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    Geostrategy

  • Fabius Maximus website

    All of this summer’s hottest blockbusters in a single review

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  • Informed Comment

    Bernie Sanders’s Surge in Iowa from Attractiveness of His Ideas: Poll

    Phil Mattingly | Bloomberg Business | (Video News Report) | – – “Hillary Clinton saw her support in Iowa dwindle as voters boosted Bernie Sanders in the latest Bloomberg Politics/ Des Moines Register poll that also found a bipartisan dislike for the state of politics in the United States. Bloomberg’s Phil Mattingly reports on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” Bloomberg Business: ” Bernie Sanders Gains Steam in Latest Iowa Survey” From the Bloomberg Politics/ Desmoines Register Poll: ...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Remember how Congress said we Should Support Iran Reformists? Well they want the Nuclear Deal

    By Golnaz Esfandiari | ( RFE/ RL Parvin Fahimi, who lost her son to repression by the Iranian state, hopes the agreement global powers reached with Tehran on its nuclear program last month will not only remove sanctions and the threat of war, but also lead to improved human rights inside the country. Fahimi, whose 19-year-old son was killed in the 2009 state crackdown that followed the disputed reelection of Mahmud Ahmadinejad as president, is among some 50 prominent rights activists, intellectuals, and academics who have joined a social-media campaign urging the U.S. Congress to back the deal.  Under the deal reached in Vienna on July 14 by Iran and six global powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — Iran is to signifi...more

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  • Informed Comment

    War-Torn Yemen faces Disease Outbreaks w/out Humanitarian Corridor

    By Kanya D’Almeida | (Inter Press Service) | – – UNITED NATIONS (IPS) – An outbreak of dengue fever in Yemen’s most populated governorate has prompted urgent calls from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for a “humanitarian corridor” to facilitate the flow of medicines to over three million civilians trapped in the war-torn area. Taiz, located on the country’s southern tip, has been on the frontline of fighting between Houthi rebels and a Saudi Arabia-backed coalition of Arab states supporting fighters loyal to deposed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi since March 2015. Three of Taiz’s major hospitals have either been destroyed or are inaccessible, leaving 3.2 million people – many of them sick or injured – without access to basic h...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Temple of Bel Said to Still Be Standing Despite IS Attempt to Destroy It (UPDATED)

    UPDATE: see important update at end.During my vacation, the news from the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Palmyra was pretty much universally bad. The Islamic State executed the octogenarian Syrian archaeologist Khaled Al-Asaad, and destroyed the two-millennium old temple of Baal Shamin, (Before and after photos below.)Yesterday and earlier today there were reports of an even greater potential loss for Syrian heritage: a report that ISIS had planted explosives around one of Palmyra's most iconic sites, the Temple of Bel, yesterday afternoon.and blown it up.There is, however, some glimmer of hope. Syria's Head of the Department of Antiquities and Museums, Maamoun Abdulkarim, is quoted today as saying "our information is provisional, but it indicates that any damage done w...more

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  • The World

    FT column: Militarism risky temptation for Beijing

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Beirut's Summer of Discontent

    More than four years after the "Arab Spring" we have Lebanon's "You Stink" Summer. Of events I didn't comment on during my recent vacation, this may have been the least predictable. A crisis surrounding Beirut's undelivered garbage quickly transformed into a widespread protest movement challenging the political paralysis that has gripped Lebanon for several years now. (The Presidency is vacant, the Cabinet impotent, and new Parliamentary elections on hold.The clever hashtag #YouStink (Arabic طلعت_ريحتكم#)  quickly gave the movement its name, referring to the garbage or the state institutions interchangeably. Lebanon is in many ways a more open country than most in the Arab world, but its institutions have been weakened by sectarian rivalry and other facto...more

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  • Moneybox

    China Manipulated Its Stock Market Last Week Because of a Parade

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Persian Gulf War: 25th Anniversary

    This post is nearly a month late.On August 2, 1990, Iraqi forces attacked Kuwait, reflecting what then-U.S. President George H.W. Bush a few days later called "brutal, naked aggression."August 8, 2015, marked the 25th anniversary of  Bush's speech to the nation outlining the initial U.S. response. Bush emphasized America's commitment to Saudi Arabia:I pledge here today that the United States will do its part to see that these sanctions are effective and to induce Iraq to withdraw without delay from Kuwait.But we must recognize that Iraq may not stop using force to advance its ambitions. Iraq has massed an enormous war machine on the Saudi border capable of initiating hostilities with little or no additional preparation. Given the Iraqi government's history of ...more

