Trump’s national security strategy has real promise

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionIt seems odd that Dean Acheson, one of history’s great diplomats, felt a need to explain why he wrote a memoir of his years at the State Department — the masterpiece “Present at the Creation,” published in 1969. In those pages, Acheson chronicled a dozen of the most consequential years in world history: the wrecking of civilization in World War II and the building, atop the rubble, of an alliance for liberty that has given humanity its longest period of great-power peace since the Roman Empire. A fascinating, chilling report in the new issue of Wired magazine shows how rapidly the Chinese economy has moved to mobile-phone payments — and how easily that change is being leveraged into a network to track every movement and activity of the Chinese people.Vast databases are being compiled, containing everything from DNA to college aptitude tests, shopping histories to social circles.Those Chinese who pursue party-approved lives will be rewarded, while free-thinking dissent meets stern punishment.The BBC reports that China will have more than half a billion surveillance cameras installed by 2020, using artificial intelligence to recognize faces. “We can match every face with an ID card and trace all of your movements back one week in time. We can match your face with your car, match you with your relatives and the people you’re in touch with,” Yin Jun of Dahua Technology told a BBC reporter. “With enough cameras we can know who you frequently meet.”Without doubt, this all-seeing state will use its data to deepen the repression of its people.Among Xi’s first acts upon gaining power in 2013 was a crackdown on non-party civil society. Acheson wrote, he explained, because the 1960s “have brought the country, and particularly its young people, to a mood of depression, disillusion, and withdrawal.”In such a moment, he felt it important to “tell a tale of large conceptions, great achievements, and some failures, the product of enormous will and effort.”We find ourselves in a similar moment, profoundly disillusioned, anxious as well as depressed, apparently eager to withdraw from world leadership into heated discussions of trysting FBI agents and the president’s consumption of diet soda. Yet the world presses in.Even with an economy in tatters (the GDP of Russia is barely half that of France, despite having twice the population), Vladimir Putin rules like a czar while waging a cyberwar on the West, seeding chaos and fomenting division.Worse, Chinese dictator Xi Jinping in October announced plans to tighten his grip on a nation once again leaning toward totalitarianism, and to directly challenge the United States and its allies for global influence. If you like Big Brother, you’re going to love what Xi has planned for China. Arrests and denunciations have followed; in July, writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo died in custody, becoming the first Nobel Peace Prize recipient since the Nazi era to die a prisoner. Today, as in the days when Acheson executed the bold decisions of President Harry S. Truman, the world has no good alternative to American leadership.That’s why President Trump’s inaugural address was so disheartening to many of us.Trump seemed to reject the idea of mutually beneficial alliances and partnerships in support of free people and free markets, and against collectivist tyrannies.But glimmers of hope showed from the National Security Strategy published by the White House on Monday.Though it’s not a perfect document, the strategy takes several strides in the right direction, acknowledging Russia’s hostile schemes, identifying the long-term China challenge and beginning to reconcile Trump’s “America first” rhetoric with the imperative to rebuild, renew and expand Team Liberty around the world.“Some of the greatest triumphs of American statecraft resulted from helping fragile and developing countries become successful societies,” the paper declares in a welcome rejection of the zero-sum Bannonism of the early Trump administration. “These successes, in turn, created profitable markets for American businesses, allies to help achieve favorable regional balances of power, and coalition partners to share burdens and address a variety of problems around the world.”The task of bracing ourselves and our allies for the work ahead is more difficult than it might have been without Trump’s impulsiveness and base pandering over the past year.But on the bright side, the president has arrived at a national security team capable of producing a tempered, resolute and wide-ranging strategy on a tight time frame.If Trump will rely on it for information and advice — rather than on the whims and cranks that periodically distract his attention like jangling keys — there is time yet to repair the foreign policy damage of the recent past and start in the right direction.The next volume of our history need not be “Present at the Destruction.”David Von Drehle writes a twice-weekly column for The Washington Post. He was previously an editor-at-large for Time Magazine.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

PREMIUM75 years on, GDP has grown but inequality, poverty linger

first_imgLog in with your social account Linkedin Forgot Password ? #Indonesia75 GDP-growth economic-growth poverty-alleviation inequality unemployment LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Google “Documenting 75 years of resilience” is a series of special reports by The Jakarta Post to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day, August 17, 1945.Indonesia’s economy has grown significantly in the 75 years since the country’s independence, but poverty and inequality remain formidable challenges in the country’s pursuit of equitable prosperity.Despite a significant contraction recorded in the 1998 Asian financial crisis and the current economic meltdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Indonesia’s economy, like those of many developing nations in the 20th century, has grown significantly since 1945.This growth has helped reduce poverty and create jobs in the fourth-most populous country in the world, and the poverty and open unemployment rates reached their lowest levels in early 2020 since before the 1998 Asian financial crisis…. Topics : Facebooklast_img read more

