What we are reading

posted by Kelvin Lum on April 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

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US to defend Afghanistan for decade after drawdown

Heidi Vogt and Amir Shah / AP

Washington has pledged in a newly agreed strategic pact to help defend Afghanistan militarily for at least a decade after the country formally takes control of its own security, an Afghan official said Monday.

Iran sees progress at Baghdad nuclear talks in May

Lin Noueihed / Reuters

Iran is optimistic that talks in Baghdad next month will make progress toward resolving its nuclear dispute with world powers, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday.

Obama targets foreign nationals’ use of new technologies in human rights abuses

Scott Wilson / Washington Post

President Obama issued an executive order Monday that will allow U.S. officials for the first time to impose sanctions against foreign nationals found to have used new technologies, from cellphone tracking to Internet monitoring, to help carry out grave human rights abuses.

Euro crisis, NATO troops: Why French vote matters

Angela Charlton / AP

France’s presidential campaign has largely focused on pleasing voters at home, not the rest of the world. But whoever wins the May 6 runoff – conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy or Socialist Francois Hollande – will have a major global economy and nuclear-armed nation to run.

U.S. energy sector advancing, API says

UPI

The oil and natural gas sector in the United States is expanding, though more is needed for energy security and economic growth, a trade group said.

Pentagon spooks get own spy service

Kimberly Dozier / AP

The Pentagon is rebranding and reorganizing its clandestine spy shop, sending more of its case officers to work alongside CIA officers to gather intelligence in places like China, after a decade of focusing intensely on war zones.

Half Iran tanker fleet storing oil at sea

Luke Pachymuthu / Reuters

Iran has been forced to deploy more than half its fleet of supertankers to store oil at anchorage in the Gulf as buyers of its crude cut back because of sanctions, two Iran-based shipping sources said.

Time to get newer nukes

Sen. Jon Kyl and Sen. Bob Corker and Sen. Kelly Ayotte / Politico

Congress has an opportunity to restore the funding and schedule for the nuclear modernization plan. It is important that we do so — not only to maintain a strong nuclear deterrent but also, as the chairman of the Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee said last week, “to safely reduce the number of deployed nuclear weapons. We must, at a minimum, ensure our infrastructure can maintain these fewer numbers of weapons so they are safe, secure and military effective.”

Nuclear weapon reductions must be part of strategic analysis

Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft / Washington Post

Before momentum builds on that basis, we feel obliged to stress our conviction that the goal of future negotiations should be strategic stability and that lower numbers of weapons should be a consequence of strategic analysis, not an abstract preconceived determination.

In Nothing We Trust

Ron Fournier and Sophie Quinton / National Journal

Whitmire is a story of Muncie, and Muncie is the story of America. In this place—dubbed “Middletown” by early 20th-century sociologists—people have lost faith in their institutions. Government, politics, corporations, the media, organized religion, organized labor, banks, businesses, and other mainstays of a healthy society are failing. It’s not just that the institutions are corrupt or broken; those clichés oversimplify an existential problem: With few notable exceptions, the nation’s onetime social pillars are ill-equipped for the 21st century. Most critically, they are failing to adapt quickly enough for a population buffeted by wrenching economic, technological, and demographic change.

International Stolen Asset Recovery As a Development Issue — A World Bank President’s Legacy?

Mark Vlasic / Huffington Post

This weekend Robert B. Zoellick, the 11th president of the World Bank Group, will preside over his last Spring Meetings. And while many of the private discussions at the international forum of ministers and development officials will likely focus on Jim Yong Kim, the Dartmouth College president recently selected to serve as the next World Bank president, it is worth taking a moment to consider the legacy that Mr. Zoellick will leave behind.

On Our Flashpoint Blog

Guest Post – Shivers: A War Lesson to Learn, Still

We need to seriously invest in correcting this critical shortfall in our national security capabilities.  Soft power needs to become a whole-of-nation effort.  This is a skill set we’ll surely need for the rest of this century.

Cheney: Time to Ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

In order for the United States to gain greater advantage for our no testing policy we should ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). This would institute a worldwide ban on nuclear tests and the use of networks to apply pressure against states likeIran and North Korea.

Dorsk: Italian Energy and Environmental Technologies

I recently came back from a trip to Italy, during which I observed several interesting devices that meet energy and environmentally conscious needs. These technologies are present in the everyday life of Italians, due to  the higher costs of energy. living are greater they try to maximize on what is available to them. The commonality I saw between all of them is infrastructure, which ties everything together, specifically electricity, transportation, plumbing, and waste disposal.

Holland: Running on Empty: How Both Parties Fail to Offer Policies to Effectively Address High Gas Prices

Political shortcomings by both parties on gas prices have lead to paralysis on the issue.

ASP Reports:

Cause and Effect: U.S. Gasoline Prices

This ASP “Perspectives” paper examines the causes of America’s soaring gasoline prices. The paper underscores that the price of gas is intimately interconnected with crude oil prices, which are set by global markets. America is critically dependent upon oil for its economic well-being and the only solutions are long-term methods to reduce the amount of oil we use across the country.

Backgrounder: What to know about the upcoming P5+1-Iran summit

The Iranian nuclear program is one of the most polarizing issues facing the international community since its public disclosure in 2002.  Over the past decade, the program has significantly expanded and tensions over it have continually increased.  Both Israel and the United States have declared that Iran will not be permitted to produce a nuclear weapon and that “all options are on the table” to prevent it from doing so.

AMERICAN SECURITY QUARTERLY – April 2012

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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