Today’s Reads: Cutting nukes, a defense of targeted killings of Americans

February 28, 2013

Turkish special police forces patrol during clashes with rioting Kurdish protesters in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir in 2006. (MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images)

This post is part of a recurring feature, in which I’ll share some of what I’m reading today. It’s meant to highlight some of the best foreign affairs coverage from other media outlets, blogs, academic institutions and think tanks. It’s also meant to give you a sense of what might end up driving the foreign policy conversations for the day. I hope you enjoy it and check back tomorrow.

1) Lawfare: In Defense of the Administration on Targeted Killing of Americans

Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institutions is no slouch on civil liberties, particularly when it comes to national security. So I was surprised to see his post articulating a lengthy, detailed legal defense of the Obama administration's controversial policy allowing the White House to target American citizens for killing without due process. My knowledge of the law is not nearly sufficient to judge the merits of his argument, so perhaps someone with a better understanding than my own will share their thoughts in the comments below.

2) The Economist: Cutting nuclear warheads

Did you know that the U.S. and Russia still have many thousands of nuclear weapons that were designed for a Cold War that ended 20 years ago? It's true! This Economist video nicely explains, with plenty of charts, the cutting process and what's left.

3) Financial Times: The prisoner on Imrali

Turkey is negotiating directly with the leader of the Kurdish resistance group PKK. It certainly seems significantly possible that the talks will fail, but if they don't, it could end Turkey's oldest conflict and have significant implications for neighboring Syria, Iran and Iraq, where there are also Kurdish populations.

4) Arabist: On the Egyptian Opposition

A very sharp and respected Egypt analyst evaluates the opposition movement and its long struggle.

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Max Fisher · February 28, 2013