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 SWJ Editors | Mon, 01/17/2011 - 8:38am | 0 comments
15 Top Stories / Items of Interest:

Support Expected for Plan to Beef Up Afghan Forces - New York Times

Afghan Tax Effort Targets U.S. Firms - Washington Post

Air Strikes by Drones Effective in Waziristan - Washington Times

Authorities Struggle to Restore Order in Tunisia - Washington Post

Military Backs New Leaders in Tunisia - New York Times

Former Tunisia Government Figures Arrested - Los Angeles Times

Arab Leaders to Grapple With New Order Post-Tunisia - Reuters

In Sudan, Early Results Strongly Lean to Secession - New York Times

Hezbollah Defends Bringing Down Lebanon's Government - Washington Post

Hezbollah Vows Defense in Inquiry -New York Times

U.S., Israeli Computer Program Slows Iran's Nuclear Ambitions - Voice of America

Iran's Nuclear Program and a New Era of Cyber War - Los Angeles Times

Chinese President Hu Looks for 'Common Ground' with U.S. - Washington Post

China Leader's Limits Come Into Focus as U.S. Visit Nears - New York Times

U.S. Military and Facebook are Now Friends - GlobalPost

Continue on for today's SWJ news and opinion links.

by SWJ Editors | Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:02am | 5 comments
In New Military, Data Overload Can Be Deadly by Thom Shanker and Matt Richtel, New York Times. BLUF: "As the technology allows soldiers to pull in more information, it strains their brains. And military researchers say the stress of combat makes matters worse. Some research even suggests that younger people wind up having more trouble focusing because they have grown up constantly switching their attention."
by SWJ Editors | Sun, 01/16/2011 - 10:44pm | 3 comments

By Starbuck of Wings over Iraq, The Adventures of Doctrine Man
by SWJ Editors | Sun, 01/16/2011 - 3:46pm | 6 comments

General Martin E. Dempsey; Commanding General of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, Chief of Staff of the Army nominee, and SWJ blogger; sings "New York, New York" at the International Reception, 23 April 2010, Bay Breeze Community Center, Fort Monroe, Virginia.

Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today...

These corfram shoes, are longing to stray...

I wanna wake up in a building, that doesn't sleep...

These Ft. Monroe blues, are melting away...

I'll make a brand new start of it...

If I can make it there, I'll make anywhere...

by SWJ Editors | Sun, 01/16/2011 - 2:59pm | 0 comments
Terror War We Ignore is Next Door - Miami Herald op-ed by Carl Hiaasen. BLUF: "Some of the world's most vicious terrorists live a short drive from San Diego, and lately they make al Qaeda look like the Simpsons."
by Dave Dilegge | Sun, 01/16/2011 - 11:59am | 0 comments
15 Top Stories / Items of Interest:

Uptick in Violence this Winter Coincides with Less Snow - Washington Post

U.S. Fighting to Build. Afghan Business Culture? - Christian Science Monitor

Attacks Down Almost 20 Percent in Pakistan - Associated Press

Overthrow of Tunisian President Jolts Arab Region - Washington Post

Will Revolt in Tunisia Inspire Others? - Los Angeles Times

Mideast Asks After Tunisian Riots: Where Next? - Associated Press

Unity Government Is Sought in Tunisia After Days of Clashes - New York Times

Tunisia Gets Another President, its Third in 24 Hours - Los Angeles Times

Tunisia's Revolution Should be a Wake-up Call - Washington Post editorial

Three U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq - Los Angeles Times

Israel Tests on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay - New York Times

Major Powers Decline Iran's Invitation to View Nuclear Sites - Voice of America

Vote on Secession in Sudan Comes to a Close - New York Times

Sudan Referendum: Early Results Show Vote for Split - BBC News

'The Longest War' - New York Times book review

Continue on for today's SWJ news and opinion links.

by Dave Dilegge | Sat, 01/15/2011 - 8:31am | 0 comments
15 Top Stories / Items of Interest:

In Afghanistan, Less Snow Coincides with Uptick in Violence - Washington Post

Officials in Afghanistan Begin Investigation Into Possible Fraud - New York Times

