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Friday’s Reading List

By Taylor Marvin

Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry, "Ruins of the Ancient theatre of Taormina", 1905. Via Wikimedia.

Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry, “Ruins of the Ancient theatre of Taormina”, 1905. Via Wikimedia.

Apologies for the light posting. What I read this week:

Syria continues to dominate the news, and Seth Kaplan runs down seven scenarios for the country’s future (via Sam Roggeveen).

James Joyner argues that Obama’s proposed limited-strikes on regime targets make “no strategic sense,” and it’s difficult to disagree. David Kaye has more on the legal problems behind intervention in Syria.

Gregory Djerejian on the administration’s ill-advised red line and reaction to the Assad regime’s apparent disregard for it: “Frankly, I am astonished by the lack of seriousness and mediocrity on display” (via Kevin Drum).

What does the House of Commons’ dramatic rejection of Cameron’s plans mean for the Obama administration? Probably not much.

Seyed Hossein Mousavian on why the US and Iran must find some way to cooperate in Syria.

Rosa Brooks writes that America is a “wounded giant” unable to admit that its global influence is shrinking.

In other news, David Axe reviews new reporting on Russia’s Sukhoi T-50 fighter. As has been suspected, it appears that the PAK FA program is intended to deliver a limited-production fighter optimized to bypass fighters and destroy AWACS aircraft at long range deep in enemy airspace.

Speaking of aircraft, Michael Bob Star and Robert Farley both have more on Farley’s criticism of the USAF.

Nine scientific breakthroughs that killed science-fiction subgenres. My personal favorite would be the primordial, rainforest Venus trope, which seems to have definitively vanished by the 1960s. One day routine interstellar transit may be added to this list, but I doubt it — writing stories with centuries-long transit times is admirable, but hard!

Finally, more linkage at Political Violence @ a Glance.

Colleen – Geometría Del Universo.

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