Weekly Links

By Taylor Marvin

Juan Lepiani, "Battle of Arica," 1880. Via Wikimedia.
Juan Lepiani, “Battle of Arica,” 1880. Via Wikimedia.

In Maiduguri, the northeast Nigerian city that is Boko Haram’s “hometown,” unemployment and fear feed instability among a population who feel neglected by the national government. Max Fisher interviews G. Pascal Zachary on Boko Haram and the state of Nigerian governance. Lauren Jekowsky and Oliver Kaplan also examine the wider problem of human trafficking in the West African country.

Also, why foreign intervention in Nigeria is a bad idea, and why did the Chibok kidnapping capture global attention while so many other atrocities have not?

Tracking weapons flows in central Africa (via Rachel Stohl). On the subject of loose weapons, terrible floods in the Balkans have shifted land mines — even across national borders — and undone years of detection efforts.

Michael Kofman on the prospect of diverging interests between Kiev and Western leaders. And what has the crisis in Ukraine told us about the militaries involved? Despite high-quality equipment corruption has gutted the Ukrainian military, Sarah Chayes argues. Across the border, Dmitry Gorenburg examines what recent events do and do not tell us about the Russian military.

David Smilde warns against US sanctions on the administration of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, arguing that further allowing the government to rhetorically turn a political conflict between Venezuelans into a conflict between Venezuelans and a menacing United States is exactly what the government wants.

The death toll in Syria appears to have risen by 10,000 in two months to over 160,000 — why the sudden upsurge? A look at improvised violence in in the war-torn country (via Daniel Solomon), and how the conflict has forced young Syrians to delay their education and dreams. Like the previously mentioned land mine story, the undereducated or traumatized youths of many Syrians are a reminder that violence can have consequences lasting decades after the fighting stops.

Video appearing to show the fatal shooting of two Palestinian teenage boys by Israeli forces draws anger.

After the Tuesday declaration of martial law, CFR has a good roundup of items on the not-a-coup in Thailand.

The CIA has announced that it will no longer use vaccination programs as cover for intelligence operations. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…

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