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 Fox News | Tue, 09/04/2018 - 3:18am | 0 comments
"President Trump late Monday warned Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and his allies in the region not to attack rebels in the country’s Idlib province, warning that 'hundreds of thousands' could be killed. Trump’s tweet came shortly after Iran’s foreign minister said 'terrorists must be purged' from Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in the country."
by The New York Times | Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:34am | 0 comments
The Pentagon is considering withdrawing nearly all American commandos from Niger in the wake of a deadly October ambush against a Green Beret team that killed four United States soldiers. Three Defense Department officials said the plans, if approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, would also close military outposts in Tunisia, Cameroon, Libya and Kenya, as well as seven of the eight American elite counterterrorism units operating in Africa.
by The Telegraph | Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:32am | 0 comments
Speculation is increasing that Syrian government forces could be preparing to a chemical attack to “soften up” rebel defences in Idlib and break the spirit of the local population ahead of a major assault, which is expected imminently. They did so in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib last year, and before that in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta in 2013.
by The New York Times | Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:30am | 0 comments
On land, Syria’s government is mustering thousands of conscripts to bolster its depleted forces. At sea, a Russian naval flotilla is just offshore, ready to intervene with formidable firepower. In Idlib Province, millions of civilians are dreading what comes next. The warring sides in Syria’s long and merciless civil war are preparing for another brutal offensive, and this one may be the last.
by The National Interest | Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:27am | 0 comments
In the last few weeks, ISIS and al-Qaeda have joined hands to incite Muslims, especially in the West, to carry out terror attacks, including using unconventional weapons, on vital Western interests. On July 20, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Telegram channel "Distance of Month's Journey Media" published a book titled Jihad Without Borders—Attacks in the West from an Islamic Perspective. The sixty-eight-page book, underscoring controversial Islamic sources, justified jihad in the West as part of the indisputable concept of what Salafi-jihadis consider “jihad without borders.”
by Voice of America | Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:24am | 0 comments
Pakistan has dismissed as “incorrect” reports the United States has canceled $300 million in military aid to the country, saying Washington owed the money to Islamabad for expenses incurred on fighting terrorism.
by The New York Times | Mon, 09/03/2018 - 12:21am | 0 comments
“It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end,” General Nicholson said. The general called on the Taliban to “stop killing your fellow Afghans,” but he also referred indirectly to regional players - particularly Pakistan, where the militants enjoy sanctuary - who have complicated the fight.
by DoD News | Sun, 09/02/2018 - 7:26pm | 0 comments
Army Gen. John M. Nicholson passed command of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and U.S. Forces Afghanistan to Army Gen. Austin S. Miller during a ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, today.
by SWJ Editors | Sun, 09/02/2018 - 6:49pm | 0 comments
This book is our sixth Small Wars Journal—El Centro anthology, covering writings published between 2016 and 2017. The theme of this anthology pertains to the rise of the narcostate (mafia states) as a result of the collusion between criminal organizations and political elites—essentially authoritarian regime members, corrupted plutocrats, and other powerful societal elements.
by The Atlantic | Sun, 09/02/2018 - 12:08pm | 0 comments
“The problem they pose is not that they can take over cities. It's not that they can stop Iraq from exporting oil. It's not that they can assassinate the prime minister. The problem with ISIS is that they will make it impossible stabilize the center, north, and west of the country. They’re like poison in the ground, or salt in the earth. Until they are gone, you can’t rebuild anything.”
by Voice of America | Sun, 09/02/2018 - 9:51am | 0 comments
"Orson Swindle’s first conversation with the late Senator John McCain was tapped out in code on a wall between prison cells. The retired Marine officer met McCain in 1967 when both were prisoners of war at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison in Vietnam. U.S. servicemen used a secret code to communicate with each other while confined to their cells."
by The Hill | Sun, 09/02/2018 - 8:06am | 0 comments
"To put it bluntly, the United States now has no regional friends on the borders of Afghanistan, and few common interests with Russia or China. The only good news for the United States is that the Russian and Chinese roles in Afghanistan are much more driven by self-interest than hostility."
