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 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, by Voice of America | Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:24am | 0 comments
Syria has acknowledged it is preparing an all-out offensive against rebel fighters in Idlib Province as its ally Russia plans major naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea amid growing tensions with the West in the region. The U.N. refugee agency reports it is scaling up its operation in Yemen to meet the urgent protection needs of thousands of Yemenis displaced by fighting in the strategic port city of Hodeidah.
by The Washington Post | Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:22am | 0 comments
"With Syria’s rebels nearing defeat after seven years at war, President Bashar al-Assad’s army says it is turning its firepower against their final stronghold. The target, Idlib province, is largely controlled by an al-Qaeda-linked militant group. Caught in the middle are millions of civilians with nowhere left to run."
by The National Interest | Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:18am | 0 comments
"As the anniversary of the September 11 attacks draws near, the Afghanistan War—the nearly seventeen-year-old conflict those terrible events spawned—is seeing a change in leadership. Army Lt. Gen. Austin Scott Miller, America’s ninth commander, is preparing to take charge of the effort but has already admitted to his lack of innovative thinking. At his confirmation hearing in June, he told the Senate that he couldn’t guarantee a timeline for bringing U.S. troops home. This is unfortunate—and expected. Despite the change of command, Miller represents the same stale thinking that has permeated U.S. foreign policy for the last two decades."
by The Wall Street Journal | Thu, 08/30/2018 - 10:07am | 0 comments
“Recently declassified U.S. interrogation reports shed new light on one of Iraq’s most prominent Shiite political figures and Iran’s role in training and arming Iraqi militias that attacked U.S. troops during the Iraq war.”
by Associated Press | Thu, 08/30/2018 - 9:09am | 0 comments
"The campaign for Idlib, the opposition's only remaining stronghold in the country and now a refuge for over one million displaced Syrians, is likely to be the last major theater of battle after seven years of brutal civil war. It is also potentially the most dangerous."
by Reuters | Wed, 08/29/2018 - 5:36pm | 0 comments
"Syrian government forces are preparing a phased offensive in the northwestern province of Idlib and surrounding areas, the last big rebel enclave, a source close to Damascus said on Wednesday."
by The Strategic Studies Institute | Wed, 08/29/2018 - 4:09pm | 1 comment
For over a decade, the USAWC has published the Key Strategic Issues List to inform students, faculty, and external research associates of strategic topics requiring research and analysis. A subset of these topics, designated as Chief of Staff of the Army special interest topics, consists of those which demand special attention.
by Military Times | Wed, 08/29/2018 - 3:53pm | 1 comment
"Following last year’s massive Russian military exercise on the western border, the country is headed into the largest military drills in nearly four decades on its eastern flank. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced this week that the Vostok-2018 exercise from Sept. 11-15 would involve as many as 300,000 troops, 1,000 aircraft and 900 tanks with units from China and Mongolia also participating."
by Stars & Stripes | Wed, 08/29/2018 - 10:58am | 0 comments
"Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the military will modify how special operations forces are prepared for missions in Africa because of a deadly ambush by extremists last year in Niger that revealed a lack of training for troops heading into hot spots."
by Voice of America | Wed, 08/29/2018 - 1:02am | 0 comments
A top U.S. military official is pushing back against the Pentagon's own estimates which suggest the Islamic State terror group has retained significant capabilities in Iraq and Syria, and is "well-positioned" to rebuild its lost caliphate. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, challenged recent estimates from both the U.S. Defense Department and a United Nations report.
by Defense One | Wed, 08/29/2018 - 12:46am | 0 comments
In March, President Donald Trump said that “very soon” he would bring U.S. troops home from Syria. Today, his defense secretary suggested any such drawdown remains far off. On Afghanistan, Secretary Mattis insisted the President's strategy is drawing the insurgents to the negotiating table and, ultimately, will allow the U.S. to bring an end to the country’s longest war.
by Military Times | Wed, 08/29/2018 - 12:38am | 0 comments
U.S. operations in Afghanistan, now in their 17th year, should not be seen as a permanent U.S. presence there, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford said Tuesday. But Mattis said he wasn’t sure U.S. forces would be gone five years from now, either. Airstrikes are reaching historically high numbers. For July, strike metrics saw highs across the board as the result of a surge in operations post-ceasefire, according to AFCENT.
