America’s Challenging Cyber Defense Policy

October 15, 2012 by

In a speech on October 11 on Pentagon responses to evolving cyber threats, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed both the strengths and shortcomings of United States public policy on issues of national cyber defense. The forum for the speech was not necessarily the place where Panetta might have been expected to give a full exposition of policy, yet in his need to summarize complex issues for his audience of Business Executives for National Security, the secretary outlined a picture of where the United States is and where it is going.

Can You be a Religious Minority and European?

October 15, 2012 by

Developments in Europe over the last few years suggest that Europeans are less and less welcoming towards people from non-European cultures. Popular support of nationalist and xenophobic parties has increased dramatically, and even moderate politicians have started to condemn practices of religious and ethnic minorities (both old and new) in the name of Europe’s secular values. The recent German court ruling on the legality of ritual circumcisions and Marine Le Pen’s comments on wanting to ban the Jewish kippa and Islamic veil in the street in France, among others, have sparked debates about whether Europe can or should tolerate values from minority religions and cultures.

Taking a Bite out of Terror: Battling the Taliban’s Influence in Schools

October 15, 2012 by

When US Major Lee and Captain Gil entered Ganat Kahiyl High School in eastern Afghanistan recently, a local teacher slipped them a small note: “The Taliban have visited our school and forced their curriculum upon us. Can the government help?” This was not an empty threat. Insurgents burned down Sahakh High School in the same district a couple months earlier for teaching girls and the government’s curriculum. Taliban attacks on schools that defy insurgents are reported often, though difficult to confirm because of Taliban influence, say analysts.