// Archive


This tag is associated with 30 posts

Challenge and Response, but No Policy Change: US Strikes Assad

On the night of April 6th, US naval forces in the Mediterranean launched 59 cruise missiles against the Syrian government facility at Shayrat Air Force Base. The Tomahawk missiles were launched from the frigates USS Porter and USS Ross in response to a deadly chemical attack carried out on Tuesday the 4th against the civilians […]

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 […]

Trump’s Russia Policy: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Critics of Donald J. Trump point to his complete inexperience in foreign policy as one of his key weaknesses, and they have a point: Mr. Trump has no experience in this field and proudly admits it. This has not been a major issue for the American electorate; or perhaps it is more accurate to say […]

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 […]

Erdogan’s Apology: Cui Prodest?

Word leaked early this week of a potential shift in Turkey’s relations with Russia, with President Erdogan writing a letter of condolence to the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the family of slain pilot Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov. He expressed his regret over the incident and his hope that “we may be forgiven.” The Turkish […]

Speculating on Russia’s Syria Drawdown

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced today that his country would begin to withdraw its forces from Syria. Citing the serious degradation of “ISIS forces” and Russia’s interest in contributing to the ceasefire, Mr. Putin determined that the objectives of the intervention had been met. The withdrawal would not include forces protecting the Russian bases at […]

Extend-and-Pretend Comes to the Refugee Crisis

When politicos start using the word “game-changing” to refer to a negotiation, you can be sure that some truly heinous is going to come out of it, usually in the fine print. This is true of the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic trade pacts being negotiated, and it is equally true of the deal brokered in Ankara […]

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 […]

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

John Adams


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 55 other subscribers