Streetwise Professor

September 24, 2009

My Dog Ate My Strategy

Filed under: Military,Politics — The Professor @ 3:26 pm

In late March, with much fanfare, Obama announced that after an extensive review he had settled on a new strategy for Afghanistan:

Today, I am announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This marks the conclusion of a careful policy review that I ordered as soon as I took office. My Administration has heard from our military commanders and diplomats. We have consulted with the Afghan and Pakistani governments; with our partners and NATO allies; and with other donors and international organizations. And we have also worked closely with members of Congress here at home. Now, I’d like to speak clearly and candidly to the American people.

Nota bene: “a comprehensive, new strategy” that resulted from a “careful policy review.”

But that was so March, which was so long ago.   Today, when confronted with a recommendation from the theater commander General McChrystal for more troops, Obama says: “Strategy, what strategy?   Ohhhh.   THAT Strategy.   My dog ate it: I have to redo it.”   Think that’s too harsh?   Read this and decide:

“Let’s do a soup-to-nuts re-evaluation, focusing on what our original goal was, which was to get al Qaeda, the people who killed 3,000 Americans,” Obama said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

Or this:

Obama is equivocating, saying: “One of the things I’m absolutely clear about is that you have to get the strategy right, and then make a determination about resources.” He has ordered yet another review of strategy, a review which the chairman of the joint chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, said was going back to “the first principles, if you will.”

So, a few questions. The “comprehensive” analysis completed all of six months ago didn’t start from first principles?   What was missing, the soups, or the nuts?   (Probably the soup, knowing this crowd.)   It didn’t get it right the first time?   Why not?   What changed?

And the biggie: how can you make a decision on strategy independent of an analysis of resources?   Obama’s assertion of strategy first, resources later in the previous quote implies a disjunction between the two issues.

This is nonsense.   Strategy is all about meshing objectives and resources; goals and capabilities.   No minimally competent strategist says: “OK, here’s my strategy.   Let me figure out what I need to carry it out.”   Strategy is all about how to apply resources to achieve objectives.   If the objectives appear to demand an excessively costly commitment of resources, you choose different ones.

The new spin is that the administration is shocked! shocked! to learn in the aftermath of the recent election that Afghanistan is corrupt.   What changed in Afghanistan over the last 6 months to warrant such a U-turn.   Hell, what has changed in Afghanistan in the last couple of thousand years?   If you read histories of Alexander the Great’s adventures in what is now Afghanistan in about 325 BC you’d still probably recognize the place.   It is a tribal society (read Arrian) with an overlay of the most primitive variety of Islam that has changed little in recorded history, let alone the last six months.

And even if you ignore that history, presumably a “comprehensive” strategic review should have included a detailed analysis of the capacity of the Afghan government.   If the recent election result completely overturns the results of that analysis, it must have been shockingly inept.   A failure of intelligence–in many senses of the word–on all levels.

This whole fiasco is yet another episode of “What’s Worse: If he’s lying or telling the truth?”   If he’s lying, well, that speaks for itself.   If he’s not he’s a blundering incompetent.

Robert Gibbs should be replaced as press secretary by Maxwell Smart: “Would you believe. . . ?”

Truth be told, Obama used the Afghan “war of necessity” rhetoric to pose as someone tough on defense and cover his flank against charges that he was a coward because he wanted to cut and run in Iraq. I guess “necessity” ain’t all that it used to be. His equivocation proves that his rhetoric was just another pose meant to secure his election, to be replaced by another pose when the old one proved inconvenient.   Like now.

Bill Clinton was a man who posed to conceal his lack of a center.   Barack Obama is a man who poses to conceal his very real center.   But sometimes we can see behind the pose, as at yesterday’s speech before the UN General Assembly.   There, speaking in transnational internationalist code, Obama revealed that at his core he is deeply hostile to the United States and its history.   It is something to be apologized for and changed fundamentally, rather than something to be praised and improved upon.

The criticism of the speech from conservative circles has been understandably hostile.   But some commentators, even some usually sensible ones, missed the basic points because they didn’t interpret Obama’s code.   One example is Charles Krauthammer, who criticized Obama’s statement that “no nation should try to dominate” others.   Krauthammer concluded that this revealed Obama’s naivete:

I will buy the “should try to” as kind of adolescent wishful thinking. But “no [one] nation can dominate another”? What planet is he living on? It is the story of man. What does he think Russia is doing to Georgia?

