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 Defense One | Fri, 05/18/2018 - 1:32am | 0 comments
“Even as the Pentagon shifts its focus from low-intensity conflict to full-spectrum war, the U.S. Air Force might finally buy a prop-driven light attack plane.”
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:32am | 0 comments
“In its former heartland of Syria and Iraq, the once mighty Islamic State has turned, at least for now, into little more than a nuisance. But that’s not the case for the self-declared caliphate’s far-flung “provinces,” from West Africa to Afghanistan to Southeast Asia.”
by Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. | Thu, 05/17/2018 - 6:39am | 0 comments
There has been a lot of discussion recently about what impact developments in artificial intelligence might have on the military, but there is also a growing amount of talk regarding how emerging advancements in human intelligence will influence tomorrow’s wars – much thanks to remarkable work occurring in neuroscience.
by Agence France-Presse | Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:22pm | 0 comments
“Airstrikes against Syrian rebels have gone up 150 percent since Russia intervened in the conflict in 2015, helping the regime triple the territory under its control, a report published on Tuesday showed. The analysis by IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center (JTIC) also found that just 14 percent of the strikes were against the Islamic State group.”
by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction | Tue, 05/15/2018 - 8:45pm | 0 comments
United States Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) has informed SIGAR that they had provided SIGAR with incorrect personnel strength figures for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) for use in SIGAR’s quarterly report published on April 30, 2018. This is the latest in a series of problems SIGAR has faced with DOD’s responses to our requests for ANDSF information.
by The Wall Street Journal | Tue, 05/15/2018 - 8:06pm | 0 comments
“U.S. forces are preparing for a battle with Islamic State over a valley that was once the Afghan hub of the group’s campaign to create a world-wide caliphate. The militants have been probing American and Afghan positions and hiding weapons caches in the ridges overlooking Mohmand Valley, which was controlled by ISIS fighters until allied troops chased them into the Spingar mountains at the end of last year.”
by Breaking Defense | Tue, 05/15/2018 - 5:28am | 0 comments
"Russia or China could “overrun” US allies at the outbreak of war, senior military leaders fear, and our plan to stop them is very much a work in progress. Iraq and Syria have given sneak previews of how the US can combine, say, hackers, satellites, special operators, and airstrikes in a single offensive, but we’re not yet ready to launch such a multi-domain operation against a major power."
by Stars & Stripes | Tue, 05/15/2018 - 4:59am | 0 comments
"The Marine Corps is making sweeping changes to the structure and equipment of its ground-combat forces aimed at improving lethality and agility on the battlefield. Officially announced last week, the modifications are the result of nearly two years of study and experimentation known as Marine Corps Force 2025 and Sea Dragon 2025."
by The United States Institute of Peace | Mon, 05/14/2018 - 1:38pm | 0 comments
"More than two years after the United Nations began leading an internationally backed peace process for Libya, that effort faces severe challenges. Rival Libyan regimes still claim national authority, and battles among hundreds of militia groups continue."
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 05/14/2018 - 2:17am | 0 comments
“Fighters loyal to Islamic State killed four American soldiers in Niger last fall, surprising even some Members of Congress who apparently had no idea the U.S. is fighting ISIS in Africa. Last week the Pentagon published a highly critical summary of its investigation into the incident, but it should lead to military improvements not a U.S. retreat from Africa."
by SWJ Editors | Fri, 05/11/2018 - 10:15pm | 0 comments
In March, Harper’s Magazine convened a panel of former soldiers at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The participants, almost all of whom saw combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, were asked to reflect on the country’s involvement in the Middle East. This Forum is based on that panel, which was held before an audience of cadets and officers, and on a private discussion that followed.
by Breaking Defense | Fri, 05/11/2018 - 6:52am | 0 comments
"The House Armed Services Committee unanimously endorsed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s efforts to improve the infantry and added a few suggestions of its own. Let’s give infantry units more drones and train them more like special operators, the amendment to the annual defense policy bill said, and maybe consider creating a special training center for small unit leaders, like a Top Gun for grunts."
