t byfield on 22 Dec 2000 14:57:38 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> "The global economy driven by information technology clearly benefits the United States"

geert@xs4all.nl (Fri 12/22/00 at 06:43 PM +1100):

> (an interesting report about the world in 2015, written for the US
> intelligence community)
>      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19618-2000Dec17.html

geert, it wasn't written for 'the intelligence community,' it
was written for the *incoming administration*. the goal is to
justify various shakeups, shakedowns, and above all BUDGETS.
this issuing of 'position papers' is a quadrennial cottage 
industry in DC.

and so we see:

>  The risk of a missile attack against the United States involving
>  chemical, biological or nuclear warheads is greater today than during
>  most of the Cold War and will continue to grow in the next 15 years,
>  according to a new global threat assessment by the National Intelligence
>  Council.

     --a purported justification for renewing the 'Strategic
       Defense Initiative' a/k/a 'Star Wars': a program that
       has eaten up ~$60B to protect 'us' against the USSR,
       then asteroids (anyone remember dan quayle's speech?
       oh, yes, and btw the pentagon just threw a $300K party
       for MPAA head jack valenti because he's done so much
       good for the DoD--say, asteroid movies, 'arab' terrorist
       movies, etc. 'on demand'), oh, and now 'rogue nations.' 
       anyway, this is a pretty safe prediction, seeing as 
       shrub's #2 goal is to renew SDI.

>  The report, scheduled for release today, also concludes that terrorist
>  attacks against the United States through 2015 "will become increasingly
>  sophisticated and designed to achieve mass casualties. We expect the
>  trend toward greater lethality . . . to continue."

     --and what trend toward greater lethality would that be?
       presumably, it forgot to include the attack against the
       marines in lebanon in the early eighties, which makes 
       everything since pale by comparison; and forgot as well
       the decidedly unsophisticated attack against the cole in
       yemen; and forgot as well that the most effective attack
       against the US on US soil was by a DoD-trained american
       dimwit (and there was plenty of warning about that kind
       of nonsense--cf. moody the mailbomber).

>  Nevertheless, the United States will remain "unparalleled" in its
>  economic, technological, military and diplomatic influence by 2015, the
>  report states, remaining in "the vanguard of the technological revolution
>  from information to biotechnology and beyond."

     --right. the CIA is really going to say: 'in 15 years, US
       power will recede, and we'll be just another overdeveloped
       country.' but this must be another one of those 'trends,'
       the US econ-tech-mil-intell influence over, say: central
       africa, central asia, nothern south america, russia...

>  The 68-page document, "Global Trends 2015: A Dialogue about the Future
>  with Nongovernmental Experts," represents an attempt by the U.S.
>  intelligence community to look beyond its secret sources and involve
>  academia and the private sector in forecasting world trends over the next
>  decade and a half.

     --translated: 'our seekrit sorces screwed up the USSR and
       its "sphere of influence," can't get a handle on china
       (despite bush pere's domination of the field from 1974
       through 1992), the mideast, latin america, the balkans...'

>  The 15-member NIC is based at CIA headquarters under Director of Central
>  Intelligence George J. Tenet and focuses on broad strategic assessments.

     --translated: tenet wants to keep his job.

>  "This is the most we have done with outside engagement," NIC Chairman
>  John Gannon said in an interview. "When you get into issues like natural
>  resources, demographics, science and technology, we really had to depend
>  upon a lot of expertise out there."
>  Gannon said the combined thinking of outside experts and U.S.
>  intelligence has left him generally optimistic about the next 15 years,
>  despite what the report identifies as key uncertainties -- including
>  China, Russia, the Middle East, Japan and India.

     --note to self: 'KEY UNCERTAINTY = ASIA. (is indonesia part
       of asia?! <scribbled> leave indonesia off list for now!)'

>  "The United States is going to be in a very strong position in 2015,"
>  Gannon said. "The global economy driven by information technology clearly
>  benefits the United States. The major challenge is how you manage the
>  downside of globalization -- how do we deal with the countries that
>  feel they're being left behind, particularly in regions of the world like
>  the Middle East."

     --poor OPEC: they feel like they're being left behind.
       shrub doesn't have a whole lot to say about IT, but
       the man knows oil--and he like amurrikin oil.

>  A robust global economy coupled with greater international cooperation
>  could reduce armed conflict and help alleviate the effects of population
>  growth, poverty and water shortages by 2015, the study says.
>  But in a section that presents alternative scenarios, the study says it
>  is also possible that globalization could divide the world into haves and
>  have-nots, fueling "frustrated expectations, inequities, and heightened
>  communal tensions" while triggering the spread of organized crime and
>  weapons of mass destruction.

     --Plan A: things are rosy. Plan B: things aren't rosy.

>  "The networked global economy will be driven by rapid and largely
>  unrestricted flows of information, ideas, cultural values, capital, goods
>  and services, and people," the report concludes. "In contrast to the
>  Industrial Revolution, the process of globalization is more compressed.
>  Its evolution will be rocky, marked by chronic financial volatility and a
>  widening economic divide."

     --gosh. really?

>  Developed in the past 15 months at a series of conferences held by
>  universities, corporations and think tanks, the report is most
>  provocative in its inclusion of eight "significant discontinuities" that
>  the experts considered unlikely, but possible. Among them:
>  A "de facto geo-strategic alliance" between China, Russia and India to
>  counterbalance U.S. influence.

     --gee. really? 'de facto'? gosh, you mean china, russia,
       and india might end up in a 'de facto' alliance to 
       counterbalance US attempts to establish itself in asia?

>  A collapse in the U.S.-European alliance as a result of trade disputes,
>  political differences and conflict over how to handle global security
>  issues.

     --translated: those eurose don't like SDI or rice's talk
       about the US diminishing its role in NATO.

>  Formation of an international terrorist coalition with "diverse
>  anti-Western objectives" and access to chemical, biological and even
>  nuclear weapons.

     --'coalition' is new. maybe by the year '2015' the CIA
       will finally manage to shake off its obsessive fixation
       on rigidly hierarchical 'communist conspiracies' and
       wake up to social relations circa 1993...

>  Serious upheaval in the Middle East, caused by deteriorating standards of
>  living in major Arab nations and a failure by Israel and the Palestinians
>  to reach a peace accord.

     --gee. really? and then there's iraq, whose ruling family
       has an axe to grind with a family by the name of bush.

etc., etc. documents like this--particularly as reported by the
_washington post_--are very precisely *not* interesting; and 
their only relation to a year like '2015' is to posit a year 
that's too far off to risk accountability for the spending pri-
orities they're advocating now.


\|/ ____ \|/ 
@~/ oO \~@    <http://www.tbtf.com/roving_reporter/>
/_( \__/ )_\ 

Nettime-bold mailing list