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    Geostrategy

  • MEI Editor's Blog

    A Follow-Up on the Reda El-Fouly Case

    Here's a follow-up to my Friday post about the arrested belly=dancers. particularly the ce of Reda El-Fouly. Veteran Egypt hand Jane Gaffney has passed on some additional notes and given me permission to quote them here:[A mutual friend] was over last night and we caught said "belly dancer" trying to defend herself on Wael Ibrashy's talk show 10PM.  Also present was her accuser, seemingly a member of the public who took offense at the lady's work. She tried to use her government license to practice her trade as evidence that her work was professional, not criminal. El Fouly also claimed that SHE had not posted the videos on YouTube and had no means to have them taken down. As you know, anyone in Egypt can lodge a complaint with the prosecutor's office an...more

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  • Moneybox

    No, This Graph Does Not Prove That Everything Is Fine With American Capitalism

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  • Moneybox

    The Rise of the Gig Economy Is a Giant Myth

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  • China Matters

    US “Honest Broker” Zombie Ready for Its Dirt Nap…”Anti-Submarine Warrior” Primps for Its Close-Up

    Assistant Secretary of State Danny Russel spoke at the CSIS South China Sea Conference on July 20, 2015.  He made news by declaring that the United States is not neutral in some issues pertaining to the South China Sea.The money quote came in reply to a question from Wu Shicun, the PRC representative at the conference:On the first issue of neutrality, I appreciate the opportunity to clear up what seems to be an almost ineradicable perception of the Chinese.  We are not neutral when it comes to adherence to international law.  We will come down forcefully on the side of the rules.  Cue the triumphant hooting from the China hawks, who were well represented at the conference and urging the United States to “draw a line in the sea”.  And s...more

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  • Moneybox

    Those New Bag Fees Are Working Out Great for JetBlue

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  • The World

    Smart Reads 28 July 2015

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  • Fabius Maximus website

    For 50 years Republicans have fought against treaties that brought peace

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  • Informed Comment

    Turkish Tanks Shell Syrian Kurds who expelled ISIL from Zur Maghar

    By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – – Syrian Kurds and the British based Syrian Observatory said Monday that Turkish tanks had shelled the village of Zur Maghar near Kobani on the Syrian side of the border held by the YPG [People’s Protection Unit] leftist Kurdish militia. Four of its fighters were wounded. The YPG took this area away from Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) with American and coalition aerial support. A Turkish government spokesman said that the current Turkish campaign does not target the Syrian Kurds. The report of Turkish hostilities comes even as the Kurds took the village of Sarrin near Aleppo away from Daesh, cutting another key supply route for the faux caliphate based in Raqqa southeast of Aleppo. Daesh still holds Jarabulus behind Al...more

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  • Informed Comment

    New Poll: Bernie Sanders Leads All Republican Front Runners including Trump

    Thom Hartmann | (Video Report) | – – Bernie Sanders, who doesn’t play to the cheap seats, is racking up incredible poll numbers. Zaid Jilani at Alternet reports on a just-out CNN poll: SANDERS: 48% BUSH: 47% SANDERS: 48% WALKER: 42% SANDERS: 59% TRUMP: 38% . Thom Hartmann comments: [-JC] Thom Harmann: ” New Poll: Bernie Sanders Leads All Republican Front Runners…” — Tweets added by Juan Cole: Since everyone knows Bernie can't win, odd to see new natl poll shows him beating Bush, Walker, Trump. http://t.co/JugMVlnjXn — Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) July 27, 2015 Bernie Sanders Is The Only Candidate With A Positive Approval Rating In Iowa And New Hampshire http://t.co/L9LOtjeiNs @politicususa #p2 #ctl &mdash...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Yemen: Saudi & Coalition guilty of War Crimes for Bombing Civilians: HRW

    Human Rights Watch | – – (Sanaa) – Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children, and wounded dozens in the Yemeni port city of Mokha on July 24, 2015, are an apparent war crime. Starting between 9:30 and 10 p.m., coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant, which housed plant workers and their family members. The failure of Saudi Arabia and other coalition members to investigate apparently unlawful airstrikes in Yemen demonstrates the need for the United Nations Human Rights Council to create a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of laws-of-war violations by the coalition, the Houthis, and other parties to the conflict, Human Rights Watch said. ...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Video of Beirut in the 1920s

    Via the blog Hummus for Thought, here's a video (silent, with French title cards), showing Beirut in the 1920, during the French Mandate:

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Turkey Bombs Both the PKK and ISIS: What a Tangled Web . . ., .

    The good news of the past few days seems to be Turkey's new aggressiveness against ISIS in the wake of the Suruç bombing. But this is the Middle East, and Turkey is also bombing the PKK inside Iraq, where he PKK has been actively fighting ISIS, while the PKK's Syrian affiliates, the PYD and their YPG military wing, have been successfully pushing ISIS back in Syria. Certainly, too, many Kurds suspect the proposed "safe zone" inside Syria might be rendered not just ISIS-free but PYD-YPG free as well.The multi-factored equation in northern Syria and Iraq has now taken on a whole new dimension. Turkey is now fighting against both sides in a conflict. If they were to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Charter, I wonder if he United States would be obligated to bomb itself?I'm jus...more

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  • Fabius Maximus website

    News! Journalists doing their job, critically reporting on rising seas & the bee-pocalypse.

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    China Buying America: From Tech to Flicks

    China funding Hollywood...what's the deal? Two new articles in the WSJ illustrate China's ambitions in terms of acquiring Western technology--we've always known about this, but they've frequently been frustrated over trumped-up national security concerns--and bankrolling entertainment. Let's start with a new venture capital firm formed by technology entrepreneurs in China with blessings from the Communist Party:The quest by Chinese firms to acquire global technology is about to get $5 billion boost. Chinese venture-capital firm GSR Ventures is raising a $5 billion fund to buy overseas assets, according to people familiar with the situation. The fund, which is expected to be announced Monday, will target deals to acquire companies in technology, Internet, and bi...more

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  • Fabius Maximus website

    Stratfor: how the Iran deal will change the long-term price of oil

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  • The World

    Cycling needs time to rebuild trust

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    The West: Punishing PRC for '$483B' Stock Market Intervention

    Shenzen, where the finest stocks state funds can buy are traded.Nobody knows for certain how much the PRC has sunk into propping up its faltering stock markets. The FT totted up the figures and said that state-owned banks have been forced to cough up $209B to provide brokerages for buying up A shares:According to the latest revelations, the big state-owned banks have lent a combined Rmb1.3tn ($209bn) in recent weeks to the China Securities Finance Corp, for lending on to brokerages to finance their investment in shares and to purchase mutual funds directly. Meanwhile, Bloomberg said that, actually, it's more like the $483B quoted in the title after you include the contributions of the People's Bank of China (PBoC):China has created what amounts to a state-run margi...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    Ukraine Needs a Moratorium

    After months of standoff, the Ukraine government appears to be making halting progress towards an agreement restructuring its external private debt. On hopes of a deal, and ahead of an IMF Board meeting next week to review its program, the government reportedly has decided that it will make a $120 million payment to creditors due tomorrow. It is possible that decision to repay will be seen as a signal of good faith and create momentum towards an agreement, but I fear it’s more likely we have reached a point where continuing to pay has become counterproductive to a deal. Absent more material signs of progress in coming weeks, there is a strong case—on economic, political and strategic grounds—that a decision to halt payments and declare a moratorium gives Ukrai...more

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  • Achenblog

    The man who feared, rationally, that he’d just destroyed the world

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  • The World

    Tsipras is master of all he surveys in Greece

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    When in Buenos Aires, See 'Museum of Foreign Debt'

    Vultures, the foreign debt board game and other Argentinian jollity. Argentina has a wealth of attractions: The awesome natural grandeur of Perito Moreno Glacier. Ushuaia, the "end of the world" on its southern tip (next stop: the Arctic).  Tango, the dance of sultry romance. Call me weird but, as an IPE scholar, my first port of call would instead be the Museum of Foreign Debt at the University of Buenos Aires' School of Economics. I was peripherally aware that there was such a place, but a recent Bloomberg article jogged my memory:Argentina’s fight with foreign banks and bondholders is more than just business. It’s part of the national psyche, enshrined in a special museum at the business school at the University of Buenos Aires. The Museum of Foreign Debt ...more

