ASP – What We Are Reading

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14 Dec 2011

The Uncertain Future of the Military-Industrial Complex

August Cole  / The American Security Project / The Atlantic 
The 1990s might not have been a decade of peace, but they were for big, U.S. defense firms. After decades of working for a Defense Department oriented toward the defeat of the Soviet Union, they struggled to adjust. During the 1980s the Pentagon had spent billions of dollars on developing and improving expensive hardware — tanks, submarines, fighter jets — but, in the post-Soviet ’90s, their appetite shrank.


How Business Can Make A Difference For Women In Conflict-Stricken Countries

Business is a common language that not only transcends cultures but can also break down the isolation of conflict-affected communities.  Stronger businesses and innovation are powerful drivers for a country’s peaceful future. 

The Pakistanis Have a Point

Bill Keller / New York Times 
Talk to Pakistani politicians, scholars, generals, businessmen, spies and journalists — as I did in October — and before long, you are beyond the realm of politics and diplomacy and into the realm of hurt feelings. Words like “ditch” and “jilt” and “betray” recur. With Americans, they complain, it’s never a commitment, it’s always a transaction. This theme is played to the hilt, for effect, but it is also heartfelt. 

Pakistan to impose Nato transit tax following ‘friendly fire’ troop deaths

Saeed Shah / The Guardian 
Pakistan is drawing up plans to tax Nato for using its territory to supply troops in Afghanistan, in retaliation for the recent death of its soldiers in a “friendly fire” incident on the border. 

Can the world live with a near-nuclear Iran?

Mohammed Ayoob / CNN 
I find the argument that Iran is engaged in developing a nuclear weapons program credible. I am also convinced that Iran will not test a device, but rather will acquire the capability to produce a weapon quickly if its strategic environment deteriorates to such an extent that it feels it must. 

As China Rises, A New U.S. Strategy

Zbigniew Brzezinski / Wall Street Journal 
A great power that allows itself to be preoccupied only with the problems of today is likely to end up mired in the conflicts of yesterday. A great power must be guided by a longer-range strategic vision. For the United States, the central challenge over the next several decades will be to revitalize itself while promoting a larger West and accommodating China’s rising global status.


A look at the $662 billion defense bill

A look at the $662 billion defense bill that would authorize funds for military personnel, weapons systems, national security programs in the Energy Department and the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan



On the ASP Flashpoint blog:


On Budgets and National Security
Just what exactly is the cost of national security? After spending the better portion of a week researching this very question, I’m hard-pressed to give an answer. Looking through countless tables of budgets, estimates, inflation calculations, congressional testimonies, fact sheets, and think tank assessments, I’m ready to declare anyone who claims to have an accurate…


Hearts and Minds: Al Qaida’s Visit to Somalia
Al-Qaeda’s recent appearance at the Ala-Yasir refugee camp in southern Somalia was certainly unexpected. While the camp is located in the large expanse of territory controlled by al-Shabaab, a militant group associated with al-Qaeda, this was not only the first time the organization had spoken publicly in Somalia, but that it had distributed aid in…


About the American Security Project: The American Security Project is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy and research organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security issues, promoting debate about the appropriate use of American power, and cultivating strategic responses to 21st century challenges.


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