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 Brookings Institution | Sat, 01/12/2019 - 8:35am | 1 comment
"The center of gravity in the U.S.-led NATO mission in Afghanistan should be modified. The focus should not be on nation-building writ large. Nor should it be on helping the Afghan government extend its control over more of the country’s territory—a desirable, but nonessential, objective. Rather, the emphasis should be squarely on making the Afghan security forces more resilient and capable."
by Associated Press | Sat, 01/12/2019 - 12:32am | 2 comments
"A U.S. defense official says no American troops have withdrawn yet from Syria, but some military cargo has been pulled out. The official said the movement of equipment is part of what the military calls the start of a deliberate withdrawal from Syria, where about 2,000 troops have been working with a coalition of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters to defeat the remnants of the Islamic State group."
by Associated Press | Sat, 01/12/2019 - 12:29am | 0 comments
"U.S. officials say the Pentagon is finalizing plans that would send hundreds of additional active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border for several more months to support the Department of Homeland Security. The troops would install another 160 miles of concertina wire in Arizona and California."
by The New York Times | Sat, 01/12/2019 - 12:24am | 0 comments
"When Turkey, Iran and Russia meet to talk about the end of the war in Syria, they do so without the United States. Peace talks to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been frozen for years, but the long-awaited Trump plan to break the impasse has yet to arrive. And now, despite conflicting messages about how and when it will happen, the United States is set to withdraw from Syria."
by Georgetown Security Studies Review | Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:04am | 0 comments
"Uniformed military forces today are widely considered to be the primary individuals tasked with employing the use of state-sanctioned force. However, in the history of warfare, the soldier has rarely had this monopoly. Mercenaries – today called private military contractors – have continuously been employed by states for a variety of reasons."
by The Washington Post | Fri, 01/11/2019 - 6:26am | 0 comments
"The Pentagon is informally scouring military construction projects it could cut or delay in preparation for a possible national emergency declaration by President Trump, which could force the Defense Department to divert funds from those planned initiatives to building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, according to people with knowledge of the efforts."
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 01/11/2019 - 6:20am | 0 comments
"The U.S. military is moving ahead with its plans to withdraw all troops from Syria, in keeping with a White House directive in December, even though a U.S.-Turkey rift appears likely to delay the pullout, defense officials said."
by The New York Times | Fri, 01/11/2019 - 6:09am | 0 comments
"The United States began withdrawing its troops from Syria on Friday, an American military spokesman said, a first step in President Trump’s plan to remove American forces from one of the Middle East’s most complex battlefields."
by The New York Times | Thu, 01/10/2019 - 9:08am | 3 comments
"Eleven years after the United States began building an air force for Afghanistan at a cost now nearing $8 billion, it remains a frustrating work in progress, with no end in sight. Some aviation experts say the Afghans will rely on American maintenance and other support for years. Such dependence could complicate President Trump’s moves to extricate the United States from the 17-year-old war against Taliban insurgents — a war in which they lately appear to be gaining ground."
by SWJ Editors | Thu, 01/10/2019 - 1:24am | 0 comments
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by The Washington Post | Thu, 01/10/2019 - 12:28am | 0 comments
"Both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds are now pinning their hopes on Russia to resolve the problems created by President Trump’s abrupt decision last month to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, which has threatened to ignite a new war between the United States’ Kurdish and Turkish allies."
by The Wall Street Journal | Thu, 01/10/2019 - 12:06am | 0 comments
"As negotiations to end a partial government shutdown broke down Wednesday, White House officials say an increasingly likely option is for President Trump to declare a national emergency over border security and try to use Pentagon funds to pay for construction of a wall or other barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border."
by | Wed, 01/09/2019 - 1:42pm | 1 comment
"The head of Army Training and Doctrine Command said Jan. 7 that the U.S. military's advise-and-assist missions in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan have eroded young leaders' confidence and willingness to make necessary decisions."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Wed, 01/09/2019 - 11:53am | 0 comments
"The U.S. special envoy on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has begun a two-week diplomatic tour of Afghanistan and other countries in the region in an attempt to push forward the peace process with the Taliban."
by The Heritage Foundation | Wed, 01/09/2019 - 8:37am | 0 comments
The Heritage Foundation Report: "It is in America’s interest to continue the training, advising, and assisting mission for the ANDSF. Now is not the time to abandon the Afghans and repeat the mistakes of the Obama Administration when it abruptly removed all trainers from Iraq in 2011, paving the way for the invasion by the Islamic State."
by The Washington Post | Wed, 01/09/2019 - 12:19am | 0 comments
"Anthony Zinni has become the latest senior military officer to leave the Trump administration, resigning his position as special envoy to help resolve disputes in the Persian Gulf and build a strategic U.S. military alliance with Arab governments in the region."
by The Washington Post | Wed, 01/09/2019 - 12:18am | 0 comments
"The U.S. military is drafting plans to withdraw a few thousand troops from Afghanistan while continuing all major missions in the longest war in American history, U.S. officials said, three weeks after President Trump sought options for a more drastic pullout."
by The Wall Street Journal | Wed, 01/09/2019 - 12:16am | 0 comments
"President Trump in a prime-time address Tuesday said a wall along the southern border is key to national security, as he called for lawmakers to fund it and end a partial government shutdown that is days away from becoming the longest in U.S. history."
by The Washington Post | Wed, 01/09/2019 - 12:12am | 0 comments
"White House national security adviser John Bolton traveled to Turkey this week to talk with Turkish officials about working together on President Trump’s plan to quickly withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Instead, he got an earful."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Tue, 01/08/2019 - 12:39pm | 0 comments
"Afghan Taliban representatives say they have called off two days of peace talks with U.S. officials in Qatar, just hours after they had announced the talks would take place without any delegates from Afghanistan's government. A Taliban representative in Afghanistan had told Reuters early on January 8 that the talks would begin in Qatar's capital, Doha, on January 9."
by The Wall Street Journal | Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:59am | 0 comments
"Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted a request from national security adviser John Bolton to protect Kurdish fighters in northern Syria and vowed to launch a military offensive to uproot what he described as terrorist forces."
by TOLONews | Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:32am | 0 comments
"The document suggests that the Afghan parties may invite the international community to form a small, limited 'Afghanistan Support Team'"
by Voice of America | Tue, 01/08/2019 - 12:34am | 0 comments
"U.S. forces in Syria have a plan in place for their much talked about withdrawal, but it will likely not see all of them leave the fight against the Islamic State terror group anytime soon."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Tue, 01/08/2019 - 12:33am | 0 comments
"President Donald Trump's national security adviser is set to hold talks with Turkish defense and intelligence officials to try and clarify growing questions about U.S. intentions in Syria. John Bolton's visit to Ankara parallels a similar trip to the region by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and follows Trump's abrupt announcement that he was ordering 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria."
by Center for Strategic & International Studies | Tue, 01/08/2019 - 12:24am | 0 comments
"There is nothing new about the U.S. redoubling its efforts in the Middle East after it has lost sight of its objectives. There is even less new about the U.S. going on with the same efforts year-after-year without having any effective strategy. The U.S. has claimed to be fighting a "war" against terrorism since 2001, and has been fighting real wars in the Gulf region since 2003. It has also been blundering in Syria since 2011."