NewsNotes

July 2015

 

 

 

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Grave security concerns can arise as a result of demographic trends, chronic poverty, economic inequality, environmental degradation, pandemic diseases, organized crime, repressive governance and other developments no state can control alone. Arms can't address such concerns.


~Ban Ki-moon

 

 

 

Table of Contents

EPS News

In Other News

Links

Funding & Employment Opportunities

EPS Publications

Action Corner

Upcoming Events

How Can I Help?

 

 

 

EPS News 

 

EPS fellow Yanis Varoufakis opens up about his five month battle to save Greece.

By Harry Lambert for The New Statesman, July 13, 2015

 

In his first interview since resigning, Greece's former Finance Minister says the Eurogroup is “completely and utterly” controlled by Germany, Greece was “set up” and last week’s referendum was wasted.

 

Greece has finally reached an agreement with its creditors. The specifics have not yet been published, but it is clear that the deal signed is more punitive and demanding than the one that its government has spent the past five months desperately trying to resist.

 

The accord follows 48 hours in which Germany demanded control of Greece’s finances or its withdrawal from the euro. Many observers across Europe were stunned by the move. Yanis Varoufakis was not. When I spoke with Greece’s former finance minister last week, I asked him whether any deal struck in the days ahead would be good for his country.

 

“If anything it will be worse,” he said. “I trust and hope that our government will insist on debt restructuring, but I can’t see how the German finance minister [Wolfgang Schäuble] is ever going to sign up to this. If he does, it will be a miracle.”

 

Read the full article here:

http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2015/07/exclusive-yanis-varoufakis-opens-
about-his-five-month-battle-save-greece

 

 

 

Survey: Saudis Consider Iran Their Top Enemy, Not Israel

By The Associated Press in The New York Times, June 4, 2015

 

An Israeli college has quietly conducted an opinion poll in Saudi Arabia, concluding that the Saudi public is far more concerned about the threats of Iran and the Islamic State group than Israel, and that the vast majority of Saudis support a decade-old peace offer to the Jewish state.

The survey conducted by the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya provides Israelis with a rare glimpse inside Saudi Arabia and may change Israeli perceptions about the desert kingdom. The two countries are longtime foes with no diplomatic relations.

The poll found that 53 percent of Saudis named Iran as their main adversary, while 22 percent said it is the Islamic State group and only 18 percent said Israel. The poll, conducted in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, surveyed 506 Saudis over the phone and had a margin of error of 5 percentage points. It was carried out over the past two weeks, starting in late May.


Read more here:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/06/04/world/middleeast/ap-ml-israel-saudi-arabia-
poll.html?_r=0

 

For more information about the survey contact Alex Mintz, Chair of EPS Israel:

mintz.alex@idc.ac.il

 

 

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In Other News 


Key Driver Of International Austerity Push Now Says Europe Must Forgive Greek Debt

By Alan Pyke for Think Progress July 14, 2015

 

A day after agreeing to discuss a new Greek bailout, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  warned European Union leaders that their expectations for Greece’s financial future are unsupported by the facts. A realistic accounting of things requires Europe to agree to forgive Greece’s debts or else leave them uncollected for a generation, a leaked report from the group says.

The IMF is a key player in the international finance community that shapes the Greek negotiations. In a report obtained by Reuters, IMF officials underscore what a variety of observers have been writing about the situation for some time now: that Greece cannot be asked to undertake further austerity or repay its massive debts in full on a standard schedule.

Either Greece must be allowed to make no payments at all on its debts for three decades or the country’s creditor nations must accept that they’re never getting all their money back, the IMF document reportedly says. European leaders agreed Monday to re-open negotiations for a new bailout with Greece roughly a week after Greek voters soundly rejected a proposal to extend the existing austerity-for-loans deal.

The IMF was a key driver of the early austerity terms imposed in Greece’s first two bailout deals. To justify the pain those spending cuts and tax increases would cause, researchers predicted the Greek economy would experience only a couple years of steep contraction before rebounding dramatically.

 

Read the full article here:

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/07/14/3680417/imf-greece-grexit-reality/

 

 

 

Iran Nuclear Deal Moves to Battleground of US Congress

By Julian Borger for The Guardian, July 14, 2015

 

The battle over the Iran nuclear agreement is set to move to Washington as the Obama administration begins a three-month campaign to stop the hard-won deal being derailed by congressional Republicans.

The deal – reached in a Vienna hotel early on Tuesday morning after prolonged talks between foreign ministers – binds Iran, the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China to a series of undertakings stretching over many years. Iran will dismantle much of its nuclear infrastructure, while the UN, US and European Union will remove a wall of sanctions built around Iran over the last nine years.

