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Recommended Reading and Viewing

Top Billing! SWJ Blog  Warlord’s Writing Tips 

The Warlord is Colonel John Collins, who has over a half century of national service as a military officer and analyst and now is the proprietor of the national security listserv, The Warlord Loop. His tips fit in well with my review of Do the Work.

Research Techniques

*Peruse a broad spectrum of opinion with an open mind. Never reach conclusions first, then prepare a paper to support them. You will often find that initial impressions were poorly founded.

*Take nothing for granted. Challenge conventional wisdom to see if it is sound, regardless of the source.

*Document important ideas with footnotes, so readers can pursue selected topics in greater depth, if they so desire

Dave Schuler – Deluged With Budgets, Overwhelmed With Questions

…There’s the Ryan plan, the “People’s Budget” produced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the “Gang of Six” plan produced by Democratic and Republican senators, and now President Obama’s plan. Paul Krugman characterizes them aptly in his column:

For the contrast between Mr. Ryan last week and Mr. Obama on Wednesday wasn’t just about visions of society. There was also a difference in visions of how the world works.

Indeed there were and I found them visions that varied from mistaken to delusional to demagogic. But it likely explains why the 2011 budget was so late: there are conflicting and irreconcilable visions of how the world works and all parties finally came together on the single point they could agree on (getting re-elected).

Dave, with trademark evenhandedness, gives each plan a fisking and finds them all wanting.

Pundita –Do Sarkozy’s actions toward Libya relate to the day the world changed? Pundita turns to the spirit world for an answer.

….Understand that Washington had wanted Germany to pick up a big share of the tab for funding the Nabucco nightmare, which, when Wikipedia last checked, still hasn’t found funding.2. U.S. and British machinations in Ukraine, which egged on Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko to escalate his cold war with Putin. This included holding Europeans who were dependent on Russia natual gas hostage to the prospect of freezing in the winter, and which threatened to crash a good chunk of the EU economy. And which by 2008 also had something to do with a cold war between the Kremlin and the British foreign office over a joint oil deal involving British Petroleum — er, “BP.”3. The very same war in Georgia that Herr Schockenhoff delicately alluded to. You remember that war, right? The one where presidents Bush and Putin had to learn while sitting next to each other at China’s Olympics that Georgia’s president — the necktie-chewing Mikheil Sakaashvili, installed as Georgia’s President in a U.S.-orchestrated putsch (“The Rose Revolution”) — was trying to start World War Three?Yeah. That war.There are surely additional reasons not specifically related to the United States — the economic crisis for one, which brought home to Germans that they couldn’t continue bankrolling the expansion of the European Union at the rate they’d done in the past.

And there was simply the fact that a shaking out in alliances was inevitable when it became clear to West Europeans that continuing with the policy of using former Soviet republics to create an ever-expanding front against Russia was threatening to create the very instability on the Continent that had driven European fear of Russian hegemony. The Georgia war was the starkest demonstration that there had to be a realignment of priorities for Europe, even if this caused a major rift with the United States

Every nation has historic policies that are cherished and repeatedly get dusted off. The Russo-German partnership goes back to Bismarck….unless we want to count the brief period of Tsar Peter II’s Germanomaniac worship of Frederick the Great

BLOGFRIENDS UNITE! The eponymous Adam Elkus and Great Satan’s Girlfriend, Courtney Messerschmidt, the gamine of COIN, have joined forces to seize control of Wings Over Iraq! Or….maybe….Starbuck just went on vacation or something.

Foreign Policy (Dr. James Joyner) – Back in the Saddle

Dr. Joyner offers a counterintuitive take on NATO and Libya

Ribbonfarm –Extroverts, Introverts, Aspies and Codies (hat tip to Nate Lauterbach)

Popular Science – Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves and Video: Railgun Blasts an Aerodynamic Round Seven Kilometers Through A Steel Plate

Where earlier attempts have fired ungainly missiles that tumbled end-over-end through the air like “hypersonic bricks,” this one uses a sabot round, which flies straight and smoothly for a distance of seven kilometers, AFTER punching through a solid steel plate

WIRED Science-7 Science-Education Battlegrounds of 2011

Studies in Intelligence (Martin Peterson) –What I Learned in 40 Years of Doing Intelligence Analysis for US Foreign Policymakers

Excellent. Sherman Kent would approve.



“The Game of Thrones on HBO.

I read the George R.R. Martin series which is heavy on swords, political intrigue, war, sex and a 4GW-like collapse of a great and venerable feudal realm and lighter on sorcery. More like Machiavelli than Tolkien, at least in the earlier books ( the series is not finished). Looks quite good and true to the story, from the trailer and the preview. The first episode aired last night.

Game of Thrones Exclusive Preview

First 15 minutes of Game of Thrones, episode 1:

Game of Thrones Exclusive Preview

That’s it.

One Response to “Recommended Reading and Viewing”

  1. Curtis Gale Weeks Says:

    Game of Thrones.  I suppose I’ll have to wait approx 1 year from the first season’s conclusion to be able to watch it.  (No cable television.  I use internet television now, but HBO doesn’t release its programs for streaming or purchasing online until they appear on DvD/Blu-Ray.)  This sucks; or, judging the cup half-full, then this is very good because I has something to look forward to seeing.  I still haven’t read the latest book, although it’s been on the shelf well over a month already, so I might as well take it slow.

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