President Bush, above right, spoke
to the 2002 WACA national conference; image courtesy of Terry Wofford.
The other images are by Jeremy Lewis, from AWAC meetings.
Web hosted by Huntingdon
College |Political Science
Notes and Links on Guests
and Speeches, 2009-10,
with WACs of America
Lewis; revised 5 May '10 with latest event notes.
Facebook album for tagged images of AWAC events, '09-10 | Images
on web '09-10 | Hi-res images
29 September 2009: Janet
Guyon, "The Web and the Decline of News Outlets. Managing
Editor of Bloomberg News
13 October 2009: Edward
(Jack) Hardin, "National Security and Civil Liberties." Top
corporate attorney from Atlanta.
1 November 2009 (Sunday), additional
event: Gen. Michael Hayden, "The State of US Intelligence.
Former director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence
3 November 2009: Amb.
Ryan Crocker, "Iraq/AfPak: Retrospects and Prospects". Recently
retired, Ambassador to Pakistan, 2004-2007, Ambassador to Iraq, 2007-2009.
22 February 2010 (Monday): Dr.
Hans Mark, "The Dangers of Nuclear Proliferation", Director
of NASA's Ames Research Center (and formerly at Livermore Labs), Secretary
of the Air Force, and Chancellor, University of Texas system.
6 April 2010: Dr. William
Moomaw, Professor of International
Environment Policy and Director of the Center for International Environment
and Resource Policy, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University,
4 May 2010: Senior
Air War College Instructors report
on their regional tours, as part of the AWC Regional and Cultural Studies
NOTES ON SPEAKERS
2009: Janet Guyon, Bloomberg News. "The
Web and the Decline of News Outlets." Managing Editor of Bloomberg
nine years with Fortune Magazine; and 18 years with the
Street Journal as reporter, editor, and producer.
Notes (blended) from
Alexis Johnson and Jeremy Lewis
• Born in Cincinnati, Ohio
At the Bloomberg News
• Graduated summa cum
laude from Duke in English and Economics
• Did post-graduate work
at Columbia University
• 18 years with The Wall
• 9 years with Fortune
• In 2000, she won “Magazine
Journalist of the Year” in the UK
• Now managing editor of
So, what to do?
While with Fortune, learned
at WEF of web publications, offered free
Wanted to be in charge of the
website, being unfamiliar with the new technology that had taken the U.S.
by storm while in England
Wall Street Journal web
pages were an early success, and attracted millions to their online product
though limited revenue per viewer compared to print. At Bloomberg,
became convinced could never raise enough revenue online.
Bloomberg News has 2,000 journalists
around world, writing content. Goal of $50M ad revenue. Audience
trebled to 15 M per month, but ad revenue never reached $50M. Not
like networks and newspapers (now one per city) so print commands a premium.
But ad inventory on web is infinite,
so prices decline. Advertiser does not need to use Bloomberg News
– can go elsewhere. Google, rather than NY Times, gets ad
money by matching ads to viewer interest.
Web is taking ad revenue away
from print but it is not necessarily going to publishers.
NY Times going through
third or fourth round of layoffs.
Publishers not stupid; there
is technology change and distribution method change.
Squeeze going on and publishers
do not know what to do.
- The ad revenue for the
website was supposed to be around $50 million, but was closer to half of
-an ad network, like Google,
can follow the audience, despite leaving the website
-the network usually receives
the money, rather than the publishers
Effect of coming shakeout?
Accept it, and embrace it. There
will still be news, just in a different form.
Pay for an online addition
-How much to charge?
-How and when to charge?
Possible to give away portions
for free, and charge for full articles
Paid subscriptions, just as
a printed newspaper
Bloomberg model: Bloomberg Terminal
is a computer system that enables financial professionals to monitor and
analyze real-time financial market data movements and place trades.
$20,000 per year for Bloomberg terminal - compared to tiny staff of web
service. 300,000 pay, get download of software for PC as tool for
making money – can compare P/E ratios, bonds, map of oil tanker ships around
world. Magazine, web, tv are just marketing tools for the main service.
Business model 20 years ago was e-delivered from start, able to support
146 offices worldwide, one of world’s largest busnesses organs. Enabling
tool for particular set of people.
Subscription services: like
newspaper and phone service.
BBC model: government supported
– but controversy over how much they can be commercialized with public
support. Like Bloomberg News, create an exclusive program to fund the other
Web news model: Superior product
with real time news, video, ability to contact authors – but not charging
for it. No other business like this except internet entrepreneurs
who build a business free and hope for Microsoft to buy out.
Free newspapers: were called
shockers, not good quality.
In Europe, newspaper subscriptions
and advertisers have 50-50 split of revenue.
Running web site at Bloomberg,
about 10% of audience were addicts, spent much time on site. If those
paid $50 per year, that exceeds advertising anyway.
Many publishers taking subscription
road now, but many will not survive. However, Some newspapers will
Should there be a bailout?
Grew up in Cleveland when river
set on fire, and chemicals flowed from steel industry – till shakeouts
and layoffs. Similarly, newspaper industry will have shakeout but
some smaller media players will survive along with some papers.
Other ways to get information
about local issues? Web allows voluminous information
Pressure on Google -- which
profits from scraping content unpaid from other sites -- to pay news organizations
Patron system? [Unreliable].
ProPublica investigative journalists funded by Wachovia family – unfortunately
with Wachovia stock [now of unreliable value].
Pulitzer prize winners have
transferred to Bloomberg – so some benefit from shakeout.
How much does it matter?
-It is not a major national
-There are other ways to
get information to vote
-The web has more information,
and sometimes better information
Instead, the government could
pressure sites like Google to share their profits with the publishers
Q) there a future
in $75 subs for individual service?
A) Yes, would do it tomorrow.
Q) Is it a newspaper’s objective
to sway public opinion to influence the national agenda?
A) We go out to collect
facts, although the choosing of those subjects contributes to national
conversation. Now trying to explain health care debate.
Q) Proliferation of resources
on web – How can we, as the consumer, monitor credibility on the web?
A) Most people tend to gravitate
toward brand names, e.g. New York Times. Those brand names will
Q) Did the news media fail to
cover impending 2008 financial crisis?
A) Some warnings of problems
but now linked well enough across markets. (In news awards judging -- did
find a little-known journalist who had warned effectively).
Housing bubble warnings since 2005. Although connections weren’t
drawn all the way, the news media not to blame, hard to draw a line across
industries – and hard to predict when the bubbles would break.
