10 December 2017   Leave a comment

Stars & StripesThe US Defense Department cannot account for 44,000 soldiers is a newspaper printed for the US military and it is reporting a curious story.  whose locations are listed as “unknown”.  That number is a small percentage of the 1.3 million personnel listed as active military in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.  But, as we saw in Niger, even a small contingent of soldiers can be incredibly important and most members of Congress did not know of the 800 soldiers deployed in that country.  And the numbers of soldiers in Syria has recently been determined to be around 2,000 and not the 500 as previously reported.  If the Defense Department budget is increased in the upcoming year, perhaps the top priority should be to hire some additional accountants.

 

Prof. Geoffrey Rugege, is the Vice-Chancellor of the African Leadership University in Rwanda, and he has written an essay on “Ethnicity in the age of globalization”.  Rugege acknowledges the toxic politics based on ethnic distinctions in many countries in the world and points out the important role European imperialism had in developing those distinctions.  He goes further, however, and argues that globalization forces the world to rethink those distinctions. He argues that

“African states are the creation of European conquest, which restructured continent, and the end resulted in wars of liberation However, the continent itself, and individual states in particular, realize that there are advantages in belonging to the international system of globalization.

“There are benefits in the context of economic and political development. Tensions and conflicts will not be easily resolved, but diverse groups eventually discover common interests, mainly economic, that make ethnic differences a liability and disadvantage in the process development and nation building.”

These objectives are important, but given the ethnic tensions which seem to be growing stronger in states such as Myanmar and the treatment of the Royingha, it seems as if we are moving farther away from them, not closer.  The global economy, however, seems to be inexorably bringing everyone in the world together and the overwhelming role of North America and Europe in the global economy seems to be waning.  In the production of clothing and footwear, the rest of the world is clearly catching up:

“In 2018, Europe and North America will make up 49.9% of global sales of clothes and footwear, the first time they’ve represented less than half the world total. The majority of sales will instead belong collectively to Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, and the trend is expected to continue in that direction.”

Whether our politics will catch up with our economics is an open question.  Politics is largely based on nationalism; economics now seems to be completely cosmopolitan.

Posted December 10, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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