La Riposte

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yes, But Is It Murder?

Omar Khadr is on trial by a military tribunal, accused of murdering a US Army Sergeant during a battle in 2002. Did Khadr throw the grenade that killed Sergeant Christopher Speer? Maybe, maybe not. A more important question to answer is, can a partisan fighting a foreign army for control of their homeland commit murder when their victim is an armed soldier engaged in combat?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What’s Wrong With E-Readers Today

I am a great fan of the written word, and of books in particular. There is a certain comfort in thumbing through the pages of an old favorite, or sitting down to explore a new discovery, page by printed page. That said, I’m no Luddite – I purchased my Kindle early on, and it has been an invaluable piece of technology for me as I’ve traveled the world, allowing me to carry a substantial library and accompanying notes in my cargo pocket, and accessing new books on demand wherever I can find a cell-phone signal.

The War Next Door

In a rugged desert country, militants sow terror, behead their captives, fight against a weak central government, and fill mass graves with the bodies of their victims, financing it all with a lucrative trade in drugs consumed by richer countries abroad. But there’s no international outrage here, no hue and cry, and certainly no international military force intervening to aid the endangered citizenry here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

News in Brief

Indonesia is experimenting with using oil from castor beans to provide heat for cooking – hoping to replace a quarter of its nearly 5 million kiloliters of annual petroleum consumption with the  renewable alternative by 2025.

 Hardcore pornography is now a hot seller on the streets of Baghdad – but what does this say about Iraq’s security situation, and what does it portend for the future of the struggling state?

And as technology advances, lasers will replace air pistols in the modern pentathlon for the 2012 London Games. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Real China Challenge

Peter Brookes’ editorial in the New York Post is the latest such article to imply that the United States, embroiled in small wars and facing cuts to its massive defense budget may not have a future military that can “meet the China challenge.” The real challenge with regards to China is getting senior U.S. military officials, especially in the Navy, to view China as a strategic partner rather than a competitor.