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  • China Matters

    Another Shoe Drops in the Turkish “Passports for Uyghurs” Case

    Evidence keeps accummulating that a clandestine Turkish government program to enable Uyghur emigration from the PRC--for motives either noble, sinister, or both--has turned into a major security cock-up, embarrassment for Turkey, and a serious issue in PRC-Turkish relations.I wrote this on July 11 on the occasion of the forcible repatriation of over one hundred Uyghur men from Thailand to the PRC amid PRC allegations that the Turkish government, in addition to providing diplomatic and consular support to the Uyghurs, had crossed a line by providing fake travel documents:Please note that the PRC Foreign Ministry, as well as Global Times, were already raising the passport issue at the beginning of 2015.  First the PRC employed the polite fiction that some profit-min...more

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  • Achenblog

    The heroes and the secrets of the Pluto mission

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  • Macro and Markets

    Greece: The Hardest Month

    Greek banks reopened today, but there isn’t much you can do at them. Capital controls and withdrawal limits remain in effect, money transfers are barred (except for tax, social security or a few other allowed domestic transactions) and new accounts or loans effectively ruled out. Greeks now will be able to deposit checks, access safety deposit boxes, and withdraw money without an ATM card. All good things, though I suspect that any political boost from the visuals relating to reopening will proved short-lived. Amidst concern that the financing needs will outstrip the three-year, €86 billion financing gap agreed last weekend, attention now turns to the €30-40 billion European rescue facility (ESM) that must be negotiated quickly. This occurs against an unsettled p...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    Greece’s Program: First Hurdle Cleared

    The Greek parliament last night passed the first package of measures required by the government’s agreement with European governments reached over the weekend, winning 229 of 300 votes in the parliament. There were a large number of Syriza defections (39) that would appear at minimum to require a cabinet reshuffling. Some local analysts predict the government could fall, though most expect that if that happened Prime Minister Tsipras would reemerge as prime minister in a new coalition government. These are only the first steps on a very long path for Greece, and the tight timeline for passage of comprehensive legislation suggests political paralysis is an unaffordable luxury. Passage of first stage measures will set the stage for a €7 billion bridge loan–li...more

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  • Achenblog

    Pluto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • China Matters

    Turkey's "Passports for Uyghurs" Scheme Continues Its Messy Public Unraveling

    The year-long tug of war between Turkey and the PRC over several hundred Uyghur detainees in Thailand was finally resolved, Solomonic fashion, by Thailand sending 170+ women and children to Istanbul in early July in a little noticed event, and the deportation of 100+ Uyghur men to the PRC this week, which has occasioned much public ballyhoo, some nasty incidents inside Turkey, and toothless (and, I expect somewhat less than wholehearted) official execration by the US and the EU.A most interesting sidebar to the Thailand story has been the wheels coming off the reckless Turkish passports-to-Uyghurs scheme.To humblebrag here, I was one of the few to note and write about over the last few months, starting in February and here, and here in April, as well as my recent epic ...more

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  • The Arabist

    Links 27 June - 10 July 2015

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  • The Arabist

    Egypt in TV: terrorism in Sinai, the need to "liquidate" Brothers, Sisi's 100% successful presidency

    “Tell me, respectable president Sisi, why you didn’t secure the checkpoints when you knew they were targeted?” the bitter father of one of the 17 (according to the military) or 70 (according to medical sources) soldiers, who were killed in last week’s coordinated North Sinai attacks, tried to ask the camera as the CBC reporter next to him continued to talk over him. CBC was not the only channel to choose the wrong guest in last week’s mess. Dream TV’s Wael el-Ebrashy looked regretful in his stony silence as he heard former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi say that the state’s oppression (of activists and the MB) breeds terrorism.   Politely critical voices like Sabahi’s, however, were lost in a sea of calls for revenge and conspiraci...more

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  • The Moor Next Door

    New Sentinel Article

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Scholar Social Networks and Copyright.

    Credit: Mike Seyfang on Flickr.I recently joined ResearchGate, a social network for scholars. Its stated mission "is to connect researchers and make it easy for them to share and access scientific output, knowledge, and expertise. On ResearchGate they find what they need to advance their research." I previously joined Academia.edu, which kind of looks like Facebook for scholars. The link to my home page has been in the right-hand sidebar for some years. Many of my recent conference papers have been uploaded to that site.Since joining ResearchGate, I've been bombarded with requests to upload copies of my published articles (and books). Unfortunately, as most scholars know, I do not own the copyright to these works. They were typically transferred as a cond...more

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  • The Arabist

    Links 20-26 June 2015

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Imagining fear

    In the May 2015 Atlantic, Princeton historian David A. Bell reviewed The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution by Timothy Tackett and Phantom Terror by Adam Zamoyski. In his last paragraphs, Bell makes an interesting point about the way fears can be created in the public imagination despite the lack of genuine threats:But imagined terrors, as he [Zamoyski] and Tackett very usefully remind us, can have even more political potency than real ones. While early-19th-century Europe had its share of real revolutionary conspirators, the “directing committee” was as much a figment of the imagination as was the nest of spies and traitors that Robespierre claimed, toward the end of the Terror, to have discovered at the heart of the revolutionary National Convention. Bo...more

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Ohio Trip May 2015

    Memorial Day weekend, my family headed north to Oberlin, Ohio, for the college graduation of our oldest daughter. It was an emotional weekend for everyone and I snapped a few photos on my cellphone to commemorate some of the festivities. For example, the Saturday before graduation we visited Oberlin College's Allen Memorial Art Museum. I liked this work, "Elvis Meets the Virgin of Guadalupe" by Enrique Chagoya:On Sunday, we attended receptions sponsored by a History faculty member and by the College President, which celebrated various student honors. Early evening before dinner, a few of us went to the Fatheads Tap House near the Cleveland airport.At the graduation Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama gave an impassioned and interesting speech that proved di...more

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  • The Moor Next Door

    Thoughts on Shifts in Security Policy (Algeria)

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  • The Moor Next Door

    ‘The Algeria Alternative’ – Other Observations

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    Realistic Appraisal of Russia's Policy Isn't Tantamount to a Putin Apologia

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    Arming Ukraine Would Be Folly

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    Kissinger's "World Order"

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

    In memoriam: Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014. The Becker-Posner blog is terminated. Richard A. Posner

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Sabbatical Notice

    Starting this weekend, we will be taking a one-month sabbatical from blogging. We will resume at the end of that period.

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

    The US embargo of Cuba began in 1960, a year after Fidel Castro turned this island toward communism. It was extended to food and medicines in 1962, the same year as the showdown with Russia over the installation of missiles there. The embargo has prevented American companies from doing business with Cuba, and discouraged tourism to Cuba. The American government also tried with quite limited success to prevent other countries from trading with Cuba. In general economic embargoes are undesirable because they interfere with free trade among countries. Yet a case could be made for an embargo against Cuba. Castro not only allowed Russian missiles to be installed in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, but was also actively trying to interfere in other countries by sending troop...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    Can the F-35 Replace the A-10?

    by Nickolai Sukharev  One of the big decisions the United States Air Force has considered over the last few months is whether to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet as a cost saving measure while developing and procuring the F-35A Lightening II. Given the Budget Control Act caps on Pentagon spending and the need to better allocate funds, officials have expressed their preference to prioritize multi-mission platforms in the inventory. But the problem is that the F-35A is not a replacement for the A-10’s close air support. The reason is simple: it lacks comparable capabilities despite a higher operating cost. Given the constrained budgetary environment, the comparative cost to maintain and operate the two aircraft should be a decisive consideration. The A-10 is a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    After Geneva Talks A Consensus on Moving Forward

    By Homa Hassan The two-day round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran just concluded in Geneva and Western diplomats are carefully reviewing a detailed proposal presented by Iran. As this proposal is being reviewed ahead of the follow-on meetings in November it is important to look at what the realistic prospects of a deal will look like. Going into this week’s talks, a number of commentaries came out attempting to set negotiations up for failure. However, it is widely agreed that a negotiated solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear program is the best way to achieve a sustainable solution and a recent survey of reports and recommendations from bipartisan think tanks and high-level experts demonstrates a broad consensus on how to approach negotiations a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    TPP, TTIP and Getting America's Competitiveness Back on Track

