Archive for October, 2010

  Politics & Culture News Today – 10/21/10

Posted by Chris van Avery on 21Oct10.

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ back in force after appeals court issues stay
An appeals court decides that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ can temporarily remain in effect as legal proceedings continue. The Obama administration is appealing a ruling last week that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ must be abandoned immediately.

President Bill Clinton Lost Nuclear Codes While in Office, New Book Claims
Former Chairman of Joint Chiefs Says Nuclear ‘Biscuit’ Went Missing for Months.

  Security News Today – 10/21/10

Posted by Chris van Avery on 21Oct10.

Understanding Asia-Pacific Sea Power
In this first in a series on the region’s navies, The Diplomat looks at how to measure naval power—including the US and China’s.

Germany To Raise Alarm Over China Rare Earths Restrictions at G-20
Stung by Chinese muscle-flexing over minerals crucial for high-technology industries, the German government said Thursday that it would raise the alarm at the Group of 20 talks, even as it looks to step up efforts to develop new supplies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

What happened to China’s ‘peaceful rise’?
How can we make sense of a People’s Republic of China that is supposed to be, in the words of Deng Xiaoping, “biding its time and hiding its capabilities,” but in fact is picking fights with most of its neighbors, including the United States?

Checking China’s Territorial Moves
How should Washington react to increasing signs of Chinese assertiveness in its neighborhood? Four CFR experts counsel firmness and engagement with China, and intensified ties between the United States and its allies.

North Korea ‘Planning New Nuclear Test’
North Korea may be planning a new nuclear test as Kim Jong Il prepares to hand over power to his youngest son. Images gathered from US satellites indicate that work is under way at the same site where Pyongyang carried out its first two atomic tests, in 2006 and 2009.

Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Strategy of “Encircling” India
Recent developments in three of India’s neighbors have demonstrated the expanding regional presence, reach and influence of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) organization. Going well beyond its Kashmir roots, reports suggest the movement is now establishing a presence in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

India Needs Fresh Thinking at UN
India’s election last week to a two-year stint as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council gives this country a new opportunity (and new ways) to demonstrate its importance on the world stage.

Turkey Maintains Reservations About US Missile Defense
Turkey’s position on US efforts to create a ballistic missile defense (BMD) system in Europe has emerged as another source of tension in US-Turkish relations.

Can Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Maintain its Operational Capability in a Sanctions Regime?
The lasting impact of the latest round of sanctions slapped on Iran in June by the United Nations Security Council followed by an additional and more stringent unilateral sanctions regime levied by the United States – the chief proponent of sanctions – and the European Union (EU) over its uranium-enrichment program is unclear.

Chris van Avery is an Asia-Pacific FAO and Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and blogs on a variety of topics at The Yankee Sage .

  Politics & Culture News Today – 10/20/10

Posted by Chris van Avery on 20Oct10.

Housing starts highest since May, but still in multi-year slump
Housing starts have reached a five-month high, but given how far they’ve fallen, that’s not saying much. Housing starts have hovered near the same level for two years with no signs of rebound.

Merkel says German multicultural society has failed
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel: “lmmigrants should learn to speak German.” Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have “utterly failed”, Chancellor Angela Merkel says.

America’s Founders and the Principles of Foreign Policy
America’s Founders sought to define a national good that transcended local interests and prejudices. The national good included the common benefits of self-defense and prosperity that all Americans would realize by participating in a large, commercial nation able to hold its own in an often hostile world.

Defending Defense: U.S. Military Spending Requirements
Since the end of the Cold War, administrations of both political parties have underfunded the military, first harvesting a “peace dividend” by reducing the size of the force and then repeatedly postponing investments needed to replace worn out equipment and preserve the technological advantages that have been a traditional source of American strength

  Security News Today – 10/20/10

Posted by Chris van Avery on 20Oct10.

China policy fight
With President Obama set for a major trip to Asia next month and the Obama administration nearing the halfway point of its first term, U.S. officials tell Inside the Ring that a heated policy debate is under way over how to deal with China.

If Pakistanis Thought Like Americans
With the U.S.-Pakistani strategic dialogue resuming in Washington today, the relationship could hardly be worse. The trust deficit, already vast, has been stressed to the breaking point by NATO incursions into Pakistan and the subsequent ten-day closure of the major land supply route from Karachi to Afghanistan in retaliation. But there is a grimmer prospect.

And the winner is … Muqtada
Iraq’s next government will likely be Iran-friendly and Shi’ite-friendly, headed by incumbent Nuri al-Maliki, but crucially with the support of Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. At the same time, although Iraq has the third-largest proven oil reserves in the world, it will be exploited by Chinese, Russian and Asian companies, not US Big Oil – the final nail in the coffin of the neo- conservative fantasy of a Greater Middle East as an American lake.

Turkey Objects To Nato Missile Shield Targeting Iran
Turkey has imposed hurdles to Nato’s planned anti-ballistic missile shield in Europe by demanding proof that the system would not exclusively target Iran. The development raised further concerns that Turkish foreign policy was tilting outside the sphere of the Western alliance towards alignment with its eastern neighbour.

Tamil Tigers Trying To Regroup
TAMIL rebel leaders based in the United States and Norway are trying to revive their defeated separatist movement, Sri Lanka’s prime minister told parliament on Tuesday.

Trans-Atlantic Austerity: Can NATO Remain Relevant Amid Defense Cuts?
When NATO leaders convene in Lisbon in November to adopt a new Strategic Concept, the alliance’s blueprint for the future, they will find that trans-Atlantic security has entered an age of austerity. Burdened by weakened economies, allied governments are cutting their defense budgets, some significantly. However, retrenchment and reduced ambitions are not NATO’s only options.

Chris van Avery is an Asia-Pacific FAO and Military Professor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and blogs on a variety of topics at The Yankee Sage .

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