Tunisia Leader Flees and Prime Minister Claims Power - New York Times

Tunisian President Flees Amid Unrest; PM Takes Reins - Washington Post

Arab Activists Hope Tunisia Uprising Brings Change - Associated Press

Tunisia Riots Offer Warning to Arab Governments - Reuters

U.S. Is Not Trying to Contain China, Clinton Says - New York Times

U.S. Prepares to Engage China on Human Rights - Washington Post

Gates Reaffirms American Support for South Korea - New York Times

Gates Insists on North-South Korea Bilateral Talks - Washington Times

14 Killed in Army Raid in Mexico's Veracruz State - Los Angeles Times

Holbrooke Remembered With Affection and Humor - New York Times

World Leaders Gather for Richard Holbrooke Memorial - BBC News

Congressional Commission Studies Women in Combat - AFPS

Reactions Mixed on Women in Combat Arms - Stars and Stripes

Continue on for today's SWJ news and opinion links.

by Robert Haddick | Fri, 01/14/2011 - 8:23pm | 3 comments
The military goes back to its core values as it prepares to implement the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal.

Here is the latest edition of my column at Foreign Policy:

Topics include:

1) "Don't ask, don't tell" and the military's social contract

2) Money, missiles, and Army Special Forces are squeezing the Marine Corps

"Don't ask, don't tell" and the military's social contract

Last month, the U.S. Senate voted 65 to 31 to repeal the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy that prohibited gays from openly serving in the military. The Senate vote sent the repeal bill to President Barack Obama, who eagerly signed it into law. The focus now shifts to the Defense Department, with Defense Secretary Robert Gates promising to implement the repeal "as quickly, but as responsibly, as possible." Successful implementation will require a renewed commitment by all to the military's traditional social contract.

Much of the credit for the unexpectedly large Senate majority in favor of repeal may go to a 410-page research report on DADT prepared by the Rand Corp. The report, a 2010 update of a 1993 study Rand had done for the government, was prepared at the request of both the administration and the Senate Armed Services Committee. The report reviewed recent research on group dynamics in military units, conducted surveys and focus groups of current U.S. service members, and studied the experience of other Western countries (with combat experience) that had similarly lifted restrictions on open gay service in their military forces. Senators seemed encouraged by the report's conclusions: Rand predicted that lifting the U.S. ban would have negligible consequences on U.S. military recruiting, retention, unit cohesion, and combat effectiveness. In fact, the authors predicted that the Defense Department will have an easier time adjusting to the end of DADT than it has had adjusting to the widening role of women in the military.

Of particular concern has been what the repeal might mean for unit cohesion, or the ability of small groups of soldiers to form trust and cooperate on critical tasks during stressful situations.

Click through to read more ...

by David S. Maxwell | Fri, 01/14/2011 - 10:13am | 11 comments
Before reading the linked article (Our Double-Edged Sword by Thomas H. Henriksen in the Hoover Digest) I offer a few comments for consideration. I think the author's critique is really with the doctrine of population centric COIN vice the Indirect Approach. I do not think we should throw the baby out with the bath water here and lump the Indirect Approach with population centric COIN.

And I really do have to take exception to this statement from the article:

"Some of Carl von Clausewitz's writings have, for longer than a century, influenced generals to see the object of war as simply destruction of adversaries in detail."

I guess I can accept it if emphasis is placed on the word "Some" because not all of Clausewitz writings emphasized this. I would also caveat this and say "It is the misreading of some of Clausewtiz' writings" or it is the misunderstanding caused by those who only read the bumper stickers of Clausewitz and do not really read (and more importantly study) On War.

Click through to read more ...

by Dave Dilegge | Fri, 01/14/2011 - 7:53am | 0 comments
15 Top Stories / Items of Interest:

AF: Rush for Results May Undermine Aid Goals - Christian Science Monitor

AF: Opium Prices Soar, Focus on Taliban, Drug War Stumbles - Washington Post

The Challenges of Small-Unit Patrolling in Afghanistan - New York Times

Biden and Maliki Focus on Two Nations' Future Relationship - Washington Post

In Iraq, Biden Reaffirms Deadline for Troops' Exit - New York Times

Bad Choice: Stability in Lebanon or Support for Tribunal - Washington Times

Lebanon: For Hezbollah, Claiming Victory Could Be Costly - New York Times

Clinton Pushes Economic and Political Reforms in Middle East - Washington Post

Behind Tunisia Unrest, Rage Over Wealth of Ruling Family - New York Times

Al Qaeda's Tentacles - Los Angeles Times opinion

Gates Reaffirms U.S. Support of South Korea - New York Times

U.S.-Japan Ties Should Deepen, Gates Says - Washington Post

Gates Confident of China Leader's Control over Military - Los Angeles Times

Amid Drug Violence, Acapulco Watches Tourism Recede - Los Angeles Times

Commission to Recommend Allowing Women in Combat Units - Stars and Stripes

Continue on for today's SWJ news and opinion links.

by Dave Dilegge | Thu, 01/13/2011 - 8:26pm | 0 comments
Surface Navy Association Symposium, 13 January 2011, Remarks by General James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps. Short excerpt follows:

... These vignettes validate what I see as the mission of the Marine Corps: a balanced air ground logistics team that is forward deployed and forward engaged: shaping, training, deterring and responding to all manner of crises and contingencies.

