Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 87

ISIS might make the headlines more for its sponsoring/conducting terrorist attacks in Europe (and Asia), but The Atlantic’s Adam Chandler reminds of the incredible civilian victimization taking place in Iraq.

While all the attention is focused on the Middle East, let’s not forget how crime represents – in terms of lethality to begin with – a very large threat in Central America. FP features an article on the state of health (good) of the region’s gangs.

Technological advances are difficult to foresee, and the cost of emerging technologies often hard to justify. The costs of the JSF/F-35 might be in part be justified by its early adoption of revolutionary technological solutions, especially related to “cognitive electronic warfare”.

In the meanwhile, Italian second F-35 has been making its debut flight, as reported by RID (in English), and the Cabinet is still evaluating how many more will come.

Finally, the fall of counterinsurgency, now at an advanced stage. Former COIN and Iraq hero David Petraeus might be demoted from 4-star General, DefenseNews reports.


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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 83

Christmas is coming, but it does not seem like international politics is stopping for the event. War in Syria and Iraq is still raging, with European countries taking a more active role in recent weeks. How do they get the intelligence needed for operating? Seymour M. Hersh writes about US intel sharing in the London Review of Books.

Attacked in its “homeland”, ISIS needs a constant influx of recruits. Could videogames, or Hollywood, provide examples to took at?

But problems for Western Powers are not limited to Iraq and Syria. Talibans are advancing (again) in Afghanistan, and the recent suicide attacks near an American base shows how the situation id far from improving.

In recent years, the debate in security studies has been often focusing on non-traditional military threats such as organized crime. El Salvador’s gang problem is a case in point.

Finally, what are the COIN lessons that the Rebels and Republic in Star Wars should learn from Afghanistan and Iraq?

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