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    Geostrategy

  • Foreign Policy

    U.S. Intelligence No Closer to Pinning MH17 Downing on Russia

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  • Foreign Policy

    Overlooked Syrian Conflict Hits New Death Toll Record

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  • Foreign Policy

    China's 'Stinky Meat-Gate'

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  • Foreign Policy

    The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, as Seen Through Tinder

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  • Foreign Policy

    How to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Africa

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  • Foreign Policy

    How to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Africa

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  • Foreign Policy

    FAA Bans All Flights to and From Israel

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  • Foreign Policy

    FAA Bans All Flights to and From Israel

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  • Foreign Policy

    FAA Bans All Flights to and From Israel

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  • Foreign Policy

    'Where There Is No Hope, There Is Hamas'

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  • Foreign Policy

    'Where There Is No Hope, There Is Hamas'

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  • Moneybox

    This New Plane Seat Looks Horrifying. It’s Also a Great Idea.

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  • Moneybox

    Why Comcast Sees Losing 144,000 Cable Subscribers as a Win

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  • The World

    MH17 crash: did Moscow try to pin the blame on the wrong plane?

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  • Moneybox

    The Ruling That Would Gut Obamacare Is an Amazing Advertisement for Obamacare

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  • Achenblog

    Secrets of happiness

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  • Macro and Markets

    Addressing America’s Infrastructure Challenge

    America’s woeful lack of infrastructure spending is well appreciated.  What is missing is action to address it.  My colleague Heidi Crebo-Rediker writes that the Administration has now launched a new Transportation Investment Center to share best practice, provide technical assistance, and give support for accessing credit programs for new infrastructure projects. This one-stop shop within the Department of Transportation has much in common with (and looks to draw heavily on) Heidi’s earlier proposal for an “Infrastructure USA” initiative.  While no silver bullet, it’s a valuable first step. ...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    The End of Christianity in Mosul?

    Part II of the Hester Stanhope post is coming later, or tomorrow, but I wanted to comment on recent developments in Mosul. Christianity arrived in Mosul as early as the Second Century AD, from the early Christian center at Edessa, and is said to have been the third-ranking Metropolitanate in the Assyrian Church by about 300. It has remained a major center of both the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church, with other denominations such as Syriac Orthodox also present. Confronted with a declaration by ISIS that Christians must either convert to Islam, pay a jizya tax, or face death (a very strict interpretation of Islamic law), most or all of Mosul's Christian population has reportedly fled to Erbil, Dohuk, or other cities under Kurdish control. The...more

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  • China Matters

    Ukraine, MH 17, and the Charge of the Atlanticist Brigade

    The bloody farce in the Ukraine took another ugly turn with the shootdown of MH 17.And to be ugly about it, if the rebels shot the plane down, it shouldn’t matter very much except as a horrible and unexpected catastrophe in a war zone and an overwhelming tragedy to the survivors of the victims on board.  Call it an accident, collateral damage, manslaughter, there is no credible version of events in which it was intentional mass murder or terrorism, either by the rebels or Russian technicians that, according to the Ukrainian government, possessed the ability to operate the elderly but complex anti-aircraft systems fingered in the attack.Recall the US shootdown of Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988 by the USS Vincennes.  It was also an ugly business.  The Iran ...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Adios Sochi Grand Prix 2014, Russia World Cup 2018?

    Geography is against Russia retaining these events without scrutiny.This is not exactly a pleasant post to write given the circumstances, but it's something that will be the subject of discussion anyway in the coming months and perhaps years. First, as I wrote a few weeks ago, the first Russian Grand Prix is scheduled on the Formula One calendar for October 12. Even as its business elites are preparing for the worst as the full weight of Western sanctions passed (and yet to pass_ disrupt their abilities to conduct business abroad, Russian race organizers are adamant that show must go on:Organizers insist Russia's first Formula One Grand Prix will go ahead as planned despite an airliner being shot down in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine.Malaysian Airlines Flight ...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Most would-be US Terrorists Wouldn’t have Committed a Crime without FBI Entrapment

    Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC) –The US Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have targeted American Muslims in abusive counterterrorism “sting operations” based on religious and ethnic identity, Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute said in a report released today. Many of the more than 500 terrorism-related cases prosecuted in US federal courts since September 11, 2001, have alienated the very communities that can help prevent terrorist crimes. The 214-page report, “Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions,” examines 27 federal terrorism cases from initiation of the investigations to sentencing and post-conviction conditions of confinement. It...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Hottest June On Record Since 1880

