In the News
A busy week around the world as full on war returns to Ukraine, a group calling itself the Tripoli Province of the Islamic State attacked a hotel in Libya, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Nigeria coincides with another Boko Haram attack…
Following the Houthi coup in Yemen, the central government collapse, and the president’s resignation, doubt was cast on the survival of the U.S. drone program in the country as some speculate that drones in the Arabian peninsula contributed to the instability in Yemen. However, the United States indicated that it would not halt its counterterrorism efforts in Yemen where three suspected al Qaeda fighters were killed in a CIA drone strike last week.
In the most severe eruption of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah since 2006, a UN peacekeeper was killed in an Israeli airstrike launched in retaliation after Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles killing two Israeli soldiers. In a statement last Thursday, Primer Minister Netanyahu blamed Iran for these Hezbollah attacks on the Lebanese border. The UN has launched an investigation into the death of the peacekeeper.
After beheading one of its Japanese hostages, Islamic State (IS) offered to exchange the second Japanese hostage for the release of a woman facing the death penalty in Jordan for her alleged participation in a 2005 bombing. Jordan has agreed to release the woman in exchange for a Jordanian pilot also held hostage by IS, but no mention was made of the second Japanese hostage. These recent developments have led some Jordanians to question Jordan’s role in the anti-Islamic State coalition. Before anything could be finalized with the initial exchange proposed, IS executed the second Japanese hostage.
On Wednesday, a U.S. representative introduced a bill authorizing the use of military force against Islamic State militants. This proposed AUMF would ban the use of ground troops in the conflict, repeal the 2001 and 2002 Iraq AUMF, and would expire after three years.
Around the Web
Wither Traditional Warfare? In the coming years the key threat to national security will originate in the cyber domain. However, attributing the source of cyber attacks and estimating the damage caused by these attacks remains difficult.
Guantanamo Diary. A former Guantanamo detainee published a diary describing his experiences during his detention there. The release of these details comes as Cuban President Raul Castro has asked the United States to return the Guantanamo base to Cuba.
Classifying Conflict. Violence between Kurdish communities and Turkish security forces intensified in southeastern Turkey last fall after the Turkish government refused to aid Iraqi Kurds fighting IS over the border in Kobani. But even after the Kurdish victory in Kobani, conflict continues in Cizre; in addition to fighting Turkish security forces, inter-Kurdish tensions between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Huda-Par party continue to destabilize the area.
On the Blog
Private Military and Security Companies. The state practice of hiring private military and security companies (PMSCs) in armed conflict came to the fore following the Blackwater incident, where members of a PMSC were involved in the death of seventeen Iraqi civilians. The different situations in which PMSC employees are used, and the reports of their involvement in human rights abuses, raise interesting questions concerning their battlefield status.
Caught in the Crossfire. On March 5th, the American Red Cross and the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies will host an expert presentation and panel on ensuring the existence of a safe space for education during conflict. RSVP to attend in person or watch the event live-stream in HD at bit.do/caughtinthecrossfire.