Foreign Policy Thin-Sliced (8/13/13)

Gen. Augusto Pinochet

Gen. Augusto Pinochet

So Much for Drones’ Redeeming Qualities

Larry Lewis, a principal research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses, a research group with close ties to the US military, studied air strikes in Afghanistan from mid-2010 to mid-2011, using classified military data on the strikes and the civilian casualties they caused. Lewis told the Guardian he found that the missile strikes conducted by remotely piloted aircraft, commonly known as drones, were 10 times more deadly to Afghan civilians than those performed by fighter jets.

US drone strikes more deadly to Afghan civilians than manned aircraft – adviser, Spencer Ackerman, the Guardian

London: Host City for Financial Shenanigans

The banks always claim they have procedures in place to control the relevant processes and manage the risks involved, until it turns out that they don’t. This is a story as old as gambling itself. The question we should ask ourselves [is] why London has become the global capital of this kind of trading. … are we benefiting from the fact that London is a global financial centre, or do the costs outweigh the benefits?

Are we having fun yet?, John Lanchester, the London Review of Books

Pinochet: the Role Model

The award for the most staggeringly moronic response has to go to The Wall Street Journal’s editorial writers. They wrote, “Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.” Even leaving aside the thousands of dissidents who were kidnapped, tortured, disappeared, and murdered by the Pinochet regime, if you’re going to present a guy who took 17 years to crush his political opposition before calling new elections as a model worth emulating, then doesn’t it seem a little unfair to cheer a coup against Morsi after only one year?

Drawing the Wrong Lessons from Egypt, Matt Duss, the American Prospect

Colin Powell Actually Came in Handy at Times

[Powell remembers] during a crisis between India and Pakistan (in 2002), calling the Pakistani president (Pervez Musharraf) and saying to him, “You and I both know you couldn’t use these. You want to be the country or the leader who, for the first time since August of 1945, has used these weapons? Go look at the pictures again, of Hiroshima and Nagasaki! And you want to do this, or even think about it?”

Colin Powell: Nuclear option suicidal for North Korea, the Asahi Shimbum

Morsi Only Confirmed Fears About Islamist Rule

Morsi’s rule was marked by massive human rights abuses, including widespread arrests, widespread torture and assassination of political opponents, the unleashing and encouragement of Salafist-Wahhabist religious bigotry that included an openly misogynous campaign against women and the cruel and openly racist targeting of the country’s Egyptian shrinking Coptic (Egyptian Christian) community. Attacks on the Egyptian labor movement and its progressive youth – the two key elements in Mubarak’s overthrow were rampant as well.

Egypt: The Deck Is Reshuffled (Part 1), Rob Prince, the Foreign Policy in Focus blog Focal Points