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Friday, September 23, 2011

What happend Adm. Mullen when ...

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December 16, 2009
Adm. Mullen Praises Pakistan Army's War Plan

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said he "couldn't give the Pakistani Army anything but an 'A'" for how they've conducted their battle so far, after eight-months-plus of fighting to clear militants from the Swat Valley. He was speaking to those of us traveling with him, after he spent the day touring the now-conquered Swat Valley with Pakistan's Chief of Staff General Ashfaq Kayani . (For the record, after so many visits with U.S. and Pakistani military officials and diplomats in Afghanistan and Pakistan over the last few days, he looked worn. But so did we.)

"He planned well, and he's been very deliberate about how much he can get done and when he can get it done," Mullen said. "I think that's a very realistic approach to the operations."

He said that includes how the Pakistani military is currently conducting their counterinsurgency campaign there—trying to boost economic and political development there, after taking that territory. That's a new way of fighting for the Pakistani army, and one many U.S. military analysts and officers had publicly doubted they could pull off.

Mullen's comments are also unexpectedly high praise from American's top military commander in uniform -- at a time when U.S. officials are often quoted in the media saying Pakistan is not doing enough to fight the Afghan Taliban, which threatens U.S. troops across the border in Afghanistan. The Pakistani army continues to fight the militants, but they're concentrating on the Pakistani Taliban, who have waged a deadly suicide bombing campaign in their country, and bypassed areas populated by some of America's enemies.

You could cynically say Mullen's warm comments are good preparation to soften the Pakistani leadership up, before asking them to do more. But Mullen is a known for being more matter of fact than manipulative. And he's not known for being overzealous in handing out praise.

His staff explained he really thinks the Pakistani army in general, and Kayani in particular "get it." "They're a learning force," one official said. They learned the hard way, by taking hundreds of casualties early in this campaign, and finding out that if you don't hold territory after you take it from the Taliban, you just have to take it again, and lose more troops in the process.

And as the U.S. military learned in Iraq, the official explained, they've also learned that it's easier to "clear and hold" the first part of counterinsurgency, than it is to "build and transfer"—as in building hospitals, schools, roads, and bringing in jobs and business, and then transferring the area to a stable government and security force.

Admiral Mullen said it's something Kayani and his military commanders brought up a lot in their tour today – that while they'd conquered much of the territory they'd gone after, the economic aid and support from their own government and the international community wasn't coming in fast enough to both get people back to work, and keep them satisfied enough to keep them from supporting the Taliban again.

"That's something he is concerned about," Mullen said. "He has got to hold this territory, until the building starts. So that's where his main focus is."

Mullen is taking that message back to Washington – what is essentially a polite pushback from the Pakistani military that they are fighting as hard as they can, as fast as they can, but they're taking care of their own business, and their own direct enemies – the militant groups responsible for a string of bloody bombings across Pakistan—before they go after America's enemies.

That said, the admiral said he did bring up Washington's desire that Pakistan pursue the Afghan Taliban, aka Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and crew, thought to be sheltering in Pakistan, as well and the militant Haqqani tribe, which straddles Afghanistan and the Pakistani territory of Northern Waziristan. Mullen said Kayani "gets" that too.

"He is very aware of the additional insurgents that are out there, and he is likewise focused in getting at them," Mullen said. "I say that broadly. That's without exactly how that's going to be done or when that's going to be done."

And that sounds to this reporter like two military commanders getting together and saying to each other, we know what needs to happen, and we also know how fast the politicians want it to happen. But we also both know that from a military standpoint, it doesn't happen that fast on the ground.

Call it a diplomatic version of "back off, and let us do our job." But you won't hear a general, or an admiral, saying that to a reporter out loud.

The line of poverty and terror myth - U.S.A.

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The idea that poverty breeds terror appears obvious; how could it be otherwise? And people as different as the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Bush, Jacques Chirac and Pakistan's leader, Pervez Musharraf, have also noted a link between poverty and terrorism.

An article written By Cait Murphy, Fortune assistant managing editor on March 13 2007 regarding the situation cited above. He stated and pointed out the difference on poverty and peace.

In fact, there is now robust evidence that there is no such link. That does not mean, however, that economics is irrelevant.

First, to the question of poverty. Of the 50 poorest countries in the world (see list at right) only Afghanistan (and perhaps Bangladesh and Yemen) has much experience in terrorism, global or domestic.

