NewsNotes - January 2006
Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.
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A new report, released at the EPS session on the Costs of War January 8 by Linda Bilmes of Harvard and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, gives estimates for the full economic and human costs of the war that dwarf the direct budgetary costs of $251 billion to date.
Taking into account costs of future military operations, the costs of caring for veterans (including billions for treating brain injuries), higher costs for recruiting, replacement costs for military equipment used in the war, and a wide range of broader economic impacts, Bilmes and Stiglitz put the full cost of the Iraq war at somewhere between $1 trillion and $1.8 trillion.
The report has been picked up and reported around the world in media outlets as diverse as the Christian Science Monitor; the Standard - China's Business Newspaper; the Australian; Pacifica Radio; Granma Internaccional - Havana, Cuba; infospigot.com; psychoanalystsopposewar.org; the BBC; uruknet.info - an Italian website which monitors the Iraq occupation (sic); the Guardian; UPI and AP, and over 50 others.
Read the report itself at: http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/Cost_of_War_in_Iraq.htm
US Treasury Secretary John Snow disputes the report's claims. In a BBC interview January 12, Mr. Snow said, [The $2 trillion figure] seems a magnitude higher than realistic estimates. http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/article338038.ece
By my calculation, an order of magnitude lower is $200 billion, which we have already passed. -ed.
are proud to announce the launch of the Economics of Peace and Security
Journal, a new online journal hosted by EPS-UK (www.epsjournal.org.uk).
This publication raises and debates all issues related to the political
economy of personal, communal, national, international, and global peace
and security. The scope includes implications and ramifications of conventional
and non-conventional conflict for all human and non-human life and for our
common habitat. Special attention is paid to constructive proposals for
conflict resolution and peacemaking. While open to non-economic approaches,
most contributions emphasize economic analysis of causes, consequences,
and possible solutions to mitigate and resolve conflict.
The journal is aimed at non-specialist readers, including policy analysts, policy and decision makers, national and international civil servants, members of the armed forces and of peacekeeping services, the business community, members of non-governmental organizations and religious institutions, and others. Contributions are scholarly-based, but written in a general-interest style.
Issues of the journal generally are theme-based and contributions are by invitation only; however, readers are invited to write to the Managing Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) with proposals for a theme or a specific contribution. Short letters of less than 500 words commenting on the published pieces are welcome. Please write to us at email@example.com.
The first issue is based on the ECAAR Review 2003, "Conflict or Development" (http://www.epsjournal.org.uk/Vol1/No1/issue.php). It is offered free of charge as an introduction to the journal. Future topics will include:
Annual subscription rates for future issues are as follows:
Eastern Economics Association meetings: Friday, February 24 through Sunday, February 26, in Philadelphia. EPS will have a booth in the exhibit hall and is hosting a session February 24 at 2:00pm on The Economics of Homeland Security.
Chair: David Gold, The New School University
Howard Kunreuther will also be addressing the conference luncheon just before our session. See http://www.iona.edu/eea for a complete schedule.
EPS had a very successful trip to Boston for the ASSA/AEA meetings this year.
On Saturday, January 7, at 10:15am, well over 250 people attended a roundtable on Grand Strategies against Global Poverty, chaired by James Galbraith, with Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, Richard Jolly and Nancy Birdsall.
On Sunday, January 8, at 8:00am, a session organized for the AEA on The Costs of War, chaired by James Galbraith, presented:
On Sunday, January 8, at 1:00pm, in a joint session with the AEA on Economics and National Security, a roundtable chaired by Michael Intriligator, with Peter Galbraith, Carl Kaysen, Richard Kaufman, Lawrence Korb, Gareth Porter and Robert Solow drew 50 people despite the uncongenial hour. A lively discussion ensued concerning some historic elements of American and Russian security policy, and other topics.
Offers of papers are invited for a conference sponsored by Economists for Peace and Security (EPS-UK), the Arms Production and Trade Group, the University of the West of England, CITY Liberal Studies - Affiliated Institution of the University of Sheffield, and SEERC (South East European Research Center), Thessaloniki, Greece. The conference will have plenary sessions with keynote speakers plus specialist workshop streams.
Proposed topics include:
Offers of papers on other related topics are welcome.
