Category Archives: economy

A Darwinian world-AFJ


I think he is incorrect in giving future global influence credit to IGOs…if his argument is the economy, then it would be corporations and/or illicit corporations. IGOs will only give credibility to actions so that one nations actions are not perceived as one sovereign infringing on another sovereign.

At least we have conflict to look forward too.

Libya points to a new era of aggression and turmoil
BY BOB KILLEBREW

As these words are written, U.S., British and French warplanes are striking Libyan ground forces along the Mediterranean littoral; American and other NATO troops are pounding out “fragile and reversible” gains in Afghanistan; and unrest continues to roil governments in Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. To our south, criminal cartels and violent gangs murder government officials, civilians and one another in Mexico and points south. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, whose state policy protects cocaine production and smuggling, invites into his country the Iranian Republican Guard and Hezbollah, while, over the horizon, China continues its naval buildup.

Whatever happened to the “peace dividend” and the long rest the world was supposed to get after the end of the Cold War? Those days are long gone, obviously, in the tectonic forces moving the world forward into a century more unstable than many had predicted.

Three years from now will be the centennial of the 1914 disaster that set the 20th century careering down the road to two world wars and the mass murders of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. We can hope that the 21st century is more peaceful, but it’s not looking good. For all the hope that globalization and the communications revolution would bring people together — and they have — at least part of the result has been to make aggression and murder more practical.

via Armed Forces Journal

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Paying the piper-AFJ


I think his argument is that an aerospace centric strategy will allows us to bridge this period of fiscal constraint; however he continues to argue that airpower will not resolve our national security challenges and that airpower is expensive.

 

Paying the piper

An aerospace-centric defense strategy makes fiscal sense

BY GENE MYERS Defense in an uncertain world is vital, but ensuring national security involves far more than military prowess. We now find ourselves asking how we satisfy two conflicting requirements: frugality and security. And I find myself having concerns and making recommendations I would not have even a year ago.

 

I will start this discussion with the suggestion that we avoid putting ground forces in harm’s way if at all possible, as I think President Obama is trying hard to do in Libya, and that, when we must act, we maximize the use of our air power — Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine Corps. We are the world’s pre-eminent aerospace power. It’s our asymmetric advantage. Let’s use it.

via Armed Forces Journal

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In Greece, austerity kindles deep discontent – The Washington Post


Just how far north will economic and social discontent travel?

Athens — Already struggling to avoid a debt default that could seal Greece’s fate as a financial pariah, this Mediterranean nation is also scrambling to contain another threat — a breakdown in the rule of law.

Thousands have joined an “I Won’t Pay” movement, refusing to cover highway tolls, bus fares, even fees at public hospitals. To block a landfill project, an entire town south of Athens has risen up against the government, burning earth-moving equipment and destroying part of a main access road.

The protests are an emblem of social discontent spreading across Europe in response to a new age of austerity. At a time when the United States is just beginning to consider deep spending cuts, countries such as Greece are coping with a fallout that has extended well beyond ordinary civil disobedience.

Perhaps most alarming, analysts here say, has been the resurgence of an anarchist movement, one with a long history in Europe. While militants have been disrupting life in Greece for years, authorities say that anger against the government has now given rise to dozens of new “amateur anarchist” groups, whose tactics include planting of gas canisters in mailboxes and destroying bank ATMs.

Some attacks have gone further, heightening concerns about a return to the kind of left-wing violence that plagued parts of Europe during the 1970s and 1980s. After urban guerrillas mailed explosive parcels to European leaders and detonated a powerful bomb last year in front of an Athens courthouse, authorities here have staged a series of raids, arresting dozens and yielding caches of machine guns, grenades and bomb-making materials.

The anarchist movement in Europe has a long, storied past, embracing an anti-establishment universe influenced by a broad range of thinkers from French politician and philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to Karl Marx to Oscar Wilde. Defined narrowly, the movement includes groups of urban guerillas, radical youths and militant unionists. More broadly, it encompasses everything from punk rock to WikiLeaks.

“Many of these are just a few frustrated high school students with a Web site,” said Mary Bossi, one of Greece’s leading terrorism experts. “But as we continue to see, others have the potential to be dangerous.”

via In Greece, austerity kindles deep discontent – The Washington Post.

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Risk Management


 

Fareed Zakaria describes the planning Petraeus and Panetta should demand in the Washington Post.

The goal should instead be preparedness. Government agencies should be readying policymakers and bureaucrats for sharp changes in international, regional and national patterns. They should be imaginative about the possibilities of sudden shifts and new circumstances and force policymakers to confront the scenarios in advance.

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Deviant globalization


The international organs, drugs, malware and weapons trades (among others) have been growing and flourishing, and the reason is globalization says Nils Gilman a consultant and scenario planner. Well, not regular old Thomas Friedman-style World is Flat type globalization, but deviant globalization. Gilman outlined his concept at the 2008 European Futurists Conference in Switzerland. Watch him describe how the global illicit economy works alongside — and expands with — the licit economy in an era of globalization 

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Kosovo’s Economic Plan Unrealistic, Experts Warn


On April 18, the government approved the plan for 2011-2014, which foresees economic growth from seven to eight per cent and hopes to reduce the unemployment rate by eight to ten per cent, but it has been met with sceptism by some analysts. The plan aims to fight the informal economy, create a sole agency for tax and customs revenues, improve fiscal policies, and revitalise agriculture.

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/kosovo-s-government-plan-on-economy-unrealistic-experts-warn

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How to Save a Trillion Dollars – TIME


Across Washington, all sorts of people are starting to ask the unthinkable questions about long-sacred military budgets. Can the U.S. really afford more than 500 bases at home and around the world? Do the Air Force, Navy and Marines really need $400 billion in new jet fighters when their fleets of F-15s, F-16s and F-18s will give them vast air superiority for years to come? Does the Navy need 50 attack submarines when America’s main enemy hides in caves? Does the Army still need 80,000 troops in Europe 66 years after the defeat of Adolf Hitler?

via How to Save a Trillion Dollars – TIME.

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Pentagon: Obama budget would cut forces, missions


The Pentagon says the president’s goal to slash another $400 billion from defense spending over the next 12 years cannot be done without cutting military forces and their ability to protect U.S. security.

via Pentagon: Obama budget would cut forces, missions – The Denver Post.

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Albanian-American Enterprise Fund Returns $15 Million to U.S. Treasury | U.S. Department of State Blog


January 19, 2011, the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund (AAEF), recipient of a U.S. government grant, returned $15 million to the U.S. Treasury. This payback represented the successful completion of a program established by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1995 to promote the growth of the private sector in Albania and assist the country’s transition out of Communist isolation and towards a market-based economy.

via Albanian-American Enterprise Fund Returns $15 Million to U.S. Treasury | U.S. Department of State Blog.

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Charles Wolf, Jr.: The Facts About American ‘Decline’ – WSJ.com


It’s fashionable among academics and pundits to proclaim that the U.S. is in decline and no longer No. 1 in the world. The declinists say they are realists. In fact, their alarm is unrealistic.

via Charles Wolf, Jr.: The Facts About American ‘Decline’ – WSJ.com.

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