On her Tumblr blog The Political Notebook, Defense/security reporter for @VICE Torie Rose DeGhett presents “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”
Unemployment-driven protests in Tunisia killed one police officer.
A long read: Spiegel profiles Hosni Kaliya a man who self-immolated in protest at the beginning of the Arab Spring, but unlike Mohammed Bouazizi, survived.
A bomb killed nine during a Cairo police raid on Thursday.
Rival factions in Libya announced a new unity government.
Al Shabaab killed more than 20 people in the siege of a beachfront restaurant in Mogadishu.
An ancient massacre excavated in Kenya is the earliest evidence of warfare.
More than 30 people died in an Al Qaeda attack on a hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital. The big name behind the attack is Mokhtar Belmokhtar the ever-elusive leader of al Mourabitoon.
Colleagues honor Leila Alaoui, a French-Moroccan photographer who died of wounds sustained in Friday’s attack in Ouagadougou.
An International Criminal Court hearing is underway to see if there is enough evidence to try Dominic Ongwen on 70 counts of war crimes. This is the first major hearing for a Lord’s Resistance Army leader.
Ongwen’s story brings up complicated questions of responsibility. Forcibly abducted by the LRA when he was 9, he grew up to become one of the group’s feared commanders before giving himself up last year.
Cameroonian troops battling Boko Haram leave dead Nigerian civilians in their wake.
South Sudanese troops held women as sex slaves while attacking civilians, the UN says.
A UN Security Council delegation visited Burundi to urge peace.
Israel confirmed that a tract of land in the occupied West Bank is in “the final stages of being declared state lands.”
Three Al Jazeera journalists were kidnapped in Yemen.
The ongoing dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran endangers peace talks over Yemen.
Last week’s Islamic State bombing in Istanbul was a warning shot across Turkey’s bow.
Russia made a show of naval might in the Mediterranean ahead of planned Syria peace talks.
Russian strikes have killed more than 1000 civilians in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Syrian pro-government forces are making gains and building on the inroads made by the Russian campaign.
A long read: life as a (very closeted) gay soldier in Assad’s army, from Harper’s.
US-led airstrikes killed 6400 Islamic State militants over the past three months.
An Islamic State massacre in Deir Ezzor killed 85 civilians and was closely followed by a mass abduction of 400 people.
The UN knew months before about the ongoing starvation of Madaya.
Kurds demolished thousands of homes in areas of northern Iraq retaken from the Islamic State. Amnesty International says it appears to be a “concerted campaign to forcibly displace Arab communities” and may be a war crime.
President of Iraq’s Kurds, Massoud Barzani, says the time has come for Kurdish independence.
The Islamic State destroyed Iraq’s oldest Christian monastery.
Iraqi civilians have been visited by extraordinary violence over the past decade and more, and it is not abating. Conflict killed 18,800 Iraqi civilians between January 1, 2014 and October 31, 2015.
Three Americans were kidnapped in Baghdad.
Iraq will launch an offensive on the Islamic State in Mosul this year.
Politico profiles Rob Malley, President Obama’s Islamic State “czar.”
The Americans released as part of the final nuclear negotiations with Iran are returning home.
The US military now has the authority to target the Islamic State in Afghanistan.
The latest issue of the Islamic State’s Dabiq magazine shows an obsession with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Seven people died in a suicide attack in Kabul targeting a minibus carrying Tolo News journalists.
Desertions from the Afghan army exacerbate security concerns.
Afghanistan’s women demand a place in the peace process.
How the US lost Marjah.
Voice of the Caliphate, an Islamic State radio broadcast, disseminates threats and propaganda across Afghanistan.
More than 20 died in a bloody Pakistani Taliban assault on Bacha Khan University.
Chinese activist Li Xin disappeared in Thailand.
Myanmar freed 102 political prisoners.
North Korea detained an American university student for a “hostile act.”
A British inquiry found that Putin “probably approved” the assassination by poisoning of ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, bringing Marina Litvinenko’s decades-long pursuit of such a conclusion to a close.
The EU sentenced Oliver Ivanovic, a Kosovo Serb politician, to nine years in prison for encouraging the killings and expulsions of ethic Albanians in 1999.
A long read: Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb general known as the Butcher of Bosnia, evaded capture and justice for fourteen years. The Guardian explains how he stayed a fugitive, and how he was finally caught.
Two Guantánamo detainees, one an Egyptian bombmaker who had become a significant US source, were transferred to Bosnia Herzegovina. A third refused to board the plane, returning to his cell because he was afraid and unwilling to go to a country where he knew no one.
A long read: Janet Reitman on why we can’t seem to close Guantánamo.
The Army is struggling to make sure its pilots get their required flying hours.
Because of the rise of the Islamic State and an increasingly aggressive Russia, the US is rethinking plans to retire the A-10 Warthog jet fighter.
The federal investigation into the Navy SEAL who killed bin Laden widened, looking into whether he used his position as a SEAL to turn a profit during active duty.
A personal favorite: novelist Don Winslow explains, unsparingly, why Sean Penn’s profile of El Chapo really failed.
The homicide rate continues to climb in El Salvador, pushed ever upwards by gang warfare.
Colombian rebels consider their post-conflict future.