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Defense Spending Cuts Are Costly

NYT: Emerging nations push commodity prices up. Japan Times: How far will China go to secure its energy needs? HuffPost: The British prime minister ‘systematically lied’ to his people.

Emerging nations push commodity prices up

Columnist Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times that the fast growth of emerging nations is putting pressure on the world’s limited resources and pushing up commodity prices. The global community will have to change the way it lives.

QUOTE: Thanks to growth in developing nations, world industrial production recently passed its previous peak — and, sure enough, commodity prices are surging again.

How far will China go to secure its energy needs?

Michael Richardson, a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of South East Asian Studies in Singapore, writes in the Japan Times that China’s economy is now increasingly dependent on vast amounts of oil and gas. The question is to what lengths the rising power will go in order to ensure the security of its energy sources and supply lines.

QUOTE: China's handling of offshore territorial disputes this year with Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea and with Japan in the East China Sea shows that Beijing may opt for strong-arm tactics.

Defense spending is worth the cost

Author Mark Helprin writes in the Wall Street Journal that the United States should not reduce its military powers because doing so jeopardizes its global commitments and security. He argues that defense spending is worth the cost.

QUOTE: As in the 1930s, the economy is the supposedly humanitarian excuse for reducing the military, although the endless miseries of the world will not be alleviated if due to an imbalance of power great and little wars rage across it.

Seoul and Washington must reverse their North Korea strategy

Michael J. Green, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, writes in Seoul’s JoongAng Daily that South Korea and the United States must reverse their strategy towards North Korea in the hopes of changing its behavior in the long term. When the North acts out against the South, it must face responses that inflict permanent damage.

QUOTE: The key will be to ensure that we have our own strategic campaign plan for degrading North Korean capabilities and then applying it opportunistically ourselves when crises occur.

American politics will get ugly as parties battle over the deficit

Jeffrey D. Sachs, professor of economics and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, writes in Project Syndicate that US Republicans and Democrats are likely to see even more fighting ahead as they battle over how to cut the deficit.

QUOTE: Most Americans seem to be going along with Republican arguments that it is better to close the budget deficit through spending cuts rather than tax increases. Yet when the actual budget proposals are made, there will be a growing backlash.

Central Eurasia is poised to enter its next evolutionary phase

Robert M Cutler, senior research fellow in the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Carleton University in Canada, writes in the Asia Times that Central Eurasia is likely to undergo further geopolitical evolution. Nations like Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have learned how to exploit their own natural resources and therefore make their own decisions.

QUOTE: It may seem odd that it would be relatively smaller countries such as Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan that are taking control over the next phase of evolution of Central Eurasian energy geo-economics.

US Republicans have three goals as they turn around America

Columnist Peter Du Pont writes in the Wall Street Journal that the Republican House of Representatives that soon comes into session will have three main goals to help turn around America: controlling government spending, reducing government regulation and reforming Obama’s health care.

QUOTE: The battle that begins next week will be the most significant change in public policy discussions in several years. And we can be sure the new Republican House and Democratic Senate won't agree on much.

The British prime minister ‘systematically lied’ to his people

Johann Hari, a columnist for the London Independent, writes in the Huffington Post that Prime Minister David Cameron “systematically lied” to the British people. He promised to protect hospitals, childcare and other services and then implemented deep public spending cuts.

QUOTE: So why are the Conservatives doing it? It seems to stem from a combination of ideological zeal and disconnection from the reality of ordinary British people's lives.

Global aging will present fiscal challenges

Michael W. Hodin, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues in an interview in that an aging population threatens global growth and prosperity. He argues that public policies must shift to support the elderly who are ill as well as those who can continue to work.

QUOTE: Global aging will be the single largest driver for the fiscal challenges that we are going to face over the next two to three decades.

Europe’s current way of life is unsustainable

Tim Parks writes in the Guardian that Europe’s way of life is unsustainable. The Europe of the future must share a common vision and hope to be part of a changing and evolving world, rather than struggling to hold onto the past.

QUOTE: Europeans must set aside once and for all the notion that they are in some way superior, that their culture has already expressed the apex of human civilization and artistic achievement.