What We’re Reading
Preeti Aroon “A Man With a Mission,” by David Matthews in the Washington Post Magazine. Adrenaline-charged adventure fills this account of a freelance contractor who goes to Sudan for humanitarian work, and, most unconventionally, offers tactical advice to a militia. Elizabeth Dickinson Nigel Ashton’s, King Hussein of Jordan: A Political Life. The life of one ...
“A Man With a Mission,” by David Matthews in the Washington Post Magazine. Adrenaline-charged adventure fills this account of a freelance contractor who goes to Sudan for humanitarian work, and, most unconventionally, offers tactical advice to a militia.
Nigel Ashton’s, King Hussein of Jordan: A Political Life. The life of one of the region’s most astute leaders, who ruled the country from 1953-1999, is the kind story that resonates on all sides of the globe. Ashton, who was given exclusive rights to view the King’s personal papers, exposes some of Hussein’s most intimate connections -– from secret correspondence with Reagan on the Iran-contra affair to letters between he and President George H.W. Bush during the Gulf War.
“Robots at War: The New Battlefield.” In The Wilson Quarterly, P. W. Singer examines the growing phenomenon of the U.S. military’s use of robots. “When U.S. forces went into Iraq in 2003, they had zero robotic units on the ground….By the end of 2008, it was projected to reach as high as 12,000.” But the business of war shouldn’t be dealth with lightly. Can we trust a robot to do a man’s job? (For another great read on this subject, see Steve Featherstone’s 2007 Harper‘s piece, “The Coming Robot Army.”)
1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War by Benny Morris. Morris’s account of Israel’s war for independence can be an excruciating read at times as all the parties involved make the crucial mistakes that will lead to so much suffering in decades to come.
“Bolivians Back New Constitution.” Reuters reports that Bolivians approved a new constitution on Sunday, in a landmark victory for President Evo Morales. The new constitution gives more power to Bolivia’s indigenous majority and grants the central government a greater role over the economy, including the distribution of revenues from Bolivia’s large natural gas deposits –- much to the chagrin of many mixed-race citizens in Bolivia’s gas-rich, eastern regions.
“Finding a Place for the Sons of Iraq.” Greg Bruno from the Council on Foreign Relations examines the Anbar Awakening, its influence on the Iraq war, and the difficulty of integrating this volunteer security force into Iraq’s official armed forces.
In Forbes, Dmitry Sidorov discusses the assassination of human rights activist Stanislav Markelov who represented the family of Elza Kungaeva, (the young woman raped and murdered by Russian Colonel Yuri Budanov). Markelov along with 25 year-old journalist Anastacia Baburova, were shot dead on January 19. Novaya Gazeta, the last independent publication in Russia, has commentary on the murder (in Russian).
Photo: PETER MARTELL/AFP/Getty Images
Rebecca Frankel was an editor at Foreign Policy from 2013-2018.
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