Friday, July 30, 2004

Hubris Goeth Before a Fall

I've been reading "Imperial Hubris" by Anonymous (now known to be Michael Schuer of the C.I.A.), and one of the points he harps on is that Al Qaeda's leadership is just as interested in bringing down America economically as it is mass death, by exploiting the economic vulnearabilities that have been increasing because of the policies of the Bush Administration.

Which brings us to this useful article from Sunday's Washington Post:

Just as Scary as Terror:
Has Anybody Seen our Economic Policy?

by David Rothkopf

Last month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released figures showing that last year for the first time, China supplanted the United States as the No. 1 destination for foreign direct investment worldwide -- that is, money that goes into factories, equipment, real estate or existing companies. And in a blow to fans of "freedom fries," No. 2 was France. Though other major economies also suffered a drop-off in this category , no nation fell as far in percentage terms as the United States.

While such numbers fluctuate and foreign direct investment is just one type of capital flow, this dramatic swing can be seen as further evidence that in the 21st century, America is going to have to fight hard for its piece of the global investment pie -- money that translates directly into new jobs and the industries of tomorrow. Clearly, the world economy is shifting around us and our place atop it is being challenged. . .

Even as our efforts to combat terrorism continue -- as they must -- we need to regain enough perspective to put economic issues back among our list of top priorities. Just as a National Security Strategy is mandated by law, having a National Economic Strategy should be mandated by self-interest and common sense. Failure to view these twin aspects of our security as interlocking pieces of a single whole will hand our enemies around the world the kind of victories they can't achieve on their own; it will erode our strength, deplete our resources and undercut our way of life.

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