Small Wars Journal

Blog Posts

SWJ Blog is a multi-author blog publishing news and commentary on the various goings on across the broad community of practice.  We gladly accept guest posts from serious voices in the community.

by The Times | Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:03am | 0 comments
“President Putin and President Erdogan have struck an eleventh-hour deal to avert an imminent assault and bloodbath in Idlib, the last major rebel territory in Syria. The two leaders hammered out a deal to create a demilitarised buffer zone between rebel and regime forces in the northwestern Syrian province during nearly two hours of talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi yesterday.”
by The Modern War Institute | Tue, 09/18/2018 - 8:42am | 0 comments
"Battle Drill 6 is not enough to prepare soldiers for the increasingly urban future of warfare. Some of the tasks listed above are detailed in doctrine, while others are not. Units need to add the tasks listed above (in the article) and more to their current training approaches. When they do, they will not only be able to advance their proficiency in urban skills, but also be able to push the boundaries of doctrinal recommendations, since doctrine is only a starting point."
by The Washington Post | Tue, 09/18/2018 - 6:43am | 0 comments
"China and Russia have spent decades building militaries specifically designed to fight and beat ours. Meanwhile, we have focused on rogue states and terrorism, taken a largely business-as-usual approach to modernization, and robbed the Peter of advanced capabilities to pay the Paul of day-to-day force employment. This route, as the strategy makes clear, is a losing proposition."
by The Washington Post | Tue, 09/18/2018 - 6:08am | 0 comments
“The United States must take a stand. We can’t reverse the course of the war, but we can at least take action to ensure that the people of Idlib are spared the worst — even if this entails some unpalatable moral compromises. Assertive deterrence by the United States and its partners is essential. To be effective, however, deterrence should be linked to a diplomatic strategy that will require difficult trade-offs.”
by Voice of America | Tue, 09/18/2018 - 5:49am | 0 comments
"Iranian Kurdish militants who were targeted by Iranian missile strikes earlier this month at a headquarters in Iraqi Kurdistan have declared intentions to step up their activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The rocket strikes, claimed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, hit Democratic Party of Kurdistan of Iran offices in the Iraqi Kurdistan town of Koya, near the Iran border, on September 8."
by The Wall Street Journal | Tue, 09/18/2018 - 4:57am | 0 comments
"Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation, has long stood as a role model for religious pluralism. That’s changing. Political Islam and violent extremism have been taking root in society and may soon do so in the government. President Joko Widodo’s choice of Ma’ruf Amin, a 75-year-old cleric, as his running mate in next year’s election marks an ugly turn for Indonesian politics."
by Reuters | Tue, 09/18/2018 - 3:11am | 0 comments
"A major assault in Idlib, home to some three million people, could be more deadly and destructive than any other in a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people since 2011. The U.N. is warning of a humanitarian catastrophe. It could also prove the most challenging campaign yet for Assad: Turkey has forces on the ground in Idlib, where the rebels are heavily armed and include highly motivated jihadists."
by Stars & Stripes | Tue, 09/18/2018 - 3:09am | 0 comments
"Nearly 17 years after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, the international coalition in Kabul is putting down new roots with hardened permanent structures to replace temporary ones at its headquarters in the increasingly violent capital.
by SWJ Editors | Mon, 09/17/2018 - 4:22pm | 0 comments
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, and Defence Minister Ron Mark have announced an extension of the New Zealand Defence Force military training deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a renewal of three peacekeeping missions in the Middle East and Africa.
by The Hill | Mon, 09/17/2018 - 1:33pm | 1 comment
“For many in the Armed Forces, the 17 years of the ‘Long War’ have become an abiding focus of their lives. For our soldiers, it is now possible to die on your 13th deployment to a combat zone. We must adapt our policies to ensure that this doesn’t become a Forever War.”
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 09/17/2018 - 9:56am | 0 comments
"Western military forces operate from at least nine bases in Niger, government officials said. One recent day at Niamey’s airport, two French Eurofighters screeched skyward from the runway as a giant American C-130 transporter plane taxied below. The U.S. is finishing a large air base in Agadez, while the Central Intelligence Agency has begun flying armed drones from an airstrip outside the northern town of Dirkou, Nigerien officials said."
by SWJ Editors | Mon, 09/17/2018 - 8:49am | 0 comments
Written by a reserve officer who spent a tour in the Philippines producing a classified history for US Special Operations Command, this first-ever publicly available history of OEF-P provides both a detailed accounting of the operation’s successes and a model for trainers and advisers providing assistance to host-nation security forces around the globe.
by Military Times | Mon, 09/17/2018 - 12:09am | 0 comments
“Many have interpreted the Air Force’s OA-X light-attack experiment as something solely focused on acquiring a cost-effective close-air support aircraft for U.S. forces entangled in low-intensity conflicts. But in reality, the program is also being crafted to increase the capabilities of partner nations across the world.”