Please send a title and abstract as soon as possible and before March
15, 2006 to:
To keep up with developments see: http://www.city.academic.gr/special/events/economics_and_security/index.htm or http://carecon.org.uk/Conferences/conferences.php
|Our congratulations to William J. Baumol, EPS Trustee, who received the Office of Advocacy Special Small Business Research Award. The award, given at the annual meeting of the American Economics Association (AEA), is in recognition of a lifetime of research into entrepreneurship issues. http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060109/dcm021.html?.v=35|
Project on Defense Alternatives invites you to have a look at their recently
posted special topic internet gateway: Iraq War Withdrawal
and Exit Plans, http://www.comw.org/pda/0512exitplans.html,
compiled by PDA research associate Bipasha Ray.
This regularly updated page currently links to full-text versions of more than 25 Iraq withdrawal plans and a similar number of analytical commentaries. It includes exit strategies proposed since July 2004 by both political leaders and security policy experts. The hope is that this resource will enhance the national discussion of the Iraq conflict and facilitate the research efforts of journalists, analysts, and students alike.
If they have missed an important resource, please contact Carl Conetta, co-director, Project on Defense Alternatives, Commonwealth Institute, Cambridge and Washington. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences or FLASCO) has initiated the coordination of a project entitled, Latin America during the Second Bush Administration. The website collects stories on Latin America from major North American newspapers, covering the topics: national politics, security, migration, and bilateral politics. The resulting collection permits the identification of some of the major themes of interest in the Latin American region, and their treatment in the US press.
Why We Fight, the new film by Eugene Jarecki, takes
an unflinching look at the anatomy of American war. Winner of the 2005
Sundance Grand Jury Prize, the film weaves unforgettable personal stories
with commentary by a whos who of military and beltway
insiders. Featuring John McCain, William Kristol, Gore Vidal, Richard
Perle and others, Why We Fight launches a nonpartisan inquiry into
the forces economic, political, and spiritual that drive
America to fight. Inspired by Dwight Eisenhowers farewell warning
against the military industrial complex, the film also examines the influence
of industrial interests upon American foreign policy.
Called utterly damning by the Boston Globe, stunning by the Salt Lake Tribune, and nimble and brilliant by Entertainment Weekly, Why We Fight will be released nationwide in theaters by Sony Pictures Classics on January 20, 2006.
See a trailer for the film at http://www.whywefight.com
A little over a year ago, a group of Johns Hopkins researchers reported that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians had died as a result of the Iraq war during its first 14 months, with about 60,000 of the deaths directly attributable to military violence by the US and its allies.
The study, published in The Lancet, the highly respected British medical journal, applied the same rigorous, scientifically validated methods that the Hopkins researchers had used in estimating that 1.7 million people had died in the Congo in 2000. Though the Congo study had won the praise of the Bush and Blair administrations and had become the foundation for UN, Security Council and State Department actions, this study was quickly declared invalid by the US government and by supporters of the war.
One reason the Hopkins study did not generate sustained outrage is that
the researchers did not explain how the occupation had managed to kill
so many people so quickly -- about 1,000 each week in the first 14 months
of the war. In this article Michael Schwartz explains how and why so
many civilians are being killed in Iraq, and that new policies are only
going to make it worse. Not in large, newsgrabbing battles, but in
3,000 small monthly engagements that often involve attacking structures
with civilians in them, and the lethality of these battles, combined with
the havoc and destruction wrought by the air attacks, does add up to possibly
thousands and thousands of civilian deaths each year.
The Control Arms campaign has launched three new reports depicting the human cost of armed violence. The reports were released on the first day of the UN small arms PrepCom (January 9 - 20, 2006).
Featuring interviews with survivors of armed violence, the reports describe the impact of international arms transfers to Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Sierra Leone. They are now available online at http://www.iansa.org/
For readers who are not aware of Petrovs story: on the night of September 26, 1983, Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov was the duty officer at Serpukhov-15, which was the Soviet Unions main nuclear command and control center. Colonel Petrov was in charge of 200 men with the responsibility of monitoring incoming signals from satellites.
It was a period of high tension between the US and the Soviet Union. President Reagan had called the Soviets the Evil Empire. The Russian military had shot down a Korean passenger jet just three weeks before this incident, and the US and NATO were organizing a joint military exercise in Europe.
