The Ever-Shrinking Odds of Nuclear Terrorism

For over a decade now, one of the most oft-repeated threats raised by policymakers—the one that in many ways justified the invasion of Iraq—has been that of nuclear terrorism. Officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations, including the presidents themselves, have raised the specter of the atomic terrorist. But beyond mere rhetoric, how likely is a nuclear terrorist attack really? function dnnInit(){var . . .
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Targeted Killings: A Necessary Evil?

This post is a guest contribution from H.A. For professional reasons, the writer is using a pseudonym.

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As Americans, we celebrate the news that the man behind the attacks of September 11 has met his ultimate fate. But his death highlights some uncomfortable aspects of current U.S. policy. Among the more prominent issues is targeted killing, or assassination.

Since the congressional hearings of the 1970s that investigated abuses by the CIA and the broader national security community, assassination has been off-limits…sort of. In 1981, President Reagan signed Executive Order 12333, which states that “No person employed by . . .
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Osama and the dysfunctional U.S.-Pakistani relationship

Roughly 800 yards from the Pakistan Military Academy, the Pakistani equivalent of West Point, is where they finally found him. Thanks to a massive intelligence operation, members of the Navy SEALs’ elite Team 6 entered a mansion-cum-fortress in the middle of a suburb populated by retired military officers and killed Osama bin Laden. That the notorious terrorist leader was found in Pakistan hardly came as a surprise to anyone with a minimum knowledge of bin Laden and his terrorist network al Qaeda. Most thought he was in Quetta or Karachi, and certainly not a place like Abbottabad, but Pakistan . . .
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The Reading List: Cyberwar, American Exceptionalism and Libya, and Democratic Peace Theory

Keeping up with foreign policy news and international relations literature is a never-ending task. There is just too much good stuff being written. “The Reading List” is our semi-regular column featuring noteworthy articles and books we've read recently. Not everything on this list is new, but always worthy of your time.

Wow. It’s been over a month since last time. Apologies all around, though I guess the events in Egypt, Japan, and Libya are decent enough excuses for procrastination and distraction. We’ve also been keeping busy with other stuff, including write-ups and reviews of Robert D. Kaplan’s new book Monsoon . . .
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General Petraeus and the new optimism

While most of the world is focused on the tragedy unfolding in Japan, Washington today was all about Afghanistan. In front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, gave much-anticipated testimony on the progress of the war. Not too surprisingly, the general had good news:

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As a bottom line up front, it is ISAF’s assessment that the momentum achieved by the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2005 has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in a number of important areas. However, while the security . . .
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The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan: Crackdown (2005-2010)

Whatever happened to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan? The militant group bent on overthrowing President Islom Karimov’s regime in Uzbekistan came to prominence through some very public attacks in the late 1990s. Over a decade later, the group appears to be stuck in Pakistan’s tribal areas bearing little resemblance to the movement that once stirred up fear and prompted brutal government retaliation in Central Asia. In a four-part series Hegemonic Obsessions will explore the origins, evolution, and current state of the IMU. Part one covered the origins of the group, and part two covered the movement’s split in 2002 . . .
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The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan: Factions and resurgence (2002-2005)

Whatever happened to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan? The militant group bent on overthrowing President Islom Karimov’s regime in Uzbekistan came to prominence through some very public attacks in the late 1990s. Over a decade later, the group appears to be stuck in Pakistan’s tribal areas bearing little resemblance to the movement that once stirred up fear and prompted brutal government retaliation in Central Asia. In a four-part series Hegemonic Obsessions will explore the origins, evolution, and current state of the IMU. Part one covered the origins and rise of the group up to and including the U.S.-led invasion . . .
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The Reading List: Offense-defense, nuclear deterrence, and al Qaeda

Keeping up with foreign policy news and international relations literature is a never-ending task. There is just too much good stuff being written. “The Reading List” is our semi-regular column featuring noteworthy articles and books we've read recently. Not everything on this list is new, but always worthy of your time.

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Welcome to the inaugural edition of The Reading List! We've got mini-reviews of books, academic articles, and analyses. In addition to the ones below, be sure to check out our review of Dan Drezner's latest book International Relations Theory and ZOMBIES and write-up of C. . . .
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