    By Ann Werner US government scientists have released their findings that this past June is the hottest on record since record keeping began in 1880. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) monthly report revealed that the combined average temperature over land and sea was 61.20 Fahrenheit (16.22 Celsius), a record high for the month. That is 1.30 degrees Fahrenheit (0.72 degrees Celsius) warmer than the average for the twentieth century and surpasses the last recorded record high for the month of June, which was recorded in 2010. The NOAA statement: Most of the world experienced warmer-than-average monthly temperatures, with record warmth across part of southeastern Greenland, parts of northern South America, areas in eastern and central Africa, and ...more

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  • Informed Comment

    On ‘Human Shielding’ in Gaza: The Israeli army has tried to justify striking civilian areas

    By Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini All fighting within cities and all bombardments of urban spaces, even the most "precise and surgical", is a potential death trap for civilians. Consequently, the permeation of war into cities inevitably transforms their inhabitants into potential human shields. For Palestinians living in Gaza today, simply spending time in their own homes, frequenting a mosque, going to a hospital or to school has become a dangerous enterprise since any one of these architectural edifices can become at any moment a target. One can no longer safely assume that the existence of masses of human bodies – even the bodies of children – in civilian spaces can serve as defense of the weak against the lethal capacity of the hi-tech states....more

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  • The World

    FT column: The Kremlin’s Machiavelli has led Russia to disaster

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Tom Clancy, manufacturer of myths that kept us happy & ignorant

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  • Foreign Policy

    U.S. Says Russia Playing a Double Game on the MH17 Shoot-Down

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Economists forecast a boom soon. The numbers show slowing. Who is right?

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Bhagwati: PRC's Corruption 'Developmental', India's Isn't

    Corruption is one of the most studied phenomena given its ubiquity in developing countries. If corruption did not occur on a significant scale in these countries, then they would probably be classified as developed. That said, there are many debates about corruption. At one extreme, there is a "zero tolerance" approach that suggests all forms of using public office for private gain are unwelcome and should be discouraged. On the other hand, others would say that there are different forms of corruption--some of which are potentially beneficial such as "speed money" which hastens the processing of documentation in slow-moving and unwieldy bureaucracies.It is a perhaps unfortunate sign of its developmental status that India features large as a setting for debates on corrup...more

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  • The Moor Next Door

    New World Politics Review Piece

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  • Fabius Maximus

    Proof pointing to the people guilty of weakening America

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    MNCs and Setting Cambodia's Minimum Wage

    Textile workers of Cambodia unite to mixed consequences.Economics textbooks will tell you that the cost of labor is determined when the downward-sloping demand curve for labor meets the upward-sloping supply curve of workers. Their intersection is called the "market-clearing" wage. Governments may introduce "distortions" however in the form of minimum wages when the market-clearing wage is deemed insufficient to meet the needs of the workers or are otherwise below what is normatively acceptable.In Cambodia, however, the cost of labor may be determined more by external forces. Namely, pressure from multinational corporations that subcontract textile manufacturing to the country. At present, 80% of Cambodia's exports revenues supposedly come from garments. Hence, Cambodia...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Plus ça change . . . Gaza 1956

    The second part of the Hester Stanhope post is taking a while and probably won't go up until Monday. I thought I'd leave you for the weekend with a historical video (though it doesn't count as nostalgic: it's a grim reminder of the present). UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold visits Gaza in 1956 after  flare-up along the border, before the outbreak of the 1956 Suez war. Gaza was then administered by Egypt. ...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Pentagon Assessment of State of Iraqi Army is Said to Be Grim

    This McClatchy article in Stars and Stripes leaks the assessment of the Iraqi Army reportedly sent to the Pentagon by the teams of US advisers sent to assess the situation. It isn't pretty:Four Iraqi army divisions have simply disappeared and won’t be easily resurrected. The 2nd Division was routed from Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, on June 9 at the beginning of the Islamic State’s advance, and its four brigades have dissolved.The 1st Division also is basically gone, losing two brigades in Anbar province earlier in the year, then two more during last month’s Islamic State onslaught, including one brigade that in the words of the senior Iraqi politician was “decimated” in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad. The same is true of Iraq’s 3rd Divi...more

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  • Achenblog

    It feels like flying just got a little bit more dangerous

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  • Macro and Markets

    China Chooses Growth Over Reform

    The Wall Street Journal piece on rapid credit growth in China yesterday describes the sharp tradeoff for the Chinese government: achieving growth targets in the near term comes at the expense of reform delays and further rapid debt accumulation. With growth likely to decelerate in 2015 without additional stimulus, the prospects for meaningful economic reform are receding. I’ve explored this tradeoff in my July Global Economics Monthly (here). Imposing hard budget constraints, tightening credit, recognizing losses, and addressing massive excess capacity in real estate, raw materials and other sectors is disruptive in the short term, and as long as growth is falling short of government targets the hard decisions are likely to be deferred. If it takes a crisis to force c...more

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  • The Arabist

    Adam Shatz: Writers or Missionaries?