Colonel Petrov recalled that night when the red button beamed START along with flashing lights and monitors showing that US ICBMs were launched in an attack on the Soviet Union. Petrov said: I felt as if Id been punched in my nervous system. There was a huge map of the States with a US base lit up showing that the missiles had been launched. Petrovs duty was to report the attack to command headquarters that could have initiated an immediate counter attack. Colonel Petrov made the decision not to alert higher authorities, believing that, contrary to what the high tech equipment was reporting, this alarm was an error.
I didnt want to make a mistake, Petrov said, I made a decision and that was it. The Daily Mail wrote: Had Petrov cracked and triggered a response, Soviet missiles would have rained down on US cities. In turn, that would have brought a devastating response from the Pentagon. As agonizing minutes passed, including a second launch warning, Petrovs decision proved correct. It was a computer error that signaled a US attack. Petrov said: In principle, a nuclear war could have broken out. The whole world could have been destroyed.
Bruce Blair, President of the Center for Defense Information, a leading expert on nuclear weapons and a former Minuteman Missile Launch Officer said: I think this is the closest weve come to accidental nuclear war. The catastrophic danger that Colonel Petrov faced in 1983 remains the same. Every day we face this danger because over 4,000 US and Russian strategic nuclear warheads are on a hair-trigger alert, ready for launch in a few minutes notice that could destroy both countries in an hour. Such a scenario could be triggered by an accidental missile launch, a miscalculation, or early warning system error.
On December 20, 2005, a dynamite attack by unknown persons caused a Shell
oil pipeline to explode, sparking a major fire which killed at least eight
children in southern Nigeria, said residents and industry officials. The
blast at a Royal Dutch Shell facility, 50 km southwest of the oil town of
Port Harcourt, rocked nearby villages in the early hours of the morning.
Burning crude quickly swept through creeks and waterways setting alight
several villages and fishing settlements built on stilts or along the water's
So far no fewer than eight children have been roasted and their corpses have been recovered, said Mowan Etete, spokesman for the Andoni ethnic minority worst-hit by the resulting oil spill, told reporters. Eyewitnesses said armed men wearing red bands, often sported by militia fighters, had arrived in four speedboats sometime after midnight and ordered them to leave. The men planted explosives on crude oil pipelines, detonating them as they sped away, they said.
Full report at http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=50814
Both US and Paraguayan officials are emphatic in saying that there is no permanent base in the works, yet the construction of an airstrip in the northern region of Paraguay suggests at the very least the possibility of a tighter military relationship. The airstrip at Mariscal Estigarribia, located close to the borders of Bolivia and Brazil, is 3,800 meters long and 80 meters wide - large enough to handle large transport aircraft and bigger than the national airport in Asuncion, the countrys capital city. US support for the construction since the 1980s had gone unnoticed until recently, but the immunity agreement and military training program have increased suspicions that the United States is building a stronghold in a region that is increasingly being defined as strategic to that countrys interests.
Sam Logan and Matthew Flynn are journalists based in South America and
are contributors to the Americas Program of the International Relations
Center. Read more at
A civil suit, filed in the District of Columbia, alleges that the Indonesian military provided security services for ExxonMobil, and that the Indonesian military committed genocide, murder, torture, crimes against humanity, sexual violence and kidnapping while providing security for the company from 1999 to 2001. Lawyers also claim that ExxonMobil provided these hired troops with facilities and equipment, including excavators that were used to dig mass graves, and buildings where illegally detained prisoners were tortured. The plaintiff, the International Labor Rights Fund, claims that ExxonMobil was aware of widespread abuses committed by the military but failed to take any action to prevent them.
In an Orwellian twist, the State Department declared that pursuit of the case would harm Washington's campaign against terrorism, and urged the court to dismiss the lawsuit. Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, is a focus of the Bush administration's effort to fight terrorists, explained State Department legal adviser William H. Taft IV in a letter to the court, and any action by the United States that could interrupt the country's revenues would be perceived by the Indonesian government as interference in its internal affairs.
Call for Papers: the annual Jan Tinbergen European Peace Science Conference will take place June 26 - 28, 2006 in Amsterdam at the Tinbergen Institute; the address is Roeterstraat 31, 1018 WB Amsterdam. Registration fee will be 50 Euro.
