Thursday, October 1, 2009

HOT5 Daily 10/1/2009

1. "The stakes in Afghanistan go well beyond Afghanistan" Strategic implications.

Representative Sample: a U.S. decision to wash its hands of Afghanistan would send a different message to friends and competitors alike. It would hasten the emergence of a different kind of international order, one in which history no longer appeared to be on the side of the United States and its friends. Islamic extremism, rather than continuing to lose ground to the universal promise of democratic modernity, would gain new legs -- after all, Afghan Islamists would have defeated their second superpower in a generation.

2. "Accomodating Islam?" Accomodation or forcing religious beliefs and practices on non-believers?

Representative Sample: The issue here isn't respecting other religions, or helping minority groups make their way in the larger society, or being flexible to accommodate religious diversity. No, the issue here is remaking society to conform to the religious law of one particular faith. This is something new – and very troubling.

3. "Germany Sells, Delivers 2 More Dolphin Subs to Israel" The Israeli navy just got far stronger.

Representative Sample: Dolphin submarines are versatile and heavily-armed, with a wet and dry compartment for deploying underwater swimmers, and no less than 10 bow torpedo tubes. Four of the tubes have a 650mm diameter, which can launch larger cruise missiles, but are also useful for launching commandos in swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs). The other 6×533mm tubes can launch STN Atlas Elektronik’s DM2A3 torpedoes or anti-ship missiles (likely Boeing’s UGM-86 Harpoons). Underwater mines offer another option.

4. "Atheism and Religious Beliefs Are NOT And Never Will Be On The Same Page" Makes some excellent points.

Representative Sample: When you think of it, every time believers use God to explain anything, they are making atheists’ case for us. And not to sound redundant, but think about it. Yeah, “it’s hard to believe in God,” but that’s exactly why you shouldn’t. Believing in God isn’t the opposite of believing in science. Science requires NO belief. It’s our best explanations of what we know under concrete definitions and testable conditions. 

5. "New Weapons Look And Act Strangely" Interesting avenues of weapon development.

Representative Sample: Scientists, engineers and technicians took an existing weapon, maintained the mass and logistical needs, and produced the 500-lb. BLU-126/B with an explosive footprint that can destroy a truck but not whatever is next to it.

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