Royalist and republican, Khalqi and Parchami, Soviet Union and the West, communist and Islamist, mujahid and Talib, Hanafi and takfiri, al Qaeda and America, warlord and technocrat, Pashtun and non-Pashtun, Islamic Emirate and Islamic State, KGB, ISI, and CIA – all have for decades carried on an uninterrupted struggle in Afghanistan. Attempts to end the war have but established new antagonisms, new conditions of conflict, new forms of warfare. The conflict generates these antagonisms rather than the reverse, forcing us to face the real origins of violence: Afghanistan’s relations to the state system from which it emerged. These theses delineate the ever-changing conflict’s constant causes, which any effort at peacemaking in Afghanistan must address.
In the wake of the deaths of four soldiers in Niger on October 4th, many politicians, pundits, and commentators expressed surprise that the US had special operations forces in Niger. But none of them should have. At the risk of hyperbole, U.S. Special Operations Forces are everywhere. This is partly the result of the Global […]
Misunderstandings about the nature of unconventional warfare and what it can be expected to accomplish are hindering the effective use of this core mission of US special operations forces. Replacing the term with the more readily understood “support to indigenous resistance” and reconnecting it to the concept of political warfare would solve this problem.
The outgoing commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), Vice Adm. Kevin M. “Kid” Donegan, accused Iran in a recent interview of providing advanced weapon systems to the Houthi Rebels in Yemen. It is not news that Iran is supporting the Houthis in their rebellion against the central government of Yemen as part of […]
“This is another type of war, new in its intensity, ancient in its origins — war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins; war by ambush instead of combat; by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him. It requires — in those situations where we must encounter it […]
An article by our editor on Iranian unconventional warfare in Yemen appeared this morning on Small Wars Journal. Written from the Iranian point of view, the article analyzes the Iranian conduct of unconventional warfare in Yemen, and addresses the feasibility of the operation, suitability to the strategic position of Iran, and acceptability of likely costs. […]
The Washington Post reports that President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move likely to empower more radical groups inside Syria and damage the credibility of the United States. WAPO quotes an anonymous current official as saying “This is a […]