Let’s begin with some cheery news that will surely brighten your Monday: The Associated Press reports that Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has been “neutralized” in Algeria. Experts say it no longer poses the threat it once did, and the Algerian government’s handling of the militants is a model other countries should follow (Ahem . . . Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan). Money quote:
The success of Algeria’s counter-terror campaign provides insights into how al-Qaida can be beaten if faced with a well-organized and focused foe: With limited U.S. help, Algeria has thrown millions of dollars and the full weight of its security apparatus into eradicating AQIM on its soil.
Lots of Afghanistan news: Over the weekend, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton designated Afghanistan a “major non-NATO ally,” according to the Washington Post. The label “makes it easier for the country to secure financing for defense equipment and other benefits for its security forces.” The Hill reports that DoD cut $1 billion in funding for the Afghan National Security Forces. Part of that money will go toward weaponizing the Navy’s drones. And donor nations meeting in Tokyo pledged $16 billion in aid to Afghanistan over the next four years for nation-building projects in exchange for the Afghan government’s tackling corruption. The Washington Post has the story.
Lots of Pakistan news as well: Instead of being praised by his people for resolving a months-long standoff with the United States, Pakistani Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf was met with “widespread scorn,” according to Jahanzeb Aslam in the Daily Beast. Meanwhile, fifteen suspected Taliban militants were killed in N. Waziristan late Friday–the first strike after Pakistan reopened its supply routes to Afghanistan, reports the New York Times. And the Washington Times tells us that hard-line Pakistanis protested against—you guessed it!—the reopening of NATO supply routes.
Meanwhile, a terrorist suspect was arrested in London for violating his T-Pims, the system that replaced control orders, says the BBC.
National Public Radio has this story about the civilian impact of drone strikes in Yemen.
Rich Lowry writes in the New York Post about “the great drone panic,” arguing that “[t]he fear of drones is, in part, the fear of the new—it’s Luddism masquerading as civil libertarianism.”
And, from the parody Twitter feed known as Al Qaeda (“Working to expel the infidels from the lands of the Faithful, unite Muslims and create a new Islamic caliphate.”) comes this memorable tweet on the Higgs boson–today’s Moment of Zen.
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