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  #81  
Old 12.06.2011, 23:15
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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Of course not, but rational adult thought grounded in real world facts seems to elude you.
That contradicts your previous post by a mile... Nothing irrational in my thought, though I wonder what goes on in your mind to think that about my post. What is irrational about spending money on research into other energies rather than the military ? That's very sad and misguided to think it is. I guess you prefer to read about the wars eh ?
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Old 12.06.2011, 23:29
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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That contradicts your previous post by a mile... Nothing irrational in my thought, though I wonder what goes on in your mind to think that about my post. What is irrational about spending money on research into other energies rather than the military ? That's very sad and misguided. I guess you prefer to read about the wars eh ?
I'm also protagonist of solving any conflict in non-military way and believe that taxpayers money should be rather invested in R&D and development of life of the less privileged economies to catch up with global standard. However devil doesn't sleep as we know it and there are still dictators and tyrants who hold power in this world and who can only tremble when confronted with or demostrated more significant power against them. There should be at least clear concept of peace-keeping organization with ability of resorting to some sort of military intervention when other strategic means failed and such would be required. Otherwise the world would have been in perpetual state of lawlessness and disarray without any control.
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  #83  
Old 12.06.2011, 23:34
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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I'm also protagonist of solving any conflict in non-military way and believe that taxpayers money should be rather invested in R&D and development of life of the less privileged economies to catch up with global standard. However devil doesn't sleep as we know it and there are still dictators and tyrants who hold power in this world and who can only tremble when confronted with or demostrated more significant power against them. There should be at least clear concept of peace-keeping organization with ability of resorting to some sort of military intervention when other strategic means failed and such would be required. Otherwise the world would have been in perpetual state of lawlessness and disarray without any control.
I quite agree. Peacekeeping, with rules of engagement clearly defined. However, it doesn't cost a fraction of what the World superpowers spend on protecting their interests, which have little to do with tyranny or injustice.
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Old 12.06.2011, 23:37
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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I'm also protagonist of solving any conflict in non-military way and believe that taxpayers money should be rather invested in R&D and development of life of the less privileged economies to catch up with global standard. However devil doesn't sleep as we know it and there are still dictators and tyrants who hold power in this world and who can only tremble when confronted with or demostrated more significant power against them. There should be at least clear concept of peace-keeping organization with ability of resorting to some sort of military intervention when other strategic means failed and such would be required. Otherwise the world would have been in perpetual state of lawlessness and disarray without any control.
I think that such a statesman like statement (sorry bit tired for finding other words!) Exactly what NATO was there for.
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Old 12.06.2011, 23:48
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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I quite agree. Peacekeeping, with rules of engagement clearly defined.
You state that as if you actually believe that all people involved in a war, or rather, events that lead up to a war, give the first fig about "rules of engagement."

If they cared, things wouldn't escalate to violence in the first place.


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However, it doesn't cost a fraction of what the World superpowers spend on protecting their interests, which have little to do with tyranny or injustice.
So, let's see your cost analysis for R&D for feeding all of the children of the world in combination with the actual feeding of said children up until they die of old age. Of course, in many areas where there are starving children, there also is disease and localized tyranny (as these things happen when nutrition is sketchy and resources are spread thin)... so the spending on R&D and eventual plan of action will have to encompass that as well.

Then show us the comparison.

Chop chop now, time is wasting and I'm interested to see what you have to show. Who knows, maybe you're correct. (I'm sure you'd have made more of your life than some wind-up artist on the internet if you truly had more than the barest of clues about any of that though.)
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Old 13.06.2011, 00:02
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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I think that such a statesman like statement (sorry bit tired for finding other words!) Exactly what NATO was there for.
The concept of NATO and agenda has been very clear and virtuous back then. Safeguard peace after the WWII and be vigilant and be prepared for the worst. As I mentioned before, history changes and vision and interests of the countries involved somewhat diverge. The USA will always be USA and Europe will always remain Europe given vastly different mentalities and histories of engagement on both continents. The latter needed to lead political and economical expansion living of the wars and the former being wrecked by wars tried to sustain peace as long as possible. Every nation has their vested interests in engagement no doubt about it. However given latest nasty upheavals and conflicts in regions abundant in resources there is more criticism towards the role such the organization has taken.
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Old 13.06.2011, 00:04
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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U.S. Defense Secretary Gates, in an uncharacteristic fashion, lambasted NATO member states (but for a few, like Canada, Denmark, etc) for not living up to their commitments and expecting the U.S. to shoulder the burden where they fall short.

