Friday, March 12, 2010

How non-lethal weapons could change warfare

'Today, the United States has been actively fighting two wars with high casualty rates for both sides. It would be valuable for the commander in chief and senior military leaders to consider the merits of a nonlethal approach to warfare.'

Morocco has ordered dozens of Christian aid workers in five major cities to be deported

Related or not to the incident in Pakistan, interesting change in Morocco:

Afghanistan war: New rules of engagement don't pit civilians vs. soldiers

'Military tactics are always balanced against strategic objectives, force protection, and humanitarian imperatives. In Afghanistan, international forces have had more than eight years to figure out what hasn’t worked and what will. The new emphasis on civilian protection is a welcome move toward striking the right balance.'

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

World Vision Office Attacked in Pakistan

'ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Suspected militants armed with grenades attacked the offices of an international aid group helping earthquake survivors in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing six employees and wounding several others, police and the organization said.

All the victims of the assault on World Vision, a large Christian humanitarian group, were Pakistanis.'

Half of Somalia Food Aid Diverted From the Poor

'As much as half the food aid sent to Somalia is diverted from needy people to a web of corrupt contractors, radical Islamist militants and local United Nations staff members, according to a new Security Council report.

The report, which has not yet been made public but was shown to The New York Times by diplomats, outlines a host of problems so grave that it recommends that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon open an independent investigation into the World Food Program’s Somalia operations. It suggests that the program rebuild the food distribution system — which serves at least 2.5 million people and whose aid was worth about $485 million in 2009 — from scratch to break what it describes as a corrupt cartel of Somali distributors.'

'U.N. Honors the 101 Who Served and Died in Haiti'

'UNITED NATIONS — It took nearly 15 minutes to read the full roll call of the dead, as a photograph of each person, with the years of their birth and death, flashed on a screen in the darkened hall. White candles flickered on a dais covered with white hydrangeas, orchids and lilies.'

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

FP- America Just Isn't Very Good at Nation Building'

This piece doesn't bring up any new points, but stretches the history of US nation building beyond Vietnam to the Thomasites of 1901 in the Philippines. Curious that the focus is always on the inability of the US to develop a civilian corps of deployable expertise- the European experience is not very different: