Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Well Exactly

Obama: 'We need to make clear to people that the cancer is in Pakistan': "The Pakistanis were making another mistake by applying that same logic to India, in Jones's view. If Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group behind the Mumbai attacks, struck there again, India would not be able to show the kind of restraint that it had then. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had barely survived Mumbai politically, would have to respond.

The options for Obama would be significantly narrowed in the aftermath of an attack originating out of Pakistan. Before such an attack, however, he had more options, especially if Pakistan made good on his four requests.

After the Jones-Panetta trip, Pakistan's cooperation on visa requests did improve. When I interviewed Obama two months after the failed Times Square bombing, he highlighted Pakistan's recent counterterrorism efforts. 'They also ramped up their cooperation in a way that over the last 18 months has hunkered down al-Qaeda in a way that is significant,' he said.

'But still not enough,' I interjected.

'Well, exactly,' Obama said."

Stretching Habitable

Interesting. And "only" 20 LY away. But not likely to be as habitable as the headline suggests.
US scientists find potentially habitable planet near Earth - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (AFP) – US astronomers said Wednesday they have discovered an Earth-sized planet that they think might be habitable, orbiting a nearby star, and believe there could be many more planets like it in space.
The planet, found by astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, is orbiting in the middle of the 'habitable zone' of the red dwarf star Gliese 581, which means it could have water on its surface.
Liquid water and an atmosphere are necessary for a planet to possibly sustain life, even it it might not be a great place to live, the scientists said."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

SST Correlations

A MUST READ: European climate, Alpine glaciers and Arctic ice in relation to North Atlantic SST record | Watts Up With That?: "The following article shows, that decadal oscillation in North Atlantic sea surface temperature is the driving force behind observed variations in European climate during 20th century. Long-term North Atlantic SST trend is well correlated to European temperature station record, Alpine glacier retreat/advance and changes in Arctic ice extent as well."

The Good War

Belmont Club � Deep Moat: "However that may be, Borger asks his readers to step outside the inbred media world to consider the biggest damage inflicted by Woodward’s book: telling the Taliban in print just how anxious the President was to the cut and run. He writes:
The current strategy in Afghanistan is to turn up the pressure on the Taliban through the surge, while exploring the possibility of a settlement with the insurgents, shorn of their al-Qaida affiliates.

This strategy was sold to Obama, and he sold it in turn to his supporters, on the grounds that the surge would shorten the war. The strategy falls down if the Taliban leadership in the Quetta Shura – and its Afghan and Pakistani allies – become convinced that the presidential resolve is hollow and that they do not have long to wait before the foreigners leave.

One official involved in tentative contacts with the insurgents told me today: “They will say: If the Americans are that anxious to leave, why should we talk?”
But did the Taliban really need Woodward’s book to tell them that?"


Belmont Club - President as Prologue: "Even Afghanistan were somehow stabilized Pakistan and the surrounding areas would continue to be a problem. The area from which “al-Qaeda can find safe haven to plot and kill more Americans” goes far beyond the formal Afghan border. What is almost totally absent from the administration’s public strategy are plans to defeat the wellsprings of the enemy strength: countering its ideology, deterring its state sponsors, drying up its sources of funds. Addressing these larger issues would require acknowledging that Afghanistan is merely a small piece in a larger, generation conflict resembling a New Cold War. A New Cold War not against a nuclear power, but against powers America is waiting to become nuclear.

How such a conflict should be fought should be a matter for national debate. What methods of diplomacy, cultural conflict and judicious application of force are best be used can be a subject for dispute, but the necessity of their objects should not. However, this in turn would require naming an enemy, and building a coalition against it across party lines for a multi-decade effort."

The Mansourian Muslim Moonbat

Obama is not a Muslim?
Moonbattery: "Or so we're told. But he couldn't lay on the Islamophilia that has been so trendy among liberals since 9/11 any heavier if he were."

While You Were Sleeping

Robert D. Kaplan - While U.S. is distracted, China develops sea power: "We underestimate the importance of what is occurring between China and Taiwan, at the northern end of the South China Sea. With 270 flights per week between the countries, and hundreds of missiles on the mainland targeting the island, China is quietly incorporating Taiwan into its dominion. Once it becomes clear, a few years or a decade hence, that the United States cannot credibly defend Taiwan, China will be able to redirect its naval energies beyond the first island chain in the Pacific (from Japan south to Australia) to the second island chain (Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands) and in the opposite direction, to the Indian Ocean.

To wit, China is building a blue water navy, even as it is helping to fund and construct ports in Burma, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The Chinese will not have naval bases in these countries: India would find that far too provocative, and the Chinese are taking pains so others see their rise as peaceful and non-hegemonic. Rather, these harbors will be visited by Chinese warships and will provide warehousing for Chinese consumer goods destined for the Middle East. China is building a far-flung trading network, ultimately to be protected by its warships -- the British Empire refitted for a 21st-century era of globalization."