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Archive for the 'Intelligence' Category

From Sovietology to Jihadology?

From Walter Laqueur David Engerman is the author of a new study of American Sovietology during the Cold War and its impact on U.S. policy. In a recent article in Foreign Affairs he expresses his belief that the model of Sovietology should guide the study of today’s threats, specifically Jihadism. It is true that the [...]

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Pop quiz!

From MESH Admin Some of the many interactive geography quizzes on the web ask visitors to identify the countries and capitals of the Middle East. We assume MESH readers have no problem there, so we’ve collected links to more challenging quizzes. There’s no end to learning.

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From Andrew Exum Be sure to read the speech given on Monday by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to the Association of American Universities in Washington. Since 9/11, the U.S. and its allies have been involved in two prolonged counter-insurgency campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan. These wars are low-tech conflicts in which anthropological skills [...]

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MESH invites selected authors to offer original first-person statements on their new books—why and how they wrote them, and what impact they hope and expect to achieve. Ofira Seliktar is a professor of political science at Gratz College and adjunct professor at Temple University, specializing in predictive failures in intelligence. Her new book is The [...]

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NIE redux

From Mark T. Clark The November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear program set off a storm of controversy and criticism. I critiqued only one part of it in an earlier post. I believed then, as I believe now, that the report was flawed intellectually as it relied an academic assumption that the [...]

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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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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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