[ExI] extropy-chat Digest, Vol 55, Issue 2

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at yahoo.it
Wed Apr 2 11:48:22 UTC 2008

Tom Nowell ha scritto:

> Halliburton is hired to help do two things - rebuild
> Iraq's oil industry and perform logistical support to
> the US military. Rebuilding Iraq's oil industry could
> be done by a great many oil companies if they were
> given decent security backup.

That have a cost, in soldiers or in contractors.
Both cost money and have a political cost.

> As for logistical
> support - true, not many commercial organisations can
> do what Halliburton can. However, there's are two
> radical alternatives to hiring contractors at fat
> rates:
> 1)reinstate the draft and have young men truck the
> stuff through Iraq much like their dads did for
> Vietnam - not an electorally popular move, but making
> strong use of America's resources.

So, you would substitute volunteers with conscripts and professional 
with amateurs?
This also have a cost: political for the draft and political and 
economic for all the added deads due to a not professional and highly 
trained force.

> 2)Having allies. This may come as a radical view, but
> if the Bush administration had spent a little more
> time building an international coalition, he might
> have been able to have more areas of Iraq being
> handled by non-US forces.

He build an international coalition and stopped to try to enlarge when 
was clear that was impossible to wider it more.
Do you remember that the France simply bought the votes of the African 
nations in the UN to oppose the invasion?
China and Russia were against for their political reason (national 

>  Afghanistan has a great many NATO countries involved
> - OK, the coalition creaks a little as the
> US, UK, Canada and Belgium take all the danger zones
> (and the UK gets to take on the world heroin
> production capital) while other countries take on the
> more stable parts, but it works. Many countries are
> persuaded that it's worth putting in effort for a
> stable Afghanistan.

The NATO countries are forced to add more soldier in Afghanistan, 
because if the coalition fail there will be a political disaster for 
all. Remember that the NATO countries are there because of the 9/11; and 
9/11 was an war attack to an allied country of NATO. No need to build 
nothing there.
Any NATO country that retire from there will be marginalized politically 
and militarily in the NATO and in the EU; Afghanistan is a NATO war, and 
   losing in Afghanistan against the Talibans will show the weakness of 
the NATO and encourage the western enemies (mainly the islamists).
If NATO, mainly the EU part of the NATO, fail in Afghanistan, the war 
will simply follow them in Europe (and you will not be happy to see what 
will happen then).

>  If this had been done for Iraq, there'd be less need
> for Halliburton and the cost of the war would be
> partially born by other nations and the overall total
> might be lower, as it would avoid some of the
> "contractor corruption" widely reported in the media.

And more parties would cause more need of pork division.
And more possibility of meddling around for internal political reason.
And a few parties were not interested in helping the US and many were 
interested in helping themselves and the US enemies.

>  Of course, to do that would have required
> negotiation, taking time and actually having credible
> intelligence to go to war on. Perhaps someone a few
> years back should have thought "You know, this
> intelligence isn't that strong and most nations aren't
> buying it. Why are we buying it? Are we that sure it's
> worth losing thousands of our troops over?"

You go in war with the intelligence you have, not with the intelligence 
you want or will have a few years after.
After twelve years of hoping that Saddam die or was overthrow, there was 
not need of intelligence to no that this was long due. Or we could 
accept the collapse of the embargo, the resuming of his power 
projections and research projects. The UNO inspectors accounted tons of 
chemicals and biological weapons in the '90 and in the 2003 they were 
unable to account them. Where are these weapons? Evaporated? Someone ate 
them? In Siria? They found prohibited missiles, instead. Enough to 
confirm the breaking of the truce and the resuming of the combats.

> Meanwhile...$500 billion on...everyone's got a pet
> project that they think would help the world, advance
> human civilisation, do something amazing - and many of
> them have far, far smaller pricetags. Sometimes you've
> got to wonder at the waste of it all.

Think so. Now the USA have much more tested and war hardened armed 
forces. Much more than Russia and China and others.
And you never computed the cost of not toppling Saddam and the Talibans.

If you want save a dime, move the US troops away from Kossovo and Bosnia.


[Intangible capital is] the preponderant form of wealth.
When we look at the shares of intangible capital across income classes, 
you see it goes from about 60 percent in low-income countries to 80 
percent in high-income countries.
That accords very much with the notion that what really makes countries 
wealthy is not the bits and pieces, it's the brainpower, and the 
institutions that harness that brainpower.
It's the skills more than the rocks and minerals.
—Kirk Hamilton

Chiacchiera con i tuoi amici in tempo reale! 

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