Recommended Reading (2010-02-04)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Chad Melanson, Provincial Reconstruction Team-Kunar security forces member from the Nevada National Guard's 1st Squadron, 221st Calvary Regiment currently assigned to Camp Wright in Asadabad, Afghanistan, speaks with other members of the security team prior to a night patrol of the camp's perimeter, Jan. 24.

The American is the Englishman left to himself.

de Tocqueville

– Chirol reminds us that after Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia is the most popular destination for IEDs. He wonders: is Russia’s future as the new Nigeria?

– John Bruton is adorable. He thinks that a) supranational organizations deserve the same level of bilateral communication as nation-states, and b) thinks that the EU matters. Sorry to disappoint; I don’t think the EU-US Summit is going to be quite all it’s cracked up to be.

– Via Road to Academia: Iran successfully launches the cast of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh into space. Possibly to counter this, Daniel Pipes wants Iran wiped off the map. Now, it’s definitely been said that Obama could end up salvaging his presidency (assuming domestic reforms go all to hell) by focusing on foreign policy, sort of a quasi-voluntary LBJ-style pivot, but a third underfunded, underplanned, idiotic, and roundly condemned Middle Eastern war is absolutely not the way to glory. Behold the Machiavellian wonder that is Pipes:

Not only does a strong majority — 57, 52, 58, 61, and 61 percent in these five [pretty outrageous push] polls — already favor using force, but after a strike Americans will presumably rally around the flag, sending that number much higher.

– Retrofitting for multitouch just got a whole lot easier. And it’s not just preexisting screens – you can just as easily turn a wooden coffee table into a multitouch-capable interface.