Science Fiction Meets Political Science

Serendipity - again! Drezner's got a piece, "Where Are Khamenei's Proxies?". Responding to Marc Lynch and Ezra Klein on Iran, he writes "I was struck by Ezra Klein's shrewd point about how truly powerful actors rely on proxies to fight their more vicious battles for them." Good, good, good...

Even better, I just stumbled over the trailer for the comic-book adaptation of The Surrogates (or is that the movie adaptation of the comic book?). Wired's Underwire (Ed: gasp! you read a Wired blog OTHER than


Geoffrey Corn on Targeted Killing

The term "targeted killing" has become a political lightning rod lately, with new revelations of the development of a CIA antiterrorism assassination program, but the concept really shouldn't be so controversial. As a former U.S. Army judge advocate, my instinct is to assume that being as precise as possible when targeting an enemy opponent is generally a good thing. Nonetheless, debate persists over where such operations fall within the spectrum of international law. But in their inquiries into the legality of the strikes, critics may themselves be aiming at the wrong target.


Reading Counterinsurgency

I'm pretty happy about all the COIN discussion that's been going on at the lab over the last couple of weeks. While we're at it, here's a little something from Foreign Affairs: Eliot A. Cohen, the Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, has produced an annotated syllabus on fighting insurgencies. Cohen:


License To Kill

I can't say I'm even slightly surprised that while ex-VP Dick Cheney was doing end-runs around democratic oversight, the intelligence program he was protecting was something that was... actually... not... that... spectacular....

The plan, to form direct action units for assassinating senior Al Qaeda members, doesn't sound like anything more sinister than the consolidation of what's already been done and discussed

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