February 26, 2009

Thursday afternoon reading

A sampling of the open tabs that have collected in my fancy Google chrome browser:

--The State Dept decides where SW Asia & the Gulf are (you know, exactly where you thought they'd be).

--Mark Bowden says he isn't arguing we need more F-22s, just that pilots will die without them.  Fred Kaplan tells him to check his logic (and compounded probabilities) more carefully.   Bowden's article, per usual, is a great read.  Doesn't mean we should base procurement policies on it.  (Also, I cannot wait for various Congressional Republicans who voted against the stimulus to defend the F-22 on the grounds that it creates American jobs.)
--Also at Slate, Timothy Noah evaluates the competing explanations as to why the US hasn't been attacked since 9/11.  Hopefully we'll have more on this later in the week, but how one answers this question goes a long way toward determining what our future foreign and defense policies should look like.  It's also a topic that, on occasion, lends itself to actual evidence/data collection and (gasp)  hypothesis testing.  Make your claims falsifiable, folks.
--Finally, NYT article on massive gun trafficking from the US to Mexico.  Imagine how we'd respond if we were working against a (narco) insurgency and the neighbor states were permissive as hell with regard to border security?  Yeah, it's like that.  More than a few friends of this blog are getting seriously nervous about violence in Mexico; we'll try to keep you posted.