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 | Wed, 09/12/2018 - 11:48am | 0 comments
“The Taliban are ready for a second round of talks with the U.S., possibly this month, which is likely to focus on prisoner exchanges, confidence building measures, and ways to move from back-door meetings to formal negotiations, said Taliban officials in separate interviews in recent days.”
by Center for Strategic & International Studies | Wed, 09/12/2018 - 10:17am | 0 comments
"Despite tough talk from Washington, Taliban leaders continue to enjoy a sanctuary in Pakistan and support from Pakistan security agencies. A review of insurgencies since World War II suggests that groups like the Taliban, which retain a sanctuary in neighboring states, either win insurgencies or successfully drag them out."
by The New York Times | Wed, 09/12/2018 - 9:10am | 0 comments
"Since the lightning rise of the Islamic State in 2014, law enforcement has scrambled to stop an endless array of plots. It is only now, more than four years after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared his caliphate, that the cadence has finally slowed."
by The Washington Post, by The Wall Street Journal | Wed, 09/12/2018 - 12:41am | 0 comments
"U.S.-backed forces have launched what they hope will be the final battle for territory in the four-year-old war against the Islamic State with an assault on the militants’ last major bastion in the eastern Syrian desert, the U.S. military said Tuesday."
by Center for Strategic & International Studies | Wed, 09/12/2018 - 12:21am | 0 comments
"It is tempting to call most reporting on the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan 'blind and stupid.' This, however, is unfair to journalists – whose job is primarily to report current news and not to speculate about its ultimate meaning or the future. The phrase "blind and stupid" should be applied to most policymakers, strategists, and think tank analysts who try to address these wars – people whose mission is not only to think about the future, but to propose credible solutions to emerging and easily foreseeable problems."
by The Wall Street Journal | Wed, 09/12/2018 - 12:18am | 0 comments
“Chinese and Russian troops began joint maneuvers Tuesday, marking the first time Moscow has invited a country outside a tight circle of former Soviet allies to its largest annual exercises and offering Chinese generals rare and valuable experience training outside their country’s borders. The five days of drills in Russia’s far east, near the Chinese border, are also meant to demonstrate the extent to which the two sides are moving beyond symbolic displays of force to coordinate weapons systems and command structures.”
by The United States Institute of Peace | Tue, 09/11/2018 - 5:19pm | 1 comment
Today, on the 17th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States is releasing its first report, which warns that the United States urgently needs a new approach to stem the spread of violent extremism and previews a comprehensive preventative strategy that focuses on strengthening resilience against extremism in fragile states.
by The Modern War Institute | Tue, 09/11/2018 - 9:53am | 1 comment
"The divergent nature of the term humanitarian war can be seen the UN’s involvement in Somalia (1992), Kosovo (1999), and Libya (2011), three cases that highlight when the United Nations strayed from humanitarian intervention."
by The New York Times | Tue, 09/11/2018 - 8:29am | 0 comments
"The last vestige of Islamic State territory in Syria came under attack, as members of an American-backed coalition said Tuesday that they had begun a final push to oust the militants from Hajin, the remaining sliver of territory under the group’s control in the region where it was born. The assault is the final chapter of a war that began more than four years ago after the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, seized enormous tracts of land in Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Tue, 09/11/2018 - 12:05am | 0 comments
"Air and ground attacks on Syria's Idlib Province must stop "immediately" and a cease-fire must be established in the rebel-held area, Turkish television quoted the country's defense minister as saying. Russian and Syrian warplanes resumed their bombing campaign in northwest Syria last week as government forces are preparing a major assault to recover Idlib and adjacent areas from the rebels."
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:28am | 0 comments
“The firing of rockets toward American diplomatic missions in Iraq after protesters torched the Iranian consulate in Basra raised tensions as the U.S. and Iran vie to shape the country’s next government.”
by The Los Angeles Times | Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:16am | 0 comments
"In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, the United States set out to destroy Al Qaeda. President George W. Bush vowed to 'starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest.' Seventeen years later, Al Qaeda may be stronger than ever."
by Voice of America | Mon, 09/10/2018 - 9:03am | 0 comments
"The Trump administration is set to threaten sanctions Monday if the International Criminal Court in The Hague carries out an investigation into allegations of war crimes by U.S. military and intelligence personnel in Afghanistan."