by Army Times | Thu, 05/10/2018 - 7:50pm | 0 comments
In a televised Pentagon briefing, the commander of U.S. Africa Command laid out the bottom line for the October Niger ambush that killed four U.S. soldiers: “The responsibility is mine,” Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser said.
by Associated Press | Thu, 05/10/2018 - 3:42pm | 0 comments
"There may not be much Iran can do about President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, but across the Middle East, it has a variety of ways it can hit back at the United States and America’s regional allies."
by United Press International | Thu, 05/10/2018 - 3:07pm | 0 comments
Pentagon investigators on Thursday blamed multiple "individual, organizational and institutional failures" for the ambush that left four U.S. solders dead in Niger in October 2017. The six-month investigation, which resulted in an eight-page summary report released Thursday, determined no single person or entity was to blame for the deaths.
by Voice of America | Thu, 05/10/2018 - 10:46am | 0 comments
There has been a serious clash between Israel and Iran in Syria. Israel launched a fierce assault on more than 50 Iranian targets in Syria. The military said the Air Force hit weapons depots, logistics sites and intelligence centers used by elite Iranian forces, many of them near Damascus.
by The Washington Post | Wed, 05/09/2018 - 11:30pm | 0 comments
"Confrontation between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria sharply escalated early Thursday morning as Israel said Iran launched a barrage of 20 missiles toward its positions in the Golan Heights. Heavy military jet activity, explosions and air-defense fire could be heard throughout the night in the area."
by Combating Terrorism Center at West Point | Wed, 05/09/2018 - 12:19pm | 0 comments
In a conflict that has no easy answers and no solutions in sight, Boko Haram is already and will remain one of Africa’s enduring insurgencies. In order to better understand Boko Haram now and in the future, this report, edited by Jacob Zenn, challenges some key misconceptions about the insurgency and provides new analyses and insights based on many exclusive primary source materials and datasets.
by Defense News | Tue, 05/08/2018 - 8:50pm | 0 comments
It took Iraqi forces three years to significantly drive Islamic State militants out of the country, but the group’s nontraditional tactics have damaged Iraq’s special forces, according to one major Iraqi military commander.
by The Cipher Brief | Tue, 05/08/2018 - 10:03am | 0 comments
"Following the near destruction of ISIS in Iraq and in the U.S. “zone” in northeastern Syria, and then a call recently by President Donald Trump to pull out of Syria, administration officials, pundits and foreign leaders have all urged the president to keep troops in Syria."
by The New York Times | Mon, 05/07/2018 - 7:50pm | 0 comments
“What does it feel like to live in an Afghan city on the brink of falling to the Taliban? The residents of Ghazni, a provincial capital of 280,000 people about 110 miles south of the capital, Kabul, on a main highway, can hardly tell anymore who’s in charge, and fear has become an everyday companion.”
by Combating Terrorism Center at West Point | Sun, 05/06/2018 - 11:22am | 0 comments
For the past year and a half, al-Shabaab has continued to take advantage of the ongoing political and security turmoil between Somalia’s federal government, regional state administrations, and other powerful social groups, including the country’s clans and sub-clans and minority groups.
by SWJ Editors | Fri, 05/04/2018 - 6:51pm | 0 comments
Beginning in 2009, the Command and General Staff College Foundation has partnered each year with the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College to host an annual ethics symposium at Fort Leavenworth. Continue on for links to the full report and individual articles from the latest event.
by The New York Times | Thu, 05/03/2018 - 8:21pm | 0 comments
“For years, the American military has sought to distance itself from a brutal civil war in Yemen, where Saudi-led forces are battling rebels who pose no direct threat to the United States. But late last year, a team of about a dozen Green Berets arrived on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, in a continuing escalation of America’s secret wars.”
by The Wall Street Journal | Thu, 05/03/2018 - 7:14pm | 0 comments
"Chinese military personnel are targeting American flight crews in the skies over the east African nation of Djibouti using a high-powered laser in what amounts to a new show of Chinese harassment of the U.S. military at a time of heightened tensions between the nations, according to Pentagon officials."