Critics of the drone campaign argue that attendant civilian casualties are stirring anti-American fervor and destabilizing the frail government in Islamabad. A plausible if not compelling argument, but one that time and events have made less compelling. As noted, the TTP’s attack into the Pakistani heartland turned public opinion. Militants warring along the frontier or in Afghanistan could be tolerated, but not when they drive toward major cities and threaten the way of life there.
Asia Times Online :: South Asia news, business and economy from India and Pakistan
Has the U.S. abandoned plans to target the Iranian regime’s access to banking and credit and to isolate Iranian air and shipping transport? While recent reports to that effect have been strenuously denied by the administration, it has become clear that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s promise of “crippling sanctions” and President Barack Obama’s “aggressive” penalties are little more than talk. The administration simply cannot persuade a critical mass of nations to join with it.
Danielle Pletka: Iran Sanctions Are Failing. What’s Next? – WSJ.com
Israel now considers the prospect of another war with the Hamas regime all but inevitable.
Officials said the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been briefed by the military on the renewed Hamas threat from the Gaza Strip. They said most of the Cabinet agreed that Israel must be prepared for a major operation in the Gaza Strip.
Israel ‘will not tolerate’ continuing Hamas buildup
Imagine a little pill bug, but it’s 2.5 feet long. So it’s a big bug. The picture is very interesting. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
A submarine exploring the ocean’s depths recently returned with an unexpected visitor: a crablike critter that has left many readers startled and horrified.
In a posting to social bookmarking site Reddit, a deep-sea technician detailed the finding, asking the site’s readers to help identify what exactly the bizarre looking creature was.
FOXNews.com – Terrifying Sea Critter Hauled from Ocean’s Depths
An official photograph of a B-52 bomber at Barksdale Air Base in Louisiana shows it with a formidable arsenal of nuclear weapons it can carry all at once — 14 air-launched cruise missiles, four B61-7 gravity bombs and two B83 gravity bombs.
But when it comes to the new arms control treaty to be signed next month by the United States and Russia, those 20 warheads count as just one.
Arms Control May Be Different Things on Paper and on the Ground – NYTimes.com
The Black Widows is what Russian journalists call female Islamist suicide bombers who have participated in more than 30 attacks that have killed about 900 people in Russia since July 2001, when Khava Barayeva and Luisa Magomadova rammed their explosives packed truck into a Russian military headquarters building in the Chechen village of Alkhan Yurt.
CBC News – World – Black Widows: The brides of Allah
The launch of several small animals into space sends a strong message about Tehran’s military intent and capabilities.
A mouse, two turtles and a bunch of worms may not sound like much of a threat compared to Iran’s estimated 8,000 centrifuges that are working overtime to produce sufficient weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear warhead.
But the critters are representative of another track in Tehran’s determined effort to build its military into a force to be reckoned with.
Iran Sanctions | Nuclear Weapons | Space Race
STRATFOR thus sees the Chinese economic system as inherently unstable. The primary reason why China’s growth has been so impressive is that throughout the period of economic liberalization that has led to rising incomes, the Chinese government has maintained near-total savings capture of its households and businesses. It funnels these massive deposits via state-run banks to state-linked firms at below-market rates. It’s amazing the growth rate a country can achieve and the number of citizens it can employ with a vast supply of 0 percent, relatively consequence-free loans provided from the savings of nearly a billion workers.
China: Crunch Time | STRATFOR