Small Wars Journal

16 August SWJ Roundup

Small Wars Journal Daily Roundup

US Naval Institute Daily - USNI

Real Clear World - RCP


Afghan Attacks on Allies Alarm Departing Nations - WT

Panetta Acknowledges Taliban Role in Increased Green-on-Blue Attacks - S&S

General Reassures Marines after Afghan Attacks - WT

Afghan-Pakistani Team to Investigate Cross-Border Shelling - VOA

Zardari and Karzai 'Agree' Afghan Border Shelling Probe - BBC

ISAF Operations Summary - APS

The Women of Afghanistan - NYT editorial



Pakistani Air Force Base With Nuclear Ties Is Attacked - NYT

Gunmen Attack Kamra Military Air Base in Pakistan - BBC

Militants Storm Pakistani Air Base, Sparking Firefight, 10 Deaths - WP

Taliban Kill 1 in Attack on Pakistani Air Base - AP

Militants Attack Major Pakistan Air Base; Nine Killed - Reuters

Pakistani Hindus Flee to India - WP



UN Panel Concludes War Crimes Perpetrated in Syria - AP

VOA Reporter: Scores Wounded, Dead in Syrian Bombardment - VOA

Over 40 Killed in Syria's Azaz Airstrike - AP

UN Security Council: 'Impossible Mission' Awaits Peace Envoy to Syria - VOA

UN Aid Chief Says 2.5 Million Syrians Need Assistance - Reuters

UN to Consider New Syria Office After Observers Go - AP

Syrian Rebels Said to Be Holding Elite Fighters From Iran - NYT

Lebanon Drawn Into Syrian Crisis with Tit-for-Tat Kidnappings - WP

Syrian Conflict Crosses Border Into Lebanon in Abductions - NYT

Syria's Conflict Stirs Unrest in Fragile Lebanon - AP

Lebanese Shiite Clan Vows to Abduct More Syrians - AP

Syria Fighting Shatters Unity of Druse in Golan - AP

Organization of Islamic Cooperation Suspends Syria - Reuters

Syrian Conflict Imperils Historical Treasures - NYT



Egypt’s Islamist Leaders Accused of Stifling Media - NYT

Research Paper Offers Insight into Egypt's New Armed Forces Chief - McClatchy

Islamic Militants Warn Egypt Army on Sinai Raids - AP

Jihadist Group Warns Egyptian Army Over Sinai Crackdown - Reuters



Israel 'Ready' for Short Iran War - BBC

Israel Sees Month-Long War after Iran Strike - AP

Israeli Leaders Could Be Dissuaded From Striking Iran - NYT

German Arrests Over Iran Exports - BBC

Iran Group May Remain on US Terror List - NYT

Secret Diplomacy Is Key to Solving Iran Crisis - TT opinion

Israel Not Bluffing About Attacking Iran - FP opinion


Middle East

Despite Alarm by US, Europe Lets Hezbollah Operate Openly - NYT

Arab Nations Urge Lebanon Exodus - BBC

Israeli Military: Blasts Heard in Southern City - AP

Iraq: Iraqi Who Hid  Saddam Speaks Up - WP

Bombs in Northern, Central Iraq Kill 6, Injure 41 - AP

Central Iraq Bombings 'Kill 10' - BBC

Bahrain Activist Jailed for 3 Years - AP

Remember Iraq? - NYT opinion



Ecuador Decision on Assange Asylum Due - AP

Britain, Ecuador Trade Charges on Eve of Assange Asylum Decision - AP

Julian Assange: UK Issues 'Threat' to Arrest Wikileaks Founder - BBC

Britain Says Assange Asylum Wouldn't Change a Thing - Reuters

Ecuador to Let Assange Stay in Its UK Embassy - NYT


US Department of Defense

Navy Special Forces Units: How Many Needed? - WP

Inside the Ring: Pentagon Plumber - WT

Former AFRICOM Chief Under Investigation for Improper Spending - AP

Navy Soliciting Bids for Ship-Based Laser Weapons - S&S

Air Force Hypersonic Unmanned Craft Fails During Test - AP

Hypersonic Jet Waverider Fails Mach 6 Test - BBC

Flynn: Integrated Intelligence System Provides Advantage - AFPS

Report Details Military’s Energy Investments - AFPS

Fort Hood Shooting Trial Delayed Pending Ruling on Beard - NYT

Fort Hood Suspect's Trial on Hold Over Beard - AP


United States

US Presidential Campaign Turns Nastier - VOA

Romney Condemns Obama's Campaign of 'Hatred' - BBC

Ex-Officers Attack Obama Over Leaks on Bin Laden Raid - NYT

US Rolls Out Illegal Immigrant Relief Program - VOA

Illegal Immigrants Line Up by Thousands for Deportation Deferrals - NYT

Security Guard Shot at Family Research Council - BBC

Can't Afford Foreign Aid, or Can't Afford to Cut It? - NYT opinion


United Kingdom

Overwhelming Gratitude for Armed Forces' Contribution to Olympics - MOD



Zuma Arrives in Zimbabwe to Monitor Progress on Reforms - VOA

DR Congo Hails ‘Diplomatic Turnaround’ on Rwanda Aid - VOA

Mali Army Rejects Parts of ECOWAS Plan - VOA

Nigeria: Kano Cancels Famous Durbar Horse Festival - BBC

Mbeki: Multinationals Siphon $50B in African Capital - VOA

US Marines, Soldiers Share Tactics With Botswana Troops - AFPS

US Helps Botswana Build Medical Evacuation System - AFPS



Years After Haiti Quake, Safe Housing Is a Dream for Many - NYT


Asia Pacific / Central

Asian Island Dispute Flares on WWII Anniversary - AP

China Keeps Up Pressure on Japan Over Island Activists - Reuters

Japan Arrests Pro-China Activist Swimmers in Island Row - BBC

Chinese Arrested by Japan after Landing on Disputed Island Group - WP

Japan Holds 14 Chinese in Island Landing - NYT

China Slams Western Involvement in S. China Sea Issue - VOA

China Tries 4 Police Chiefs - WT

2 Tibetans Die in Self-Immolation Protest in China's Sichuan - VOA

China Police Fire on Protesters in Tibet; 1 Killed - AP

South Korean Police Recommend 7 US Airmen be Indicted - S&S

Indonesia President Says Corruption Threatens Economic Growth - Reuters

Burma: Suu Kyi's Silence on Rohingya Draws Rare Criticism - AP

US Urges Fairness as Kazakhstan Opposition Leader Trial Opens - Reuters

The View From Pyongyang - NYT opinion

A Chinese Murder Mystery, Far From Solved - NYT opinion



Despite Alarm by US, Europe Lets Hezbollah Operate Openly - NYT

