Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 50

This week a Top 5 directly from Germany (where ViA is working on military transformation…).

So, the first suggestion comes from a German source: Der Spiegel (International). Here you’ll find an interesting interview with the Iraqi Prime Minister. According to Al-Abadi: ‘the liberation of Tikrit is very encouraging’.

A lot of debate last week on the Iran Deal. The Monkey Cage focuses on the differences between “hard-liners and moderates” in Teheran.

Other cuts for the UK defense? A new RUSI paper highlights the possibility of further reductions in defense spending and personnel numbers in the forthcoming Strategic Defense and Security Review. We should wait after the next General Election for having concrete answers.

A compelling analysis by the excellent Political Violence @ a Glance on the “the rise (and decline) of piracy“. The post (which summarizes a forthcoming article) illustrates argues that: “pirates are rational, criminal actors who generally weigh the potential gains from successful attacks against the risk of capture”

Finally, some documents declassified. This week, thanks to Unredacted,  we have the “The Dark Alliance”,the connection between the genesis of the crack cocaine epidemic in California and across the U.S., to the contras, the CIA-run and Reagan-backed guerrilla army operating out of Nicaragua. A different sort of “Iran deal” at that time…

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 48

This week our Top-5 starts looking at the battle of Tikrit. According to The New York Times, “the hard lessons of the Tikrit offensive, with a heavy cost in casualties for the Shiite militiamen and soldiers involved, have Iraqi officials thinking more cautiously about their next steps”. In the article you’ll find also interesting maps of the ongoing battle.

The debate on the controversial F-35 is still lively. On the one hand, we have positive news regarding the Pentagon’s estimated procurement cost, while on the other hand the technical problems of the JSF are not vanished.

After the terrorist attack in Tunisia, a growing attention has been devoted to North Africa. The Monkey Cage provides an interesting perspective on an underrated case: Morocco.

Uk defense under reconsideration? As stated by the BBC: “The Commons Def Committee says Britain’s security strategy urgently needs updating, to ensure several different threats can be tackled at once”. We will look at the electoral debates to assess the effective role played by defense issues in the UK…

Finally, the account by Duck of Minerva of the most recent ISA Conference in New Orleans (Game of Thrones as a main issue..)


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