Q) Asian web sites coming to
challenge the western media? The U.S. and Britain control the majority
of news sites; do you see trends of other countries seeking to join this?
A) They do have aspirations,
but most news is language driven.
Q) Is Bloomberg going to run
for the presidency, and how would Bloomberg News cover that story?
Q) Are there any plans for the
news media to involve the college generation?
A) Yes, the news sites are
looking for new ways to incorporate the younger generation, including blogs
and videos. A colleague hired from Yahoo is currently trying to render
the Bloomberg web site more interactive. However, as a whole, news
has always appealed to the older demographic.
Q) What service mix for Bloomberg?
A) Investor tools, stock,
bond, oil prices, analytical software for comparisons. News is merely
frosting on cake. Finanicial info services with a media arm, not
Q) National and international
politics vs financial info?
A) 75% financial info, but
have big investment now in political and economic bureaus
Top of Page
October 13, 2009:
Edward (Jack) Hardin, “National Security
and Civil Liberties”. Top
corporate attorney from Atlanta. Member of International Bar Association,
Council on Foreign Relations. Selected
by his peers for ten years one of the best corporate attorneys in the US.
A member of the United Way's De Tocqueville Society, he is an expert on
and speaks on national security legal issues.
Top of Page
May be resheduled: Amb.
John Kelly, Ambassador-in-Residence, Sam Nunn School of International Relations,
Georgia Tech. A career diplomat,
he has served as Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East and also
as US Ambassador to Lebanon and to Finland. In Washington, he was a Deputy
Assistant Secretary in four different important areas.
Historical political culture,
inherited from the United Kingdom: struggle to limit power of government,
provide individuals with opportunity to defend themselves.
Magna Carta begat common law
writ of habeas corpus.
Post WW2 international institutions
created with US influence peaceably to network states and protect individuals
via international norms and tribunals. Nuremburg trials an embodiment
of this idea.
US Bill of Rights to protect minority
from tyranny of majority.
US based on individuals ceding power
to government for purposes of the union.
System of balance of powers between
Right to know accusation, consult
with a legal defender, be free from cruel and inhuman treatment.
Political culture is learned in schools.
Citizens are confident of rights
in event of being accused.
Tranquility and peace are based on
Some exceptions, eg WW1 Palmer raids
arrested many on suspicion; WW2 Japanese Americans, McCarthy period.
All made possible because of national security fears.
Cold war environment:
Post 9/11 environment:
US developed national security and
intelligence assets, in late ’60s and early ’70s, these espionage powers
were being used to create dossiers on MLK, John Lennon and many others.
Intelligence was gathered without 4th amendment restraints on searches
Reaction to excesses of cold war:
Network of laws in late 1970s: foreign
intelligence by NSA and CIA is directed outside; FBI defends country within
borders, and subject to 4th amendment.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act created court of 10 judges from districts around country, could permit
wiretaps within 72 hours.
We assumed actors were governments
and agents – non governmental organizations (NGOs) were not part of security
thinking prior to 9/11.
[Reaction to excesses:]
President directed US do anything
necessary to ensure national security.
VP developed 1% suspicion rule; do
anything necessary when there is a 1% threat.
Facing enemy of invisible soldiers.
But Bush /Cheney administration leaders
came to office with lifelong ambition to increase powers of the presidency,
among several officials.
We sublimated concerns about liberties,
turning on a dime.
Rounded up thousands of individuals
who were Muslims or of Arab descent, and held them without the usual rights
or even charges.
Some when held were abused; notably
in Brooklyn immigration prison.
CIA began abducting people and taking
them to countries known for lack of rights. Some on US soil subjected
to “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Most of the public supported and
assumed powers were only used against foreigners.
NSA embarked on secret wiretapping
program in telecoms companies, searching with algorithms all email and
phone – unknown and rationalized by a legal opinion that was subsequently
withdrawn. Much of world’s communications came through US, encouraged
Held enemy combatants offshore at
Guantanamo base and US debated what techniques to use.
Detainment designed to be outside
jurisdiction of US courts, because post WW2 legal doctrine held that habeas
corpus did not apply offshore.
Military commissions had been used
to determine whether someone was properly an enemy combatant, but not for
the fuller judicial purposes now projected on them.
The Geneva conventions, and the UN
Declaration, and the UN Convention against Torture that we had entered
into, were considered to be from a different time and place. But
the US lost 6 times in US courts on cases involving detention in Guantanamo,
and the rights of detainees.
In 2004, Government lawyers began
to rethink their legal opinions (torture memos and wiretaps especially).
Congress became concerned about lack
In 2006, Congress changed [to bicameral
Surveillance authorities of national
security agencies were cut back -- but still reauthorized.
Within the purview of the FISA court,
[warrantless wiretapping] authority was upheld on appeal.
The current administration has withdrawn
the authority of enhanced interrogation techniques.
The 2001 USA PATRIOT act contained
several sunset provisions, including one due at the end of 2009, but most
will probably be extended.
It was wrong not to go to Congress,
wrong to do in secret, hurt US standing in world opinion as a nation of
laws, and said that these things we did in reacting to 9/11 are more important
than the principles we stand for.
He ended with the post-Nazi Martin
Niemoller quotation, “first they came…”
Q) International frameworks that
cause difficulties for US, by ceding authority. Italian courts brought
charges against troops who shot Italian agent returning hostages.
A) Proponents of presidential
war powers authority, John Yoo, Jack Goldsmith, argued against foreign
institutions with rules not reviewable by US. For 50 years US made
argument for human rights, based on not expecting US to be the problem,
and set rules postwar to constrain Europeans.
Q) under new admin will practices
Italian courts operating under
own rules – not an ICC matter; but US declined to join ICC.
Most senior military officials
oppose torture because 1) ineffective and 2) deprives us of moral high
ground and weakens claim for others treating our soldiers properly.
We have a duty under treaty (eg torture) to uphold the treaty.
A) Jack Goldsmith head of OLC
2003, looked at memos of John Yoo, his friend, and withdrew them as unfounded.
See article “The Cheney Fallacy” in Foreign Affairs – policies threatened
lives of Americans – but IG of CIA says torture and interrogation ended
in 2004; then Congress reasserted itself with amendments to the USA PATRIOT
and FISA acts. More than IG claimed did continue though, targeted
killings with drones, wiretapping. Recently released report of IG
CIA 2004 – most enhanced interrogations ended then. Secret CIA prisons
closed and not used that much, no evidence they were successful and engendered
opposition from host countries who in some cases did not know they were
there. Holder has appointed special counsel.
