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 The Wall Street Journal | Tue, 09/25/2018 - 12:48am | 0 comments
"World leaders streamed into New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly gathering this week, planning to confront persistent global problems as well as a burgeoning debate over two competing world views: national sovereignty and multilateralism."
by The Wall Street Journal | Tue, 09/25/2018 - 12:46am | 0 comments
“The Russian government announced plans to send a powerful air-defense system to Syria, escalating tensions with Israel following the downing of a Russian war plane last week that the Kremlin has blamed on Israeli forces. Syrian air defense systems shot down the Russian reconnaissance plane, killing 15 service members on board, as they defended against Israeli military jets that were attacking Iranian targets in Syria.”
by Al-Monitor | Mon, 09/24/2018 - 11:26am | 0 comments
"The stability of Saudi Arabia is becoming more fragile as the young crown prince’s judgment and competence are increasingly in doubt. Mohammed bin Salman has a track record of impulsive and reckless decisions at home and abroad that calls into question the kingdom’s future."
by The National Interest | Mon, 09/24/2018 - 12:27am | 0 comments
"The seven-year conflict is in its endgame. Backed by Russian airpower and Iranian ground forces, the Assad government has steadily defeated various rebel groups across the country. Damascus is now secure, with rebels finally driven from nearby suburbs. Some neighborhoods in Homs and Aleppo lie in ruins, but fighting has ceased. The regime is in firm control over most of the country."
by Deutsche Welle | Mon, 09/24/2018 - 12:25am | 0 comments
“A deadly attack on an Iranian military parade may strengthen hardliners in the country and send already heightened tensions across the Middle East soaring, as Tehran points its finger at the United States and its Gulf Arab allies. Iran did not name a particular Arab country, but the accusations appeared to be aimed at regional rivals Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.”
by Lawfare | Mon, 09/24/2018 - 12:24am | 0 comments
“There is the U.S.-led war against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State in Yemen. There is a regional conflict, pitting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Iran. And there is a messy and multi-sided civil war, featuring the Houthis, what’s left of the Yemeni government, a southern secessionist movement, UAE proxy forces, and various different militias—some Salafi, some local, and some closer to criminal gangs—all vying to grab and hold as much territory as they can.”
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 09/24/2018 - 12:20am | 0 comments
“Iran has begun a diplomatic push against European and Arab countries it says supported or harbored people linked to a terrorist attack that left 25 people dead and fueled Middle East tensions. Iranian officials blame Saudi Arabia for training and funding the separatist group. Saudi officials haven’t commented on the attack and didn’t respond to questions seeking comment.”
by Voice of America | Sun, 09/23/2018 - 12:30pm | 0 comments
The Afghan Taliban has warned the United States against meeting "fake" and "fraudulent" insurgent delegations, saying such contacts could "seriously harm any possible genuine process of dialogue." The Islamist insurgency issued the warning following media reports of meetings between American and unidentified "high-ranking" Taliban officials in Dubai and Bagram, the largest U.S.-run military base in Afghanistan.
by The Washington Post | Sun, 09/23/2018 - 12:23am | 0 comments
"As the chief backer of Syria’s embattled opposition, Turkey now faces a perilous task. It must disarm its rebel allies in Syria’s Idlib province, under a new agreement with Russia, and eliminate the hardcore jihadists in their midst."
by The Washington Post | Sun, 09/23/2018 - 12:21am | 0 comments
"When Yemeni soldiers freed this whitewashed port city from the grip of al-Qaeda in 2016, it was hailed as a signal moment in the government’s effort to reunite a nation splintered by civil war. But more than two years after al-Qaeda’s retreat, Yemen’s government is still absent."
by USA Today | Sun, 09/23/2018 - 12:19am | 1 comment
"Daniel Kimmage may have one of the most daunting jobs in Washington. He’s charged with countering Russian disinformation across the globe from his perch in a small corner of the State Department. He also has to worry about distortions and meddling from Iran, China, and North Korea – along with anti-American messages from extremist terrorist groups."
by The New York Times | Sat, 09/22/2018 - 12:38am | 0 comments
“This week, Russia and Turkey proposed a demilitarized zone to stop a military offensive that Mr. Assad had planned against Idlib Province, the last major rebel enclave in Syria. Even a delay in the rampage would buy time for the United States to help draw up new strategies for dealing with Syria if it definitively falls under Mr. Assad’s rule.”
