Janine Davidson

Defense in Depth

Janine Davidson examines the art, politics, and business of American military power.

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Showing posts for "Weekend Reader"

Weekend Reader: The Tragedy of MH17, Iron Dome, and Much-Needed Reform For Those MIA

by Janine Davidson
iron-dome An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod July 8, 2014. (Baz Ratner, Courtesy Reuters)

MH17: simply a tragedy295 airline passengers are dead and all sides are deflecting blame in one of the worst disasters in aviation history. Theories are flying as to the origin and employment of the surface-to-air missile that shot MH17 down: read my own analysis here.

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Weekend Reader: Afghan Election Turmoil, Dam Warfare, and the Geopolitics of the World Cup Final

by Janine Davidson
afghanistan-election-defense-us Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks during a gathering with his supporters in Kabul, July 8, 2014. Abdullah told thousands of supporters on Tuesday he was the winner of last month's run-off election, putting himself on a collision course with his arch-rival, Ashraf Ghani. (Omar Sobhani /Courtesy Reuters)

Grim dispatches from Afghanistan’s “increasingly troubled” presidential election. With the world distracted, the news out of Afghanistan keeps getting worse. The likely loser, Abdullah Abdullah, has accused the government of “industrial-scale” fraud—and threatened not to accept the results. Meanwhile, a new United Nations report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan shows a sharp increase beginning in 2013, drawing the fate of the nation into deeper question.

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(Early) Weekend Reader: Women and World War I, ADM Howard Wins Her Fourth Star, and the Future of ISIS

by Janine Davidson
july-4-defense-isis Jeffrey Silverstone, dressed as "Uncle Sam," marches in the Takoma Park Independence Day parade during celebrations of the United States' Fourth of July Independence Day holiday in Takoma Park, Maryland, July 4, 2012. (Jim Bourg/Courtesy Reuters)

Happy Fourth of July weekend! This Reader comes a day early:

How World War I’s tragic course of events also changed the balance of gender equality foreverThe Daily Beast has the story. World War I fundamentally altered the relationship between women and the workplace.  “By the time the Armistice was signed in 1918, a British woman aged 16-32 stood only a one-in-ten chance of marriage.” These “surplus” women entered the workforce.

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Weekend Reader: USA Advances (in Soccer), Syrian Refugee Crisis Worsens, and U.S. Drone Debate Gets Louder

by Janine Davidson
usa-world-cup-drones Germany's Mesut Ozil (L) fights for the ball with Omar Gonzalez of the U.S. during their 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match at the Pernambuco arena in Recife, June 26, 2014. (Laszlo Balogh/Courtesy Reuters)

If you were in the United States yesterday, chances are you heard about the gameYou might also have found a way to take a very long lunch. (CFR’s Defense Policy Team did make time for a mid-day pause to “assess” U.S.-German relations) Germany’s hard-won victory made the bout much less of a snooze than the foreign policy/game theory crowd might have expected.

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Weekend Reader: Elsewhere in the World…Ukraine, the A-10, and That Future Battleground No One’s Talking About

by Janine Davidson
ukraine-rebel-crisis-separatist-crimea An armed pro-Russian separatist stands guard in Seversk (Siversk), located near the town of Krasny Liman, Donetsk region, June 19, 2014. (Shamil Zhumatov/ Courtesy Reuters)

Ukraine is quickly becoming “the foggiest of wars.” Julia Ioffe, embedding for a week with pro-Russian separatists, reports on the confused dynamics, motivations, and even basic facts behind the “foggy” war. More broadly, direct evidence emerges that the Russian government has provided the separatists with tanks and other military hardware. In light of recent events and with no clear message from NATO, some Ukrainians argue an invasion is yet to come.

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Weekend Reader: Iraq, Friendly Fire, and the Man Who Could Have Killed Hitler

by Janine Davidson
isis-iraq Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 11, 2014. Since Tuesday, black clad ISIL fighters have seized Iraq's second biggest city Mosul and Tikrit, home town of former dictator Saddam Hussein, as well as other towns and cities north of Baghdad. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

Iraq: simply a mess. As the Maliki government deteriorates in the face of city-seizing assaults by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, it has been difficult to keep up. Mosul has fallen; Baghdad is under threat; the Kurds have taken Kirkuk and Iran has deployed Revolutionary Guard forces to defend the Iraqi government. The United States and UN have responded with clear condemnation—but little else. At home, Tom Ricks shakes his head while Senator John McCain calls for the resignation of President Obama’s entire national security team. Meanwhile, as Dexter Filkins chillingly observes in the New Yorker, This is the real legacy of America’s War in Iraq.

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Weekend Reader: D-Day, Prisoners of War, and the Last Navajo Code Talker

by Janine Davidson
d day anniversary British World War II veteran Frederick Glover poses for a photograph as soldiers parachute down during a D-Day commemoration paratroopers launch event in Ranville, northern France, on June 5, 2014. Some 3,000 veterans are among those attending ceremonies across the northern French coastline where Allied forces landed in the largest seaborne invasion in history to help speed up the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. (Thomas Bregardis/Courtesy Reuters)

D-Day: Seventy Years Ago Today. Our own William J. Parker offers an excellent commemoration for today’s anniversary. Elsewhere, The National Interest reminds us that hindsight is 20/20: the success of the landings at Normandy was far from a sure thing, and even as General Eisenhower did all he could to ensure D-Day’s success, he also prepared for the worst. Elsewhere, Foreign Policy reports on a forgotten massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane—one of the worst committed in occupied France—in the midst of the hasty Nazi withdrawal.

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Weekend Reader: Shinseki Leaves the VA; Ukraine Heats Up

by Janine Davidson
shinseki United States Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki arrives to address The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans conference in Washington May 30, 2014. (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters)

Secretary Eric Shinseki formally submits his resignation as head of Veterans Affairs. Foreign Policy has the story. Even as the chorus of voices calling for his resignation grew, the tone remained often respectful: Shinseki was always “a good man.” As the Huffington Post’s David Wood recounts, Shinseki, who took the reins of the VA following a 38-year Army career—where he rose to become Army Chief of Staff—may simply have trusted too much given his organization’s complexity and inherent flaws.  Time will tell who can replace him.

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Weekend Reader: In Memoriam, the Dogs of War, and Beyond the QDR

by Janine Davidson
memorial day weekend reader A member of the Third U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) carries flags during a "Flags-In" ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington May 22, 2014. The soldiers will place American flags in front of more than 220,000 graves for the Memorial Day. (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters)

May 26 is Memorial Day. More than 8,000 coalition troops have given their lives in thirteen years of hard fighting. May 26 is a day to honor them, and the 843,000 fallen Americans  who have come before them.

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Weekend Reader: Climate Change, European Elites, and Zombies

by Janine Davidson
zombies pentagon A zombie character at the "13th Floor" haunted house poses before a show in Denver, October 19, 2013. (Rick Wilking/Courtesy Reuters)

“Climate change is no longer a ‘future threat’—it’s here now.” This is the stark conclusion of the CNA Corporation’s Military Advisory Board, a group of eleven retired generals and admirals who studied the security implications of rising sea levels and a shrinking Artic. Climate change is poised to shake up regional dynamics as the Artic North becomes traversal, opening up valuable new trade routes through the North Sea (a contingency the Russian military is already preparing for). Climate change will also cause new scarcities in food, water, and energy—particularly in developing nations—compounding local security issues. The whole report is worth a read.

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