EA December 2014

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"The Last Warrior: Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy" by Andrew Krepinevich and Barry Watts; Basic Books; 305 pages

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larrybarrettIn 1969 Henry Kissinger, National Security Adviser in Richard Nixon’s new administration, shared his boss’s dissatisfaction with the data and analysis flowing daily from the Central Intelligence Agency. Kissinger decided to enlist an outside expert with top security clearance to evaluate the CIA’s reporting process.

For this delicate task he chose Andrew W. Marshall, who in two decades at the RAND Corporation had become the think tank’s Director of Strategic Studies. Marshall had also earned a reputation among defense intellectuals as an apostate in the cathedral of conventional wisdom.

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Immigration Issues Roil UK

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geoffpaul"Is there no one left in Britain who can make a sandwich?” asked a plaintive headline in a leading British tabloid, questioning the need to import 300 Hungarians to help make sandwiches for British supermarkets because the job did not appeal to local unemployed. The headline reflects the current obsession with the employment of European immigrants in menial jobs that Brits will not accept. There is also a constant stream of European migrants to fill vacancies for skilled workers in the building trade for which no trained local labour is available. Despite the country's need for these helping hands from Europe, they and their families are widely, if incorrectly, perceived (opinion poll in The Times) as negatively impacting the number of school places available for native-born children. They are also held responsible for low wages, lack of jobs and waiting times in hospital emergency departments. A sizeable proportion – 31 per cent of those polled – even blamed European immigration for the heavy traffic on major highways.

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U.S. Secretary of Defense—“Second Hardest Job” in U.S. Government

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johnbarrySo Chuck Hagel is leaving the Defense Department. That’s a wise decision on his and President Obama’s part. Hagel was chosen as Secretary of Defense when the task ahead was to shrink the Pentagon’s budget and withdraw American forces from conflicts bequeathed to Obama in Iraq and Afghanistan. A leader, in other words, for a period of American withdrawal from the world in response to twenty weary years of war since 9/11. But the world has proved it won’t wait. The United States confronts new challenges; and the mid-term election results suggest, like the opinion polls, that voters realize, however incoherently, that America has little choice but to meet them. Relish it or not, the United States remains “the indispensable power” --- a phrase given currency by Madeleine Albright, President Carter’s Secretary of State, but echoing the view of her predecessors back to Dean Acheson after World War Two.

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Perspectives: Georgia—Another Target in Russia’s “Near Abroad”

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CornellSvanteRussia went to war with Georgia in 2008, in a manner that, at least with the benefit of hindsight, appeared a trial run for this year’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, Russia has stirred trouble in Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and as far as the Baltic States, while bankrolling right-wing extremist parties in European Union countries. It is remarkable, however, that after the 2008 war, Georgia seemed off the target list.

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Catalans Have Voted – Now What?

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ryan barnes photo 2Voters have spoken, but has anything changed? The November 9th “consultation” on Catalonia’s relationship with Spain went ahead, much to the dismay of the Spanish Government and Constitutional Court. Over eighty-percent voiced support for secession from Spain, yet the turnout was a mere thirty-five percent.

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