Evan N. Resnick, Courtesy of Eurasia Review … at http://www.eurasiareview.com/22062016-hillary-clintons-foreign-policy-paradox-analysis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eurasiareview%2FVsnE+%28Eurasia+Review%29, where the title runs thus: “Hilary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Dilemmas”
DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, Wikipedia Commons.
Paradoxically, although US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is relying on her extensive foreign policy experience to bolster her electoral appeal, her actual track record as a foreign policy decision maker is worrisome. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama waded into the rough and tumble 2016 US presidential contest by endorsing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. In his videotaped announcement, Obama declared: “I don’t think there has ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.” Continue reading
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Anoja Wijeyesekera, in The Sunday Island, 8 May 2016, where the title is “Jalalabad”
Excerpted here is a chapter from Anoja Wijeyesekera’ recent book, Facing the Taliban, providing a fascinating account of the writer braving the challenge of heading the UNICEF office in Jalalabad during the height of Taliban terror. Anoja who retired from UNICEF in 2006, having been the agency’s Country Representative in Bhutan for nearly five years, was picked to be assigned to Jalalabad by the agency which believed that in the face of a woman anathematizing regime, an international woman officer was needed to ensure that its program for Afghani mothers and children actually reached them. The chapter reproduced here with permission from the author, deals with her move to Jalalabad.
As we neared Jalalabad, I could see canopies of delicate fir trees on both sides of the road. These trees formed an exquisite natural archway that extended mile after mile. In the good old days before tragedy struck this country, this was the grand entrance to Jalalabad, the winter capital of Afghanistan. The climate of Jalalabad being milder than that of Kabul, the rich retreated to their winter villas there to get away from the freezing temperatures of the capital city. During the golden era of King Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan, Kabul, the administrative and. commercial capital that was modelled on Paris, was known as the “Paris of Asia”. It attracted many visitors from neighbouring countries and was a favourite stop-over for those who undertook the road journey from Europe to India. Continue reading
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Q and A reprinted courtesy of Berghahn Press … at … http://ht.ly/VIYQM … This post is the transcript of an electronic interview between D. S. Farrer and Michael Roberts. Farrer is the special issue editor for Social Analysis Volume 58, Issue 1, and Roberts is the author of the article “Encompassing Empowerment in Ritual, War, and Assassination: Tantric Principles in Tamil Tiger Instrumentalities” appearing in that issue. Below, Roberts answers a series of questions related to her article in Social Analysis.
This is the seventh in a series of interviews with contributors to this volume. Find the previous contributions on our blog.
Doug Farrer in action Continue reading
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Silat training–Pic from www.greatnewplaces.com
What drew you to the study of War Magic & Warrior Religion? Initially I was drawn to the study of war magic through my doctoral research into a Sufi warrior cult, where the Malay martial art (silat) was employed as a means to attract and secure local and international followers and converts. A wise informant, Dato Penggawa Tua Zaharah Mokhtar, recommended that I start with Winstedt  (1993), Shaw (1976), and Skeat’s  (1993) books on Malay magic to begin my research on silat. At the time I was lecturing on Weber at the National University of Singapore, so the chiasmus between warrior religion and war magic came naturally: of course, the connection also appears in Deleuze and Guattari’s  (2004) Treatise on Nomadology—The War Machine, among other sources. Continue reading
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Varun Ghosh reviewing David Kilcullen: Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State, Black Inc, 2015 (?), 128pp, $22.99 … in The Weekend Australian, 6/7 June 2015, with the title “Snapping the terror tentacles.”
A battle-weary West must summon the political will to defeat Islamic State and continue the fight against global terrorism. That is the central message of David Kilcullen’s expansive and ambitious Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State. Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer, develops his thesis by weaving together two distinct but related accounts: an analysis of the policy failures in Iraq that led to the rise of Islamic State and a broader evaluation of the global war on terrorism.
Kilcullen, in addition to his considerable experience as a counter-terrorism strategist and former adviser to US general David Petraeus and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, is a deft storyteller. The artful combination of his professional experience, insightful analysis and strategic recommendations makes for enthralling reading.
The story of Islamic State begins in Iraq. Kilcullen is a severe critic of the decision to open a second front in the war on terrorism by invading Iraq before the conflict in Afghanistan and complex situation in Pakistan were resolved. By 2006, Iraq was mired in a sectarian civil war, led there by the “mindless obstinacy” of US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who “insisted on leaving the absolute minimum force in Iraq” following the defeat of Saddam Hussein. Ambassador Paul Bremer’s “disastrous de-Ba’athification edict and the disbanding of the Iraqi army” only compounded the folly. (Later, one US officer wrote to Kilcullen, “Note to self: consider renaming Camp Victory.”) Continue reading
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