Interesting reads

Two from Wes Clark: first, his article in the Washington Post's Outlook section on The Next War:
...the next war is always looming, and so is the urgent question of whether the U.S. military can adapt in time to win it.
Today, the most likely next conflict will be with Iran...
...But if it's clear how a war with Iran would start, it's far less clear how it would end.
...The next war could also come from somewhere unexpected; if you'd told most Americans in August 2001 that the United States would be invading Afghanistan within weeks, they'd have called you crazy.
...the lesson from Iraq and Afghanistan couldn't be more clear: Don't ever, ever go to war unless you can describe and create a more desirable end state. And doing so takes a whole lot more than just the use of force.
...The best war is the one that doesn't have to be fought, and the best military is the one capable and versatile enough to deter the next war in the first place.
Also, yesterday Clark officially endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. Clark's been close to the Clinton family since the Kosovo war, and I interpret his endorsement as a signal that he'd definitely be involved in a Clinton cabinet, or possibly as a running mate.


An article from Der Spiegel on climate refugees - Tuvalu may be the first country in the world to entirely disappear as a result of climate change.
"Is it supposed to become a virtual country?" asked Rainer Lagoni, Professor of Maritime Law at the University of Hamburg. There is no legal definition for a country entirely without land.
Climate intelligence would certainly be a priority for countries in the South Pacific...


Boston Globe - The Nonbelievers
In a world where zealots crash planes into buildings in the name of God and politicians use the Bible to craft public policy, Epstein sees himself as in the vanguard of an emerging movement fueled by the rise of skepticism, advances in science and technology, and a spreading aversion toward radical religious ideologies and traditions. He and other humanists, who also call themselves atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, secularists, or brights, point to a survey... which found that 20 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 say they have no religious affiliation or consider themselves atheists or agnostics – nearly double those who said that in a similar survey 20 years ago.

Vanity Fair - Going After Gore

A very interesting after-action report on the press coverage of the Gore campaign. It describes a cycle in which Gore received disproportionately unfavorable coverage, which caused him to restrict access to the press, which caused more unfavorable coverage, etc. Gore also dumbed down his message because he felt reporters were too stupid to understand what he was talking about (arguably true):
Gore: You're reduced to saying, 'Today, here's the message: reduce pollution,' and not necessarily by XYZ out of fear that it will be, well, 'Today he talked about belching cows!'"

The Economist - Does independence beckon?

Article on the prospects for official independence for Kurdistan. The way I see it, the status quo is great for Kurdistan, and any attempt to formalize what they have now would jeopardize everything.


Enterprise Management Resilience Blog - Explaining Development-in-a-Box

Steve DeAngelides explains in detail his company's conception of practical aid to developing regions.


subadei said...

"The way I see it, the status quo is great for Kurdistan, and any attempt to formalize what they have now would jeopardize everything."

Can I get an AMEN, brother! I agree completely. It's a decade+ old democracy that deserves much more attention than it gets.

Adrian said...

Soob - an interesting question is, if we focus more attention on Kurdistan, does Turkey get more anxious, thus upsetting the status quo?

subadei said...

Absolutely especially if we (and the Iraqi Kurds) continue to sidestep the PKK issue.

Chirol recently posted a question as to why President Bush continually failed to mention the success of Iraqi Kurdistan. I opined that Turkey was likely the cause for the same reason you cite.

I don't see an easy resolution to the PKK conundrum except perhaps time. A lot of the foreign investment in Kurdistan is of Turkish origin. Further, take a look at the region and it's not too far off to say Kurdistan and Turkey have a great deal in common socially. Two essentially Islamic states that maintain a secular and democratic rule (the Turk military dabbling earlier this year aside.)

If the Turks can be contained from crossing the border for a long enough period of time we might see a situation where the two are economically intertwined enough that a Turkish attack would hurt Turkey as much as it would Kurdistan.