Welcome to your Situation Update, a regular feature from Insurgentsia that covers irregular war and runs weekday mornings. The scope of these posts will cover small wars, but it’s not the size of the small in the war, it’s the size of the war in the small.
The weather forecast this morning is warm with a 60% chance of staying up at night wondering why you did the things you did years ago. I hope that helps you wherever you are located as you read this.
The military probe into the ambush in Niger that killed four American soldiers found that the team didn’t get proper approval to conduct its mission to search for an Islamic State leader. It was originally reported that the team’s mission was diverted after doing a routine patrol. The New York Times reported last month they were not properly outfitted for a more dangerous mission and communication at higher level of command broke down. The military probe blames the “team,” but it is not clear what level of command that refers to. It was reported in the Times that this Special Forces team was led by Capt. Michael Perozini, who was injured in the ambush.
An aid convoy finally reached eastern Ghouta, the besieged suburb of Damascus where rebels and civilians alike are targeted by Syrian government air strikes. The convoy from the United Nations, International Red Cross, and Syrian Arab Red Crescent delivered many supplies before it ever reached the town. It planned to stay overnight, but left after eight hours amid bombings with some trucks still full.
Calls for peace talks with the Taliban continue in Afghanistan especially by one former insurgent group leader who has been brought into the political process. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hezb-i-Islami, made peace with the Afghan government last year. Hezb-i-Islami fought U.S. and Afghan troops alike, but is now a legitimate political party. Similar situations have occurred with insurgents groups. In Lebanon, Hezbollah also successfully made the transition from armed insurgent group to legitimate political party. Hekmatyar thinks the model for his reconciliation can be used to bring the Taliban into Afghan politics and end the war.
Iraq is executing foreign women accused of supporting Islamic State but France is pushing for extradition so these women receive “fair trials” and do not face the death penalty.
Maybe dozens of Russian civilians weren’t killed in Syria after all, reports Der Spiegel. Der Spiegel claims only nine Russian contractor deaths can be confirmed and the narrative of hundreds killed was pushed originally by Russian Nationalists and reported by Western media without proper fact checking.
If you are located in the Oklahoma City area, I’ll be co-hosting a monthly Scotch & Strategy meetup sponsored by The Strategy Bridge this Thursday at 6pm in Norman. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Xiaobing Li who will talk about his upcoming book on the Battle of the Chosin Resevoir from a Chinese perspective. If you’d like to know more or get onto our email invite list, send me a direct message on Twitter.
This concludes your Situation Update. Questions may be posted in the comments section. You don’t have to ask questions, though. You can do whatever you want. Don’t make yourself unhappy. To receive these in your inbox daily, use the follow button on the sidebar (web) or below (mobile).