Links – January 2, 2017

This story goes back to 2007, when Israel bombed a nuclear reactor under construction in Syria. It’s a detailed account from Michael Hayden, who was director of the CIA at the time. The uncertainties and the complexity of the story are normal for international affairs, and thus the story is a good example of the kind of thing President Donald Trump will face. Short version: Syria builds a nuclear reactor to produce bomb material. Israel wants America to destroy it. America refuses, Israel bombs the site. The world learns it was a reactor. But the whole thing is worth reading. Photo: The reactor before it was bombed.  Read More

Links – October 20, 2016

Benjamin Wittes: “But this election is a different kettle of fish, one that pits a normal candidate—that is, a woman with flaws, virtues and policy ideas—against a man who menaces American democracy.” This is the sense I’ve had every time someone wants to talk about policy in the election. I love a good policy discussion as much as anyone, but that’s not the point in this election. Read More

Links – April 12, 2016

Russia’s economy depends on oil, and the oil price has plummeted over the past year. Then there are the sanctions that Europe and the United States have laid on Russia, and Russia’s countersanctions. Even the military is seeing cuts, although Vladimir Putin seems determined to forge ahead. Here are some graphs from the New York Times on the Russian economy. Sam Greene explains why those charts are not the last word. How Russians are coping. (Image from RTE News) Read More