DEBORCHGRAVE Commentary: New world disorder

Commentary: New world disorder

UPI Editor at Large

LONDON, Aug. 22 (UPI) — From a record-breaking drought that has devastated much of the U.S. South and keeps getting worse, to the U.S. economy and what Time magazine’s cover story calls “The Decline and Fall of Europe (and maybe the West)”; civil wars in Libya and Syria; renewed terrorism in Iraq and endless fighting in Afghanistan, the good news was hard to detect.

The sudden uprising of jobless youth from poor families in what is arguably the most unequal society in Europe left London ablaze, shook the British establishment to its foundations and spotlighted the widening gap between rich and poor all over Europe.

The 27-nation European Union and its 17-nation common euro currency appear to be unraveling. Some 20 percent of European youth are jobless.

Income disparities throughout the European Union and in the United States show roughly 1 percent of the population controlling 42 percent of a nation’s wealth and taking in a quarter of the country’s income.

When the rising tide lifted all boats, the wealthiest could take credit for building bigger and better boats. But the current global receding tide has beached 14 million in the United States (excluding those who no longer qualify for compensation), while in the European Union the number, currently at 10 percent, is expected to crest at 16 million by 2013.

Worldwide, the current labor stats indicate 180 million looking for work. In Israel , normally a highly disciplined country of 6 million, 250,000 echoed the British underclass with popular anger against a government unable to deliver the goods. And in the Arab world, from Libya to Egypt to Syria , the Arab Spring is now a distant memory.

After 42 years in power in Libya , Moammar Gadhafi’s regime is history but unmentioned during NATO’s five-month bombing campaign is that the victorious rebel regime of Benghazi is heavily infiltrated by Islamist extremists.

In Cairo , the Muslim Brotherhood is consolidating its dominant position, albeit with the army still in charge.

For the British media, U.S. President Barack Obama’s two-week vacation in Martha’s Vineyard symbolized a declining superpower adrift between two warring parties that threw caution to the wind, accumulating irresponsible — and inaccurate — statements.

The 2012 election campaign is already under way. Reasonable ideas are shot down before they make the evening news.

Presidential hopefuls are flip-flopping from one interview to the next. A proposal for an immediate 40 percent cut in federal spending is quickly escalated to accuse Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke of treason if he prints more money between now and Election Day.

It is hardly surprising that there is high anxiety on both sides of the Atlantic ; that banks are shaky and some even on the edge of the precipice.

The United States has clearly been living beyond its means, funding the Iraqi and Afghan wars ($1.5 trillion and counting) by growing the federal deficit to pay for them.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notwithstanding, defense spending is clearly overdue for a proper haircut, not a trim.

The current plan is for a $400 billion cut in defense spending over the next 10 years after it almost doubled over the past 10 years.

The Pentagon’s war planners say that such a cut — only $40 billion per year for a decade — will make it impossible to fight two wars at the same time. But that kind of strategic planning was based on a Cold War turning hot with the Soviet Union while retaining the ability to fight a lesser war in another part of the globe.

Time to think forward to the age of robotic warfare where the United States already has a decisive edge. The U.S. Air Force Academy is graduating more drone pilots than fighter and bomber pilots.

The Predator unmanned aerial vehicle program is adding three more active duty squadrons over the next two budget cycles. In 2001, the United States had 167 UAVs; in 2011, more than 5,500. Almost half of UAV squadrons are manned by fighter pilots.

Robotic warfare has reached cruising altitude and by 2015, one-third of the U.S. Army’s ground systems will be unmanned.

Robots are already being planned in the role of suicide bombers. They have no substitute for surprise attacks and recon.

They have tripled flight time and are cheaper than conventional fighters and bombers. 

An F-18 fighter bomber costs $70 million and a couple of million for pilot training. An equivalent drone runs $4.5 million plus $70,000 per guided missile.

The tab to deploy one soldier for a year in Afghanistan is $400,000.

For robotic warfare, chaplains and psychologists have been assigned to help fighters cope with the daily stress of killing remotely and then returning home in time for dinner with their families.

Air-to-air combat drones will soon join the robotic arsenal. Boeing is also testing a drone submarine that will be capable of torpedoing an enemy ship anywhere in the world.

Robotic warfare detractors fear that we will create a race of beings more capable than ourselves who will kill us and take over the world — known as the “Singularity.”

Ray Kurzweil , who wrote “The Singularity is Near,” posits that moment in history, 25 years hence, when the human brain will have reached 60 percent of its capacity (up from today’s anemic 25 percent usage) and potential parity with the supercomputer that is capable of several quadrillion operations per second.

Like it or not, robotic warfare will soon assume a dominant role in warfare.

There is also the fear of robots carrying nuclear weapons to a distant enemy. Robotic “soldiers” already guard stockpiles of nuclear materials and other nuclear secrets. They can cover more ground and are radiation proof.

The transition to robotic warfare requires a high degree of bipartisanship in Congress, now sadly lacking. Obama has demonstrated that this is beyond his capability.

Meanwhile, he has lost the mantle of leader of the free world. What he says has little impact on either side of the Atlantic — or the Pacific.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor-at-large of The Washington Times and United Press International.

