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 Voice of America | Wed, 09/26/2018 - 2:42am | 0 comments
"Facing a changing and challenging environment for the United Nations' 100,000 peacekeepers, 145 nations endorsed an action plan Tuesday to make these operations stronger and more adaptable."
by Military Times | Wed, 09/26/2018 - 12:09am | 0 comments
“The Islamic State is on the brink of total military defeat - but don’t expect U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria to be coming home anytime soon. The Islamic State’s caliphate has collapsed. They have almost no territory remaining except for a small piece of eastern Syria and the militants appear to have very little combat power left.”
by Associated Press | Wed, 09/26/2018 - 12:05am | 0 comments
“Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is offering a dim view of females serving in infantry jobs, telling Virginia Military Institute students that the jury is out on whether women can succeed in combat. Mattis says there are too few women in the infantry ranks to provide enough data on how it’s going. He says he has asked top Army and Marine leaders for information to determine if having women in the infantry is a strength or weakness.”
by Associated Press | Tue, 09/25/2018 - 1:09pm | 0 comments
"As world leaders talk peace at the U.N. this week, the people of Idlib cling to fragile hope that diplomacy will avert a blowout battle over Syria's last rebel stronghold. Yet diplomacy hasn't served Syria well so far. Those same world powers trying to negotiate a peaceful outcome in Idlib have been using Syria as a proxy battleground for years."
by Stars & Stripes | Tue, 09/25/2018 - 9:45am | 0 comments
"The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan is adjusting tactics to address mounting casualties among local security forces, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said this week. Mattis said the international coalition - which focuses on training, advising and assisting Afghan forces - had begun providing more support in other areas. He didn’t elaborate."
by The Wall Street Journal | Tue, 09/25/2018 - 1:21am | 0 comments
Welcome to Colombia, where the much-ballyhooed deal, crafted in Havana by the government of then-President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leadership, is unraveling faster than you can say “crime pays.”
by Stars & Stripes, by Defense News | Tue, 09/25/2018 - 1:16am | 0 comments
U.S. troops have been fighting Islamic State militants in Syria for four years and will remain in eastern portions of the war-torn country until American leaders are convinced the terrorist group cannot mount a return, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday. “We’re not going to leave as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders, and that includes Iranian proxies and militias,” White House national security adviser John Bolton said while in New York for the U.N. General Assembly.
by The Washington Post | Tue, 09/25/2018 - 1:12am | 1 comment
"In her first public remarks since being confirmed in May, Gina Haspel laid out her plan to return the agency to the work that was at the heart of its espionage mission before the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, which transformed the CIA into a paramilitary organization that conducted lethal operations against terrorists around the word. "
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."