This Will Hurt Me More Than It Does You

What are the potential effects on the global economy of U.S. actions against Iran? … the rough effects of U.S. action against Iran on the global economy – measured only in the first three months of actualization – to range from total losses of approximately $60 billion on one end of the scale to more than $2 trillion to the world economy on the other end.

War with Iran? Revisiting the Potentially Staggering Costs to the Global Economy, Charles Blair, FAS Strategic Security Blog

Beyond Recognition

Raymond brought up the telephone conversation in which [his son] had hinted that he might have shot a child in Iraq. He said, “It’s just like I told him, ‘I need you back.’ And then when he gets back I ain’t got my son no more. I got a body that looks like my son. But that ain’t my son. And that’s what the people don’t understand from the V.A. And that’s what I told them down there, too. ‘I don’t want this. I want my son back.’

In the Crosshairs, Nicholas Schmidle, the New Yorker

Assad Government on Its Last Legs “Something of a Myth”

Assad isn’t going to win a total victory, but the opposition isn’t anywhere close to overthrowing him either. This is worth stressing because Western politicians and journalists so frequently take it for granted that the regime is entering its last days. A justification for the British and French argument that the EU embargo on arms deliveries to the rebels should be lifted – a plan first mooted in March but strongly opposed by other EU members – is that these extra weapons will finally tip the balance decisively against Assad. The evidence from Syria itself is that more weapons will simply mean more dead and wounded.

Is it the end of Sykes-Picot?, Patrick Cockburn, the London Review of Books

What’s Another City Left for Dead?

Over the last twenty years, increasing access to records in Japan, Russia, and the United States has revealed that in the three days follow­ing the bombing of Hiroshima Japan’s leaders had little idea that they had to surrender as a result of the bombings. … The Foreign Minister, Togo Shigenori, actually suggested convening the Supreme Council two days after the bombing of Hiroshima to discuss it and found he could not generate enough interest on the subject to get it on the agenda.

Rethinking the Utility of Nuclear Weapons, Ward Wilson, Parameters

Turkey’s Putin

ErdoÄŸan’s Turkey is also the scene of an ominous and increasingly bitter political battle, where there is constant talk of coups and counter-coups. In 2007, ErdoÄŸan began a series of investigations of his enemies that reveal a repressiveness and paranoia that belie his international reputation as a reliable moderate. The strategy seems designed to secure his hold on power for years to come.

The Deep State, Dexter Filkins, the New Yorker

Even Sensenbrenner Has a Rubicon

On Thursday, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, who introduced the Patriot Act in 2001, said that the National Security Agency overstepped its bounds by obtaining a secret order to collect phone log records from millions of Americans.

“As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the F.B.I.’s interpretation of this legislation,” he said in a statement. “While I believe the Patriot Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I have always worried about potential abuses.” He added: “Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.”

President Obama’s Dragnet, Editorial, the New York Times

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