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  • The World

    Live blog: The downing of Flight MH17

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  • Macro and Markets

    Russian Sanctions: The United States Takes the Lead

    The United States has taken what, on first read, looks to be a significant step today, extending sanctions ( see also here) to block new debt and equity issuance by a number of energy, financial and military companies.  It is not quite full “sectoral” sanctions–both because it is limited in what it blocks (new debt and equity of maturity greater than 90 days) and because it excludes Sberbank, which holds the majority of Russian deposits. But I would argue that the reach of this new executive order in terms of institutions covered is sufficiently broad that the effects on the Russian financial system could be systemic. Europe chose not to match these sanctions, so it is critical that large European banks not fill the gap left by the withdrawal of U.S...more

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  • Achenblog

    Is Miami Beach drowning?

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  • China Matters

    Debunking America's Scarborough Shoal Dolchstoss Meme

    ... or “Goodbye Honest Broker” Whoever is rolling out the new US maritime strategy for East Asia apparently regards the Financial Times as his or her chosen instrument.  The FT, for its part, appears to believe that it completes its journalistic mission by reporting the US position, and sees no need to examine the US claims in detail, a shortcoming I intend to remedy in this piece.In recent days two backgrounded FT articles have expressed US frustration with Chinese salami-slicing and cabbage wrapping in the South China Sea.  From the first piece, Pentagon plans new tactics to deter China in South China Sea:In recent months, the US has come to two broad conclusions about its approach to the South China Sea. The first is that its efforts at deterrence...more

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  • The Arabist

    Charles Glass on the CIA's Arabists

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  • China Matters

    China Hand Has Whooping Cough

    Apologies for the paucity of new material on the site in recent weeks.  For the last month I have been wrestling with an acute and fatiguing case of whooping cough (pertussis) caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.I would like to tell readers that immunization will protect them from this disease...but I can't.Pertussis vaccine simply doesn't work very well.  The acknowledged failure rate for pertussis vaccine is about 20%.  However, misdiagnosis and under-reporting of pertussis cases is a major problem, especially for adults.  In my state of California, currently in the midst of a declared whooping cough epidemic, it is estimated that cases are underreported by 10:1.  In Poland at one time, it was estimated that cases were underreported b...more

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  • The Arabist

    The baltaga state

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    The Peace Process Ends: Not With a Bang, But a Whimper

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Dave Alvin - "4th of July"

    Visit this blog's homepage.For 140 character IR and foreign policy talk, follow me on twitter.Or for basketball, baseball, movies or other stuff, follow this personal twitter account. ...more

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    American History Through Family Ties

    I believe that this is the headstone of my great, great, great grandfather, buried in Clear Run Cemetery Bridgeton, Indiana.  That's about 150 miles from where I live. If correct, his descendants made their way to Kansas just before the Civil War began.As you may notice, James Payne died on July 4, 1884.That was exactly 130 years ago today.If the information at a grave site website is accurate (James Payne (1799 - 1884) - Find A Grave Memorial), then I'm descended from a Payne family from colonial-era Virginia. James's father Augustine fought in the Revolutionary War and also moved to Indiana (in 1835).I'm definitely descended from George Daily Payne, who is supposed to be James's son, but George (my great grandfather) was born when James was 58 years old...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    The Horror: Iraq Class of '03 Mounts Rerun

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    World Cup Fever

    Hans Beinholtz, Germany's Ambassador to the United Nations, is "smitten with the terrible disease of nationalism and competition, the twin seeds of war."The Colbert ReportGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Colbert Report on FacebookThis was originally broadcast on June 12, 2014.Visit this blog's homepage.For 140 character IR and foreign policy talk, follow me on twitter.Or for basketball, baseball, movies or other stuff, follow this personal twitter account. ...more

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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 Moor Next Door

    The Army and the Status Quo

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  • The Moor Next Door

    RND Sketch

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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 Belgravia Dispatch

    An Epidemic of Putin Derangement Syndrome

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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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