先週の金曜日、ピッツバーグで行われたG20。オバマはイランの秘密核開発施設を非難した。だが、非難だけなのか？オバマの決意とはその瞬間だけなのかと、WPのコラムニスト。オバマの言行一致が疑われている。後ろは、サルコジ（仏）とブラウン（英）。Time to Act Like a President
President Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown make a statement on Iran Friday at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh.
By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sooner or later it is going to occur to Barack Obama that he is the president of the United States. As of yet, though, he does not act that way, appearing promiscuously on television and granting interviews like the presidential candidate he no longer is. The election has been held, but the campaign goes on and on. The candidate has yet to become commander in chief.
A Big Card To Play in Iran
Time to Act Like a President
The View From Pakistan's Spies
Take last week's Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh. There, the candidate-in-full commandeered the television networks and the leaders of Britain and France to give the Iranians a dramatic warning. Yet another of their secret nuclear facilities had been revealed and Obama, as anyone could see, was determined to do something about it -- just don't ask what.
The entire episode had a faux Cuban missile crisis quality to it. Something menacing had been discovered -- not Soviet missiles a mere 100 miles or so off Florida but an Iranian nuclear installation about 100 miles from Tehran. As befitting the occasion, various publications supplied us with nearly minute-by-minute descriptions of the crisis atmosphere earlier in the week at the U.N. session -- the rushing from room to room, presidential aides conferring, undoubtedly aware that they were in the middle of a book they had yet to write. I scanned the accounts looking for familiar names. Where was McNamara? Where was Bundy? Where, in fact, was the crisis?
In fact, there was none. The supposedly secret installation had been known to Western intelligence agencies -- Britain, France, the United States and undoubtedly Israel -- for several years. Its existence had been deduced by intelligence analysts from Iranian purchases abroad, and it was pinpointed sometime afterward. What had changed was that news of it had gone public. This happened not because Obama announced it but because the Iranians beat him to it after discovering that their cover was blown. They then turned themselves in to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and, as usual, said the site was intended for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. These Persians lie like a rug.
No one should believe Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran seems intent on developing a nuclear weapons program and the missiles capable of delivering them. This -- not the public revelations of a known installation -- is the real crisis, possibly one that can only end in war. It is entirely possible that Israel, faced with that chilling cliche -- an existential threat -- will bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. What would happen next is anyone's guess -- retaliation by Hamas and Hezbollah, an unprecedented spike in oil prices and then, after a few years or less, a resumption of Iran's nuclear program. Only the United States has the capability to obliterate Tehran's underground facilities. Washington may have to act.
For a crisis such as this, the immense prestige of the American presidency ought to be held in reserve. Let the secretary of state issue grave warnings. When Obama said in Pittsburgh that Iran is "going to have to come clean and they are going to have to make a choice," it had the sound of an ultimatum. But what if the Iranians don't? What then? A president has to be careful with such language. He better mean what he says.
The trouble with Obama is that he gets into the moment and means what he says for that moment only. He meant what he said when he called Afghanistan a "war of necessity" -- and now is not necessarily so sure. He meant what he said about the public option in his health-care plan -- and then again maybe not. He would not prosecute CIA agents for getting rough with detainees -- and then again maybe he would.
Most tellingly, he gave Congress an August deadline for passage of health-care legislation -- "Now, if there are no deadlines, nothing gets done in this town . . . " -- and then let it pass. It seemed not to occur to Obama that a deadline comes with a consequence -- meet it or else.
Obama lost credibility with his deadline-that-never-was, and now he threatens to lose some more with his posturing toward Iran. He has gotten into a demeaning dialogue with Ahmadinejad, an accomplished liar. (The next day, the Iranian used a news conference to counter Obama and, days later, Iran tested some intermediate-range missiles.) Obama is our version of a Supreme Leader, not given to making idle threats, setting idle deadlines, reversing course on momentous issues, creating a TV crisis where none existed or, unbelievably, pitching Chicago for the 2016 Olympics. Obama's the president. Time he understood that.
