Today’s broadsheet from the FM website pressroom. There are 5 sections, all with hot news.
- Links to interesting news and analysis
- Valuable Advice – more hand-to-hand combat tips
- Featured articles – peak oil updates
- The essence of the problem in a single sentence, by the Director of the CBO
- Quote of the Day, by General McChrystal
- Plus, an Afterword
(I) Links to interesting news and analysis
(a) “Mexico Border City Groups Call For UN Peacekeepers“, AP, 12 November 2009
(c) They forgot to ask how many saying so were hypocrites receiving Medicare: More in U.S. Say Health Coverage Is Not Gov’t. Responsibility“, Gallup, 13 November 2009
(d) More evidence we won nothing in Iraq (increasingly a Shiite ally of Iran): “Rebuilding Its Economy, Iraq Shuns U.S. Businesses“, New York Times, 13 November 2009
(e) Recognition of the blindingly obvious, at last: “High Costs Weigh on Troop Debate for Afghan War“, New York Times, 14 November 2009
(II) Valuable Advice – more hand-to-hand combat tips
“Defend Yourself in Hand-to-Hand Combat“, Brad Miner (former literary editor of National Review), posted at Learning to Fight, 13 November 2009 — “Useful advice for those of us who are not martial arts experts.
(III) Featured articles – Peak Oil Updates
(a) “Field-by-Field Analysis of Oil Production“, Chapter 10 of World Energy Outlook 2008, International Energy Agency, 2008 — A definitive answer to the question of oil field depletion rates, the hottest oil-related issue of the previous 5 years.
(b) “The Dilemma of Oil Depletion“, Glada Lahn, Chatham House, June 2009 — Important news for oil-producers. An update to the following report.
(c) “Ending Dependence: Hard Choices for Oil-Exporting States, John V Mitchell and Paul Stevens, Chatham House, July 2008 — Summary:
- Since 2003, countries whose economies depend on the export of oil and gas have enjoyed a surge of revenue driven by rising oil prices and, in some countries, rising export volumes. The press has captured petroleum-fuelled prosperity in images of futuristic construction plans and the rocketing assets of sovereign wealth funds. However, this obscures important differences among oil and gas exporters in terms of reserves size and social development challenges. Based on a major study of twelve hydrocarbon-exporting countries, this report shows that the boom does not guarantee economic sustainability for these countries, most of which face hard policy choices over domestic consumption, development spending and rates of economic growth. The report estimates the timeframes these countries have in which to make the necessary changes and examine their prospects for success given the existing human, institutional and technical capacity, competitive advantages, infrastructure and access to capital.
(IV) The essence of the problem in a single sentence, by the Director of the CBO
Add this to the list of warnings from other government officials, academics, the ratings agencies, the IMF, the World Bank, and many prominent academics and business leaders. We do not want to hear this, and would rather our children cry when confronted with the results.
… fiscal policy is on an unsustainable path to an extent that cannot be solved by minor tinkering. The country faces a fundamental disconnect between the services the people expect the government to provide, particularly in the form of benefits for older Americans, and the tax revenues that people are willing to send to the government to finance those services. That fundamental disconnect will have to be addressed in some way if the budget is to be placed on a sustainable course.
— “Entitlement Spending and the Long-Term Budget Outlook“, Douglas W. Elmendorf (bio), Director of the Congressional Budget Office, 10 November 2009
(V) Quote of the Day by General McChrystal
From “Among Obama Aides, Debate Intensifies on Troop Levels“, New York Times, 12 November 2009:
Last Sunday, a few days after General Eikenberry sent his cable to the State Department, top military and civilian officials gathered for a regularly scheduled meeting at the embassy, where General McChrystal pointedly addressed many of the issues in the Eikenberry memo. General McChrystal did not refer to the cable directly, but specifically challenged General Eikenberry’s conclusions, according to one official familiar with the meeting. General McChrystal, he said, said that no alternatives had been offered besides “the helicopter on the roof of the embassy,” a reference to the hasty American withdrawal from Saigon in 1975.
The uber-rebuttal to that:
“It might be helpful in this situation if General McChrystal thought back on how the US got to that inglorious point.”
— Michael Cohen, “Afghanistan Mission Creep Watch – The Chutzpah Version”, Democracy Arsenal, 12 November 2009.
It’s amazing how closely we’re following the decision-making pattern of the Vietnam escalation. For specifics see
- How many troops would it take to win in Afghanistan?
- Let’s blow the fog away and see what General McChrystal really said
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