Home > Roundup > Roundup of Analysis and Investigative Articles: Of new prime ministers, the Middle East, on learning, and fuel economy

Roundup of Analysis and Investigative Articles: Of new prime ministers, the Middle East, on learning, and fuel economy

Intelligence Brief: Japan’s New Prime Minister, Yasuo Fukuda. Fukuda is less of a nationalist than Abe, which means that there will be little progress toward repealing Article Nine of the pacifist constitution and school textbooks will probably cease to be an area of focus for the government. This will please China and the Korean states. Still, the strategic bonds that Abe forged with Australia and India, in tandem with the United States, appear robust. (Power and Interest News Report)

Two interviews with Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi. Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, former C-in-C of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Corps and current advisor for military affairs to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has recently given two interviews: West Has Launched a “Media War“ and Iran has become an extra-regional power. (Vineyard of the Saker)

The Victor? Of all the unintended consequences of the Iraq war, Iran’s strategic victory is the most far-reaching. In establishing the border between the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Empire in 1639, the Treaty of Qasr-i-Shirin demarcated the boundary between Sunni-ruled lands and Shiite-ruled lands. For eight years of brutal warfare in the 1980s, Iran tried to breach that line but could not. (At the time, the Reagan administration supported Saddam Hussein precisely because it feared the strategic consequences of an Iraq dominated by Iran’s allies.) The 2003 US invasion of Iraq accomplished what Khomeini’s army could not. (Peter W. Galbraith, The New York Review of Books)

How Observation Beats the School of Hard Knocks. Few questions are more fundamental than that of how we learn. Indeed, this question has been central to psychological inquiry from the time of the first experimental psychology labs in the late 1800s. Ever since, a primary goal of psychology research has been to describe how we acquire and retain the information necessary for survival. (Kevin Ochsner, Scientific America)

A Life Cycle Assessment of Energy Products: Environmental Impact Assessment of Biofuels. In connection with the worsening scarcity of fossil fuels and climate change the idea of using renewable energy is attracting interest both in the Swiss public eye and in industry. Fuels made from biomass – so-called biofuels – are currently the most important form of renewable energy in road transportation and could at least over the short to medium term take on a role in reducing greenhouse gases and our dependency on fossil fuels. Although biofuels from renewable resources exist, a wider range of environmental impacts may result from their cultivation and processing than those from fossil fuels. (The Oil Drum)

USAID in Bolivia and Venezuela: The Silent Subversion. The United States government has almost perfected a method of intervention that is able to penetrate and infiltrate all sectors of civil society in a country which it deems to be of economic and strategic interest. In the case of Venezuela, this strategy began to take form in 2002, with the increase in financing of sectors of the opposition via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the opening of an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) of USAID in Caracas. (Eva Golinger, Axis of Logic)

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