Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Early Bird Brief: Killing terrorist leaders has questionable impact, scholars say

Today's Top 5
  1. ISIS Destruction of Iraqi Base Could Hinder Mosul Operation
(Associated Press) The air base that Iraqi forces hope to use as a staging area to take Mosul back from the Islamic State group was almost completely destroyed by the retreating militants, raising new doubts over whether the long-awaited operation will begin this year. 
  2. Does Killing Terrorist Leaders Make Any Difference? Scholars Are Doubtful
(New York Times) It seems obvious: Killing terrorist leaders should weaken their organizations, depriving those groups of strategic direction and ideological appeal. The death of someone like Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, a senior Islamic State figure reported killed on Tuesday in Syria, should seem like a significant setback for the group. But scholars have struggled to find evidence that killing leaders is an effective way to dismantle terrorist organizations, instead finding ample evidence that it makes little difference. 
  3. US commander slams Iran for provocative moves in Gulf
(Associated Press) The top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East sharply criticized Iran on Tuesday for recent high-speed maneuvers by Iranian patrol boats in the Persian Gulf that in one case prompted a U.S. Navy ship to fire warning shots. 
  4. Former senator pledges to support vets in Fukushima lawsuit
(Stars & Stripes) Former Sen. John Edwards has pledged to support hundreds of U.S. sailors, Marines and airmen who say they were sickened by radioactive fallout from the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. 
  5. Centers for Disease Control will run out of money to fight Zika in U.S. next month
(Washington Post) The federal agency leading the public health response to the Zika threat in the United States will run out of funding to combat the mosquito-borne virus by late September, its director said Monday.

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