#ICYMI Friday Roundup June 27, 2014

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, 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. 

Here's this week's list:


Writing for Foreign Policy, Tom Ricks, looks at the dynamics at-play in Iraq and asks "What if everything that has happened in Iraq since 2003 is just preamble to the main event, still brewing?"

Meanwhile, Foreign Policy's National Defense guest columnist, Ali Khedery, asks his fellow Americans calling for immediate military action: "Who do you wanna bomb?"

Politico Magazine says Obama has two terrible choices on Iraq – wait for political reform or grit his teeth and up military support.

Human trafficking

Lisa Kristine's photo gallery of modern day slavery and human survival is nothing short of heartbreaking. The photo we used for this week's "Top Picks" blog post comes from her gallery, which was featured on TED.

Secretary of State John Kerry made some hard-hitting remarks about human trafficking to coincide with the release of the 2014 "Trafficking in Persons Report".

US detention

Charlie Savage of the NYT reported that lawyers for six Guantanamo detainees have urged President Obama to approve their release to Uruguay.

The Associated Press reported that the GOP-led House backed limits on Obama's authority.

NPR interviewed the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg about the Guantanamo Military Commission proceedings.


The LA Times was one of many news outlets to report on the release of a redacted memo justifying the drone killing of an American citizen in Yemen in 2011.

The Washington Post reported on it too.

Ben Witties did a "quick and dirty" summary of the memo for Lawfare.

John P. Abizaid, a retired Army general, who was head of US Central Command from 2003 to 2007 and Rosa Brooks, who was counselor to the undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2011 are the co-chairs of the Stimson Center’s Task Force on U.S. Drone Policy. In a Washington Post op-ed this week, they wrote US should take lead on setting global norms for drone strikes

Just Security reports on the importance (and difficulty) of the Stimson Task Force transparency recommendations.

Unaccompanied minors

Saroo Brierley, an Indian child who became separated from his family tells NPR about his long journey home – 25 years later.

The New York Times has an article and a photo gallery entitled, "Snakes and Thorny Brush, and Children at the Border Alone."

The "Small Wars Journal" asks should migrants fleeing gang violence in Central America be accorded refugee status?


The Economist looks at the arrest of Ahmed Abu Khattala.

The Washington Post asks:  "Where is the USS New York?"

The UK's Independent carries a story on a Libyan human rights activist and lawyer who was shot dead after voting in elections this week.

Bowe Bergdahl

It was reported that Sgt. Bergdahl will face investigators seeking to determine his future legal status in about two weeks.


Human Rights Watch released a report on non-State armed groups’ use of children as young as 10 to participate in combat operations in Syria. 

Here‘s the Al Jazeera coverage.

The Washington Post's TV has a different kind of war story. Not one about men with guns, but of widows with children – alone in a big world but united in the shadow of war.

Egypt sentencing

World leaders and news outlets condemned the sentencing of three Al Jazeera journalists.

In the wake of the sentencing, TED put together a list of talks that demonstrate why we need brave journalists.

Land mines

The vice-president of the ICRC, Christine Beerli, gave a statement on Thursday at the Third Review Conference of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, in Maputo.

On Friday, the US Department of Defense announced changes to its landmine policy.

Money, politics, opportunity and fragility

Forbes tracks where the most generous online donors live in the US – Hint: DC's close to the top but it's not number one.

The NYT's Nick Kristof writes that while talent is universal, the lottery of birth ensures that some people wind up with better opportunities than others.

The Fragile States Index was out this week. It strives to put countries into perspective by providing an annual snapshot of their vitality and stability (or lack thereof). In 2013, South Sudan was at the top of the most fragile list and Finland was at the bottom. The US took 159th place.

Thomas Reuters is out with a story on how humanitarian aid is rising, yet a third of needs go unmet.

Lawfare had a round-up of the key amendments of the US Defense Appropriations Act.

What Americans think

A new Gallup poll reveals that Americans' trust in the media – TV, newspaper and online – is at record lows.

Foreign Policy takes a look at the Pew Research Center's latest poll on American political groupings, which attempts to sort Americans into categories based on their ideological affinities. Are you a "solid liberal" or a "hard-pressed skeptic"?

#ICYMI An earlier part of the Pew research on the polarization of the US public came out on 12 June showing how increasing ideological uniformity and partisan antipathy affect politics, compromise and everyday life.

World War I

The New York Times has an excellent interactive section on "The Great War" looking at the 100-year-old legacy of World War I.  (Don't miss Steven Erlanger's article on "The War to end all wars," which was hardly the case but did change future wars forever, he writes.)

Books and movies

If you're headed to the beach this weekend, War on the Rocks is out with its summer fiction reading list.

A new film out on-demand and through iTunes may be the first feature film to explore the use of drones from the pilots' perspective.

Non sequitur

The New Statesman examines why non-State armed groups are switching to social media.

NPR reports on the bear that's loose in DC.

CQ Roll Call's Connectivity page has tips for emailing members of Congress.

Finally, a UK lawmaker has issued a memo calling for certain terms, like "leverage" and "mainstream" to be banned from language used by the British equivalent of USAID.