He also sited that the European lead (well French and British) strikes on Libya are experiencing complication because they are ALREADY running out of munitions and need America to help them.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...ert-Gates.html

Opinions?
Gates has a point - Western european countries got used to the American umbrella and cut down their military spending. The "war" in Lybia is odd - Rebels Vs. gaddafi, with limited involvement of European/arab/turkish forces - The weapons used the western forces seem to be the expensive ones, and to some extent at least Gaddafi forces are used as target practice.

But what other options does the U.S have other than support it's European allies (feeble as they may be) ?
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Old 13.06.2011, 00:35
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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...and if the Military budget was spent on developing alternative resources and less dependence on the goals of war then starving children would not be a problem. I take it from your response that War over Oil is acceptable ?
That's an assumption not based in any sort of fact. If anyone looks back on scientific development it comes in spurts (punctuated equilibrium), it is very hard to predict when it will happen. Since the 1960's we have put an extreme amount of resources ("we" being the developed world) in research and development and seen relatively marginal returns on investments.

Compare someone who lived 100 years during the 1850-1950 century to someone who has lived in the last 100 years. Whose life changed more dramatically? Was there more government investment in the 19th century into research and development? I think not. I'm not saying that investment is not important, but what I'm saying is there is not as strong a correlation between "money -> scientific advancement" as you let on.
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Old 13.06.2011, 00:38
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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That's an assumption not based in any sort of fact. If anyone looks back on scientific development it comes in spurts (punctuated equilibrium), it is very hard to predict when it will happen. Since the 1960's we have put an extreme amount of resources ("we" being the developed world) in research and development and seen relatively marginal returns on investments.

Compare someone who lived 100 years during the 1850-1950 century to someone who has lived in the last 100 years. Whose life changed more dramatically? Was there more government investment in the 19th century into research and development? I think not. I'm not saying that investment is not important, but what I'm saying is there is not as strong a correlation between "money -> scientific advancement" as you let on.
That's a pretty outrageous statement, bereft of logic. Every finance backed R&D department would disagree. We are on an exponential curve with regards to advancement, every new one brings three more, we have been since the industrial revolution.
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Old 13.06.2011, 00:53
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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That's a pretty outrageous statement, bereft of logic. Every finance backed R&D department would disagree. We are on an exponential curve with regards to advancement, every new one brings three more, we have been since the industrial revolution.
We are, the world is in fantastic shape towards the fast global development. The lingual and cultural boundaries that were not crossed in the past nowadays are not hindrance anymore. E.g. EU and US R&D with implementation of concepts in low cost countries, Chinese markets booming, IT and call centers in India, just to name a few and competition drives the whole world to work on state of the art technologies. Pursuit towards alternative energy sources , renewables and wind power generation, sustainable energy lead to greater outcomes than ever before. In civilized world where one realizes that it is all possible and attainable as long as we do not dump it all and be doomed by self destructions. Use technology for right purpose. Make peace no war.
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Old 13.06.2011, 00:55
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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That's a pretty outrageous statement, bereft of logic. Every finance backed R&D department would disagree. We are on an exponential curve with regards to advancement, every new one brings three more, we have been since the industrial revolution.
I'm not talking about "new things" I'm talking about "game changing things", I don't count I POds and DVD players as "game changing" like in-door electricity, pluming, antibiotics, airplanes, intercontinental bullistic missles, nukes, etc.

