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 Voice of America | Sun, 01/20/2019 - 6:09am | 0 comments
"U.S. and Somali military officials said Saturday that scores of al-Qaida-affiliated fighters had been killed during an attack on a government military base near Somalia's southern port city of Kismayo. The militants launched a surprise dawn attack Saturday at the base near Bula Gudud village, 50 kilometers north of Kismayo, starting with triple suicide blasts. Scores of heavily armed militants then stormed the base from all directions, Somali officials told VOA."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Sun, 01/20/2019 - 5:44am | 0 comments
"The Taliban has denied reports that it is prepared to resume talks with U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on ending Afghanistan’s 17-year war."
by Voice of America | Sun, 01/20/2019 - 5:37am | 0 comments
"The U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) Friday denied it was blocked by Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) from conducting a military inspection in Iraq's Anbar province near the Syrian border."
by Reuters | Sun, 01/20/2019 - 4:58am | 0 comments
"A former warlord accused of historic war crimes entered Afghanistan’s presidential race on Saturday in a new challenge to President Ashraf Ghani who allowed him to return from exile two decades he was forced out by the Taliban. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose fighters killed thousands in Kabul during the bloody civil war of the 1990s, has remained a divisive figure since his return from exile in 2016."
by Voice of America | Sat, 01/19/2019 - 4:38am | 0 comments
"The U.S. withdrawal from Syria may bring to a close an open-ended and strategically unclear military commitment and likely put at risk vital national security interests, according to some analysts."
by Army Times | Sat, 01/19/2019 - 4:34am | 0 comments
"A two-volume Army study of the Iraq war is a deep examination of the mistakes and success of the war effort that also takes aim at critics who would slough off the conflict as they shift to near-peer threats."
by The Wall Street Journal | Sat, 01/19/2019 - 4:22am | 0 comments
"Stepping in front of the cameras in the wake of this week’s deadly siege of a Nairobi hotel and office complex, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to finally root out the Somalia-based militants who had claimed the attack."
by The Los Angeles Times | Fri, 01/18/2019 - 7:23am | 0 comments
"The Colombian rebel group known as the National Liberation Army delivered an unwelcome new year message, exploding two bombs on the Caño Limon-to-Coveñas oil pipeline in the eastern province of Arauca."
by Voice of America | Fri, 01/18/2019 - 5:44am | 0 comments
"With a single deadly blast Wednesday, the Islamic State group did more than rattle the calm in the northern Syrian town of Manbij. The terror group also rekindled the debate over its much-heralded demise."
by The Strategic Studies Institute | Fri, 01/18/2019 - 5:24am | 1 comment
The Iraq War has been the costliest U.S. conflict since the Vietnam War. To date, few official studies have been conducted to review what happened, why it happened, and what lessons should be drawn. The U.S. Army in the Iraq War is the Army’s initial operational level analysis of this conflict, written in narrative format, with assessments and lessons embedded throughout the work. This study reviews the conflict from a Landpower perspective and includes the contributions of coalition allies, the U.S. Marine Corps, and special operations forces.
by Associated Press | Fri, 01/18/2019 - 4:50am | 0 comments
"U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad arrived in Pakistan on Thursday, the last leg of a regional tour aimed at finding a negotiated conclusion to Afghanistan’s 17-year war, which would end the U.S.'s longest military engagement."
by The Wall Street Journal | Fri, 01/18/2019 - 3:29am | 0 comments
"Islamic State is reverting to the guerrilla-style tactics it employed in its early days to strike targets, including a suicide bombing it claimed in northern Syria this week, as it stands to lose the last sliver of territory it controls."
by Military Times | Fri, 01/18/2019 - 3:24am | 0 comments
"The Trump administration has been contemplating a massive change in the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan, as the war there enters a new year. In late December, U.S. defense officials confirmed reports that they were planning for the possibility of bringing home up to 7,000 of the roughly 14,000 U.S. troops currently serving in Afghanistan."
