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  1. Replies
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    Bill - agreed with all your main points. They've...

    Bill - agreed with all your main points. They've showed they can defeat their adversaries, and that's what counts. Short of the fall of Baghdad, a MEU or a US armored division is not coming over the...
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    Yemen isn't in Africa. I doubt many African...

    Yemen isn't in Africa. I doubt many African countries where China has an interest care about Yemen.

    Here is an interesting article about Africa's relative non-importance in Chinese foreign policy...
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    After watching the propaganda video in question,...

    After watching the propaganda video in question, I'm not sure what the experts are seeing that I'm not (the video is accessible through a link in the story itself).

    All you really see is a couple...
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    I think the cartels would win this fight pretty...

    I think the cartels would win this fight pretty handily.

    Perhaps ISIS is just looking to diversify its supply from the Beka'a?
    ...
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    The Chinese already landed in Aden to take off...

    The Chinese already landed in Aden to take off their nationals. I wouldn't imagine this would be much more than an antipiracy mission, as listed - what exists in Yemen that China would be interested...
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    Joel - thank you for that very interesting...

    Joel - thank you for that very interesting interview.

    The PMU groups look strong now, just as ISIS once did, but the question remains as to how militarily effective they can be and if they have...
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    I think the question of motivation works here...

    I think the question of motivation works here more so than the question of liberal democracy. The British were certainly not liberal democrats in the Empire, and Arabs and Jews were subjects, not...
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    I remain constantly surprised that this is an...

    I remain constantly surprised that this is an issue. Does terrorism work? It depends. Despite Begin's assertions, the Irgun's urban terrorism against Arab civilians and the British authorities wasn't...
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    I'd hesitate to call Ollivant's analysis...

    I'd hesitate to call Ollivant's analysis "optimistic". He foresees utter Sunni defeat and disenfranchisement, and decades of terrorist attacks to come from that.

    The only problem with this...
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    A very interesting article. Best read in...

    A very interesting article.

    Best read in counterpoint with this article by JM Berger:

    Enough about Islam: Why religion is not the most useful way to understand ISIS

    Argues that ISIS is more...
  11. Replies
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    The End of Gangs -

    Interesting article from Pacific Magazine:

    http://www.psmag.com/navigation/politics-and-law/the-end-of-gangs-los-angeles-southern-california-epidemic-crime-95498/



    The article credits the...
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    Been meaning to get to this one, but haven't yet....

    Been meaning to get to this one, but haven't yet. The reviews look promising:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-White-War-Italian-1915-1919/dp/0465020372
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    Very interesting story on how Jabhat al-Nusra has...

    Very interesting story on how Jabhat al-Nusra has gained control of the oil wells in the north, thus gaining an additional stream of revenue that will allow it to become self-sustaining:
    ...
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    Carl - +1 on your review of the book and general...

    Carl - +1 on your review of the book and general conclusions.

    I would disagree about the idea that Nationalist China did not have supply or sanctuary. For me the dominant feature of Japan's war...
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    Good to see that the crazed conspiracy-theorizing...

    Good to see that the crazed conspiracy-theorizing has even reached SWJ. Awesome.

    So many have idolized Petraeus for so long that the idea that he just might have screwed up badly and gotten...
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    States could be test cases for marijuana...

    States could be test cases for marijuana legalization



    Apparently marijuana legalization is on the ballot in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, and leads in Washington.
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    Some additional data from Tom Ricks' blog: ...

    Some additional data from Tom Ricks' blog:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_documents/RiflePlatoon.pdf

    Rifle Platoon Basic Load OEF XII
    1st PLT, Alpha Co., 2/504 PIR

    Some...
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    So ... do you think torture exists at all? Or...

    So ... do you think torture exists at all? Or just that the United States cannot be guilty of it? Or that we are guilty of it all the time, since we incarcerate people, and we should just go ahead...
  19. Some additional data on "green-on-green" attacks,...

    Some additional data on "green-on-green" attacks, that is insider attacks within the Afghan Army and police:

    Afghan troops killing colleagues in greater numbers
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    China offers support to Mali military in fight...

    China offers support to Mali military in fight against Islamists



    A decided lack of specifics, but interesting nonetheless. One wonders what is so valuable in Mali to trigger said assistance?
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    I fully agree, and I think that this is a...

    I fully agree, and I think that this is a relatively good sign, though obviously follow-through is necessary. Hopefully the Libyan government can mobilize this into real support for a genuine...
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    Were any Americans killed?

    Were any Americans killed?
  23. Replies
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    From Nir Rosen, LRB - Among the Alawites...

    From Nir Rosen, LRB - Among the Alawites



    The war has broken down into true civil war now, and one gets the feeling that there is no way this ends. Even if Bashar stepped down and the army...
  24. Maybe it's not a purely cultural clash at all: ...

    Maybe it's not a purely cultural clash at all:

    Afgan security forces worry about fratricidal brothers-in-arms
  25. I imagine this might have something to do with...

    I imagine this might have something to do with it:



    It's tough to imagine any army growing that fast without loosening vetting standards or adopting a simple "push 'em out" style of training....
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