Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tic Tacs #5

Tom Barnett on John Robb's book Brave New Wars: "John's book is deeply informed by the fact he's a serious technocrat who distrusts politics. Indeed, politics as any form of solution is basically missing in action in this book. When it's referred to glancingly here and there, it's always to catalogue dysfunction or corruption (e.g., America's entire political system is dismissed with a reference to Jack Abramoff's ability to purchase it at will--a blanketing statement which comes off as strangely naive in its cynicism, but that's not unusual for military guys who often describe Washington like it's some modern-day Sodom)."

From the AP via Yahoo: "The Pentagon is setting up a civilian Language Corps, a cadre of some 1,000 foreign-language speakers who can help the government in times of war and national emergencies. In a three-year pilot program, the Defense Department will recruit volunteers and do testing to see if such a program would work. If successful, a permanent corps could be developed, said Robert Slater, who heads the Pentagon personnel office's security education program. "The federal government can't possibly identify, hire and warehouse professionals with skills in 150 languages," Slater said Wednesday. "So it's invaluable to be able to respond in emergencies, whether international or national.""

World Bank Private Sector Development Blog on quality of FDI (quote from referenced paper): "This paper exploits a comprehensive, industry level data set for the period 1985-2000 that encompasses 29 countries to examine the various links between different “types” of FDI and growth. An appealing feature of industry analysis is that it mitigates some of the effects of unobserved heterogeneity and model misspecification, which are difficult to control at the national level. We also use as an instrument a new industry-level data set on industry targeting. We find FDI at the industry level to be associated with higher growth in value added. The relation is stronger for industries with higher skill requirements and for industries more reliant on external capital."

North County Times: "CAMP PENDLETON -- The first five of 24 Iraqi civilians killed in Haditha by a squad of Camp Pendleton Marines in 2005 were repeatedly shot by two sergeants who then agreed to blame the slayings on the Iraqi army, one of the shooters testified Wednesday afternoon. Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz said he fired at the five men moments after Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich unleashed a barrage of bullets at the group being held at gunpoint with their arms raised in the air." "Publics around the world say the United Nations has the responsibility to protect people from genocide and other severe human rights abuses even if this means acting against the will of their own government, according to a multinational study."

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