July 15, 2012 by Conn M. Hallinan
“…it may be a surprise to find some moral philosophers, political scientists, and weapons specialists believe unmanned aircraft offer marked moral advantages over almost any other tool of warfare.”
– Scott Shane, national security reporter for the New York Times, “The Moral Defense For Drones,”
First, one should never be surprised to find that the NY Times can ferret out experts to say virtually anything. Didn’t they dig up those who told us all that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons? Second, whenever the newspaper uses the words “some,” that’s generally a tipoff the dice are loaded, in this case with a former Air Force officer (who teaches philosophy at the Naval Postgraduate School), a former CIA deputy chief of counterintelligence, and political scientist Avery Plaw, author of “Targeting Terrorists: A License To Kill?”
July 15, 2012 by Deepak Tripathi
Recent wars from Libya to Afghanistan and Pakistan in a region of vast natural wealth and strategic importance highlight a phenomenon as old as humanity. Iraq and Libya had oil, but their leaders were longtime foes of the United States, now the world’s lone hegemon. Saddam Hussein allied with the Soviet Union before its demise, so did Muammar Gaddafi. They both displayed stubbornness. They were ready to drop the American dollar as the oil currency before bigger players like China and India dared. Saddam and Gaddafi ruled with an iron hand state systems that were brittle. They were too independent for their own good.
Saudi Arabia and tiny Arab emirates such as Bahrain and Qatar, on the other hand, are punching above their weight. Wealthy and dictatorial, their rulers accommodate the hegemon’s interests. These rulers sell their oil and amass petrodollars which they spend in vast quantities on weapons and consumer goods from the industrialized world led by the hegemon. It is a far more agreeable relationship.
July 15, 2012 by John Kmiecik
In American foreign policy regarding the Middle East, a trend has developed into a paramount issue. The concern over what is the role of Islam in national governments.
The past decade spent in Iraq and Afghanistan has made this even more obvious. The rise in “Islamophobia” in America following September 11 has only reinforced this misconception. In the wake of the “Arab Spring” in 2011, there exists an opportunity for a watershed moment in working towards stability in the Middle East but the possibility of which is diminished by this tendency.