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 Defense One | Tue, 10/23/2018 - 6:48am | 0 comments
“The Afghan security force effort to hold Taliban violence at bay is “working,” a Defense Department spokesman said Monday, amid a spate of insider attacks and violence linked to this weekend’s parliamentary elections. A Pentagon spokesman cites a two-thirds decrease in attacks since the war’s peak eight years ago.”
by The Washington Post | Tue, 10/23/2018 - 5:22am | 0 comments
"To understand how the United States is countering Iran’s expansion across the Middle East, consider the outpost at Tanf. This tiny garrison, a jumble of dirt-filled blast barriers and tents surrounded by the immense desert of southern Syria, was established to roll back the Islamic State’s once-vast domain."
by SWJ Editors | Tue, 10/23/2018 - 5:21am | 0 comments
"Despite the presence of multiple militant groups in the Philippines who have made pledges of allegiance, or bayah, to Islamic State, the Philippine’ government and Armed Forces (AFP) have downplayed this threat. The statements they’ve made continuously ignore the reality of ISIS in the Philippines. This is partially due to the AFP deliberately downplaying the threat from ISIS by making false statements, something they’ve admitted to. At the same time, the Philippine government and the AFP have also managed to genuinely underestimate ISIS, likely in part due to the public downplaying of the threat as well as systematic intelligence failures."
by Voice of America | Tue, 10/23/2018 - 5:17am | 0 comments
"The U.S. Senate has recently passed two bills sanctioning the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Once signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, the sanctions will target foreign nationals and companies that provide financial, material or technological support to Hezbollah and its affiliates in the region. The Lebanese militant group has footprints beyond Lebanon in places like Syria, but analysts believe that with increasing U.S. pressures, the militant group would be forced to reduce its military activities outside of Lebanon."
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 10/22/2018 - 5:35pm | 0 comments
“The study’s very existence is little known outside the Army. The Wall Street Journal pieced together its history through dozens of interviews with former and current officials familiar with the effort, and from reviews of internal memorandums and emails. In the past few months alone, Army officials debated whether the study should be embraced or disowned. After a high-level review last month, Army officials issued instructions to remove a foreword noting the study had been “commissioned” by the Army and to scrub it of other signs that it had top-level sponsorship.”
by The Times | Mon, 10/22/2018 - 9:03am | 0 comments
General David Petraeus in The Times - The growing “judicialisation” of conflict should concern Britain, just as it concerns me. “Lawfare”, as it’s also known, has resulted in many British soldiers being accused in court, sometimes decades after the events in question have taken place.
by Divergent Options | Mon, 10/22/2018 - 7:14am | 0 comments
"International and regional forces have all but deprived the Islamic State (IS) of its territory, yet its apocalyptic ideology allows it to continue fighting despite these losses. IS’s goal to prepare the world for the end times does not require territory and will serve as a justification for its surviving members to maintain insurgencies in the Middle East and elsewhere."
by Associated Press | Mon, 10/22/2018 - 5:26am | 0 comments
“Turkish and American troops could begin conducting joint patrols in a matter of days around the northern Syrian city of Manbij within the coming days, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East said Sunday.”
by Military Times | Sun, 10/21/2018 - 12:47pm | 0 comments
Carl Prine at Navy Times - "Charged earlier this month with multiple war crimes in connection with the 2017 stabbing death of a detainee in Iraq, Special Operations Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher vows to fight for his freedom."
by The New York Times | Sun, 10/21/2018 - 12:08am | 0 comments
“The Khashoggi crisis has called attention to a largely overlooked Saudi-led war in Yemen. On a rare trip to the front line, we found Yemenis fighting and dying in a war that has gone nowhere.”
by Voice of America | Sat, 10/20/2018 - 12:00pm | 0 comments
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley strongly condemned Iran for its alleged recruitment and use of child soldiers in battlefields across the Middle East.
