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.

“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.

The evolving relationship between the mercurial and inexperienced commander in chief and his unflappable defense secretary Jim Mattis.

On the extreme social dangers that come about from excessive concentrations of wealth in the hands of a few.

The evolving security challenges in Central America are threatening the security beyond the region and demand a unified approach.

“Few incumbents of the White House have understood special forces’ limitations. Special forces… are best suited to counterinsurgency.”

“It is time to recognize that the United States might be able to maintain an open-ended military presence in Afghanistan or stabilize the country, but not both.”

“The CNA report, ‘The Role of Special Operations Forces in Global Competition,’ was motivated by a number of conversations with special operators.”

“The history of America’s special operations forces recommends caution. They are primarily tactical tools, not strategic options.”

Soldiers on board were Taliban militants, disguised in ANA uniforms with fake identification cards. Inside the first vehicle, there was a wounded soldier who was pleading for urgent care.

Defense Secretary Mattis has arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit to discuss the country’s security situation with political and military leaders.

Why is there so much confusion about irregular warfare?

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is in Djibouti, the tiny east African nation that’s home to the United States’ only military base on the continent.

“The security force assistance brigade, a 529-man team of officers and senior noncommissioned officers, will be tasked specifically to train allied forces to help them maintain their own...

“The attack in northern Balkh province came during afternoon prayers.”

If the government continues to refuse comment on most of its counterterrorism activity abroad it will struggle to win what is increasingly a war of narratives.