an adoration of all things rad
This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
- The Free Syrian Army has cut a retreat from the strategic city of Homs, after 26 days of siege by Assad’s forces. The Red Cross will be allowed in today to the Baba Amro quarter.
- Thirteen Syrians died getting injured Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy out of the country. His colleague, wounded Le Figaro journalist Edith Bouvier, is currently in Beirut and is expected to return home today.
- Rémi Ochlik and Marie Colvin have reportedly been buried in Syria.
- Mother Jones obtained a 718-page Syrian government “hit list” containing thousands of names.
- The Pentagon revealed part of a deal struck with Guantanamo detainee Majid Khan, whose arraignment was Wednesday, to postpone his sentencing until 2016. Khan, a former Baltimore resident and alleged courier, pleaded guilty to five war crimes. He has promised cooperation and in exchange, his sentencing four years from now will be for no more than 19 years in prison. The deal he has struck requires him to reveal “complete and accurate information in interviews, depositions and testimony wherever and whenever requested by the prosecutors.”
- Nuclear talks in Pyongyang went surprisingly well, with North Korea engaging in what would appear to be a stark policy shift and agreeing to halt their nuclear program and allow IAEA inspection in exchange for food aid.
- A review of a new book: Warfare in Independent Africa.
- A poor, unfortunate man who shares a name with senior Al-Qaeda official Saif Al-Adel was detained at Cairo’s airport.
- There was a lot (a lot) of discussion about Obama and section 1022 of the NDAA. The White House on Tuesday in Presidential Policy Directive 14, created a set of rules that essentially waive much of that controversial section of the defense legislation involving military custody for terror suspects. Weighing in on this: Lawfare, Forbes, The Atlantic, Lawfare, Huffington Post.
- In related news, The Washington Post reports this morning that the military commissions system is now a place of relative leniency for detainees facing charges.
- How much does it cost the US to keep one soldier in Afghanistan for a year? $850,000.
- The remains of the last American servicemember to be MIA in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Ahmed Kousay al-Taie, have been identified. He was an Army interpreter and was kidnapped at gunpoint in Baghdad in 2006.
- The Taliban and NATO got into yet another snarky Twitter battle.
- Things got more heated between Sudan and South Sudan as Khartoum bombed two oil wells deep inside it’s southern counterpart’s territory and is massing troops at the border.
- The US detention center at Bagram Air Field has had a horrible and embarrassing history: from the beating deaths of two detainees and reports of secret torture chambers to the recent unrest-inducing Quran burnings.
- An excellent blog post up at SWAN about media narratives on female veterans.
- Panetta has asked for another review of Madigan Army Medical Center, whose behavioral program is under scrutiny for changing PTSD diagnoses.
Photo: 10 Feb, 2012. Afghan border police and Marines board a CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter near Combat Outpost Torbert at the start of Operation Shahem Tohan (Eagle Storm), scouring highways for insurgents and smugglers. Cpl. Reece Lodder/USMC.
Reblogged from The Political Notebook.