Weekend Reading: Halloween Edition


Happy Halloween!  No tricks here, just a treat: our Weekend Reading list.  So put a bowl of candy outside the door, make yourself a cocktail, and catch up on some of the best things we read this week.

Jihadist cyber-security: You’re doing it wrong

The second issue of an English-language magazine reportedly linked to Jabhat al-Nusra was released this week. As is typical in jihadist online magazines, it included advice on how to communicate securely online. Really. Bad. Advice. Nicholas Weaver explains just how bad at Lawfare. He writes that it was “seemingly written not by a wise cyber-Jihadi, but someone working for the British JTRIG designed to trip up potential jihobbiests with bad practices.”

Speaking of cyber-security

For cyber-security recommendations from a more reputable source, check out this article at RealClearDefense by Michael Hayden, former head of NSA and CIA. The Senate voted to approve the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act this week, but Hayden says it alone isn’t enough. “If we are to continue to enjoy the web’s blessings, we will need to develop and execute a comprehensive strategy to deal with those who would threaten us in the cyber domain, just as we did in previous ages when our well-being was threatened on land, at sea, and later in the air and in space. “

The bomber vs. the bureaucrats

This week the Pentagon awarded the contract to build the Long Range Strike Bomber to Northrop Grumman, who will now build the platform set to modernize America’s aging fleet of current bombers. But now comes the hard part, argues Thomas Donnelly for AEI. “America’s new bomber might have the ability to defeat Chinese, Russian, and Iranian air defenses, but it remains to be seen whether it can defeat the American defense bureaucracy.”

Moscow’s new mujahideen problem

Russia’s intervention in Syria puts it more firmly in jihadist crosshairs than it has been since the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. That could offer an interesting opportunity for the United States, argues Clint Watts on FPRI’s blog. For years, U.S. efforts to counter jihadist narratives have failed, but shifting those narratives and encouraging the replacement of the United States with Russia as jihadists’ “far enemy” could be much easier. Check out the post and see if Watts thinks such a strategy could work.

Want more? Check out The Aviationist for an infographic by CIGeography‘s Louis Martin-Vézian that lays out everything we know about Russia’s Syrian air war.

Force: What is it good for?

WOTR Contributing Editor Lawrence Freedman wars against what he calls the Classic Model of military force at World Politics Review. This model, derived from the classic works of military strategy and largely written at a time when political strategy could be put aside while hordes of armed men engaged in battle, no longer serves us well, Freedman argues.

Obscure facts about one of the great war movies

Do you know these ten things about the film Apocalypse Now? WOTR editor-in-chief Ryan Evans claims he already did but we don’t believe him. Check out the list, courtesy Lisette Voytko at Task & Purpose.

And finally…

Need some Halloween weekend cocktails? We got you covered.


Photo credit: davidd