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EU — Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, the numbers of European citizens supporting or joining the ranks of ISIL/Da’esh have been growing steadily, and may now be as high as 4 000 individuals. At the same time, the possible avenues for radicalisation are multiplying and the risks of domestic terrorism increasing. The proliferation of global jihadi messaging online and their reliance on social networks suggest that the internet is increasingly a tool for promoting jihadist ideology, collecting funds and mobilising their ranks.

CRS — Veterans’ Benefits: The Impact of Military Discharges on Basic Eligibility (3/6/15)

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Veterans’ Benefits: The Impact of Military Discharges on Basic Eligibility (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Cornell University ILR School)

This report discusses the discharge or separation requirement for veteran status or, more specifically, how the VA assesses character of service to determine whether a former service member’s separation from the military can be considered other than dishonorable. In some instances, the military characterization of discharge is relatively uncomplicated, creating a binding entitlement to VA benefits (i.e., an honorable or general discharge [under honorable conditions]), assuming the individual meets other eligibility requirements for veteran status. However, if the characterization of discharge may preclude access to veteran’s benefits, the VA must develop the case, through an assessment of service records and other evidence related to a claimant’s time in the military. This report includes a hypothetical example (in Appendix C) illustrating the complexities associated with making character of service determinations by the VA.

Treatment of Foreign Fighters in Selected Jurisdictions

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Treatment of Foreign Fighters in Selected Jurisdictions
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report contains information on provisions in place or under consideration by the United Nations (UN), the European Union, and 73 countries on the treatment of individuals who join and fight for terrorist organizations in foreign countries. A number of countries are currently considering action following the September 2014 adoption of a UN Security Council resolution expressing concern about the threat of foreign terrorist fighters. Many nations, as illustrated below, already have punishments applicable to such fighters, including imprisonment and/or loss of citizenship. In a number of jurisdictions, penalties for joining terrorist organizations increase when the individual recruits others or undergoes military training with those organizations. A unique approach is being taken in one city in Denmark, where instead of facing punishment, returning fighters are being given study or employment opportunities. In addition to the report on these jurisdictions, two maps have been included to illustrate the findings.

Roundup of Recent CRS Reports About Military/Defense

May 18, 2015 Comments off

Roundup of Recent CRS Reports About the Middle East and the Arab World

May 18, 2015 Comments off

Roundup of Recent CRS Reports About the Middle East and the Arab World (PDFs)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

 

Perspectives on Sexual Health and Function of Recent Male Combat Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan

May 15, 2015 Comments off

Perspectives on Sexual Health and Function of Recent Male Combat Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan
Source: Sexual Medicine

Background
U.S. veterans of recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may be at greater risk for sexual dysfunction due to injuries, mental health conditions, medications used to treat those conditions, and psychosocial factors.

Objective
To explore the perceptions of recent Veterans about sexual health and dysfunction, contributing factors, its impact and solutions.

Design
Qualitative study.

Participants
Eight men who screened positive for sexual dysfunction at initial presentation to a postdeployment clinic at a Veterans Affairs medical center.

Approach
Patients who screened positive for sexual dysfunction and indicated an interest in participating were contacted and scheduled for an in-person private interview with a researcher. Interviews were semistructured, utilizing open-ended and follow-up probe questions to elicit the individual’s perspective about sexual dysfunction and its cause, impact and solutions. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed for themes.

Key Results
These heterosexual men discussed a range of sexual dysfunction in their activities including lack of desire, erectile dysfunction, delayed orgasm, premature ejaculation, and distraction. They also discussed the importance of setting or context and changes over time to their sexual health and function. The men shared their ideas about contributory factors, including normal aging, medication side effects, injury and a possible role for combat deployment more generally. Reported solutions for sexual dysfunction included medications, herbal remedies, and new positions and approaches to sexual activity. Participants reported discussing sexual dysfunction with their health-care providers and what was helpful. Finally, the men expressed in their own words the significant impact of sexual dysfunction on their self-perception, their partners, and their relationships.

Conclusions
Sexual dysfunction in recent combat veterans can have important negative effects on their health and relationships. Our findings elucidate perceived contributory factors and preferred solutions, which can be applied by health-care providers to improve the management of sexual dysfunction in these patients.

Examining Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Plight of Vietnam Veterans

May 15, 2015 Comments off

Examining Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Plight of Vietnam Veterans (PDF)
Source: Iowa Historical Review

Human beings have been afflicted by the lasting mental effects of warfare for thousands of years. Over twenty – four hundred years ago, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote of a soldier at the battle of Marathon who, after witnessing the death of the soldier next to him, went completely blind, despite being “wounded in no part of his body.” William Shakespeare, too, saw the effects of war on the minds of its survivors. After her husband’s return from war in King Henry IV, Lady Percy wonders of him, “What is’t that takes from thee thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?” Both of these writings reference a mental disorder seemingly caused by the intense traumas of war. This disorder has gone by many different names, including shell shock, the thousand – yard stare, and war neurosis. Today, we classify this disorder as post – traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

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