Recommended Reading (2009-12-11)

– Not just war, but now intelligence too continues to be outsourced.  Is anyone still surprised by this?

– Patrick Porter’s Military Orientalism: Eastern War through Western Eyes. Started it last night, and I’ll be sure to give a full review, but even after 20 pages… wow. He really knows his stuff. “Not whether culture matters, but how it matters.” We do risk over-relying on cultural expectations to give us one monolithic picture of ‘the East’; hopefully this will change that. And he specifically says he doesn’t mean Orientalism in a Saidian way, i.e. the West is not full of evil and horrible portents for everyone else in the world. Definitely worth a look.

– Obama’s making friends in unlikely places. The split in support between Democrats and Republicans alike is growing more and more pronounced as a split between foreign and domestic policy. The more we become afraid of muscular liberal interventionism, the more I drift away from the DNC.

– Hitchens doesn’t care much for the surge. “We’re being played for suckers by the Pakistani elite.” Alternative: end the ‘War on Drugs’. I like this man more and more every day.

– Libya: the emergence of the ‘state as protection racket‘.