|Ken Novak's Weblog
Purpose of this blog: to retain annotated bookmarks for my future reference, and to offer others my filter technology and other news. Note that this blog is categorized. Use the category links to find items that match your interests.
Subscribe to get this blog by e-mail.
New: Read what I'm reading on Bloglines.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Iraq - No Way Out?: "Michael Eisenstadt, from the influential Washington Institute for Near East Policy, argues in a recent study that Iraq should just forget about being able to defend itself against Iran. “For the foreseeable future, it will fall to the United States to counter Tehran’s capabilities,” he says. ..
According to the numbers Eisenstadt has culled from piles of contradictory data issued in recent months, there are now about 101,000 more-or-less trained members of the Iraqi internal security apparatus .. Plans are to double those numbers in the next year or so. But the forces that might provide defense or deterrence against Iraq’s foreign enemies are negligible. “The regular Iraqi Army has 4,507 troops,” writes Eisenstadt [and] by the end of next year it may have 27,000, and eventually perhaps 50,000. That is, about one tenth the size of Iran’s military, and less than half the size of Israel’s. [The air force has] No fighters. No bombers. Any banana republic has better air power.
“It’s clear the [American] intention has been to establish a protectorate,” says W. Patrick Lang, formerly one of the Defense Intelligence Agency’s top experts on the Middle East. A military like the one being organized in Iraq can’t threaten its neighbors, to be sure, but it can’t defend itself either—not even internally. The record in Fallujah makes that sadly apparent. The few thousand Iraqi government troops deployed there took a back seat while the Americans did all of the bombing, of course. And that will continue to be the case. The Americans also did most of the dying. At last count, eight Iraqi soldiers were killed in the same fighting that cost 51 Americans their lives.
So it’s no wonder that many Iraqis—including the majority of the insurgents, who still see themselves as fighting foreign invaders—simply don’t believe the American administration’s spin about pulling out of Iraq sometime soon. Iraq’s neighbors don’t believe that either. And neither should anyone else. " 10:47:58 PM
Wind power can affect climate:
Impact is far less than CO2, but not zero: "A group of Canadian and U.S. scientists reported Tuesday that computer simulations show that a large-scale use of wind farms to generate electrical power could create a significant temperature change over Earth's land masses. .. Specifically, if wind generation were expanded to the point where it produced one-10th of today's energy, the models say cooling in the Arctic and a warming across the southern parts of North America should happen. The exact mechanism for this is unclear, but the scientists believe it may have to do with the disruption of the flow of heat from the equator to the poles. Depending on how much energy is ultimately generated by wind power, the study's simulations say these changes could range from one-third of a degree to 2 degrees Celsius. One unexpected finding to the study is that the hotter temperate zone/cooler Arctic effect exists in the simulations if the wind farms are concentrated in a few spots or scattered across the world.
Prof. Keith and others involved in the study strongly caution, however, against an anti-wind-power reading of their work. “This is really a ‘but, yes' article,” says Stephen Pacala, a professor of ecology at Princeton University, who is a co-author of the paper. The “but” is the fact that wind farms would alter the climate, the “yes” is the paper's preliminary estimation that if wind power produced one-10th of today's energy, its climate-altering effects would be only one-fifth that of the carbon dioxide it would replace." 8:32:33 AM