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Showing posts from January 22, 2012

From the Other Media: What Path Are We Going to Follow

http://www.irdiplomacy.ir/en/news/93/bodyView/1897304/From.the.Other.Media:.What.Path.Are.We.Going.to.Follow.html From the Other Media: What Path Are We Going to Follow To improve its economy, Iran should avoid moving in the path trodden during the past two decades. Mohsen Rezaee. Twenty-three years ago, when war with Saddam Hussein finally came to an end, I asked myself this question: is our challenge with the West finally over, or is it going to resume? But for me, the more consequential question was that in case of resumption, what form would it take?. It did not take long to find the answer to both questions: our challenge with the West would go on, in both the economic and cultural domains. The Reconstruction Era Immediately after the end of the war, the reconstruction venture was initiated, and my friends and I [in the Revolutionary Guards] rendered full-scale assistance to the government. Hundreds of highways, dams and bridges were constructed across the country; but I fo

Taliban diplomats arrive in Qatar

By Ben Farmer, Kabul9:00PM GMT 26 Jan 2012 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/9041544/Taliban-diplomats-arrive-in-Qatar.html A team of senior Taliban diplomats has arrived in Qatar in preparation for the opening of a political office to host negotiations between America, the insurgents and the Afghan government. The envoys from the former regime have assembled in the past month and the first tentative talks could begin within weeks according to former Taliban officials now part of Hamid Karzai's peace council. A Taliban declaration earlier this month that the movement would open an office "to come to an understanding with other nations" is seen as the most significant political breakthrough in ten years of conflict. The delegation was apparently granted safe passage to the Gulf state despite several members still being on a United Nations' sanctions blacklist banning international travel. It includes Tayeb Agha, former secretary to Taliba

The West’s All-Out Economic War on Iran

IRD discusses toughening sanctions against Iran in an interview with Head of the World Trade Center of Iran http://irdiplomacy.ir/en/news/20/bodyView/1897247/The.West%E2%80%99s.All.Out.Economic.War.on.Iran.html The age of wars on battlefields is over. In the last decade, the US and its European allies instigated two unfruitful wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, leading them to apprehend their wars’ ineffectiveness. “Soft” wars like cyber attacks as well as economic and political sanctions have found a special place in the American creed. Due to its nuclear program, Iran has been subject to economic sanctions both from the East and the West. Nevertheless, during the last year Tehran has seen even tougher sanctions that could be interpreted as a form of invisible war on the country. IRD discusses the problem with Mohammad-Reza Sabzalipour: IRD: Since its establishment, the Islamic Republic of Iran relentlessly faced sections imposed by Western countries. In your opinion, how are the r

The Beach Boys: Surfing U.....MVs (Unmanned Maritime Vehicles)

Contributor: Andrew Elwell Posted: 01/23/2012 12:00:00 AM EST SOURCE: Defence IQ Liquid Robotics Inc. is a Sunnyvale, California-based company that has developed the Wave Glider, a self-propelled and continuous Unmanned Maritime Vehicle (UMV). Bill Vass, President and CEO at Liquid Robotics, recently spoke with Defence IQ to discuss the company’s technology and how it can be utilised for military applications. The company’s Wave Glider uses wave and solar energy to power itself for long periods of time, with some deployments having lasted years at a time. “Our big innovation is converting the vertical motion of a wave directly into forward thrust … all the other autonomous platforms out there use their energy to move; we get our movement for free and we use all our energy to do computing and sensing,” Vass said. The Wave Glider can be used for a range of different missions, but primarily the technology is a sensing platform. “It can be used for battlespace softening … it

Who are the most central members of the China’s leadership as we enter 2012?

By Drew Conway, on January 3rd, 2012 http://www.drewconway.com/zia/?p=2825#more-2825 As the United States gears up for what appears to be a long and grueling 2012 presidential campaign , China will also undergo its decennial turnover in presidential power in 2012. Unlike the United States, however, this shift will not involve any campaigning or voting—at least not with the people of China. Instead, this shift is one that is formalized within he Chinese Communist party; but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be interesting shifts and reallocations of power. This leads naturally to many questions; perhaps most importantly that of this post’s title: Who are the most central members of the China’s leadership as we enter 2012? READ MORE

Germany begins cutting troops in Afghanistan

Germany is already taking hundreds of troops out of Afghanistan http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15690049,00.html The German parliament is starting to lower the number of soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. Two years ahead of the planned complete withdrawal of troops, many questions remain unresolved. One thing is certain: by the end of 2014, international combat troops are supposed to be completely pulled out of Afghanistan. Germany's Bundeswehr is therefore already reducing the ceiling of its mandate from the current 5,350 to 4,900 soldiers. The extended mandate, which the German parliament, the Bundestag, will finalize on Thursday, will be valid until January 2013. Johannes Pflug, spokesman for the "Task Force Afghanistan/Pakistan" in the Social Democrats' parliamentary group, does not believe that the deployment of German soldiers will be completed at that time. "We want our combat troops to have left Afghanistan by 2013/2014," Pflug said. "