Weekend Reading October 17-19

October 17, 2014

Happy Friday! In case you haven’t already read enough articles about Ebola, ISIL, and the generally unfortunate state of the world these days, here’s a few more for you. Enjoy the weekend and happy reading!

What’s the answer to everything? Women. Here’s a great piece by Michelle Barsa and Kristin Williams in New America’s Weekly Wonk on the significance of Syrian women in the peace process. Not slaves, not victims, but empowered leaders. In short, women will bring the Syrian civil war to an end. Check out their strategies to counter violence.

ISIL in Pakistan? On to the next terrorist group. WOTR’s Christine Fair unravels the relationships between the Pakistani Taliban, ISIL, and al-Qaeda. With many considering Pakistan a key battleground, and not to mention coveted asset, for international terrorist groups, Fair elaborates on the respective claims of ISIL and al-Qaeda on the subcontinent. Is ISIL the new future of Pakistan? Find out here!

Want more? WOTR’s Will McCants recently wrote about al Qaeda’s maneuverings on the Indian subcontinent.

Modi: Traitor or Tactician? Tehelka details the burgeoning Israeli-Indian relationship, particularly with regard to India’s quest for an Iron Dome. How will India back stepping on its previously unwavering pro-Palestine policy play out in its Middle East foreign policy? Is Narendra Modi ready to deal with the consequences of such a significant strategic shift toward Israel?

Looking for something more in-depth than news coverage? Check out Suzanne Maloney’s updates on the negotiations surrounding the Iranian nuclear issue as the November deadline for a deal approaches. She assesses Iran’s seemingly contradictory strategy as a carefully considered, sophisticated “eleventh-hour approach” meant to pressure the U.S. Read more to see Iran’s strategy examined further.

Tired of reading yet? Here’s an infographic from The Washington Post depicting the flow of an estimated 15,000 foreign fighters from around the world to Syria, courtesy of the CIA, the Soufan Group, and the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR). But if you do want some more reading, here’s Michael Noonan at War on the Rocks with a commentary on foreign fighters as well as counterterrorism and counter-radicalization efforts in the U.S. and Europe.

Twitter, Terrorism, and Technology. John Little of Blogs of War hosts this week’s Covert Contact podcast on the freedom and nastiness of Twitter, its pitfalls for ISIL members, and its use in the recruitment of potential operatives. A new addition to Blogs of War, stay tuned for weekly podcasts on intelligence, national security, and technology.

And now, for a little humor — the most ridiculous military operation names ranked. I guess they need to make their work fun too…but really, Operation Nimrod? (And that’s only halfway down the list.)