９月２５日、アフガン移民・ナジブラー・ザジ（２４）はコロラドのオーロラで逮捕され、ニューヨークのブルックリン裁判所に連行された。化粧品を使った爆弾を製造しテロを実行する計画を持っていたとされる。ザジ容疑者は８月にパキスタンに飛び、そこで爆弾製造を習ったとされる。背後が、アルカイダだか、タリバンかはこれからの捜査にかかっている。これで判るが、パキスタンは、現時点で、最も危険な国なのである。写真は、NYPDのヘリとマーシャル。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナTerrorism Suspect Pleads Not Guilty, Held Without Bail
In this photo released by the New York City Police Department, Najibullah Zazi, center, is escorted off an NYPD helicopter by U.S Marshals after being extradited from Denver, Colo., Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. Zazi was sent to New York to face charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in a plot law enforcement has said was focused on blowing up commuter trains. (AP Photo/New York City Police Department) (AP)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 29, 2009; 1:21 PM
NEW YORK -- A 24-year-old Afghan immigrant was ordered held without bail Tuesday after pleading not guilty to planning a terrorist attack on New York City with bombs made from beauty supply chemicals.
A lawyer for Najibullah Zazi, a coffee cart vendor and airport shuttle driver, entered the plea in federal court in Brooklyn. Zazi, bearded and wearing an orange t-shirt under a dark prison shirt and pants, appeared alert and calm as he watched the judge, and gave a thumbs-up sign to his lawyer as he left the courtroom.
Prosecutors say Zazi bought beauty products in Colorado containing hydrogen peroxide and acetone, which can be used to make bombs, and kept directions for bombmaking on his laptop computer. They also say that he traveled to Pakistan last year for explosives training from Al Qaeda.
Zazi's lawyer, J. Michael Dowling, disputed the allegations. "I'd like to stop this rush to judgment because what I've seen so far does not amount to a conspiracy charge," he said.
Authorities say that over the summer Zazi used stolen credit cards in suburban Denver to stockpile chemicals that could be used for bombs. Dowling said he has not been given the names of any alleged co-conspirators.
"I don't know the names of anybody else that allegedly conspired with Mr. Zazi," Dowling said Tuesday. "Those names have not been produced."
Judge Raymond J. Dearie set Zazi's next court appearance for Dec. 3.
A Queens imam was also arrested in the case after investigators asked him to reach out to Zazi. Prosecutors say the imam, Ahmad Wais Afzali, told Zazi that police were looking for him, and law enforcement officials have said this forced a premature arrest.
Court documents say that Zazi lived until last year with his family in the Flushing section of Queens, but moved to Aurora, Colorado, immediately after returning from Pakistan. He bought bottles of beauty products in Colorado over the course of several weeks.
On Sept. 6, prosecutors say Zazi rented a Colorado hotel suite with a stove and left acetone residue behind, which the authorities suggest could be evidence of bomb-making. Zazi contacted another person for help making the bomb, "each communication more urgent in tone than the last," according to court documents.
On Sept. 9 when Zazi rented a car and drove to New York, the FBI was tracking him. On Sept. 10, Zazi stayed at his family home in Queens and told Afzali that he feared he was being watched. On Sept. 12, Zazi cut his five-day trip short and flew back to Denver.
トラックに搭載されたシャハブ。この週末、イランは、「シャハブ３・中距離ミサイル」と、「セジル」短距離ミサイルの洗練された改良型を数発テストした。９月２３日、アフマデイネジャッド大統領が国連総会で演説し～オバマ、サルコジ（仏）～ブラウン(英）が非難声明を出した直後である。イランは国際圧力に一歩も退かない姿勢である。日本も見習え！ 伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 28, 2009; 2:14 PM
Iran reported Monday that it successfully test-fired its most advanced and powerful medium-range missiles as part of war games it said were intended to deter the country's enemies.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps tested the Shahab-3 and Sejil missiles in the third phase of a two-day exercise called The Great Prophet IV, state-run news media reported. The missiles are believed to be capable of striking Israel, U.S. military targets in the Middle East and parts of southeastern Europe.
But Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, commander of the Revolutionary Guard Air Force, said the test-firings were part of exercises to practice "preventive and defensive operations." They are "in no way a threat to neighboring countries," Iranian news media quoted him as saying. Rather, the tests send "a message for certain greedy nations that seek to create fear, to show that we are able to give a swift and suitable answer to our enemies."
"The armed forces of the Islamic Republic are now more powerful than ever and fully prepared to foil foreign threats," said Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, military adviser to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Specifically, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi warned Israel against carrying out threats to attack Iran's nuclear sites.
"If this happens, which of course we do not foresee, its ultimate result would be that it expedites the Zionist regime's last breath," Vahidi said on state television. He added that Israel was on a "slope of destruction."
