Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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May 8th, 2010

Summary: Pakistan is investigating whether Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American arrested over a botched plot to bomb New York’s Times Square, met top Pakistani Taliban leaders in South Waziristan. If confirmed, it would be the group’s first involvement in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 8, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Iraq’s security forces, despite significant improvements, remained hobbled by shortages of men and equipment, bureaucracy, corruption, political interference, and security breaches that have resulted in the deaths of dozens of Iraqi and American troops.


May 7th, 2010

Summary: Alleged links between Faisal Shahzad’s Times Square bombing attempt and the Taliban are adding to perceptions of Pakistan as a global exporter of terror and increasing pressure on its military to crack down on extremists along the Afghanistan border. The Pakistani Taliban — Tehrik-e-Taliban — was hellbent on revenge inside America after a U.S. Predator drone attack killed its leader, Baitullah Mehsud, in August 2009 and the more recent strikes that nearly killed Baitullah’s successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, in January 2010. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 7, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that a spate of bombings in Iraq raised concern that militants were regrouping after suffering sharp setbacks in fighting during the previous two years, 2007-2008.