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"Professors are citizens."

Former Virginia Tech professor Steven Salaita's blocked appointment to teach at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has ignited a debate over academic freedom. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Aug 26, 2014 - 540 comments

"Just because we have the best hammer"

Presdient Obama gave a speech (video, transcript) at the United States Military Academy last month that outlined American foreign policy.
Reaction has been mixed. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 10, 2014 - 57 comments

Game of Thrones: The dragons and nuclear weapons nexus

The dragons in Game of Thrones as a metaphor for nuclear weapons is discussed in a recent edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. (Spoiler alert)
posted by Rob Rockets on Jun 3, 2014 - 44 comments

Nuke 'em till they glow, shoot 'em in the dark

The Littlest Boy - Twenty years after Hiroshima, elite American troops trained to stop a Soviet invasion -- with nuclear weapons strapped to their backs. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 3, 2014 - 39 comments

Taking America's Temperature

Pollsters Pew Research chart 13 big shifts in American's opinions which happened in 2013. Tipping points and new thresholds have been established on topics ranging from marihuana legalization to isolationism to gay marriage.
posted by Diablevert on Jan 17, 2014 - 55 comments

US use of drones: The good and bad

This article covers the US drone program. It looks at the pilots of drones, the decisions to use a drone, their highly effective short terms goals vs long term potential blowback and whether drone strikes are legal.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 15, 2013 - 50 comments

Disclaimer: The opinions on this page are the property of the writers

Can Silicon Valley Save the World?
posted by infini on Jul 1, 2013 - 43 comments

"China Is Not Amused By Your Sovereignty Claims"

International Relations as Depicted By Cats. Via
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 26, 2013 - 23 comments

How the Bush administration sold the Iraq war

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Zinni, sitting right next to Cheney’s lectern, says he “literally bolted” when he heard the vice president’s comments. “In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD [weapons of mass destruction], through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.” Rachel Maddow hosts Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War, a documentary special, based on the eponymous book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, that will air Monday, February 18 on MSNBC at 9 p.m.
posted by shivohum on Feb 18, 2013 - 218 comments

Is America ready for a white, male Secretary of State?

Erin Gloria Ryan asks: Is America ready for a white, male Secretary of State? She's not the only one satirically contemplating this question - John Norris over at Foreign Policy magazine has also wondered: Is America ready for a male Secretary of State? [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 13, 2012 - 46 comments

The Morgenthau Plan and the Marshall Plan

Perhaps the most fruitful way to look at the debate between Morgenthau and Marshall that was carried on--largely below the surface, largely without explicit confrontation--at the end of WWII is that it was an attempt to figure out how to resolve call it two historical problems: the problem of European military culture, and the problem of modern industrial war. Economist Brad DeLong explains.
posted by shivohum on Nov 11, 2012 - 22 comments

Murder of an Idealist

Murder of an Idealist. "For six hours on September 11, the American compounds in Benghazi, Libya, stood siege. When the attack was over, J. Christopher Stevens's body was pulled from the wreckage—the first U.S. ambassador killed by militants in over thirty years. Since then, his death has been politicized and the details of the attack distorted. Sean Flynn straightens out the story of Stevens's last days in Libya—and reveals the true believer we lost that day."
posted by homunculus on Nov 5, 2012 - 36 comments

The Permanent War

The Permanent War (video). "This project, based on interviews with dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others, examines evolving U.S. counterterrorism policies and the practice of targeted killing." Part 1: Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists. Part 2: A CIA veteran transforms U.S. counterterrorism policy. Part 3: Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 25, 2012 - 68 comments

"The reason they joined the Navy was because Starfleet Command wasn't hiring."

Aircraft Carriers in Space: Naval analyst Chris Weuve talks to Foreign Policy about what Battlestar Galactica gets right about space warfare.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 29, 2012 - 63 comments

A Wanker Whipping Up Fear

In May of 2010, Michael D. Higgins (now President of Ireland) had an exchange on an Irish radio station with Tea Party supporter Michael Graham, about the state of politics in the United States. [more inside]
posted by gman on Aug 26, 2012 - 40 comments

"Very interesting and attractive young women without hats"

Leftist Planet: Why do so many travel guides make excuses for dictators? [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Aug 15, 2012 - 75 comments

Swiss Miss: Can poor people open a Swiss bank account?

Foreign Policy magazine asks, "Can poor people open a Swiss bank account?" (Bad news: You need more than a passport, some pocket change, and a healthy disdain for the IRS.)
posted by wensink on Jul 15, 2012 - 40 comments

States of Failure 2012

The 2012 Foreign Policy/Fund for Peace list of Failed States has been published. Included in the report is the visually arresting Postcards from Hell. The complete issue on failed states is here. (Warning, slide shows and articles broken into far too many pages). (2010 Failed States Index on Mefi. 2009) [more inside]
posted by Hactar on Jun 20, 2012 - 11 comments

"The biggest company you've never heard of."