 

Republicans and some Democratic hawks in Congress, who have long argued that there should be no nuclear programme on Iranian soil whatsoever, are determined to find ways to sabotage an agreement that they argue seeks to manage rather than prevent an Iranian nuclear programme and endangers Israel.

 

Read the full article here:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/14/iran-nuclear-deal-moves-to-battleground-
of-us-congress

 

 

 

Links

 

GAO Slams Air Force’s A-10 Divestment Plan

Preliminary Report by the GAO, June 26, 2015

 

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a preliminary report that challenges the Air Force’s efforts to mothball the venerable A-10. The Air Force had two primary arguments for retiring the A-10: retirement would save money, and it wouldn’t negatively impact our capability to protect ground troops. The GAO report calls both into question.


The report, written in response to a provision included in the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, says the Air Force’s estimates of savings which would result from the retirement of the A-10 are incomplete.

More importantly, the report states that by retiring the A-10, the United States would find itself with a potential gap in the critical mission of close air support (CAS). The GAO also refutes Air Force claims that such a gap would be made up by introducing F-35’s into the fleet. This report confirms the F-35 is several years away from being ready to provide the CAS vital for American troops on the ground to succeed in combat. All of this verifies what has been repeatedly said by pilots and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs), even in the face of Air Force attempts to intimidate those who speak to Congress.

The report goes on to point out that divesture of the A-10 could also degrade the military’s CAS capabilities by reducing training opportunities for all the troops involved. CAS is a highly specialized mission. It requires close coordination between pilots, JTACs, and the troops on the ground to ensure effective attacks on enemy targets without resulting in friendly fire. By reducing the number of available CAS platforms, the report confirms the Air Force could create a critical skills gap for pilots and JTACs.

  

To read more visit:

http://www.pogo.org/our-work/straus-military-reform-project/weapons/2015/gao-slams-
air-forces-a-10-divestment-plan.html

 

 

 

Impact of the US Housing Crisis on the Racial Wealth Gap Across Generations

By Sarah Burd-Sharps and Rebecca Rasch for The Social Science Research Council, June 2015

 

One of the most pressing economic problems in the United States since the Great Recession has been the widening racial wealth gap. In the lead-up to the financial crisis, economic opportunity remained unequal across racial lines, but economic trends suggested that America was on a path toward narrowing the yawning wealth disparities between white and black families. Deeply rooted economic inequality, however, fueled some of the most harmful lending practices in the housing market, allowing financial institutions to engage in discriminatory and predatory lending that accelerated the financial collapse. It is clear, when we look back, that racial discrimination played a pivotal role in the housing market crash.

This report looks forward. Commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union and drawing on a unique dataset, it examines the likely effect of the financial crisis on the racial wealth gap for the next generation. What it uncovers is a tale of two recoveries: among families that owned homes, white households have started to rebound from the worst effects of the Great Recession while black households are still struggling to make up lost ground. The racial wealth gap is now on track to compound over time, a trend with urgent implications for the future of racial justice in America, and one that should inform policymaking strategies aimed at guaranteeing fair economic opportunities in the coming years.

 

More information availabe here:

http://www.ssrc.org/publications/view/impact-of-the-us-housing-crisis-on-the-racial-wealth-
gap-across-generations/

 

 

 

Funding & Employment Opportunities 

 

Consultant, Project Coordinator: Ecosystem Mapping of Data for Sustainable Development

UNDP New York, NY

 

Under the supervision of the Policy Specialist for Data for Development, the consultant will assist in the coordination of the Data for Development Ecosystem Mapping initiative, including the arrangements for the initiative's activities at the global and national levels, organization of workshops and events, drafting of briefing notes, background documents and reports and participation in related meetings.

Specific Responsibilities:


The consultant will be responsible for producing the following key deliverables and tasks:

 

Methodology and workplan and guidelines for undertaking the Data Ecosystem Mapping project in 10 countries (August 15, 2015);

  • Organization of a global event on Data for Development Ecosystems (mid November 2015), including developing background documentation and agenda, coordinating invitations and logistics, drafting event's report;
  • Contribution to the drafting of an interim report synthesizing findings from the projects activities at the national and global levels, and consolidate/integrate comments from stakeholders (mid December 2015);
  • Coordination and liaison with country partners and stakeholders as relevant, to ensure proper and timely execution of the project as per agreed workplan;
  • Support to effective outreach and advocacy through liaising with the focal point for knowledge management and the technical team in charge of maintaining the World We Want 2015 platform;
  • Preparation of briefing notes, background papers, talking points and other documents as required;
  • Carry out other related tasks as required.

