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 United States Institute of Peace | Fri, 12/21/2018 - 5:01pm | 0 comments
Jibrin Ibrahim and Saleh Bala - USIP Special Report - "Nigeria’s military has largely degraded the capacity of Boko Haram since the peak of the insurgency in 2015. The government and security forces must now focus on winning the peace. This Special Report outlines the insurgency and its aftermath, the challenges facing the Nigerian government, the imperative of national police reform, and ways forward to stable and effective civilian-led governance." Continue on for a summary and a link to the full report.
by SWJ Editors | Fri, 12/21/2018 - 4:15pm | 0 comments
Today the Department of Defense provided to the Congress the semiannual report “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan” covering events during the period from June 1 to November 30, 2018. The report was submitted in accordance with requirements in Section 1225 of the Fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as amended by Sections 1231 and 1531 of the Fiscal 2016 and Fiscal 2017 NDAA.
by InSight Crime | Fri, 12/21/2018 - 9:56am | 0 comments
"Controversy surrounding the extension and modifications of a crucial law in Colombia shows the continued risks facing the successful implementation of the government’s peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas. This could also jeopardize the already uncertain future of peace talks with the ELN."
by The New York Times | Thu, 12/20/2018 - 8:29pm | 0 comments
"The Trump administration is withdrawing roughly 7,000 troops from Afghanistan in the coming months, two defense officials said Thursday, around half of what the American military has there now."
by National Public Radio | Thu, 12/20/2018 - 7:51pm | 0 comments
"Since 2014, the Holocaust Museum and scholars from Dartmouth have mapped the conditions that precede a genocide. They built a database of every mass killing since World War II. Then they went back and looked at the conditions in the countries where the killings occurred just prior to the attacks. And now they use that computer model to analyze which nations currently are at greatest risk."
by Associated Press | Thu, 12/20/2018 - 6:56pm | 0 comments
"Trump has said his instinct is to quit Afghanistan as a lost cause, but more recently he’s suggested a willingness to stay in search of peace with the Taliban. However, the abruptness with which he turned the page on Syria raises questions about whether combat partners like Iraq and Afghanistan should feel confident that he will not pull the plug on them, too."
by SWJ Editors | Thu, 12/20/2018 - 6:10pm | 0 comments
Continue on for Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' letter of resignation...
by The New York Times | Thu, 12/20/2018 - 5:44pm | 0 comments
"Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense secretary, will retire at the end of February, President Trump said on Thursday."
by Haaretz | Thu, 12/20/2018 - 5:10pm | 0 comments
The move once again scrambles US policy toward the Middle East, coming as the Trump administration had begun to coalesce around a three-tiered policy for the war in Syria that seeks the lasting defeat of the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS), Iran’s withdrawal and an irreversible political settlement backed by the United Nations at talks in Geneva. That process seeks changes to Syria’s constitution and government and possibly President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster.
by Voice of America | Thu, 12/20/2018 - 5:41am | 0 comments
The United States and the Taliban have concluded two days of marathon peace talks in the United Arab Emirates, promising to meet again in the Gulf country for another round “to complete the Afghanistan reconciliation process.”
by Military Times | Thu, 12/20/2018 - 5:24am | 0 comments
"President Donald Trump’s reported call for a rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria comes in stark contrast to statements by his own national security adviser, military leaders, members of Congress and the larger strategic aims laid out to aid Kurdish forces, and counter both Iranian and Russian influence."
by SWJ Editors | Thu, 12/20/2018 - 5:05am | 1 comment
Ifri Report - "Military cooperation is facing serious challenges, and there is still a long way to go. To that end, cooperation will have to be engendered from the bottom up, with the deployment of advisors at the operational level, as well as from the top down, with the introduction of security sector reforms to facilitate the progressive yet sustained changes that African forces need."
by Fox News | Wed, 12/19/2018 - 7:53pm | 0 comments
"Wednesday's surprise announcement that the U.S. will quickly withdraw all its troops from Syria is the stuff of nightmares for many of the Kurds living under the protection of U.S forces and the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces."
