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 Associated Press | Tue, 01/08/2019 - 12:22am | 0 comments
"The Trump administration is weighing using a national emergency declaration to circumvent Congress and the budget stalemate and force construction of the president’s long-promised southern border wall."
by The Washington Post | Mon, 01/07/2019 - 2:47am | 0 comments
"Unlike many Republican wonks in Washington, Trump was never interested in removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power. In December, he perfunctorily declared that the Islamic State had been defeated — despite mountains of evidence to the contrary — and said it was largely the responsibility of Turkey and other Arab countries to carry on the fight."
by Associated Press | Mon, 01/07/2019 - 12:06am | 0 comments
"The planned U.S. troop withdrawal opens up a void in the north and east of Syria, and the conflicts and rivalries among all the powers in the Middle East are converging to fill it."
by The Wall Street Journal | Sun, 01/06/2019 - 9:15am | 0 comments
"The Trump administration won’t withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria unless Turkey offers a firm commitment not to target America’s Kurdish allies, White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday, underscoring the challenges in executing the president’s wishes to put an end to the military campaign."
by The Washington Post | Sun, 01/06/2019 - 9:05am | 0 comments
"Somewhat surprisingly, the policy decision that prompted Mattis’s resignation actually reinforced one civil-military norm: Civilians control the military."
by The Los Angeles Times | Sun, 01/06/2019 - 8:37am | 0 comments
"For America’s top diplomat, it will be a mission like no other: seeking to build a coalition among U.S. allies against Iran, while also defending a potentially historic disengagement of Washington from the Middle East."
by Voice of America | Sat, 01/05/2019 - 5:00pm | 0 comments
After having intervened to save Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from being toppled, swinging the war definitively against the rebels just as his government appeared to be heading for defeat, the Kremlin has become more entrenched in Syria and owns the problem, say analysts.
by The Washington Post | Sat, 01/05/2019 - 12:04am | 0 comments
"Turkey wants the United States to disarm Syrian Kurdish forces it has trained and supplied for the fight against the Islamic State, and to provide air and logistical support for Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition forces who plan to pick up the anti-militant battle after a U.S. withdrawal."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Sat, 01/05/2019 - 12:03am | 0 comments
"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will host the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of efforts to end the Afghan Taliban's 17-year insurgency."
by The Washington Post | Fri, 01/04/2019 - 7:02pm | 0 comments
"The Trump administration’s contention that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan can stay in his new role “indefinitely” without being nominated as the permanent Pentagon chief could face constitutional challenges, according to legal experts, who were split on whether those protests would go anywhere."
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 01/04/2019 - 6:38pm | 0 comments
"Turkey is asking the U.S. to provide substantial military support, including air strikes, transport and logistics, so that Turkish forces can assume the main responsibility for fighting the Islamic State extremist group in Syria, senior U.S. officials say."
by The Cipher Brief | Fri, 01/04/2019 - 9:07am | 2 comments
"Maybe that’s the point. It’s not for my own sake, or that of my dead friends or my colleagues who feel slandered. It’s the lack of the whole story being told, even if it takes more time and more work to tell it; the hands over eyes and mouth to anything that may suggest a counter-narrative to whatever allegations of atrocities and torture to be compiled and nurtured and grown into a Pulitzer."
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 01/04/2019 - 12:18am | 0 comments
"To win over locals in this relatively peaceful corner of a shattered country, Saudi Arabia has funded schools, expanded medical facilities and promised new boats for fishermen."
by Reuters | Fri, 01/04/2019 - 12:16am | 0 comments
"Clashes among rival Syrian rebel factions have spread across northwest Syria, rebels and residents said Thursday, in the latest bout of tit-for-tat fighting between opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's rule. Infighting has long plagued Syria's armed opposition since the uprising against Assad began in 2011."
by The Washington Post | Fri, 01/04/2019 - 12:14am | 1 comment
"Four years ago, just before President Barack Obama appointed me his special envoy to the coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State, I laid out a set of ideas for how to defeat and ultimately destroy the terrorist group. Because the Islamic State was a regional and global problem, posing an imminent threat to the United States, it was clear that its defeat would require an international coalition."
by SWJ Editors | Thu, 01/03/2019 - 9:51pm | 3 comments
U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized U.S. generals for not defeating the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan after 19 years of involvement. Speaking to reporters at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Trump said the generals were given "all the money they wanted" and "didn't do such a great job in Afghanistan." The president questioned justification for the expense in a country thousands of miles away from the United States. Continue on for the video.
by Dave Dilegge | Thu, 01/03/2019 - 6:58pm | 0 comments
'Smithsonian Magazine’s' special January/February issue – 'America at War' brings into focus who is fighting and the why, where, and what they’ve left behind. Continue on for summaries and links to all the articles.
by SWJ Editors | Thu, 01/03/2019 - 7:55am | 0 comments
Small Wars Journal, owned by the non-profit Small Wars Foundation, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Homeland Security Today to facilitate cooperation and collaboration on future content.
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Thu, 01/03/2019 - 12:24am | 0 comments
"U.S. President Donald Trump has said U.S. forces will withdraw from Syria "over a period of time," insisting he wants to protect U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State extremist group."
by RAND Corporation | Thu, 01/03/2019 - 12:21am | 0 comments
"This report seeks to better understand why the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been more successful than its predecessor organization, al Qaeda, in recruiting individuals within the United States. The authors consider whether the demographic profile of individuals drawn to foreign terrorist organizations has changed over time or whether new groups are more successful appealing to the same segment of the population.'
by The Washington Post | Wed, 01/02/2019 - 12:15am | 0 comments
"At least 21 Afghan police officers were killed in three simultaneous Taliban assaults Monday night in northern Afghanistan. Although civilians were nearby, security forces fired artillery rounds to repel the militant advances."
by The Washington Post | Wed, 01/02/2019 - 12:07am | 0 comments
"In 2017, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on a powerful Yemeni Islamist warlord, accusing him of being a “prominent military instructor” and fundraiser for al-Qaeda who had also at one point 'served with' the Islamic State and financed its forces. But Abu al-Abbas is not on the run. He is not even in hiding."
by The Wall Street Journal | Tue, 01/01/2019 - 3:08pm | 0 comments
"A U.S. program begun in mid-2013 provided weapons including ATGM missiles to rebels fighting the Assad regime in Syria. Mr. Trump later canceled the program, saying in a 2017 interview with The Wall Street Journal that it allowed weapons to fall into al Qaeda hands."
by The New York Times | Tue, 01/01/2019 - 10:17am | 0 comments
"The decision by President Trump to withdraw 7,000 of the roughly 14,000 American troops left in Afghanistan, possibly by summer, has raised new concerns about his impulsive behavior, especially given his nearly simultaneous decision to pull out all American forces from Syria against the advice of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. But the downsizing of the Afghan mission was probably inevitable. Indeed, it may soon be time for the United States to get out of the country altogether."
by The British Broadcasting Corporation | Tue, 01/01/2019 - 9:46am | 0 comments
"The United Nations says 85 former FARC rebels have been killed in Colombia since the group signed a peace accord with the government two years ago. Most of the murders were by illegal armed groups and drug gangs fighting over former FARC territories."