Weekly Links

By Taylor Marvin

Turkish minurature, via Wikimedia.

Ottoman miniature, via Wikimedia.

Recalling Lionel Beehner’s recent post, more on the Syrian refugee crisis: the historic scale of the humanitarian crisis in photosa comic on Syria’s displaced, and prostitution and sex abuse spreads as Lebanon’s refugee crisis worsens.

The Telegraph reports on the photojournalists covering the Syrian war, who “have become targets for radical groups who accuse them of spying, and for criminal gangs taking hostages for ransom.”

David Petraeus has a long piece in Foreign Policy arguing that the security gains made late in the US occupation of Iraq are an opportunity that has been “squandered”, and closes with the grim observation that “in many respects, Iraq today looks tragically similar to the Iraq of 2006, complete with increasing numbers of horrific, indiscriminate attacks by Iraq’s al Qaeda affiliate and its network of extremists.”

Last week saw fighting between Mozambican security forces and the country’s opposition movement Renamo, which says it has withdrawn from a 1992 peace accord. With a Renamo spokesman claiming that “peace is over in the country”, how did Africa’s “most successful” peace treaty fall apart?

Brookings has a new paper on cooperation between Egypt, Israel, and the United States and security in the Sinai.

James Joyner reviews Andrew J. Bacevich new book Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Countrywhich argues that the American volunteer military’s increasing detachment from civilians makes wars of choice more palatable for policymakers. Joyner doubts this reasoning, noting that Americans are “demonstrably much more sensitive to military casualties than we were during the most recent draft era and, indeed, any previous point in American history.”

Going native: The Pakistanization of al Qaeda (via Shashank Joshi).

Christopher Dickey notes the 30th anniversary of 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, talking to former Ambassador Ryan Crocker, in Beirut at the time.

Secret memos reveal the explicit nature of agreements on drone use between the US and Pakistan, with top Pakistani officials “routinely” receiving briefings on US strikes.

In a continuation of Iran’s debate over hostile rhetoric towards the US, an anti-American billboard showing US negotiators with an attack dog under the table is ordered down in Tehran.

Will Moore passes along a correction by Josh Stevens of a visualization of past and predicted conflicts in Afghanistan published in Wired, with relevance to others visualizing geographic data.

Despite the Peña Nieto administration’s claims, Mexico’s national crime statistics show no significant decline in homicides and disappearances (via Robert Bunker).


  • Unfortunately Petraeus does not go into details at several points, possibly because of the still recent nature of events but it still gives a very incomplete view.

Leave a Comment