Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 25

With strikes against the Islamic State largely brought by the air, the debate on air power and its tools warms up again. In recent years, nothing has been more controversial in several countries (from the US to Italy) than the F35/JSF program. This is an American Air Force General view of the plane’s almost “divine” capabilities.

This is while the White House is reckoning how air campaigns are far from being the perfect tools to face IS. In the National Interest, Paul Pillar explains how air strikes cannot address the multi-faceted nature of the Syrian conflict, and sometimes – by creating collateral damages – also result in         further resentment from the population.

Turkey has a big stake in the current conflict in Syria and Iraq as anyone. Still, as of today, is still perceived (at least by the Americans trying to use military bases in the country) as reluctant and ambiguous. Halil Karaveli argues that looking at domestic politics in Turkey, and their history of complex civil-military relations, can give a better grasp of such and attitude, as well as of potential scenarios ahead.

Done with stuff in the news, let’s focus on long term assessment of Obama’s Administration grand strategy. In the very longstanding tradition of “parallel lives”, The Amerian Interest features an article by Jakub Grygiel on how Roman Emperor Commodus’ attempts to stay away from external adventures (fighting against barbarians) to focus on domestic policy had tragic long term consequence for the Empire

An article on a meta-theme to conclude. The language of war, because of technological change, cultural and political transformation (and the inextricable links among these and other factors) is constantly mutating.  Sam Leith reflects on the changing lexicon and the media landscape  of war in this refreshing piece on the Financial Times.

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