Q) What has been prevented through
extraordinary measures? What level of moderate [detention/ interrogation]
A) CIA report 2004 said
authorization did not limit what could be done, and some excesses clearly
were torture. It also reported some techniques did result in [unspecified]
actionable intelligence. But we are a democracy that thrives on openness.
Greatest value is open debate and decisionmaking.
Example of overzealous prosecution
in security reaction: Richard Jewel, security guard in Atlanta bombing,
suspect put under surveillance. Later Eric Rudolph was shown to be
the perpetrator. Another lawyer under surveillance for two years
– Richard Mayfield – was suspect and reputation, work and life severely
damaged because of 2 fragments of finger print, even though Madrid analysts
did not accept, soon detained Moroccans with perfect matches.
1 November 2009 (Sunday), additional
event: Gen. Michael Hayden, “The State of American Intelligence.”
Former director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence
Agency. (Alternative location:
Taylor center, at Auburn University Montgomery)
Bowen Ballard, Introduction: Hayden
part of the changing world of intelligence, at NSA under FISA complications
& CIA during international terrorist situations. A man who does
his homework, loves family and country, Pittsburgh Steelers, and runs the
“State of American Intelligence.”
Intelligence is hard work.
Your intelligence services are not doing
You have a guiding hand in current issues
about intelligence services.
Role of intelligence is more important
now to your safety than ever.
Comparison of threat twenty years ago
Then, massed tank armies and massive ICBMs. Jerry Boykin (3-star,
SOF) said those were easy to find, too large to hide – but hard to kill.
Today the opposite, AQ easy to stop and kill but really hard to find.
Rating intelligence analysis from 0 to 10,
never need 8-10 because those issues are obvious. Only get the difficult
John McLaughlin, director of CIA’s analysis for years, said people ask
us to find things or explain mysteries. He asked his J-2 officer
= “deuce”. Didn’t know what Milosevic was going to do, and M. didn’t
even know himself.
Importance of context: Bosnia 1993-early ’94 during bitter fighting in
South between Muslims and Croats (catholics) in Mostar, (“old bridge”).
Would Croats fight beyond river, was river a defensible line. 1054
schism of Christianity occurred at river – so intelligence officer knew
they would stop at river for historic reasons, not because just it was
Unlike pessimistic intelligence officers,
policymakers and operational officer must be optimistic, can-do.
No such thing as an optimistic intelligence officer. Inherently inductive,
general conclusions drawn from facts. Policymakers use deductive
reasoning from principles. Elected because voters choose their vision.
Debating whether to double down in Iraq, President Bush ordered numerous
meetings with NS Adviser. Intelligence said Maliki had no experience
of management, and had been in exile. Bush, however, had a vision
of sharing democracy.
Dec. 2007 Bush pressing Iran about nuclear program; Intelligence brought
the published estimate that Iran had stopped developing nuclear program
in 2003 – not a welcome finding at a time of diplomatic meetings on sanctions.
Intelligence has completely different world view. Can’t deliver news
without being part of conversation and process, must feel their pain, yet
remain ruthlessly objective.
Declassified intelligence budget at under
Criticisms of not connecting dots, but
still have world’s best intelligence service.
Examples of public successes (although public
not really aware of them).
Clinton administration appointee as Dir. of NSA, but never heard of a better
How to judge intelligence? On
a curve? Fielding average? Absolute standard? This is hard
Arrests in GB when at NSA, backroom assistance on terrorist arrests.
British relied on US intelligence for those arrests.
Secret Iranian nuclear uranium enrichment site announced at Qom.
We were on that a long time.
El Kabar Syrian plutonium plant disappeared 6 Sep 2007.
Three summers ago British police rolled up plot to bring bottled liquids
on airliners. In 2001 action would have happened -- but we owned
that plot in 2006. They had the peroxide, so time to arrest.
Najibullah commuting between NY and Texas(?) Serious plot detected
Small issues: What satellites?
Equipment? Language expertise?
Big issues: What is the appropriate
role for secret espionage services in an open democracy? Really hard
when it goes public.
That is not the biggest deal. The macro
issue is to achieve greater transparency and greater accountability – yet
still do a great job.
Used to be PD DNI, April 2006, gave speech in San Antonio, assessed GWOT
with report card, wrote personally. Had published top secret NIE,
extracted key judgments less a few too sensitive, and created speech.
Passed review by others, did not reveal sources and methods. Called
newsmen all over but only two in room, only one news story. Not newsworthy
when about terrorism. In Sep. the same NIE given to Capitol Hill
oversight committees. It began to leak from left and right, incredible
news story – only interesting when about party struggle.
Still puzzled why Obama released memos
about interrogation techniques. Director for 3 weeks under
Obama till Panetta confirmed. Sent memo to staff, new President has
told us where box is going to be, go fight under the new box. Was
releasing his predecessor’s position; later Panetta successor and 5 predecessors
unsuccessfully opposed release of IG report. 7 living former directors
of CIA opposed re-investigation by AG of incidents [in GWOT and Iraq
“NY FOIA case about to be lost” rationale for release is untrue, for with
same district, judge and ACLU party in 2008, we had protected technique
of waterboarding even though not going to use it again. CIA was allowed
to fight release of other documents, Panetta said again release would harm
national security. Administration let him fight it.
Hayden wrote CNN website op-ed piece 2 weeks ago. Harsh post 9/11
world, judge deferred explicitly to DCI. Reluctance on part of courts
to interfere with discretion under mandates of CIA. Decision to release
those memos was a political one not a legal one. Should be defended
on those grounds. Folks at CIA might be forgiven for fearing noone
will get their back on issues like this, will feed flood of lawsuits, but
ACLU is paying PI s to stalk officers and present pics to Gitmo detainees
to see if they can identify them.
It seems to CIA offices that protection of sources and methods will only
last one election cycle.
Reassuring them is like trying to run a pep rally in the fuhrer bunker.
Officers ask, how can I be sure I will not be pulled through the hole in
Ultimately a matter of how much you want to
know about intelligence. We defend and honor your values.
Church and Pike committee reforms [1970s] – can tell secrets to 24 committee
members in HR and 18 in Senate –but not going real well now, either.
Relations of intelligence to Houses of Congress is not part of solution,
but part of problem. There is a tremendous lack of trust.
