- McMaster Twofer Monday by The Washington Times and Defense News
NSA H.R. McMaster to appear before the SASC and on defeating ISIS.
- Trump’s Military Budget Minus a Plan by The New York Times
“In the absence of a coherent national strategy, arbitrary increases in the defense budget will do little to make America safer.”
- Pentagon Plan to Seize Raqqa Calls for Significant Increase in U.S. Participation by The Washington Post
“The military’s favored option among several variations currently under White House review, would ease a number of restrictions on U.S. activities.”
- Where Are the Women? The Unfortunate Omission in the Army’s COIN Doctrine by The Modern War Institute
"In a COIN environment where the population is the center of gravity, access to the entire population is an obvious necessity for operational success."
- Reinforcing Failure: The Revised Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States by Center for Strategic & International Studies
“This struggle, or "war," will be won or lost at a global level. It is a fight for the hearts and minds of some 1.6 billion Muslims throughout the world—some...
- U.S. Spy Agency Staggers, But Still Standing After Latest WikiLeaks Dump by Voice of America
The latest alleged bombshell meant to send shockwaves through the U.S. intelligence community is stoking renewed fears about the ability to secure classified information.
- Steep Budget Cuts Expected to Challenge U.S. Diplomats by Voice of America
Acting DoS Spokesman Mark Toner rejected suggestions that the State Department has been marginalized in the new Trump administration.
- Latest Issue of the U.S. Army War College’s Parameters Now Online by Parameters
Continue on for links to the latest online issue and individual articles.
- ISIS on Trajectory Toward Lasting Defeat, Defense Official Says by DoD News
The enemy is being degraded by every measure and is on a trajectory to lasting defeat, a defense official told reporters on background today.
- U.S. Puts Troops on the Ground in Syria to Blunt Turkish Campaign by Bloomberg News
"The U.S. and Russia have found themselves teaming up for the first time in the war in Syria - against a country both call an ally - Turkey."
- Reassessing the Civil War in Yemen by The Washington Institute
“The U.S. should take a closer look at where the fighting is stalemated, where political progress can be made, and where urgent humanitarian action is needed.”
- Trump Administration Inviting More than 60 Countries for Strategy Session on Countering ISIS by The Washington Post
"A strategy session on how to counter the Islamic State after a widely expected U.S.-backed military assault on the extremists’ home base."
- Three-Way Contest for Raqqa to Shape Mideast by The Wall Street Journal
“The battle to recapture Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria risks drawing world powers deeper into the country’s long war.”
- U.S. Marines Deploy to Syria as Agreement on Raqqa Assault Eludes Allies by Voice of America
"There appears to be no final agreement on the disposition of the Raqqa attack force - whether U.S.-backed Kurdish militiamen or Turkish-led Syrian rebels will be in the vanguard."
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Off to Agonizingly Slow Start by The Washington Post
"If Tillerson doesn’t develop a stronger voice, control of foreign policy is likely to move increasingly toward Stephen K. Bannon."
- General Thomas Waldhauser (USAFRICOM): Terrorist Threat in Africa Goes Beyond Ideology by Voice of America
"Even if extremist groups in Africa were wiped out militarily, the continent's massive population of young people would continue to be susceptible to terror groups."
- Want to Win Wars? Fund Soft Power, Trump’s Generals Say by Defense One
“The president’s proposal to boost military spending at the expense of diplomacy and foreign aid won't lead to victory.”
- Does Putin Have Buyer’s Remorse Over Trump - Probably Not by Adam Twardowski
The Trump administration can’t shake off the specter of Russia and it’s well-established why Russian intelligence intervened in the US presidential election.
- Lord’s Resistance Army: The U.S. Military’s Unorthodox Mission Against Kony by The Wall Street Journal
“In a final push to vanquish Joseph Kony’s murderous Lord’s Resistance Army, the U.S. is waging a psychological battle to draw the last rebels from the Central African bush.”