French Police Patrol Riot-Wracked Amiens - VOA

5 People Arrested in Northern France After Riots - AP

Greece to Seek Delay in Austerity Measures - VOA

Ukraine Court Upholds Decision on Tymoshenko, Lutsenko - VOA

Communist Symbol Ban Spreads Among Russia’s Neighbors - VOA

Hungary Far-Right Leader Discovers Jewish Roots - AP

Europe in Limbo - WT editorial


South Asia

Pakistani Hindus Flee to India - WP

Assamese Flee South India Fearing Violence - AP

Sri Lanka 'Must Seek' UN Help Over Deadly Prison Violence - BBC


Bill C.

Sun, 08/19/2012 - 12:26am

In reply to by Robert C. Jones

An attempt at present-day framing:

To achieve our goals today (security) it is commonly suggested that we must prevail against those actors, organizations and agencies (foreign and domestic) -- and state and/or non-state entities -- who oppose the state and societal changes that are needed to optimally provide for the global economy and maximum economic growth.

Question: Can security be achieved minus these changes and/or minus a confrontation with those who would violently oppose such, in our eyes, necessary state and societal reforms?

(The number and types of military capabilities needed to be determined -- in some degree -- by the answer to this question.)

Robert C. Jones

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 4:36am

Adding to Dave's observation:

ADM McRaven is committed to not growing USSOCOM beyond what is currently programmed. Even sustaining that as the total force shrinks in coming years will be a challenge on many levels; from determining and preserving the right-sized, right-type of SOF force in general, to being able to recruit, assess and train a sufficient number of SOF forces from a shrinking conventional force base.


In a separate article on Green on Blue attacks in Afghanistan General Amos offers to the force in Afghanistan:

"In a letter Tuesday to commanders in Afghanistan, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos sought to soothe the rattled nerves of troops. He said such attacks show that the U.S. is winning the war against Taliban insurgents.

“When faced with the stark reality of what has just happened, it would be easy to give in to the belief that these attacks indicate we are losing the fight,” Gen. Amos wrote in his letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times. “In fact, the opposite is true.

“These attacks are occurring because we are winning the fight in [regional command southwest],” he said. “Over the last four years, we have steadily improved the security situation in Helmand [province]. Historical casualty levels have steadily declined. Afghan security forces have made dramatic improvements in dependability, capability and performance.”

(Read more: Afghan attacks on allies alarm departing nations - Washington Times)

I would only note that in such conflicts is very easy to "win the fight" and lose the war. The war has never been about "the fight," it has been about a competition for governance, opportunity and power between those who align with the Taliban government that we deposed into exile and the Northern Alliance government that we elevated into power. We changed who the "legal" party was, but we have done little to change the nature of the competition, and in many ways (the constitution we enabled that centralized Afghan patronage in the Executive; the pouring of Billions of dollars, Euros and Pounds into the mix; the artificial empowerment of one side by putting our military weight behind them, etc) we have made this competition even more essential and more violent for the participants.

In design we talk about "reframing" a problem to keep our understanding of it as current and accurate as possible. Afghanistan is long overdue for a major reframing if we are to convert "winning the fight" into achieving our goals.


Dave Maxwell

Thu, 08/16/2012 - 10:32am

I would like to comment on Mr. Pincus' piece in the Washington Post today called "Navy Special Forces units: How many are needed?"

Someone really needs to sit down and give Mr. Pincus a tutorial on SOF based on the excerpt below. But something everyone should know: SEALs do not equal Special Forces (Green Berets) do not equal Rangers do not equal Combat Controllers do not equal Special Tactics Teams do not equal Pararescuemen do not equal Civil Affairs do not equal SOF Aviation (Army and Air Force aviation are different as well) do not equal Psychological Operations/MISO do not equal Special Warfare Combatant Crewman do not equal SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams do not equal MARSOC Critical Skills Operators do not equal Special Mission Units and do not equal all the supporting staff and logistics at Tampa, Bragg, Coronado, Virginia Beach, Lejuene, Pendleton, and Hurlburt, etc. SOF has very complementary joint capabilities that are among some of the most effectively integrated on a routine basis. But to answer the CRS question I think USSOCOM has about reached the limit that can be sustained by our Services. I do not think it can or should grow too much more in the operational force but there will probably never be sufficient enablers without sustained support from the Services. There is always a need for more enabling capabilities.


The real questions are these: How are all these Special Forces capabilities in all the services being integrated? How many overlap? How many are needed, and how many can this country afford?

Navy Special Forces units: How many are needed?…