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Small Wars Journal 12/05/2019 05:14
IS's Virtual Caliphate Struggles to Regain Footing on Social Media. Jeff Seldin – Voice of America. Islamic State media operatives appear to be flailing about in cyberspace, still trying to recover more than a week after tens of thousands of their messaging accounts were targeted by European officials. Unlike some past efforts to hamper the terror group's propaganda efforts, which dealt only temporary setbacks, the latest takedown seems to be having a lasting impact, counterterrorism officials and analysts say. "For the time being, for as far as we know, IS is not present on the internet anymore," Eric Van Der Sypt, a spokesman for the Belgian prosecutor's office, said during a news conference at The Hague last week.
Small Wars Journal 12/05/2019 04:20
Trump Administration Considers 14,000 More Troops for Mideast. by Gordon Lubold and Nancy A. Youssef – Wall Street Journal. The Trump administration is considering a significant expansion of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East to counter Iran, including dozens more ships, other military hardware and as many as 14,000 additional troops, U.S. officials said. The deployment could double the number of U.S. military personnel who have been sent to the region since the start of a troop buildup in May.
Small Wars Journal 12/05/2019 04:00
Afghanistan: U.S. Troops and A-10s Return to Marjah Fight. by Shawn Snow – Military Times. The Afghan government said Saturday its forces cleared the opium rich and volatile district of Marjah, Afghanistan, after four years of control by the Taliban, but some remain skeptical of the claim and question whether Afghan forces can truly hold the territory. The large-scale operation launched by Afghan forces around mid-November included U.S. special operations forces, ISR and by the conflict’s most iconic war bird the A-10 Thunderbolt II, according to two sources on the ground who spoke to Military Times on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record. The Warthogs, assigned to the 303rd Expeditionary Fighter Squa.
Small Wars Journal 11/26/2019 16:43
No 'End Date' for U.S. Troops in Syria. by Lara Seligman – Foreign Policy. Less than two months after U.S. President Donald Trump demanded all U.S. troops withdraw from northeastern Syria for the second time, the general in charge of all U.S. forces in the Middle East now says he has no orders to leave the region. "I don’t have an end date," Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told a small group of reporters in Bahrain on Saturday. Roughly 500 U.S. forces will remain in northeastern Syria with their Kurdish-led partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to continue fighting the remnants of the Islamic State, McKenzie said during a visit to Bahrain for the Manama Dialogue security summit.
Small Wars Journal 11/26/2019 09:27
Trump, Defense Secretary Offer Conflicting Accounts of Navy Leadership Shakeup. Jeff Seldin – Voice of America. PENTAGON - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday offered another conflicting account of a leadership shakeup at the Pentagon, while defending his decision to intervene on behalf of a Navy SEAL convicted of battlefield misconduct during the fight against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq. Asked about Sunday’s firing of the U.S. Navy’s top civilian, Secretary Richard Spencer, Trump told White House reporters, "We’ve been thinking about that for a long time.". "
Small Wars Journal 11/25/2019 17:57
U.S. Resumes More Robust Counter-ISIS Ops In Syria. by Diana Stancy Correll - Military Times. Following a brief hiatus, the U.S.-led coalition to defeat the said it started launching large-scale operations to combat Islamic State militants in Syria once more amid increased danger from Daesh attacks. Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve announced Saturday that coalition forces completed a clearance mission in eastern Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province Friday that led to multiple ISIS casualties.
Small Wars Journal 11/25/2019 13:48
With Few Afghan Air Controllers, the U.S. is Stuck in a Forever War of Air Support in Afghanistan. by Shawn Snow – Military Times. In a war where reign on the battlefield, Afghan forces appear woefully unprepared to bear the burden of a sustained air campaign against Taliban forces — jeopardizing American plans to draw down forces in Afghanistan. According to a recent Defense Department report, only 2.5 percent to 7.5 percent of airstrikes from Afghan MD-530 helicopters and A-29 Super Tucanos involved coordination from tactical Afghan air controllers known as ATACs... .
Small Wars Journal 11/25/2019 10:43
'Guardian Angels' Still Defending Against Insider Attacks in Afghanistan. by Richard Sisk – Military.com. A beat cop's street sense proved to be a major factor in meeting the ongoing threat of insider attacks on a recent unit’s to Afghanistan, the commander said Wednesday. "One of the civilian skill sets that was greatly beneficial in selecting soldiers for Guardian Angels was the fact that we have so many law enforcement officers within our formation," said Col. Matthew Smith, commander of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) of the Georgia Guard. About one-third of the IBCT's soldiers "are involved in law enforcement in some way, shape or fashion" in their civilian jobs, Smith said at a roundtable session with reporters at the Penta.
