H-Minerva Weekly News Roundup

Linda Grant DePauw's picture

Transgender military members are in a precarious position

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicated this year that he is open to studying the transgender ban, which could be eliminated administratively, and the White House expressed support for such an examination. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently called for the prohibition to be lifted.


The Missing Women of Afghanistan: After 13 Years of War, the Rule of Men, Not Law

On September 29th, power in Afghanistan changed hands for the first time in 13 years. At the Arg, the presidential palace in Kabul, Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as president, while the outgoing Hamid Karzai watched calmly from a front-row seat.  Washington, congratulating itself on this “peaceful transition,” quickly collected the new president’s autograph on a bilateral security agreement that assures the presence of American forces in Afghanistan for at least another decade. The big news of the day: the U.S. got what it wanted.  (Precisely why Americans should rejoice that our soldiers will stay in Afghanistan for another 10 years is never explained.) The big news of the day for Afghans was quite different -- not the long expected continuation of the American occupation but what the new president had to say in his inaugural speech about his wife, Rula Ghani. Gazing at her as she sat in the audience, he called her by name, praised her work with refugees, and announced that she would continue that work during his presidency.


European women convert, join ISIS

Over the past two years, hundreds of European women — roughly 10% of recruits from the West between the ages of 18 and 25 — have traveled to Syria or Iraq to join militant groups like Jabhat al-Nusra or IS. This number includes at least 70 French, 60 British, 40 German, 20 Belgian and 35 Dutch women. They traveled by themselves or with their husbands, and sometimes with children, female friends or close relatives.