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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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lunarchick - 03:12am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7442 of 7448)

Maslow featured here in military quality of life.

Would military quality of life be improved if people in the services contributed to the positive aspects of world development. Worked to get the essential services that support life to poor communites at affordable costs. Wouldn't these guys gain a great deal of satisfaction? The Australian Army on their six month $2billion expedition to East Timor, gained a great deal of personal satisfaction.

lunarchick - 03:27am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7443 of 7448)

Reshaping the military - USA see

lunarchick - 03:30am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7444 of 7448)

Americans want to help 'christian' people in this desperate country.

lunarchick - 03:45am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7445 of 7448)

Alex: above underlines your point re OIL

    Money is the Root of all evil.
    Oil is black gold.
    Gold is money, money buys arms.
The wealth of nations such as the Sudan above is being squandered on arms - rather than being used to assist the growth and development of the population - towards an economic social future.

rshowalter - 04:28am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7446 of 7448) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The world is watching, and to a very large extent the effective power (which, very often, is the power to persuade) of the United States and Russia , and other nations concerned, is going to depend on responsible conduct, in terms of needs that the world feels, and understands.

There may be a place for "private diplomacy" -- but in key and inescapable ways, this is happening in public.

By and large, people deal with people they are comfortable with -- people who are more trusted, along the continuum of trust and distrust within which real people live -- people who are "trustworthy" -- when they check -- in enough ways, often enough, that interaction feels safe, and communication feels clear enough that they are willing to "take a chance" on cooperation.

In business, that's called "good will." Building a brand is, essentially, about building trust, and a pattern of psychology where people stop checking, and just go with one kind of relationship - without considering others.

rshowalter - 05:09am Jul 26, 2001 EST (#7447 of 7448) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

It seems sensible to modify MD2392 rshowalter 4/18/01 10:24pm here:

It seems to me that Russia needs, and needs intensely, something that America has -- a sense of common culture that makes the society, when faced with a challenge, work as a coordinated and competent "team". There is more hope for that, in the international community, than there has been in two decades, and the willingness to trust Russia's competence, to give her a chance, is rising fast, among both friends and old enemies who are not yet friends, but who are casting around for new ways of interacting.

It seems to me that Russia needs to understand, and respect, some usages that often work well in other countries -- usages that often work well in the United States, and though I'm sure Putin knows them, I'm repeating them, in the hope that they may be remembered. Let me tell a personal story, about a time when some of these lessons were taught to me.

Years ago, I had the good fortune to be invited to testify before a Senate committee on technology - testifying on the uses of mathematical modeling as one of a number of aids to judgement. And after the testimony, I was nominated to a Office of Technology Assessment committee on Innovation and Patent Policy -- a committee that was influential in decisions that led to a Patent Re-examination procedure, and the establishing of a Court of Patent Appeals -- changes that made patents worth more than before.

Comment: Often, in diplomacy within groups, by design and by tradition, committees and other groups are "packed" to be ineffectual -- to provide a show of "consultation" without its substance. Such committees, unless they can come together, are less distinguished and less important than the individuals who make them up. "Setting up a committee" of this sort can be a way of avoiding action rather than producing it.

Anyway, as an OTA committee, we ran amok -- because, though we were "packed" to represent conflicting interests, we agreed completely on what we felt needed to be done. And so we decided to go up to Capitol Hill, and talk to the responsible Senators, Representatives, and staffers. This was an outrageous thing for us to do, by some standards.

The head of OTA came in to talk to us, and try to dissuade us. (We paid careful attention to him, but we went ahead.)

Here is what he said:

" In this town, some think that it is all right to do anything that isn't specifically prohibited. But it isn't that easy. There is one standard, one test, that has to apply, to be effective in this town. You have to ask, of whatever you're going to do . . . .

" What would this look like, and how would it be judged, if it was written up, in detail, in THE NEW YORK TIMES ? ( I noticed that, though we were in DC, the TIMES was the paper chosen.)

The man went on to emphasize that the point wasn't that our doings would be reported in the paper. The point was that there were community standards, about what was good function, and what wasn't, on which people with enough literacy and stature to be interested in reading the TIMES would agree. And these community standards made for orderly and effecive behavior, and were of compelling practical and moral force.

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