McConnell hosted oversight discussions with Congressional members on a
Sunday-Monday but when the Wall St Journal
published a dark article
on Sunday (Monday?), they discussed it immediately. Members though,
refused to defend publicly on behalf of intelligence agencies, said did
not know it was not true. Oversight system in a bad place, biggest
problem. Intelligence agencies are like a football in a highly charged
game going on in Washington.
Q) Can one defend against shipping
A) cannot simply defend but there is more to the story. 9/11
was both preventable and inevitable. Penalty kick is a good metaphor
till 9/11: AQ was taking penalty kicks, and US could have stopped about
9/10 from going into the net. But playing defense invites eventual
failure: one penalty will score. Must play offense. US did
so after 9/11 by capturing and in the euphemistic saying “otherwise taking
them off battlefield.”
The four IGs’ report included line saying
could not show any imminent attack was stopped by interrogation – but that
is not our interest. We need to stop attacks months ahead when they
are at the financial stage, and disrupt the plots.
A) mystery rather than secret as to how Iranian decision making
works. Discovery of Qom tilts me more to the direction that Iran
is developing a weapon: Qom facility is too small to spin centrifuges,
probably for HEU only, highly enriched for weapon only. Israelis
and we look at same facts, strong agreement on facts, Israelis always take
worst case slice [of the range of possibilities]. This is the most
serious issue facing US administration now. Mechanics of action are
very difficult, hard nut to crack even for US airpower, let alone smaller
Q) How to reform oversight?
A) Take care as to individuals on committee, merit to picking
some intelligence watchdogs from civil liberties perspective, but right
now especially on HR side, point of view is inherently skeptical of intelligence.
Term limits on committees are a bad idea. Nobody gets a road paved
– service on committee only. Questions often reflect lack of knowledge.
Hearing system is horrible, sit lower or higher, questions are speeches,
and there is no continuity.
Q) safeguards against nuclear, chemical and
biological attacks internally?
A) police and internal services OK so far, unlike other countries.
US is a hard target. Welcoming nation with few isolated immigrant
communities, more embracing than European allies.
Q) Afghanistan surge of troops, with unknown
president of Afghanistan?
A) Afghan elections will be retaken next week, but Abdullah
Abdullah has recently withdrawn. Hayden is not inclined to criticize
Karzai, does have some good traits, but in very difficult circumstances.
Q) Info sharing among intelligence agencies.
Obama: War of necessity, not war of choice – he’s right. If our
strategic objective is protecting US, this is legitimate. CT rhetoric
gives a lighter burden on troops than COIN. Unfortunately President
said back in March, operational strategy of COIN was to change reality
on ground – but this is burdensome, more troops and time, plus messy working
with people we are not totally comfortable with.
A) Quicker, more facile, much better. DNI and NSA don’t
always agree, but NCTC does share info well. There is some data that
should not be shared – because once it is out the source is gone.
Q) recruitment poor?
Example: Syrian El Kabar reactor destroyed 2007, became public 2008.
Bush wanted reactor to go away but without Mideast war. CIA minted
coin for operation, No Core, no War. Needed closely guarded secret,
because Bashar Assad would be backed into a corner if public. Had
to make sure but could not let it leak. I determined who could know
about this and kept this circle tight – fewer experts in know – but alternative
was a leak. Info sharing not an absolute goal. Sharing much
better, sometimes bureaucratic but usually a good reason.
A) Very good, in fact. Over 3 yrs at CIA 130-160,000
applied (cannot give number admitted).
Q) Speaker of HR claims to have been misled.
Problem of caution because not knowing where line is going to be in
a few years time.
A) some believe this, not limited by party. I do not
believe they were misled. Sometimes they do not understand, or get
importance for some months. Former director said 4 were in the room,
of which one is deceased and the others willing to raise right hand and
Q) reactor destroyed, by whom?
A) I have no opinion – but Press says Israeli AF.
Top of Page
2009: Amb. Ryan Crocker, "Iraq/AfPak:
Retrospects and Prospects." Ambassador
to Pakistan, 2004-2007, Ambassador to Iraq, 2007-2009. Former
Ambassador to Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon. In the Middle East, he has had
his residence sacked (Damascus) and survived the 1983 bombing of his Embassy
(Beirut). Amb. Crocker opened the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan in
2002 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Top of Page
index | Middle East
Dr. Jim Nathan, Introduction
Crocker has done so much in dangerous assignments, including one embassy
and one residency blown up. One of the great diplomats of our generation.
Visited SPLC in Montgomery before, truly a national asset, sued Aryan nations
in Idaho panhandle successfully and put them out of business. Montgomery
has emerged as a national asset also, and through local history can comprehend
the principles of understanding the adversary, commitment to see course
of action through to conclusion – like US policy in Middle East.
Broader Middle East, from a practitioners perspective.
Includes Morocco to Pakistan axis, covering Arab North Africa to non-Arab
states. Not the definitions used by State or DOD or central command
(includes central Asia) – indicates conceptual challenges.
Six years ago would have talked like State about Iran and the west.
But from experience, a geo-political whole. Our adversaries define
the region that way. Al Qaeda (AQ) almost established a permanent
foothold and launched attacks across North Africa.
History: understand how history is perceived by the locals.
1798 Napoleon invaded Egypt, then British – instigated modern period of
Middle East history, these countries being occupied by at least one western
power. Seen as a military engagement by locals. We often do
not understand this perspective. They lacked wherewithal to keep
out western forces – but [like a boxer] clenched up and started pounding
on the ribs, resisting for a long time. Not new to Afghanistan or
elsewhere – adversaries don’t organize for a fight until well after we
think we have won it.
First, know where you are (Foreign Service officers are more expeditionary
than forces – 70% abroad and all speak at least one language.)
Importance of reading imaginary literature, and fairy tales; these are
windows into society as valid and important as any history text.
Given that background of difficult relations with West, be careful what
you get into. Actions, especially military intervention, have consequences.
Previous administration criticized for lack of planning in Iraq, true,
was in Iraq within ten days of fall of Saddam. Noone could have predicted
where Iraq would be today when US forces crossed over six years ago.
No amount of planning could have been good enough, had to accept risks
to achieve goals via the reasonably foreseen.
Have to be slow and careful to enter – and even more so to exit.
Actions that end interventions also have consequences. Gen. Petraeus
and I spent 36 hours testifying to Congress; Iraq was costing treasure
and blood, and could not say that it was going well. Movie goes on whether
we walk off the set or not. History is composed of those actions
that did not happen as well as those that did – and AQ triumphant in Middle
East presented a long term threat we did not want to contemplate.
