Friday, July 17, 2009

What we're reading #2

Coming into the weekend, I always imagine that it'll be an opportunity for me to get caught up in all the reading I've yet to make a dent in, just carting it to and from work in a manila folder all week. Rarely works out that way, but here's hoping!


Of course there's a lot Afghanistan stuff out there lately...

And one I've just finished reading, on which there will certainly be some commentary later: the Aerospace Industries' Association's threat piece "The Unseen Cost: Industrial base consequences of defense strategy choices." If you like to see the defense industry making dire predictions and pressuring defense planners to build strategy around profit-based procurement considerations, you'll love this one!

Gunslinger: I'm going native this weekend, thanks to a few documents sent my way by our good friend SNLII. I'm embarrassed to say I've never read anything from the insurgent's side, outside of readings on the American Revolution.

I promise not to be reciting Mao and Marx or wearing dishdashas by Monday. I do intend, though, to drink my share of Irish-made beverages before the weekend is over.

Finishing Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness will be the first thing I do this weekend (I am trying to catch up on my classics).

Another small book is already in my weekend bag: Olivier Roy’s Généalogie de l’islamisme, which was unfortunately not translated into English (but L’Islam mondialisé was).

Stacked between the toothpaste and the cell phone charger are Biddle’s article, of course, as well as print-outs of a very interesting debate in the Boston Review where a bunch of extremely smart people (Mike McGovern, Larry Diamond, and William Easterly, to name but a few) respond to Paul Collier’s proposals for the “Bottom Billion”—including his rather controversial suggestion that international military force should be used to restore constitutional legality in the case of a coup.

If anyone is looking for me, I will be there. Have a great weekend everyone.


I just got back from a very long week of interviewing people in New York for a work project so I'm pretty exhausted (it looks like Alma's taking some time to enjoy NYC this weekend, something I didn't get to do much of this time).

Anyway, I'm still working on Prunier's Africa's World War--it's something like 400 pages long so it's going to take a while.

The UNDPKO just put out its newest report on peacekeeping titled "A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping."

And then and I think I'm going to have to bandwagon and read some of the stuff my co-conspirators are reading because it looks interesting.


  1. Thanks for the links.

    The subtitle for the Bergen article is interesting...."Why Afghanistan is not Obama's Vietnam." Huh.

    (A minor blog comment point - how come you can't copy and paste into this space?)

    So, is all this arguing back and forth really over how long to give the Obama administration in Afghanistan? I think they have only a year or so. If the economy continues to stagnate, no one will be in the mood to pay for expensive campaigns abroad. I could be wrong about that, it's not like I'm not wrong about a lot of things.

    Sorry, I hope that wasn't too political, but I don't see how it is not part of the discussion.

  2. Alma--you're going to an Agnes B sponsored thing? Very cool...have fun!


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