Catching Up With the News & OPINION

Retired colonel ecstatic to become Queen’s right hand in Alberta

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“I was more interested in girls and beer,”

Don Ethell

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Canada soldier wrong to allege Afghan abuse: panel

“It is also important to note that the board asked each witness if they had ever observed the Afghan National Security Forces abusing a detainee before June 14, 2006, and the answers were all ‘no’,” Maddison told a news conference.

Paul Maddison (CMR 1980)

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RMC professor takes charge at PWOR

“There has been a real attitudinal change over the past 10 years,”

Lt.-Col. James McKay, a political science professor at Royal Military College

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Commander stresses political reform over military might in Kandahar

“Governance has priority in this operation,” Gen. Lessard told reporters after he arrived in Afghanistan for a two-day visit earlier this week. “Security is urgent but governance is the most important,”

11275 Marc Lessard (CMR 1977)

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Canadian citizens: “Our job is to serve them”

“The more I’ve travelled, the more I’ve become aware of the benefits, quality of life and freedoms we enjoy as Canadians. I want to protect that. In the military, we call it ‘answering the call’.

20041 Corey Crosby (RRMC 1995)

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Gateway Services offers searchable online database

“For the first time ever, clients have the ability to obtain information about the products and services that we provide online using the Defence Wide Area Network (DWAN),”

13876 Steven Gregory, MCE Commanding Officer (RMC 1983)

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Women submariners: Trailblazers by timing, sub sailors by choice

“I am not doing this to be a trailblazer,”

Marquette Ried of Fort Collins, Colorado. -U.S. Naval Academy

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Board members up to challenge   Kingston Boys & Girls Club

Peter Dawe and other Board Members Trying to Raise 10K Each

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OUA FORMS BASKETBALL AND MEN’S HOCKEY MARKETING COMMITTEES

Darren Cates & Adam Shell – both members

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OPINION:

Economic and Finance Armageddon: The Sovereign Debt Bomb

The world economy poses many challenges to world security and stability. For instance, the sovereign debt explosion in advanced economies may well result in the collapse of the world economic order as we know it. This should not be surprising as public finance shocks in this instance and recent political tsunamis have shown that sweeping and dramatic changes can and do occur, are inevitable, and often catch governments unaware; the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism comes to mind. They cannot be dismissed as being of limited relevance. At present the economic and finance focus is through the narrow prism of Greece but lurking in the background are immediate disasters such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Ireland. Some of these advanced economies have governments that only but recently have embraced democratic systems of governance, rule of law, and observation and protection of human rights, to wit, Greece, Spain, and Portugal. These nations may well revert to dictatorships if anarchy in the streets in, for example, Athens, is a portend of what is to come. This fact appears not to have been recognized in the strategic calculus of possible political outcomes. The survival of the euro as a currency, and, potentially, the EU itself, should not be dismissed as mere idle chatter and speculation. Indeed, euro speculation is rife and its attendant consequences are real and potentially imminent and critically dysfunctional in nature. The disintegration of mercantilism and the Hanseatic League or for that matter the global trading companies such as the Dutch and British East India Companies and the Hong Kong trading houses serve as examples, among others, of vulnerability, greed, and hubris gone awry. The just-in-time averted, by the skin of the teeth, Dubai sovereign debt disaster is also a harbinger of times to come. However, and to some measure of comfort and relief, governments, particularly in advanced economies, can and do adjust. But at what cost and disruption and have they missed the window? Therein lays the very threat to world security and stability and economic health and prosperity. History will not necessarily serve as a model of how to address this critical conundrum and morass. Former classifications such as the advanced and emerging economies divide, normative modelling and models, corrective political and economic responses, fiscal actions such as government stimulus measures, may no longer have coin and validity in the world which is now unfolding and some would argue redefines “normative”. The events of 9/11 and the global economic recession which started and, arguably, was brought about by rampant and irresponsible speculation in “new” derivatives and the sub-prime mortgage housing market, particularly in finance-driven economies such as the US and the UK, and which came to a costly head in 2008, have wrought severe shocks. Indeed the very notion of what constitutes normal and hence predictive and corrective management intervention by both the public and private sectors is now in the domain of the chaotic and without immediate and lasting resolution apparent on the horizon. The level of sovereign indebtedness, including that of the US, ostensibly the leading world economic and military power, is not only paralysing but is also shifting the power focus from West to East. The rise of emerging countries such as China and India, will reverberate and will redefine world order with consequences not clearly evident, imagined, or part of game theory play. These developments constitute a world view and spectrum of challenges to world leaders beyond the mere deliberations of fora such as Davos and call for much more intense and broad discussion and action than is presently the case. Economics and finance will, as they always have, dictate the terms and be the ultimate interlocutors, determinants that shape the world. These players, economics and finance, are two sides of the same coin and that coin is global security and stability. The 3D theorem of Defence, Diplomacy, and Development, and its more current derivatives and strategic applications, to wit, General McChrystal’s “Whole of Government” Afghan thrust, are still very much a propos and in and of the playbook. As is said: Follow the Money! An old but ever so apt leitmotif.

Andrew Nellestyn

May 15, 2010