Turkey reinforces Syria border According to PM adding that no incursion planned

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Did ISIS Really Mastermind Texas Shooting? Experts Doubtful

TIME

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria claimed that the gunmen at a Texas cartoon exhibition were “soldiers of the caliphate,” but experts say that it’s still unclear if and what ties really existed.

On May 3, authorities say that roommates Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi injured a security officer when they fired assault rifles at the exhibition in a Dallas suburb that featured images of the Prophet Mohammed. Police killed both men.

A Twitter account reportedly run by Simpson posted a tweet moments before the attack that said, “”May Allah accept us as mujahideen,” according to CNN.

On Tuesday, a statement from ISIS’s Al Bayan radio claimed responsibility for the attack, marking the first such ISIS claim for an attack on U.S. soil. “We tell America that what is coming will be even bigger and more bitter, and that you will see the soldiers of ISIS do terrible…

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Miscues at U.S. counterterrorism base put aircraft in danger, documents show (WaPo)

Djibouti

“The skies above the U.S. military’s counterterrorism hub on the Horn of Africa have become chronically dangerous, with pilots forced to rely on local air-traffic controllers who fall asleep on the job, commit errors at astronomical rates and are hostile to Americans, documents show.

Conditions at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the base for U.S. pilots flying sensitive missions over Yemen and Somalia, have become so dire that American warplanes and civilian airliners alike are routinely placed in jeopardy, according to federal aviation experts and documents obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Read the full article here.

Inside Sudan’s War-Torn Darfur

TIME

The outcome had been all but certain. On April 27, two weeks after polls opened in Sudan, election organizers announced that President Omar al-Bashir, the 71-year-old incumbent, had won 94% of the vote.

With his quarter-century reign extended—the opposition boycotted the ballot and polling stations in Khartoum, the capital, were said to be largely deserted—Bashir will continue to avoid the International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of war crimes over his role in the conflict in Darfur.

More than 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the unrest in Darfur, which ignited in 2003 after the government aimed to crack down on an insurgency in the western region. The U.N. estimates some 2 million people have been displaced as a result.

Adriane Ohanesian, a Nairobi-based photographer from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., first went to Sudan in 2010 and worked on a project about a marginalized group, the…

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“Can this joint Arab military force succeed where others have failed?” (Brookings)

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The Arab leaders did endorse the air campaign in Yemen requested by Yemeni President Hadi, now in exile. The summit also called for a meeting of Arab military chiefs of staff to be held within a month to begin working out operational details and planning for a joint military force. The military chiefs will then report on their plans three months later to a meeting of the Arab League’s Joint Defense Council. Kuwait, Egypt and Morocco will lead the planning as the former, present and future chairs of the Arab League. The force will be voluntary— join if you want— not required of member states. ”

Read the full article here.

Lessons from the new threat environment from Sony, Anthem and ISIS (Brookings)

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Cameron F. Kerry theorizes that:

  • Get ready for the next wave of attacks
  • Cybersecurity is about much more than hardening systems
  • Be careful with system administrators
  • It really comes down to information governance

Read the full article here.

Strengthening the Strategic Partnership of the United States and Afghanistan (State and FP)

Featured Image -- 917“During the historic visit to Washington of President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah from March 22 to 25, 2015, U.S. and Afghan officials have reviewed the achievements of the last 13 years and discussed the actions each country needs to take to ensure that the social, economic, security, and human rights gains made over that period are sustained and advanced. Secretary of State John Kerry — joined by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, and other senior U.S. officials — held strategic dialogue sessions at Camp David with President Ghani and the Afghan delegation on March 23 to discuss a broad range of bilateral issues.” (State)

U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday, March 24, that he would slow the rate at which U.S. troops leave Afghanistan over the next two years, but will stick with his plan of having almost all of them out of the country by 2017.

Under the new timeline, 9,800 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan through the end of this year. Obama’s previous plan had called for drawing down to 5,500 troops by the end of 2015. The new plan allows the United States to keep control of two key bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad, where the Taliban threat is close by. With more troops staying in the war zone, U.S. casualties could rise still higher. Since the start of the war, America’s longest conflict, the military has suffered 2,215 deaths and 20,000 wounded.” (FP)

Thus, the U.S. will continue to have troops in Afghanistan until at least 2017.