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This tag is associated with 16 posts

Inherent Resolve: Evaluating the First 60 days of the Trump Administration

While campaigning for election last year, candidate Trump derided then President Obama’s strategy in the war against the Islamic State. Calling it misguided and weak, Mr. Trump claimed that he knew more than the officers involved in conducting the operations of Inherent Resolve and that he had a plan to utterly destroy ISIS within 30 […]

Syria Fixation: Evaluation of US Strategic Options and Priorities

Tensions have increased sharply between the United States and Russia since the breakdown of the Syrian ceasefire two weeks ago. Although there have been no incidents involving forces from either side, there has been much irresponsible talk on both sides. There has also been a concrete escalation, mostly on the side of the Russians, which […]

Inherent Resolve: Full Data Set 2015 to present

Time series analysis is a valuable statistical tool, used in many industries to develop models, understand patterns and bring some order out of the chaos of a complex economy. It is no less useful in studying military affairs: the ebb and flow of battles and campaigns is a real phenomenon and one that cannot be […]

Did the US Abandon the New Syrian Army at Al Bukamal?

On the 28th of June, elements of the rebel force called the New Syrian Army executed a highly ambitious attack to seize the key border town of Al Bukamal. The town sits astride Highway 4[1], the Euphrates River and is only 6 kilometers from the Iraqi border and the town of Al Qa’im. It is […]

The Coalition Targets Mosul

Allied air operations in Iraq and Syria continue to indicate that Mosul is the next target of a ground offensive to retake territory from the Islamic State. The distribution and intensity of strikes around that city, and the interdiction of the logistical routes for supplying its defenders, mirrors that of previous offensives, such as the […]

Evolution of Coalition Air Operations and the Sunni “Endgame” in Syria, Iraq

As I pointed out in early December, changes to the balance of forces in Syria and Iraq have been forcing together the disparate and fractious elements of the “informal Sunni coalition,” nominally led by Saudi Arabia. These actors have had little in common except an extreme wariness of Persian power and influence west of the […]

2016: The Year of Ungovernability (Part 3)

This series of articles provides a brief overview of the conditions in different parts of our increasingly unified global system that are symptomatic of its increasing entropy. The selected examples are each relevant to the disorders of our day, both in relative size and in their typology, though they may appear to be unrelated. This […]

Outside the Box: Has the US Revealed the Sunni Endgame in Syria, Iraq?

A series of related events point to a possible endgame scenario in Syria and Iraq. There are signs of previously unknown levels of cooperation and alignment between the United States and the key Sunni states in the region that could lead to a power-sharing agreement that satisfies the strategic interests of these powers. The principal […]

Evaluation of US Operations in Syria and Iraq

A great deal of ink has been shed in the short period of time since the commencement of Russian air operations in Syria. The Russian press is naturally effusive in its praise of Vladimir Putin, the Great Leader, his boldness and decisiveness: they would be out of business otherwise. Strangely enough, the Western media is […]

The Turkish Loadstone in the War Against ISIL

On July 23rd, the United States and Turkey announced that they had reached an agreement[1] on the use of Incirlik air base as well as Turkish participation in the campaign against the Islamic State. US officials called the agreement “a game changer”[2] and the Air Force immediately began operating armed drones out of the base […]

“Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.“

John Adams


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