#ICYMI Friday Roundup May 30, 2014

Copyright: A Nelson/ICRC

Copyright: A Nelson/ICRC

This is a weekly list of articles, podcasts, videos, blog posts, and other online items that have caught our eye here at Intercross The list is curated from a humanitarian perspective on armed conflict (by self-professed "news junkies" who track everything from the Washington Post and Lawfare, to The Philosopher's Mail and The Browser.) So you'll discover links to a variety of things - from articles on international humanitarian law and the use of lethal force, to stories about finding dignity and compassion in the midst of conflict. A small disclaimer: Just because something is featured here, doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it, and the views expressed on the platforms we're highlighting don't necessarily reflect those of the ICRC.  It's a little bit eclectic and by no means exhaustive, but our hope is that it will open up a window on humanity in war and offer our readers some insight into what we're tracking here in DC. We do our very best to update it each Friday. Feel free to leave comments and point us in the direction of items we might have missed. 

The week of May 26

Hagel Promises to Act on GTMO Transfers

On Friday, the New York Times reported: "Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is under pressure from within the Obama administration to step up his pace in approving the transfer of low-level Guantánamo Bay detainees, has told reporters that he would decide soon whether to accept a months-old offer to resettle six prisoners in Uruguay.

Inside the fight for Somalia's future

The Global Post's Tristan McConnell says "Somalia’s devastating clan conflict is reemerging, threatening to unravel the country’s gradual progress."

A dangerous dance: China, Vietnam posture in the South China Sea

CNN travels to one of the world's "most hotly contested areas of maritime real estate."

President Obama's interview with NPR

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed President Obama about foreign policy, including his approaches to Syria, Ukraine and China, as well as his remaining White House priorities and his effort to close Guantanamo.

Obama Is Betting His Whole Afghan Plan on These Commandos

Writing for the Daily Beast, Kim Dozier looks at the Afghan special operations forces that are key to President Obama’s Afghan counterterrorism strategy.

The Uncertain Future of Military Detention Authority as “Combat Operations” in Afghanistan End

Lawfare's Bobby Chesney (also a frequent Intercross guest blogger) examined President Obama's decision on future US force levels in Afghanistan.

Targeting transparency: A Call for DoD to Automatically Release Investigations of Civilian Casualties in Armed Conflict

Just Security featured a guest post by Chris Jenkins in which he suggests that the Department of Defense should automatically release redacted post strike investigations of allegations that civilians were seriously injured or killed during armed conflict engagements involving DoD personnel. 

Why Memorial Day is confused with Veterans Day

From the Washington Post, a good one for our readers based outside the US, who may wonder what's the difference between these two observance days.

Alberto Cairo featured on TED's Memorial Day "war stories" playlist

We were excited to see Alberto Cairo's 2011 talk, which he gave at TEDxRC² in Geneva, among the 13 "powerful, crucial" talks TED chose to help get a conversation started about war on Memorial Day. If you've never watched it, sit down and have a listen. He'll have you cheering from your seat by the end.

Op-ed offers graduation advice for aspiring humanitarians

Al-Jazeera featured an op-ed aimed at would-be do-gooders. We liked this quote: "Nearly all vexing development or humanitarian questions are not easily solved by formal knowledge alone. These problems also demand the insights and experiential knowledge of local people. While the global community has long privileged formal technical knowledge over local or experiential understandings, aspiring development professionals must actively resist this tendency."

And here are some ICRC nuggets you might have missed...

Mali: Civilians suffering effects of recent fighting in Kidal

People in Kidal and those who had to flee the city to escape clashes between the Malian armed forces and armed groups are facing a number of serious problems. The ICRC and the Mali Red Cross are striving to help them. Read the news release

CAR: Worsening upsurge in violence in Bangui

Some disturbing news out of Central African Republic, where the ICRC is very worried about the worsening violence in the capital Bangui. Read today's news release

150 years of humanitarian action: 1949, the Geneva Conventions

Our colleague in Paris, Frédéric Joli (who runs his own blog, l'Humanité dans tous ses états), takes us back to the years following World War II, when the ICRC managed to convince States to revise the laws protecting wounded soldiers and prisoners of war and to create a fourth Geneva Convention for the protection of civilians. The video is in French and subtitled in English. 

New photo gallery looks @ origins of the International Prisoners of War Agency

The objective of the International Prisoners of War Agency, which was established by the ICRC at the start of the First World War, was to centralize information about prisoners of war so that their loved ones could be informed and contact restored. It was a huge task: during and after the war, Agency volunteers made index cards and lists of nearly two and a half million prisoners of war.

**The usual disclaimer: Just because something is featured here, doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it, and the views expressed on the platforms we're highlighting don't necessarily represent those of the ICRC.**

Are you a writer, videographer, or blogger publishing interesting stuff linked to armed conflict, international humanitarian law (aka the law of armed conflict), innovation, compassion, history, etc. that you think deserves a shout-out here? Send us a link and we might feature your content next week. Write to: nclark (at) icrc (dot) org