by The Modern War Institute | Wed, 12/19/2018 - 11:45am | 3 comments
"The US Army’s renewed focus on large-scale ground combat against peer threats with maneuvering field armies, as directed in its capstone doctrine, FM 3-0: Operations, presents a mismatch of problem and solution to hybrid challenges."
by The Washington Post | Wed, 12/19/2018 - 10:30am | 0 comments
"The Trump administration is planning to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria, a defense official said on Wednesday, as President Trump declared victory against the Islamic State. The president, in a message on Twitter, said the United States had "defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.""
by Proceedings | Wed, 12/19/2018 - 10:09am | 0 comments
In a nutshell: Army leadership wants to do away with PKSOI. Options are, at least, being discussed. I think this option would not work. SWJ (me) wants to hear from you. Shoot me a well-written and logical paper on this issue – why this option is good or bad – what other options might work, or not (USMC comes to mind) – anything else that addresses this issue. Send to dave@smallwarsjournal.com – I can publish within a day – most likely hours – would like to keep this discussion fresh and rolling.
by Jerusalem Post | Tue, 12/18/2018 - 9:50pm | 0 comments
"Just as the US has had to contend with terrorist tunnels, Israel and all countries facing terrorism are increasingly forced to fight an underground war. The complex of caves and tunnels is one of many in Afghanistan used by terrorist groups. ISIS, like many terrorist groups, has become expert in tunneling. ISIS didn’t invent this on its own. The group expanded on technology that other terrorist groups have used."
by The New York Times | Tue, 12/18/2018 - 4:51pm | 0 comments
"Outrage over civilian deaths in Yemen has focused on airstrikes. But at sea, the Saudi-led coalition is suspected of attacking many fishing boats, killing dozens of people."
by The British Broadcasting Corporation | Tue, 12/18/2018 - 12:53pm | 0 comments
"Fighting between Yemeni pro-government forces and Houthi rebels in the city of Hudaydah has reportedly subsided, after a ceasefire came into effect overnight."
by Military.com | Tue, 12/18/2018 - 11:52am | 0 comments
"The U.S.-backed and -trained Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed over the weekend to have taken the small town of Hajin on the Syria-Iraq border in heavy fighting, ousting the Islamic State from its last urban enclave in Syria."
by Associated Press | Tue, 12/18/2018 - 9:08am | 0 comments
"Turkey’s leader said Monday he received “positive answers” from President Donald Trump on the situation in northeastern Syria, where Turkey has threatened to launch a new operation against American-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters."
by Al-Monitor | Mon, 12/17/2018 - 7:32pm | 2 comments
"The first Security Force Assistance Brigade, a Milley-led invention to pick US military trainers from the regular Army instead of the elite Special Forces, wrapped up its first Afghan deployment in the fall. Now, as President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Milley will take the top job in the military with a chance to expand his experiment to North Africa and the Middle East, where the US Army is focusing on training instead of combat missions to fight terrorism."
by SWJ Editors | Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:23am | 0 comments
Via The National - "It is 15 years since Saddam Hussein was captured by US troops. Given the numerous inquiries that have taken place, and the flood of histories, analyses and op-eds that have been written about the second Iraq War, one might well ask if we really need any more books on the subject. Yes, is the answer, at least after reading Patrick Porter’s well-researched, elegant and succinctly written “J’accuse”"
by The New York Times | Sun, 12/16/2018 - 11:04pm | 1 comment
"The long and winding case of Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn had all the elements of a story that would seize President Trump’s attention. A Green Beret charged by the Army in the killing of a man linked to the Taliban. Thorny questions about America’s longstanding entanglement in Afghanistan. And a Fox News program that lauded the officer as a war hero."
by Voice of America | Sun, 12/16/2018 - 8:30am | 0 comments
"The United States said Saturday it welcomes actions Pakistan is taking to promote a negotiated solution to the war in neighboring Afghanistan. The acknowledgement came a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his country has arranged another round of Washington’s peace talks with the Afghan Taliban scheduled for Monday."