Iran's Foreign Ministry denied that there was any connection between the missile tests and a dispute with the United States and other nations over a newly disclosed underground uranium enrichment plant that U.S. officials suspect is intended to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. A Foreign Ministry spokesman described the exercises as routine and said they were planned long before the latest nuclear controversy, which is scheduled to be discussed Thursday at a meeting in Geneva between representatives of Iran and six major powers, including the United States. Iran has repeatedly denied that it has any intention of producing nuclear weapons.
At a conference Monday of European Union defense ministers in Sweden, E.U. foreign policy chief Javier Solana called on Iran to immediately resolve issues surrounding the new enrichment facility near Qom and said the missile tests also have raised concerns.
According to Iran's Press TV, the "optimized Shahab-3" missile that was tested early Monday has a range of 1,300 to 2,000 kilometers (807 to 1,242 miles). It did not give a range or precise designation for the Sejil missile that also was reportedly test-fired but said it was a "two-stage missile powered by solid fuel which was tested by the [Revolutionary Guard Corps] for the first time in the maneuver." Press TV said both missiles "accurately hit their designated targets."
In May, however, Press TV reported a successful firing of the Sejil-2 surface-to-surface missile, which it said was first tested eight months earlier. It said that unlike the Shahab-3, which has liquid fuel, the Sejil-2 uses solid fuel, making it faster to prepare for launch. It also said the Sejil-2 is more accurate than the Shahab-3, an older missile based on the Soviet-designed Scud.
Iran also reported Monday that it has equipped its Shahab missiles with new warheads capable of destroying multiple targets simultaneously and that it is now capable of firing missiles from mobile launchers.
The medium-range missiles were fired from the central province of Semnan where Iran's rocket and space programs are located.
In the initial phase of the war games, the Revolutionary Guard Corps announced Sunday that it had test-fired a number of short-range missiles.
Iran Test-Fires Its Most Advanced Missiles
Iran Tests Missiles On Eve Of Talks
Special Report: Radiating Danger
"Iranian missiles are able to target any place that threatens Iran," top Revolutionary Guard commander Abdollah Araqi told the semiofficial Fars news agency.
Salami, the Revolutionary Guard Air Force chief, said Iranian experts had increased the range of the tested missiles, updated their technical and navigation systems and reduced their launch times. It was not immediately possible to verify the claims. During a similar exercise last year, the Revolutionary Guards doctored pictures of a failed missile launch.
Amid growing international pressure in advance of Thursday's highly anticipated talks on Iran's nuclear program, meanwhile, senior Obama administration officials said they had the international support necessary to impose crippling sanctions if Tehran does not stop construction on its new uranium-enrichment plant and allow immediate inspections.
"There is obviously the opportunity for severe additional sanctions" after disclosures two days ago by the United States, Britain and France of the secret Iranian facility beneath the mountains near the city of Qom, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said as reports emerged of the Iranian test launches.
In Tehran, however, opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi spoke out Monday against any sanctions, saying they would force ordinary people to pay the price of the "wrong and adventurist foreign policies of the government." In a statement posted on a Web site affiliated with him, Mousavi said: "Sanctions will cause great pain to many people for whom the plight of being ruled by paranoid statesmen is enough." A former prime minister, Mousavi has emerged as the leading political foe of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following a disputed presidential election in June.
The missile firings are not directly related to Iran's nuclear weapons program, and the tests apparently were planned before Friday's disclosures by President Obama and the European leaders. But Tehran used what it said was a military drill in the central Iranian desert to underscore its rejection of international efforts to halt its nuclear program, which it contends is intended for the peaceful production of electricity.
Gates said all options remained on the table for dealing with Iran. But, he said, "the reality is, there is no military option that does nothing more than buy time" in preventing what the United States has said is Iran's determination to acquire nuclear weapons capability. "The only way you end up not having a nuclear-capable Iran is for the Iranian government to decide that their security is diminished by having those weapons, as opposed to strengthened."
Revelations about the new facility, which officials have said could be ready in 2010 to produce enough weapons-grade material for one nuclear bomb a year, did not change the overall U.S. assessment that Iran could produce a warhead within one to three years, he said.
"I think there is still room left for diplomacy," Gates said Sunday in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," referring to a meeting scheduled for Thursday between Iran and members of the negotiating group, comprising the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany. "The Iranians are in a very bad spot now because of this deception, in terms of all the great powers."
In a separate interview broadcast on CBS's "Face the Nation," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the administration believed that Russia, which previously objected to harsher sanctions against Iran, was now moving in Washington's direction. "I think Russia has begun to see many more indications that Iran is engaging in threatening behavior," Clinton said in the interview, which was taped Friday.
