What are we reading

posted by Paul Hamill on February 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

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Strategic Vision: America and Crisis of Global Power

Zbigniew Brzezinski/ Huffington Post

The world is now interactive and interdependent. It is also, for the first time, a world in which the problems of human survival have begun to overshadow more traditional international conflicts.

Obama adopts new strategy to protect sources of US goods globally

John Heilprin/ The Washington Post

President Barack Obama adopted a new strategy Wednesday declaring for the first time that the United States has a national security interest in protecting economic goods against terrorists, criminals and natural disasters in all corners of the globe.

UN pushes ambitious Afghan refugee plan

Michael Georgy/ Reuters

More than $1 billion in international aid is needed to ensure that conditions are right for millions of Afghan refugees to return to their troubled homeland, the senior U.N. official for refugees said on Wednesday.

The Emperor’s New Clothes: The leaked NATO report on the Taleban

AAN/  Kate Clark

The leaked report, which has made headline news, has informed us that NATO thinks Pakistan is supporting the Taleban, that the Taleban are defiant and enjoy widespread support, that Afghans frequently prefer them to their corrupt government and that Afghan government officials have secretly reached out to insurgents locally. The presence and actions of international forces as a driver of the insurgency apparently did not come up in the detainee interrogations which form the basis for the assessment. That all this should be news only exposes the wishful thinking which lie at the heart of the international mission in Afghanistan, says AAN senior analyst, Kate Clark.

Afghanistan: the big lie

The Guardian

Joseph Goebbels said that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The big lie told repeatedly about the war in Afghanistan is that the international security assistance force (Isaf) and the Afghan national security forces are pushing the Taliban back. This is Hillary Clinton‘s line. It is, heavily caveated, the line of the monthly progress report issued by the Foreign Office. It notes that recorded levels of violence fell significantly in the UK’s area of operations last year but that those gains were tempered by an increase in incidents in the east of the country. The insurgency remains resilient, but is under “significant and sustained” pressure in areas where Isaf and the Afghan national security forces are focusing their efforts.

Effort to Rebrand Arab Spring Backfires in Iran

Robert Worth / New York Times

It was meant to be a crowning moment in which Iran put its own Islamic stamp on the Arab Spring. More than a thousand young activists were flown here earlier this week (at government expense) for a conference on “the Islamic Awakening,” Tehran’s effort to re-brand the popular Arab uprisings of the past year.

UN Nuclear Official: ‘Good Trip’ To Iran

George Jahn / Associated Press

A senior U.N. nuclear inspector spoke Wednesday of a “good trip” to Tehran and the agency said his team will return to Iran’s capital in late February, indicating progress on attempts to investigate suspicions that Iran is secretly working on nuclear weapons.

TIME Exclusive: Q&A with Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar

Aryn Baker / Time

Since she was appointed as Pakistan’s Foreign Minister in July of 2011, Hina Rabbani Khar has had to deal with the fallout from the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, a deterioration in relations with Afghanistan, and a botched cross border operation that saw 24 Pakistani soldiers mistakenly killed by U.S. forces in November. She is Pakistan’s youngest and first female foreign minister. On the eve of her first high-profile visit to Kabul since the assassination of Afghan peace envoy Berhanuddin Rabbani (no relation), she talks about her country’s relationship with Afghanistan, the U.S., and with its own army.

AP Exclusive: US No-Fly list doubles in past year to 21,000 known or suspected terrorists

Eileen Sullivan / AP

Even as the Obama administration says it’s close to defeating al-Qaida, the size of the government’s secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the United States has more than doubled in the past year, The Associated Press has learned.

On the ASP Flashpoint blog: 

Gold: Why Attacking Iran is not the Least Worst Option

Politics and news aside, when looking at possible attacks on Iran the consequences vastly outweigh the advantages.  Attacking Iran is definitely not, to use Matthew Kroening’s words, the least worst option, it is the worst option.

Dorsk: Nuclear strategy in the cyber age

Just as the United States and Soviet Union competed to have better nuclear weapons technology, the same is true today of security software and programming.  As this new field continues to rapidly expand, I think it is likely that a similar sort of arms buildup is occurring.  The threat of a cyber attack, which can be executed with no warning, at any time, from anywhere, can act mainly as a strong deterrent, much like nuclear submarines.

Holland: Could Unlimited Clean Power Have Problems? Not Compared with Today’s Energy Problems

Could completely clean generation of energy cause warming from their waste heat? Theoretically, yes, but that day is so far in the future that its a purely academic question.

Gold: New START Stability and National Security Increased

Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller spoke at an event sponsored by the American Security Project entitled, “New START: A Year Later- How New START Improved our National Security and the Next Steps with Russia”.  Ms. Gottemoeller discussed how the treaty, which entered into force nearly a year ago on February 5th 2011, has improved strategic stability with the Russian Federation, reduced both country’s nuclear arsenals, and improved and increased the amount of information available to the United States.

About the American Security Project: The American Security Project is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy and research organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security issues, promoting debate about the appropriate use of American power, and cultivating strategic responses to 21st century challenges.

 

For more information, visit www.americansecurityproject.org. info@americansecurityproject.org

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