This Week In War.

A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

  • The CIA torture report, or rather — the 525 page executive summary of the still-classified 6700 page report — has finally been released.
  • The specifics include extensive allegations of CIA mismanagement and misinformation campaigns, a rejection of the argument that intelligence from torture resulted in the capture of bin Laden or the thwarting of numerous plots, and gruesome details of the brutal tactics used. The Washington Post chooses 20 key findings. And an infographic on the 119 detainees who went through the CIA’s program.
  • Politico on what isn’t in the report.
  • On the same day, Syrian activists released a report on human rights violations in Syrian government jails. Ishaan Tharoor compares the two.
  • Here’s a starter kit for decoding some of the code-named and redacted black site references in the report.
  • There have of course been spins, rebuttals and disagreements from the CIA camp — including a new website dedicating to combatting the arguments made by the report.
  • The Guardian finds that the US used redactions to hide the UK’s role in the program.
  • Sen. McCain: “Our enemies act without conscience. We must not.”
  • From Eric Fair: “I was an interrogator at Abu Ghraib. I tortured.”
  • The Washington Post contrasts former CIA director Michael Hayden’s claims about the Detention and Interrogation Program with the report.
  • Mapping the rise of Boko Haram.
  • The French military killed Ahmed el Tilemsi, co-founder of the Al-Qaeda linked group Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), in a special operations raid in Mali.
  • French hostage Serge Lazarevic has been freed after being held captive for three years by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
  • Peace talks in Sudan fail to end in an accord.
  • A former Chadian rebel leader has been arrested in the Central African Republic.
  • Amnesty International says that the ability of leaders to commit atrocities with impunity and lack of war crimes investigations allows more atrocities to occur.
  • At least seven women have been killed in attacks by Al-Shabaab in Somalia this week.
  • A senior minister in the Abbas administer, Palestinian politician Ziad Abu Ein, died after a clash with Israeli troops, the exact causes of his death disputed.
  • According to rebels in northern Syria, the US has ceased payments and arms shipments.
  • A Special Operations Forces operation to rescue American hostage Luke Somers in Yemen ended in the death of Somers and his fellow South African captive Pierre Korkie.
  • The Guardian‘s Martin Chulovreported an incredible longform piece on the origins of the Islamic State in the Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq.
  • The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a draft authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State. [PDF]. Lawfare on the breadth and scope sought by the Obama administration for this new AUMF.
  • The Gulf Cooperation Council launches a joint military command.
  • Two suicide bombers in Kabul kill at least 6.
  • In Rolling Stone, an exploration of the making of the Afghan narco-state.
  • The US and NATO formally ended their operational command in Afghanistan on Monday.
  • The US has also closed down Bagram detention facility.
  • The US “transferred custody” of senior Pakistani Taliban commander Latif Mehsud and two others to Pakistan.
  • Iran has charged Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, but it isn’t clear with what.
  • This week is the 20th anniversary of the start of the first Chechnya war. Here is a collection of photojournalist Stanley Greene’s haunting images of that time.
  • Britain asks NATO for assistance in hunting for a possible submarine spotted off the Scottish coast.
  • A judge has given the US a deadline of next Tuesday to decide whether to push onward with the subpoena of reporter James Risen
  • Six Guantánamo Bay prisoners have been resettled in Uruguay.
  • The Ninth Circuit court has heard oral arguments in the Fourth Amendment challenge to NSA metadata collection (Smith v. Obama).
  • The Austrian parliament passed anti-terrorism legislation that criminalizes the symbols of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
  • According to BBC research, 5000 people died in November from so-called “jihadist” violence.
  • A lost collection of photographs from the Vietnam War.

    Photo: Ramallah, West Bank. A Palestinian protesters moves behind a burning tire amid clouds of tear gas following the funeral of Ziad Abu Ein on December 11th. Ammar Awad/Reuters.

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