"The Iranians keep insisting, 'No, no, this is just for peaceful purposes,' " she said. "Well, I think, as the Russians said in their statement, and as we believe, and what this meeting on October 1st is to test, is, fine, prove it, don't assert it, prove it."
Russia also has expressed satisfaction with the Obama administration's decision, announced early this month, to revise its missile defense program and cancel plans to install interceptors and radars in Poland and the Czech Republic. The administration said new intelligence indicated that Iran's program to produce the long-range missiles the system was designed to combat was less advanced than believed. A new system outlined by the administration would protect against medium- and short-range missiles.
Iran's strategy for almost a decade has been to publicize its short- and medium-range missile development programs while covertly pursuing a capability to produce a nuclear weapon, according intelligence analysts. Sunday's test announcement fit into that pattern.
"Missiles are for [Iranians] what both tactical and strategic air power are for the West," said Uzi Rubin, an Israeli engineer considered by U.S. intelligence analysts to be an expert on Middle East missile programs. The Iranians "are transparent. They want to deter any U.S. or Israeli attack [and] Iranian leaders openly wish for U.S. satellites to take pictures of their weapons sites and to see their capability," Rubin said in an interview Sept. 17 with Iran Watch, a Web site maintained by the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control.
For years, U.S. intelligence has viewed Iran's military programs as directed primarily to meet what Tehran considered regional threats from neighbors such as Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Israel, aided by the United States. Nine years ago, the CIA's Robert Walpole, an expert on missiles, said what has remained the primary intelligence community view: "Tehran sees its short- and medium-range missiles not only as deterrents but also as force-multiplying weapons of war."
"Militarily, Iran continues to strengthen the three pillars of its strategic deterrence: surface-to-surface missiles, long-range rockets and aircraft for retaliation," Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March. But Blair went on to describe as "exaggerations" Iran's public statements about its ballistic missile capabilities.
A new U.S. intelligence community assessment completed in May and disclosed Sept. 17 said that Iran's development of an intercontinental ballistic missile has slowed but that its short-range, medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missile programs have grown more rapidly than previously projected.
"What we have seen with the Iranians is that they're producing and deploying significant numbers of short and intermediate missiles," Gates said at the time of the new assessment.
Rubin, who was in charge of Israel's successful Arrow missile defense system, said that "the Iranians believe in conventional missiles" and that the country "will use its missiles if it is attacked." He noted Iran has developed "bomblet warheads," ones that carry smaller explosives that are spread over an area. The United States has a variety of such weapons.
Although Iran has slowed down its ICBM program, the large, liquid-fueled rocket that launched Iran's first satellite in space in February was what Rubin called a "souped-up" version of its medium-range Shahab-3 missile. He said that two-stage missile could carry the weight of a nuclear device but that Iran's newest warhead, because of its shape and the volume it can carry, "is not a move toward accommodating a nuclear warhead."
Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s exporters are in danger of being left behind by a global trade recovery as the nation’s change in government ushers in a tolerance for exchange-rate gains that threaten to erode their profits.
Japanese exports fell 36 percent in August from a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said yesterday, an 11th straight decline. The drop was exacerbated by the yen’s 17 percent surge against the dollar in the past year, making Japanese goods more expensive abroad and hurting the value of repatriated earnings.
Japan’s currency jumped to a seven-month high last week after Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii, whose Democratic Party of Japan won elections promising to boost consumers’ purchasing power, said he didn’t support a “weak yen.” The comments suggested a change from the Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled for most of the past 55 years supporting the exporters that led growth.
“You’ve got some romantic longing that maybe a strong yen isn’t such a bad thing,” said Jesper Koll, chief executive officer of hedge fund TRJ Tantallon Research Japan. “It’s a nice little policy that at the margins increases the purchasing power of Mr. and Mrs. Watanabe. The problem is that whether you like it or not, you are a net exporter. A stronger yen will eat further into the profitability of corporate Japan.”
The currency’s gains have made it harder for Japanese exporters such as Panasonic Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. to compete with rivals in South Korea. The Korean won has depreciated 23 percent versus the dollar in the past two years just as the yen surged 26 percent.
‘See the Damage’
“You can see the damage from the yen if you look at Japanese exports compared to Korean exports,” said Richard Jerram, chief economist at Macquarie Securities Ltd. in Tokyo. “Korea’s done much better over the last year and if you look at the won-yen exchange rate that tells you a lot of the reason.”