by Reuters | Sun, 09/02/2018 - 7:40am | 0 comments
"U.S. Army General Scott Miller assumed command of NATO forces in Afghanistan on Sunday, arriving as Washington faces growing questions over its strategy to force the Taliban into talks to end the 17-year conflict."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Sun, 09/02/2018 - 12:13am | 0 comments
"The U.S. military has announced it has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended due to Islamabad’s perceived lack of action against militants. President Donald Trump suspended the so-called Coalition Support Funds, along with other aid to Pakistan, at the start of the year."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Sat, 09/01/2018 - 11:45am | 0 comments
The United States has warned Damascus and Moscow that it views any military assault on Syria's last rebel-held province in coming days as an escalation of the seven-year Syrian civil war.
by The Washington Post | Sat, 09/01/2018 - 9:47am | 0 comments
"Army Lt. Gen. Austin 'Scott' Miller faces a stark central question as he becomes the United States’ newest commander in Afghanistan this weekend: With local forces struggling and questions swirling about President Trump’s support for the war, how long will America persist?"
by The Wall Street Journal | Sat, 09/01/2018 - 8:56am | 0 comments
“The episode showed how Moscow is trying to demonstrate soft power in the Syrian war, as it tries to wind down a brutal military campaign that has cost Russia billions and courts donors to help reconstruct the battered country. Russia lauded the operation, which paved the way for the return of United Nations peacekeepers to the Golan Heights demilitarized zone, as a victory for increasingly successful nonviolent tactics.”
by The Times | Sat, 09/01/2018 - 12:32am | 0 comments
"An Iraqi warlord captured by the SAS gave up unprecedented information on how Iran trained Shia militias to mount “full-scale warfare” against British and American troops, declassified US documents have revealed."
by Bloomberg News | Fri, 08/31/2018 - 4:05pm | 0 comments
"Erik Prince thinks 6,000 mercenaries can do what 110,000 troops could not. That’s a deadly mistake."
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 08/31/2018 - 7:19am | 0 comments
"U.S. military and intelligence officials are at odds over the direction of the war in Afghanistan, creating a new source of friction as President Trump and his national security team seek a way to end the 17-year-old conflict, American officials said."
by The Washington Post | Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:28am | 0 comments
"A decade ago, a captive Iraqi terrorist leader told his U.S. interrogators all about how Shiite militias worked with Iran, Hezbollah and each other to attack American soldiers in Iraq. Now, as that terrorist is set to wield significant political power in Iraq, the details of his interrogations are being released for the first time."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, by Voice of America | Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:24am | 0 comments
Syria has acknowledged it is preparing an all-out offensive against rebel fighters in Idlib Province as its ally Russia plans major naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea amid growing tensions with the West in the region. The U.N. refugee agency reports it is scaling up its operation in Yemen to meet the urgent protection needs of thousands of Yemenis displaced by fighting in the strategic port city of Hodeidah.
by The Washington Post | Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:22am | 0 comments
"With Syria’s rebels nearing defeat after seven years at war, President Bashar al-Assad’s army says it is turning its firepower against their final stronghold. The target, Idlib province, is largely controlled by an al-Qaeda-linked militant group. Caught in the middle are millions of civilians with nowhere left to run."
by The National Interest | Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:18am | 0 comments
"As the anniversary of the September 11 attacks draws near, the Afghanistan War—the nearly seventeen-year-old conflict those terrible events spawned—is seeing a change in leadership. Army Lt. Gen. Austin Scott Miller, America’s ninth commander, is preparing to take charge of the effort but has already admitted to his lack of innovative thinking. At his confirmation hearing in June, he told the Senate that he couldn’t guarantee a timeline for bringing U.S. troops home. This is unfortunate—and expected. Despite the change of command, Miller represents the same stale thinking that has permeated U.S. foreign policy for the last two decades."
by The Wall Street Journal | Thu, 08/30/2018 - 10:07am | 0 comments
“Recently declassified U.S. interrogation reports shed new light on one of Iraq’s most prominent Shiite political figures and Iran’s role in training and arming Iraqi militias that attacked U.S. troops during the Iraq war.”