Chinese truckers at the port of Shanghai ended a three-day strike on April 23 after local authorities released a communiqué promising the reduction of logistics fees and attempts to mitigate the effect of rising fuel prices. The incident made headlines in global media coverage, as it threatened operations in the world’s largest port. But it is just the latest in a widespread pattern across China, with similar protests by independent truckers and taxi drivers angered at rising fuel costs taking place on a regular basis in all Chinese cities. The mix of repression and accommodation shown in Shanghai is also […]
As details of the successful raid against Osama bin Laden’s Abbotabad compound come to light, it is becoming clear that the assault was the most important, and probably the most successful, operation in the history of U.S. special operations forces. Instead of Air Force bombs or Navy missiles, President Barack Obama opted for the special skills and capabilities of a Navy SEAL team to eliminate the al-Qaida leader. The reason is simple: A bomb or missile might have more easily killed bin Laden, but only special forces could confirm his death, recover his body and capture a trove of materials […]
The world’s most notorious manhunt in recent history is over, as Washington confirms it has eliminated its number one terrorist. This spot by the Russian government-owned Russia Today features commentary by Ahmed Quraishi, Senior Research Fellow with the Pakistan-based think-tank International Analyst Network. Quraishi argues Osama bin Laden’s death has provided the U.S. with a way to save face and withdraw from Afghanistan.
After digesting the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by a U.S. Navy Seals team, my first thought was about how his death, and the manner in which it happened, highlights the tension between the visible and the invisible in terms of terrorism and counterterrorism. Terrorism must be tactically invisible in order to effectively plan and carry out attacks, but it depends on the high visibility of those attacks for any strategic impact. In almost a perfect inversion, counterterrorism employs highly visible tactical measures — the kind of “security theater” best-illustrated at airports — to reassure the public, […]
President Barack Obama reshuffled his national security team last week, and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The White House proclaimed that this was the “strongest possible team,” leaving unanswered the question, “Toward what end?” Obama’s choices represent the continued reduction of the role of security as an administration priority. That fits into his determined strategy to reduce America’s overseas military commitments amid the country’s ongoing fiscal distress. Obama foresees a smaller, increasingly background role for U.S. security in the world, and these selections feed that pattern. First, there is Leon Panetta’s move from director of the Central Intelligence Agency to […]