By Benjamin F. Ordiway, Small Wars Journal: “From an organizational perspective, SOF leadership should consider engaging embassies to rethink team employment so teams can best identify, assess, and potentially leverage critical physical and human infrastructure within the civil component to achieve operational and strategic effects."
by Charles Hill via The Caravan
Balance is one of the innate concepts of the human condition, vital but never entirely attainable. Aristotle concludes his Politics with the imperative in every society of seeking a balance between the male “Dorian” and female “Phrygian” modes – not necessarily gendered but a human necessity all the same. Balance in baseball is a goal; the American League’s long streak of victories over the National League in the All-Star Games is concerning to the keepers of the sport. And, most obviously, the balance-of-power doctrine in matters of war and diplomacy are as old as these arts themselves.
(Marine Corps Times) As the Marine Corps and its sister services shift focus to near peer battles and the range of ways to meet that fight, some experts think they may be losing sight of ways in which other threats could emerge both separate from peers and from them through other means.
(Stars & Stripes) U.S. Africa Command’s Gen. Stephen Townsend met with American troops in Niger on Thursday during a visit to assess security in the West Africa region, which is grappling to counter several Islamic militant groups.
- At a Glance: Global counterterrorism efforts have passed their high-water mark and are receding. US Africa Command is shifting its prioritization from the counterterrorism mission to great power competition, a move also intended to reduce risk after a 2017 attack killed four servicemen in Niger. However, the Salafi-jihadi movement continues to make gains in Africa, including in areas in which previous counterterrorism efforts had significantly reduced Salafi-jihadi groups’ capabilities.
- September 17 Briefing: Counterterrorism efforts have reduced Salafi-jihadi activity in North Africa significantly since 2015. These gains are vulnerable, however, as Libya’s civil war continues to churn and Algeria, typically a security exporter, navigates a fraught political transition. The return of North African foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq will likely also contribute to a renewed Salafi-jihadi threat within and emanating from North Africa in the coming year.
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