"A Giant Among Giants[FP]: Glencore -- founded by famous fugitive Marc Rich [Salon] -- has cornered the market on just about everything. Now that it's going public, will its ties to dictators and spies stand up to scrutiny?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 7, 2012 - 19 comments

You must've heard of a few

The Most Powerful Women You've Never Heard Of [more inside]
posted by vidur on Apr 22, 2012 - 41 comments

The White Savior Industrial Complex

"From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the US is the White Savior Industrial Complex." (Teju Cole, The Atlantic)
posted by naju on Mar 21, 2012 - 93 comments

TurIndiMexiBrazIa for short.

Rise of the TIMBIs: Forget the BRICs. Andrew Leung of CHINAWatch responds.
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 15, 2012 - 10 comments

Once Upon A Time in Bombay

Once Upon a Time in Bombay "It is said that Bombay is the Alexandria of India. Its geographical position and commercial relations bear evidently some resemblance to the great eastern entrepot of the Mediterranean. As the swampy Rhakotis, a mere fishing village which Alexander the Great transformed into the splendid city of Alexandria, the desolate islet of the Bombay Koli fishermen was changed into the present capital of Western India." -- J. Gershon da Cunha in Origin of Bombay (google book) [more inside]
posted by bluefly on Feb 21, 2012 - 8 comments

Why some people think Noam Chomsky is wrong

It's not news that Noam Chomsky's views on foreign policy are controversial. Paul Bogdanor's The Chomsky Hoax collects links to articles critiquing those views, including the Top 200 Chomsky Lies (pdf) and economist J. Bradford Delong's My Very, Very Allergic Reaction to Noam Chomsky. Other prominent critiques include Noam Chomsky: A Critical Review (by MeFi's own Russil Wvong), George Shadriou's Dissecting Chomsky and Anti-Americanism, and David Horowitz's series of articles on Chomsky in Frontpage Magazine (Part I, Part II, response to rebuttals).
posted by shivohum on Feb 9, 2012 - 284 comments

Pakistan: The Ally From Hell

The Ally From Hell. "Pakistan lies. It hosted Osama bin Laden (knowingly or not). Its government is barely functional. It hates the democracy next door. It is home to both radical jihadists and a large and growing nuclear arsenal (which it fears the U.S. will seize). Its intelligence service sponsors terrorists who attack American troops. With a friend like this, who needs enemies?" [Via]
posted by homunculus on Nov 6, 2011 - 53 comments

The Shadow Superpower

The Shadow Superpower: a survey of globalized black market trade, and the size of the informal economy. [more inside]
posted by StrikeTheViol on Nov 2, 2011 - 25 comments

The people of India love you deeply!

"Certainly, Uncle Sam, disowned by Pakistanis, has found innumerable devoted nephews in India. Indian and Pakistani perceptions of America now wildly diverge: A 2005 Pew poll conducted in 16 countries found the United States in the highest regard among Indians (71 percent having a favorable opinion) and nearly the lowest among Pakistanis (23 percent)." Why do India and Pakistan see America in such opposite ways?
posted by vidur on Aug 17, 2011 - 45 comments

Think Again: War

World peace could be closer than you think. Joshua S. Goldstein, author of Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide writes in Foreign Policy Magazine on why things are getting better. "The last decade has seen fewer war deaths than any decade in the past 100 years."
posted by joannemullen on Aug 15, 2011 - 48 comments

How Harry Potter and the magical world of J.K. Rowling might begin the long process of reconciliation and reform.

Post-Conflict Potter, living and rebuilding the world after Voldemort, by Foreign Policy Magazine.
posted by blue_beetle on Aug 12, 2011 - 37 comments

Iran and the West

While not being an outright example of a clash of civilizations in the Huntingtonian sense, elements of cultural misunderstanding and fears about the system-challenging tendencies of Iran do affect Western perceptions and influence Western behavior toward Iran. Furthermore, these kinds of reciprocal identity-based fears and projections of the other side’s presumed malevolent intentions tend to be mutually reinforcing. The risk is that they eventually become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Iran and the West - Regional Interests and Global Controversies [PDF]. [more inside]
posted by klue on May 23, 2011 - 4 comments

And there were moments of symbolism.

It is a strange, dubious and totally unaccepted moral purpose which holds the whole of the world to ransom.
On 1 March 1985, New Zealand Prime Minister Rt Hon David Lange (Previously) addressed the Oxford Union in support of the proposition that "Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible". That speech is online at publicaddress.net (audio, transcript, highlights) and still resonates today. [more inside]
posted by doublehappy on May 23, 2011 - 30 comments

Is that a lot?

