Links to Start Your Week 10/6/13

A federal court case from August has somewhat expanded how much information on national security issues and practices we can get from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. In somewhat related news, there is a new bill circulating to limit the powers of the NSA. I am pleased by both of these developments.

Meanwhile, over at The Duck of Minerva (one of my favorite blogs,) is a piece basically about the unnecessary militarization of the “pivot to Asia,” and how it is liable to start something called a security dilemma, which basically means that as one country (in this case, the U.S.) starts spending more on defense in, say, Asia, that causes a feeling of insecurity for the other major power in the area (China, obviously,) leading to an escalation of military expenditures on their part, and it becomes a tit-for-tat competition leading to increased tension and possibly conflict. The author basically argues that Chinese hegemony, particularly of a military nature, in Asia is not the inevitability that American hawks like to claim it is.

At The Atlantic, one writer asks if we are in fact shifting to Africa instead of pivoting to Asia.

This is some basic intro/analysis to the reports that U.S. Navy SEALs have captured or killed one of the leaders of Al Shabab, the group responsible for the attack on the Kenya Westgate Mall. I’ll probably have a longer piece up on this subject later in the week.

Also from the good folks over at Just Security, which I recently discovered and is becoming another favorite of mine, is some analysis of a recent report on how effective drones are at fighting terrorism. As I and some of my fellow progressives have already been arguing for a while now, the answer seems to be “not very.”

One incredibly cool 78 year old woman has spent her life pushing the people of the world to care about their impact on the ocean, and she’s not even close to slowing down now.

People calling the Republicans who have shut down the government “anarchists” are actually insulting anarchists as much as, if not more than, the Republican Tea Party politicians they mean to denigrate.

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