Month: April 2008

CISSM Report on Ungoverned Areas and Threats from Safe Havens

This report was found on the website of the Centre for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM), University of Maryland School of Public Policy:

Ungoverned Areas and Threats from Safe Havens

Final Report of the Ungoverned Areas Project

Prepared for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

by Robert D. Lamb

Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning

What Conrad Kn(o)(e)w(s) About Dostoyevsky, Kipling, and AQ

According to the New Yorker, anyway, and its reviewer, James Wood. Wood does something interesting in his review of two recent bits of fiction, Peter Carey’s His Illegal Self (Knopf) and Hari Kunzru’s My Revolutions (Dutton) – "both set in the radical underground of late-sixties and and early-seventies agitation," both featuring characters "who find themselves politically trapped" in the same kind of "sticky web of accident" that trumped the pornographer Verloc of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent.

What Kipling Kn(o)(e)w(s) About Dostoyevsky

And this one, too, in last week’s Economist. Discussing NATO’s role in Afghanistan, the newspaper notes "The old truth of counter-insurgency still holds: armies can win every battle, yet lose the will to fight an intractable war." Lord Ashdown, "the British politician and ex-commando who was nearly appointed as the United Nations’ envoy to Kabul," is cited for his entirely apropos reference to Kipling, (right, so that’s me, quoting the Economist’s anonymous correspondent, quoting Ashdown, quoting Kipling), who in his poem Arithmetic on the Frontier, "describ[ed] the British empire’s troubles fighting Afghan tribesmen armed with the jezail, a home-made musket: