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Joshua Foust
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Joshua Foust

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The great thing about mushroom soup is you can dress it up a bunch of different ways. You can make it vegan if you’re really hardcore about it, or you can make it with turkey stock (as I almost did). But it’s not necessary: a fairly routine set of ingredients make a perfectly delicious soup. This version is vegetarian, though you can easily amp up the body with cream or yogurt (or sour cream).
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Joshua Foust

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"The truth from the tribal region never comes out. The reality is that terrorists say they are not scared of the military, the locals, or any other security force. The only thing that scares them are drone strikes... all of us in the tribal belt believe that if there were no drones the terrorists would be stronger."
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Jamshid Mukhtarov started out his public life campaigning for human rights in Uzbekistan. After the horrifying massacre in Andijon, where hundreds of protesters were gunned down by government troops, Mukhtarov fled to Kyrgyzstan, and eventually as a refugee to Denver, Colorado where he worked as a truck driver. Yet now he’s on trial for providing material support to a banned terrorist organization. His case, and its many bizarre twists and turns, is a perfect storm of how the legal side of the war on terrorism is developing cracks people can slip through.
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It’s hard not to see the last four months as a systemic attack on the U.S. intelligence community. The consequences of these leaks are right now threatening to unravel one of the most effective financial instruments used to attack and undermine terrorist financing: the SWIFT deal between the European Union and the United States. That such a decision would leave Europe and the U.S. worse off is almost beside the point: the public reaction of European governments demands a response somehow.

It didn’t have to be this way. When intelligence operations are exposed in private — say when a spy is caught, or a listening bug is discovered — discussions happen behind closed doors. Procedures are modified to make a similar breach less likely. Everyone acts like adults.

But when normal espionage is exposed, democratically elected governments lack the political space to behave maturely. They must be seen to defend themselves, somehow. The easiest way is to demand routine intelligence operations end, because it’s terribly difficult to ensure that happens and everyone can go home properly chagrined.
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When they were first invented war planes were terrifying, not just in the sense we’re used to (i.e. the fear of a bomb being dropped) but the very concept of being able to rise above one’s enemy and strike without recourse. H.G. Wells, renown for his sci-fi and speculative fiction, wrote the seminal novel of the dread air war, 1907’s The War in the Air. Here all the themes of the warplane fear is on display: the incomprehensible weapons, unending waves of devastating strategic bombing, and so on. And just like the other fears about deadly airships or German air-terror in New York, it was mostly untrue. 

In the modern context, opposition to specific technologies of war usually takes the form of an appeal to one of two things — a previous, incredibly brutal conflict (World War 2, Vietnam, never for some reason Korea), or science fiction. Yet the laser-like focus on technology, whether it’s airships or drones, misses the far more important element in play — the bureaucracies, politics, and policies that make up the decision to wage a war and how to best fight it.
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Joshua Foust

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I took a Jaques Pepin recipe for this soup, as told to David Tanis in a recent article. I didn’t quite follow it exactly, and it showed: I wasn’t quite patient enough, and the flavors did not develop sufficiently. Furthermore, I do not suggest cooking the onions at as high a heat as Pepin says; I tried that and the onions overcooked. In addition, I made this into a smaller batch — I don’t need to serve six people at a time with soup, so I cut it down to serve four very nicely.
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It is that twisted codependence between Afghan and Pakistani security that is so difficult for anyone to unravel. It makes both countries acutely vulnerable to disruptions in the militant groups hiding across their shared border. Almost regardless of who really killed Nasiruddin, his death is sure to complicate an already complicated war, and leave its prospects even less certain than they were before.
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But there might be a way to mitigate the damage a bit: add France and Germany into the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. This isn’t so weird an idea: according to the AP, the intelligence community had been considering it because of the close, successful cooperation the U.S. has had with France and Germany in Afghanistan and Mali. 

A Seven Eyes, or SVEY, alliance would make a lot of sense: it would bring the other two largest economies of Europe “into the fold,” in a way, and would create additional incentives for everyone’s interests to align more closely (as they did not, say, over Iraq of Libya). 
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The Japanese anti-drone law just received a nod of approval from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The law authorizes Japan’s Self Defense Forces to shoot down foreign-operated drones if they do not respond to warnings given by the Japanese military. Here’s where it gets interesting.

The drone China used last month near Senkaku is probably the BZK-005, a medium-sized unarmed reconnaissance drone. While the design of the plane itself is fairly advanced — it’s made with high-technology composite materials and can fly for up to forty hours — China is still around two decades behind the United States in terms of operating its budding drone fleet. It’s not clear how the aircraft could comply with a Japanese warning short from broadcasting the demand directly to the Chinese government.
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His most recent was a lengthy profile in Forbes, when a reporter asked him if he was confident he could avoid being identified by law enforcement of the NSA. “I am,” he boasted, “unless they have cracked the modern encryption algorithms, which I highly doubt.”

As it turns out, the FBI did not have to: while it turned out the Silk Road’s encryption was too difficult to break, Ulbicht had left fingerprints all over the Web. By extensively searching the Internet, agents were able to trace the earliest postings about Ulbricht identifying himself with accounts later associated with DPR — allowing them to concretely identify him.
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I'm a writer.
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Writing. Analysis. Synthesis. Syncretism. Iconoclasm.
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An irascible, cantankerous auto-math with a hankering for the written word.
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The Joshua Foust you've probably heard of, either on cable TV, public radio, the Twitters, the blogzzz, or hatemail.
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