The long war started not in 9/11 but in Beirut in ‘80s with blowing up
of barracks. US support for Israeli invasion of 1982, and unforeseeable
consequences – Lebanese militias massacred refugees in two camps, and US
sent back marines in an ill-defined mission. 1983 bombings of marines
and sailors followed, the worst loss in a single action since WW2.
Some months later we got out of Lebanon. ’82 invasion cemented the
alliance of Syrians and Iran that led to the development of Hezbollah.
Both learned [like boxers] to clench up close and pound the adversary,
and the [invader] would go home. 2006 Iran and Syria applied this
strategy to the Mahdi army in S. Iraq [supported by Iran] and Syria supported
AQ’s western infiltration of Iraq.
Early 2007 little known aspect of surge of forces – this time we didn’t
step back as pain threshold rose, but stepped forward.
Put Iranians off balance, where they remain. We did not run to type
in this region. Consequences last for years to come.
Strategic patience or US impatience (great nation but geographically
and historically challenged).
Allies fear our impatience and adversaries count on it.
Iraq, over 6.5 tumultuous years, has met enormous challenges,
sectarian violence of Sunnis and Shias has subsided – but replaced by ethnic
tensions among these and Kurds. Unresolved debates about nature of
Iraqi state, Kurdish region in north, and provinces elsewhere (like US
states’ rights debates.) US also faced this until post civil war,
hard issues. Do not build democracy with mail order overlay from
US on top of Iraqi society. Strategically we should not get tired
as in Lebanon through losses -- or through seeing work as being done.
We have agreement to withdraw forces from Iraq, but with significant sustained
engagement with commerce, science and technology. Iraq will need
this for long period, though less costly than military engagement.
Eastern front of long war: Afghan and Pakistan.
Only 30 years ago Soviets invaded and we engaged through unconventional
support for Jihad, and Soviets left in 1989 but so did we, our work done.
We could see coming storm in Afghan but our reason for being there was
in cold war context, and adversary had been vanquished. Stay behind
regime did not last long, and vicious civil war ensued. Kabul resembled
Berlin in 1945, but from Taliban civil war. Taliban then gave space
Policymakers in 1989 could not have foreseen collapse of twin towers, but
there was no discussion of long term consequences. Acute in Pakistan,
one year after Soviets withdrew, we sanctioned Pakistan for nuclear weapons
development. 9/11 + 8 years, we are having many of same arguments
over staying and engagement with Afghan/Pak, CT or broader COIN.
These are hard issues, Lebanon 1982, Iraq 2003, Afghan/Paki today. No
easy decisions ever reach the President’s desk.
If it is hard in Washington, it is harder in the smoke and dust and
contingency of the field.
You have no time to read the book or consult the pundits, let alone to
get a good night’s sleep in 45 days, and must make the right call.
Increasingly slight media coverage of Iraq leaves it appearing simple,
but always complex.
Q) result of surging into Iraq, but change in level of engagement
with Syria, and their reaction?
A) served there during transition from Hafez Assad to son Bashir.
Iraqis were extremely angry over dialogue announcement, had decided Syrians
were responsible for bombings in Baghdad, adversaries since dawn of Islam,
governed by rival wings of Baath party. Syrians have been off balance
also; our offer to upgrade the relationship may make it look to Syria as
though steadfastness without concessions does pay off for them. Consistent
element of Syrian thinking. Persistence of Syrian culture.
Q) When is the end time going to come in middle east?
A) never reach a culminating state in middle east, stories change form
but they go on. Requires persistence, agility and agility on our
part. Moving to primarily civilian engagement in Iraq. Military
will end, end of 2011 – alterable by common consent but well on way.
Withdrew forces from cities and towns, Iraqis up front since June, US as
ready reserve. Iraqis increasingly showing capability. Pakistan,
our interests and equities are immense, we have no military presence except
for disaster relief a few years ago. There is no culminating state.
Q) Withdrawal from Afghan?
A) precipitous withdrawal from Afghan would lead to Taliban as largest
semi-organized force in country in control of most of country (though not
NE). That reel of movie would not go well for us second time around.
Tricky for President because he will have to spell out. Unlikely
to go for full scale nation building but full CT strategy also unworkable.
Iraq and Afghan dramatically different but some methodologies consistent.
Cannot do CT with out broader COIN. Terrorists will find ample space
to embed. COIN is part of way forward, but with what resources I
cannot say. Perils of focusing too narrowly and for too short a term
have consequences. Testified to Senate a month ago and an expert
on Afghan sought good enough governance, reasonable security and stability
in custody of Afghan led forces – achievable aspiration. Us idealists
have to be careful because a matter of following up on achievements – especially
women in Afghan who had brief period in sun under Soviet occupation, but
then Mujaheddin and Taliban handed their heads to them. A moment
again, but need to think about those who have stepped forward.
A) Hard truth that there are more nationalisms than nations.
Kurds are in wrong part of world. 4 states holding Kurds only agree
on one thing: there should never be a Kurdish state – a threat to survival
of their nation. Each is prepared to play off Kurds against another
state but none is willing to establish a Kurdish state. Numerous
meetings to keep in check tensions with Kurds – asked what was worst of
times for Iraqi years? (Saddam’s poison gas attacks, others 1990.)
Best of times? All say today, with regional government and 17% of
national oil revenues. Conflict with Kurds would be good politics
internally for all neighboring states – and Kurds would likely lose US
support. 2008 Turkish invasion of N. Iraq, but now Turkish leaders
visit Kurdish leaders in North Iraq and Turks have taken steps internally
to reduce tensions. Iran and Syria are much more problematic than
Q) Pakistani army operations in tribal areas, and US diplomacy there
A) Maturing relation with Paki where we work to reduce tensions. Seemingly
Paki classic COIN strategy, to reduce those you must fight, army cutting
deals with other tribes to take them out of fight, deal with adversaries
sequentially. Kerry-Lugar? Conditionally should be consistent
with taxpayer’s money. For Pakis, raises the stakes, like the old
Pressler amendment under which sanctions were imposed where US could not
certify regimes. Sec. Clinton has option of waiver, but we have to
understand Paki narrative on their history with us. Need to go after
common adversaries without suggesting to them that history is about to
repeat itself in unfortunate ways.
22 [was to be
8] February 2010 (Monday): Dr. Hans Mark, "The Dangers of Nuclear
Proliferation", Director of NASA's Ames Research Center (and
formerly at Livermore Labs), Secretary of the Air Force, and Chancellor,
University of Texas system.