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  • The Arabist

    Links 17-21 August 2015

    NaTakallamGreat idea: displaced Syrians act as online Arabic tutorsAnthropologist Seeks the Roots of TerrorismOn the challenges of studying jihadistsDonne che mordono donneIn Italian: testimony of medieval practices of ISIS female policeEric Laurent interpellé pour chantage au RoiFrench journalists accused of blackmailing the king of MoroccoVast Reserves of Natural Gas Found Off the Coast of EgyptGreat, much-needed news.IS posts pics of food distribution in North SinaiSinai Militancy and the Threat to International Forces [PDF]Zack Gold.The disgrace we should not embraceKhaled Mansour on Egypt's human rights council.Egypt in Talks to Buy Mistral Warships From FranceMore Sisi defense spending...Securing the Sinai MFO Without a U.S. DrawdownEric Trager on MFO policy revi...more

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  • Fabius Maximus website

    Why do so many new-born babies die unnecessarily in America, the City on a Hill?

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Minting Gold Coins: The Monies of ISIS

    Coming soon to an antiques dealer near you? Awaiting ISIS currency.Recent gyrations in global markets have demonstrated to some observers the idea of gold as a safe haven doesn't hold. As investors the world over were gripped in fear, the price of the gold went...precisely nowhere fast. So much for seeking the safety of gold:Gold is still well above the more than five-year closing low of $1,084 struck August 5 but the safe haven buying amid the panic on markets did not materialize to the extent many bulls had hoped. Georgette Boele of ABN Amro in a Thursday research note argues that gold did not enjoy a stronger rally because the weaker Chinese economic outlook "outweighed safe have demand."To be fair to gold bugs, the current lack of inflationary pressures in the w...more

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  • Fabius Maximus website

    Stratfor describes the Middle East – after the Iran deal

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Novelty Acts: Western Hedge Funds in China

    Cushy whitefella hedge fund types are prolly right in avoiding possible PRC re-education for speculation.As I write, I am listening to the debut album of Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.) and the Aquarium Rescue Unit. Pop completists will know about this novelty act, whose musical chops did not get in the way of stage antics like having some guy mini-putt golf throughout the show. Antics aside, this is a well-drilled band, and live numbers such as "Yield Not to Temptation," "Working on a Building," and "Basically Frightened" are oddly apt for today's post. Sample lyrics: I'm basically frightened / Of politicians with no hobbies.For, in modern-day China, we also find novelty acts. There, they're called "Western hedge funds" [ooh, exotic!] Given the control freak nature of the PR...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    August 30, 1915: Sir Henry McMahon's First Response to Sharif Hussein

    Just a reminder: Postings will be sparse during my current two week vacation. Normal blogging pace will resume on Monday.Back in July I noted the anniversary of the first letter from Sharif Hussein of Mecca to Sir Henry McMahon, British High Commissioner in Egypt, which initiated the celebrated Hussein-McMahon correspondence that would become a key element in the subsequent Arab-Israeli dispute and lead to the Arab Revolt in 1916. The correspondence took considerable time; the Sharif was an Ottoman subject after all, and Britain and the Turks were at war; McMahon was not an Arabist and was dependent on his experts in Cairo and the approval of London. This weekend marks the centennial of the August 30 initial response by McMahon:McMahon's August 30 response was evasive o...more

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  • Moneybox

    Gogo’s On-Flight Internet Is Crummy, Slow, and Ubiquitous. Why?

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  • Moneybox

    Tesla Just Broke Consumer Reports’ Rating System. But That Wasn’t Its Goal.