A person born in the 1950's could quickly recognize the world of today and adapt. The only real difference is things have gotten smaller and more portable, medical knowledge is more advanced (but we still have all the same chronic disease, just less infectious ones)...computer and the net are like libraries on crack, they greatly increase the flow and bandwidth of information flow.

All this is admitted, there have been greater "efficiencies" but compare that to all the major "game changing" inventions from 1850 to 1950. It really does not compare. A person in 1850 would be lost in 1950.

I hate to appeal to authority, but a pretty famous up and coming economist outlined it far better:

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Stagnati.../dp/B004H0M8QS

I wont' argue about this you can believe what you want, but if you look at economic increase based on "new tech" the margins are quite low over the last 40 years or so, even with the internet as compared to previous periods. It is easily tracked and that is what this guy did.

It is definitely not producing a lot more jobs...(a related, but different issues):

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...ever?page=full
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Old 13.06.2011, 01:16
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Re: NATO Kaput?

You both are wrecking an otherwise decent thread!

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Old 13.06.2011, 04:10
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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I'm not talking about "new things" I'm talking about "game changing things", I don't count I POds and DVD players as "game changing" like in-door electricity, pluming, antibiotics, airplanes, intercontinental bullistic missles, nukes, etc.
recent game changers:

- commercial flight
- personal computers
- mobile phones
- cheap transportation/communication
- cheap food
- the internet

we're at the nascent stages of pervasive computing and it could well be that typical lifestyle in 20 years time will be unrecognisable.
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Old 13.06.2011, 09:42
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Re: NATO Kaput?

Game changing - quite simply R&D for the major companies and governments is only to advance their chance in the competitive world, perhaps we should complain about the cost of the gm modified rice and corn which if given free to the 3rd world, and the most in need of a helping hand then we could start to think of game changers.

In the developed world, people are poor, but they (mainly) choose to be, they certainly don't die when harvest fail - ffs most wouldn't even be able to plant anything.

Historically we are in a very safe and very stable political and economic position, there is sabre rattling all over the place, no one country or continent gets things right, sometimes intervention is the right way, other times diplomacy or a combination of the two.

But, you cannot be of a stable mind to insist that there will never be another war. People still commit murder and shootings in the streets, people will be bad and cruel with the potential if given enough power, to start wars.

That is why the world still needs places like NATO, and whether or not I agree with their decisions they are making them. It's bad enough getting a decision made in the workplace where people are working together on common goals - imagine the politics in NATO or the UN....

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Old 13.06.2011, 09:47
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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recent game changers:

- commercial flight
- personal computers
- mobile phones
- cheap transportation/communication
- cheap food
- the internet

we're at the nascent stages of pervasive computing and it could well be that typical lifestyle in 20 years time will be unrecognisable.
This is your opinion and hope.

If you can spare the timee, please read the link to the 80 page short "book" I posted from Amazon.com. You will see that none of these have produced the economic benefit you think, especially not the internet, not yet.

Could this lead to more in the future? Sure, but is it a guarantee? No. In fact historically I can point to many times in many civilizations where technological development did not continue upward forever in ever, but experienced long plateaus and even reversions for decades and centuries only to then move back up. This is not strange or unusual. I would argue we have been living in an unusual time of constant average increase, and in the last 30-40 years we have been increasing but at such a slow pass as compared to the last 400 years before that it seems we are stagnant in many areas.

In any way believe what you want, I've posted information, it is up to you to analyze it for yourself or not.
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Old 13.06.2011, 11:59
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Re: NATO Kaput?

Bit late to the party, had the opportunity to escape to the mountains for a few days.

