Security

This remarkable interview with Robert Hill, Former Chief Naval Engineer Officer of the Royal Navy, discusses the peculiarities of Hyman Rickover, including some very revealing stories, as well as Rickover’s role in developing the civilian reactor at Shippingport. The description of Rickover’s interaction with the chairman of Rolls Royce is quite amusing, though it also […]

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Spring brought an increasing flow of decrypts about Wehrmacht operations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Senior officers strove to streamline the transfer of information from Bletchley to battlefields, so that material reached commanders in real time. One of the most significant intercepts, detailing German plans for the May 1941 invasion of Crete, reported ‘probable date of […]

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Hut 8 [of Bletchley Park] now had enough information to read some U-boat signals, but the seizure which opened the traffic to fluent decryption was the fruit of chance and high courage, rather than of design. On 9 May 1941 a convoy escort group attacked and forced to the surface Julius Lempe’s U-110. A boarding […]

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Donald McLachlan, a journalist who served under Godfrey [head of British naval intelligence] at the Admiralty, afterwards argued that all wartime intelligence departments should be run by civilians in uniform, because they are unburdened by the lifetime prejudices of career soldiers, sailors and airmen: ‘It is the lawyer, the scholar, the traveller, the banker, even […]

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In Massey College’s Upper Library today, Ramesh Thakur gave an interesting presentation on changing international ideas about the use of military force in response to human rights violations, emphasizing the distinction between the concept of humanitarian intervention and the idea of the responsibility to protect (R2P). I got photos of the event. During the question […]

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The Atlantic has a long and interesting article about Barack Obama’s foreign policy. It discusses the use of chemical weapons in Syria; Obama’s take on Churchillian rhetoric; Obama’s appreciation for elements of the George H. W. Bush foreign policy; disagreements within the Obama foreign policy team; Obama’s views on Israeli security; Obama’s “secret disdain” for […]

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The pope had been an actor before he became a priest, and his triumphant return to Poland in 1979 revealed that he had lost none of his theatrical skills. Few leaders of his era could match him in his ability to use words, gestures, exhortations, rebukes — even jokes — to move the hearts and […]

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According to World Nuclear News, the International Atomic Energy Agency just adopted a report saying that Iran hasn’t been working toward a nuclear weapon since 2009: The IAEA assessment found that a “range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device” had been conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 […]

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Naomi Klein on Paris’ decision to ban “outdoor events” during the forthcoming climate negotiations: Rather, after the horrific attacks of 13 November, it needed to determine whether it had the will and capacity to host the whole summit – with full participation from civil society, including in the streets. If it could not, it should […]

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The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a constellation of twenty-one primary satellites, and three spares, in near-circular orbits 11,000 miles above the earth at an inclination of 55 degrees to its equator. While the satellites are best known for their role in allowing the precise location of individuals and objects, by 1995 they had been […]

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