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The Week in War. This is a round-up I actually was doing a while back when I first started this blog and had maybe 11 followers, and eventually it fell by the wayside, but now I’m tentatively bringing it back. Welcome to the first renewed edition of my Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs. It’s a mix of anything from news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
- The Air Force has completed the training for the first two pilots ever to be trained entirely for drone flights, without having any literal in-air piloting experience. These two pilots (who are referred to snarkily by the Battleland blog as the “chair force.” Get it? See what he did there?) are the first ever members of a new career path in the Air Force, groomed solely to fly RQ-4 Global Hawks. (Battleland)
- Joshua Foust wrote a much-discussed piece on drone ethics. (The Atlantic)
- Outrage this week over the sentencing of a US Marine involved in the 2005 massacre of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha. He only gets three months jail and a pay cut. (Al Akhbar)
- The rate of IED attacks in Afghanistan hit an all-time high in 2011 with 16554 attacks, up 9% from last year. (USA Today)
- TIME’s Battleland blog argued that the old approaches to dealing with military sexual assault miss some seriously important elements. (Battleland)
- Anatol Lieven has an essay on the way forward in Afghanistan, looking at seven recent books: from Peter Tomsen’s behemoth The Wars of Afghanistan to a well-deserved inclusion of Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn’s An Enemy We Created. (New York Review of Books)
- The American Security Project released a fact sheet listing the important dates to remember for the next three years in Afghanistan. Indispensable. (ASP)
- The number of homeless female veterans in the US more than doubled between 2006 and 2010. (MSNBC)
- The Pentagon announced its plans for a “smaller, leaner” military, intending to cut forces by 100,000. It also announced its plans to move forward with expanding its drone network. (BBC, WSJ) Have a nice fact sheet on the defense budget. (Department of Defense)
- Navy SEAL Team 6 double cemented its superhero status in the minds of the American people, pulling off a hostage rescue mission in Somalia. Here are five things you ought to know about how they operate. (Global Post)
- CJ Chivers tracks an unusual assault rifle found amidst the weapons in the Somali pirates’ gun locker. (NYT At War)
- Iran’s always in the news, what with nuclear fears, oil embargos and central bank freezes on top of Strait of Hormuz shenanigans. Here’s a piece on the asymmetric threat Iran poses to the US. (Diplomat)
- Military businesses face unique corruption risks. (TrustLaw)
- Should Army medevac choppers be armed? (Politico)
- The conflicts and crackdowns in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain earn them all time low rankings on the Press Freedom Index. (Reporters Without Borders)
- Kevin Baron and Yochi Dreazen get an exclusive interview with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey on Iran and the budget. (National Journal 1, and 2)
Photo: A Marine looks out of the back of a MV-22B Osprey aircraft after taking off from the USS Bataan on Jan. 12, 2012 near Catania, Italy. Gisele Tellier/Getty.