’s Drone Documents: Management, Acquisitions, and DIY Tradecraft by Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
“The Islamic State’s latest videos and newly obtained documents demonstrate that its drone program should be taken seriously.”
- Dunford: Speed of Military Decision-Making Must Exceed Speed of War by DoD News
Today, the ability to recover from early missteps is greatly reduced. The speed of war has changed, making the global security environment more unpredictable, dangerous and unforgiving.