Together, Slim, Gates, Buffett, and Ambani control more wealth than the world's poorest 57 countries. [more inside]
posted by unSane on Jan 6, 2011 - 37 comments

Thinking hard

Meet the top 100 global thinkers of 2010.
posted by klue on Dec 20, 2010 - 36 comments

Google Military Industrial Complex

Ron Paul asks "What if?" (SLYT)
posted by blue_beetle on Oct 1, 2010 - 135 comments

The Age of Xtreme Energy

Michael T Klare (previously here and here) has been writing for some time about the coming age of America's oil wars. Recently with the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Storms Mexico, he's been writing about the coming about of what he calls "The Era of Xtreme Energy" and the extreme length we're going to have to go to secure it. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jun 24, 2010 - 50 comments

Something Dangerous is Happening in Honduras

Hillary Clinton has asked the Organization of America States to re-admit post coup Honduras, but many people with long memories are against it and wondering why this president, in particular, is doing it.
posted by history is a weapon on Jun 17, 2010 - 15 comments

The Psychology of the Unthinkable

The Psychology of the Taboo Trade-Off. A set of studies about issues that are considered "sacred" that can have an effect on the trade-offs involved in foreign policy. (via) [more inside]
posted by charred husk on Mar 19, 2010 - 12 comments

Planet War

From the bloody civil wars in Africa to the rag-tag insurgencies in Southeast Asia, 33 conflicts are raging around the world today, and it’s often innocent civilians who suffer the most. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Feb 23, 2010 - 14 comments

Take Me Back to Constantinople by Edward Luttwak

Economic crisis, mounting national debt, excessive foreign commitments -- this is no way to run an empire. America needs serious strategic counseling. And fast. It has never been Rome, and to adopt its strategies no -- its ruthless expansion of empire, domination of foreign peoples, and bone-crushing brand of total war -- would only hasten America's decline. Better instead to look to the empire's eastern incarnation: Byzantium, which outlasted its Roman predecessor by eight centuries. It is the lessons of Byzantine grand strategy that America must rediscover today.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 25, 2010 - 38 comments

Are nuclear weapons safe in Pakistan?

Defending the Arsenal: In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?
posted by homunculus on Nov 10, 2009 - 21 comments

When keeping it real(ist) goes wrong

Back when he was younger, Jay-Z was a merciless, ruthless killer in the "beefs" which define hip hop politics. [...] As Jay-Z got older and more powerful, the marginal benefits of such battles declined and the costs increased even as the number of would-be rivals escalated. Just as the U.S. attracts resentment and rhetorical anti-Americanism simply by virtue of being on top, so did Jay-Z attract a disproportionate number of attackers.
Marc Lynch compares international relations to rap feuds, with Jay-Z as the hegemon and up-and-comer The Game as the "insurgent." [more inside]
posted by aheckler on Jul 22, 2009 - 16 comments

The Axis of Upheaval

The Axis of Upheaval: A special report on the coming age of instability.
posted by homunculus on Feb 21, 2009 - 61 comments

Pakistan's Jihadi Problem Worsens

Pakistan in Peril. "The relative calm in Iraq in recent months, combined with the drama of the US elections, has managed to distract attention from the catastrophe that is rapidly overwhelming Western interests in the part of the world that always should have been the focus of America's response to September 11: the al-Qaeda and Taliban heartlands on either side of the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jan 21, 2009 - 30 comments

Britain's torture of Obama's grandfather

The Mau Mau rebellion against British rule in Kenya lasted from 1952 to 1960. Although there were atrocities on both sides, there has been a movement in Kenya to claim compensation from the British government for their actions. Obama's grandfather took part in the uprising (some have labelled him an "insurgent") and was captured and brutally tortured by the British. [more inside]
posted by jonesor on Dec 3, 2008 - 21 comments

Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan

From Great Game to Grand Bargain. "The crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan is beyond the point where more troops will help. U.S. strategy must be to seek compromise with insurgents while addressing regional rivalries and insecurities." A new piece in Foreign Affairs by Barnett R. Rubin and Ahmed Rashid. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 28, 2008 - 35 comments

Leadership for the 21st Century

Leadership for the 21st Century Harvard Business School hosts moderator Charlie Rose in a roundtable discussion concerning the credit crisis, housing, American leadership and foreign affairs. Participants are the 2008 HBS Alumni Achievement Award recipients, including eBay (and McCain advisor) CEO Meg Whitman, GE CEO Jeff Immelt, Venture Capitalist extrordinaire John Doerr, Indian business juggernaut Anand G. Mahindra, and former World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn. This aired on PBS last night and it was some of the most honest, intelligent, and inspiring discussion I have heard in some time. While the only transcript I could find is a paid one here, this 100 minute video should be required viewing for anyone working in a fortune 500 company, or those interested in politics, environmentalism, technology, foreign policy or the election. [more inside]
posted by daHIFI on Oct 22, 2008 - 18 comments

The Stakes

The Stakes, 2008. Eight of the Washington Monthly's contributing editors "consider the looming challenges that America is likely to face—in the economy, education, the courts, and other areas—during an Obama or McCain presidency, and how, based on what we know about the two men, they are likely to handle them." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 14, 2008 - 25 comments

The Supreme Court and America’s international relations

When Judges Make Foreign Policy. "In a globalized, post-9/11 age, decisions made by the Supreme Court are increasingly shaping America's international relations. When the next justice is appointed, our place in the world may well hang in the balance."
posted by homunculus on Sep 29, 2008 - 11 comments

Oh sh*t.

Palin on Foreign Policy.
posted by phaedon on Sep 25, 2008 - 496 comments

Talibanistan

Right at the Edge. "The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost."
posted by homunculus on Sep 5, 2008 - 62 comments

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