by The Hill, by Breaking Defense | Wed, 08/29/2018 - 12:33am | 0 comments
Defense Secretary James Mattis on Tuesday shot down recently recirculated plans to privatize combat efforts in Afghanistan. He also said that Washington’s support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen is “not unconditional,” following several high-profile attacks by Saudi jets that left dozens of civilians dead, including children.
by The New York Times | Tue, 08/28/2018 - 2:42pm | 0 comments
"orture, rape, and the use of child soldiers are among the litany of war crimes that have been committed in Yemen, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates appear to be responsible for many abuses, United Nations experts said in a report issued on Tuesday."
by Combating Terrorism Center at West Point | Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:51pm | 0 comments
Over the past five years, there has been a significant amount of discussion on the propaganda created and disseminated by the Islamic State. This discourse, which mainly relies on what the group creates for external publication, has been unable to answer questions regarding the structure, policies, and management of the group's media arm. This Combating Terrorism Center report draws on 13 internal documents that discuss the Islamic State's media organization in great detail.
by Agence France-Presse | Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:29pm | 0 comments
“Four years after announcing its cross-border 'caliphate' in Iraq and Syria, a stinging string of defeats has pushed the Islamic State jihadist group to reorganise and change strategy to survive. Having lost all urban centres under its control in Iraq and pinned down to its last desert holdouts in Syria, IS has changed its administrative structure and shifted its focus away from operating the state-like apparatus it once ran.”
by SWJ Editors | Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:32am | 0 comments
On Monday, Rick Davis, Sen. John McCain’s former presidential campaign manager and a family spokesman, read a farewell statement from Senator McCain at a press conference at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. Continue on for the full transcript.
by The Washington Post | Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:29am | 0 comments
“The abrupt resignation of President Ashraf Ghani’s national security adviser and reports of turmoil involving three other top officials have exposed deep conflict and confusion in the U.S.-backed government over how to protect the country and deal with an insurgency that might be seeking to end the 17-year conflict. The shake-up this past weekend deepened concern about the government’s solidity and Ghani’s increasing isolation.”
by The Hill | Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:27am | 0 comments
"A year after reversing course on a key campaign pledge and announcing that U.S. troops would stay in Afghanistan with a tweaked strategy, President Trump is faced with a war that has seen little progress since. Pentagon officials insist the strategy adopted by the Trump administration last summer is working, pointing to a three-day ceasefire earlier this year and back channel talks with elements of the Taliban."
by Defense News | Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:23am | 0 comments
"As Russian and American forces have settled into Syria, analysts and experts have noticed a clear pattern from the Russian forces. Moscow is using Syria as both a test bed for its newest capabilities and as an opportunity to see American equipment such as the F-22 fighter jet up close. It’s a development that has raised concerns that Moscow may be gaining a military edge over the U.S. from its experiences in the region."
by The New York Times | Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:22am | 0 comments
"he top American air commander in the Middle East is urging the Saudi-led coalition of Arab nations to be more forthcoming about an investigation into an airstrike in northern Yemen earlier this month that struck a school bus, killing more than 40 children."
by The National Interest | Mon, 08/27/2018 - 10:28am | 0 comments
"Often proxy war promises to hit the political sweet spot between doing too little and too high a cost. In reality, however, it is an imperfect form of warfare."
by The National Interest | Mon, 08/27/2018 - 8:09am | 0 comments
"While there are good reasons to focus U.S. national security on balancing against global and regional state adversaries, it would be a mistake to assume that most future conflict will be conventional or even nuclear. It won’t."
by National Public Radio | Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:10am | 0 comments
Melissa Block speaks with William Hennigan, national security correspondent for 'Time' magazine, who embedded with U.S. forces during a battle over the Afghan city of Ghazni.
by Voice of America | Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:08am | 0 comments
“The U.S. Air Force is months away from completing the construction of an air base in Niger for armed drones that will target militant groups operating in the region, a U.S military official told VOA.”