30 May 2009

Anvil to hammer: Sure ya know whatcha doin’?

One traditional safety valve for Pakistan, the eastern regions of Afghanistan, is likely to become less available as the US beefs up its military presence there. In theory, the hammer of US/NATO forces will strike the Taliban, forcing it back against the anvil of Pakistan’s own military presence.

The anvil now seems to be getting a bit worried.

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30 May 2009

What’s cooking in Baghdad?

In The Future of Iraq, Part II, Michael Totten has written up a series of interviews he conducted with American officers during his recent trip to Baghdad. “The Future of Iraq” doesn’t emerge as a clear picture. Depending on the officers he’s talking with, it’s a mixed bag of patient perserverance, some pretty grim limitations on the immediately-possible, pride in progress over the past couple of years, and optimism with a heavy dose of realism.

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28 May 2009

Does change in Obama itinerary pressage shift in MidEast approach?

The announcement that President Obama will first travel to Riyadh before his speech in Cairo has, according to Mark Lynch, set the Arab media abuzzing.

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28 May 2009

Robert Gates – Bureaucrat Unbound

“What are they going to do? Fire me?” — With that, a canny old bureaucrat who’s been at the game for 30 years, lets the DOD, the services and Congress know he’s come to get things done. Having found a surprising level of comfort with his new boss, will he stick around for longer than he’d planned?

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24 May 2009

WaPo: US Pressure to Freeze Settlements “Complicated” by Bush “Secret Agreement”

Goodness, gracious me! Glenn Kessler and Howard Schneider just posted a doozy on the WaPo site, which will put the cat among the pigeons! And why am I not surprised to find the fingerprints of our dear old friend and pardoned Iran-Contra criminal, Eliot Abrams, on this one.

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23 May 2009

WaPo: US pressure to freeze settlements “complicated” by Bush “secret agreement”

Goodness, gracious me! Glenn Kessler and Howard Schneider just posted a doozy on the WaPo site, which will put the cat among the pigeons! And why am I not surprised to find the fingerprints of our dear old friend and pardoned Iran-Contra criminal, Eliot Abrams, on this one.

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