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.

"The impending Kurdish referendum for independence will have significant consequences for the ongoing fight against the Islamic State."

Irbil, Iraq - "For many people here, the upcoming referendum on Kurdish independence from Iraq is obvious."

“Fourteen years after the first insurgents emerged in Iraq in 2003, the US may have found a model that works in Iraq.”

"With the French growing weary and international CT efforts concentrated on defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq, AQIM seems well positioned to carry on its spate of attacks unchallenged."

“A video released by ISIS asks would-be fighters to go to the Philippines instead of Syria and Iraq, the latest sign that the terror group is shifting its recruiting tactics.”

“Problems stem from a common cause—the lack of a framework that helps us both to conceptualize cities and to map the effects on those cities of military operations in them.”

“The risk of future warfare will increase from non-state actors working by, with and through nations, and interactions between technology, terrorists, insurgents and criminals.”

“Russia's military said Tuesday that Syrian troops have liberated about 85 percent of the war-torn country's territory from militants.”

Daniel R. Green, “In the Warlords’ Shadow: Special Operations Forces, the Afghans, and Their Fight Against the Taliban” (Naval Institute Press, 2017)

"Sixteen years after the 9/11 attacks, there is a fair amount of good news about the state of the battle against jihadist terrorists and some troubling trends."

SWJ dodges a bullet...

SWJ should be up for next 12-24 hours or so and then the unknown. I live in the Tampa Bay area so there is a chance I will not be posting for a few days - Irma is approaching. Stay tuned.

“U.S.-backed forces in Syria announced a fresh offensive around the Islamic State’s most important remaining stronghold.”

“U.S. intelligence analysts have gained valuable insights into Islamic State’s planning and personnel from a vast cache of digital data.”

"Monday’s 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 might be less mournful if we could say that the threat of jihadist terrorism had receded or disappeared."

"The referendum’s approval would start the process of turning the semiautonomous region into an independent state."

“Frustration with the stalemate in Afghanistan has broadened the domestic debate over U.S. strategy there.”

Continue on for information on the latest Mad Scientist call for ideas.

“A centralized political system in Afghanistan only intensifies the competition for power and increases the cost of holding the country together.”

“The A-29 Super Tucano Provides Major Force Multiplier For Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism Forces.”

“Latest advance by Assad regime highlights the risk of a clash with Washington’s Kurdish-led allies.”

"The military does not have a very impressive record of achieving victory. It has won no wars since 1945—especially if victory is defined as achieving an objective at acceptable cost....

“The deaths are a reflection of the heavy price the agency has paid in a secret, nearly 16-year-old war.”

In this report, a former senior policy adviser and a USIP senior specialist explore the nexus of religion and violent extremism.

“The latest in a series of high-level reports and recommendations for revamping the State Department proposes expanding the size and mission of the USAID.”

British COIN campaigns by Adeyinka Makinde in the Sri Lanka Guardian.

“Congress should not forget that volunteers are immersing themselves and serving in more than 60 countries around the world for modest sums.”

Experts warn that what might seem to be a Lebanese victory could be a Trojan horse hiding Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which emerges as the main victor in the operation.

“An Air Force experiment to demonstrate the capabilities of off-the-shelf platforms may lead to a low-cost solution for a light attack and close-air support aircraft.”

“The Iraqi offensive, planned and launched less than two months after a punishing, nearly 270-day battle in Mosul, impressed some U.S. advisers.”