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 Associated Press | Sun, 08/05/2018 - 1:33am | 0 comments
"Drones armed with explosives detonated near Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Saturday in an apparent assassination attempt that took place while he was delivering a speech to hundreds of soldiers being broadcast live on television, officials said."
by The Sydney Morning Herald | Sun, 08/05/2018 - 12:46am | 0 comments
The overwhelming majority make no excuses for any small teams that went rogue. Soldiers fight principally for one another. Unethical conduct in Afghanistan made a tough job harder. Recklessness with the rules further embittered the Afghan locals and effectively betrayed the Australian mission, its soldiers and their mates. These soldiers also expect no excuses from the public. They hold to a proud heritage which honours toughness and decency. As one decorated SASR veteran put it: “We are not Viking raiders or Genghis Khan’s marauders. We are Australian soldiers.”
by Deutsche Welle | Sat, 08/04/2018 - 4:11pm | 0 comments
In a major setback for "Islamic State" in Afghanistan, over 150 of its fighters recently surrendered to security forces in the northern Jawzjan province. The credit for their defeat, however, does not directly go to Afghan government troops, but to the Taliban.
by The New York Times | Sat, 08/04/2018 - 2:46pm | 0 comments
An official with the National Directorate of Security, the powerful intelligence agency, said the Islamic State group would be in for a surprise once they were transferred to the custody of the N.D.S. in Kabul. “We don’t do peace with ISIS,” he said. “ISIS is an international terror group. We don’t make peace with terrorists.”
by Vox | Sat, 08/04/2018 - 12:40am | 0 comments
"It’s still unclear if the new talks will lead to a political resolution; one expert I spoke to put the chances of success at around 20 percent. But others see it as an ambitious and bold move that could potentially lead to some kind of tenuous peace for the country. And the reason for this renewed optimism, surprisingly, has to do with the Taliban itself.'
by The New York Times | Fri, 08/03/2018 - 5:41pm | 0 comments
"On the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, Kurdish militiamen aligned with American troops burrow into sandbagged positions and eye their foes across the water. On the other side, Arab rebels backed by Turkey shoot at anyone who nears the river... after seven years of war, the river that has fed life in Syria’s parched east has become a hostile front, separating warring sides as it travels north to south."
by The Hill | Fri, 08/03/2018 - 2:01am | 0 comments
"You go after the terrorists, and the insurgents get off the hook. You target the insurgents, and the terrorists get the breathing space they need to regroup and launch deadly offensives. The insurgents, after all, are also fighting the terrorists."
by The Washington Post | Thu, 08/02/2018 - 10:10pm | 0 comments
"The Trump administration is searching for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. However meandering the road, the administration is on the right path. But it is a very difficult one to navigate."
by The National Interest | Thu, 08/02/2018 - 10:37am | 0 comments
"Kashmir’s war, a territorial dispute between India and neighboring Pakistan, has smoldered for decades. Now it is collapsing into itself. The violence is becoming smaller, more intimate and harder to escape. Years ago, Pakistan pushed thousands of militants across the border as a proxy army to wreak havoc in the Indian-controlled parts of Kashmir. Now, the resistance inside the Indian areas is overwhelmingly homegrown."
by Real Clear Defense | Thu, 08/02/2018 - 10:08am | 0 comments
"A recent report makes clear that Pakistan’s most lethal and reliable Islamist terrorist proxy, the Haqqani network, 'continues to be an integral part of the Taliban’s effort' to pose an existential threat to Afghanistan, and that the region has the 'largest concentration' of terrorist organizations in the world."
by The New York Times | Thu, 08/02/2018 - 12:16am | 0 comments
"Hundreds of American troops in Africa would be reassigned and the number of Special Operations missions on the continent would be wound down under plans submitted by a top military commander, a response to the Trump administration’s strategy to increasingly focus on threats from China and Russia."
by The Council on Foreign Relations | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 7:36pm | 0 comments
"The U.S. military is currently at war with itself, and a casualty may be a valuable Army institution that protects not only U.S. interests, but also the lives of U.S. service members."
by Stars & Stripes | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 6:19pm | 0 comments
“NATO will provide 200 personnel to train Iraq’s security forces to prevent the Islamic State from regaining a foothold in the region, a top U.S. commander said. Joint Force Command Naples will lead the training mission, approved at NATO’s July summit, and will deploy sometime after this summer to set up the expanded training program, JFC officials said.”
