Posted by: Water Modem ||
Just remember that Treasury has been printing a crap load of 'money' without backing for the last couple of years. Cutting spending while raising taxes that aren't subsequently just spent again compensates for some of that. I'll take the cliff over hyperinflation.
Interesting notes from Spengler:
Other powers are taking over military and police roles that once fell to Washington by default.
A minor example is worth citing: the International Maritime Bureau last month reported that pirate attacks on commercial shipping had fallen to just 70 during the first nine months of 2012, compared to 199 in the same period of 2011. The Maritime Security Review reported on September 24, "International navies have stepped up pre-emptive action against pirates, including strikes on their bases on the Somali coast."
I am informed that Chinese naval vessels have sent lending parties of marines on shore to retaliate against the pirates' villages. Unlike the Obama administration, China has little concern for Muslim sensibilities. A significant strategic problem (and an important source of terrorist funding) is coming under control because of China's willingness to deal harshly with the locals. The enemy of our enemy...?
Petraeus brought to the war the brilliant insight that when you don't have enough troops to guard strong points and attack the enemy at the same time, the solution is to send more troops. In other words, not particularly earth-shaking or even original. His particular genius was being able to sell GWB on the concept of adding reinforcements, where Westmoreland had supposedly failed in Vietnam.
In reality, just as Westmoreland's troop buildup had crushed the Vietcong, the politicians decided to withdraw, leaving the field open to a conventional invasion from the North. In Iraq, as in Vietnam, I'd argue that the insurgents were never in a position to to win, and the main threat was one of invasion. The difference in Iraq was that there's no way Iran could have invaded, without us responding, given the stranglehold on Gulf oil resources it would have given the Iranians.
A real gem from the article: It is a myth that intelligence agencies steal secrets by intercepting communications and suborning spies. On the contrary: they obtain intelligence if and when someone wishes to give them intelligence. Russia spied successfully on the United States and England because Marxists intellectuals thought Russia should have American secrets.
America obtained Russian secrets towards the end of the Cold War because Russian intelligence officers, disillusioned with the evil and incompetent communist system, thought that the United States should have the relevant information. I am reliably informed that the US did not recruit a single Soviet agent of importance during the last dozen years of the Cold War; all of its intelligence coups came from walk-ins. Moral as well as strategic superiority is a magnet for information; little else does much good.
The recent election & associated disclosures indicate the USA is getting demoralized, and not in terms of moral/immoral.