What we are reading

posted by Paul Hamill on January 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

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ASP FACT SHEET:  Afghanistan to 2014 

Scientists: New laser could lead to age of nuclear fusion

The State Column

Two-million degrees Fahrenheit. That is temperature produced by a new laser beam, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

Special operations expanding as wars recede

KIMBERLY DOZIER  / AP

War is going back under wraps – that’s the next-generation plan put forth by the special operations commander who led the Osama bin Laden raid and embraced at the highest levels of the Pentagon and the White House.

The Commission starts the procedure to break down the extra funding for ITER

Euroalert

ITER, the world’s biggest energy research project, has got an extra €1.3 billion funding for 2012 and 2013 following the agreement reached between the Council and Parliament. Thus, the Commission adopted a draft amending budget to meet the €650 million this year’s contribution to the ITER project.

 Taliban willing to compromise, Afghan negotiators say

Rob Taylor and Hamid Shalizi / Reuters

Senior Afghan peace negotiators believe the Taliban are willing to significantly soften past hardline ideologies, with its leaders already laying the ground for possible peace talks in the Gulf state of Qatar.

Islamabad still sees Iranian gas as option

UPI

Pakistan sees a natural gas pipeline planned from Iran as “beyond the scope” of sanctions targeting the Islamic rep

ublic, a government official said.

Suicide bomber kills 32 at Iraq funeral procession

BARBARA SURK and BUSHRA JUHI  / Associated Press

Across Iraq, at least 200 people have been killed in a wave of attacks by suspected insurgents since the beginning of the year. Erupting just weeks after completion of the U.S. military withdrawal Dec. 18, it raised concerns that the surge in violence and an escalating political crisis might deteriorate into a civil war.

On the ASP Flashpoint blog:

Dorsk: Obama highlights energy policy shift in State of the Union

Energy played a big role in last night’s State of the Union address. The word alone appeared a whopping 23 times throughout the speech, compared to 9 mentions the year before. Energy policy was central to the speech, and it will be central to the Administration’s platform this year.

 

Holland: American Competitiveness in the State of the Union

There was some good proposals for America’s Economic Competitiveness in the State of the Union, but we must guard against the temptation of a short-term fix that can harm us in the long term.

 

Foust: National Security in The State of the Union

While we applaud a reaffirmation of American values and the primary place they should have in our role in the world, the reality of American foreign policy is, sadly, not in step with such aspirations. A values-based foreign policy would be an interesting goal to work toward, but it would require threatening too many of American interests, including the fight against al Qaeda, that such talk only serves to set up disappointment, rather than optimism.

 

Wallin: Why the 1950s Represented the Pinnacle of Military Technology

It would certainly seem that the value of American engineering peaked between the 1950s and early 1960s. The Lockheed U-2 spy plane, which first flew in 1955, is now approaching 57 years old. Originally due to be retired in 2015 and replaced by the unmanned Global Hawk system, it’s now expected that the dragonfly-like aircraft will remain in service until 2023, at the grand old age of 68 years. Though this sound incredible, and it is, it’s also not unprecedented, and represents the efficiency of investment that the U.S. military can and should make.

 

Lum: ASP Fellow Joshua Foust speaks at Center for National Policy Event

Mr. Foust said that: “Politics is the U.S.’s Achilles heel in Afghanistan. We, as a country, never put in the hard work to understand them at a local, regional, national, and international level”.

 

ASP Event with Norm Augustine: “Science is the Ultimate Revolution”

Norm Augustine, a member of ASP’s board and one of the country’s leading businessmen, joined us at ASP this morning to talk about how America’s future is tied to Research and Development (R&D) and our expertise in science and technology. This event market the launch of a letter to Congressional leadership on the importance of funding for basic R&D as well as a fact-sheet “Research and Development as a National Priority.” I had the opportunity to speak for a bit, but Norm Augustine was the clear star of the show – so I will devote this post to some of what he said.

 

 

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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