In every location I just mentioned — Pakistan, Haiti, the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast, South America, Gulf of Aden, Philippines, and Afghanistan — Marine Corps forces were either engaging with our allies, conducting full spectrum COIN operations, enabling the Joint Force and Interagency/NGO elements, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, deterring aggression or contributing to assured access. I refer to our Marine Corps of today as a 'middleweight force'...a term I first introduced in my planning guidance that I issued shortly after becoming the Commandant. We fill the void in our nation's defense for an agile force that is comfortable operating at the high and low ends of the threat spectrum or the more likely ambiguous areas in between.

To Marines, the notion of 'expeditionary' is a state of mind that drives the way we organize our forces, train, and procure equipment. We are our nation's crisis response force. By definition this necessitates a high state of unit readiness and an ability to sustain ourselves logistically. Crisis response is incompatible with tiered readiness. You're either ready to respond to today's crisis...with today's force...TODAY...or you're late...and risk being irrelevant...

Remarks by General James F. Amos at the Surface Navy Association Symposium.

by Dave Dilegge | Thu, 01/13/2011 - 8:33am | 0 comments
15 Top Stories / Items of Interest:

U.S. Military Chief Mike Mullen in Afghan Warning - BBC News

U.S. Military Chief: Enemy in Afghanistan is Losing - Associated Press

U.S. Keeps Funneling Money to Troubled Afghan Projects - McClatchy

Lebanon's Government Collapses as Hezbollah Resigns - Washington Post

Lacking Leverage, U.S. Grasps for a Solution in Lebanon - New York Times

Clinton Blasts Arab Governments on Reforms - Wall Street Journal

Biden Seeks to Reassure Pakistan - Los Angeles Times

Contours of Lasting American Presence in Iraq Taking Shape - Washington Post

Biden Visits Iraq for Talks on Future Relationship - Washington Post

Iran, U.S. Prepare for 'Last Chance' Nuclear Talks - Washington Post

N. Korea Seen as Drawing Bead on Both Seoul, U.S. - Washington Times

Gates in Tokyo for Talks on North Korea - New York Times

South Sudan's Referendum Vote Reaches 60%, Says SPLM - BBC News

Mayhem Spreads in Tunisia; Curfew Decreed - New York Times

Mexico Updates Four Years of Drug War Deaths to 34,612 - BBC News

Continue on for today's SWJ news and opinion links.

by Dave Dilegge | Wed, 01/12/2011 - 9:49pm | 27 comments
Here's the video of Monday's Defining Success in Afghanistan panel discussion at American Enterprise Institute. I watched it live and thought it very informative and thought provoking - whether you completely agree with a particular view on the war or not.

The AEI-ISW report, which is the subject of this event, is available here.

About this event via AEI: The US strategy in Afghanistan can succeed, according to a new report by Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan released Friday. Mr. Kagan, resident scholar and director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, and Ms. Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War, laid out their main arguments in "Defining Success in Afghanistan" Monday at AEI. AEI's Danielle Pletka underscored that this war is little understood by the American public and that insufficient effort has been made to illuminate the enemy insurgency, the nature of international efforts, and Afghan self-governance. Ms. Kagan gave an overview of the situation on the ground, pointing out that International Security Assistance Force troops inflicted unprecedented damage to al Qaeda in southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces throughout 2010. On the issue of a stable Afghan state, Mr. Kagan argued that longstanding Afghan history and tradition suggest that self-governance can be enduring, noting in particular the indigenous process by which Pashtuns achieve consensus among their tribal leaders. Afghans see the current hypercentralized government as illegitimate because it lacks the proper checks on executive power and is rampant with corruption, fueling the insurgency. While terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan are of great concern, Mr. Kagan argued that dismantling the local networks used to carry out attacks within Afghanistan will render those sanctuaries less significant. Andrew Exum, who served as a civilian adviser to General Stanley A. McChrystal in Afghanistan, said that a strict counterterrorism mission would be difficult now and would not likely help achieve US objectives, but he raised concerns over the regenerative nature of the enemy. He added that he will withhold judgment on the significance of 2010's military successes until next summer. He also emphasized that the war is fought in phases and that the public needs to be prepared for additional fighting in the future. General Jack Keane compared the war in Iraq with that in Afghanistan and expressed optimism that with the right strategy in place, a new 2014 time frame, and the exceptional leadership of General David Petraeus, there is real hope for success in Afghanistan.

by Dave Dilegge | Wed, 01/12/2011 - 6:53pm | 4 comments
Small Wars Journal : The News Frontier Database by Michael Meyer, Columbia Journalism Review.

