Recommended Reading

Plowing through books and interviewing folks on the phone, so no verbosity tonight. 

Pat Kushlis at Whirled View: Smith-Mundt is a Moot Case - Except It's Not.  That reminds me of an incomplete post I have titled "Websites you're not supposed to see"... 

Also at Whirled View, Pat Sharpe comments on the decision to build a golf course next to the Green Zone: Let Them Eat Golf Balls

Next week (13 May 2008), COL H.R. McMaster is at AEI: After the Iraqi Offensive: An Address by Colonel H. R. McMaster

Marc Lynch drew my attention to a recent report worth reading: Matthew Levitt and Michael Jacobson, WINEP, Highlighting Al-Qaeda's Bankrupt Ideology.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies has a free report titled America's Expensive Defense.  From the conclusion:

Whatever the short-term outcome, the DoD will need in a broader review to provide greater vision and detail about the long-term strategy and missions of the military than it has to date. Questions going to the heart of defence planning would need to be addressed, leading to a determination about whether such a large and expensive military can be justified. These questions would include: how central are counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and post-conflict stabilisation and reconstruction missions to the future of defence planning? What is the nature of the threat and what is the correct role of the military, as opposed to other tools of statecraft, to cope with it? What is the US strategy for dealing with the broader issue of failed and fragile states, and what is the proper role for military forces in coping with that challenge? To what extent should forces be shaped around potential future challenges from a resurgent Russia, a rising China, and regional powers such as Iran? What assets does the military bring to bear in dealing with other challenges to the international system, such as global poverty, governance, health, international crime, proliferation and climate change?

And to close with something humorous: I received an email from somebody at VOA asking if I was aware of their unofficial blog the other week.  In jest, I replied asking whether it was illegal for them to email me and inform me of this because of Smith-Mundt.  I haven't heard back...