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January 30, 2009

NSN Daily Update 1/30/09
Posted by The National Security Network

Today we released our Memo to the Community: The Way Forward in Iraq, which you can find here.

What We’re Reading

Three Sunni candidates in Iraq’s provincial elections were assassinated today.  The elections face a particular test in MosulSecurity tightens for the vote.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walked out of a debate on Gaza with Israeli President Shimon Peres at Davos.

4.8 million Americans are on unemployment, a record high.  U.S. GDP fell 3.8% in the last quarter, however economists had predicted worseExxon Mobile posted record-high profits, for the year despite the decline of oil prices in the fall.

In France, hundreds of thousands of people protest President Nicolas Sarkozy’s economic policies.  British energy workers walk out.

North Korea canceled a nonaggression pact and all other peace agreements with South Korea.

The U.S. military reported a record-high number of suicides this year, for the second year in a row.  The military is also investigating two West Point suicides.  Electric shocks still occurred through 2008 at bases in Iraq.  The Army ordered a recall of defective body armor.

President Obama selected Lt. General Karl W. Eikenberry to be the ambassador to Afghanistan.

The U.S. removed Kashmir from envoy Richard C. Holbrooke’s portfolio, a victory for India.

A Guantanamo judge denied President Obama’s request for a trial delay.

The opposition party in Zimbabwe agreed to a power-sharing plan.

Commentary of the Day

Philip Stephens examines the tasks of President Obama’s special envoys.

P.W. Singer looks at emerging battlefield technology.

Iqbal Z. Quadir proposes that the U.S. should dedicate foreign aid to entrepreneurs instead of to bad governments.


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I listened to P.W. Singer talk about his book on NPR a couple weeks ago. Singer basically stated that the new robotic technology would make it easier for politicians to start wars since there would be no human casaulties. I,however, believe that taking out the human element may actually led to wars no longer being considered a romantic adventure. Before the start of the Second Iraq War, war was being glorified through the celebration of the greatest generation. Robert Kaplan, Stephen Ambrose, and Victor Davis Hanson all wrote about how war makes men better human beings since they would be sacrificing their lives for a greater purpose. Many politicians and pundits took their myths to heart and wanted a second war with Iraq because they believe that war actaully has some positive affects. But with technicians miles away operating aircraft and mini-tanks that kind of defuses the claims of both Hanson and Kaplan, that being on the frontlines actually makes men better and therefore war is good.

I listened to P.W. Singer talk about his book on NPR a couple weeks ago

I listened to P.W. Singer talk about his book on NPR a couple weeks ago

Singer basically stated that the new robotic technology would make it easier for politicians to start wars since there would be no human casaulties.

i like P.W.

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