War

What Do Top Legal Experts Say About the Syria Strikes? – Just Security

Stephen Pomper, former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, National Security Council: Thursday night’s missile strikes have the potential to be enormously consequential, not just for Syria and the other

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted, The Exception, War Tagged with:

Hassan Hassan: US strikes mark a new turn in Syria and beyond. Destination unknown – The Guardian

Russia has insisted that it opposes any offensive in Raqqa that does not go through Damascus and Moscow. Unlike previous US-led offensives against Isis, the regime positioned its troops near the front lines in Raqqa, as well as between Raqqa

Posted in International Relations, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness, War Tagged with:

Jeffrey Goldberg: The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P. – The Atlantic

Even before he became president, Obama worried greatly about slippery slopes in the Middle East. In Syria, he understood that Assad would most likely survive an American missile strike on his airbases; the day after such strikes ended, Assad, Obama

Posted in International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness, War Tagged with:

Nuke test films digitized in the nick of time – CNN.com

Over a period of about 20 years after the end of World War II, the US conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests. Each was captured by multiple cameras, rolling at around 2,400 frames per second.A handful of the estimated 10,000 mesmerizing

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Technology, War

Sharon Weinberger: How nuclear fears helped inspire creation of the internet – Aeon Essays

‘How much money do you need to get off the ground?’ Herzfeld asked. ‘A million dollars or so, just to get it organised,’ Taylor replied. ‘You’ve got it,’ Herzfeld replied. And that was it. The conversation to approve the money

Posted in Internet, Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, Technology, War

The neuroscience of interrogation (Why torture doesn’t work) – New Scientist

As O’Mara emphasises, torture does not produce reliable information largely because of the severity with which it impairs the ability to think. Extreme pain, cold, sleep deprivation and fear of torture itself all damage memory, mood and cognition. Torture does

Posted in Noted & Quoted, Torture

@JohnRobb: “Air dropped micro-UAV swarm maneuvering and encircling target…” – Twitter

“Air dropped micro-UAV swarm maneuvering and encircling target. Sound of swarm is eerie cool (2:20) https://t.co/J4nTYnVYbC” From: John Robb on Twitter: “Air dropped micro-UAV swarm maneuvering and encircling target. Sound of swarm is eerie cool (2:20) https://t.co/J4nTYnVYbC”

Posted in Noted & Quoted, War Tagged with:

@EyeStream_ : “Mysterious Dr Satan tries to conquer the world with a death-dealing robot…” – Twitter

From: EYE STREAM on Twitter: “https://t.co/xT3zPKtusm”

Posted in Noted & Quoted, War

David Sanger: U.S. Reacting at Analog Pace to a Rising Digital Risk, Hacking Report Shows – The New York Times

It was telling that within an hour of the release of the report on Friday, the secretary of homeland security, Jeh Johnson, declared for the first time that America’s election system — the underpinning of its democracy — would be

Posted in Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle, War

Leon Wieseltier: Aleppo’s fall is Obama’s failure – The Washington Post

If Obama wants credit for not getting us into another war, the credit is his. If he wants credit for not being guilty of “overreach,” the credit is his. If he wants credit for conceiving of every obstacle and impediment

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, War Tagged with:

Noted & Quoted

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And this programmer suggested a way to avoid user input all together:

Eventually, programmers on Reddit started making fully-functioning, interactive versions of the awful forms, like this and this and this. Someone even created one out of the classic game Snake. The meme hasn’t stopped for weeks now, and iterations of it seem to be growing more detailed and elaborate.

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Trump actually congratulated Erdogan on the outcome. Trump apparently thought it was a good thing that, despite all the flaws in the process, a bare majority of Turkey’s citizens voted to strengthen their populist leader. I don’t think any other post-Cold War president would have congratulated a democratic ally that held a flawed referendum leading to a less democratic outcome. This is not that far off from Trump congratulating Putin on a successful referendum result in Crimea if that event had been held in 2017 rather than 2014.

Public disquiet and behind-the-scenes pressure on key illiberal allies is an imperfect policy position. It is still a heck of a lot more consistent with America’s core interests than congratulating allies on moving in an illiberal direction. In congratulating Erdogan, Trump did the latter.

For all the talk about Trump’s moderation, for all the talk about an Axis of Adults, it’s time that American foreign policy-watchers craving normality acknowledge three brute facts:

  1. Donald Trump is the president of the United States;
  2. Trump has little comprehension of how foreign policy actually works;
  3. The few instincts that Trump applies to foreign policy are antithetical to American values.
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He sensed that the public wanted relief from the burdens of global leadership without losing the thrill of nationalist self-assertion. America could cut back its investment in world order with no whiff of retreat. It would still boss others around, even bend them to its will...

There was, to be sure, one other candidate in the 2016 field who also tried to have it both ways—more activism and more retrenchment at the same time. This was, oddly enough, Hillary Clinton... Yet merely to recall Clinton’s hybrid foreign-policy platform is to see how pallid it was next to Trump’s. While she quibbled about the TPP (which few seemed to believe she was really against), her opponent ferociously denounced all trade agreements—those still being negotiated, like the TPP, and those, like NAFTA and China’s WTO membership, that had long been on the books. “Disasters” one and all, he said. For anyone genuinely angry about globalization, it was hard to see Clinton as a stronger champion than Trump. She was at a similar disadvantage trying to compete with Trump on toughness. His anti-terrorism policy—keep Muslims out of the country and bomb isis back to the Stone Age—was wild talk, barely thought through. But for anyone who really cared about hurting America’s enemies, it gave Trump more credibility than Clinton’s vague, muddled talk of “safe zones” ever gave her.

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State of the Discussion

+ Wade, your last paragraph is crucial to your argument. Certainly it expresses economically the source of the weight of a country's foreign policy, and [. . .]
Jeffrey Goldberg: The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P. – The Atlantic
+ Not sure where you got the idea that I ever wrote “[President Trump] doesn’t know what he’s doing!!!!!!" - bob's idea for a possible rallying [. . .]
Jeffrey Goldberg: The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P. – The Atlantic
Wade McKenzie
Comments this threadCommenter Archive
+ The conversation that you and Bob were having at the time that I wrote my comment had everything to do with the recent missile strike [. . .]
Jeffrey Goldberg: The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P. – The Atlantic

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Postscript to future historians from Xmas 2016 (OAG #8)

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