Small Wars Journal 11/24/2019 19:09
Eddie Gallagher Controversy: Esper Fires Navy Secretary, SEAL Will Keep Trident, Pentagon Says. by Andrew O'Reilly and Vandana Rambaran - Fox News. fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer Sunday over his handling of the case of a who posed for a photo next to an Islamic State terrorist’s corpse in Iraq, and the SEAL will be able to keep his Trident pin, a Pentagon spokesman said Sunday. “Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper has asked for the resignation of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer after losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor over conversations with the White House involving the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Sunday. Controversy continued to swirl.
Small Wars Journal 11/24/2019 18:18
As Internet Restored, Online Iran Protest Videos Show Chaos. – Associated Press. Machine gun fire answers rock-throwing protesters. Motorcycle-riding Revolutionary Guard volunteers chase after demonstrators. Plainclothes security forces grab, beat and drag a man off the street to an uncertain fate. As Iran restores the internet after a weeklong government-imposed shutdown, new videos purport to show the demonstrations over gasoline prices rising and the security-force crackdown that followed. The videos offer only fragments of encounters, but to some extent they fill in the larger void left by Iran's state-controlled television and radio channels. On their airwaves, hard-line officials allege that foreign conspiracies and exile groups instiga.
Small Wars Journal 11/24/2019 17:59
When Editors Fail the PME Community Suffers. SWJED. Sun, 11/24/2019 - 5:59pm. Amazing things can happen when two scholars engage in intellectual combat. This is especially true in the fields of National Security and Professional Military Education (PME) where two individuals of different opinions or philosophies can “battle” through articles within a journal, both having an honest intent to seek the truth. In these battles, facts and assumptions are challenged and examined in detail. The authors work against each other like steel upon steel making the arguments ever sharper. or to post comments.
Small Wars Journal 11/24/2019 09:27
Trump to Allow Internal Review of Navy SEAL Case. by Gordon Lubold and Nancy A. Youssef – Wall Street Journal. President Trump has given the go-ahead to the Navy to conduct an internal review of the case against a disgraced Navy SEAL that has created high-level friction between the president and the Pentagon. Mr. Trump is allowing the Navy to convene a peer-review board to determine whether Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher will remain in the elite unit, military officials said.
Small Wars Journal 11/23/2019 14:13
Pence Makes Surprise Iraq Trip to Reassure Kurds, Greet Troops. by Zeke Miller – Associated Press. IRBIL, Iraq — Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced visit to Iraq on Saturday, since President Donald Trump ordered in Syria two months ago. Flying in a C-17 military cargo jet to preserve the secrecy of the visit to the conflict zone, Pence landed in Irbil to meet with Iraqi Kurdistan President Nechirvan Barzani.
Small Wars Journal 11/22/2019 22:09
Iran Keeps Internet Mostly Off for 7th Day as US Levies Sanctions. by Michael Lipin – Voice of America. Iran has extended a major shutdown of internet access into a seventh day to suppress domestic opposition to the government, prompting the United States to sanction the Iranian official overseeing the outage. In a tweet late Friday, London-based internet monitoring group NetBlocks said the shutdown had lasted a full six days and was "keeping friends and family out of touch and limiting the basic rights of Iranians."
Small Wars Journal 11/22/2019 10:24
So Long As Iran Dominates the Middle East, a New Baghdadi Will Rise. by Tzvi Kahn – The Hill. On the day after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death, identified an unlikely partner in the global fight against ISIS. “Iran is right there,” he , along with Russia, Syria, Turkey and Iraq, all of which maintain close ties with Tehran. “They all hate ISIS,” the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. It’s a familiar refrain. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump that Iran, along with Syria and Russia, has played a positive role in combating the terrorist group. “I don’t like Assad at all, but Assad is killing ISIS,” he said. “Russia is killing ISIS. And Iran is killing ISIS.”The Obama administration adopted a similar view. In 2014, as nuclear negotiations
Small Wars Journal 11/22/2019 07:00
Will a Prisoner Swap with the Taliban Push the Afghan Peace Process Forward? SWJED. Fri, 11/22/2019 - 7:00am. It’s been over two months since President Trump announced a halt to U.S.-Taliban peace talks. In a move that could revive the moribund peace process, the Afghan government and Taliban completed a prisoner exchange that had been announced last week but then delayed. An American and Australian professor held by the Taliban were freed in return for three senior Taliban figures. Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s September 28 presidential election remains undecided, further complicating peace efforts. or to post comments.
Small Wars Journal 11/21/2019 19:27
Israel Carries Out ‘Wide-Scale Strikes’ on Iranian Forces in Syria. – BBC News. Israel says it has hit dozens of targets in Syria belonging to the government and allied Iranian forces. The Israeli military says the "wide-scale strikes" responded to rockets fired by an Iranian unit into Israel. Syria says two civilians died and that Syrian air defences shot down most of the missiles over Damascus.

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