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 5:45pm | 0 comments
The three Russian journalists who were killed in the Central African Republic this week had arrived in the war-torn country to investigate the reported presence there of a shadowy Russian paramilitary force whose units are said to have fought in Ukraine and Syria.
by The New York Times | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 4:28pm | 0 comments
"More than 200 Islamic State fighters and their two top commanders surrendered to the Afghan government on Wednesday to avoid capture by Taliban insurgents, after a two-day battle that was a decisive victory for the Taliban, participants on all sides confirmed."
by U.S. Army War College War Room | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 9:45am | 0 comments
"Should military institutions pursue research that is not directly tied to immediate organizational needs? The case for applied research is clear, since it seeks to solve defined problems. But what about basic research, which advances knowledge more for its own sake, often with only a vague sense of its application potential?"
by The Washington Post | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 7:17am | 0 comments
"A first possible breakthrough in the 17-year Afghan conflict came in June, when a brief cease-fire during a Muslim holiday produced a spontaneous celebration by Afghan troops, civilians and Taliban fighters. The nationwide yearning for peace became palpable."
by Institute for the Study of War | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:44am | 0 comments
"Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani is facing a powerful, cross-ethnic opposition bloc that could destabilize and ultimately collapse the Afghan government. The growing prospect of political instability ahead of key elections threatens U.S. objectives defined by President Donald Trump and his administration."
by The Center for a New American Security | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:33am | 0 comments
This paper is the second in a CNAS series dedicated to understanding how 16 years of extensive drone use have affected the dynamics of national security decision- making, based on interviews with former senior officials primarily from the Obama administration.
by The National Interest | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:31am | 0 comments
"The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019, as approved in conference and passed by the House on July 26, will continue the progress begun in fiscal year 2018 in rebuilding the capacity, capabilities, and readiness of the U.S. military services."
by The Washington Post | Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:22am | 0 comments
"Heading toward the midterm elections, President Trump is playing the politics of division more recklessly than ever. But there is a movement taking root in both parties this year that seeks to unite the country by building on the bedrock values of military service."
by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction | Tue, 07/31/2018 - 11:31am | 0 comments
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction issued its fortieth Quarterly Report on July 30, 2018. Public Law 110-181 directs SIGAR to submit a quarterly report to Congress. This congressionally mandated report summarizes SIGAR's audits and investigative activities. The report also provides an overview of reconstruction activities in Afghanistan and includes a detailed statement of all obligations, expenditures, and revenues associated with reconstruction.
by The Washington Times | Mon, 07/30/2018 - 8:51pm | 0 comments
“Stakes were high in the Cold War era. The specter of nuclear war loomed ever-present. Back then, America had the troops, the equipment and the powerful allies needed to confront Soviet expansionism on multiple fronts, while keeping lesser threats at bay. Today, the U.S. military is one-third smaller, and though it wields more advanced weaponry, it must operate in a world that holds no less danger and poses threats that are far more complex.”
by Associated Press | Mon, 07/30/2018 - 8:10pm | 0 comments
“The U.S. military in Africa has taken steps to increase the security of troops on the ground, adding armed drones and armored vehicles and taking a harder look at when American forces go out with local troops, the head of the U.S. Africa Command said Monday.”
by Reuters | Mon, 07/30/2018 - 7:47pm | 0 comments
"President Bashar al-Assad's path to a final victory in the war in Syria is strewn with diplomatic landmines that will complicate his attempt to recover 'every inch' of the country and may leave big areas out of his grasp indefinitely."