At the conference there will be continuing emphasis on research methods
in peace science,
All research abstracts with tentative title submitted before February
1, 2006 will be
The Ford Foundation is seeking a Program Officer to create the Global Economic Governance, Peace and Social Justice, Governance and Civil Society program. The new Program Officer will be responsible for developing and overseeing the Foundations work designed to strengthen Global Economic Governance in the interests of all members of the world community. Building on prior Foundation-funded work to reform international markets and institutions in trade and finance, this portfolio will support new thinking and action designed to bring about a global institutional architecture that promotes economic security while addressing poverty in the developing world. The portfolio will also support work on global economic circuits as a cause of conflict, and how to govern them more effectively. Strengthening capacity in the Global South will be a priority throughout.
More information about the job and application process can be found at http://www.fordfound.org/employment/jobdetail.cfm?id=72
The team that produces Think Progress and The Progress Report is looking for interns this winter.
They need students (undergraduate, graduate, or recent graduates) with strong research and writing skills to help out with extensive researching, writing, editing, fact-checking, monitoring of news stories, blogging on Think Progress, and other tasks as assigned.
Interns will be integrated into the workings of American Progress, attending events, meetings, and participating in a variety of other projects. Interns are accepted on a rolling basis. E-mail applications to email@example.com.
All interns receive a stipend and transportation subsidy. http://thinkprogress.org/2005/12/02/we-need-interns/
|Military vs. Social Spending: Warfare or Human Welfare. This two-sided fact sheet compares US and global military spending with the costs of achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals in an accessible, graphic format. The fact sheet, which was compiled and designed by former Project Manager, Paul Burkholder, is available in PDF format at http://www.epsusa.org/publications/factsheets/milexMDG.pdf.|
The ECAAR Review 2003: Conflict or Development? This edition has a regional focus on Africa, the site of most of the world's current armed conflicts. In its pages some of the leading economists of the day analyze and reflect on the relationships among military spending, domestic and foreign policy, security, and human welfare. Features include country studies, sections on business and conflict, and Trends in World Military Expenditure. Written in clear English, with informative maps, tables, and graphs, the series is designed to inform the debate among policymakers, activists, journalists, academics, students, and citizens worldwide.
To order the Review, please email Thea Harvey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Review can be a valuable tool in teaching economics, political science, and international relations courses. If you are interested in teaching this book, please contact Thea Harvey (email@example.com) for a copy to review.
|The Full Cost of Ballistic Missile Defense. The study estimates that the total life cycle cost for a layered missile defense system could reach $1.2 trillion through 2035. You can download the PDF file from http://www.epsusa.org/publications/papers/bmd/bmd.pdf, or order a copy of the report from the cosponsor of the study at http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/nmd/fullcost.html.|
Data Resource webpage offers links to data sources for
Anyone who would be willing to put an EPS flyer up on a departmental bulletin board or similar venue, please contact Thea Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|January 18 - 19, 2006. International Conference on Conflict and Sustainable Peace in East and Southeast Asia, University of Western Sydney, Australia. For details, contact Professor Manas Chatterji by phone (607) 777-2475 or e-mail email@example.com.|
19, 2006. Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov will receive a special World Citizen
Award, for his role in averting nuclear war in 1983, at the UN Dag Hammarskjold
Auditorium , from 1:00pm - 4:00pm. For more on this story see
For a UN pass contact Douglas Mattern firstname.lastname@example.org
|January 20, 2006. The Study Group on the Economics of Terrorism event that had originally been scheduled for December 16. The speaker will be Steven Flynn, on the Funding of Homeland Security. Flynn is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. The event will take place at The New School, 66 West 12th Street, Room 510, New York, NY. We will meet at 1:30pm; coffee and light snacks will be available from then on. Discussion will begin promptly at 2:00 and will end no later than 4:00pm. Please RSVP to Sean Costigan at email@example.com|
7 - March 14, 2006. Introduction to Working in Conflict, a six session
evening class, will be presented by Peaceworkers UK, Tuesdays from 7:00pm
- 9:00pm at 18a Victoria Park Square, London E2, UK. (nearest tube: Bethnal
Green) This short introductory course provides a glimpse into the field
of civilian 'conflict work': What is it? Who does it? What do you need to
be able to do it? How do you get into it? As well as trying to answer these
questions, the course will give participants the opportunity to explore
more deeply whether this kind of work is something they may want to go into
at some point in their lives. The trainer will be Timmon Wallis, Director
of Peaceworkers UK, assisted by guest speakers.
