Monday, December 8, 2008

Short clips 1: US Economy

  • More than 1/2 million Americans have lost their job in November alone. Expect more to be retrenched if funds are not channeled into the big 3 giants in Detroit. Obama will be put to task when he promised to create 2.5 million jobs by 2010.
  • Obama is redirecting war efforts from Iraq to Kabul. Already he is under fire from critics with his selection of cabinet members (supposedly not representing a 'progressive' image) and reactivating leaders from the Bill Clinton's era. Guatanamo bay is another blunder he inherited from previous presidents and will be closed if he keeps his campaign promise. If such is the case, what is the strategic methodology to process inmates?
  • His main focus now is reviving the collapsed US economy. He intends to repair US infrastructure from roads, bridges to buildings, hence creating 1 million jobs for the next 2 years. As people are losing jobs from downsizing of major corporations across the US, healthcare must also be another top priority. No job means no health coverage.
  • With the US economy projected to contract by 4.5% next year, can the US afford to sustain another war in Afghanistan? Is it not time to realize that military might is not the best solution in troubled regions such as Kabul and Baghdad? The war in Iraq has a bill of almost USD20B a month, redirecting war efforts to Kabul will not reduce this huge deficit. The US must realize that it cannot solve world hunger if it cannot even resolve domestic issues. Of course, the war efforts will continue as long as Osama is lurking around (perhaps an excuse to extend the 'war on terror') or perhaps pressure from the military industrial complex. Seeing that the banks and auto industries have went bust, the giant defence conglomerates might be next if foreign policies dictate 'softer' approach (Chicago Tribune has filed for Chapter 11 and no one expected the media to go bust).
  • Click here for Robert Gates comments on the Pentagon's coming challenges. "I have learned many things in my 42 years of service in the national security arena. Two of the most important are an appreciation of limits and a sense of humility. The United States is the strongest and greatest nation on earth, but there are still limits on what it can do. The power and global reach of its military have been an indispensable contributor to world peace and must remain so. But not every outrage, every act of aggression, or every crisis can or should elicit a U.S. military response".
  • The DOD is already the biggest oil consumer in the US at 300kbd. Fuel is needed to power up the massive military organization, especially the US Navy which has a bigger fleet than the next 13 largest navies in the world. US military procurement was budgeted at US180B this year alone. Will Obama optimize operating costs for the military to save the economy?

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