But that’s not the point at all.   Especially read in the context of the rest of the speech, and understanding the leftist, transnational mindset and the code in which it is communicated, what Obama was saying was that he believes that the US has tried to dominate others, and that it wouldn’t do so anymore.

For we are in Year One, AO (Anno Obama).   We have left the benighted years, BO (or, if you prefer, BOE–Before the Obama Era).   According to Obama, all that went before is disgraceful and must be changed, root and branch.   Before him, America was wrong; he is here to redeem our sins: Just look at the miracles he’s worked in 9 months!   America must be subsumed in the mass of nations, bound by the ties of the UN, to prevent it from wrongfully dominating others.

A combination of strategic ineptitude, messianic delusions of grandeur, and a fundamental disdain for the American experiment.   We are in for a helluva ride–in one direction, and it ain’t up.

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13 Comments »

  1. Must have been subconscious. McClatchey broke the story about McChrystal’s report.

    And please don’t accuse, or even intimate, that I am hoping for failure. My criticism is that the course that we are on seriously courts failure. That’s quite a different thing.

    And re not wishing this decision on anyone. Understandable. But Obama did not have the decision wished upon him. He asked for it. He spent the last several years of his life working like a Trojan to be in the position to make it. Perhaps most importantly, he made repeated statements the HE knew the proper way forward, and that Bush had bungled by neglecting Afghanistan. Well, arguably the latter part of the statement is correct, but Obama has to live up to his words now–he asked for it, he’s got it, but now it doesn’t look so appealing. That’s one of the dangers of talking so much, and so confidently. The pride goeth before the fall.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 24, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  2. My last article discusses Afghanistan:

    …as of today, counting contractors, there are more Americans fighting in Afghanistan today than the Soviets deployed at their peak. (A common counter-argument is that of the 120,000 armed US personnel stationed there, some 68,000 are contractors who mainly do things like fixing electrical lines or washing pots and pans; however, the comparison remains valid because these would be the functional equivalent of Soviet “Class C” divisions mostly concerned with logistical issues).

    The Afghanistan quagmire will likely be seen by future historians as an American strategic blunder of the first magnitude. First, it developed as a simple reaction to al-Qaeda’s use of Afghanistan as a base to plot out the 9/11 attacks, yet apart from that, the expansionist Taleban were a much bigger problem for Iran and Russia than for the US (even as the US oil corporation Unocal, with the backing of the CIA, was negotiating with the Taleban over the construction of a Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline to carry natural gas from Turkmenistan to the Indian subcontinent in 1998, Iran was seriously threatening war with the Taleban for the murder of Iranian diplomats). By keeping Afghanistan and the Central Asian jihadi threat suppressed, the US uses its own resources to spare Russia’s and Iran’s from the necessary work of patrolling Afghanistan’s borders, aiding the Northern Alliance and other anti-Taleban insurgents, intercepting jihadi aid to their domestic Islamic militants and maintaining the stability of the Central Asian republics. Hence Russia’s generally quiescent attitude towards allowing the US to transport non-military supplies to Afghanistan and usage of Central Asian bases.

    Second, and more importantly, the US is not fighting to win. Afghanistan is not Serbia, and it is not even Iraq. It is a proud tribal society with a total fertility rate of nearly 7 children per woman. Trying to instill “liberal democracy” is a quixotic endeavor. Preaching, let alone practicing, “human rights” is (correctly) interpreted as a sign of moral weakness, and an incentive to up the pressure. The only way to actually win in Afghanistan is through burned-earth like brutality and ruthlessness, like Cromwell’s pacification of Ireland. Anything else is a waste of time and money. As it is, the US is pouring its resources like water into the sands of the “graveyard of empires”, and taking NATO along for the ride – a strain that threatens the very survival of the alliance. This would not be nearly as critical if the jihadi threat was the only storm-on-the-horizon the US-centered world order faced; yet in combination with Iranian brinkmanship, the Russian resurgence, the Chinese mercantile challenge and the increasing reflection of the limits to growth onto the world economy, the days of Pax Americana may well be numbered. …

    Not that I personally support a scorched earth policy in Afghanistan, which is in any case politically unfeasible. It’s just that I really think that that is the only way to “win” there. As such, withdrawal is the only realistic option and it is good for the US that some of its elites are gradually recognizing this.