by The Wall Street Journal | Thu, 01/17/2019 - 4:52pm | 0 comments
"Somalia is one in a series of American wars unleashed by the Sept. 11 attacks, from Afghanistan and Syria to Niger and Yemen. On any given day, across a swath of Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, hundreds of U.S. troops might find themselves dropping bombs on or exchanging gunfire with any number of armed Islamist organizations—al-Shabaab, Islamic State, the Taliban, the Haqqani network and al Qaeda’s branches in the Maghreb or the Arabian Peninsula."
by Voice of America | Thu, 01/17/2019 - 10:39am | 0 comments
"Pakistan has intensified efforts to keep the U.S.-led dialogue with the Afghan Taliban on track, but official sources in Islamabad maintain the responsibility for the 'success or failure' of the fledgling peace process rests 'exclusively' with the two negotiating sides."
by The Washington Post | Thu, 01/17/2019 - 10:04am | 0 comments
"The alleged defeat of the group by anti-ISIS coalition forces was Trump’s main argument to justify his decision to withdraw U.S. military personnel from Syria, despite objections by his own advisers. Less than a month later, on Wednesday, four Americans were killed in an attack in the Syrian city of Manbij, inevitably raising new doubts over any assessment that the Islamic State is beaten."
by The New York Times | Thu, 01/17/2019 - 9:48am | 0 comments
"As the platoon commander, it was my job to handle any Iraqi police we encountered. Marines flanked my sides, loose but ready for the violence that could potentially accompany any encounter in Anbar. We stared at one another; I shook his hand and exhausted my Arabic with a single greeting. I smiled at him and he smiled back, each of us trying to communicate an absence of malice."
by | Thu, 01/17/2019 - 12:16am | 0 comments
"The U.S. Army's chief of staff said Wednesday that the service's 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade will deploy to Afghanistan despite the plan to withdraw about 7,000 U.S. forces from the war-torn country."
by Defense One | Thu, 01/17/2019 - 12:12am | 1 comment
"For the first time, a senior U.S. military official has commented on President Trump’s late-December decision to quit Syria, confirming publicly that American troops are planning to leave once ISIS is defeated on the ground."
by Military Times | Thu, 01/17/2019 - 12:11am | 0 comments
"A year after the Iraqi special operations units that lead the effort to defeat ISIS and suffered high casualty rates was reduced by nearly half its force in doing so, the lead inspector of the Defense Department will evaluate whether U.S. and coalition assistance to those units are enabling them to continue to defeat insurgents."
by Military Times | Wed, 01/16/2019 - 6:38pm | 0 comments
"Two U.S. service members, one Department of Defense civilian and one contractor were killed by an explosion while conducting a local engagement in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on Wednesday."
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Wed, 01/16/2019 - 2:14pm | 0 comments
"U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad says that a peaceful end to the 17-year conflict in Afghanistan requires the Taliban to engage in direct talks with the Afghan government, which they have consistently refused to do."
by The Strategist | Wed, 01/16/2019 - 11:43am | 0 comments
"After more than 17 years, the time has come to accept two important truths about the war in Afghanistan. The first is that there will be no military victory by the government and its American and NATO partners. Afghan forces, while better than they were, are not good enough and are unlikely ever to be capable of defeating the Taliban."
by Proceedings | Wed, 01/16/2019 - 11:21am | 0 comments
"Naval expeditionary forces are the major power in littoral operations. No matter the mission or crisis operation—from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to full combat power projection—expeditionary forces provide the complete force package in any scalable operation."
by The Wall Street Journal | Wed, 01/16/2019 - 10:53am | 0 comments
"Islamic State claimed responsibility for a bomb blast Wednesday in a Syrian city under U.S.-backed Kurdish control that killed at least three American troops, according to U.S. officials, underscoring the threat the extremist group still poses as the Trump administration prepares to withdraw troops from the country."