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.
- Three journalists were killed in the Bab Amro district of Homs, Syria: Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times, French photojournalist Rémi Ochlik, and citizen journalist Rami Al-Sayed. Two other journalists were injured, Sunday Times photographer Paul Conroy and Le Figaro journalist Edith Bouvier, and are now asking for assistance in leaving the country.
- An independent UN panel accused Syria of crimes against humanity in a new report (here in pdf form).
- Mark Lynch released a Center for New American Security policy brief on Syria.
- Protests over Quran burnings in Afghanistan have continued unabated despite official apologies.
- A special ops plane crashed in Djibouti, killing four Air Force Special Operators. Meanwhile, the UN plans to increase AMISOM forces in East Africa by roughly 6000.
- US troops are now stationed in bases in four different countries (Uganda, Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic) as part of the fight against the LRA.
- Human Rights Watch released a report on the effects of Al-Shabaab and conflict in Somalia on children, who are being forced into marriages, used as human shields and trained as soldiers.
- Seven Marines were killed in a helicopter crash during a training exercise near the California-Arizona border.
- Women in the military continued to be a hotly debated topic. Megan MacKenzie at Duck of Minerva took on Liz Trotta’s offensive remarks about female service-members. Paula Broadwell called for more women in leadership roles. And when asked about it, Ron Paul said: “I don’t want even the men to be over there.”
- The GAO released a report (available here as a pdf) revealing that the Pentagon frequently closes whistleblower cases prematurely.
- The Supreme Court is taking up a case of stolen valor (falsely claiming to have earned a military medal or decoration).
- A new study shows an even deeper connection between battlefield TBI and PTSD than previously thought. Evidence shows that a head trauma can alter the brain in a way that makes that soldier more likely to develop post-traumatic stress.
- The DOJ has dropped a foreign bribery case against defense executives caught in an FBI sting operation.
Photo: An ANP officer patrols Kabul on Wednesday during violent clashes and protests over Quran burnings. Credit: Ahmad Masood/Reuters