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Archive for December, 2007

Charlie Wilson’s War: fairy tale comedy

From a member (A MESH member who prefers to remain anonymous submits the following comment on the film Charlie Wilson’s War.) This is a movie made by a highly sophisticated political and artistic mind, someone—the director—who knows all the arguments and charges and nuances of what this important episode has come to mean to various [...]

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Bhutto’s murder: prelude to…

From Martin Kramer An editorial in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, entitled “Target: Pakistan,” mourned Benazir Bhutto, whom it described as “the highest profile scalp the jihadists can claim since their assassination of Egypt’s Anwar Sadat in 1981.” The editorial then offered this analysis: With the jihadists losing in Iraq and having a hard [...]

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Pakistan’s military tested

From Stephen Peter Rosen The possibility that widespread social unrest in Pakistan might have implications for the security of Pakistani nuclear weapons has always been discounted by those who point, correctly, to the highly professional character of the Pakistani Army. In a set of interviews released late this fall, General Musharraf tried to reassure Americans [...]

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Who has the oil?

From MESH Admin What is the most effective way to represent the strategic significance of the Persian Gulf? One alternative is to emphasize its dominance of world oil reserves and exports, via a graph or map. Here are three approaches—the first one, conventional; the other two, innovative and even dramatic.

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Anarchism and Al Qaeda

From Walter Laqueur In a recent address, UCLA historian James Gelvin compares Al Qaeda with historical anarchism (1880-1920) and, like some other recent writers, finds great significance in their common features. Such exercises are seldom wholly in vain, but how helpful are they for a better understanding of at least one of the sides in [...]

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Fundamental flaw in the NIE

From Mark T. Clark The controversial National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear program raises more questions than it answers. Critics—and criticisms—are aplenty. These have focused on three levels: tactical (the kind of intelligence we have), strategic (understanding Iran’s intentions) and political (the fallout on U.S. and international policies in curbing Iranian nuclear ambitions). Given [...]

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Learning from Hezbollah

From Andrew Exum A few weeks ago, I stood in front of a roomful of U.S. Marine Corps officers at Quantico and spoke at length about Hezbollah, the Shia militant group whose military successes against Israel have alternately inspired the Arab public and frightened the ruling Sunni regimes of the Arab world. The Marine Corps [...]

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