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Category: Robert Farley


[ 8 ] May 14, 2016 |
Gavin Hamilton - Coriolanus Act V, Scene III edit2.jpg

 Coriolanus Act V, Scene III edit2″ by Gavin Hamilton – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Latest at the National Interest goes literary:

The past decade has witnessed an explosion of articles, panels and podcasts on the relationship between popular cultural artifacts and national security. FromBattlestar Galactica to Harry Potter, and from Star Wars to Game of Thrones, fiction has generated a vocabulary for teaching, engagement and even a form of strategic analysis.

Williams Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616. As we pass the four hundredth anniversary of the passing of the Bard, it is perhaps worthy of our time to grant him the same courtesy that we give to George R. R. Martin.



Linky Linky…

[ 30 ] May 13, 2016 |
Soviet Typhoon class submarine.jpg

Soviet Typhoon at sea. By Robert Lawson Collection – Public Domain

Some spiffy technology oriented links for your Friday…

The Only Progressive Choice

[ 48 ] May 11, 2016 |

nbc-fires-donald-trump-after-he-calls-mexicans-rapists-and-drug-runnersLoomis has received some heat on twitter for suggesting that Donald Trump might not be well-liked abroad, and that his election might not be good for, you know, the world. It is my solemn duty to report that Erik is almost entirely wrong, and that Donald Trump does, in fact, have an international constituency. Foreigners who hope to use American power to exterminate other foreigners think that Donald Trump is freaking great!

Monday Links

[ 28 ] May 9, 2016 |
Rafale B 113-HO Mali.jpg

“Rafale B 113-HO Mali” by Capt. Jason Smith –  Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

For your reading pleasure:

Who Do We Nuke?

[ 2 ] May 8, 2016 |
Strategic Air Command B-47 Stratojets - 020903-o-9999r-001.jpg

“Strategic Air Command B-47 Stratojets” by US Air Force photo Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

My latest at the Diplomat looks at how the US planned its strategic nuclear campaign in East Asia in 1959:

A recent collaborative project between the Future of Life Institute and Nukemaps has created a visual representation of U.S. plans to use nuclear weapons against the Soviet bloc in 1959. The strikes, derived from a declassified list of U.S. nuclear targets published by the National Security Archive, reveals the big plans that the United States had for war in East Asia.


“Innocent Passage”

[ 24 ] May 6, 2016 |
USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54)

“USS Curtis Wilbur DDG-54 1999” by U.S. Navy, Chief Photographer’s Mate Mahlon K. Miller. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a short piece for the Diplomat on the dustup between PACOM and the Obama administration:

Over the past week, the apparent conflict between PACOM and the Obama administration has generated a pool of digital ink big enough to build a Chinese island in. The apparent disinterest of the Obama administration in entertaining the more aggressive navigation and flight operations proposed by PACOM commander Admiral Harry B. Harris has produced a great deal of criticism, even as both sides sought to quiet the conflict. It’s worthwhile at this point to stop and think through the practical limits on what the United States can do.


[ 24 ] May 6, 2016 |
Chodowiecki Basedow Tafel 21 c Z.jpg

LGM Typesetters Hard at Work…

For those of you who still use RSS (a dying breed, you’d think, but then I get e-mails) one of our two feeds has disabled because of the bankruptcy of the company we used to sell RSS ads to. Please subscribe to this feed (  Let me know in comments if you have any problems. FWIW, I still use RSS extensively (Feedly), and share a lot of things directly to twitter from my feed.

India’s Nuclear Decision

[ 4 ] May 5, 2016 |
Agni-II missile (Republic Day Parade 2004).jpeg

“Agni-II missile (Republic Day Parade 2004)” by Antônio Milena. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 br via Commons.


My latest at the Diplomat took a look at the most recent research on why India developed nuclear weapons:

The question of weapons and prestige has bedeviled political scientists and the answer seems to be: “Both, but more of one or the other under particular circumstances.” Recent work by Jayita Sarkar (reviewed by Sumit Ganguly) helps contribute to this question, at least in the context of India’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Sarkar argues that recent documentary evidence supports a security-oriented explanation for the Indian nuclear weapons program. Indian nuclear insecurity, and in particular, the detonation of a Chinese hydrogen device in 1967, convinced India that it could not defend against the PLA without the assistance of nuclear weapons. India’s commitment to non-alignment made the country particularly vulnerable, as it could not depend on either a Soviet or a U.S. nuclear guarantee.

“At the risk of eventually looking deeply ridiculous…”

[ 75 ] May 3, 2016 |

Fortunately, I only put my money where my blog was in one case; I’ll pay that out on Friday.

Goddamnit, Ted, you disappoint me.


And Yet Khanna Persists…

[ 19 ] May 3, 2016 |

empty-suit1For some obscure reason, Parag Khanna persists not only in existing, but also in writing books that find major publishers.  My review of Second World can be found here. The intrepid Dan Drezner was given the unenviable task of reviewing Connectography (yes, that is its actual name); the results are impressive. Some of the choicest bits:

Parag Khanna may well be the most connected man alive. “Connectography” represents Khanna’s latest effort to arbitrage his personal networking skills into a theory of geopolitics…

The fluff is voluminous. Khanna and his editors clearly believe that his prose style is a winning one, but for this reader it was like struggling through the transcription of a TED talk on a recursive loop…

I wish that Khanna wee right about the power of connectivity. The world would be a better place. I fear, however, that he does not know what he is talking about.

And via Drezner, this Evgeny Morozov review of one of Khanna’s earlier efforts leaves a lot of blood and intestine on the floor.


[ 13 ] May 2, 2016 |
A large submarine travelling on the surface of the ocean.

“HMAS Rankin 2007” by U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman James R. Evans – Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Some Monday links for your reading pleasure…

Ohio Remembers…

[ 74 ] April 30, 2016 |

Yesterday I visited the Queen City Club in Cincinnati for the opening of an honorary regional Estonian consulate. On the one end of the hall:

File Apr 30, 7 55 08 AM

“We’re going to good cop-bad cop this. I’m not the good cop.”

And on the other end:

File Apr 30, 7 55 27 AM

“I’m not the good cop, either.”


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