Cost: £180 / £150 Early Bird Rate / £100 students, unemployed and Senior Citizens. Deadline for booking a place: January 25, 2006
|February 24 - 26, 2006. The Eastern Economic Association annual meetings in Philadelphia, PA. Conference information is at http://www.iona.edu/eea. EPS will have a booth in the exhibit hall, and is hosting a session on The Economics of Homeland Security (see above).|
|March 2006. World Congress on Communication for Development (WCCD) in Rome, Italy. http://www.devcomm-congress.org/|
|May 29 - 30,
2006. Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics in Tokyo, Japan.
Conference theme: Infrastructure for Development for the New Era.
The conference will consist of several major topics relating to infrastructure
and growth, climate change, energy efficiency, rural development, agriculture
and the implications for regional cooperation.
|June 18 - 24, 2006. 2006 Interdisciplinary Graduate Summer School in Post Keynesian, Institutionalist and Feminist Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. More information at http://www.cfeps.org/events.|
|June 19 - July 8, 2006. Summer 2006 Peacebuilding & Development Institute, Washington, DC. http://www.american.edu/sis/peace/summer/|
June 22 - 24, 2006. Tenth Annual Conference on Economics and Security. Thessaloniki, Greece. Conference sponsored by Economists for Peace and Security (EPS-UK), the Arms Production and Trade Group, the University of the West of England, CITY Liberal Studies - Affiliated Institution of the University of Sheffield, and SEERC (South East European Research Center), Thessaloniki, Greece. See above for call for papers. To keep up with developments see: http://www.city.academic.gr/special/events/economics_and_security/index.htm or http://carecon.org.uk/Conferences/conferences.php
|June 26 - 28, 2006. The annual Jan Tinbergen European Peace Science Conference will take place June 26 - 28, 2006 in Amsterdam at the Tinbergen Institute; the address is Roeterstraat 31, 1018 WB Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Registration fee will be 50 Euro. For more information contact Walter Isard (firstname.lastname@example.org), Johan Moyersoen (email@example.com) or Desirée Nilsson (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
26 - 28, 2006. GEVOREV International Symposium on Co-Management of Natural
Resources and the Environment - from the Local to the Global Sphere at
the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), France.
For additional information, please contact Christian Castellanet, Philippe
Méral, or Sophie Rousseau at:
UMR 063 C3ED
Université de Versailles St. Quentin en Yvelines (UVSQ)
47 Bd Vauban - 78047 Guyancourt Cedex, France
Telephone 00.33.1.39.25.56.04 - Fax 00.33.1.39.25.53.00
23-24, 2006. Second Bi-Annual Canada/US Eastern Border Post-Keynesian Workshop
with the theme: Post-Keynesian Economics, Income Distribution and
Distributive Justice to be held at: University of Vermont, Burlington,
Vermont, USA, September 23-24, 2006
Organizers: Stephanie Seguino (University of Vermont - Stephanie.Seguino@uvm.edu), Robert E. Prasch (Middlebury College - email@example.com), and Mark Setterfield (Trinity College - firstname.lastname@example.org)
|If you are considering buying a book online, please take a look at WhatWeGive.com (http://www.whatwegive.com/). They have tens of thousands of titles available at a discount to you, and EPS/ECAAR receives twenty percent of your purchase price. After you check out, a pop up window will ask for information about the organization to which you wish your donation to go. Enter Organizational Account # 32 and Economists Allied for Arms Reduction in the organization field, and your purchase will be credited to our account.|
|Please consider becoming a member of EPS. Your annual membership entitles you to discounts on publications, invitations to events, our informative newsletters, and more. Most importantly, by joining us you help to ensure that reasoned perspectives on essential economic issues will continue to be heard. Membership dues and other donations are fully tax-deductible. For more information, visit http://www.epsusa.org/membership/membership.htm.|
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