7 November 2015   Leave a comment

Military spending in the US is unusually difficult to analyze.  Most weapons now are extremely sophisticated and require funding over many years, sometimes decades.  And defense contractors are notoriously unreliable in their initial cost estimates.  The US has just named Northrup Grumman as the company to build the next generation of strategic bombers.  The problem is that no one knows how much it will cost.  If the F-35 is any example, we can expect the cost to be at least double the initial estimate of $56 billion for a fleet of 100 bombers.

Artist Rendering of Proposed Long-Range Bomber


US President Obama has decided that the US will not build the Keystone XL pipeline that was proposed to bring Canadian heavy oil to the US.  Environmentalists have opposed the pipeline for a variety of reasons, but the fossil fuel industry has been staunchly supportive.  President Obama noted that his opposition to the pipeline was rooted in concerns over climate change and the need to move away from hydrocarbons.  Such a statement would have been almost impossible several years ago.

Tensions escalated in the Occupied West Bank as Palestinians used firearms to attack Israelis instead of knives and stones.   Three people were injured in the attacks in the city of Hebron, and a Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces.  “Since mid-September, 11 Israelis were killed in Palestinian attacks, most of them in stabbings, while 72 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire….”  The use of firearms indicates that the violence will likely escalate, and there is virtually no reason to believe that it will subside in the near future.  On Monday, US President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet to discuss US-Israeli relations.  It does not appear as if renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is on the agenda for that meeting.


Posted November 7, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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