But surely that is the wrong way to look at things. Aren't the people who commit terrorist acts poor, even if they are from countries that are not? No. Remember, most of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were middle-class sons of Saudi Arabia and many were well-educated. And Osama bin Laden himself is from one of the richest families in the Middle East.

But it goes deeper than that. In a 2003 study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Alan Krueger and Jitka Maleckova reported the results of a post-9/11 survey of Palestinians. Asked whether there were "any circumstances under which you would justify the use of terrorism to achieve political goals," the higher-status respondents (merchant, farmer or professional) were more likely to agree (43.3 percent) than those lower down the ladder (laborer, craftsman or employee) (34.6 percent). The higher-status respondents were also more likely to support armed attacks against Israeli targets (86.7 percent to 80.8 percent). The same dynamic existed when education was taken into account.

In another study, 129 Hezbollah militants who died in action (not all of them in activities that could be considered terrorism) were compared to the general Lebanese population. The Hezbollah members were slightly less likely to be poor, and significantly more likely to have finished high school.

Outside Palestine, there is general agreement that suicide attacks on civilians is a form of terrorism. So where do suicide bombers fit in? A study looked at the biographies of 285 suicide bombers as published in local journals, from 1987-2002. And this found that those who carried out suicide attacks were, on the whole, richer (fewer than 15 percent under the poverty line, compared to almost 35 percent for the population as a whole) and more educated (95 percent with high school or higher) than the rest of the population (almost half of whom went no further than middle school). A similar survey of terrorists in the Jewish Underground, which killed 29 Palestinians in the early 1970s, found the same pattern.

A comprehensive study of 1,776 terrorist incidents (240 international, the rest domestic) by Harvard professor Albert Abadie, who was sympathetic to the poverty-terrorism idea at first, found no such thing. "When you look at the data," he told the Harvard Gazette, "it's not there."

What he did find was more intriguing. The freest countries experienced little terrorism; and the same was true for the most oppressed. It was in the middle - where politics was unsettled and evolving and governments are often weak - that suffered the most. He also found that geography contributed to terrorist destiny. Places like Afghanistan, with its austere mountains, or Colombia, with its remote jungles, might have been designed to sustain terrorism.

So, is there no economic dimension to terrorism? There may, be, but not in the way the conventional wisdom would have it.

Consider a chilling, but compelling recent paper by Efraim Benmelech of Harvard and Claude Berrebi of Rand. The two ask, in effect, what makes someone become a suicide bomber? Their answer: "Since there are returns to human capital in both the productive and the terror sectors, high-ability individuals will become suicide bombers if the expected payoff from suicide bombing is higher than their skill-adjusted expected lifetime earnings in the productive sector."

They test this proposition using a data base of 148 Palestinian suicide bombers from 2000-05. And they find that older and more educated suicide bombers are assigned to higher-profile targets, kill more people, and are less likely to fail or be caught. In short, there is a match between human capital, in this grossly distorted sense, and the desired goal.

And as for the bombers themselves, these authors argue that the bombers have made, what is for them, a rational choice: There is enough moral, psychological and sometimes financial payoff from the act of killing many people to offset the economic loss of their death. Therefore, the terrorist manager assigns the most deadly tasks to the highest-caliber people; otherwise, they will not bother. In an awful way, it makes sense, and it seems to be true. Caught and failed suicide bombers are conspicuously less educated than those who carry out their tasks.

The argument, with its "incentive-compatibility constraints" and various formulas, does not (and is not intended to) come to grips with a much more elemental question. What creates and sustains the hate to make mass killing over living an arguably rational choice?

That is a much tougher question. But it probably gets closer to the point than vague analogies between poverty and terrorism. There are many good reasons to worry about poverty, and to take action to alleviate it. But ending terrorism is not one of them.

The Truth About Taxes - US

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The debate of American peoples taxes has really taken center stage and as important as the tax debate is it seems to function more as a divisive tool than a diagnostic one. I think the bigger issue here is how tax money is allocated and spent.

For example, since its inception the War On Drugs has cost US taxpayers well over 2.5 trillion dollars. Despite this, illicit drugs are more widely available and more widely used than ever. Since 1980 the US prison population has increased twelve-fold due to non-violent drug offenses and many US prisons are privatized now which means they actually profit from incarceration.

