Friday, October 17, 2014

This Week, Pure and Uncut: October 17, 2014

It’s been one hell of a week, but at least the weekend is here once more. Here’s a quick list of some of the more interesting news and analysis articles from this week. Like the rest of Drugs and Thugs Blog, the topics addressed will focus on terrorism, insurgencies, transnational criminal organizations, and narcotics trafficking. 
CIA Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels: First off, from Mark Mazzetti at The New York Times, an article on an internal CIA report analyzing the usefulness of arming insurgencies. The bottom line was that it does not typically work, which influenced the Obama Administration’s early view on arming Syrian rebels. 

How the Jalisco Cartel Evolved With Mexico’s Drug War: Jesus Perez Caballero at InSight Crime with commentary on the dynamics of cartels around Guadalajara. The rise and fall of these cartels is fascinating, and the evolution will continue to be fluid. 

Taliban Routs Afghan Military Convoy in Ambush: From The Long War Journal’s Bill Roggio, a report on the destruction of a sizable Afghan military convoy by the Taliban. Surprisingly, this attack occurred in the north of Afghanistan, far from the Taliban’s traditional base of power. Although the international security community has been focused on ISIS over the previous months, there is another country funded by the US and fighting an insurgency just one state over. 

The Fall of Kobane: The Impact on Turkey, Kurds and the United States: Chase Winter at War on the Rocks with a post positing the effects that an ISIS takeover of Kobane would have for the conflict. With Turkey attacking Kurdish positions but hesitating to attack ISIS, this has to be the most compelling storyline in the anti-ISIS coalition. 

The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons: C.J. Chivers at The New York Times broke huge news this week with his piece on the American soldiers injured by old chemical weapons that had been scattered around Iraq. Of additional concern, ISIS has apparently taken over one of the locations with these chemical shells. A chilling article. 

How Do Insurgencies End?: From Russell Croy at the Small Wars Journal, a post examining the operational paths that lead to the end of insurgencies. He uses the Chechen and Indonesian insurgencies as examples and reviews the literature to elucidate the limitations of our current understanding of insurgencies. 
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Thanks for reading, and enjoy the weekend. 

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