Global Briefing, Mar. 24, 2011: Drug Wars and Arms Races

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Gaddafi Holds His Ground — The question of who will lead air strikes on Libya is less important than determining the purpose, terms and limits of the mission, argues Tony Karon on Global Spin. See Christopher Morris’ photographs from Tripoli, here.

Arms Race — The Economist’s ‘Daily Chart’ takes a closer look at the ‘big guns’ of the global arms trade.

Heading South — Crackdowns in Mexico, South America and the Caribbean are pushing drug cartels into new parts of Central America, reports the New York Times. Read about about Obama’s recent trip to the region, here.

Urban Studies — In an excerpt from his new book, the Globe and Mail‘s Doug Saunders chronicles life on the urban periphery, where the “new century is being built.”

Diplomatic Defections — In an engaging dispatch from Washington, Sheryl Gay Stolberg tells the tale of Libya’s ambassador Ali Suleiman Aujali, who is now the maid-less “ambassador of an uprising.”

America the Reticent — The air campaign in Libya signals a shift in how America sees its geopolitical role, argue Daniel Dombey and Richard McGregor in the FT. “The difference with the Bush-era formulation — ‘You’re either with us or against us’ — could not be starker,” they write.

In Pictures TIME features the first photographs of the “Fukushima 50,” the men left behind in Japan’s stricken nuclear plant. Click here for the latest on Japan.

That Rocks! — The Atlantic Wire notes that the Guardian has posted a guide to the Arab uprisings that looks suspiciously like “Guitar Hero.” Check it out.