george c. grimaldis shares a post from thepoliticalnotebook:
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.
- News today: In Syria on Friday, the day after bombings killed 55, Assad’s government is calling for action on terrorism and the opposition is accusing the government of having ties with al-Qaeda forces.
- On Tuesday, the UN released numbers stating that more than 80 Libyan refugees have died so far this year in their attempts to reach Europe.
- Libya quietly passed a controversial amnesty law, offering a blanket pardon to any crimes committed by pro-revolution rebels.
- Egypt seized dozens of heavy weapons bound for the Sinai peninsula at the Libyan border on Thursday.
- Panetta has promised that no troops will be deployed to Yemen.
- The story of the double agent sent by Saudi Arabia to disrupt and foil an Al-Qaeda suicide bomber plot and his successful infiltration strategy.
- Turkey will not extradite fugitive Iraqi VP Tareq al-Hashemi.
- Joost Hiltermann had a longreads piece on sectarian conflict in Bahrain up on NY Books. In Manama, protesters blocked roads with burning tires, demanding the release of female activist prisoners, some of whom have been being held for a year.
- US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter is leaving his post after not even two years on the job.
- The Red Cross is suspending its work in Pakistan pending a review after a ICRC health program manager was abducted and later killed in Balochistan.
- Pakistan has successfully tested another short-range nuclear capable missile, the Hatf III Ghaznavi, and the second such in two weeks.
- A cabinet of Pakistani officials will meet next week to consider reopening the NATO supply routes.
- Monday, the Pentagon Inspector General released a report expressing concern over the Afghan National Army’s pharmaceutical distribution.
- An AP-GfK poll puts public support in the US for the Afghan war at a record low of 27 percent.
- The US is continuing to search for a Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by insurgents in Afghanistan in 2009.
- A rare bright news report out of A’stan: the UN is reporting that civilian deaths fell by 20 percent in the first four months of this year.
- Russia is claiming to have foiled a terrorist plot against the Sochi Winter Olympic games in 2014.
- In Honduras, days after the kidnapping and killing of journalist and gay rights activist Erick Martinez, another journalist named Alfredo Villatoro of HRN Radio was kidnapped on his way to work in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.
- The GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee voted to include a provision in the new FY2013 defense budget that would ban same-sex marriage on military bases. HASC’s draft also failed to include mention of sequestration cuts.
- Fearing Iranian nuclear capability, the GOP are pushing an East Coast missile defense shield.
- The prospect of war with Iran is dividing the Israeli defense community, with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak leading a hawkish charge and numerous former intel chiefs publicly opposing them.
- Reporting by Noah Schachtman and Spencer Ackerman for Wired reveals that the US military held a course (now cancelled) at the Joint Forces Staff College taught officers that “total war” need to be waged on global Islam. The professor’s presentation includes quotes like: “This barbaric ideology will no longer be tolerated. Islam must change or we will facilitate its self-destruction.”
- On Wednesday, the FBI Chief said the recently thwarted bomb plot was a good reason to renew surveillance policies set to expire soon, extending the FBI’s abilities to spy on people abroad without a warrant.
- Here’s your new to-be Chief of Staff of the Air Force: General Mark Welsh.
- The Pentagon ceased cooperation with Marvel Studios on The Avengers because it did not treat military bureaucracy realistically (!).
- Sgt. Major Teresa King, the first female commandant of the Army’s elite drill sergeant school, has been fighting for her job amidst a mix of accusations that she set unfair standards. The Army has now said these accusations aren’t substantiated. King is asserting that her gender was a cause for mistreatment at the hands of her superiors, whom she says actively campaigned against her.
Photo: Dover Air Base, Delaware. An Army carry team transports the body of Master Sgt. Gregory L. Childs of Warren, Arkansas, killed in Afghanistan. Steve Ruark/AP.