    Comment by poluchi fashist granatu — September 24, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

  3. For sure.

    Comment by Cutie Pie — September 25, 2009 @ 3:56 am

  4. “My criticism is that the course that we are on seriously courts failure.”

    That was baked in well before 20 January 2009. Like, in early February 2003.

    “I think it’s a no win situation for the President.”

    Yup. And for more reasons than you give.

    “I don’t believe anyone has a clue about what to do in Afghanistan… especially, long-term.”

    “Ding!!Ding!Ding!!Ding!! We have a winner!”

    The frustrating thing is, Gorby showed us what to do. When the Soviets decided on their exit strategy in 1985, they set themselves to work building an Afghan Army. By 1989, they’d done that well enough that it managed “Afghan good-enough” to maintain Najibullah in power and the Afghan government’s authority over the cities and infrastructure, as long as Gorby/Yeltsin paid the bills. Add in a bit of bribery for tribal authorities, and things weren’t looking too bad, until Boris stopped writing the checks.

    Our trouble is, we don’t have much time (maybe a year. Maybe.), and we’re trying to build an Army in our image.

    Comment by rkka — September 25, 2009 @ 4:14 am

  5. “I believe that suggesting President Obama is secretly ‘anti-American’ is dangerously close to being on par with many of Glenn Beck’s whacko theories.” Beck is a symptom, rather than the disease, of a larger realization in this country that the elites don’t give a damn what any of us think. The problem is by his own admission, Beck is a “rodeo clown”, and with his reference to Obama “hating white people” he is easily dismissed as another Father Coughlin (Pat Buchanan) or George Wallace. Beck’s praising Putin in one context (quoting him favorably when he said that the Western governments were veering towards the failed Soviet example of excessive state intervention in their economies, at Davos in January 2009) while a few months earlier he had accused “Putin” of personally building mosques at the same time he was making Orthodoxy the only accepted religion in Russia. Par for the course of Beck’s muddle.

    Beck fails to zero in on the more specific problem, which is that multiculturalism and accusations of racism are basically being used by corporatist America (notice I did not say corporate America) to shout down people who want to hold the Mexican government accountable for its total failure in exporting one out of nine of its citizens to the U.S. and for radically altering the social contract in this country through massive outsourcing and insourcing of cheap labor. In this sense, left wing college professors like Obama represented the strutting peacock multiculti animals in the zoo that provide useful cover for corporatist power, which is pushing for a kind of babble, the abolition of the nation state (Soros being the personification of this movement). The hatred of Russia in the U.S. among the Left and corporatist liberals fits into this mileu because Russia is still a nationalist state with a strong ethnic core, unafraid to stand up for its interests if need be unilaterally. Plus, Russia’s primary export is oil and we all know oil is icky and evil. But it is not so much oil in reality that the Left objects to as the whole blood and guts, male-dominated resource intensive and extractive economy in the first place, since that admittedly old economy does not empower it. Hence cap and trade.

    The bailout in reflection was merely the watershed moment, when America’s oligarchs no longer decided to even pretend to be subtle about the fact that they were looting the taxpayers for decades to come to pay for their transnational mistakes. The bailout was elite America giving the rest of the country the bird, and even some elites like the former director of the IMF were shocked, because America’s elites in his view were behaving the same way Russian and Argentine elites once did in the Nineties. Another author wrote in The Atlantic Monthly that this basically made the U.S. like Putin’s Russia. The problem with this comparison is that even in Putin’s Russia, they don’t simply print the money used to bail out the companies in question, because Russia learned in the Nineties it could not print unlimited rubles, they have used oil money or the stabilization fund. Basically America has lost its ability to lecture the Kremlin on the independence of the private sector when the Secretary of Treasury can call nine CEOs into the room on a September morning and demand that they sign two-page contracts to accept billions in bailout money, whether they want to or not, what Vanity Fair called “a hold up in reverse”.