by SWJ Editors | Sat, 10/20/2018 - 9:24am | 1 comment
Bloody Week in Afghanistan Brings Back Memories of Never-Ending War by Amb. Jonathan S. Addleton at Global Atlanta - "Striking such a high-level security forum among senior military officials sent a strong message, both to the Afghan government and to the international community: We can strike anywhere and even the most senior of your military leaders cannot escape our reac"
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Sat, 10/20/2018 - 6:24am | 0 comments
General Abdul Raziq, known to sport traditional garb and a mischievous smile, was nominally the police chief of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. But the charismatic 39-year-old was also one of the most powerful security and political figures in Afghanistan, and a formidable adversary to the Taliban in the militant group’s southern heartland.
by Associated Press | Sat, 10/20/2018 - 6:12am | 0 comments
“U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday the killing of a powerful police chief in southern Afghanistan just days before national elections is unlikely to fundamentally weaken the security situation. Mattis commented on the attack in Kandahar during a break in meetings at an Asian security conference in Singapore.”
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Sat, 10/20/2018 - 5:54am | 0 comments
The run-up to Afghanistan’s October 20 parliamentary elections is taking its toll on the field. Ten candidates have been slain, two abducted, and four wounded -- both before and after the 20-day campaign period started on September 28, according to Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission.
by Stars & Stripes | Fri, 10/19/2018 - 9:37am | 0 comments
"Because of their importance in the war effort, Afghan pilots are targeted for assassination and often struggle to keep themselves and their families safe. Threats bring the war from the skies, where Kabul and the West have technological superiority, to the ground, where the Taliban and other militants use guerrilla tactics like ambush and murder."
by Voice of America | Fri, 10/19/2018 - 6:49am | 1 comment
U.S. officials said Tuesday they will keep working to stabilize areas they helped liberate from Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. With IS's so-called caliphate crumbled, the U.S. and its allies now seek long-term solutions for the region, emphasizing that the next phase will focus on providing local partners the means to ensure sustained stability in areas previously held by the terror group.
by The Modern War Institute | Fri, 10/19/2018 - 5:59am | 1 comment
"A consideration of partner nation incentives is central to the success of future advisory efforts, but to change these incentives advisers need the ability to provide and withhold resources in the field."
by The United States Institute of Peace | Fri, 10/19/2018 - 5:58am | 0 comments
"The stakes for this election are high. Not because parliament matters so much in a country where much of the political power is held by the executive branch. But they are a test run for the more critical presidential elections scheduled to be held six months later. If the parliamentary elections are plagued by major controversy the presidential election date could slip, and with it the fragile political stability that is needed to pursue an acceptable political settlement with the Taliban that the Trump administration’s South Asia strategy envisions."
by Defense News | Fri, 10/19/2018 - 5:56am | 1 comment
"In a surprise announcement, U.S. President Donald Trump has called for government spending to be cut 5 percent across every federal department, leaving next year’s military budget in confusion."
by The New York Times, by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 10/19/2018 - 5:54am | 0 comments
"Taliban insurgents assassinated one of southern Afghanistan’s most powerful leaders, and narrowly missed the top U.S. commander in the country, in the latest deadly attack to deal a setback to U.S. efforts to show progress in America’s longest-running war."
by Voice of America | Fri, 10/19/2018 - 5:53am | 0 comments
The United States is pushing back against claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Islamic State terror group is starting to execute hundreds of hostages in Syria, including U.S. and European nationals.
by Stars & Stripes | Thu, 10/18/2018 - 5:29pm | 0 comments
"The 2nd Security Forces Assistance Brigade, the Army’s second brigade built of specially trained combat advisers, will deploy to Afghanistan next year, Army officials said Thursday."
by SWJ Editors | Thu, 10/18/2018 - 3:57pm | 0 comments
Today by the 'Weekly Standard' - America has lost the war in Afghanistan. Washington may not want to admit it, and the U.S. military insists the conflict is a “stalemate.” But make no mistake: The original 9/11 war has been lost.
by The Washington Post | Thu, 10/18/2018 - 3:10pm | 0 comments
“Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975” is a product of Max Hastings’s prodigious research and his aptitude for pungent judgments. It is an unsparing look, by a warm friend of America, at the mountain of mendacities, political and military, that accumulated as the nation learned the truth of the philosopher Michael Oakeshott’s axiom: “To try to do something which is inherently impossible is always a corrupting enterprise.”