The Islamic State and the Taliban are headed for a showdown in Afghanistan. Reports of a mutual declaration of jihad may have brought smiles to the faces of American service personnel and veterans of the war in Afghanistan, but the reverberations could be dramatically destabilizing for the country at its most pivotal moment. In many ways, this is like the two biggest bullies … [Read more...] about Thunderdome: ISIS VS. Taliban in Afghanistan, ANSF Takes the Fight to Both
Eric Jones Articles
There are signs of intensifying and escalating conflict in the Caucasus. Recent statements by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov have spotlighted a potential fissure inside the Russian government that pits Kadyrov against Russian federal security elements in the North Caucasus. As the bellicosity is ratcheted upward, questions mount as to what exactly underpins the ongoing power … [Read more...] about Is War Coming to the Caucasus?
On March 18, 2015, tensions between Russia and the South Caucasian country of Georgia were ratcheted upward with the signing of an integration treaty between the Georgian breakaway territory of South Ossetia and Russia. As examined in detail through numerous previous articles here at SOFREP and at Foreign Intrigue, South Ossetia represents strategic terrain in Russia's ongoing … [Read more...] about South Ossetia Signs Integration Treaty With Russia
On March 21 in Dagestan, Russian police forces effectively sealed off an entire block in the capital city of Makhachkala sometime in the early morning hours and proceeded to carry out an intense mission to root out suspected Islamist militants in an apartment complex. While reports have varied somewhat and timelines differ from one source to the next, a gunfight eventually … [Read more...] about Dagestan: Russians Target Islamic Terrorists
In February, the head of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced the creation of a “state-of-the-art Special Forces training center the size of a city” in Gudermes, Chechen Republic. Kadyrov stated that the construction of the training center would not take longer than a year and that the facility would provide services to a number of foreign … [Read more...] about Kadyrov Expands Role of Chechen Special Forces
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani visited the United States for the first time this past week, spending five days in the nation's capital. Ghani is in the midst of an effort to fundamentally alter the tone of the relationship between the Afghan government, the U.S., and the world. Ghani was received warmly by both U.S. President Barack Obama and members of both parties in Congress. … [Read more...] about Afghan President Ghani Visits Washington D.C.
On March 22, voters in Moldova's autonomous region of Gagauzia went to the polls to select their next governor (also known as a bashkan). Pro-Russian (and self-avowedly independent) candidate Irina Vlakh captured 51 percent of the final tally, ensuring her victory without a runoff election. The campaign for governor was marked by rhetoric both engaging to Chisinau and … [Read more...] about Gagauzia: Another Eastern European Pressure Point
Lost amid all of the media focus on the Islamic State (IS) has been the focus on the threat al-Qaeda continues to present to the United States and the country's security interests around the world. As the Afghanistan withdrawal policy was implemented in earnest last year, al-Qaeda largely slipped from the U.S. media radar, the faces of al-Qaeda leaders replaced by images of the … [Read more...] about Al-Qaeda Rebuilds, Awaits U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan
On Saturday, Will Rodriguez published a piece here at SOFREP that laid bare an apparent use of American-made weaponry by Iran in Iraq. My article is not a point-by-point engagement of Mr. Rodriguez's piece. Rather, it is simply a response that highlights some potential alternatives for continuing to remain so rigid in our approach to security policy in the Middle East. In … [Read more...] about How to Force Iran to do our Dirty Work in Iraq
While the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to come under fire from European and American officials for their unacknowledged support of the rebels battling the Ukrainian government in Donbass, assassinations and accusations against other opposition leaders have begun to attract significant amounts of media attention inside Russia. On Friday, former … [Read more...] about Boris Nemtsov Killed in Moscow
In part one of this article series on Uzbekistan, I explored the changing security dynamic of Central Asia and the impact that the adjustments have had on both United States policy towards Uzbekistan and military modernization in the former Soviet republic. Uzbekistan's recent policy pivots, to include an agreement on acquiring military weapons systems from the U.S. and China, … [Read more...] about Uzbekistan: Human Rights Abuses, Line of Succession, and Central Asian Geopolitics
As Russia continues to pursue an aggressive diplomatic strategy (augmented by unacknowledged military support) towards former Soviet republic states Ukraine and Georgia, Western analysts, policymakers, and strategists have found themselves increasingly compelled to focus attention on the subtle but important changes in the security dynamic of Central Asia. Central … [Read more...] about Uzbekistan: U.S. Policy and the Changing Security Landscape of Central Asia