    Thus AIG was bailed out to spare Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs (government sacks) and a whole host of European banks that had dumped the savings of their aging nations into mortgage securities backed by the dodgey mortgages of American Gen Xers, while Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers which were not as transnational were allowed to fail. The rapid fire sacking of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s leadership, who had thought themselves untouchable members of the Washington establishment, can also be explained by the need to appease foreigners who were watching the value of their Fannie/Freddie paper potentially evaporate overnight. And as painful as it is for the Professor to admit, the Central Bank of Russia was high on the list of creditors demanding that Washington do something RIGHT AWAY to make good on its implicit guarantees of that debt or else — there would have been a monumental bear run on the dollar. That is why Paulson, one of the brightest minds in Goldman’s firmament, was throwing up repeatedly during that time, and why he can be forgiven for coming up with a plan not much beyond the high school level of “let’s just shove a shitload of money into the banks and see what happens.” This was what the best and brightest, America’s cognitive elite, came up with in its hour of need.

    I can sense a Jacksonian backclash on the Professor’s part against Chinese financial blackmail and checks on American power (and perhaps to protect himself from the rhetorical charge that he is soft on the ChiComs because they fund Uncle Sugar while hard on the Russians because they’re European-looking and only recently started doing the same). But it’s already too late unless there is a massive populist revolt and backclash against the elites for looting America the way Russia’s oligarchs once looted Russia.

    I’d be curious if the Prof decides to expand his thoughts on the “nationalist vs. transnationalist” divide replacing the Left/Right divide. Nationalists for example of the Left and Right, say Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul, both opposed the bailouts as a rotten deal, as did 80% of the American public. But the transnationalists who lead the Democratic Party were told to jump by the banks, and they asked how high. The recent Vanity Fair issue is a case in point. On the one hand, they excoriated Paulson for giving nine bank CEOs that famous two page form asking them how much they wanted. On the other hand, they damned the House Republicans for actually having the bad manners to obey their constituents who were calling in 60 to 1 against the bailout, since that was merely being “ideological” while Paulson was praised like all RINOs for selling out his party. Dirigisme and corporatism waits for no democracy.

    Comment by Steve J. Nelson — September 25, 2009 @ 8:18 am

  6. On the other hand, at least AK is not so delusional in his liberal mileau of San Francisco to believe that Obama can last long as America’s Gorbachev. Sooner or later America is going to get its own Putin, and he’s going to make Bush look like a total softie in comparison, if the transnationalists cannot at least delay their program for American collapse (or recreating a Latin American style oligarchy) by a few decades.

    Comment by Steve J. Nelson — September 25, 2009 @ 8:22 am

  7. Steve–

    A lot to respond to. I’ve been a Jacksonian for a long time–perhaps since before you were born. I am the proud grandson of an archetypal Jacksonian American (last name–Hatfield–tells you a lot right there); his life was a combination of a country music song and a Horatio Alger story, right out of Jacksonian Appalachia.

    You might have missed some of my earlier Jacksonian-themed posts. I wrote one about Palin mid-September last year (while hunkered down in a Texas hotel riding out Hurricane Ike.) I wrote another about banking, discussing the relevance of Jackson’s anti-banking campaigns for the modern bailouts.

    In other words, my Jacksonianism isn’t newly found, a “backlash” against new developments. It’s genetic, and it’s been on display for quite awhile.

    And believe me, being a Jacksonian as an academic in the modern university ain’t a way to win friends. Want to hear Jacksonian?: I gave a speech before the faculty senate advocating concealed carry on campus. I must have had three heads, given the looks I got. LOL. Also wrote an oped for the Dallas and Houston dailies on the subject. You’d be amazed at the support I rec’d from students and ordinary folks; you might not be amazed at the vitriol I got from some “colleagues.”

    Here’s where I think we really differ. I have this friend, Diana. She believes that everything is a dichotomy. I tell her there are two kind of people: those who believe in dichotomies and those who don’t. You, Steve, it seems to me, are like Diana and believe that there are only two belief choices: transnational progressivism, and Russian-style nationalism. I think that dichotomy is a false one. Fortunately. Revolting at transnational progressivism does not imply an embrace of a nationalist (in the racial, rather than credal sense), imperial transnationalist, statist, anti-liberty mindset, a la Russia.

