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. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
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- This morning, veteran Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed in Khost, Afghanistan. She was killed instantly when an Afghan policeman opened fire on her car. Reporter Kathy Gannon, who was also in the car, was wounded.
- Chad is withdrawing from African Union peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic over criticism of its conduct.
- The EU launched its military mission in CAR.
- According to the UN, over a million have been displaced by violence in South Sudan.
- The death toll in Syria is 150,000, with a third of those deaths civilians, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
- Spanish journalist and photographer Javier Espinosa and Ricardo Garcia Vilanova returned home after six months imprisonment by an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria.
- Lebanon registered its millionth refugee from Syria.
- President Abbas took steps to join 15 international agencies, seeking increased statelike legitimacy for Palestine outside of the negotiating table. Peace talks between Israel and Palestine are faltering and the blame game is beginning.
- The US is considering the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as part of negotiations.
- Egypt denied three Al Jazeera journalists bail.
- Thirteen Bahrainis were sentenced to life in prison on charges of illegal protest and reportedly trying to kill a police officer.
- Iranian border guards held captive by an Al Qaeda-linked group on the Iran-Pakistan border have been freed.
- The Washington Post interviews Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction John Sopko on future challenges for oversight in Afghanistan.
- March was the first month in over seven years where there were no US combat casualties in Afghanistan.
- The situation in Afghanistan currently is highly tense, with elections being held on Saturday. Security forces said earlier this week that they had seized 22 tons of explosives and officials have shut down popular hangouts among foreigners in an attempt to decrease pre-election attacks on non-Afghans. Televised debates among the candidates were cancelled over security concerns.
- 15 Taliban commanders were killed in Ghazni province when a suicide bomber detonated to block their plans to disrupt elections.
- A suicide bombing at the Ministry of the Interior left six policemen dead.
- Pakistan’s PM released 16 Taliban prisoners as part of an attempt to strengthen peace talks.
- Talks are set to continue but the Pakistani Taliban’s ceasefire is over.
- Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf, recently officially indicted on treason charges, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt.
- Pakistani journalist Raza Rumi also survived an attempted assassination when gunmen opened fire on his car. His driver was killed.
- Pakistan will not be getting excess US military equipment from Afghanistan.
- After India refused to declassify a controversial 1963 report on India’s defeat against China the year before, Australian journalist Neville Maxwell, who had obtained the report in 1970, released it on his blog.
- An inquiry has concluded that Ukraine’s special Berkut police were the ones responsible for the shooting deaths of anti-government protesters. Ex-president Viktor Yanukovich is also receiving blame.
- General Breedlove, the top NATO commander, expressed concern that massed Russian troops were capable of mobilizing on Ukraine with 12 hours’ notice.
- An Iraq veteran opened fire at Fort Hood killing three and wounding sixteen before taking his own life. The soldier was being treated for post-traumatic stress, but many have urged caution over the impulse to connect post-traumatic stress to the shooting as the obvious explanation.
- Author Cara Hoffman writes that women veterans’ experiences with homecoming, post-traumatic stress and acknowledgment for service are under-represented in literature and media: ”I can’t help but think women soldiers would be afforded the respect they deserve if their experiences were reflected in literature, film and art, if people could see their struggles, their resilience, their grief represented. “
- The Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Thursday to declassify the CIA report on interrogation that concludes the agency’s extreme interrogation measures yielded little results and that the CIA actively misled government officials about the program.
- ProPublica breaks down the three main legislative proposals regarding NSA reforms and what each would and wouldn’t do.
- New York Times reporter David Sanger talks to NPR Fresh Air about cyber war.
- Popular Mechanics tells the story of California state Senator Leland Yee’s corruption and arms dealing scandal by walking readers through the particular weapons involved.
Photo: Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghan policemen atop their armored car rush to the scene of militant attacks on the Afghan election commission’s headquarters. Anja Niedringhaus/AP.
Absolutely precious. See the full video of this sweet girl taking her horse for a walk here.
A Year of Parenting
To celebrate my daughter’s first birthday, I drew my most autobiographical comic ever.
This is so rad.
(Happy birthday, Baby Snider!)
We just posted this series of “Superhero Side Jobs” by @flyingmouse365 on our Facebook page. Go check them out!
Our Philippines emergency response team leaders, experts in water, sanitation, logistics and distributions, are working to ensure lifesaving supplies get to survivors in these critical early days. Meet them.
Photo: Emergency Water and Sanitation Leader Mugur Dumitrache does an assessment in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.