Small Wars Journal

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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 Voice of America | Tue, 10/22/2019 - 2:14am | 0 comments
The United States is keeping some troops near oil fields in northeastern Syria to protect them from being captured by Islamic State, defense chief Mark Esper said Monday.
by Associated Press | Tue, 10/22/2019 - 2:06am | 0 comments
"Turkey’s president is to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin this week in talks crucial to the outcome of Turkey’s latest incursion into northern Syria, and to the broader Syrian war."
by Military Times | Tue, 10/22/2019 - 2:04am | 0 comments
"Preserving the Syrian Democratic Forces is key to preventing an Islamic State resurgence after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, according to the former special envoy to the counter-ISIS coalition."
by Voice of America | Tue, 10/22/2019 - 2:01am | 0 comments
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ramping up pressure on his Western allies, as the end of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire approaches with Syrian Kurdish rebels. Erdogan's escalating rhetoric comes ahead of a pivotal meeting Tuesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
by Military Times | Mon, 10/21/2019 - 2:46pm | 0 comments
"... the U.S. partnership with the SDF has been a success story beyond all expectation. Due largely to the SDF’s efforts, the U.S. was able to expunge the physical caliphate from Syria at an incredibly low cost in casualties, and — until two weeks ago — maintain a tenuous stability along the border region with Turkey. At every step the SDF has aligned their actions with U.S. objectives by avoiding where possible confrontation with either the Syrian Regime or Turkey, and by advancing on Raqqa, at a time when their own rear lines were threatened by both armies."
by Voice of America | Mon, 10/21/2019 - 1:43pm | 0 comments
The top American commander in Afghanistan revealed Monday the size of U.S. troop force in the country has quietly been reduced by 2,000 over the last year, insisting remaining military personnel are still capable of reaching their stated objectives.
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 10/21/2019 - 1:32pm | 0 comments
"Civilians in Kurdish areas hurled rotten fruit and insults at a convoy of U.S. military vehicles that crossed from northern Syria into Iraq early Monday, marking a dramatic drawdown to an American presence in Syria to combat Islamic State."
by Al-Monitor | Mon, 10/21/2019 - 1:49am | 0 comments
"A convoy of US troops and equipment departed northeast Syria today, a spokesman for the US-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State (IS) said, further winnowing the American presence in the war-torn country as a White House-brokered cease-fire appeared to be on shaky ground."
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 10/21/2019 - 12:19am | 0 comments
"The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said its fighters withdrew from a key border town in northeastern Syria, fulfilling a part of the cease-fire agreement between Turkey and the U.S., as a large convoy of American troops also prepared to pull out of the country and its protracted conflict."
by Associated Press | Sun, 10/20/2019 - 3:22pm | 0 comments
"Kurdish fighters and civilians began evacuating from a besieged Syrian town on Sunday, the first pullback under the U.S.-brokered cease-fire deal, opening the way to a broader withdrawal of the Kurdish-led forces from parts of the Turkish border."
by Associated Press | Sun, 10/20/2019 - 2:17pm | 0 comments
"U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived Sunday in Afghanistan, where stalled peace talks with the Taliban and persistent violent attacks by the insurgent group and Islamic State militants have complicated the Trump administration’s pledge to withdraw more than 5,000 American troops."
by The Wall Street Journal | Sun, 10/20/2019 - 4:08am | 0 comments
"All of the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops ordered to leave northeastern Syria will move to western Iraq and will conduct U.S. operations against the Islamic State extremist group from there, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said."
by The New York Times | Sat, 10/19/2019 - 6:36pm | 0 comments
"Sporadic fighting continued in northern Syria on Friday, casting uncertainty over a U.S.-brokered truce, as conflicting reports emerged about whether Kurdish forces were retreating or hunkering down and whether Turkish troops were advancing or holding fire."
by The Wall Street Journal | Sat, 10/19/2019 - 4:44pm | 0 comments
"Turkey shelled Ras al-Ain in northeastern Syria in violation of its cease-fire, Kurdish forces said, preventing evacuations from the border town at the center of a fight testing the viability of a pact negotiated with the U.S."
by Voice of America | Sat, 10/19/2019 - 4:24pm | 0 comments
Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) confirmed Saturday it had delayed the planned release of preliminary results of the Sept. 28 presidential polls. The commission's chief, Hawa Alam Nuristani, made the widely anticipated announcement at a late evening news conference in Kabul on the day the commission was supposed to officially deliver first results.
by The Wall Street Journal | Sat, 10/19/2019 - 2:27am | 0 comments
"A son of the infamous Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is captured. Cartel gunmen respond with a vicious attack on soldiers and civilians across a major Mexican city, killing at least eight people. The government gives in and releases the son, a top figure in the cartel."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Sat, 10/19/2019 - 1:28am | 0 comments
At least 62 people have been killed and dozens wounded in an explosion during Friday Prayers at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan, officials say. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the October 18 attack in Nangarhar Province, which came after the United Nations said the number of civilian deaths in the war-torn country had reached "unprecedented" levels over the summer.
by Voice of America | Sat, 10/19/2019 - 12:42am | 0 comments
Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Friday that Turkish forces would intensify their operation into Syria if Kurdish militias failed to comply with an agreement struck with the United States. The warning was made as sporadic fighting continued and disputes emerged over the cease-fire terms.
by SWJ Editors | Fri, 10/18/2019 - 4:42pm | 0 comments
Via the Miami Herald - "As Washington focuses on impeachment, Syria and the 2020 presidential elections, Latin America and the Caribbean, once again, seem to be falling apart."
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 10/18/2019 - 4:16pm | 0 comments
"America’s humiliating exit from the war in Vietnam was marked by chaotic images of people struggling to board the last helicopters leaving the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. The U.S. didn’t want to leave Syria in similar fashion."
by Military Times | Fri, 10/18/2019 - 2:14pm | 0 comments
"The rapid withdrawal of American troops from Syria is stoking the concerns of Congress and former U.S. defense officials who warn the limited American presence and abandonment of an ally will stymie intelligence collection efforts."
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 10/18/2019 - 1:44pm | 0 comments
"Turkish forces tightened their grip around the Kurdish-held town of Ras al-Ain in northeastern Syria on Thursday, prompting local officials to plead for the evacuation of civilians from the besieged city."
by Associated Press | Fri, 10/18/2019 - 2:22am | 0 comments
"The U.S. and Turkey agreed Thursday to a cease-fire in the Turks’ deadly attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, requiring the Kurds to vacate the area in an arrangement that largely solidifies Turkey’s position and aims in the weeklong conflict. The deal includes a conditional halt to American economic sanctions."
by Center for Strategic & International Studies | Fri, 10/18/2019 - 2:20am | 0 comments
"Both the Obama administration and now more acutely the Trump administration have made catastrophic mistakes in Syria that are costing the United States. Both administrations underestimated the extent to which NATO ally Turkey would go to protect its own interests, how Russia and Iran would rally behind Bashar al-Assad, and that the Assad regime’s pernicious form of governance was the central driver of conflict in Syria—of which the Islamic State is a symptom."
by Defense News | Fri, 10/18/2019 - 2:18am | 0 comments
"House and Senate lawmakers on Thursday left Pentagon briefings on the crisis in Syria frustrated with the tangle of problems that came with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops from Syria and voicing new fears the Islamic State will regroup to wage terror."