    By Marcela Heywood Last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia marked further progress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and set an ambitious goal to finish negotiations by the end of the year. Although the U.S. government shutdown – and President Obama’s absence in Bali – did not hinder the trade talks, it did call America’s credibility into question. Government shutdown could threaten both TPP and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations by displaying uncertainty in U.S. economic and foreign policy priorities. Congress needs to reach an agreement and prioritize TPP and TTIP, as they are necessary policy initiatives to boost American competitiveness, stimulate the economy, and exert soft power to cr...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Why US Financial Hegemony Will Endure

    Will and I have a piece, now ungated, over at a fantastic new online magazine called Symposium. Our article translates much of the main points of our Perspectives Piece (co-authored with Thomas and Andy Pennock) for popular consumption. We are also blogging over there this week in support of the article. Please do check out our writing this week on the magazine's website, as well as the other great content on the site....more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Foreign Direct Investment, Human Rights, INGOs

    One of the major areas of underdeveloped research within political science is the interaction between non-state actors. From an international political economy perspective, the literature has largely ignored the interaction of various non-state actors that are growing in importance, and its effects on different forms of trade. In a recently published article "Avoiding the Spotlight: Human Rights Shaming and Foreign Direct Investment" by Colin Barry, Chad Clay and Michael Flynn, they lay the foundation for examining this interaction. They examine the interaction between non-state actors (INGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) and the extent to which private actors' choices to invest in countries are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in those...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Verizon, Vodafone, and Measuring FDI

    Recently back from APSA in Chicago, I've been reflecting on the state of our knowledge about FDI (or perhaps more accurately, cross-border management stakes in enterprises). That, and working on my dissertation, applying for academic jobs, and teaching. Oh, and telling everyone who'll listen about my Optimus Prime sighting on Michigan Ave.Anyway, I find a post-conference review of the discipline is generally a good way to consider potentially fruitful lines of new inquiry. In my experience, the quality of papers at conferences can be rather hit-or-miss. This generally fits into my view of conferences as important sources of external deadlines for getting drafts done as well as interacting with other scholars in more informal settings such as the hotel bar/lobby/over-cro...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Why Defining Terrorism Matters

    This is a guest post by Karolina Lula, a PhD student at Rutgers-Newark.---------------The terrorism industry has grown exponentially since 9/11.  Whenever a terrorist attack occurs, a plethora of terrorism scholars eagerly spoon out their collective wisdom.  The chance to be included in the over-caffeinated media spotlight justifies decades cooped up in small offices pouring over data. In a certain respect, terrorism scholars mirror their subject.  They both love an audience.              Despite their growing presence in the media, academics fail to persuade others about what terrorism is in the first place.  Language evolves and academia is only one source of influence.  T...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Planning to be Shocked

    One of the most repeated, and most dubious, axioms about strategy is the notion that being proactive is wiser than being reactive, and that reactivity is something we should be allergic to. In the words of Briain's foreign secretary William Hague, 'the nation that is purely reactive in foreign policy is in decline.' Likewise, written into the folklore of the US foreign policy establishment is the notion that the 'strategic shocks' that struck America - such as Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor or 9/11 - happened because Washington was passively sleeping. A quick read of Presidential speeches on the anniversary of that attack shows how powerful the creed of active vigilantism lives on, even if it doesn't power all of America's day to day behaviour.Never mind that a...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Quick Note

    If you haven't been seeing any posts for a few months, that's because we moved to http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/. Some readers have informed us that the redirect may not be behaving for some subset of RSS feed readers. If that's the case, you can subscribe to the new feed at http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rsshttp://whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rss...more

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  • Political Animal

    Wednesday's Mini-Report

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  • Political Animal

    The need for partisan cover

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  • Political Animal

    House rebuffs Boehner, scraps F-35 Jet Engine Program

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Aaron Menenberg Policies of Scale

Aaron Menenberg is Foreign Policy and Energy analyst, and a Future Leader with Foreign Policy Initiative. He also co-hosts Podlitical Risk (@podliticalrisk). He is a graduate student in international relations at The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Previously he has worked at Praescient Analytics, The Hudson Institute, for the Israeli Ministry of Defense, and at the IBM Corporation. The views expressed are his own, and you can follow him on Twitter @AaronMenenberg. He welcomes questions and comments at menenbergaaron@gmail.com.