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.

SWJ Fire Team in Wedge Formation

"Unlike so many abuses against Afghan women that unfold in private, this killing in March prompted a national outcry."

"The IS released a new message purportedly from its reclusive leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, claiming that his self-styled 'caliphate' is doing well."

"One major problem, according to current and former intelligence and military officials, is that U.S. policy has simply not adjusted to the complex realities on the ground."

"Over the history of the U.S., several big military actions have taken place on Dec. 25. Here are four noteworthy ones."

"Washington’s reluctance to risk civilian casualties in the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State terror group is again being questioned."

"We join with people around the world in praying for God’s protection for persecuted Christians and those of other faiths."

Merry Christmas from SWJ to you and yours.

“Working alongside Russian forces will likely enhance the group's ongoing shift toward a more offensive-minded strategy.”

"Russia is exchanging information with the Taliban and sees shared interest with the insurgents when it comes to counteracting the spread of the Islamic State."

Continue on for the Mad Scientist Call for Papers.

Continue on for the Mad Scientist Conference: Megacities and Dense Urban Areas Information Paper.

"A switch in tactics has provided the Iraqi Security Forces with some victories in their battle against the so-called Islamic State, notably in Ramadi, says the US military."

"It has now been almost exactly a year since U.S. and ISAF combat forces formally left Afghanistan. So far, the Afghan government and Afghan forces are losing at every level."

"The Preventive Priorities Survey seeks to evaluate conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring or escalating and their impact on U.S. national interests."

If the United States goes back to the Middle East in force, how will it do so? Certainly no one hears any thoughts on the subject from the active military.

"A Taliban attack killed six U.S. service members near Kabul on Monday, U.S. officials said, in the latest sign of deepening violence across Afghanistan."

"Recent deserters have told researchers they fled the self-proclaimed Islamic State group because of a mismatch between the words and deeds of the extremist group."

"IS militants are not as capable as some criminal networks or rival nations, but IS has more capabilities than any other terrorist organization... And they can gain more."

"Why have tens of thousands of people from around the world chosen to live under the Islamic State’s draconian rule and fight under its black flag?"

"The war in Afghanistan has always been a collection of tiny wars fought from tiny outposts that have their own heroes and villains, pitched battles and murky outcomes."

"The mission was always devilishly complex: a combination of guerrilla warfare, social outreach, military training and institution-building in a forbidding and often hostile land."

"Sending significant ground forces back to the Middle East could conceivably result in the deaths of 100 American soldiers every month."

Shawn Brimley argues that the U.S. military edge, particularly in regards to technology, is rapidly eroding. Brimley makes recommendations for how to rebuild America’s military advantage.

Continue on for the latest Strategic Studies Institute research and analysis papers.

"A report that examines trends related to the kidnapping of Westerners by jihadist groups."

"U.S. soldiers accused Afghan police and Navy SEALs of abusing detainees. But the SEAL command opted against a court-martial and cleared its men of wrongdoing."

Question – what do Vladimir Putin and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have in common?  Answer – both man’s dream of territorial expansion are failing. 

“The nation's top military officer said the Pentagon will revamp combat commands for the 'fight of the future' because current 'old plans' take too long to execute.”

"A new Saudi-led Islamic military alliance to fight terrorism could be part of a solution, but Riyadh will have to first overcome its ambivalence toward Islamic extremism."