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Date: 2024-03-03 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00017901

World News
Fareed Zakaria's Global Briefing ... Dec. 11, 2019

Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN's Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team, compiled by Global Briefing editor Chris Good


Peter Burgess
Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN's Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team, compiled by Global Briefing editor Chris Good Dec. 11, 2019 Lessons Not Learned in Afghanistan After The Washington Post published a trove of internal US-government documents on the War in Afghanistan—revealing false claims of progress and widely shared doubts—The New York Times writes in an editorial that although the documents fed a series of internal reports entitled “Lessons Learned,” US leaders have failed to adapt as challenges have mounted. The US effort in Afghanistan has offered lessons on “the corrosive effects of corruption, the lack of strategy and accountability, civilian deference to assurances from military leaders and seductive idea that the United States—and not the Afghans—was in control of what was happening in the country. But there’s little evidence that the American government has learned them,” the paper writes. “And as long as the military and civilian leadership overseeing the war in Afghanistan keep insisting that their strategies are working, there’s little hope they ever will.” Should Trump Just Ignore the Impeachment Articles? President Trump has already hit back at Democrats’ impeachment articles, calling them “very weak,” but if Democrats are making a broader public case against Trump’s behavior toward Ukraine, (as has been argued elsewhere), is the president better off simply ignoring the charges? That’s what National Interest Editor Jacob Heilbrunn recommends in a column, arguing Trump should forget the scandal and defend himself along different lines. “When it comes to impeachment, the prudent course for Trump is not to engage with the brickbats that are tossed in his direction. Instead, he should focus on touting the resilience of the economy and the promise of even better days ahead,” Heilbrunn writes. His argument echoes one Ross Douthat made recently in The New York Times: that a public verdict on impeachment may hinge mostly on how stable and prosperous the country is under Trump. How Will the UK Plan Its Post-Brexit Economy? Some Brexit supporters have maintained that leaving the EU will enhance Britain’s status as a hub for trade and investment, making it into an Atlantic Singapore. (“Utter rubbish!” leading Brexiteer Nigel Farage told Fareed last week, when asked about a perceived inward turn.) But in the current issue of American Affairs, a former Bank of England economist writing under the pseudonym Jerome Douglas argues for a sealed-off post-Brexit economy. Britain “was never the free market success story that it claimed to be,” he (or she) writes; the Conservative Party’s Thatcherites are deluded in thinking success has been fueled by deregulation and free trade. Rather, past success rested on Britain’s empire, and as that dwindled, the UK ran up a current-account deficit, manufacturing atrophied, and the country has declined from the 1970s on through the premiership of Tony Blair. “The real key to British prosperity moving forward would be to have consumers buy British,” the pseudonymous Douglas writes. “If British engineers at Rolls Royce can make jet engines, they can figure out how to build a toaster or remember how to build a small car.” Britain’s living standards will decline anyway, the argument goes; the question is whether that will materialize as more debt (to finance the purchase of foreign goods) or in lesser consumer products built at home. “Douglas” opts for the latter, advising that Britain needs a “program of industrial renewal,” possibly guided and subsidized by the state. Have the Tax Cuts and Trade War Jolted the US Economy, or Slowed It Down? President Trump’s trade wars were supposed to correct imbalances, and his tax cuts were supposed to reinvigorate businesses, but in a Bloomberg column, Matthew A. Winkler suggests neither is happening. Exports in services, including US-led fields like “intellectual property, travel and transport, computers, finance, insurance, health care, higher education and businesses associated with academia,” have slipped nearly 3% since 2015 (though some of the effect might be chalked up to a strong dollar). What’s more, the trade wars have caused so much “financial and geographical disruption on products from medical devices to soybeans that it has made companies eschew new American plants and equipment,” Winkler writes. “Even the Trump tax cut that was supposed to invigorate animal spirits was reduced to insignificance by the chaos created by the tariffs.” As a result, business investment in buildings, software, and equipment are “down more than 2.5% in the third quarter this year.” Forced to Choose Between China and the US, Will Asian Countries Pick Japan? No one seems to like being forced to choose between China and the US, but at the Nikkei Asian Review, Richard Heydarian writes that Asian countries may not have to. China’s Belt and Road Initiative has had success, but Japan can build and finance, too: “In Vietnam, the region's new growth dynamo, Japan has 74 projects in various stages of implementation worth $209 billion, which include the vaunted high-speed railway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, costing $59 billion,” Heydarian writes. “The same is true in Singapore, Southeast Asia's most developed nation, where Japan has 24 large projects, almost twice that of China.” Japan has begun providing more maritime security help to the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and it’s supplying reconnaissance aircraft to Manila. All of which suggests Japan is a viable security and investment partner for countries squeezed between Washington and Beijing. unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences Copyright © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc. A WarnerMedia Company., All rights reserved. What did you like about today's Global Briefing? What did we miss? 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