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 SWJ Editors | Thu, 05/03/2018 - 12:06am | 0 comments
"One activity that currently seems distant from AI is humanitarianism; the organisation of on-the-ground aid to fellow human beings in crisis due to war, famine or other disaster. But humanitarian organisations too will adopt AI."
by DoD News | Wed, 05/02/2018 - 12:05am | 0 comments
The U.S. Army has faced inflection points in the past and is facing one today, Army Secretary Mark T. Esper told the Atlantic Council here this morning.
by The Washington Post | Tue, 05/01/2018 - 11:35pm | 0 comments
"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on the first day in his new job, announced Tuesday that he is lifting a hiring freeze on family members of employees posted overseas."
by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction | Tue, 05/01/2018 - 6:52pm | 0 comments
Today, SIGAR released its thirty-ninth Quarterly Report to Congress. Continue on for key points and a link to the full report.
by The Washington Post | Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:28am | 0 comments
“A U.S.-backed force in Syria announced Tuesday that it was resuming operations against the Islamic State after an earlier push stalled as fighters left for other battlefronts.”
by Military Times | Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:04am | 0 comments
"With the furling of a flag, top U.S. military leaders marked the “end of major combat operations against ISIS in Iraq” and a change to the U.S.-led coalition’s mission in the country."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Mon, 04/30/2018 - 10:49pm | 0 comments
The United States decried the killing of journalists in suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan and accused the militants of trying to undermine the nation's upcoming elections by attacking the "cornerstone of democracy."
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 04/30/2018 - 7:17pm | 0 comments
The shadow war between Israel and Iran in Syria is heating up, and on Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised the stakes by revealing that Tehran is secretly maintaining its nuclear-weapons program.
by The Washington Post | Sat, 04/28/2018 - 11:24pm | 4 comments
A major buildup of Afghanistan’s commando force, part of a strategy to fight insurgents who contest or control nearly half the country’s districts, could have a detrimental effect on conventional army units, already beaten down by years of combat, corruption and desertion.
by The United States Institute of Peace | Fri, 04/27/2018 - 7:40pm | 0 comments
Despite clear evidence of the effectiveness of individual peacebuilding efforts, the field as a whole often struggles to have a meaningful collective impact on broader conflict dynamics. This report, drawing on a pilot initiative in the Central African Republic—IMPACT-CAR—to develop a shared measurement and reporting system aimed at improving collaboration and shared learning across peacebuilding implementers, reflects on the results, successes, and challenges of the initiative to offer a road map for future initiatives focused on collective impact in the peacebuilding field.
by Newsweek | Fri, 04/27/2018 - 3:20pm | 0 comments
Defense Secretary James Mattis told senators on Thursday that the U.S. military is not preparing to withdraw from Syria and that the presence of American troops is vital for continued anti-ISIS operations. Speaking in front of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, Mattis seemed to contradict President Donald Trump’s suggestions that American forces would soon withdraw from Syria, warning that the U.S. would regret abandoning the country too soon, The Washington Post reported.
by Voice of America | Fri, 04/27/2018 - 12:33am | 0 comments
The leaders of North and South Korea exchanged a warm handshake Friday over the demarcation line that divides the two countries ahead of a historic summit. North Korea's Kim Jong Un then crossed the border with Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea. "I am happy to meet you," Moon said. Kim invited Moon to cross briefly north with him before they returned to the southern side. After the morning session of the summit was completed, Kim returned to the northern side of the Pamunjom, in his black limousine, where he and the other North Korean leaders will have lunch. They return to the south side of the village in the afternoon for more talks.
by Combating Terrorism Center at West Point | Thu, 04/26/2018 - 7:03pm | 0 comments
The April 2018 issue of the Combating Terrorism Center’s ‘Sentinel’ is now online. Continue on for a note from the editor and links to all the new articles.
by Stars & Stripes | Thu, 04/26/2018 - 5:04pm | 0 comments
American troops will be key in a soon-to-be re-energized campaign against remaining Islamic State fighters in Syria, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senators Thursday on Capitol Hill, pledging the United States was not preparing to pull its forces from the war-torn country. “This is an ongoing fight right now,” Mattis told Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We’re continuing the fight, and we’re going to expand it with more regional support.”
