In Yemen, children begin classes in the ruins of war

Oct 9, 2020

With its walls pounded by artillery, roofs torn open and concrete beams in shreds, Al-Wehdah school lies in ruins as students return for the first day of Yemen’s school year.

At the school near Taez, the third-biggest city in a country shattered by years of war between the government and Iran-backed Huthi rebels, there are no doors or windows, let alone desks.

Instead the students use old exercise books to jot down their lessons, as they sit in makeshift classrooms with a handful of teachers brave enough to join them under crumbling ceilings.

Yet in a country where nearly a third of children don’t go to school at all, these are the lucky ones.

Al-Wehdah sc

hool was hit in a 2016 air strike.

Ali Sultan, a parent of one of the students, points out to AFP a warning sign in red letters written on a perimeter

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Technology, Innovation and Modern War — Class 4

We just held our fourth sessions of our new national security class Technology, Innovation and Modern War. Joe Felter, Raj Shah and I designed a class to examine the new military systems, operational concepts and doctrines that will emerge from 21st century technologies – Space, Cyber, AI & Machine Learning and Autonomy. Today’s topic was Defense Strategies and Military Plans in an Era of Great Power Competition.

Catch up with the class by reading our summaries of Class 1 here, Class 2 here and Class 3 here.


Our guest speaker was Bridge Colby, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and then Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ point person for articulating his vision for the National Defense Strategy.

Some of the readings for this fourth class session included: National Security Strategy, 2018 National Defense Strategy, National Military Strategy Summary, The Age of Great-Power Competition, The China Reckoning: How Beijing

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