Page 11 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2012

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A P R I L 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
and Mali, among many other Foreign
Service assignments.
Once confirmed, Amb. White will
need to draw on every bit of that ca-
reer experience to succeed in her new
posting. Recovery from the Jan. 12,
2010, earthquake that registered 7.0
on the Richter scale, killed more than
300,000 people and destroyed the
lives of thousands of others continues
to be painfully slow. At least half a mil-
lion Haitians are still living in tempo-
rary settlements, according to the
International Organization for Migra-
As if the death toll and damage to
infrastructure were not enough, Haiti
is also struggling to rebuild political,
economic and social institutions hol-
lowed out by many decades of social
injustice and political turmoil. Accord-
ing to a United Nations Development
Program study
), thr
quarters of the population “lives on less
than $2 per day, and 56 percent
four and a half million people
on less than $1 per day.”
Michel Martelly, a former musician
with the stage name “Sweet Micky,”
has been president of Haiti since May
2011. He won office on a platform of
jump-starting the country’s recovery
and fighting corruption.
Despite initial doubts about his
abilities, his administration has made
real progress. The Inter-American Di-
) re
ports that more than half of the 10
million cubic feet of debris from the
disaster has been removed, and notes
that plans to set up an industrial park
in the northeastern part of the island
could bring 20,000 jobs.
Martelly has had much less success
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Vinson Hall
Although North Korean negotiators reportedly have agreed to suspend uranium
enrichment and nuclear tests, global anxiety continues to mount over the possi-
bility that Tehran will soon develop its own nuclear capability — or that Israel will
launch a pre-emptive strike to head off that possibility. Either scenario could trig-
ger widespread conflict and instability.
Against that backdrop, it is timely that Alex Wellerstein, a science historian at
the American Institute of Physics
(, rec
ently added a new feature to
his Nuclear Secrecy blog
Ominously called Nukemap, the site prompts viewers to select a location and
a bomb size, then illustrates the approximate blast radius and radiation reach when
such a weapon is deployed. The program emerged from exercises Wellerstein de-
veloped while teaching physics at Harvard University and the Massachusetts In-
stitute of Technology.
During the site’s first month alone, more than 200,000 unique visitors set off
an average of five detonations each. The majority of these “blasts” have taken
place in the United States and Western Europe, but a map depicting visitors’ se-
lections makes clear that interest in the subject is truly worldwide.
Written from a nonpartisan perspective, Nuclear Secrecy analyzes current
events related to nuclear weapons, civil defense and related subjects. It also of-
fers a trove of historical documents and resources for teachers, students and re-
— Steven Alan Honley, Editor