"U.S. and Taliban officials have come close to reaching agreement on a key Taliban demand for U.S. troop withdrawals, prompting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to call on the insurgents Monday to 'begin serious talks' with his government and reach a 'speedy peace.."
U.S. Inches Closer to Deal with Taliban that Could Lead to American Troop Pullout; Afghan President Calls for Direct Talks with Insurgentsby The Washington Post | Mon, 01/28/2019 - 10:44am | 0 comments
You Can’t Build an Army in a State That Can’t Sustain One: Explaining America’s Problem with Security Force Assistanceby The Modern War Institute, by National Defense University Press | Mon, 01/28/2019 - 10:22am | 1 comment
"If one accepts that the American military is the most powerful armed force in human history, why does it have a mixed record when it comes to building up foreign armies in weak states? With immense experience, capability, and resources, the United States should be able to train and develop competent armed forces in any host nation. Yet evidence over the past several decades has shown how difficult this task is."
by The Wall Street Journal | Mon, 01/28/2019 - 12:57am | 0 comments
"Twin explosions at a Roman Catholic cathedral in the southern Philippines killed at least 20 people in a bloody demonstration of remaining extremist threats in a Muslim-majority region where voters last week overwhelmingly backed self-rule and ratified a peace deal between the government and mainstream separatists."
by The New York Times | Mon, 01/28/2019 - 12:47am | 0 comments
"Horror stories at the hands of enforcers from the Taliban’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice are a staple for any educated Afghan woman over age 25 or so. Now those women have a new horror story: the possibility that American troops will leave Afghanistan as part of a peace deal with the Taliban."
by The Washington Post | Sun, 01/27/2019 - 1:54pm | 0 comments
"A pair of dusty villages in the Syrian desert are all that remain of the vast expanse of territory the Islamic State once called its caliphate, and the complete territorial defeat of the militant group appears to be imminent, according to U.S. and Kurdish officials."
by Wavell Room | Sun, 01/27/2019 - 1:13pm | 0 comments
"In January 2013, France launched Operation SERVAL to quell the uprising of various militant groups who posed a direct threat to the stability of Mali, a country they have a vested interest in. Their intention was to release Northern Mali from the grip of jihadist occupation and restore sovereignty to the region. The French, under the control of General Berrera, experienced huge successes throughout their intervention, their application of mission command directly attributed to this."
by Reuters | Sun, 01/27/2019 - 12:16pm | 0 comments
"Iran-backed Hezbollah has "for years" been able to enter Israel, the Lebanese group's leader said on Saturday, responding for the first time to Israel's discovery of tunnels dug into Israeli territory from Lebanon."
by SWJ Editors | Sun, 01/27/2019 - 10:40am | 0 comments
Continue on for a brief summary and a link to the video and transcript at 'Big Think'.
by Voice of America | Sun, 01/27/2019 - 12:04am | 0 comments
"As peace talks between the United States and Afghan Taliban enter a crucial stage, the Taliban leadership has announced a new chief negotiator, a man named Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar."
by Voice of America | Sat, 01/26/2019 - 8:39pm | 0 comments
"The United States and the Taliban may have agreed on a plan for American troops to leave Afghanistan, sources privy to the development told VOA Saturday. In return, the insurgent group has given assurances that no international terrorist groups would be allowed to use Afghan soil to threaten America or any other country in the future."
by The New York Times | Sat, 01/26/2019 - 12:18am | 0 comments
"As the United States has shifted from trying to defeat the Taliban militarily to seeking a negotiated end to the long Afghan war, American diplomats and Afghan officials alike have grappled with a basic question: Just who speaks on behalf of the Taliban, and with how much authority?"
by Voice of America | Sat, 01/26/2019 - 12:13am | 0 comments
"As Turkey and Russia are discussing ways to stabilize war-torn Syria, a U.S.-designated terror group in northern Idlib province has been consolidating power, with some experts warning the group, if left unchecked, might grow stronger and complicate an already difficult situation."
by The Washington Post | Sat, 01/26/2019 - 12:10am | 0 comments
"he Pentagon remained on the margins of the U.S. response to the crisis in Venezuela on Friday as military officials stressed they had not been asked to evacuate Americans amid an intensifying standoff between the Trump administration and President Nicolás Maduro."
by The Washington Examiner | Fri, 01/25/2019 - 8:44am | 0 comments
"The Taliban is on board with blocking al Qaeda and the Islamic State from entering Afghanistan to plot terrorist attacks, according to a new report. Such an agreement has been a requirement that the U.S. has pushed for since last July, and it comes as the U.S. and the Taliban are participating in discussions in Doha, Qatar, about how to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan."
by Voice of America, by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 01/25/2019 - 12:33am | 0 comments
"There are signs of progress in the ongoing peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in Qatar, leading some to think they could set the stage for a politically negotiated settlement to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan."
by The New York Times | Fri, 01/25/2019 - 12:29am | 0 comments
"President Trump may be a controversial and disruptive president. But in regard to Afghanistan, his frustration with the 17-year war differs little from the sentiments of President Barack Obama or most of the rest of us. Reportedly, he has asked for a precipitous cut of up to half the 14,000 American troops serving there, early this year."
by Associated Press | Fri, 01/25/2019 - 12:12am | 0 comments
"The U.S. military says it has carried out two new airstrikes in Somalia against the al-Shabab extremist group but will no longer give details on fighters killed or damage done. A spokesman for U.S. Africa Command says those details are now up to Somalia's government to share."
by The New York Times | Fri, 01/25/2019 - 12:05am | 0 comments
"The leader of Venezuela’s armed forces declared loyalty to President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday and said the opposition’s effort to replace him with a transitional government amounted to an attempted coup."
by SWJ Editors | Thu, 01/24/2019 - 8:23pm | 0 comments
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by The Wall Street Journal | Thu, 01/24/2019 - 9:30am | 0 comments
"In a landmark concession to the U.S., the Taliban has agreed to oppose any attempts by militant groups to use Afghanistan to stage terrorist attacks abroad, a person familiar with the deal said, as talks between the insurgents and American diplomats to end the 17-year Afghan war entered a fourth day in the Gulf state of Qatar."
by Asia Times | Thu, 01/24/2019 - 9:19am | 0 comments
"Moro Islamic Liberation Front's long struggle for an autonomous region has likely passed a plebiscite but whether the rebels can administer as well as they fight is yet to be seen."
by CNN News | Thu, 01/24/2019 - 8:14am | 0 comments
"The US military has moved additional troops into Syria in recent days to help provide protection to other US service members as they withdraw under President Donald Trump's directive to pullout all US troops from the country, according to two US defense officials. The officials would not reveal where in the country the troops are or how many have been sent."
by Associated Press | Thu, 01/24/2019 - 12:14am | 0 comments
"Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Wednesday to coordinate their moves in Syria as their governments bargain over zones of influence in the war-torn country."
by Voice of America | Thu, 01/24/2019 - 12:07am | 0 comments
"A new study by a defense analysis company indicates there was a 33 percent drop in global terror attacks in 2018, and terrorism fatalities fell to a 10-year low."
by Voice of America | Wed, 01/23/2019 - 4:58pm | 0 comments
"Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is breaking off diplomatic relations with the United States and is giving embassy personnel 72 hours to get out of the country. Maduro made his announcement Wednesday hours after President Donald Trump officially recognized Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim leader and issued a blunt warning Maduro."