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 09/10/2018 - 12:39am | 0 comments
"President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold, U.S. officials said, raising the prospects for another retaliatory U.S. military strike as thousands try to escape what could be a decisive battle in the seven-year-old war."
by The New York Times | Mon, 09/10/2018 - 12:15am | 0 comments
"The CIA is poised to conduct secret drone strikes against Qaeda and Islamic State insurgents from a newly expanded air base deep in the Sahara, making aggressive use of powers that were scaled back during the Obama administration and restored by President Trump."
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 09/10/2018 - 12:09am | 0 comments
"Syrian President Bashar Assad has launched his opening salvo to take back Idlib, the last major stronghold of organized rebel forces. The northwestern province is teeming with internally displaced Syrian civilians who have fled other parts of the country—Aleppo in December, Eastern Ghouta in April, and Daraa in June—under the weight of indiscriminate bombing by Russia and the Syrian regimes. U.N. officials say 800,000 people may be forced out of the city and the province in the assault. Refugees are running out of places to go."
by Voice of America | Mon, 09/10/2018 - 12:06am | 0 comments
"A district police chief was among dozens of security forces killed in Afghanistan in overnight attacks by the Taliban, officials said Sunday. The insurgent raids occurred in the central eastern Maidan Wardak, western Herat and northern Baghlan provinces, the officials said."
by The New York Times | Mon, 09/10/2018 - 12:05am | 0 comments
"In a chaotic day of violence throughout Afghanistan, scores of police officers, soldiers and civilians were killed by insurgents who, in four separate attacks, overran a major military base, killed a police chief, destroyed a police post and bombed a memorial event."
by The Wall Street Journal | Sun, 09/09/2018 - 1:48pm | 0 comments
“In the spring, President Trump had an easy answer on how to deal with the carnage in Syria. The president vowed to quickly wrap up the fight against Islamic State and bring the troops out ‘very soon.’ The message, which Mr. Trump delivered at a rally in Ohio, was a popular one for a political base that has embraced Mr. Trump’s ‘America First’ message. Now, with a climactic battle looming for Syria’s plan with Russia and Iran to retake rebel-held Idlib province, Mr. Trump is making a course correction—in tune with national-security officials determined to push back against longstanding adversaries.”
by The Wall Street Journal | Sun, 09/09/2018 - 6:38am | 0 comments
"The liberal world order established by the United States a little over seven decades ago is collapsing. This should not be surprising. It was always a historical anomaly. The long period of prosperity, widespread democracy and peace among the great powers was a dramatic departure from the historical norm. It certainly was not where the world had been heading before 1945."
by The New York Times | Sun, 09/09/2018 - 3:58am | 0 comments
"Iraqi security forces stepped up patrols Saturday in the southern city of Basra, a strategically important oil port on the border with Iran where longstanding protests about quality of life have escalated into days of rioting and violence. The predominantly Shiite city is among the poorest areas of Iraq, despite the huge nearby oil reserves that drive the national economy. Although Basra has escaped the terrorist violence that has racked the country for years, its population has struggled with its own set of problems."
by The Washington Post | Sun, 09/09/2018 - 2:59am | 0 comments
"The Trump administration met several times last year and early this year with Venezuelan military officers purporting to be dissidents plotting a coup against President Nicolás Maduro, but ultimately rebuffed their requests for assistance, according to U.S. officials. The operation was small and closely held, according to one senior official, who described the meetings as 'all listening. We listen to anyone who wants to talk to us.'"
by The British Broadcasting Corporation, by SWJ Editors | Sat, 09/08/2018 - 5:04pm | 0 comments
BBC Stories - The deadliest capital city in the world, boasting the world’s highest murder rate. Venezuela and its capital are in chaos and getting in as a journalist is next to impossible. Ben Zand goes in under the radar to see what’s truly happening in the world’s most violent city. Continue on to watch the full documentary.
by DoD News | Sat, 09/08/2018 - 3:16pm | 0 comments
"Taliban reconciliation with the Afghan government is at the core of the peace program in Afghanistan, but it will be a difficult path to tread, the spokesman for NATO’s Resolute Support mission and the U.S. Operation Freedom’s Sentinel said yesterday."
by DoD News | Sat, 09/08/2018 - 2:56pm | 0 comments
"The consequences of a Russian-Syrian regime offensive into Idlib, Syria, against terrorists hiding there would almost certainly be a humanitarian disaster, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today."