by The New York Times | Sat, 09/22/2018 - 12:27am | 0 comments
“Taliban insurgents killed so many Afghan security forces in 2016, an average of 22 a day, that by the following year the Afghan and American governments decided to keep battlefield death tolls secret. It’s much worse now. The daily fatalities among Afghan soldiers and policemen were more than double that last week: roughly 57 a day.”
by Military Times | Sat, 09/22/2018 - 12:23am | 0 comments
"There is ample evidence that most troops are not comfortable with the general label of hero: if all are heroes, what remains to describe the truly heroic?"
by Foreign Policy | Sat, 09/22/2018 - 12:21am | 0 comments
"A cocktail of criminality, extremism, and insurrection is sowing havoc in parts of Central and South America, sub-Saharan and North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Not surprisingly, these conflicts are defying conventional international responses, such as formal cease-fire negotiations, peace agreements, and peacekeeping operations. And diplomats, military planners, and relief workers are unsure how best to respond."
by The Christian Science Monitor | Sat, 09/22/2018 - 12:08am | 0 comments
"World leaders, including President Trump, gather at the United Nations next week to tackle a host of issues. Yet no issue deserves more attention than fixing the one activity that has embodied the UN’s highest ideals over seven decades: peacekeeping. The blue-helmet soldiers and police who help keep war at bay and create space for political solutions are due for a 21st-century upgrade."
by Voice of America | Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:18pm | 1 comment
"Ideology is not the main reason that some people in the conflict-ridden Arab world join extremist groups. Rather, a host of other issues, including political participation, poverty, income disparity and unemployment, push people toward violence and extremism, a panel of experts said Thursday."
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:20am | 0 comments
“A deal to create a demilitarized zone in Syria’s last opposition stronghold and forestall a regime offensive faces an immediate challenge from terrorist groups there who have signaled their reluctance to abide by the agreement. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, one of the most powerful armed groups in Syria’s Idlib Province, criticized the accord made this week between Russia and Turkey to avert a government offensive.”
by Stars & Stripes | Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:07am | 0 comments
"The Army will convert two of its existing brigade combat teams to add firepower to the service as it prepares for a potential fight with the more advanced militaries of near-peer adversaries, service officials announced Thursday. The Army will convert a Stryker brigade based at Fort Bliss, Texas, to an armored brigade and convert an infantry brigade based at Fort Carson, Colo., into a Stryker brigade in the next two years, officials announced."
by Center for Strategic & International Studies | Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:05am | 0 comments
"There are good reasons to question the report's conclusions and the way in which both the State Department main report and Annex of Statistical Information are structured. Reasons that raise serious questions about the way the U.S. is approaching the very nature of terrorism and its wars against extremism."
by The Times | Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:03am | 0 comments
"Hezbollah’s leader boasted that the group had succeeded in acquiring high-precision missiles in Syria that would change the balance of power with Israel despite strikes aimed at preventing their transfer. Hassan Nasrallah said that Israel’s efforts to cut smuggling routes through Syria had failed to stop Hezbollah from gaining advanced weaponry and warned they would be used in a future conflict should Israel threaten its bases in Lebanon."
by Voice of America | Thu, 09/20/2018 - 1:36am | 0 comments
U.S. counterterrorism officials say despite major strides in combating and regaining territory from terror groups like Islamic State and al-Qaida, the terror landscape has grown more complex. "ISIS, al-Qaida, and their affiliates have proven to be determined, resilient and adaptable," U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales said Wednesday, using an acronym for Islamic State. "They have adjusted to heightened counterterrorism pressure in Iraq, Syria, Somalia and elsewhere."
by DoD News | Thu, 09/20/2018 - 1:34am | 0 comments
"The Close Combat Lethality Task Force is gathering information from the services, industry and allies before making recommendations to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, the senior Army enlisted representative to the task force said Wednesday. Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Army Sgt. Maj. Jason Wilson explained the process for the task force, which Mattis set up in March."
by The Wall Street Journal | Thu, 09/20/2018 - 1:31am | 0 comments
"Afghanistan will hold two crucial elections in the next seven months: a parliamentary vote in October and a presidential election in April. The outcomes could help sustain a steady course for the teenage democracy, and jockeying is under way among political factions. But a rise in organized political violence threatens to taint the elections and derail the nation’s progress toward stable governance."
| Wed, 09/19/2018 - 11:23am | 2 comments
Federal News Radio Interview - "The Army is debating whether to kill off a unit at the Army War College known as the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute. Army Secretary Mark Esper wants it gone because the service is composed of warriors, not peacekeepers, but Army brass want to keep it. Tammy Schultz, professor of strategic studies at the Marine Corps War College, argues for keeping it because it protects American interests and saves service members’ lives."