Geopolitics - Apr 28
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Rearming the world
Joshua Kurlantzick, Boston Globe
... With much less fanfare than the early days of the Cold War, the world is entering a new arms race, and with it, a dangerous new web of military relationships. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks international armed forces spending, between 1997 and 2006 global military expenditures jumped by nearly 40 percent. Driven mainly by anxiety over oil and natural resources, countries are building their arsenals of conventional weapons at a rate not seen in decades, beefing up their armies and navies, and forging potential new alliances that could divide up the world in unpredictable ways.
Much of this new arms spending is concentrated among the world's biggest consumers of resources, which are trying to protect their access to energy, and the biggest producers of resources, which are taking advantage of their new wealth to build up their defenses at a rate that would have been unthinkable for a developing country until recently.
This power shift comes with enormous implications for the United States and its Western allies. With more military power in the hands of authoritarian and sometimes unstable states, the arms race creates a growing possibility for real state-to-state conflict - a prospect that would dwarf even a major terror attack in its power to disrupt the world's stability.
Joshua Kurlantzick is a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of "Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power is Transforming the World."
(27 April 2008)
James Woolsey, Hybrid Hawk
Laura Rozen, Mother Jones
The former CIA director turned clean-energy enthusiast is part geek, part zealot-and all iconoclast.
... Tall and lanky and dressed in a navy sweater, an oxford shirt, jeans, and Top-Siders, the 66-year-old tells me the story of how he, a self-described "Scoop Jackson/Joe Lieberman Democrat" who served as Jimmy Carter's undersecretary of the Navy and Bill Clinton's cia director and was known for his support of Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraq War, became an ardent advocate for energy independence.
Like many clean-energy enthusiasts, Woolsey is part geek, part zealot.
... Being a green neoconservative is becoming less lonely, Woolsey says, especially as more hawks come to see energy as a security issue
(May/June 2008 Issue)