What we are reading

What we are reading

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AP sources: Taliban leader sent letter to Obama


Current and former U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar wrote to President Barack Obama last year indicating an interest in talks key to ending the war in Afghanistan.

Analysis: Politics drives exit from Afghanistan

DEB RIECHMANN / Associated Press

The Taliban are not beaten, the peace process is bogged down in internal squabbles and Afghan security forces aren’t ready to take control of the nation. Yet the U.S. and its partners are talking about speeding up – rather than slowing down – their exit from the war.

Lawmakers warn of outcry against Taliban transfer

Missy Ryan and Susan Cornwell /Reuters

U.S. lawmakers are steeling for a public battle against the possible transfer of Taliban detainees out of Guantanamo Bay prison, a key step in the Obama administration’s bid to broker a peace deal ending the war in Afghanistan.

ANALYSIS: How do you solve a problem like Iran?

Jim Ludes/ Pell Center

The confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program appears to be heading toward a crescendo—and that’s not the same as a resolution.

Still Britain rattles sabres. Nothing has been learned from Afghanistan

Simon Jenkis / The Guardian

As we ‘withdraw’ from Afghanistan across the Taliban’s golden bridge, we could be heading for catastrophe over Iran… The Afghan war, the longest in US history, is “scheduled to end” a year early, according to the Pentagon. Wars these days run to electoral timetables. The endgame is couched not as victory, let alone defeat, but as “expedited withdrawal”.

Blue Ribbon Commission: Disposing of our nuclear waste

Andrew Holland / The Hill

The commission released a list of 8 specific recommendations, ranging from working more closely with communities hostingnuclear waste to promptly initiating efforts to plan, site, and build both a permanent geologic disposal facility and a temporary central storage facility. The entire list provides a roadmap for how to constructively move forward on this issue. It is a balanced approach that deserves timely consideration from Congress and the administration.

Carrots, not sticks, for Iran

Joshua Foust /PBS 

Twenty years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed. In its wake was a small grouping of nuclear-armed countries possessing a huge stockpile of weaponry and delivery systems. These countries had few functioning institutions, serious money issues, and lots of uncertainty.

Work on track for world’s first fusion reactor

Snehlata Shrivastav/ The Times of India

India, one of the seven participating countries, is keeping pace with the development work assigned to it as part of the joint project to produce energy from fusion, using deuterium and tritium, the two hydrogen isotopes, as fuel at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), said project director of India-ITER Shishir Deshpande.

On the ASP Flashpoint blog:

Gold: Why Attacking Iran is not the Least Worst Option

Politics and news aside, when looking at possible attacks on Iran the consequences vastly outweigh the advantages.  Attacking Iran is definitely not, to use Matthew Kroening’s words, the least worst option, it is the worst option.

Dorsk: Nuclear strategy in the cyber age


Just as the United States and Soviet Union competed to have better nuclear weapons technology, the same is true today of security software and programming.  As this new field continues to rapidly expand, I think it is likely that a similar sort of arms buildup is occurring.  The threat of a cyber attack, which can be executed with no warning, at any time, from anywhere, can act mainly as a strong deterrent, much like nuclear submarines.

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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