Happy New Year to all. While you’re sticking the bubbly in the fridge and mapping out 2013 resolutions, consider nominating your favorite blogs for the 2013 OAIS awards sponsored by the Duck. Tomorrow is the deadline for nominations. See Dan’s last update on current nominees for more information.
The heavy bias toward counterinsurgency links in today’s post is entirely unintentional. Blame the feelings of impending doom sweeping through the DC streets. For things you might actually want to read on NYE, skip to the end.
- The looming fiscal cliff dominates the day’s news. Luckily, the much-dreaded dairy cliff has been averted (for now).
- The situation in Central African Republic continues, as rebels near Bangui and reject President Bozizé’s power-sharing offer.
- Laleh Khalili talks about her new book – Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford, 2012) – at Jadaliyya. After several years of real-time updates on the substantial scholarship that went into this book, it’s wonderful to see it in print.
- Over at Opiniojuris, an international law blog, Kevin Jon Heller compares deaths in Newtown to civilian drone casualties. He pokes holes in the idea that the “non-intentional” nature of civilian drone deaths mediates responsibility for those deaths.
- If you haven’t yet read Jane Mayer’s scorched-earth review of Zero Dark Thirty in the New Yorker, it is well worth a read. Also in the New Yorker, a profile of Petraeus poses the larger question of whether the quality of US military leadership has declined. Both of these are currently unlocked.
- On a lighter note, I bring you thomasfriedmanopedgenerator.com. May the new year bring many well-deserved free drinks to its creators.
- Slavoj Žižek’s interview with Salon also contains much (unintended?) hilarity. In addition to expressions of the ennui that accompanies hipster adoration, there is this: “In England, students think they can simply stop you and ask you a question. I find this repulsive.”
- Finally, the NYT’s Ross Douthat posts a much-tweeted editorial on how we should read in 2013.