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Mission-Specific Training, Services, Intelligence & Supplies
Michael Carl Haas (The Diplomat) — Over the last several months, the debate about the future of the United States’ nuclear-powered carrier (CVN) fleet has picked up speed again, with several major contributions coming from both sides of the aisle.
Back in October, Seth Cropsey, Bryan McGrath, and Timothy Walton published their very detailed take on how to keep the carrier weapon system in the game.
Not long after, well-known carrier critic Jerry Hendrix followed up on his earlier thinking on the subject in Retreat from Range: The Rise and Fall of Carrier Aviation. Most recently, Kelley Sayler contributed a study on the Growing Threat to U.S. Aircraft Carriers. The issue was also discussed at length in House Armed Services Committee hearings on February 11, 2016.
Joshua Kurlantzick (Bloomberg) — In the wake of last week's attacks in Jakarta, which killed seven people, fears are growing that the largest Muslim-majority nation in the world is going to be hit by a wave of Islamic State-linked bombings and shootings.
The potential for mayhem seems obvious. Indonesia’s open society and high social media penetration make it easy for young Indonesians to access Islamist sites and Facebook pages, and the Sunni Muslim insurgency has released several videos in Indonesian in an apparent recruiting effort.
Indonesia is a country of thousands of islands, with porous borders and many soft targets: The militants launched bombs and opened fire in broad daylight in one of the busiest neighborhoods in Jakarta.
Simon Cottee (The Atlantic) — In his edited collection on “suicide missions,” the sociologist Diego Gambetta described his childhood admiration for Pietro Micca, a solider in the artillery regiment of the Duke of Savoy in what is now northern Italy.
“In 1706, as the French were besieging Turin,” Gambetta wrote, Micca “realized that a party of the besiegers had succeeded in penetrating the network of tunnels that were part of the city citadel, and would have no doubt been able to take it.”
Instead of trying to save himself, Micca heroically fought back, sacrificing himself for his comrades and city: “Despite having too short a fuse to run away in time, Micca ordered his companion to go before blowing himself up with a few barrels of gunpowder so as to destroy and block the tunnels.”
Robin Simcox (Foreign Affairs) — The recent attacks in Brussels show that terrorists’ ability to strike at the heart of Europe remains apparently undiminished. Early reports suggest a death toll of around 31, with more than 100 injured. The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Belgium may seem an unlikely hub of jihadism, but despite being a small and peaceful nation, Belgian connections to militancy are long established.
In the 1990s, bullets and guns made their way from local jihadi crooks in Brussels to the Groupe Islamique Armé, Algerian terrorists aiming to establish an Islamic state in Algeria. Throughout that decade, a smattering of Belgian residents headed off to fight in various foreign conflicts, including the one in Chechnya.
Stratfor — For the Islamist government in Tripoli, the arrival of a new unity government in the Libyan capital spells the beginning of the end of its hold on power. The General National Congress, or GNC, has controlled Tripoli since the violent Libya Dawn uprising in 2014.
Now a newly formed unity government is ready to take over the country, and the GNC is more or less powerless to oppose it. After months of organizing in Tunis, the unity Government of National Accord (GNA) entered Libya's capital March 30.
Less than 48 hours later, the prime minister of the GNC, Khalifa Ghwell, finally rescinded his threats to violently force the new government out and fled to his hometown, the coastal city of Misrata.