The Kensington Review

30 March 2009


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This Week's Commentary: Volume VIII, Number 12
Obama's Afghan Strategy Will Work -- Last week, President Obama announced his strategy for pursuing the war in Afghanistan. His objective is to destroy Al Qaeda's ability to function. The idea of creating a democratic bourgeois market-based Afghanistan is off the table now, an idea that failed to recognized that Afghanistan is more a geographical expression than a proper nation-state. It will require US military action in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas as well, but this approach has the potential to improve US security without putting US troops in an untenable position.

Mexican Drug Cartels Challenge US Security -- More than 7,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence in the last 15 months. The US government has announced that it is sending a few hundred Drug Enforcement Agency personnel to firm up the security along the border. This is like adding a teaspoon of water to the Pacific Ocean and saying one has raised the sea level. What must happen to prevent Mexico from becoming a failed state is a much more radical approach to drugs in both the US and Mexico.

New Reserve Currency Idea is Doomed -- In recent days, various finance ministries from Moscow to Beijing have suggested a new reserve currency to replace the US dollar. The idea has great merit, and it would be in the global interest to create such a unit of account. At the same time, replacing the dollar would create so many losers that the political drive behind such a move is almost certain to fail. The US doesn't want it, the Chinese don't (despite what they say), nor do the Arabs, the Japanese or the other holders of US debt instruments. So, whatever the economic sense it might make, the political reality is that the dollar will remain the reserve currency of the global economy for the indefinite future.

“No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency” is No. 1 -- In recent years, Home Box Office has established itself as a prime outlet for grown-up dramas. “The Sopranos,” “Six Feet Under,” “Big Love,” and “Deadwood” are the best examples of what the network delivers. Last night, “The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency” premiered, and judging by the 2-hour pilot, another HBO hit has arrived.

© Copyright 2009 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Fedora Linux.

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