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. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
CNN’s Jake Tapper reports that there were dozens of CIA operatives on the ground in Benghazi the night Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed, although the agency is going to great lengths to protect against disclosure of what those operatives were up to.
More than 1000 inmates were freed in a massive jailbreak near Benghazi.
Gaddhafi’s former education minister has been sentenced to death by a Libyan court, having been found guilty of murder and inciting violence.
At an Islamist rally in Cairo on Saturday, Egyptian police killed 72 demonstrators. The Lede Blog has collected video and witness accounts of the events.
Egypt’s interim government has instructed security forces to end sit-ins supporting the deposed former president Mohammed Morsy.
Citizens in Mali are coping with post-traumatic stress following last year’s coup, but there were only six psychiatrists in the country before the war.
134 people were killed in clashes in Darfur.
Mugabe will be continuing his thirty-three year run as Zimbabwe’s president, with a little help from electoral fraud. Jon Lee Anderson writes on Mugabe at The New Yorker and Michael Bratton at Foreign Affairs.
The UN threatens to forcibly disarm rebels in the Congo.
The Syrian government has agreed to allow UN investigators into 3 sites where use of chemical weapons has been alleged.
In a message to his army, Assad says he is “sure of victory.”
The head of Syria’s opposition has rejected the idea of talks with Assad.
The latest Israeli-Palestinian peace talks (first in three years) are taking place with heavy US involvement.
Iran has stepped up support for a Gaza group called Islamic Jihad after a falling out with Hamas over the group’s unwillingness to back Assad.
Saudi online activist Raef Badawi will receive 600 lashes and a seven year prison sentence for calling for religious liberalization.
Six suspected militants were killed by drone in Yemen over the weekend.
Yet another wave of car bombs rocked Iraq over the weekend.
July was the deadliest month in Iraq in five years — about 1000 people were killed last month, which tops monthly death tolls dating back to April of 2008, when the country was just emerging from sectarian civil war. 
Bahrain Watch has released a report detailing the government’s use of fake Twitter accounts to track down and prosecute anonymous anti-regime tweeters.
According to the UN, civilian casualties in Afghanistan are up 23% in the first half of this year.
67 percent of Americans think that the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting for… making the Afghan war more unpopular now than the Iraq war was at any point.
The Afghan government has reached an agreement with NATO over the touchy issue of customs tariffs.
In the last 3 months alone, the Special Investigator General for Afghan Reconstruction has found potentially $2 billion in waste, fraud and abuse in reconstruction contracts.
Quelling rumors of a full pull-out from Afghanistan, the Pentagon released a report detailing long-term military and financial assistance post-2014.
250 prisoners escaped from a prison in the Pakistani city of Dera Ismail Khan after a bold Taliban raid freed them following a gunfight with security. Dawn reports that about 45 of the escapees have been rearrested.
Two bombs exploded last Friday night at a market in Parachinar, a town in the northwest near the Afghan border, killing 57.
A mutated strain of polio adds to the worries of those working in Pakistan’s threatened and politicized polio eradication program.
The Taliban are gaining strength and foothold in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.
At least six militants were killed by a US drone strike in Pakistan last weekend.
US Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise visit to Islamabad on Wednesday.
Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf will be indicted in the murder of Benazir Bhutto.
Bangladesh’s main Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, has been barred from upcoming elections.
Colombian peace talks have resumed in Cuba.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has discovered continued CIA use of double-tap drone strikes, claimed to have ended in July of 2011. Double-tap drone strikes are instances of following the initial strike with another shortly after, deliberately killing rescuers. 
Edward Snowden has been granted one year’s asylum in Russia and has left Sheremetyevo Airport. The US is not pleased.
Glenn Greenwald reveals yet another sweeping data dragnet program. This one is called XKeyscore and allows the NSA to browse a database containing emails, chat logs and browsing histories with no prior authorization — their self-proclaimed “widest reaching” online data collection program. Here are the PowerPoint training materials containing information on XKeyscore.
The Guardian's UK edition reports that the US has paid the British counterpart to the NSA, the GCHQ, £100m over the past three years to “secure access to and influence over Britain’s intelligence gathering programmes.”
Bradley Manning was found not guilty of the charge of aiding the enemy, but was convicted of several other charges. We await sentencing.
The Washington Post visually breaks down the two dozen charges of which he was convicted and the associated possible sentences.
Manning’s use of the 1996 file downloading (not hacking, just downloading) program wget is the basis for his computer fraud charge and conviction.
Reporters Without Borders calls his convictions a “blow for investigative journalism and its sources.”
The New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan writes about James Risen (who is fighting extensive legal pressures from the government to testify about a source) and what his case means for journalism.
The McClatchy news organization sent a letter to DNI James Clapper asking him if calls between one of their reporters and his sources in Afghanistan had been monitored.
NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander defends the surveillance programs. 
The NSA was questioned by Senators on Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. 
Some help in interpreting what national security officials really mean when they say words like “collect,” “relevant” and “minimize.”
Read artist Molly Crabapple’s dispatch from Guantánamo Bay prison (including its gift shop!), complete with gorgeous drawings. 
We aren’t actually allowed to know the full list of the groups with whom we are at war… that’s classified.
The issue and role of government surveillance has come up in two Chicago terrorism cases. 
The FAA has approved the first drones for commercial use in US airspace.
Fox News interviewed Reza Aslan and it didn’t go very well.
If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.
Photo: Homs, Syria. A government soldier stands in front of the Khaled Ibn al-Walid mosque, which Assad’s forces captured last Saturday. Check out the rest of this slideshow for images of the destruction wreaked upon the city of Homs. Sam Skaine/AFP/Getty

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. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at torierosedeghett@gmail.com.

Photo: Homs, Syria. A government soldier stands in front of the Khaled Ibn al-Walid mosque, which Assad’s forces captured last Saturday. Check out the rest of this slideshow for images of the destruction wreaked upon the city of Homs. Sam Skaine/AFP/Getty

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