What we are reading

posted by Paul Hamill on February 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

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Taliban deny three-way talks with US, Afghan govt

SEBASTIAN ABBOT and ZARAR KHAN  / Associated Press

The Taliban say there has been no secret three-way discussion with the U.S. and Afghan governments, countering the Afghan president’s claim that such talks have taken place.

High-level drug meeting focuses on Afghanistan

GEORGE JAHN  / Associated Press

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke Thursday of a losing battle against the fight to eradicate drugs in Afghanistan, noting that opium production there has grown by 61 percent in the past year and warning that “time is not on our side.”

Former Afghan spy chief chafes at peace talks

Rob Taylor  / Reuters

Afghanistan’s government must not retreat from hard-won freedoms or return to strict religious curbs to reach a peace deal with the Taliban, the country’s former spy chief said, warning Afghans were distrustful of the secrecy surrounding nascent talks.

 Security vs. Reconciliation: The Afghan Conundrum

Ahmed Rashid / NY Review of Books

After eleven years of war, the Taliban’s public declaration that they will hold talks with the United States in Qatar is a major breakthrough for the political process, for Afghanistan’s internal stability, and for progress toward relative peace that will be needed by the US and NATO in 2014 before they can exit Afghanistan in good order and without too much further bloodshed.

EU’s Catherine Ashton has received Iran’s letter on nuclear talks, Yahoo News has confirmed

Laura Rozen / Yahoo News

The United States and Europe said they were studying a letter from Iran’s top nuclear negotiator responding to their proposal for new international nuclear talks. The letter from Iran’s Saeed Jalili was received by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Wednesday, Ashton’s spokeswoman confirmed to Yahoo News.

US officials: Iran unlikely to strike unless hit

KIMBERLY DOZIER  / AP

Top U.S. intelligence officials are telling Congress that if Iran is attacked over its alleged nuclear weapons program, it could respond by closing the Strait of Hormuz to ships and launch missiles at regional U.S. forces and allies

 Army, Marine Corps Face Pitfalls When it Comes to Modernizing Equipment 

Stew Magnuson / National Defense Magazine

As budgets tighten and the military reduces ground forces, the Marine Corps’ failed attempt to field the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle may serve as a case study for those hoping to modernize military equipment.

On the ASP Flashpoint blog:

 Dorsk: Young minds converge on Washington for International Model NATO Conference 2012

Students from top universities in the U.S. and around the world are gathering in Washington this weekend for the 2012 International Model NATO Conference.

In my capacity here at ASP, and as a Model NATO alum, I will be assisting with the conference’s social media, specifically Facebook. Using the conference’s social media, students have the opportunity to engage and collaborate prior to the start of the event, share materials and information during the conference, and then network afterward.

 Klum: The Intervention Dilemma

The international community is taking note of the ongoing situation in Syria and the calls for humanitarian intervention will continue until the situation has been properly resolved. There are two out of many sides to the debate over intervention that is worth mentioning.

 Video: Progress toward inertial fusion ignition at NIF

A great update from Mike Dunne on the vast progress made towards fusion, on the SPIE website:

To date, all of the capabilies needed to conduct implosion experiments and demonstrate ignition and burn at NIF by the end of 2012 are in place. In this video, Dunne explains hurdles that have been overcome and challenges still remaining to achieve ignition.

Cheney: “shocked and appalled” in the proposed cuts for crucial funding for fusion energy science

 The cuts and changes in the Fusion Energy Sciences budget is emblematic a larger problem: a lack of long-term vision. Instead of investing in research and development for the long term, we seem to look for short-term fixes to our problems. 

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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