"Although it's right to call Small Wars Journal a niche publication, doing so misrepresents the site's true influence. "Small wars," as the site uses it, is a kind of catch-all term for counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and other pervasive features of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although SWJ may have the narrow readership of a trade or academic journal, its online presence has allowed it to be a major voice on topics paramount to public interest..."

Much more at Columbia Journalism Review.

by Robert Haddick | Wed, 01/12/2011 - 6:12pm | 2 comments
In the latest issue of The Washington Quarterly, Ely Ratner, an Associate Political Scientist at RAND, asserts that one of the consequences of China's rapid rise in global influence will be increasingly complicated and difficult security challenges for the Chinese state. Ratner believes that most Western analysts who study China's future influence on global security have failed to take these challenges into account.

Ratner contends that the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party has made a thorough study of the lessons learned from the experiences of other rising powers in history. He claims that China's foreign policy is attempting to avoid the errors made by these powers. However, Ratner asserts that China's expanding commercial and political connections throughout the world, an unavoidable consequence of China's need for raw materials and export markets, will lead to clashes with states and non-state actors that will acquire grievances against China's decisions, methods, and actions. In addition, China's eagerness to transact with authoritarian regimes otherwise shunned by the West may lead to surprisingly large "blowback" directed against Beijing.

It is highly likely that China will find itself using the same tools -- covert action, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, proxy wars, third-party counterinsurgency, etc. -- that other past global powers have used to defend their interests in quasi-colonial situations. Ratner recommends that U.S. policymakers take this estimate of China's future security difficulties into account when formulating their own strategies, to including cooperation with China when security interests with the United States overlap.

Click here to read this interesting paper.

Nothing follows.

by Dave Dilegge | Wed, 01/12/2011 - 8:44am | 71 comments
Counterinsurgency Strategy Not Working in Afghanistan, Critics Say by David Wood, Politics Daily. BLUF: "Experts on Afghanistan and on counterinsurgency, among them active-duty and retired military officers, analysts and academics, are pushing to have the U.S. mission in Afghanistan significantly narrowed in scope. Their message, in brief: Drop the hearts 'n' minds stuff. Go kill the enemy."
by Dave Dilegge | Wed, 01/12/2011 - 2:39am | 0 comments
15 Top Stories / Items of Interest:

Biden Promises U.S. Support Beyond 2014 - Washington Post

Biden Assures Karzai of Aid From U.S. Beyond 2014 - New York Times

Biden Backtracks on Afghanistan Troop Pullout Date - Los Angeles Times

New Radio Program to Help Afghans Learn to Read - Stars and Stripes

Zardari Ally to Succeed Slain Official in Pakistan - New York Times

IEDs Killed 21,000 Iraqi Civilians 2005-2010 - USA Today

Israel: Only A Threat Of Force Will Halt Iran Nukes - Reuters

Test of Stealth Fighter Clouds Gates Visit to China - New York Times

China: Test Flight Signals Stealth Jet Reached New Stage - Wall Street Journal

Gates: N. Korean Ballistic Missiles Pose 'Direct Threat' to U.S. - Washington Post

More Votes, and More Deaths, in Southern Sudan - New York Times

Ivory Coast: With Leader Digging In, Civilians Pay the Price - New York Times

Bit by Bit, a Mexican Police Force Is Eradicated - New York Times

Haiti Still Mired in Post-quake Problems - Los Angeles Times

Mullen Observes Disconnect Between U.S. Military and Public - Washington Post

Continue on for today's SWJ news and opinion links.

by Dave Dilegge | Tue, 01/11/2011 - 2:17pm | 0 comments
Commander Discusses Disestablishment Recommendation

Sgt. Josh LeCappelain

USJFCOM Public Affairs

(NORFOLK, Va. - Jan. 11 2011) -- The commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), Gen. Ray Odierno, issued a statement and answered questions Jan. 10 about the recommendation to disestablish the command.

