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.

The leader of Islamic State in Afghanistan has been killed in a joint raid in eastern Nangarhar province, Afghan and U.S. military officials confirmed Sunday.

“The idea of lateral entry remains under discussion among Marine Corps planners. It would not be the first time.”

Heavy fighting is raging in northern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency has overrun several districts since launching its so-called yearly “spring offensive” more than a week ago.

Some of Pakistan’s highly educated youth are gravitating toward violent extremism and radicalization.

Al-Shabab militants in Somalia killed a member of U.S. Special Forces Friday and wounded three other members of an American team assisting Somali soldiers, U.S. officials said.

“USIP as ‘Combat Multiplier’ for ‘Striking Success’ in Iraq.”

“The U.S. Army’s Dagger Brigade is preparing for a September deployment. But it’s stretched thin.”

“The U.S. Secretary of State says nation will emphasize national security, economic interests over human rights in its ties.”

The Afghan government any new U.S. strategy should include supporting a Kabul security plan aimed at vastly improving Afghan security forces.

“A rigid, bureaucratic personnel system made sense in 1947. Now it’s dangerously out of date.”

"Jettisoning the lessons of the Iraq War for fear of striking a political nerve would be feckless. Gaslighting the COINdinistas would be cataclysmic."

Almost three weeks after the US dropped its most powerful non-nuclear bomb in E. Afghanistan, the IS group continues to show battlefield resilience as well as run its FM radio channel in the area.

IS hopes to emulate its precursor jihadist organizations, which were able to weather the military defeats inflicted on them by U.S. forces during the 2007-08 Surge.

"Islamic State is claiming to have attacked and captured a volatile district from the rival Taliban in eastern Afghanistan."

“Black holes are not merely matters of physics. Strategic black holes may be even more confounding than those found in deep space.”

NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg says the Western military alliance is close to making a decision on whether to increase its troop numbers in Afghanistan to help with the battle against militants.

“Any ethically acceptable end to a violent conflict must strike a balance between peace and justice. For the U.S. strategy in Syria, this is incredibly complicated, but necessary.”

In 1966, Army Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler, an active-duty Green Beret medic, became a national sensation with his song “The Ballad of the Green Berets.”

"The UAE has landed expeditionary forces in Afghanistan and Yemen. Its new overseas bases on the African continent show this country has even larger ambitions."

"For the first time since the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan in late 2014, U.S. Marines returned to Helmand province en masse."

Continue on for a rundown in a question-and-answer format about how IS operates in Afghanistan.

“Mattis, who has already shown himself willing to disagree, now occupies a key position in the Cabinet of a man with little foreign policy experience.”

The Taliban has unleashed its annual so-called “spring offensive” in Afghanistan, saying it will mainly target foreign “occupation” troops to force them to quit the country.

“Last year, we saw the future,’ Noble told the Army War College... ‘We came back and read Multi-Domain Battle (and thought) we saw version 1.0 in Iraq.'”

“The U.S. should shift its strategy to prioritize reaching a political settlement based on the Afghan constitution among all Afghan groups.”

“When intelligence officers such as Flynn move from compartmented boxes to a wider world, they often make mistakes.”

“The uncertain environment in some ways is more problematic than the openly hostile environment because the maxim of naval combat is he who fires first effectively wins.”

“The White House is giving the Pentagon greater flexibility to determine the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.”

"Every day, for weeks, the battle to take western Mosul from the Islamic State has looked like this: a block-by-block crawl as casualties mount."

Mark Moyar’s op-ed, “America’s Dangerous Love for Special Ops,” is at best, ill-informed and at worst, contemptuous of special operations forces.