by The Washington Times | Mon, 09/17/2018 - 12:06am | 0 comments
“Although the United States and its NATO allies have increased military activities in Central and Eastern Europe, the West is still militarily vulnerable in the region. The Russian military has built up anti-access zones and increased forces next to Poland and the three Baltic states. These actions, made worse by vulnerable geography including the so-called Suwaki Gap, require a firm, long-term response.”
by Associated Press | Sun, 09/16/2018 - 1:01pm | 0 comments
"They dug trenches around towns, reinforced caves for cover and put up sand bags around their positions. They issued calls to arms, urging young men to join in the defense of Idlib, the Syrian province where opposition fighters expect to make their last stand against Russian- and Iranian-backed government troops they have fought for years. This time, it's 'surrender or die.'"
by Associated Press | Sun, 09/16/2018 - 12:34am | 0 comments
As alleged Russian plots, conspiracies and crimes unfold against the West, prosecutors and pundits routinely blame Vladimir Putin or a circle of Kremlin insiders said to be acting on direct orders from the president. Putin may indeed have involvement in some shadowy schemes, but is he micromanaging every suspected poisoning, computer hack and influence campaign?
by InSight Crime | Sun, 09/16/2018 - 12:33am | 0 comments
The increasing fragility of peace talks between the Colombian government and the country’s last remaining guerrilla group could see the rebels double down on their criminal prospects in the Andean nation.
by The Los Angeles Times | Sun, 09/16/2018 - 12:31am | 0 comments
When Defense Secretary James N. Mattis declared last month that he had “no plans” to cancel future joint military exercises with South Korean forces, it brought him a very public rebuke from President Trump. “There is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games,” Trump fired back the next day in a tweet he labeled “Statement from the White House.” He underscored only “the President” could restart exercises he had abruptly suspended after his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
by Voice of America | Sat, 09/15/2018 - 11:59am | 0 comments
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says he has no intention of backing down in the face of a "resurgent" Russia, insisting the Western alliance will hold a firm but fair line with Moscow while continuing to accept former Soviet states.
by The Christian Science Monitor | Sat, 09/15/2018 - 6:10am | 0 comments
"Only two grisly questions remain in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s fight against his civil war rivals: how long before the last major armed resistance, in the northwestern province of Idlib, is crushed; and how many of the estimated three million civilians there will escape. Yet even amid the preparations for a final assault, a different battle has been taking shape: among outside powers in the seven-year war, each with its own interests. How that ends will have implications not just for Syria, but the wider Middle East, Europe, and for the balance of power between Russia and the United States."
by Agence France-Presse | Sat, 09/15/2018 - 6:07am | 0 comments
"The United States has presented a draft Security Council resolution aimed at toughening the UN response to failures by peacekeepers in their mission to protect civilians, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said Wednesday. UN peacekeeping missions are facing a damaging wave of allegations of sex abuse and of failing to come to the aid of civilians caught up in violence, notably in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.+
by Agence France-Presse | Sat, 09/15/2018 - 6:01am | 0 comments
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday Berlin was boosting military cyber capabilities to respond to Russian hybrid warfare that is targeting its troops deployed on NATO's eastern flank. NATO allies have accused Russia of using "hybrid warfare" techniques, including subversion, propaganda and cyber warfare, to undermine the West without triggering a full NATO military response."
by Voice of America | Fri, 09/14/2018 - 8:39am | 5 comments
"Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Thursday that the current global approach in the fight against Islamist terrorism adopted since the 9/11 attacks has failed. A more complex strategy is needed, he said."
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:06am | 0 comments
"The U.S. Agency for International Development’s biggest program for Afghan women has spent almost $90 million over three years and so far has placed just 55 women in Afghan government jobs, a watchdog report said Thursday. The much-touted Promote program was unveiled at a $216 million price tag three years ago, intended to show U.S. support for Afghan women after the Obama administration had announced it would withdraw all troops by 2016."
by Voice of America | Thu, 09/13/2018 - 2:04pm | 0 comments
"Negotiations between the United States and the Afghan Taliban for a political settlement to end the protracted war in Afghanistan are stuck over the issue of maintenance of U.S. military bases in the country, according to Waheed Muzhda, a former Taliban official in Kabul who remains in regular contact with Taliban leaders. The “U.S. wants the Taliban to accept at least two military bases, Bagram and Shorabak. The Taliban are not willing to accept it,” Muzhda said, adding the insurgent leaders are unwilling to accept anything more than a nominal number of troops required to secure the U.S. diplomatic mission."