"We hope that the implementation plan will be finished within the next 30-to-45 days and approved, so we can begin execution. We have been working very carefully on this plan for several months now," Odierno said. "We've had good coordination with the Virginia delegation, led by the governor's office, Sen. (Mark) Warner, Sen. (Jim) Webb, Congressman (Randy) Forbes and many others that are involved in this."

Odierno added that the exchange of ideas and an open dialogue will continue with the delegation moving forward as changes are made, including various capabilities remaining but under other organizations.

"What we've done is attempted to find the core capabilities that should be left behind in Joint Forces Command, which I believe to be joint training, concept development, doctrine development and the role we play in providing forces for all the contingency missions around the world," he added, saying that he believed approximately 50 percent of the workforce in the Hampton Roads area will remain.

Odierno listed four major goals he had during the process, including to improve efficiency and effectiveness of all the critical functions that remain; maintain a strong collaboration with NATO's Allied Command Transformation and the multi-national partners in the Hampton Roads area; sustain joint advocacy and the progress made in jointness; and provide support to the workforce during transition.

Odierno stressed that setting up a program for the DoD civilians employed by USJFCOM to continue working with other government entities was a top priority moving forward. He praised the professionalism of the workforce during this process.

"I've been very impressed with how people have continued to do their jobs. We have such great expertise and capabilities here. It hasn't been brought to my attention specifically, (but) I know that the unknown is bothering people," he said. "That's why we want to get the decision on the implementation done so we can start informing people what is going to happen to them."

When the implementation plan is approved, he will be able to brief the workforce on what to expect and a more specific deadline. He stated that once approved, the disestablishment implementation should take between 12 and 15 months.

A specific plan for what happens to the command's buildings and real estate has not been finalized.

President Barack Obama approved Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' recommendation to disestablish USJFCOM on Jan. 6.

by Dave Dilegge | Tue, 01/11/2011 - 7:32am | 0 comments
15 Top Stories / Items of Interest:

Petraeus Says Taliban Influence on Decline - Associated Press

Biden Makes Unannounced Visit to Afghanistan - Washington Post

U.S., Afghan Officials Put Faith in Reintegration Program - Stars and Stripes

Afghan Reconstruction Watchdog Resigns Amid Pressure - Washington Post

Pakistan Faces a Divide of Age on Muslim Law - New York Times

Clinton Asks Arabs to Oppose Iran Nukes - Washington Post

Clinton Says Curbs Slow Iran Program - Wall Street Journal

Clinton in Yemen on Surprise Visit - Wall Street Journal

Gates: North Korea Will Pose Direct Threat to U.S. - Associated Press

Japan and S. Korea Hold First Military Talks in Nearly 2 Years - Washington Post

U.S., China Pledge to Improve Military Cooperation - Los Angeles Times

China Spurns Strategic Security Talks with U.S. - Washington Times

Voting Is Peaceful in South Sudan Despite Border Clashes - New York Times

At Least 3 Drug Groups Fighting for Control in Acapulco - Los Angeles Times

New Generation of Unmanned Spy Planes is Being Tested - Los Angeles Times

Continue on for today's SWJ news and opinion links.

by Dave Dilegge | Mon, 01/10/2011 - 7:27pm | 1 comment
Sudanese Crossroads by Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post. BLUF: "With the West openly supporting southern Sudanese independence, a new war's consequences will not be limited to Sudan itself." Ms. Glick's op-ed piece cites "Southern Sudan: The Four Theses" by LTC Thomas Talley at Small Wars Journal.
by Dave Dilegge | Mon, 01/10/2011 - 7:14pm | 1 comment
The Department of the Navy recently released their Confronting Irregular Challenges Community of Interest (CIC COI) Charter, it can be found here. The Charter is a step forward in implementing the U.S. Navy Vision for Confronting Irregular Challenges and promoting an increased understanding in regards to confronting irregular challenges. The Charter also designates the CIC COI as the authority responsible for the synchronization of CIC-related initiatives within the Navy and its external partners.
by Dave Dilegge | Mon, 01/10/2011 - 4:05pm | 0 comments
Due to the tragic events of this past weekend and the resulting change in the congressional schedule, tomorrow's event on "The Power of People: Building an Integrated National Security Professional System for the 21st Century" has been postponed.

The event has been rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 25, at the Reserve Officers Association (1 Constitution Avenue NE). Please RSVP to: OR (202) 643-7049. A reminder will follow sometime next week.

Event Title: The Power of People: Building an Integrated National Security Professional System for the 21st Century

The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) is a nonpartisan organization working to modernize and improve the United States' national security system to better protect the American people against 21st century dangers.

Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Time: Check-in/Registration - 8:00 (breakfast available); Event - 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Location: Reserve Officers Association (ROA) 1 Constitution Avenue, N.E., 4th Floor Washington, DC 20002

Description: PNSR invites you to attend "Building an Integrated National Security Professional System for the 21st Century"

RSVP: or call (202) 643-7049


Addressing National Security Professionals in the 112th Congress:

Representative Geoff Davis (R - KY)

Representative John Tierney (D - MA)

Highlights from PNSR's New Report, The Power of People:

Nancy Bearg and Myra Howze Shiplett, Study Directors

Panel on Lessons Learned and Next Steps:

Nancy Bearg - Senior Advisor and Study Director, PNSR (chair)

Pamela Aall - Provost, Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, U.S. Institute of Peace

Catherine Dale - Specialist in International Security, Congressional Research Service

William Navas - former Executive Director, National Security Professional Development Integration Office

Vikram Singh - Senior Advisor, Office of the Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan (invited)

In 2007, the U.S. government launched an initiative to develop people with the proper skills, knowledge, and experience for working collaboratively on national security issues that cut across departments and agencies. Representatives Geoff Davis (R-KY) and Ike Skelton (D-MO) introduced legislation in September 2010. In its congressionally mandated study released in December 2010, The Power of People: Building an Integrated National Security Professional System for the 21st Century, PNSR takes a comprehensive look at the government initiative, identifying problems and shortfalls and making recommendations. The study provides a plan to build gradually to a robust Integrated National Security Professional (INSP) system.

You can find the report here. Additional PNSR major reports can be found here.

by Dave Dilegge | Mon, 01/10/2011 - 9:10am | 3 comments
In case you missed it: Major Dick Winters, of legendary "Band of Brothers", dies at 92 - Crispin Burke at Wings over Iraq. More on Major Richard Winters.
by Dave Dilegge | Mon, 01/10/2011 - 8:58am | 0 comments
Defining Success in Afghanistan

Monday, January 10, 2011, 8:00-10:00 a.m. EST

Please watch this event live online at 8:00 a.m. EST here.

The AEI-ISW report, which is the subject of this event, is now available here.

Two thousand ten was a pivotal year in determining the prospects for success in Afghanistan. In December, President Barack Obama and his administration favorably reviewed US strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, reporting significant progress in weakening al Qaeda's presence in the region, though acknowledging the short- and long-term challenges that the United States, its allies, and its Afghan partner face in securing a stable Afghanistan. A great deal of confusion, however, remains in the public debate about what success in Afghanistan would look like and why the current approach can succeed after ten years of efforts that did not. Resident scholar Frederick W. Kagan, who directs the Critical Threats Project at AEI, and Kimberly Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), spent 150 days in Afghanistan in 2010 and will lay out the key details of their latest report, "Defining Success in Afghanistan," copublished by AEI and ISW. General Jack Keane, former vice chief of staff for the US Army, and Center for a New American Security fellow Andrew M. Exum, who served both on active duty and as a civilian adviser to General Stanley A. McChrystal in Afghanistan, will comment. AEI's Danielle Pletka will moderate.

by Dave Dilegge | Mon, 01/10/2011 - 8:46am | 0 comments
15 Top Stories / Items of Interest:

Afghan Insurgents Match Surge with More IEDs - USA Today

Afghans Strained by Shortages as Iran Tightens Flow of Fuel - New York Times

Pakistan's Release of Militant Stirs Questions - Associated Press

Some Shiites Express Alarm over Cleric Sadr's Return to Iraq - Los Angeles Times

U.S. Urges Continued Pressure on Iran - Los Angeles Times

Iran Holds 'Israel-linked Spies Behind Nuclear Killing' - BBC News

S. Korea Again Rejects N. Korea's Offer to Hold Talks - Associated Press

South Korea, Japan Upgrade Ties In Face Of North Korea Threat - Reuters

In Southern Sudan, a Jubilant Vote on Secession - New York Times

U.S. Plans to Reward Sudan if Vote Goes Well - Washington Times

South Sudanese Voting in Second Day of Landmark Poll - BBC News

U.S. and China Defense Chiefs Agree to Keep Talking - New York Times

Chinese Defense Chief Tepid to Gates - Washington Post

China's Stealth Jet Coming On, Gates Confirms - Washington Times

Gates: China Moving Fast on New Weapons - Associated Press

Continue on for today's SWJ news and opinion links.