Cross-posted at the right-wing, garden variety, war mongering Conjecturer.
Defense & the War
- Fascinating post on AQI borrowing from us and beginning its own COIN operations in Baghdad.
- William Lind on buying too much into the Navy’s desire to keep on fighting the Cold War.
- Meanwhile, cost overruns on the pathetically overdesigned LCS have forced another to be withdrawn, this time from General Dynamics. Previously, Lockheed Martin’s cost overruns forced the company to complete its vessel at no additional cost to the Navy, a loss pushing into the tens of millions of dollars. At least the Navy is fighting back against ridiculous cost-plus contracts that are basically an excuse for large contractors to print money.
- It’s not just the Navy suffering from a strategic hang over. The American Prospect hosted a fascinating roundtable focusing on just how much we really need an Air Force, especially one that now thinks its future is in “cyberwarfare,” whatever that means this week.
- You gotta love Donald Rumsfeld urging his staff to exaggerate threats and intentionally bait us into war with Iran, dontcha? Bruce Schneier has a related post on how we react to and exaggerate novelty in a terror-obsessed society. I’m not sure how much I like the societal implications of “Rumsfeld as a symptom,” though…
Around the World
- Read Registan.net! Nathan talks about the first real international Kazakh movie epic (which has, unfortunately, mostly American D-List actors). I talk about the terrible consequences of the death of Mullah Naqib in Kandahar last month, and how the Taliban’s return to Arghandab is a result. I also follow through on my promise to puff out the list of murdered journalists in Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. I’ve found 36 so far, and I’m seemingly finding more everyday. It is very depressing, but I think (I hope) it can serve an ultimately positive purpose.
- India’s Naxalite (read: Maoist) insurgency goes open source.
- Russia has booted the OSCE from its role as election monitor in the upcoming Duma election. Vladimir Putin is expected to run, with the intention of becoming Prime Minister, a post without term limits. The Prime Minister is first in line of succession. It is doubly interesting to note considering the large number of people seemingly joyous at the thought of rewriting the constitution to keep Putin in power, and the number of workers ordered to attend Pro-Putin rallies.
- It’s Ann Penketh, so take it with a grain of salt, but it is interesting that Rakhat Aliyev has accused Uncle Nazzy of ordering the murder of opposition politician Altynbek Sarsenbayev last year. It’s like his ultimate trump card.
- Christine Quirk throws some much-needed water on the Azerbaijan “terror plot.” Ian sees reporting that is just as sloppy as that over the fake “IMU plot” in Germany.
Back at Home
- Mike Boyer thinks Ron Paul’s 15 minutes are done, and we should get down to the “serious” candidates. The problem with this analysis is that he pretends any of the other candidates are any more realistic in the meaningless crap they spew, and that Paul has the virtue of a consistent philosophy grounded in something that isn’t naked power lust. I don’t like a lot of Paul’s ideas—his ideas on financial policy (not to be confused with budgetary policy) are particularly dim-witted… but such things are also the least likely to ever get through Congress.
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