* World renowned nuclear
physicist and currently professor at University of Texas
* Director, NASA's Ames
Research Center, 1969-1977
* Secretary of the Air
* Deputy Administrator,
* Chancellor, University
of Texas System, 1984-1992
* Director, Department
of Defense Research and Engineering, 1998-2001
(Dr. Mark mentioned that he is an Austrian
Prepared Remarks: Nuclear Proliferation
Several pages of diagrams of uranium and
other devices supplied.
First atomic device was a game changer for
Concern about how you defend against nuclear
Nuclear Weapons Non Proliferation Treaty:
first statement permits 5 nations to own
Scale of nuclear weapons currently.
Must develop plans to reduce weapons.
Other nations have right to use nuclear materials
for peaceful purposes.
First president to say he would rid the world
of nuclear weapons was Ford. Every one since also.
C20th killed 100 M in war, of which 85M before
1950. Far fewer in the nuclear age.
189 nations have signed, though not North
Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel.
US now has 5,000 and Russians 14,000 warheads–
but they draw a distinction between strategic (long range) and tactical
(short range) delivery systems. Russians face local threats, unlike
US, and unwilling to give up this asymmetry.
Newer nuclear nations:
UK, France and China have much smaller forces.
All except China only have weapons built
during cold war.
Unlikely that we can reduce below 500 per
Israel special case, surrounded by 30M enemies.
Now have reactor built by French, to produce
plutonium. Their own scientists create the nuclear materials. Never
India has good technological skills, second.
They claim will not be first to use – but
also not the second.
South Africa like Israel,
when felt surrounded, small racial minority-based
Africaaner government built uranium bomb without reactor, obtaining isotope
centrifuges from Holland.
Pakistan’s program, started up by China as a
counterweight to India.
Needs thousands of these in stages, but admitted
quite openly to six bombs.
De Klerk had them destroyed when felt regime
was going to fall.
AQ Khan got centrifuge technology, but Chinese
likely would have provided if necessary.
North Korea learned with start from Russia, may
have eight now.
Iran only interesting one today.
What nations are capable?
Pop 75m, highly educated. Will get
and test a bomb, establish primacy in middle East. Independent of
who is governing Iran.
Iraq was clearly on the way to building but did
not have any bombs.
Negotiating with them useless, sanctions
We should tell the world we can shoot down
missiles in flight. Last week we shot down Scud with an airborne
Now have capability on ships and have done
two dozen test – Japanese have 2 and 2 more coming.
Found and destroyed separation facility in
Gulf war, but they still have people with knowledge.
Libya – never had the program, though there were
Saudi – will likely buy from French, as counterweight
Japan, in dangerous neighborhood.
Convinced that Japan could assemble nuclear
program in months, since they face threats and have skills.
Germany in NATO, has nuclear umbrella – but eventually
may face collapse of that umbrella.
Italy, Sweden, Taiwan, South Korea are all
in position where they could develop.
(Anecdotally, Swiss allegedly also have capability.)
Continue to reduce nuclear weapons.
Safety of stockpile issue: the high explosive
that is used to trigger, is inherently unstable.
Continually improve detection and monitoring
of explosions, including those unannounced.
Develop credible defenses against missiles.
USS Lake Erie shot down first missile from
sea, limited capability – but have Aegis cruisers in Black Sea and gulf,
can shoot down missiles from Iran.
Diplomacy has its limits, but defenses give
leverage. Iranian government will not stop own program.
Detection methods at border crossings improved
and successful in tests.
Develop intelligence ability to penetrate
covert proliferation programs – has begun.
Never built nuclear weapon with a shelf life,
always took out each generation every 2-3 years when developed new ones.
Weapons never designed to be on the shelf for 17 years. Opening up
deployed weapons, we found problems. Just getting started on refurbishing
New designs will have shelf life of 25 years,
and safety features. Build with high probability of working without
Program cancelled by President Obama, but
will need to be restarted.
Buy up Soviet nuclear weapons? Old
Electro-magnetic pulse weapons?
Nuclear weapon detonation in upper atmosphere
causes large effect – in 1962 it knocked out traffic lights in Honolulu.
Minor damage only, power system continued to function.
Inspection of IAEA is for strategic weapons only,
on long range 5,000 miles. Russians’ shorter range weapons are not
under this regime. Therefore we know little about them.
Not militarily useful effect.
Proliferation by ourselves and others?
Perry, Kissinger, Shultz, Nunn all called
for riddance of nuclear weapons. Presidents all call for riddance
because required by terms of treaty. Destroying our weapons would
not cause Iranians to stop their developments, because they have other
Scale of technology of current weapons?
Iranians have a few but need a reliable delivery
system. Weapons are too big and too hot for a suitcase. Trucks
through Laredo subject to quite good detection systems. Every country
making weapons is also making rockets to deliver them.
Will Israelis try to destroy Iranian capability?
Nuclear complex is so large that IDF would
not have ability to destroy them. 50 or so nuclear facilities.
Do bombs have signatures?
Yes, isotopes give fingerprints of weapon.
US in his time was able to trace every bomb to every maker.
Iran will test a bomb in the next few years.
Real concern in cold war, mostly about computer
glitches. One alert came when Sec AF, 2 missiles detected from USSR,
alerted bombers, then 22, then 222 – so Colorado realized a technical glitch
because of regular increases. Lesser problem now because we do not
have thousands of missiles on hair-trigger alert
Nuclear security in Pakistan, when regime deteriorating?
Under pressure from terrorist organizations
and Taliban (local but not terrorist organization). US high official
has gone to discuss nuclear security with Pakistani officials. But
a terrorist in custody of weapon could do little (heavy and complex).
Real problem would be a government controlled by an Osama Bin Laden figure
(likewise if Iran taken by OBL type leader).
Top of Page
April 6, 2010:
Dr. William Moomaw, "Energy, National Security & Climate Change".
Introduction: IPCC honored with Nobel
Professor of International
Environment Policy and Director of the Center for International Environment
and Resource Policy, Tufts University. Expert on Global Warming and graduate
of Lanier High School. Co-founder and co-director of the Climate Talks
* Founding Director of the
Center for International Environment and Resource Policy at the Fletcher
School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
* Since 1992, lead author
of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
* In 1988, became the first
director of the Climate and Energy Program at the World Resources Institute
* Has worked with numerous
countries on a range of global environmental issues
* 1955 graduate of Lanier
High School; PhD in Chemistry from MIT
also notes of his speech to Huntingdon College class, earlier that day
Topic: Energy, National Security and Climate
National security depends on energy but climate
change has national security implications.
