The Best Defense

The indirect approach: much vaunted but maybe not as much fun as it looks

The Ink Spots (the COIN blog not the great band) have a good comment on a new NDU study about the pitfalls of American security assistance to Georgia. I confess I skimmed the NDU piece and didn't see much, but the Inksters make the good point that, although they think the article has some flaws, you should check it out "if you want some perspective on the way that a foreign and security policy based on support for client states rather than direct intervention can come back and bite you."

That's a good warning, with all the experts now concluding that direct intervention is just too damn expensive and time consuming and maybe not a good idea.

What else should I read about the issues of indirect approach? It seems to be the wave of the future so I might as well brace myself.

And speaking of the Ink Spots and 1943, farewell to Lena Horne.

US Army Africa

The Best Defense

Speak up about Iran

Roxana Saberi, the journalist jailed for 100 days last year by the government of Iran, calls on people to continue to pay attention to people executed by Iran for political activities: "If the international community fails to condemn such atrocities, Iran's regime will continue to trample on the basic rights of individuals, many of whom have been detained simply for peacefully standing up for universal human rights."

Speaking of human rights, I was struck yesterday by one of the responses to my Chinese vampire item that seemed to dismiss the situation as simply right wingers against the Chinese government. I am not a right winger, and I don't see human rights as an issue of right or left. I am for people having the right to speak out. This doesn't mean I am automatically for sanctions. I think sunlight is the best disinfectant.

And while we are in the neighborhood, someone kidnapped and killed a young Kurdish reporter recently in Irbil. Protestors blame the authorities. They wonder how a car with a dead body in it made it through 11 checkpoints to where the body was dumped in Mosul.

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