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There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

Odds are even in the 'information' war
Topic: Military Technology 12:57 am EST, Dec 16, 2004

In this information age, the American occupying forces in Iraq have come face to face with a terrible reality: the insurgents have become at least as savvy in conducting information warfare.

In an increasingly shrinking and highly interconnected infosphere, distinctions between foreign and domestic are fast disappearing.

The battle is on for the swaying of hearts and minds of the Muslim masses. Its chief focus for now is the Middle East, but Pakistan and Afghanistan are very much on the radar screen of the Pentagon.

When Hamas and Hezbollah set up accounts on MemeStreams, will you let them stay?

Odds are even in the 'information' war


Beyond the Rim
Topic: International Relations 9:49 am EST, Dec 14, 2004

China is now powerful and influential enough to make American world dominance inconceivable. And in the longer term, China is bent upon and will achieve gross military and economic parity with the United States.

China is methodically following the example of Meiji Japan.

Though the dangers of epidemics and terrorist nuclear attacks are now obviously pre-eminent, rising behind them is a newer world yet.

Unfortunately, it is in our nature neither to foresee nor prepare for what lies beyond the rim.

Beyond the Rim


India starts to look beyond Pakistan
Topic: International Relations 9:44 am EST, Dec 14, 2004

India is courting, and being courted.

The country is beginning to escape its preoccupation with Pakistan.

... complicated by America's arms sales to Pakistan and its support for General Pervez Musharraf's bogus democracy ...

China!

India starts to look beyond Pakistan


10 Killed in Bombing in Quetta
Topic: War on Terrorism 8:45 am EST, Dec 14, 2004

A powerful bomb killed at least 10 people, 9 of them civilians, when it exploded Friday afternoon near an army truck parked in a crowded outdoor market in Quetta.

The government now faces two separate security threats: one from religious militants, and the other from ethnic nationalists.

It's a balancing act fueled by denial, as the one year anniversary approaches ...

10 Killed in Bombing in Quetta


Pakistan Denies CIA Is There Seeking bin Laden
Topic: War on Terrorism 8:40 am EST, Dec 14, 2004

Pakistani officials on Monday denied a report about the presence of a CIA search mission for the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in their country, and they rejected the agency's conclusion that he was hiding in Pakistan's northwestern tribal area near the border with Afghanistan.

Move along, folks; nothing to see here ...

"Osama bin Laden has not been sighted in Chitral or any other part of Pakistan."

Osama bin Laden has not been sighted at the 7 Eleven on Main Street, nor at the Quality Inn on 3rd Avenue, nor at the Public Library on Front Street, nor at the mosque in Riverside, nor at a screening of "Osama" at the Loew's in Times Square, ...

I did not find O bin Laden,
I did not find him,
Pervez, I am

I did not find him here or there
I did not find him anywhere

Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.

(We all know how that story ends ...)

Pakistan Denies CIA Is There Seeking bin Laden


The Wonks' Loya Jirga
Topic: Politics and Law 8:15 am EST, Dec 14, 2004

You have to remember that Republicans have a different relationship to ideas than Democrats. When Democrats open their mouths, they try to say something interesting. If the true thing is obvious and boring, the liberal person will go off and say something original, even if it is completely idiotic. This is how deconstructionism got started.

Republicans are less concerned with displaying their own cleverness. When they actually stumble upon an idea, they are so delighted they regurgitate it over and over again. Where others might favor elaboration, Republicans favor repetition.

And thus the essential science of politics is unveiled. Mutation is performed by blue cells, and replication is performed by red cells. The House of Representatives is a veritable petri dish.

The Wonks' Loya Jirga


A Hostile Land Foils the Quest for bin Laden
Topic: War on Terrorism 9:47 am EST, Dec 13, 2004

Prodded by the United States, Pakistan began an offensive along its northwest border this spring to flush out forces of Al Qaeda that had escaped from Afghanistan and to help find bin Laden.

But after suffering heavy casualties and causing civilian deaths that stirred opposition, the Pakistani Army declared victory two weeks ago and announced that bin Laden was not in Pakistan.

Many American intelligence officials are confident that he is, however -- and that he is as dangerous as ever.

"Bin Laden is getting his logistical support from the tribes."

Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan

Pakistan.

A Hostile Land Foils the Quest for bin Laden


IBM Sought a China Partnership, Not Just a Sale
Topic: High Tech Developments 9:38 am EST, Dec 13, 2004

The most intriguing, and potentially most important, dimension of the deal for the company is that it is IBM's China card.

The new Lenovo, folding in the IBM personal computer business, will be China's fifth-largest company. IBM is eager to help China with its industrial policy of moving up the economic ladder, by building the high-technology engine rooms to power modern corporations and government institutions with IBM services and software.

IBM is placing 10,000 of its employees, its brand for five years and some of its prestige in Lenovo's hands. There is a lot more at stake than the cash.

Today, there are two ways to create long-term value for information technology customers and shareholders. "Invest heavily in R&D and be the high-value innovation provider for enterprises, or differentiate by leveraging vast economies of scale, high volumes and price."

IBM is choosing the first path, and has decided that the PC business is inevitably on the second path.

IBM Sought a China Partnership, Not Just a Sale


10x10
Topic: Current Events 1:53 am EST, Dec 13, 2004

10x10 is an interactive exploration of the words and pictures that define the time.

Every hour, 10x10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale, and presents them as a single image, taken to encapsulate that moment in time. Over the course of days, months, and years, 10x10 leaves a trail of these hourly statements which, stitched together side by side, form a continuous patchwork tapestry of human life.

10x10


21st Century Tribes
Topic: War on Terrorism 12:26 am EST, Dec 13, 2004

The US is fighting virulent tribalism as much as fundamentalism.

Many people around the world prefer the tribal way of life.

Americans comfort themselves with the thought that no other nation will be able to match our power for decades.

The new Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication recognizes that "the United States is engaged in a generational and global struggle about ideas, not a war between the West and Islam." But it barely mentions the role of tribalism in that struggle.

US forces are learning this the hard way -- on the ground.

David Ronfeldt is a senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation and coauthor of "Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime and Militancy."

21st Century Tribes


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