A collection of The Defense Post’s recent favorites from around the site and around the web.
In the past week week we looked at Russian private military contractors and U.S. partners in Syria, Egypt’s new offensive in Sinai, civilian deaths in Afghanistan, and the latest S-400 deals.
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An experimental playground: The footprint of Russian private military companies in Syria
The footprint of Russian private military contractors in Syria is significant and has demonstrated the capacity of the Kremlin to apply military pressure abroad without officially deploying regular troops. Ruslan Trad and Dr. Kiril Avramov investigate.
The Manbij Conundrum
Nicholas Heras argues the collapse, or eviction by military force, of the Syrian Democratic Forces from Manbij would have dire consequences for the stability of the SDF, and by extension, the entire US mission to build stability in the wake of the Islamic State in Syria.
War & conflict
No official reports of civilian casualties in Kandahar raid, NATO Afghanistan mission says
Turkey says forces aiding YPG are ‘legitimate targets’ after pro-regime militias enter Efrin
Business & technology news
Russia and Saudi Arabia discuss transfer of technology in S-400 missile defense system deal
Book Review: Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy
The book “Losing an Enemy” by Trita Parsi provides a definitive historical narrative to the JCPOA and an understanding of what is at stake in the struggle for the agreement’s survival.
Trump’s nuclear posture destabilizes, while disrespecting legacies of environmental injustice
Trump’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review is destabilizing and affects native and other American communities that were environmentally damaged for uranium production, argues Stephanie A. Malin
The Factory: A Glimpse Into Syria’s War Economy.https://t.co/i6urpuGZ8h
My new report on how the world’s biggest cement company tried to survive in Syria by making deals with the regime, rebels, Kurds, and the Islamic State, all at once—and what it tells us about Syria’s future. pic.twitter.com/2oGTAuDze3
— Aron Lund (@aronlund) February 21, 2018
— IRIN News (@irinnews) February 20, 2018
— CTC at West Point (@CTCWP) February 15, 2018