Archive for the 'nuclear weapons' Category

Redrawing the Map of the Middle East

It’s hard to believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (or Iraq and Afganistan for that matter) seems minor now compared to the tinder box of India and Pakistan relations.  But, really it’s the same core issues playing out on a larger scale.   In a Machiavellian master stroke Lashkar-e-Taiba, the extremist group behind the Mumbai terrorist attacks, has further destabilized Pakistan and India and redrawn the map of the Middle East (Robert Kaplan points out in this morning’s NYT that the “Middle East” now stretches from Jerusalem to Myanmar).

In addition to the Kaplan piece, also check out 1) a recent Terry Gross interview with Ahmed Rashid on the rapidly deteriorating state of affairs in Pakistan and 2) a suggestion for a future Fight Club bout: Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present by Michael Oren.

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Is that a Giant Lance, or are you just glad to see me?

As Texas and Ohio decide who will be the Democratic nominee today, I think it is still pertinent to ask, “who’s most prepared to push the button at 3 in the morning?”  Using game theory and trying to bluff Moscow into thinking Nixon was a madman (wasn’t he?), Kissinger mobilized a squadron of 18 B-52s loaded to the gills with nuclear weapons, hurdling toward Moscow, to create leverage for negotatiations in Vietnam. 

In Wired, Jeremi Suri writes about this recent discovery of “Operation Giant Lance” (what better metaphor than a giant phallus?) in “The Nukes of October: Richard Nixon’s Secret Plan to Bring Peace to Vietnam

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