- Cuts to USAID Would Imperil the United States by Foreign Policy
“In a letter to Congress last month, more than 120 retired military leaders underscored their conviction that elevating and strengthening diplomacy and development are critical to keeping America safe.”
- U.S. Could Send 1,000 More to Fight Islamic State by Voice of America
The new plan by the U.S. to counter Islamic State in Syria and Iraq involves the deployment of 1,000 soldiers to Kuwait, a U.S. military official told VOA on Friday.
- Afghan Corruption Watchdog Warns of Graft’s Consequences by Voice of America
John Sopko’s message to the Afghan people is simple: Corruption kills.
- Uprooted by War, Threatened by Boko Haram and Desperate to Go Home by The New York Times
“President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly declared the war with Boko Haram over. But the radical Islamist terrorist group is still waging deadly attacks across the countryside.”
- U.N. Aid Chief: 20 Million People in 4 Countries Face Starvation, Famine by Voice of America
The U.N. is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since the organization's creation. Without funding and full, safe and unimpeded access for aid workers, people will die.
- Things That Make a Grunt Smile by Keith Nightingale
No bugs. Thick book on a boring day. The first round of supporting artillery. The lazy red circle of Spooky working your front. Getting to the top.
- I Had Dinner With the Afghan Ambassador. What He Said About the Differences Between Trump, Obama Is Stunning by The Independent Journal Review
“Dr. Mohib led a vibrant, gracious conversation about the struggles of his home country and displayed deep appreciation to the family members of the Americans lost on its soil.”
- Why North Korea Seems to Be Pushing Trump Toward a Potential Crisis by Ehsan M. Ahrari
What does Kim Jung-un want? He knows that the United States is not going to accept his country’s status as a nuclear weapons state.
- Pentagon Wants to Declare More Parts of the World as Temporary Battlefields by The Guardian
“The White House is asked to designate ‘temporary areas of active hostility’, giving commanders same latitude to launch actions as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.”
- Reimagining the Character of Urban Operations for the U.S. Army by RAND Corporation
RAND Report: How the Past Can Inform the Present and Future
- Growing Up With DCGS-A by Katie Durham
Growing up with Distributed Common Ground System-Army has been both painful and insightful.
- A New Strategy Against ISIS and al Qaeda by The Wall Street Journal
“The U.S. has been relying too heavily on Shiites and Kurds. It needs to cultivate Sunni Arab partners.”
- Building Partner Capacity with the Peshmerga by The Modern War Institute
“There has been a recent wave of fretting about our inability to train foreign militaries; one attempt to address this has been the establishment of new ‘Advise and Assist’ brigades.”
- Smith Richardson Foundation Strategy and Policy Fellows Grant Competition by SWJ Editors
Continue on for information on the SRF Strategy and Policy Fellows grant competition.
- Mad Scientist Initiative: Visualizing Multi-Domain Battle 2030-2050 by SWJ Editors
Continue on for information concerning the TRADOC / Georgetown University conference and call for papers.
- Ground Truth by Keith Nightingale
It is very hard to explain combat and its effect on people that have not been there. It requires no explanation for those that have.
- JCLIS Call for Papers: The Right Kind of Language and Cultural Capability for an Uncertain World by The Journal of Culture, Language and International Security
The Journal of Culture, Language and International Security announces its Call for Papers for its Fall 2017 issue.
- Tillerson Tells State Department Employees Budget Cut Reflects New Priorities by The Washington Post
“Secretary of State Tillerson told agency employees in a letter Thursday morning that next year’s budget proposal is a harbinger of new priorities.”
- Institute Dedicated to Forging Peace is Targeted for Extinction by The Washington Post
A damn shame, the U.S. Institute of Peace is on the chopping block. The USIP costs the taxpayer $35.3 million. One F-35A costs $102.1 million.
- The Basis of Negotiations with North Korea Should be Quiet Old-Fashioned Kissingerian Diplomacy by Ehsan M. Ahrari
The Trump administration has to clearly understand that North Korea is not going to unravel or abandon its nuclear weapons.
- Peace Arrangement in Syrian Town Could Be Post-IS Model by Voice of America
An ad hoc arrangement that curtailed conflict in a Syrian flashpoint town could be a blueprint in other areas of Syria and Iraq for peace and stability once IS fighters...
- Gutting the State Department is a Recipe for Disaster by James Robert “Rob” DuBois
We should continue to do our little part because we have the economic power many other countries don't, because it comes at very small actual cost to us.
- The Pentagon's 'Reassure and Deter' Mission in Syria Looks a Lot Like Mission Creep by Military Times
"The Pentagon has quietly unveiled a new kind of mission: It's called reassurance and deterrence.”
- Using Special Forces Against Terrorism, Trump Seeks to Avoid Big Ground Wars by The New York Times
“He had promised to be more aggressive in taking on the Islamic State - but had also signaled a desire to rein in the notion of the United States as...
- Shifting Military Operations Authority Back to Pentagon by The New York Times
“President Trump is shifting more authority over military operations to the Pentagon reversing the tendency by the Obama White House to micromanage issues.”
- USIP: Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi on U.S. Ties, War With ISIS by The United States Institute of Peace
USIP - A Conversation During His Washington Visit to Meet President Trump - Watch Live Today at 5 PM EST
- Are Low-Cost “COIN” Air Forces The Future of Tactical Air Power? by The Aviationist
“For nations without big defense budgets, small tactical air forces are the trend.”
- USAID Should Further US Interests, Not ‘Safe Spaces’ by The Wall Street Journal
“The foreign-aid budget is vital. But it includes plenty that’s wasteful and counterproductive.”
- Iraq Says U.S. Vows to Speed Support in ISIS Battle by The Wall Street Journal
“Prime Minister Abadi’s visit comes as Trump administration weighs options against extremist group.”
- Military Personnel Bureaucracy Drives Out Talent by Breaking Defense
"Pouring hundreds of billions into pay and benefits has not and cannot solve the military’s personnel problems."
- A Test for Tillerson, and for U.S. Strategy on ISIS by The New York Times
"If Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson hopes to reverse a growing impression of his own inefficacy in government, he will have no better opportunity than this week."
- The Marine Corps Photo Scandal: Why it’s Time to Stop Treating Service Members Like Saints by The Washington Post
"These people are not saints. They are young middle-class and poor people who often joined up because they had no idea what else to do with their lives."
- Reality is Creeping Into the Trump Show by The Washington Post
“Serious crises loom, and Tillerson and Mattis should be the go-to guys to confront them.”
- Balancing Force Modernization and the Most Likely Future Wars We’ll be Fighting by The Modern War Institute
“Our national security focus and increasingly prevailing wisdom suggest the international system may be returning to an era of great power war. Except, it is not.”
- Assessing and Evaluating Department of Defense Efforts to Inform, Influence, and Persuade by RAND Corporation
“To achieve key national security objectives, the U.S. government and U.S. Department of Defense must effectively and credibly communicate with a broad range of foreign audiences.”
- U.S. Leads Call for Complete Defeat of Islamic State by Voice of America
Secretary of State Tillerson: "Degradation of ISIS is not the end goal. We must defeat ISIS".
- Concrete Barriers: A False Counterinsurgency Idol by The Modern War Institute
"For military planners, the appeal of concrete barriers during an urban COIN campaign is clear."
- The Thousand Yard Stare by Keith Nightingale
A dubious badge of honor, less for skill than experience. Hard won, but never desired. Awarded with the greatest of merit and impossible to refuse.
- Africom to Sponsor First Conference for Defense Chiefs From African Continent by DoD News
Continue on for information concerning the conference and updates on Libya, Somalia and ISIS in Africa.