Mercer starts master trust for UK DB schemes

first_imgInvestment consultant Mercer has launched its UK Mercer DB Master Trust, which offers defined benefit (DB) pension plan sponsors the potential for “enhanced governance and economies of scale to deliver better outcomes for members”, it said.Under the trust, Mercer will be responsible for providing all services including investment with fiduciary management, journey planning, actuarial services, covenant assessment, scheme management and administration, with trusteeship provided by independent professional trustees.The employer would maintain ultimate responsibility for the funding of the scheme, an announcement stated.This new solution adds to Mercer’s existing advisory and fiduciary offerings and ensures clients can access a full spectrum of approaches to select the best fit for their individual governance needs, it said. Benoit Hudon, leader of Mercer’s wealth business in the UK, said: “Managing employee pension schemes has become increasingly complex and many organisations suffer from time or cost constraints.”He said these challenges are “particularly acute” for smaller or mid-sized legacy DB schemes where often dedicated in-house expertise lacks, while access to best-in-class capabilities can be expensive.He added that the trust will “potentially reduce fees and improve outcomes”, while also giving members access to the largest administration of private sector pensions in the UK.The Mercer DB Master Trust has evolved from the Federated Pension Plan (FPP), an existing and long-established master trust initially set up by Jardine Lloyd Thompson that currently has around £260m (€280m) of assets and 73 participating employers.Additionally, Independent Trustee Services (ITS) and PTL have been appointed as additional professional trustees to work alongside PAN Trustees, which has been FPP’s trustee for more than 15 years.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

With a title in mind, USC is set to tee off

first_imgFor the No. 2 USC women’s golf team, this season is all about redemption.After falling just short of their goal of a national championship last season, the Women of Troy seek to reclaim the title that eluded them last year.Sizing it up · USC sophomore Jennifer Song returns this season in an attempt to build on an accolade-filled freshman year, in which she finished in the top 10 nine times. But after finishing second in the National Championship, Song is out to improve. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information“We look forward to getting back that national championship in the spring,” said junior Lizette Salas, a first team All-American last season.After winning the 2008 NCAA title, the team led the 2009 National Championship going into the final round only to finish third, nine strokes back of Arizona State. For then-freshman Jennifer Song, the heartbreak was doubled by her second-place finish after leading on the final day. Song led by two strokes heading into the final round, only to see it slip away on the final hole to finish one stroke behind Purdue’s Maria Hernandez.This year, the team is determined to get back to the top. The Women of Troy return their top six golfers from last season, including everyone that traveled to the National Championship. Led by an All-American trio — Song, Salas and senior Belen Mozo — the team’s expectations are nothing short of another NCAA title.Song, now a sophomore, returns to attempt to top a phenomenal season that culminated in her breaking the school single-season scoring record. She finished the season as the top female collegiate golfer in the country, with nine top-10 finishes during the season and a scoring average of .18 strokes below par. After the season, she was named a First Team All-American and the NCGA Freshman of the Year.Instead of using the summer to rest, Song continued her torrid pace and became just the second woman to win two USGA titles in one year. After winning the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship by the largest margin in tournament history, she went on to win the US Women’s Amateur Championship. In between, she finished 13th at the US Women’s Open Championship — the top finish by an amateur.Now that she’s back in school, Song isn’t planning on slowing down.“It definitely gave me a lot of confidence, and going into the season I’m full of energy and really excited,” Song said.Still, she doesn’t dwell on last season’s success, saying, “I just try to hit one shot at a time.”Salas, now a two-time All-American, finished last season ranked fourth in the nation. Her nine top-10 finishes, which included two victories, earned her the Pac-10 Women’s Golfer of the Year award. Salas also broke the school’s scoring record last season, with an average of only .09 strokes over par. Salas, however, isn’t satisfied with last season’s finish.“I kind of struggled towards the end of last year,” she said, referring to her 18th-place finishes at the NCAA West Regional Tournament and the National Championship.Over the summer, Salas also struggled with a back injury at the end of last season. Though her competitive schedule was limited, she competed in the US Women’s Amateur and the US Women’s Public Links this summer. After making it to the round of 16 in the Public Links, she fell in the second round of the US Amateur to the eventual champion: Song.“I learned a lot this summer and I’m just now getting healthy and back into competitive golf,” Salas said. “I’m just going to keep getting stronger and come back better this year.”Mozo seeks to become the first ever four-time All-American for the Trojans this season after being named a Second Team All-American last year. While struggling with a shoulder injury last season, Mozo’s game was inconsistent. She earned three top-10 finishes and set a personal record with a 65 at the 2009 UCF Challenge, besting her previous low score by three strokes. Her 65 tied with Song for the lowest round on the team last season and marked the third-lowest score of any golfer in the country.Mozo underwent shoulder surgery over the summer and is just beginning to recover.“She’s starting to swing now, but we don’t have her swinging drivers yet,” USC coach Andrea Gaston said. “We’ll see if she can come back for any of our October tournaments, but we don’t want to rush anything.”Also returning is 2008 All-American Stefanie Endstrasser. The senior struggled with her game last season, but showed flashes of brilliance in her third place finish at the 2008 Mason Rudolph Championship.“Stephanie hasn’t been up to form, but she’s been working really hard,” Gaston said. “She played a few events over the summer while attending summer school in Europe.”The team is also looking for continuing contributions from senior Caroline Kim and sophomore Inah Park. Both became regular contributors for the Women of Troy last season, but they’ll be challenged for their roster spots by Endstrasser and incoming freshman Cyna Rodriguez.Rodriguez, a native of the Philippines, recently attended the prestigious David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida to prepare for collegiate competition. Her victories on the amateur circuit make her an instant contender for a roster spot.The road to redemption for the Women of Troy begins this Friday at the Mason Rudolph Championship at the Legends Golf Club in Nashville, Tenn. Gaston sees the fall season as a time for “everyone to get the competitive experience so we can have more depth and count on every player.”last_img read more