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Hong Kong's Stocks: Now Cheaper Than Pakistan's

    Islamabad or bust: HK stocks can now be bought more cheaply than Pakistan's.Having a powerful economy in your orbit, Big Brother style, has its benefits and drawbacks. For the longest time, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) has benefited from riding China's slipstream: Late last year, mainland China overtook Japan in terms of market capitalization to become the second-largest stock market in the world. Then, with the Chinese stock market gathering momentum, Hong Kong's was poised to become the third largest stock exchange after the mainland's.However, you know what has transpired since: the PRC-inflated stock market bubble has popped to dramatic effect, causing turmoil in financial markets the world over. Nowhere has this turmoil been felt more than in Hong Kong. Afte...more

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  • The World

    FT podcast: World Weekly with Gideon Rachman

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  • China Matters

    For CCP, Stock Market Meltdown Takeaway Isn’t “Interference is Bad”; It’s “Why Didn’t Interference Work?”

    I suppose much of the journo commentariat was born since 2008 and therefore has no memory of TARP, Too Big To Fail, or Jamie Dimon rolling around naked inside a gigantic vat of taxpayer money, so there has been a considerable amount of handwring about how the CCP defiled the purity of the stock market by flinging a trillion or so RMB at the markets in a faltering attempt to moderate the collapse of share prices on the Shanghai exchange.“Purity of the stock market”.  Chew on that a while.I expect the poohbahs of Zhongnanhai are more concerned with the interesting question of why a few phone calls and a trillion RMB were unable to stem the decline in a neat, orderly way, and it turned out the best way to handle the rout was to stand back and let the stock market...more

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  • The World

    Rumours of Barenboim Iran visit piques Israel’s far-right

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  • The Arabist

    The Arab Spring was a revolution of the hungry

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  • Achenblog

    At college drop-off weepfest, remember these three words

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  • Achenblog

    The three saddest words in the English language

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  • Achenblog

    The world’s most dangerous predator is you

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  • The Arabist

    US reviewing its participation in MFO in Sinai

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Summer vacation

    I'm not sure where the summer went. I finished a manuscript and sent it to a journal. I negotiated a car deal for my oldest daughter. My wife and I managed to take a 9 day vacation to Michigan.Monday, the Dean is leading a meeting of department chairs and the semester will begin.Here's a pic I took in Bellaire, Michigan:It made me think of the Duck of Minerva, where I also never post anymore.Most people seem to go to Bellaire for the Short's brewpub. This is the "big board" from August 4:I liked this beer so much, I bought a 6 pack. On-tap, it was 9.3% abv, but the bottled version is only about 7%: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 persona...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    Get Ready for Lift Off

    While markets are debating whether the Fed will raise interest rates in September, a more challenging question is how will they implement that policy change.  There is a new blog by Stephen Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz that cuts through the clutter and clearly lays out how the Federal Reserve will operate monetary policy once it lifts off from the zero lower bound. As they note, their paper draws on a valuable primer by Federal Reserve economists Ihrig, Meade, and Weinbach that was recently released on the topic. (For disclosure purposes, I am married to one of the authors of the Fed paper.) Both are well worth reading. Cecchetti and Schoenholtz note that the old system for policy tightening “is no longer functional, and will not be for some years to come, if ever....more

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  • Macro and Markets

    The Fallacy of Euro-Area Discipline

    Throughout the Greek crisis, policymakers have acted on the assumption that Greece’s best chance at sustainable growth is through the conditionality and discipline of an IMF-EU adjustment program. Already, the desire to stay in the eurozone and receive the promised rescue package of at least €86 billion has led to significant legislative measures, and the ESM and IMF programs under negotiation will be comprehensive in the scope of their structural reforms. In contrast, “Grexit” would be chaotic, and at least initially, make it difficult for any government to reach consensus on strong policies needed to restore durable growth. In that environment, the boost to growth from devaluation could prove short-lived. A recent article in the European Central B...more

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  • The Moor Next Door

    Pressing for Depth

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  • Macro and Markets

    Taking Stock of the Greece Crisis

    Yesterday, John Taylor and I testified on the Greece crisis before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation.  A summary of my testimony is here (including a link to my written statement), and the full video of our discussion is here. I continue to see Grexit as the most likely outcome, as we are at the very early stage of a complex adjustment effort that will face serious economic and political headwinds in Greece, and will be extraordinarily difficult to sustain. But whether Greece is ultimately better off in or out of the euro, a competitive and growing Greece is an objective the United States shares with our European partners. A number of decisions concerning Greece will be made in the coming weeks that could b...more

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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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  • 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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  • 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 Moor Next Door

    Thoughts on Shifts in Security Policy (Algeria)

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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.