    Jacksonians are viscerally libertarians, and don’t appreciate government meddling into their lives. Sadly, there are nativist strains in Jacksoniansim, and those I don’t embrace. Most importantly, Jacksonians are big on autonomy, and not letting anybody push them–or their nation–around. Jacksonians are not as economically classically liberal as I, for the most part, and are suspicious of financial power. I share those suspicions mainly to the extent that capital/finance corrupts government, as with 2nd Bank US, and arguably today. But it’s not too much of an intellectual stretch to be both Jacksonian, and an economic/political classical liberal. It is a huge stretch to be a Jacksonian and a worshipper of oligarchic power verticals.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 25, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  8. SWP, your fried Diana is a Jesuit, for whom there are 2 possibilities for everything, and so on.

    Or, if you prefer, there is an old Danny Kaye movie, in which he plays a character who constantly repeats the same idea – “there are 2 possibilities.” 🙂

    Comment by elmer — September 25, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

  9. I gave a speech before the faculty senate advocating concealed carry on campus.

    I agree with that.

    Comment by poluchi fashist granatu — September 25, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

  10. […] The Dog Ate My Strategy. […]

    Pingback by USA Politics - Hamster Wheel - Page 19 - PPRuNe Forums — September 26, 2009 @ 12:10 am

  11. I didn’t say that transnationalism, whether it is in fact progressive or not, and ethno-nationalism are the only two choices. Far from it. For a time it seemed the U.S. could steer a world-beating middle path, as an internationalist power that nonetheless had a coherent core around which new immigrants could assimulate i.e. post World War II America. What Huntington was asking in Who Are We? was whether that core was breaking down, out of self-loathing or simply the elite descendants of WASP America no longer feeling attached to their nation-state. As internationalist as say John J. McCloy or Henry Morgenthau were, no one but a fringe would deny that they were creating a post war world order with the U.S. and U.S. dollar at the center.

    “Jacksonians are not as economically classically liberal as I, for the most part, and are suspicious of financial power.”

    My other point is that Jacksonian America after getting somewhat pandered to for eight years (though anyone could reasonably argue that Bush was essentially a post-president from 2006-2008) has lately been getting beaten down and insulted as racist for good measure, at least when it comes to the policies emanating from Washington. It is well aware of that hence the Tea Party backclash.

    I wasn’t trying to come up with an all encompassing paradigm, just trying to explain coherently why the U.S. Left seems to loathe Russia, and not merely the Cold War in their-mother’s-milk Right. But obviously, in reading Stanislav Mishin, it becomes clear that some in Russia seem to think there is traction to be gained from the discontent on the U.S. Right at this moment, to the point that it may lead to separatism and perhaps even allow a mirror image of the “Captive Nations” propaganda from the Cold War era (and to a certain extent, which continues to this day in the form of Edward Lucas’ poor little Georgia or Estonia rants) to be resurrected. I think predicting a separatist breakup of the U.S. with Texas for example seceding is delusional, but a general collapse of U.S. power is not if America keeps printing money and presuming that foreigners will pay the tab, and not just inflate away the savings of its middle class to feed the rich and the poor.

    Comment by Steve J. Nelson — September 26, 2009 @ 9:27 am

  12. And moreover, it isn’t a matter of “defending the power vertical” as it is questioning whether the eastward expansion of NATO and the transnational organization par excellence EU is in fact advancing the cause of liberty in Eastern Europe, or if it is provoking a kind of Russian Jacksonian backclash. And if the policy of continuing confrontation with Russia and hostile rhetoric is helping or hurting liberty here at home (by hastening the collapse of the U.S. dollar as a world reserve currency), as well as damaging America’s image in a part of the world where we need friends but seem to be losing influence fast. Your basic argument is that Russia only wants to be feared rather than respected and if Russians were more free they would just shut up about NATO because they would realize that it poses no threat to them. The problem is that many of your fellow libertarian Jacksonians find that argument harder to make after NATO became an offensive military alliance in Yugoslavia, bombing a country that unlike Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had not continually defied the U.S. into submission.

