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Must Reads of the Week: Shrinking Oversight in War Zones, Mapping the Mideast, Silencing Dissent in Rwanda, and More

Author: Editors
May 9, 2014


"Big Budgets, Little Oversight in War Zones"
By Scott Higham, Jessica Schulberg, and Steven Rich
Washington Post

"The story of [nonprofit corporation International Relief and Development] reflects the course of America's ambitions in Iraq and Afghanistan, which started with great enthusiasm and consumed tremendous resources, only to see many hopes go awry. Nation-building projects aimed at supplanting insurgents and securing the peace that looked promising on paper in Washington proved to be difficult to execute in dangerous and unpredictable war zones."

"Behind the Masks in Ukraine, Many Faces of Rebellion"
By C.J. Chivers and Noah Sneider
New York Times

"The rebels of the 12th Company appear to be Ukrainians but, like many in the region, have deep ties to and affinity for Russia. They are veterans of the Soviet, Ukrainian or Russian Armies, and some have families on the other side of the border. Theirs is a tangled mix of identities and loyalties."

Map of Arab Dialects shows linguistic diversity.A map showing the extent of the Arabic-speaking world and the linguistic diversity within it. (Courtesy Wikimedia)
"40 Maps That Explain the Middle East"
By Max Fisher

"Maps can be a powerful tool for understanding the world, particularly the Middle East, a place in many ways shaped by changing political borders and demographics. Here are 40 maps crucial for understanding the Middle East—its history, its present, and some of the most important stories in the region today."

Putin's Hollowed-Out Homeland
By Nicholas Eberstadt
Wall Street Journal

"History is full of instances where a rising power, aggrieved and dissatisfied, acts aggressively to obtain new borders or other international concessions. In Russia today we see a much more unusual case: This increasingly menacing and ambitious geopolitical actor is a state in decline."

"Assassinations in Africa"
By Geoffrey York and Judi Rever
Globe and Mail

"As revelations of murder plots and assassinations mount, easy narratives of good overcoming evil become more and more difficult to sustain. The reality in Rwanda is far more complex. The mass killings of the 1990s and the recent assassination plots left almost no one untainted."

"A Sherpa's Final Moment"
By Ellen Barry
New York Times

Must Watch: "The Sherpas setting off up the Khumbu Icefall on the morning of April 18 were young, strong, healthy men. They were also, it is clear from the video that one of them shot that morning, a little nervous."

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