But here's the real kicker, drug profits are almost completely dependent upon the ability of the Cartels to launder and transfer hundreds of billions of dollars through major US banks and other financial institutions. Laundering drug money is one of the most lucrative sources of income for Wall St. In essence US banks are the financial engines which allow these drug empires to thrive. So who protects the banks and by extension the Cartels? The White House, Congress, and the Justice Department.

The drug trade and the associated profits are a matter of national security and yet billions of your tax dollars are spent each year supposedly trying to eradicate it.

The War On Terror fits a similar modus operandi. The cost of these wars will total no less than 5 trillion dollars. The total cost of WWII, adjusted for inflation, was about 4.1 trillion. Officially our yearly defense budget is anywhere between 600 and 800 billion dollars. However, considering the vastness and secretiveness of the black budget many estimate our yearly "defense" expenditures to be somewhere closer to 1.5 trillion dollars.

To put this in perspective if you combined all the state budget deficits, (states which are being forced to cut vital social programs, programs we all can agree are necessary, i.e. education, infrastructure, law enforcement, etc.) it would only total 140 billion dollars, roughly equivalent to the annual military interest payment.

Added to the sheer cost of our military adventurism is the enormous fraud and waste associated with current US war spending. Billions of dollars (literally stacks of cash piled onto pallets) have simply disappeared from both Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense contractors are notorious for fraudulent billing and shoddy work. One recent report detailed the 20 billion dollar a year cost of air conditioning open air tents in the 125 degree heat of Afghanistan. That's astounding! Not to mention auditors at the Pentagon admit they can't account for 25% of what it actually spends.

All the while we have black operations programs which are actively supporting terrorism, whether it's the rebels in Libya, Sunnis in Iran, warlords in Af-Pak, or the Cartels in Latin America these programs only perpetuate the problems of foreign entanglements. Entanglements which are at odds with our core beliefs and principles. This strategy can only lead to more conflict, more war, and especially more spending. So who facilitates and protects these black operations programs? The White House, Congress, and the Defense Department.

War (terrorism) and the associated profits are a matter of national security and yet billions of your tax dollars are spent each year supposedly trying to eradicate it.

'War on Terror' may cost $2.4 trillion

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Congressional Budget Office expects the funds would keep 75,000 troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 10 years.
In October 24, 2007, Steve Hargreaves, a staff writer to CCN Money has surprisingly mentioned the whole story of U.S spending on war on terror.

The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and anti terrorist efforts abroad could cost the country $2.4 trillion over the next ten years, according to a report Wednesday.

The money, over 70 percent of which would go to support operations in Iraq, includes the estimated $600 billion spent since 2001, Congressional Budget Office Director Peter Orszag said in testimony before the House Budget Committee. That estimate includes projected interest, since the government is borrowing most of the funds required.

The $2.4 trillion would pay to keep 75,000 troops deployed overseas from 2013 to 2017. About 210,000 troops are currently deployed. It does not include the Pentagon's normal spending, which in 2007 is estimated to be about $450 billion.

The estimated $2.4 trillion works out to about $21,500 per American household.

Without interest, the war efforts are projected to cost about $1.7 trillion. Several lawmakers noted the wide gap.

"This entire war has been paid for with a government credit card," one lawmaker said.

The CBO also prepared another estimate, this one reducing the number of troops overseas to 30,000 beginning in 2010 and not relying on borrowed funds.

Under that scenario the wars are expected to cost about $1.2 trillion.

In the runup to the Iraq war in 2003, Bush administration officials said that forcibly changing regimes in Iraq should cost somewhere around $50 billion, and would be financed mostly through selling Iraqi oil.
Iraq war's creeping costs

But in relation to the nation's overall economy, it's been noted that the war is relatively cheap.

The entire Defense Department budget, including funding for Iraq and Afghanistan, is about 4.5 percent of the nation's economy. During the Vietnam War it was about 7 percent, and during WW II it was 25 percent.

Orszag's testimony comes as President Bush is asking Congress for more money to fight in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

On Monday, President Bush asked for another $42 billion for war efforts on top of the $142 billion already requested for the current fiscal year, bringing the overall total for 2007-08 to nearly $200 billion. This is extra money for the war, above and beyond the Pentagon's regular budget of about $450 billion, which accounts for about a sixth of the $2.8 trillion in total government spending for 2007.

