The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Wednesday Morning Linkage

October 24, 2012

  • Richard Weitz notes an intensification of PRC anti-missile defense rhetoric. He points to the implications of robust BMD for China’s minimal deterrence approach and for US-led containment.
  • David Axe reports that John Lehman has a financial stake in a larger navy.
  • Bill French deflates the Romney campaign’s claims of “American Weakness.”
  • Over at Political Violence @ a Glance, Lionel Beehner analyzes the relationship between climate and conflict.
  • Duck of Minerva contributor Steve Saideman tells Canadians not to sweat their country’s absence from Monday’s debate.
  • Fallows says that we’re heading for an empirical assessment of whether stat-heads or politicos are right about the election. He’s kind of wrong. If the politicos are correct then the polling data will likely shift, and that will impact the highest profile prediction sites (538, Princeton Election Consortium, etc.). Authors of non-poll-driven statistical models, on the other hand, will either update their inputs or point out that the election falls within their probabilistic assessments. Indeed, the same could be said of the poll-driven models. A seventy-percent chance of victory for Obama is still a thirty-percent chance of a Romney victory.
  • Left-wing political blogs are all aflutter over Indiana Senate candidate Richard Murdock’s (R) argument against a rape-exception for abortion bans. I’m pro-choice, so maybe I don’t get it, but it seems to me that if you think life begins at conception the circumstances of conception should be irrelevant.

And more linkage:

  • Tim Dunne and Alex Bellamy discuss UNSC elections.
  • Eric Voeten at CNN on the Romney-Obama debate over Iran. I’m not sure I follow his argument about how pushing for multilateral sanctions undermines the credibility of future threats of force by the US.
  • A nice piece by Dan Trombly on proxy warfare and Syria. Key quotation: “So the United States is left with a situation where it must potentially fracture the rebellion by attempting this marginalization during the course of the conflict, or by hoping its arms have bought enough loyalty, capacity, and willpower for the rebel groups to undertake a second or third phase of Syria’s civil war in order to purge the country of jihadist groups. In either case, U.S. anti-extremist efforts work at cross-purposes with either unifying the rebels or shortening the civil war. This is doubly problematic when one considers that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Gulf states have demonstrated their ability to resource and implement proxy strategies in countries such as Libya. Even in the case of Syria, the United States would need the support of the very countries propagating the movements it hopes to quash.”

Image by William Kevin Petty

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.