In the week in which America opened the door for negotiations with the Taliban, three bloody massacres of school children -- shot down simply because they wanted to go to school -- raise grave questions about what kind of peace the Taliban offer.
from David Rohde:
Rear Admiral Gregory Smith (L), director of the Multi-National Force – Iraq's Communications Division, and Denise Herbol, deputy director of USAID – Iraq, in Baghdad January 13, 2008. REUTERS/Wathiq Khuzaie/Pool
from The Great Debate:
The Pentagon’s biggest, most high-tech spy drone aircraft — one of the hottest items on the international arms market — is the key to a burgeoning robotic alliance among the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia.
from The Human Impact:
India is increasingly seen as an important player when it comes to supporting nations hit by disasters or conflict, as well as for development, but given its size and influence, is it really doing enough to help resolve global crises?
from Photographers' Blog:
Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia
By Kevin Lamarque
From a distance, the graves at Arlington National Cemetery are all seemingly uniform, precise rows of white headstones as far as the eye can see. However, a visit to Section 60, burial site of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, shows how fresh the wounds of these wars are. Many of these graves are adorned with photos, trinkets, stones, messages, keepsakes and other mementos placed atop or around the headstone. These items help form a bond to the deceased, a reminder that they are sorely missed and will never be forgotten. For each headstone in Section 60, there is the painful story of a life that ended far too soon. It is also the story of those left behind who must bear this insufferable loss. These headstones help tell a small part of this story, a story of profound sadness.
If President Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor John Brennan is confirmed as director of the CIA on Thursday, he will take the role of the lead authority for CIA drone strikes, institutionalizing a program that has killed an unknown number of suspected militants and civilians since 2004. Although his confirmation is expected to help preserve the drone program while glossing over concerns about its transparency and effectiveness so far, his appointment leaves a bigger question about the CIA's future role.
from Thinking Global:
Munich – For America’s friends and allies, who will welcome Vice President Joe Biden to the annual Munich Security Conference this weekend, President Obama’s second inaugural address was notable for its single-minded focus on U.S. domestic issues even as global challenges proliferate. It was the clearest sign yet that Obama intends to build his historic legacy at home.