    Neither you nor penny seem to believe that there is any genuine popular resistance to say, imposing NATO on Ukraine, and that any resistance is all merely manufactured consent produced by Kremlin controlled media. Oleg goes further and spreads his John Bircher conspiracy theory that “the KGB” still controls not merely ex-Eastern European communists who won office in those countries, but also radical Islamists around the world. I’ve seen that one spread by “kabud” and other trolls over at Pajamas Media that follow in La Russophobe’s wake. More of the same.

    Comment by Steve J. Nelson — September 26, 2009 @ 9:39 am

  13. Steve J. Nelson on the FSB/KGB payroll ?

    When a child loses a tooth, we talk about the tooth fairy. When it comes to Christmas, we prefer to speak of Santa Claus; at Easter, it is the Easter Bunny. On Halloween we dress our children as ghosts and goblins, and send them off to collect candy. For World War III, we have the Strategic Arms Reduction Fairy. We make up stories to cover the nakedness (and sometimes the barrenness) of our spirit. We have taught children a sense of entitlement, which can best be summed up as follows:

    YOU ARE SPECIAL … JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.”

    We have supposedly done away with ignorance and superstition, and because of this conceit some middle-aged children today imagine that they are smarter than their parents; smarter than the generation that built the bomb, that built many bombs. Without realizing it, however, we have created new superstitions like democracy and monetarism. We no longer believe in witches. We believe in economists and arms reduction treaties. Our fairy tales have grown into adult narratives, as children become adults without entirely growing up. For us, the disturbing edge of the traditional fairy tale has been dulled. We no longer want hard truth and tough talk. Instead, we cling to childishness.

    Increasingly, it is the tendency of our culture to sugar-coat facts, to color unpleasant realities, to demand a happy ending. Fifty years ago people were seriously worried about World War III. They anticipated the destruction of civilization in a nuclear holocaust. Somehow our adult concern was transformed into a childish program for world peace and universal disarmament.

    Middle-aged children imagine that nuclear weapons are the problem. In reality, nuclear weapons are an unavoidable consequence of human nature. Can we eliminate crime, bad manners or lying? Can we establish permanent peace? The child sees no obstacle because the child does not know himself, and does not know human nature. A mature mind, however, knows that peace is precarious and temporary. It is not a question of eliminating nuclear weapons. Peace is only possible if we can mitigate the wickedness of human beings (e.g., like you and I).

    The men who rule Russia and China are bad. The men who rule the United States, Great Britain and France are also bad. The difference between the two types of men have nothing to do with inherent goodness in one or badness in the other. The difference is found in traditions that either concentrate power in the hands of a few individuals, or distribute power under a system of checks and balances. The latter mitigates human evil; the former intensifies human evil. The one system presents the political criminal with an opportunity; the other system limits the harm that he can do.

    In terms of nuclear weapons, it is childish to suppose that leaders of systems based on the concentration of power will agree to an honest reduction of their nuclear forces. Without any system of checks and balances to regulate them, they will follow their nature – which is to accumulate and concentrate more power in their own hands. Internationally this means that they will cheat on any arms control agreement involving nuclear weapons; or they will rely on lethal biological weapons which have been outlawed in those countries where power is checked and balanced.

    It is childish for Americans and the U.S. president to strive for universal nuclear disarmament. Once the Americans tie their hands with a treaty, the United States will be disarmed. On the other side, where laws do not constrain the ruling elite, a treaty is merely a piece of paper. As the Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin once said: “Treaties are like pie crusts, meant to be broken.” Because of the speed with which rockets travel, and the destructive force of a nuclear warhead, countries without such weapons can be stripped of sovereignty and plundered.

    Children will deny the danger is real. They believe in the power of positive, utopian ideals. They denounce common sense as reactionary, as an obstacle to world peace. “If we do nothing, then nuclear war is inevitable,” they cry. But in reality, nuclear war is inevitable because fools are inevitable; and we are very great fools indeed.

    Childish people who cannot look at the world through adult eyes, who righteously see themselves as the saviors of mankind, are actually our destroyers. Their program promises peace, but delivers the exact opposite. Their speeches drip with the honey of good intentions, but their actions unleash the world’s dictators from the chains of Mutual Assured Destruction. In a world where the global economy is shrinking, the outcome won’t be pretty.

    Comment by Oleg — September 26, 2009 @ 10:51 am

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