|Debt Crisis & West|
|YOU may recall the Latin
American debt crisis of 1982,
the Asian debt crisis of 1997,
the Russian debt crisis of 1998
- and you´ll certainly remember
the US sub-prime debt crisis of 2008.
Now we have a European debt crisis
and, horror of horrors, a US government
That´s the word to keep hold of: debt.
Ignore the financiers´ jargon - bond
yields, credit default swaps, hedge
funds - which make finance sound like
quantum physics, a fearfully abstruse
subject beyond the grasp of ordinary
mortals. Financial crises occur when
people (or governments or companies)
can´t repay their debts. Or more precisely
when their creditors (or shareholders)
decide they aren´t likely to get
|US GRIPPED BY GREAT
|IN the wake of the hugely disappointing
budget deal and
the S&P´s debt downgrade,
maybe we need to hang a new
sign in the immigration arrival
halls at all US ports and airports. It
could simply read: "Welcome. You
are entering the United States of
America. Past performance is not
necessarily indicative of future
Because our country is now finding
itself in the worst kind of
decline - a slow decline, just slow
enough for us to keep deluding ourselves
that nothing really fundamental
needs to change if our
future is to match our past.
Our slow decline is a product of
two inter-related problems. First,
we´ve let our five basic pillars of
growth erode since the end of the
Cold War - education, infrastructure,
Troops recover debris of crashed chopper
KABUL INTERNATIONAL military forces worked on Monday to recover every last piece of a Chinook helicopter that crashed over the weekend, killing 30 American troops, seven Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter, NATO said.
German Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, told reporters that troops had secured the crash site in a rugged area of eastern Wardak province and nobody was being allowed in or out of the area while the investigation was ongoing.
Jacobson said the coalition still had not yet determined the exact cause of the crash, but some officials have said the heavy and lumbering transport helicopter was apparently shot down.
Officials said the helicopter was hit as it was flying in and approaching the area.
“We are still investigating this incident so we have no picture of what was the cause for the incident. That is what the investigation is basically all about,” Jacobson said.
The helicopter was ferrying a group of Navy SEALs to reinforce a group of Army Rangers who were under fire.
It remains unclear if the Rangers and SEALs were taking part in a night raid to capture or kill an insurgent leader. It was deadliest single loss for US forces in the decade-long war.
Another NATO helicopter made a hard landing on Monday in eastern Paktia province, the US-led coalition said. It did not report any casualties and said the cause of the hard landing was under investigation. The coalition said there was no enemy activity in the area at the time.
The helicopter was a CH-47 of the same type that crashed on Saturday. It was flying in to pick up special operations troops, but apparently suffered a mechanical failure and crash landed, an officer in the war zone said. He could not be named because he was not authorised to comment publicly. The crew was rescued by the troops.
The fatal crash on Saturday highlights the risks confronting the US-led coalition as it looks to rely more on special operations forces while reducing the overall number of troops in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.