Graph: growth of world energy consumption,
25% by US
1973 gas lines found us unprepared. Only
plan was in Shell Oil which had contingency planning.
Graph: non-OECD energy (BRIC, Venezuela)
use overtook (2006) and growing faster than OECD, from 2004 onwards.
US and OECD have agreed to share oil reserves
in event of new oil shock.
Graph: China and India driving energy use
and exceed US by 2010.
Graph: US dropped energy after 1973 and again
after Iranian oil shock 1980-83. Then steady growth of usage until
2009 drop. Petroleum fluctuates, others steady (nuclear) or steady
growth. Renewables steady and about equal to nuclear electric.
US imports more now from non-OPEC, including
Canada and Russia (Alberta now the Texas of Canada).
Petroleum imports rising to US rapidly and
steadily as US production slowly declines.
Oil production in lower 48 states peaked
in 1975, Alaska 1988.
Offshore drilling now is only 3 years worth
of supply for the US and will not arrive for six years.
Coal is biggest in US followed by natural
gas and nuclear – by 70% of nuclear is just heat, only 30% electricity.
Coal only 32% efficient and old plants are
locked in by clean air laws – new plants must meet new standards.
Chinese plants are 45% efficient and closing
old plants. We must do likewise.
Most middle East oil goes to Europe and Asia,
not US, but we have to keep sea lanes open since oil is a commodity.
Reserves in middle East dwarf reserves in
north America (10 years worth)
Graph: 1985, production exceeded discovery
for the first time, and now 5x the rate of discovery, expected to worsen
Peak oil predicted now to 2020, approximately,
and used now in official reports.
Now 250 M vehicles in US; China produced
10 M last year, exceeded US production of cars.
1980s stagflation caused by oil shocks of
2008 US spent $half trillion for foreign
Gas price at US pumps rising steadily again.
Condi Rice testified oil power is distorting
Tensions: US with North Korea, Iran over
Climate change: weather patterns changing
in systematic manner consistent with global warming.
Conflicting claims for offshore oil and gas:
China, Taiwan Japan, Koreas and SE Asia.
Military fuel needs.
Jan 2004 NY Times revealed UK government,
not only US, considered taking oil fields by force if embargo did not run
US has 3 strategic oil reserves.
USAF looking at alternative fuels and improved
USAF has jet that flies on biomass fuel.
Heat trapping gases in atmosphere from fossil
fuels – shown from 40 year trends.
Are these variations natural or man made?
Data from 7,000 stations, many remote locations,
satellites: testing air, water and ice.
Graph: Land-Ocean Temp index from
NASA, Japan, UK: similar patterns.
1988 Reagan admin set up IPCC for scientists
to analyze climate change data, latest is 2007, massive set of pages and
8 degrees lower was ice age, 8 degrees more would
produce unknown results.
Spikes of el Nino years. Energy stored
in water and then released. El Nino off Peru predicts corn crop in Zimbabwe,
Ten year and 25 year trends show constant rise,
despite annual fluctuates.
Critics found a mistake: sentence
in volume two has incorrect date.
2007 conclusion: most increase "very likely"
Sentence was not in part of document that drove
policy – and only one of 18,000 sentences.
Scientists get no salary, volunteer and receive
only travel reimbursement.
Individuals, not representing nations or corporations.
Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels
match worst case scenario of predictions from 2000 report.
Climate change is already causing damage:
CO2 traps heat like a car windshield.
Oceans and forests absorb half of what we produce.
Half life of carbon is 100 years.
Mauna Loa observatory shows steady increase of
CO2 in atmosphere since 1960.
1,000 year data on temp shows steady until
1900, then dramatic increase.
CO2 concentration over 1,000s of years correlates
with estimated temp. Temp rises before CO2 as earth wobbles in orbit.
Does not correlate with sun, but delay of decades
until heat is released from ocean into air.
Graph: sea levels gauged and satellite
sensed are at worst case of IPCC predictions.
more hot days, more droughts, forest fires,
coastal erosion, more intensity of hurricanes,
glaciers melting and retreating compared to old
sea level rising.
Arctic ice shrinking steadily and freighter
sailed across arctic sea for first time recently. Worse than IPCC’s
worst case scenario.
Insurance industry: destructive weather
caused 88% of all property damage. 7 of 10 most expensive catastrophes
in US occurred after 2000.
Defense QDR 2010 features climate
change. Concerned about bases affected by sea level, including base
in Indian ocean only 2-3’ above sea level.
Unstable governments expected from environmental
impacts, including displacement of many people.
Energy Efficiency is a force multiplier, reduces
vulnerable supply lines.
DOD is largest energy consumer in US, largest
user of fossil fuels in world.
CAN likewise pointed to fuel as a security risk.
US has no [surface] vessel that can operate in
arctic – not Canadians either, only Russians have icebreaker ships.
Shift away from fossil fuels
is coming, for energy, economic and military security.
Actions to address to address climate
change coming for reasons of national security and well as to lower
the damage in the economy.
Brazilian oil not so surprising because of
similarity to western Africa.
2% of world energy from wind now, and Chinese
doubling every 5 years.
How do you sell sure economic pain for only
“likely” climate change?
Is nuclear power feasible with alternative isotopes?
Scientific term “very likely” actually means
Contrast with buying home fire insurance with
one risk in 300 years.
Why did Obama open up East and West coast drilling?
Will it make much difference? May have been political step.
Skeptical with existing isotopes, but government
needs to pay 80% in order to restart building.
Only 2% of development has been with alternative
isotopes, so little is known.
Is there a magic bullet for energy?
Perhaps silver buckshot.
Hybrid vehicles and energy efficient houses (Germany,
10% of consumption).
Have to reduce emissions 80% by 2050, at 4% compounded
Now can measure global heating from greenhouse
gases on planets and their moons.
What car and house do you use? Prius hybrid
and zero energy house with solar panels on grid.
US household sector alone uses more carbon
than any entire country except China.
Top of Page
May 4, 2010:
Senior Air War College Instructors will
report on their recent trips to hot spots around the globe, as part of
the AWC's Regional Studies Program. Moderator:
Dr. Mark Conversino
Mark Conversino, PhD, Dean of AWC, "Euro-Asian tour of Russia, Ukraine
and the Baltic."