The request is not expected to easily pass through a Congress controlled by Democrats, who are unhappy with the way the war is going and uneasy about giving the president unrestricted funding. The Democrats are also bristling over Bush's opposition to some domestic spending proposals.

"It's amazing to me that the President expects to be taken seriously when he says we cannot afford $20 billion in investments in education, health, law enforcement and science, but he doesn't blink an eye at asking to borrow $200 billion for a policy in Iraq that leaves us six months from now exactly where we were six months ago," House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D-WI), said in a statement Monday.

Bush has urged Congress to approve the money before the end of the year, but congressional staffers say it's more likely legislators will only approve partial funding and take up the matter again in 2008.

The question is this as to how more money hawks of U.S needed to enjoy?

Hello Adm. Michael Mullen!

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 For how many dollars to fetch against America?
It took 3,784 days since September 11, 2001, during that time period, two wars were launched in the Middle East, each with the stated purpose of fulfilling the objectives of a larger “war”: that on terror. Bin Laden’s capture doesn’t halt those operations. But it does provide an end point to a chapter that was politically contentious, emotionally exhausting and quite costly.

How much money did the United States spend to capture bin Laden in the operation that took place Sunday? That precise a figure is difficult (perhaps impossible) to pinpoint. A much easier price tag, however, can be placed on the costs of foreign operations that were launched in response to the 9/11 attacks.

According to a March 29, 2011 Congressional Research Service report, Congress has approved a total of $1.283 trillion for “military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks.” Those three operations include Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

Broken down individually, the government has spent $806 billion for Iraq, $444 billion for Afghanistan, $29 billion for enhanced security and $6 billion on “unallocated” items. The vast majority of all the money appropriated has gone to the Department of Defense, and of that money more and more is being spent on Operation & Maintenance (O&M) funding, which went from $42 billion in FY2004 to $79 billion in FY2008. Only $67 billion (or 5 percent) went to the State Department or USAID. Only $8 billion (or 1 percent) went to veterans' care, via the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Because U.S. troop presence will remain at relatively high levels in Afghanistan and, to a lesser extent, Iraq in the years ahead -- and because veteran health-care needs will likely only get worse -- the price will continue to rise. If Congress also approves the president’s FY2012 war-funding request, the cumulative cost of post-9/11 operations would reach $1.415 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office -- the nonpartisan accountant for lawmakers -- estimates that over the next ten years, total costs “could reach $1.8 trillion by FY2021.”

Bin Laden, of course, was found in neither Iraq nor Afghanistan but in neighboring Pakistan. And he was killed not by army personnel but by a covert Navy SEALS unit aided by CIA intelligence. Budgets for those agencies and entities were not covered in the CRS report. However, the study did look at money spent on counter-insurgency funds for the government of Pakistan. Since 9/11 the United States has appropriated money for that purpose just once: a $400 million expenditure in FY2008.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dengue: a break born fever!

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Dengue has emerged as a worldwide problem only since the 1950s. Although dengue rarely occurs in the continental United States, it is endemic in Puerto Rico, and in many popular tourist destinations in Latin America and Southeast Asia; periodic outbreaks occur in Samoa and Guam.

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses. It occurs in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Symptoms appear 3—14 days after the infective bite. Dengue fever is a febrile illness that affects infants, young children and adults.

Symptoms range from a mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. There are no specific antiviral medicines for dengue. It is important to maintain hydration. Use of acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. aspirin) and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen) is not recommended.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever (fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding) is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly children. Early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by experienced physicians and nurses increase survival of patients.

Dengue in WHO regions

    Region of the Americas
    South-East Asia Region
    Western Pacific Region

Dengue is the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral disease in people. It is caused by four dengue virus serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4), of the genus Flavivirus , and transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Infection provides life-long immunity against the infecting viral serotype, but not against the other serotypes. Although most of the estimated 100 million dengue virus infections each year do not come to the attention of medical staff, of those that do, the most common clinical manife ...

Simple sky blue color is on the treatment to get rid of because mosquito remains far from this color. The reason behind this phenomenon is this Aedes mosquito assumes that an open space is around it so it can not be hidden as it used to be hide itself in dark and safest places to breed more.

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