January 2011

Afghan military costs alone, exceed country’s worth

Recent military cost revelations show starkly that Afghanistan is worth more strategically to the West than it actually creates itself in GDP.
But this also raises questions about the sustainability of the intended ‘Afghanisation’ of its forces, especially in the light of the now-revealed failure of US authorities effectively to oversee the re-development of Afghanistan.
This is a blog. Please click on the link below to read it – 516 words…

Forget the snow – new threat to London transit hubs

With today’s raising of the threat level to London’s transport hubs, it seems to me after the Christmas hiatus that our airport authorities are more concerned with safeguarding their industry from the loss of public confidence threatened by terrorists, than with the comfort and satisfaction of their passengers.

It seems justifiable to mess people around in the hallowed name of Security – but as we saw in the snow, that’s what the airport authorities do whenever something happens out of the ordinary.

This lessens actual security, as it makes the jobs of police and security officers far more difficult, plus exposes them to public frustrations – which should be visited upon airport administrators.

The airports get away with it because there are no alternatives to flying – so I’m New Year wishing for a low-carbon sea alternative to some air routes, if only to provide competition.

China lowers the threshold of its nuclear threats

The Chinese Peoples Army says it may use nuclear weapons if nuclear nations attack using “advanced conventional weapons” – like the USA’s intended Prompt Global Strike (PGS) system. This lowering of the nuclear threshold is exactly what powerful nuclear nations fear will become commonplace with nuclear proliferation, as less powerful nations acquire nuclear weapons.

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