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3:17AM

The Bottom Line on Nation-Building

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"Rebalancing" has been the watchword of President Barack Obama's foreign policy to date: rebalancing the global economy between East and West, rebalancing domestic needs and foreign responsibilities, and -- soon enough -- rebalancing the international security burden among the world's great powers. One number explains why that last rebalancing is necessary: It costs the United States $1 million a year to keep a soldier inside a theater of operations such as Afghanistan. The math is easy enough: For every thousand troops, the price comes out to $1 billion a year.

Continue reading this week's New Rules column at WPR.

Reader Comments (3)

Watching Bono (one of the greatest people in the world, IMO) on HBO last night made me think that there might be something to that "Old Europe" vs. "New Europe" dichotomy. Groups like the Irish who are just starting to get a taste of living in a mass middle-class society might be a lot more receptive to the need to Shrink the Gap. Of course, there aren't a lot of bodies there, but there are some very sharp minds.
November 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstuart abrams
"We're perfectly willing to revolutionize your traditional societies with our aggressive networking, but the resulting problems are yours alone to solve."

Or they might say:

"We see your over-leveraged finances, your dangerously un-balanced productive economy, and your overly-indulging rights- and- entitlement politics all of which we have effectively co-operated in enabling (with loans and cheap goods) by our solving (and creating) problems in the exploitable Gap (in the same manner as you and to the same degrees as you at the same stages of your development? We can re-negotiate co-operation in matters of security in the Gap changing how we act militarily and system administratively. Changes will certainly mean some (hopefully worthwhile) terminations re-directions and slowing in areas of our investments and operations from which your national welfare (and world advancement) currently benefit. "
November 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGilbert Garza
Too many politicians, media folks, and citizens think of rebalancing in ways of looking at past. So their focus is on auto manufacturing jobs, aircraft carriers, etc. Even many of those who voted for Obama don't 'get it' that this rebalancing era means (and requires) forward looking transformations.
November 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLouis Heberlein

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