NATO is far from dead. NATO has been the one solid organization that has held peace together during very unstable times and has been long sighted and defined beyond the realms of politics and personal egos. Notwithstanding the collapse of the Warsaw Pact nations, NATO has also been the working tool which has defined western thinking foreign policy on a worldwide scale way beyond the scope and foundations on which it was created post WW2. Even if there are some strange bedfellows with Greece and Turkey for example, the greater good of the whole has always led me to believe that NATO is there even when single government policies have gone awry. The undermining of NATO's ability to function is more under threat by defense spending cuts rather than the moral fiber of the participating membership nations.

Bearing in mind the shift in modern warfare and defense towards countering terrorism rather than territorial issues, NATO will be challenged to adapt to changing times. There are only so many more Arab nations that need "persuasive reminders" to stop killing their own people. Maybe the dictators of the world could at least agree on taking their turn in quelling internal disquiet as NATO's assets are clearly rather thinly spread presently.

I for one, would also like to see Switzerland get off the neutrality fence and stop hiding behind NATO's shadow of influence and commit and join up as a full member of NATO, even beyond the PfP (Partnership for Peace) level. Maintaining our own independent defense has become politically tough to answer to and taking an active rôle in European and even worldwide events befits our ability to play our rightful part in making the world a safer place to be. Our air force trains with NATO, we operate according to NATO doctrine and even throughout the Cold War period our reconnaissance always looked east, our forces would have fought alongside NATO if the tanks came over from the east and the MiGs penetrated western European skies.
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Old 13.06.2011, 12:26
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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I have, your answers seems to say you haven't though. Not much of a contribution to the debate was it ?
You will have to do your homework again; but do it properly this time
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Old 13.06.2011, 12:39
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This is your opinion and hope.

If you can spare the timee, please read the link to the 80 page short "book" I posted from Amazon.com. You will see that none of these have produced the economic benefit you think, especially not the internet, not yet.

Could this lead to more in the future? Sure, but is it a guarantee? No. In fact historically I can point to many times in many civilizations where technological development did not continue upward forever in ever, but experienced long plateaus and even reversions for decades and centuries only to then move back up. This is not strange or unusual. I would argue we have been living in an unusual time of constant average increase, and in the last 30-40 years we have been increasing but at such a slow pass as compared to the last 400 years before that it seems we are stagnant in many areas.

In any way believe what you want, I've posted information, it is up to you to analyze it for yourself or not.
The law of diminishing returns applies just as much to R&D as to everything else.
I think it was John Kenneth Galbraith who gave an example based on washing clothes.
it was a big step up when people could move up from using stones on a nearby river bank to washing clothes at home in the sink.
It was a good step but a smaller step up when clothes boilers with an attached wringer came available.
Then a smaller but also beneficial step when twin tub machines becme available & an even smaller step when fully automated washing machines arrived.
how big could the next step be, marginal improvement at best?
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Old 13.06.2011, 13:27
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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how big could the next step be, marginal improvement at best?
self-cleaning or non-dirtying clothes? but then people would claim this is not a game-changing improvement in life...

there are still things we could have. some might sound very sci-fi:

- pervasive cheap computing
- free energy (although it's so cheap now we have enough to use. being free will just enable us to do things that we don't do now due to cost)
- speed of light transportation
- tardis like buildings which are bigger inside than the footprint of land they sit on
- male oral contraceptive
- cures for various illnesses
- artifical intelligence and natural language processing
- robotic assistants (per Asimov)
- laser eye correction (ok, we already have this one)
- computer/brain interfaces
- active artificial limbs with brain/neural interfaces
- spun diamond technology
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Old 13.06.2011, 13:29
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Re: NATO Kaput?

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(...) I for one, would also like to see Switzerland get off the neutrality fence and stop hiding behind NATO's shadow of influence and commit and join up as a full member of NATO, even beyond the PfP (Partnership for Peace) level. Maintaining our own independent defense has become politically tough to answer to and taking an active rôle in European and even worldwide events befits our ability to play our rightful part in making the world a safer place to be (...)
No, don't agree.
Switzerland has an important part to play as a well-balanced neutral mediator on the world scene.
That role would no longer be possible if neutrality was given up.
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