Links – November 15, 2015

After the appalling attacks in Paris on Friday, we wish for recovery and healing.

Equally appalling are some of the responses, which I won’t quote here. The desire for more war, which is the generator of ISIS and other pathologies, seems insane to me. The image at top of the post is by Jean Jullien. Can we take its widespread adoption as an indication that most people want peace?

It’s important to understand ISIS’s strategy and what they value. This is helpful in that regard. There seems to be some agreement that they want a war with Europe and the United States, and to generate hatred between Muslims and others. So a smart strategy would be to deny them their objectives. (Strategy 101)

Interview with Will McCants, Brookings expert on terrorism.

Another story about nuclear smuggling. I would like to work through this piece in detail, but for now I will just point out that if we don’t know what they have, it is as likely to be very little nuclear material as it is lots and lots more. The article considers only the second possibility. Matthew Bunn’s speculation that the samples are those maintained for purposes of record looks correct to me.

Is Russia likely to attack the Baltic States? I think this has become less likely since Russia became involved in Syria. So does Robert Person, here and here. I am perhaps not quite as optimistic as he is and allow space for what we might not know about Vladimir Putin’s unpredictability.

We still don’t know how Mikhail Lesin, founder of RT, died, so of course there are conspiracy theories.

Half of Russia’s richest people are planning to cash out.

The protest artist who stumps Putin.

Long read about the Ukrainian army and its problems.

Social media is shaking up how scientists talk about gender issues.

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