What We’re Reading
Preeti Aroon Mission: Black List #1. Saddam Hussein was captured five years ago this Saturday, Dec. 13. Leading up to that day in 2003, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eric Maddox spent months chasing down leads and interrogating detainees to determine Saddam’s hiding spot. In his book, Maddox provides a behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of the capture ...
Mission: Black List #1. Saddam Hussein was captured five years ago this Saturday, Dec. 13. Leading up to that day in 2003, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eric Maddox spent months chasing down leads and interrogating detainees to determine Saddam’s hiding spot. In his book, Maddox provides a behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of the capture of the man known as “Black List #1.” (Full disclosure: I haven’t actually read the book, but it’s next on my list.)
“Obama’s Poetic Predecessor.” Barack Obama is known to whip up eloquent speeches that rival even those Abraham Lincoln once delivered. But how is the president-elect when it comes to verse? The Atlantic‘s David Barber points us to a few examples of Obama and Lincoln’s oeuvres so we can decide for ourselves.
“Be Nice to the Countries that Lend You Money.” James Fallows of The Atlantic interviews the banker who manages some of the United States’s China debt. This piece offers fascinating insight into the way that Asian lending nations view American debtors, why they are willing to keep lending, and where the relationship will go in coming years. Of course, the title says it all: the United States will need to be nice if it wants to keep the credit lines open.
“In the Land of Cholera: Africans Finally Turn Against Comrade Bob.” The Wall Street Journal discusses why, when little else has changed in Zimbabwe (where human rights workers are routinely abused, soldiers abuse their power and the “economy continues to sink and inflation to rise — to the current insanity of 231 million percent”), all it’s taking for African leaders to only now come together to push Mugabe out of power, is the rampant spreading of this intestinal disease.
“A Balanced Strategy.” Robert Gates defines “balance” as the most important principle behind the Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy. In this essay for Foreign Affairs, Gates worries that the Pentagon bureaucracy is predisposed to conventional warfare, at the expense of developing the capacity to fight “today’s wars,” which requires promoting better governance and addressing the grievances that can lead to terrorism.
More from Foreign Policy
At Long Last, the Foreign Service Gets the Netflix Treatment
Keri Russell gets Drexel furniture but no Senate confirmation hearing.
How Macron Is Blocking EU Strategy on Russia and China
As a strategic consensus emerges in Europe, France is in the way.
What the Bush-Obama China Memos Reveal
Newly declassified documents contain important lessons for U.S. China policy.
Russia’s Boom Business Goes Bust
Moscow’s arms exports have fallen to levels not seen since the Soviet Union’s collapse.