by The Washington Post | Thu, 04/26/2018 - 7:26am | 0 comments
"Latin America is home to just 8 percent of the world's population, but 33 percent of its homicides. In fact, just four countries in the region — Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela — account for a quarter of all the murders on Earth. Of the 20 countries in the world with the highest murder rates, 17 are Latin American, as are 43 of the top 50 cities."
by George C. Marshall Center - European Center for Security Studies | Thu, 04/26/2018 - 6:17am | 0 comments
Almost 100 mid- to top-level law enforcement specialists and parliamentarians from 52 nations have a better understanding of the strategic-level approaches needed to counter transnational criminal organizations when they return home April 28. They are heading home after completing the three-plus week Program on Countering Transnational Organized Crime at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies here. The Marshall Center is a German-American partnership that has produced generations of global security professionals for the past 25 years.
by The Wall Street Journal | Thu, 04/26/2018 - 5:57am | 0 comments
"Poor training, complacency and a culture of excessive risk contributed to the deaths of four U.S. soldiers during an operation in Niger in October, according to a classified Pentagon report. The report, described by officials familiar with its contents, details a series of missteps and describes a disregard for military procedures and for the chain of command. Among other things, the report discloses that low-level commanders, determined to make a mark against local jihadis in the West African nation, took liberties to get operations approved through the chain of command."
by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction | Thu, 04/26/2018 - 5:45am | 0 comments
Yesterday, SIGAR released an audit of the World Bank-administered Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, one of the largest sources of funding to Afghan government operations outside the security sector.
by DoD News | Wed, 04/25/2018 - 7:31pm | 0 comments
Operationally and financially, the Defense Department has had a good year and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis urged the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee to build on this. The secretary and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified in a closed hearing before the subcommittee today. DoD released the secretary’s opening statement.
by Foreign Policy | Wed, 04/25/2018 - 6:48pm | 0 comments
"Unlike ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, U.S. Agency for International Development chief Mark Green has won over his workforce with his reorganization plan. U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green is rolling out ambitious plans to reorganize his agency, and unlike a similar effort at the State Department, his initiative is enjoying widespread support among his workforce and lawmakers in Congress."
by The U.S. Naval Institute | Wed, 04/25/2018 - 5:49am | 0 comments
"A clean sheet review of how the Navy educates sailors and Marines is now underway, with results expected to alter the way Department of the Navy training is conducted. The wide-ranging study is to explore how the Navy can upgrade its education methods in order to maintain a competitive edge at a time when adversaries are increasing their technical know-how, according to a memo released Monday by Thomas Modly, undersecretary of the Navy."
by Newsweek | Tue, 04/24/2018 - 3:39pm | 1 comment
"The spread of UAV technology to militants represents the next evolution of warfare by remote control, whereby terrorist groups can build de facto air forces. Weaponized drones are often low-tech but potentially deadly. The Islamic State military group (ISIS), for example, was able to import and construct hundreds—if not thousands—of inexpensive and portable drones, using them to terrorize their enemies on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria. When ISIS’s Mosul bastion finally fell in the summer of 2017, Iraqi forces found dozens of drone factories."
by The Washington Post | Tue, 04/24/2018 - 11:36am | 0 comments
"The rumblings of an open conflict between Israel and Iran in Syria are growing louder. When President Trump launched yet another one-off missile salvo against the Syrian regime, it came on the heels of a suspected April 9 Israeli strike on an Iranian facility at a Syrian air base, which drew howls of condemnation from the regime's patrons in Moscow and Tehran."
by The Jamestown Foundation | Tue, 04/24/2018 - 12:06am | 0 comments
Continue on for short summaries and links to all the briefs and articles in the latest issue of the Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor.
by Military Times | Mon, 04/23/2018 - 6:06pm | 0 comments
"ISIS and al-Qaida are regrouping in war-torn Libya as reports indicate Russians are pushing a military presence into the years-long civil war and some members of Congress want to know what the United States is doing about it. Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on the status of Libya last week, on the same day that militants detonated a car bomb on the convoy of the chief of staff to the general who heads one of the two major armies vying for control of the country."