- "E-Resistance Blooms in Pakistan," by Manjeet Kripalani in Der Spiegel. Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf may have muzzled the media, but communication is thriving in cyberspace. Blogs and Web sites such as Facebook are being used to keep people informed and organize "flash" protests. An estimated half a billion text messages a day have also been keeping the citizenry up to date.
- "What Makes a Terrorist?" by Alan Krueger in the November/December 2007 issue of The American. Almost 60 percent of Palestinian suicide bombers have more than a high school education, compared with less than 15 percent of the general population. Krueger explains why, from an economist's perspective, and further debunks the notion that poverty and lack of education cause terrorism.
- One of my local TV stations ran a report over the holiday weekend about the remarkable Frank Buckles, the last American soldier alive to have seen combat in World War I. At 106 years old, Buckles is more lucid than I am. There's a short profile of him in Monday's New York Times.
- Also in honor of Veterans Day, NPR has been presenting a series on what life is like for Iraq veterans returning home. Renee Montagne had an especially moving report about two mothers, Sgt. Kimber Smith and Sgt. Marisa Gonzales, who've had difficulties adjusting to life back in Southern California after their tours of duty.
- Calculating the carbon footprint of wine: my research findings, a post at Dr. Vino's wine blog. Wine guru Tyler Colman teams up with numbers man Pablo Paster to tally the amount of carbon it takes to make and transport your favorite bottle of wine. Read their working paper here (pdf).
- Robert D. Kaplan. "America's Elegant Decline." The Atlantic Monthly. The influential writer who predicted "The Coming Anarchy" and pushed American military leaders to focus on counterinsurgency and urban warfare now wonders if we've let traditional military strengths like sea power decline too far. Can a 150-ship navy meet the security challenges of the 21st century or is the United States, like Britain before it, on the path to giving up global sea supremacy?TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images
- "Don't be scared of the Russians," in The Spectator. Con Coughlin argues that Russia is not interested in starting a new Cold War with the West — it just "wants to be loved." Nonetheless, Russia is paranoid about the intentions of the United States and its European allies, and if its fears play out in the form of increasing NATO encroachment or a missile-defense system, escalating aggression may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.