Weekly Wrap-Up: “We’ve Got Your Back”

Watch the West Wing Week here.

“You’ve met the mission”: President Obama spoke in Annapolis, Maryland last Friday to deliver the commencement address to the U.S. Naval Academy’s class of 2013. In his address, the President congratulated the graduates for taking their oath, and praised them for meeting the mission of the Academy and proving themselves morally, mentally, and physically.

“So, Class of 2013, in your four years by the Bay, you’ve met every test before you. And today is the day that you’ve been counting down to for so long. You will take your oath. Those boards and gold bars will be placed on your shoulders. And as your Commander-in-Chief, I congratulate each of you on becoming our newest officers -- ensigns in the United States Navy, second lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps.  

The Savoy School: Actress Kerry Washington joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the Savoy School in Washington, D.C. on Friday. The school was selected for the Turnaround Arts Initiative at the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities last year. While visiting, the First Lady played freeze dance and checked out art projects created by a fifth grade class.

"When you work hard and you invest thousands of hours in anything, you get better.  And that’s what you guys are learning here at Savoy.  Hopefully you are learning that with your math, with your reading, with your dancing, with your singing, it's about the amount of effort that you want to put into anything."

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Office Space

Earlier this week, the AP’s Rukmini Callimachi revealed one of the memos she discovered in the sixth trashbag full of AQIM documents she collected in the aftermath of the French attack on jihadis in Timbuktu in January. The memo, dated October 2012, is from the shura council of AQIM to the shura council of the Masked [...] Read more »

Can Russia Export Soft Power?

I have argued before that Russia needs to “earn” soft power before it can be strategically utilized. But this does not appear to be the perception within Russia. Rather than seeing soft power as something that grows organically, Osipova’s presentation lent credibility to the perception that Russia views it as something that can, in a sense, be constructed and deployed. Read more »

Various body parts for various body parts

[ by Charles Cameron -- mostly about a fascinating quote from Martin Luther King ] . . Let’s start with the Code of Hammurabi, 196-97: If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out. If he break another man’s bone, his bone shall be broken. A few days [...] Read more »

Local Partners, War, and TANSTAAFL

Earlier this year, the Colombian military whacked "32 high-value narco-terrorists" with the help of US Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconaissance (ISR) platforms. Today, we now know that they are all Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) members fro... Read more »