8 Responses to “DEBORCHGRAVE Commentary: New world disorder”

  • Patricia says:

    Obama has been surrounded by the wrong people from the beginning. BUT perhaps he was just a product to sell the American people beginning at the 2008 convention

  • Richard says:

    Drought? Listen, I live in California, and it rained here until JUNE! I’m 50 years old, and that has not ever happened in my memory.

  • WillieG51 says:

    The sad thing about “robot warfare” is it give the person programming, and operating the machine, a personal sense of “exoneration” from crime. .Eventually they will be held accountable for what they do. It’s the difference between a footsoldier relying on “hand to hand” combat, and a pilot dropping a bomb miles to the ground. The footsoldier must contend with his enemy face to face. .The pilot sees the enemy as a blip on a screen. It removes them from the “personal involvement”. Every pilot needs to know what they are bombing. Far too often they inflict casualties on civilians, this should be unacceptable!

    I fully expect someone in our government to announce they have a system referred to as “skynet” up and running our defenses. . Would that be life imitating art, or Prophetic film-making. . The world becomes curiouser and curiouser

  • Try the below link.

    Let the government distribute land to feed themselves with and that will be their work and sustenance. Who says they are jobless? The state sequestering land makes citizens homeless and have no avenue to grow their own food. Then government wanting to control everything pretends to give food stamps until the nation goes bankrupt. Doesn’t the country belong to all citizens? By extension, all that land also belongs to the citizens and should be distributed for growing food at least.

    If youth or citizens are hungry and jobless, give them land to do subsistence farming which will occupy their time. Making food for themselves will be their job. So simple and free of cost. But do not bother with infrastructure which will cost alot. (yes dig your own pit system, your government can’t afford toilets yet)

    It will be frontier style living but no more food stamp fees, no high crime rates just because people have no land to work, better than national bankruptcy of homeless in tent cities everywhere!

    Declare redistribution of land as Evo Morales did. Those who are too lazy to work their fields can die and at that point government could say, they had land and if they were too lazy to cultivate even their own food, they deserved it. WTF is USA or the West about these days? Can’t politicians think?

    The Soviet subsistence paradigm if superior to Capitalism where the term-limitless oligarchs and nepotists (much like aristocracy in a absolutist system) and a handful of plutocrats own all the land, but everyone else is crammed into cities being told they can’t own land which is plentiful but are allowed to drain the state coffers and incur nationalm debt into bankruptcy.

    Politics has made it necessary for Pres.O to deal with the horrible legacy Pres.O had inherited. And it began in 1917 when the Fed-Fiat Reserve was formed and was likely cemented when JFK was assassinated. Just remember not to vote plutocrats (check this link below) and only vote for a Congressman that will vote for distribution of land as detailed above :


    Max. est. net worth

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)
    $451.1 million
    Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.)
    $435.4 million
    Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)
    $366.2 million
    Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
    $294.9 million
    Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.)
    $285.1 million
    Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)
    $283.1 million
    Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.)
    $231.2 million
    Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas)
    $201.5 million
    Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
    $136.2 million
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
    $108.1 million
    combined net worth:
    $2.8 billion

    10 richest members of the Senate
    ALL OF THEM Democrats and Republicans, voted to extend the Bush taxcuts . . .

    ;and citizens of the US, remember to vote ONLY for people not worth more than 20 million tops. Anything above (actually anything above 2M IMHO) and you will end up with someone who will not be able to write policy according to the needs of the Joe Public ‘masses’.

    The most important thing to remember is that the lands and wealth of the world belong to all men so don’t think you are not part of the country or don’t deserve anything – IT IS YOUR LAND and you have a right to cultivate it and own it (at least enough for subsistence and living space purposes) :

    Just remember not to vote plutocrats (check this link below) and only vote for a Congressman that will vote for distribution of land as detailed above. Get out there and tell everyone how to vote and who to vote for!

  • George Threshman says:

    Robot warfare is a no brainer. It’s definately cheaper and the “soldiers” comply with orders 100% of the time. Our entire Space effort is being shifted to robotic satellites and probes. Robotic submarines can map the seabed and search for mineral deposits at depts a human could not tolerate for long periods of time. They are cheaper and can be produced in great numbers. Eventually we will build an underground boring missle that can blow up under an enemy facility or underground bunker. Robotic fighter aircraft are more maneuverable than manned aircraft and can take greater G force, makeing sharp turns at supersonic speed, and can either fire missles or become “suicide” bombs after the missles are deployed.

  • Tony Clifton says:

    Make Hemp the raison d’etre of freedom, put the Zionazi Psycophants in the oven{s}…problem solved. –;article=138380 – Live Free or Die.


  • ChewyBees says:

    @Richard – in regard to it raining so much in California…you need to realize that all of that rain is being dumped as quick as possible, as it contains an unreported amount of radiation from Fukishima. Just because TV doesn’t talk about it, doesn’t mean that nuclear disaster is over. The radiation is flying throughout the North American jet stream, and when it rains it comes down from the skies and on to the ground. A drought, under these circumstances, is a blessing. Or, don’t believe me and everything is OK.

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