Dr. Mark Conversino: Russia & Ukraine
Dr. Chris Hemmer: Israel & Egypt
Dr. Alexander Lassner: Austria, Hungary,
& Czech Republic
Alex Lassner, “Central Europe, and Europe as a whole”.
In 2009, Russian invasion of Georgia prevented tour. In 2008, new wealth
had already left parts of Moscow like Vegas.
Russia: Legitimacy of Putin’s regime based on (1) economic growth and (2)
security in face of Chechen and North Caucasus. Both have been challenged
Crossed border at night from Estonia, to Moscow, Kiev and west.
(1) 1998 economy bottomed out at under $5,000 at PPP, rose to $16,000 in
2008 – great recovery, but 2009 lost $1,000 in PPP. Russians realized
they had had growth without development, 2/3 based on high prices of oil
and gas; and piled up cash -- then ran it down in economic contraction.
Much worse in Russia than in US, beggars reappeared and construction projects
(2) March bombings by Chechen black widows – after Russians had mistakenly
declared end of war in Chechnya – and homeland attacks had doubled in a
year. Even state-controlled media questioned administration.
Has raised issue of whether Medvedev would be replaced. Large and
sometimes violent protests across country.
Ukraine: turning back to East.
No longer policy to join NATO, remain non-aligned; though still interested
in EU. Russia feeling good about rollback of ‘color revolutions’
in Georgia and Ukraine.
Russia remains veto wielding member of UN SC, holds oil and gas, has determined
and ruthless leadership intent on great power status.
But suffers overreliance on raw materials; crumbling infrastructure;
declining population (losing over 1M per year). Average life of a
man is 59 yrs. Abortions common. Death rate outstrips third
East of Urals only 25 M pop; in long term could lose control of territory,
with possibly a failed state.
National interests, EU policies and interests, and NATO interests.
Afghan and security vs Russians, missile defense.
Germany most important economic unit, military resources third in EU.
Supporting Afghan war with third largest contingent, but hindered by historical
legacy. Affects politics whenever German losses or accidental losses
of civilians. Even small tactical activities could result in fall
of government. Germans are finally recognizing they are involved
in a war; Germans reliable partner in low intensity combat but might leave
in future (like Canadians). Austrians and Swiss exceptions; others
involved in Afghan.
Polish have no caveats on activities, unusual. Eastern Europeans
have high proportionate commitments to Afghan. All have brittle governments,
and war is deeply unpopular across EU.
Poland, Czech and Hungary. Suspicious of Russians, especially since
invasion of GA. Dependent on Russian gas and oil (cut off by Russians
3 times). Discomforted by German bilateral energy deals with Russia,
via North Sea, bypassing Poland. Developing security policy on energy,
if not yet coherent. Hungary is storing energy to survive 6 month
cutoff by Russians.
Missile defense halted by Obama administration abruptly; not decision but
its method agitated them (bilateral talks US/Russia in secret). Politicians
Populations becoming more EU oriented, so next generation of politicians
(except Poland) less interested in missile defense.
PIGS: no longer control own central bank policies, ECB sets damaging interest
rates, Greece insolvent, issue of bailout. Likely to spread to Ireland
and Spain, Italy and even Austria. Beginning of major economic crisis
– hence less support for Afghanistan war budgets. Real threat to
European engagement elsewhere. Firebombs in streets of Greece, will
Bodes ill for future US relations with Europe. Immigration problem,
not yet handled by European states.
Chris Hemmer, “Israel /Palestine.”
Historical German map shows Israel center of three leaves of Europe, Asia
No peace and no process. Fights in Gaza, air strike abroad.
Gaza: removed settlers 2005 and forces. Palestinian rocket attacks
led to bomb shelters in parks of Sderot (illustrated). Israelis decided
to “mow the lawn” with force in Gaza, not solving problem but routine maintenance.
Fence (Israel) or wall (Palestinians) is known by US as “barrier”.
Living without a solution, while containing violence.
2004 Arafat died; 2005 Abbas elected; 2006 Hamas won parliamentary elections;
2007 Palestinian civil war. June 2007 the power sharing broke down.
US general (pictured) has been training Fatah fighters, in control of West
Bank -- whereas Hamas controls Gaza.
Problem of party majority coalition:
Israelis Knesset (120 members) needs 61 vote majority. Likud only
has 27 and ruling Kadima party of Netinyahu only has 28 alone, needs 13
Labor votes (require peace process) plus 11 Shas votes (opposed to peace
Problem is not light at end of tunnel; there is no tunnel. Final
settlement plan with two-state solution on 1967 lines, and sharing of Jerusalem
is widely agreed – but parties unable to develop tunnel to get there.
Conflict shows no sign of ending.
European debt issues?
IMF (and hence US) is involved in EU debt issues. Greece will have
to default, unable to pay back debt. 15-20% loss of income required
for paying off debt. Even small loss causes riots in streets, as
seen this week. 11% of GDP debt exceeds 3% limit for EU membership.
Ratings agencies just downgraded Spain and Ireland.
Political will is an issue: Greeks and Germans are at each other’s throats
on this issue. Greek paper recently stirred up tensions (put swastika
on front page image of German monument) – German media recently retaliated
(with image of Venus de Milo giving finger to Greeks).
Russian invasion of Georgia alarmed Baltic states, who still refer to Russian
occupation after their guerilla war 1945-52 against Russian troops.
Russians have never come to terms with their brutality; hammer and sickle
treated like Swastika in the Baltics.
Eastern Europeans want US materiel on their soil to help US protect them
and do not otherwise view Afghan as vital to their interests.
Importance of Iran to all three regional tours?
Iraq (as glue) had held Iran and Israel together – but with removal of
Saddam, Israelis then faced Iran. Post 2003, Israelis warned of Iran
and Iran warned of Israelis actions in Palestine. Iran emphasizes
this because they are a Shia and Persian nation in Arab and Sunni middle
Russians realized they had ‘stepped in it’ by supplying lucrative nuclear
materials to Iran, which obliged west to negotiate with them. A Russian
colonel described it as suicide to give them weapon that could be transferred
to Chechens. There seemed to be a tacit agreement -- but now changing
tone of policy, more cautious on supporting Iran.
Weakness of Euro currency?
Euro, thanks to weakness of US economy, has been overvalued for a year,
perhaps 30%. Populations unable to move to jobs because of cultural
barriers. Will have to restructure Euro or remove countries from
Eurozone. Berlusconi argues Italy should not be held hostage to Euro.
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