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Showing posts from March 22, 2020

COVID 19: What we can learn from other countries

A handful of Asian countries, including South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, have been able to control their coronavirus outbreaks far more successfully than the U.S., which now has more cases than any other country ♦️Lesson 1: The playbook works The standard playbook for a new infectious disease is to test the people who might be sick, trace their contacts to figure out who else they may have infected, test those people, and keep repeating that process. South Korea's coronavirus response isn't some radical new innovation: They just followed that playbook especially well. Widespread testing is particularly important with this strain of coronavirus because people can spread it before they start to feel sick. And it's important to do all of this early in the outbreak. The U.S. missed the boat on both of those priorities. ♦️ Lesson 2: Technology can help Singapore used an aggressive form of cellphone tracking to pinpoint citizens at risk of infection, and Taiwan quickly made bet

War and Warming

We include our friend Nathan Albright's article on the glaring contrast between real global security and the military dominance which U.S. elites keep choosing, instead, to pursue.     by Nathan Albright March 11, 2020   On June 5 th , 2019, senior intelligence analyst Rod Schoonover spoke before a House Intelligence hearing on National Security and Climate Change. "The Earth's climate is unequivocally undergoing a long-term warming trend as established by decades of scientific measurements from multiple independent lines of evidence," said Schoonover. "We expect that climate change will affect US national security interests through multiple, concurrent, and compounded ways. Global often diffuse perturbations are almost certain to ripple across political, social, economic, and human security domains worldwide. These include economic damage, threats to human health, energy security, and food security. We expect no country to be immune to the effects of climate cha

The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines Between War and Peace B.A. Friedman     March 24, 2020 The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines Between War and Peace . Oscar Jonsson. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press, 2019. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, the coercive annexation of the Crimea, and the ongoing support of proxy groups in Eastern Ukraine have induced seizures in western military thought, especially in the United States. Knee-jerk reactions hit upon slick-sounding diagnoses like the gray zone , the Gerasimov Doctrine , and even prescriptions based on new rules that reject historical continuity itself . These ideas are more the products of panic than informed reflection. Fortunately Oscar Jonsson’s new book, The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines Between War and Peace is not. Jonsson, the Director of the Stockholm Free World Forum ,has packed this slim volume with a potent antidote. Based on his field research in Moscow, he takes the all-too-novel approach of examining what Russian

What Compelled the Roman Way of Warfare? #Reviewing Killing for the Republic #Reviewing Rebecca Burgess     March 25, 2020 Killing for the Republic: Citizen Soldiers and the Roman Way of War . Steele Brand. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019. Ever since Abel went for shepherding and Cain for farming—and then founding cities after murdering Abel—the human race has divided over the superior virtuousness of the agrarian versus the urban lifestyle. But the Bible’s first word about cities is hardly its last; eventually, there’s even divine favor for the city of Jerusalem.[1] By the Acts of the Apostles, Paul is deliberately seeking out cities in a way that would horrify the Hesiod-imitating Virgil of the  Georgics , intent on praising the pious farmer who harkens back to the Saturnine Golden Age, before “anyone had heard…the clanging of a sword on the hard anvil.” In dramatic curtsey to the pastoral ideal, Marie Antoinette of Versailles liked to play shepherdess . Meanwhile, the sometime American diplomat to the French Court,

Assessing the G20 Virtual Summit

March 27, 2020 Leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) countries, representing 85 percent of the global economy, met by videoconference on March 26 to discuss the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic disruptions. This year’s G20 host, Saudi Arabia, issued a 20-paragraph  communiqué  on behalf of the group following the call. In it, leaders committed to doing “whatever it takes” to overcome the pandemic and laid out a number of individual and collective actions to address the health crisis, bolster the global economy, and assist countries in distress. However, the statement lacked concrete proposals, and questions remain about the extent to which major economies are committed to following through with a concerted international response to the crisis. Q1: Did the G20 live up to its billing as the premier forum for international economic cooperation? A1:  No, certainly  by comparison  with the G20’s forceful role in the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. Leader