April 27, 2003, The New York Times had an article in the section
Week in Review titled: "American Power Moves Beyond the Mere Super."
The article said: "Stealth drones, G.P.S.-guided smart munitions
that hit precisely where aimed; antitank bombs that guide themselves;
space-relayed data links that allow individual squad leaders to know
exactly where American and opposition forces are during battle§the United
States military rolled out all this advanced technology, and more, in
its lightning conquest of Iraq. No other military is even close to the
United States. The American military is now the strongest the world
has ever known, both in absolute terms and relative to other nations;
stronger than the Wehrmacht in 1940, stronger than the legions at the
height of Roman power. For years to come, no other nation is likely
even to try to rival American might.
means: the global arms race is over, with the United States the undisputed
heavyweight champion. Other nations are not even trying to match American
armed force; because they are so far behind they have no chance of catching
up. The great-powers arms race, in progress for centuries, has ended
with the rest of the world conceding triumph to the United States. Now
only a nuclear state, like perhaps, North Korea, has any military leverage
against the winner."
my opinion, that New York Times article is full of hot air. "
American military is now the strongest the world has ever known, both
in absolute terms and relative to other nations;
the legions at the height of Roman power." I don't think so! The
Romans had real power on their day. I wonder what kind of damage a few
Russian nuclear warheads would do to the US, if they landed on US soil.
The US has an undisputed power today? Not as long there are other countries
armed with nuclear weapons.
Korea is a country slightly smaller than Mississippi, and has a total
population of 22 million people including 15 million people in the age
range of 15-65 years. The male population age 15-65 is estimated to
be around 7 million people. The question is: can the United States beat
starving North Korea if they go to war? I just want to remind the readers
that the United States wasn't able to win the first Korean War in the
know why The New York Times inflated the United States victory
in Iraq so much. In the end, what is amazing to me; is the fight that
the Iraqis were able to give to the United States with such a small
army and so little resources. I believe that the war against Iraq was
the equivalent of an undisputed heavyweight champion, such as Mike Tyson
or George Foreman, beating up a 5-year-old kid and afterwards having
the illusion that he had a great victory.
I mentioned on other articles, the war against Iraq was about oil. There
is no question about that anymore. The first thing that the US armed
forces secured, as soon as the war started, was the oil fields.not only
in the North, but also in the South of Iraq. The oil fields were priority
number one in the US agenda.
May 2003, the Atlantic Monthly magazine published an article
Two German political scientists, Ralph Rotte and
Christoph Schmidt, looked at 625 battles from 1600 to 1973 to determine
how much influence each of several key factors has on the outcome of
military engagements. Having the advantage of surprise, for instance,
turns out to be a strong determinant of "battle success,"
adding 15 percentage points to the likelihood of victory.
whereas superior training doesn't appear to give much of a competitive
edge, superior intelligence does: it has a marginal impact of 25 percent
on the likelihood of victory
.But Rotte and Schmidt's central finding
is that although there are individual exceptions (for instance, breech-loading
rifles helped Prussia to defeat Austria at the Battle of Koniggratz,
in 1866), technology has generally not affected battle outcomes: surprise,
morale, logistics, and intelligence are all far more important
what is the most important factor in determining victory in battle?
its marginal effect is nearly 50 percent."
Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, on June 18, 1815, he had only an
18 percent chance of winning that day. Had the Duke of Wellington not
commanded the British forces that day, Napoleon, the authors calculate,
would have had a 79 percent chance of winning at Waterloo.
Coming North Korean War
is this war inevitable? The North Korean government would be gone in
no time if they give up on their nuclear arms capabilities.
is discredited in many ways in the international arena. They make only
empty promises, they don't follow-up on their promises, and look at
the mess that the US created in Afghanistan, and now in Iraq. Washington
doesn't care even about its own people. They just passed major tax cuts
for the wealthiest Americans, and did not give a dime or any help to
4 million long-term unemployed Americans. The government left them out
in the cold. Can anyone trust such a government?
today's policies in Washington any different of North Korea's, when
it comes to its starving population? I don't think so. It is a disgrace
what is going on in Washington these days. There is no room for negotiation
with North Korea; either the United States would have to accept North
Korea as a nuclear power or take military action to stop it. It will
be very foolish of the North Koreans to give up or negotiate away the
only thing that will keep them independent.
nuclear plant that forms the heart of North Korea's nuclear program,
is located in the town of Yongbyon in North Korea. Only 60 miles north
of North Korea's capital Pyongyang, the Yongbyon nuclear complex might
be the target for a United States pre-emptive attack.
reason to go to war against Iraq was the weapons of mass destruction
that Iraq was accused of having in massive quantities. Since the US
has not found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the US has lost
the little credibility that the US had around the world before the war.
powerful United States would have sent the Stealth bombers to destroy
the North Korean nuclear complex and proved to the world of its real
power. In the same manner that Israel destroyed the Iraqi nuclear threat
in the early 1980's.
to me that the United States is afraid of taking action against the
North Koreans. The new tactic being used in Washington is to say that
everything that the North Korean government is saying is a mistake of
translation. Suddenly to avoid war against North Korea, everything in
Washington becomes a mistranslation and miscommunication.
Washington having second thoughts about a confrontation with North Korea?
Why the United States is so afraid of poor and starving North Korea?
After all they have only a few nukes. Are these few nukes enough to
scare the United States?
see what these warmongers in Washington are made of. Let's see if they
have the guts to go to war against a country armed with nuclear weapons.
Let's see if George W. Bush will reach a new low, and becomes the first
American president to bring the US to the limita nuclear war.
North Korea and Food for Nukes.
a feeling that the North Koreans will be able to keep their nuclear
capabilities; after all they don't have much oil. Without oil there
is no incentive to the United States to go to war and take them over
such as was the case in Iraq. But Iran should watch out, because Iran
also has lots of oil.
is a golden opportunity for Brazil to make a deal with North Korea.
This is not about a political point of view; it is strictly a business
deal. The North Koreans get something from Brazil that they need:lots
of food. And Brazil get something in return from North Korea that they
need:the know how of building nuclear weapons.
me clarify one point, before anyone start thinking that I am suggesting
that Brazil should adopt some obsolete communist ideology. Please don't
mixture politics with trade; after all during the cold war, a capitalist
country such as Brazil, still traded with the Soviet Union. This transaction
will not be about ideology; this will be about a fair trade that will
meet the needs of two sovereign countries.
January, North Korea has become the first country to withdraw from the
nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and they have restarted a plutonium-producing
reactor. Now, Brazil should also withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty, and make the agreement with the North Koreans: food for nukes.
This will be a win/win situation for both parties.
North Koreans will get what they need very badly: food to feed its starving
population. In the other hand, Brazil will get the nuclear weapons capabilities
that will provide Brazil and the investment community with a sense of
security against any foreign invasions. Brazilians have a short memory,
but a foreign country has invaded Brazil at least three times in the
world should take a good look at what is happening in Iraq and North
Korea today, and I hope they learn an important lesson. If your country
doesn't have nuclear weapons to defend it, then your country doesn't
have actual sovereignty. If anything, the events of the last few months
show to most countries around the world the necessity of a country having
a strong nuclear weapons program.
C. Amaral is an economist and author. You can reach him at email@example.com