The Emerging Water Wars

It takes 1000 tons of water to produce 1 ton of grain and agriculture consumes almost 70 percent of the world’s water – though only less than 30 percent in OECD countries. It takes more than the entire throughput of the Nile to grow the grain imported annually by Middle Eastern and North African countries alone. Some precipitation-poor countries even grow cotton and rice, both insatiable crops. By 2020, says the World Water Council, we will be short 17 percent of the water that would be needed to feed the population.

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Grim Future for Taiwan’s Defenses

Ambassador Young brought a blunt message from the Bush Administration: Taiwan’s lawmakers “need” to pass a “robust defense budget” in the current legislative session. The United States is not concerned about specific systems but is concerned by the general malaise among Taiwan’s political parties concerning the island’s defenses. Taiwan’s defenses are collapsing while China’s are expanding at breathtaking speed.

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China cited as North Korea supplier

China helped North Korea develop nuclear weapons and in the past year increased its support to Pyongyang, rather than pressing the regime to halt nuclear arms and missile activities, according to a congressional report.
The final draft report of the U.S.-China Economic Security Review Commission also says that Chinese government-run companies are continuing to threaten U.S. national security by exporting arms to American enemies in Asia and the Middle East.

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Sunshine or Stockholm Syndrome?

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. It also appears to run through Israel and into South Korea.

Let’s start with the latter. Despite the apparently successful nuclear test carried out by the minions of Kim Jong-Il, the government of South Korea seems to be intent on continuing its “Sunshine” policy of engaging the North.

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SEOUL, Oct. 19 — The government of South Korea told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today that it had no intention of pulling out of an industrial zone and a tourist resort in North Korea, even though both put hard currency into the pocket of the Pyongyang regime.

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Gas pipeline threatens Europe’s energy security

New pipeline has the potential to increase the dependence of the European Union (EU) on Rus­sia, thereby making Russia even more powerful and, possibly, more assertive in the international arena.

Russia is building a strategic new pipeline to Europe that will affect European energy security for years to come. Called the North European Gas Pipe­line (NEGP), it will cross the Baltic Sea, directly con­necting Russia to Germany, and will bypass the Soviet-era, land-based energy transit infrastructure that traverses several former Soviet Bloc countries, including Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland.

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Japan flexes its military muscle


ABOARD THE KURAMA – Nearly 50 warships crowded the bay just south of Tokyo, all flying the Rising Sun flag. Sea-to-sea missiles roared off the decks of several destroyers, and submarines emerged like a pod of whales from the surf.

More than an exercise, this was a message: In Asia’s accelerating arms race, Japan is determined not to fall behind.

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