Full details available here:
http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=58083

 

 

 

EPS Publications 

 

EPS Quarterly, Volume 27, Issue 2 —June 2015

US-Russia Avoiding a New Cold War Issue

 

This issue is comprised of edited transcripts of a panel session held on January 4, 2015 as part of the Allied Social Sciences Association meetings in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

"Oil rents... enable system to survive... The Putin Government is integrally tied to the continuation of the petro economy... The Whole system depends on the price of energy and commodities continuing to go up.""

 

Panelists 

  • Chair: Richard Kaufman
  • Robert Skidelsky
  • Allen Sinai
  • Stephen Walt
  • Charles Knight
  • James Carroll

Read the full issue here:

http://www.epsusa.org/publications/newsletter/2015/june15/june15.pdf

 

 

 

EPS Quarterly, Volume 27, Issue 1 —March 2015

The Economic and Security Future Issue

 

This issue is comprised of edited transcripts from a conference held on November 17, 2014, in Washington, DC.

 

"A prosperous 21st century will not happen by itself. Formidable obstacles lie between us and the future we seek. These obstacles are not iron laws of economics, limits on natural resources, or demographics as destiny. These obstacles are fundamentally political."

 

Table of contents 

  • Welcoming Remarks, James K. Galbraith
  • World Security Situation: Russia, Iraq, and Syria, and Beyond
  • Keynote: Damon Silvers
  • Growth and Jobs
  • Keynote: Jim Webb 
  • Agenda Ahead: Climate, Infrastructure, Finance and Security

Read the full issue here:

http://www.epsusa.org/publications/newsletter/2015/march15/march15.pdf

 

 

 

The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Volume 10, Number 1 

(April 2015)

In addition to a four-article symposium on Nigeria, this issue contains three stand-alone articles. The first, by Jerry Hionis, is a theoretical piece considering the role of geographic distance in a contest between two warlords. The second, by Belah Fallal and Yousef Daoud, is on the effect of Israel's occupation on the Palestinian labor market. The third, by Matthew McCaffrey, studies aspects of war and peace economics in classic Chinese military writings. The symposium on conflict and peace in Nigeria starts with a political economy piece by Michael Nwankpa on Boko Haram. This is followed by Kostadis Papaioannou and Angus Dalrymple-Smith with a historical piece on the role of political order in affecting development outcomes today. Finally, a team of researchers around Topher McDougal, contributes two articles, one on the potential microeconomic benefits of peace in Nigeria's Middle Belt states; the other on the macroeconomic benefits for the country as a whole.

 

Table of Contents 

  • Nonparasitic warlords and geographic distance
    Jerry Hionis
  • Online supplement: Nonparasitic warlords and geographic distance
    Belal Fallah, Yousef Daoud
  • The economics of peace and war in the Chinese military classics
    Matthew McCaffrey
  • The political economy of securitization: The case of Boko Haram, Nigeria
    Michael Okwuchi Nwankpa
  • Political instability and discontinuity in Nigeria: The pre-colonial past and public goods provision under colonial and post-colonial political orders.
    Kostadis Jason Papaioannou, Angus Edwin Dalrymple-Smith
  • The Effect of Farmer-Pastoralist Violence on Income: New Survey Evidence from Nigeria’s Middle Belt States
    Topher L. McDougal, Talia Hagerty, Lisa Inks, Claire-Lorentz Ugo-Ike, Caitriona Dowd, Stone Conroy, Daniel Ogabiela
  • Macroeconomic benefits of farmer-pastoralist peace in Nigeria’s Middle Belt: An input-output analysis approach
    Topher McDougal, Talia Hagerty, Lisa Inks, Caitriona Dowd, Stone Conroy

The Journal is a peer-reviewed online publication hosted by EPS. Published twice yearly, it raises and debates issues related to the political economy of personal, communal, national, international, and global peace and security. Previous contributors include Joseph Stiglitz, James Galbraith, and Lawrence Klein. The Journal’s website also features book reviews submitted by members and subscribers.

EPS members receive a 50% discount on the annual subscription to the Economics of Peace and Security Journal. A regular one-year subscription is $50; for EPS members, it's only $25!

 

For more information about the Journal or to subscribe:
http://www.epsjournal.org.uk/.


To become a member of EPS (and qualify for the subscription discount):

http://epsusa.org/membership/membership.htm.

 

 

 

Action Corner

  

Support the Iran Peace Deal

 

The peace deal reached recently with Iran thwarting any nuclear weapon production is one of the most important diplomatic accomplishments of the century so far. It demonstrates that intelligence, patience, creativity and an openness to conflict resolution can prevent war.

Congress is likely to vote to approve or disapprove the deal in the next 60 days  

 

More Information available here:

http://org.salsalabs.com/o/161/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1326346

 

 

 

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