1. If you did not get the chance to read Meghan O'Sullivan's op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post, do so this morning. One part nostra culpa, one part advice to the Obama Administration, it's full of both honest talk about some of the ways in which the Bush Administration screwed up Iraq and warnings to the Obama Administration about Libya.
2. Bobby Worth's reported essay in the New York Times Magazine on Libya. Bobby has long been a friend, and also a reporter I have admired, so I like to read him in longer form whenever the Times gives us the chance.
3. Speaking of the Times, if you are not following C.J. Chivers's Twitter feed, do so. All the news you need to read on a day's fighting in Libya in just 140 characters.
4. I have spent some time living in Egypt and also spent a summer in Morocco, but North Africa between those two countries is a mystery to me in the same way that the Gulf remains even after a few research trips there in 2010. I figured Lisa Anderson's The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1820-1980 would be a good scholarly place to start some research and have been working my way through it.
5. Domestic radicalization is also something I do not know a lot about but is of interest to the readership. I finished Daveed Gartenstein-Ross's My Year Inside Radical Islam last night having really enjoyed it from start to finish.
6. And finally, the great Joe Collins has some solid advice for the next Secretary of Defense.
And here's what I just added to my own Instapaper account. This is the stuff I will be reading today.
1. I made the finals of Twitter Fight Club. Read how here. Hilarious.
So, Western forces rock up in your town, kick out the local humourless, dour puritanical loons that were screwing up your future and tell you things will be getting better. A few months go by, prices go up, drug dealers are building huge houses and you're more likely to be killed for the few Afghanis in your pocket. Pretty crappy, right?
Well, not for everyone:.."on most nights, Kabul's expatriates go out and partake in the manic craziness of the city's bar and restaurant scene in houses reminiscent of America's Prohibition-era speakeasies, behind 20-ft.-tall blast walls and an outer perimeter of armed Afghan security guards.
"The expatriates are a boisterous crowd of young and usually single diplomats, aid workers, journalists, spies and mercenaries — or, as they like to call themselves, "contractors." Most of them earn $100,000 salaries and have money to burn.