Green Berets have growing doubts of duties with skittish political leadership

The Obama administration’s killing or morale and purge of the Green Berets on display:

 

They were the first troops to hit the ground in Afghanistan while al Qaeda’s dirty work still smoldered back in the United States.

On foot, helicopter and horseback, ArmySpecial Forces showed that if the U.S. was to win a long counterinsurgency war against Islamic extremists, the special skills of Green Berets would be fundamental.

Nearly 14 years later, these soldiers, some of the military’s smartest and best trained, are still creating lots of headlines, but not necessarily for heroics.

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Greek debt default is now inevitable, government officials say prepare now for systemic collapse

(NaturalNews) We have been tracking and reporting on the worsening economic situation in Greece now for more than a year, and it appears as though our earlier predictions – that the broke Mediterranean nation would eventually default on bailout loans it received in 2012, under different leadership – will happen.

Reuters reported Monday that Greece will not pay a 1.6 billion-euro installment it owes on its loan that is due June 30, according to a Greek government official who confirmed the default yesterday, further highlighting the overall severity of the country’s financial crisis. Continue reading

A Nation Worth Applauding

Why Germany has such a promising future!

Germans make great pianos—the finest, actually, in my opinion. The name Steinway has been synonymous with excellence in piano construction for over a century and a half, starting with a German-born piano maker living in New York. When his son opened a plant in Hamburg, Germany, it wasn’t long before many regarded the Hamburg instruments as superior to those manufactured in the original New York factory.

German craftsmen have earned a reputation for excellence for more than just pianos. Whether it’s kitchen knives or convertibles, power tools or pistols, the “Made in Germany” mark is a testament to any product’s superiority. Olympic competitors seek German-made rowing shells; rock superstars look for German-made guitar amplifiers. Germany’s reputation in the auto industry is unmatched in both quantity and quality; the nation is the world’s third-largest car producer. German sports sedans outperform their peers; its luxury cars outclass their competition.

German workers have refined the ability to assimilate great innovations of other nations and improve upon them. Germany is also known for its creative geniuses—its composers, poets and scientists.

Little wonder, then, that Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe and the most stable economy in the Western world. Continue reading

Global Leadership Vacuum: Europe Incapable, America Unwilling

The Exhausted Nation

In 1998, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called America the “indispensable nation.” But now, 15 years later, it is primarily an exhausted one, a global power in decline that has its gaze turned toward the domestic front rather than Afghanistan or the Middle East.

This should come as no surprise. Since the end of the Cold War, US soldiers have spent almost twice as many months at war than they had in previous decades. The country has pumped a phenomenal amount of money into its military. Indeed, in 2011, it spent more on defense than the next 19 military powers combined. And, of course, this only contributed to its record mountain of $16 trillion (€11.8 trillion) in public debt. Continue reading

Hawks Ascend to Power in Asia

Japan and South Korea underwent leadership changes this week, which means all four of North Asia’s major powers now have different leaders in office since this time last year. As these nations undergo leadership transitions, they’re also jockeying for position in a shifting world order, which places China in a dominant role.

Japan’s new premier is the grandson of a World War II minister who helped run Japanese-occupied Manchuria, and who later tried to abolish the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. China is now ruled by the son of a Communist Chinese revolutionary hero—who was a close comrade of Chairman Mao. And both Koreas are now in the hands of descendants of Cold War dictators. Continue reading

China in 2030

This week, the World Bank issued “China in 2030,” a major report that calls for dramatic economic reforms to maintain China’s current rate of growth. In his opening remarks at the launch conference in Beijing on February 27, World Bank chief Robert Zoellick noted that China faces a number of challenges in the coming years, including a rapidly aging population, resource pressures, environmental issues, and rising inequality.

The report warns that China is at a “turning point in its development path,” and needs a new development strategy. It calls for six changes:

1.      Structural economic reforms

2.      Focus on innovation;

3.      Emphasis on “green” development

4.      Improve social security system;

5.      Strengthen the fiscal system; and

6.      Become a more active global stakeholder.

Full article: China in 2030 (The Diplomat)