Dr. Jonathan Schroden Profile picture
16 years as a military operations analyst. Lots on Afghanistan, CT, SOF & the like. All views my own, RT not endorsement. Be droll, not a troll.
Arif Ammar Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
24 Apr 20
Welcome to #AFGPanel and Ramadan Mubarak to all celebrating the holy month! 1/n
Since our last panel, we’ve seen #Afghanistan’s govt & the #Taliban finally exchange prisoners as a confidence-building measure for the peace process, albeit in small numbers. But we’ve also seen an uptick in violence & the number of #COVID19 cases. 2/n
In the meantime, Afghan leaders @ashrafghani & @DrabdullahCE still haven’t been able to form an inclusive government & the threat of a massive US aid reduction continues to hang over the country as a result. #AFGPanel 3/n
Read 36 tweets
10 Apr 20
Welcome to #AFGPanel! Since our last panel, we’ve seen the #Taliban engage in & then withdraw from direct talks on prisoner exchanges w/#Afghanistan’s govt; the govt then began unilateral releases of prisoners in the past couple of days. 1/n
In the meantime, Afghan leaders @ashrafghani & @DrabdullahCE still haven’t been able to form an inclusive govt, the #Taliban continues to conduct attacks & the threat of a massive US aid reduction still hangs over the country. #AFGPanel 2/n
And on top of all that, the #COVID19 virus is continuing to spread globally and in #Afghanistan specifically there is concern about large numbers of Afghans returning from the heavily-hit #Iran (especially in Herat). #AFGPanel 3/n
Read 30 tweets
15 Jan 20
Today begins my course on "Military Power & Effectiveness" @ElliottSchoolGW. In this THREAD, I'll be posting each week what we're reading for those who want to follow along at home.

@ElliottSchoolGW Wk 1/Course Intro: We'll discuss why this topic matters (practically & for IR theories) & what ignorance of it can do to foreign policy predictions.

Reading: Jacob Weisberg, “Gulfballs: How the Experts Blew It, Big-Time,” New Republic 204, no. 12 (March 25, 1991), pp. 17-19. 2/n
@ElliottSchoolGW Wk 2/Definitions: We discussed why it's easy to define military effectiveness in theory (as the conversion of resources into fighting power), but WAAAAY harder to successfully do that in practice. We also played THE FEUD!! 3/n
Read 73 tweets
16 Dec 19
This article in ⁦@WarOnTheRocks⁩ contains my thoughts on the ⁦@washingtonpost#Afghanistan Papers. Some of you won’t like this, so before the trolls come out, a few comments on the article in this thread. 1/n warontherocks.com/2019/12/there-…
1. I’m not gaslighting the Post’s reporting. It was good investigative work for them to ID & then legally obtain these documents. I am, however, disputing their conclusions which I don’t believe are accurate or supported by their material. 2/n
2. I’m also not saying the war in #Afghanistan hasn’t been highly problematic. It has, in so many ways—poor strategic/policy formulation, stovepiped implementation, & ineffective self-assessment are just a few. These are *systemic* issues that deserve *serious* attention. 3/n
Read 11 tweets
21 Oct 19
It’s a little appreciated fact (in part because it’s counterintuitive) that the more virulent a terrorist group is, the closer US troops need to be to it IOT be effective. Why? Because the US model of CT is one of network targeting. 1/n
This means trying to remove nodes of the network faster than the network can reconstitute itself. If you can consistently do that long enough, you can eventually dismantle a terrorist group (here “consistently” & “long enough” are group-dependent). 2/n
If a group is not particularly resilient (eg disorganized, inexperienced), ops to dismantle the group can be “slower” than ops against a more resilient group (ie, the rate at which you need to remove nodes can be less). Consequently, you can be further away. 3/n
Read 6 tweets
2 Sep 19
.@TOLOnews is interviewing @US4AfghanPeace about the #Afghanistan talks & is posting updates but not threaded. Going to repost them here as a thread for easier reading:

1. HAPPENING NOW - Interview with US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad
@US4AfghanPeace says the Afghan government has been consulted on all aspects of the peace talks, including US forces withdrawal, counterterrorism assurances and a ceasefire. 2/n
@US4AfghanPeace says the US will leave five bases as part of a peace deal and that the bases will be handed to the Afghan government. 3/n
Read 27 tweets
11 Jun 19
A thread with some thoughts on this recent paper by the @USSOCOM J5 on #SOF’s role in great power competition (GPC). 1/x

1. It's a little weird that the @USSOCOM J5 published a paper that makes recommendations (& a lot of them!) to the command itself. Makes you wonder about how effective internal comms are & how empowered people feel to advocate internally for change. 2/x
2. The paper ignores the large body of work that @CNA_org has done on this topic (a few exs are below). I find it disappointing & odd that the paper treads over some of the same ground unnecessarily. 3/x

Read 15 tweets