posted by Paul Hamill on January 4, 2012 at 2:10 pm
Jonathan Boone / The Guardian
Flying home colossal MRAPs that save Nato troops from Taliban IEDs is part of $30bn logistical nightmare. The US army has begun the massive task of withdrawing $30bn (£19bn) worth of military equipment from Afghanistan three years before most Nato troops leave, with logisticians warning of complications from the lack of decent roads and the nightmarish geography of a landlocked country surrounded by states that are either fickle American allies or outright enemies.
Libya risks sliding into civil war unless it brings under control the rival militias, which filled the vacuum left by Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall, the head of the interim administration said after an outbreak of violence in the capital.
At first, Iran claimed it had launched three long range missiles; a pronouncement at the end of ten days of war games in the Strait of Hormuz designed to test the patience of western nations as they weigh how to sanction Iran’s oil exports. “We’ve seen that they’ve photoshopped, for example, photographs of missile tests before to make it look more impressive than it actually is, so I would take all this with a grain of salt. I think this is mainly posturing. It’s gamesmanship. And it’s again meant to send a message that the Iranians aren’t simply going to sit back while their oil is sanctioned,” said Michael Singh, Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday welcomed a possible deal that would allow Taliban insurgents to open an office in Gulf nation of Qatar with the aim of holding talks with the United States. “Afghanistan agrees with negotiations between United States of America and the Taliban which will result in the establishment of an office for Taliban in Qatar,” a presidential statement said.
Auden Schendler / The Atlantic
Events of 2011 show that no matter how solid the science, some people will never accept that humans are causing global warming. Some climate change deniers have the same admirable motive as Midas. The actions required to solve climate, they fear, will preclude us from capturing the wealth that can benefit or save many children today. Even the left argues that a rising economic tide lifts all boats, despite the fact that continued growth probably dooms the planet to runaway warming. Environmentalists fear that no action on climate condemns us to an even more costly fate that threatens every child, forever.
Head of the Afghan Government’s Media and Information Centre, Hakim Asher, says that the US embassy will resume its financial aid to the centre. The advisors who were taken out of GMIC will be recalled, he added.
On the ASP Flashpoint blog:
The upside to this system of drones, administration officials insist, is that al Qaeda has been crippled, and that it has created an intense strain on the ability of terrorists to carry out plots. And this is undoubtedly true — the drone war has achieved its immediate purpose of thwacking bad people. But do we really understand the true cost of this form of warfare?
The fusion projects we often hear about fall into one of two camps: Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF) or Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF). Of course, each project has its own spin on fusion. For example, MIT’s Levitated Dipole Experiment (LDX) follows the tokamak model commonly used in MCF, but instead of generating the magnetic field through coils wrapped around the reactor, LDX brings the magnetic field inside the chamber, allowing for different interactions with the plasma. On the ICF side of things, the Naval Research Lab is taking a direct drive target approach, while scientists at Lawrence Livermore’s NIF have opted to go the indirect drive route. Despite their differences, all of these projects rely on the two fusion concepts that dominate the fusion discourse.
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