Record sales helped Samsung Electronics Co.’s profit climb 5.2 percent last quarter, while Panasonic suffered a net loss as revenue dropped 26 percent. Hyundai Motor Co. has taken market share away from Toyota: The South Korean carmaker’s U.S. sales dropped less than 1 percent in the first eight months of the year, while Toyota’s plunged 29 percent.
“We’re affected by exchange rates, there’s no doubt about it,” said Paul Nolasco, a Tokyo-based spokesman at Toyota, which based its earnings estimates on the assumption that the yen will trade at an average of 92 to the dollar in the next six months. The automaker forecasts a 450 billion yen ($5 billion) net loss for the year ending March 2010.
Competition From China
Japanese companies also face competition from China, where authorities have stalled currency appreciation against the dollar since July last year to protect exporters. Chinese companies at a trade show in Shanghai this week urged the government to delay gains in the yuan.
The yen rose to 90.74 per dollar at 1:44 p.m. in Tokyo, 0.6 percent higher than late yesterday. That’s stronger than the 97.33 level Japan’s exporters say they need to ensure a profit, according to a Cabinet Office survey released April 22.
Exports helped lead Japan’s economy to grow for the first time in more than a year in the second quarter, ending the country’s worst postwar recession.
During the election campaign, the DPJ, led by Yukio Hatoyama, said a stronger currency would benefit households by making imported goods less expensive. The emphasis on consumers contrasted with the LDP’s focus on corporate interests, analysts said.
History of Intervention
While LDP-led governments didn’t sell the yen in the past five years, they had a history of foreign-exchange intervention combined with support for the U.S.’s “strong-dollar” policy. The Bank of Japan, at the behest of the Ministry of Finance, sold yen and bought dollars on more than 40 days during the first quarter of 2004.
“For the previous guys, there was an underlying doubt in the minds of the market that at some point they would intervene,” said Macquarie’s Jerram. “Fujii’s comments suggest the possibility is less under the DPJ.”
Fujii said yesterday that “in principle, markets -- the currency market, the stock market -- are the stronghold of a free economy. I have been questioning the idea of easy intervention.”
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts are among those predicting the yen will decline because the Bank of Japan will refrain from raising interest rates longer than its counterparts, seeking to strengthen the recovery. Goldman Sachs forecasts it will weaken to 98 per dollar by the year-end.
The yen rose to a seven-month high of 90.13 on Sept. 16 after Fujii said he doesn’t support a weak-yen policy. The 77- year-old lawmaker moderated his tone two days later, when he said foreign-exchange rates should reflect economic fundamentals.
The yen’s strength is already taking a toll on some Japanese companies. Canon Inc., the country’s biggest maker of office equipment, says every 1 yen increase against the dollar will lower its second-half operating profit by 4.2 billion yen. The company based its profit forecast of 110 billion yen on the assumption the yen would average 95 to the dollar in the last six months of the business year.
“There are some factors that are not in our control,” said Richard Berger, a Tokyo-based spokesman at the company. “Changes in the exchange rate can have a serious impact on results.”
Mr. Policy Hits a Wall
By David S. Broder
Thursday, September 24, 2009
A new publication came across my desk this week containing an essay that offers as good an insight into President Obama's approach to government as anything I have read -- and is particularly useful in understanding the struggle over health-care reform.
The publication is called National Affairs, and its advisory board is made up of noted conservative academics from James W. Ceaser to James Q. Wilson. The article that caught my eye, "Obama and the Policy Approach," was written by William Schambra, director of the Hudson Institute's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal.
Schambra, like many others, was struck by the "sheer ambition" of Obama's legislative agenda and by his penchant for centralizing authority under a strong White House staff replete with many issue "czars."
Schambra sees this as evidence that "Obama is emphatically a 'policy approach' president. For him, governing means not just addressing discrete challenges as they arise, but formulating comprehensive policies aimed at giving large social systems -- and indeed society itself -- more rational and coherent forms and functions. In this view, the long-term, systemic problems of health care, education, and the environment cannot be solved in small pieces. They must be taken on in whole."
He traces the roots of this approach to the progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when rapid social and economic change created a politics dominated by interest-group struggles. The progressives believed that the cure lay in applying the new wisdom of the social sciences to the art of government, an approach in which facts would heal the clash of ideologies and narrow constituencies.
Obama -- a highly intelligent product of elite universities -- is far from the first Democratic president to subscribe to this approach. Jimmy Carter, and especially Bill Clinton, attempted to govern this way. But Obama has made it even more explicit, regularly proclaiming his determination to rely on rational analysis, rather than narrow decisions, on everything from missile defense to Afghanistan -- and all the big issues at home.
"In one policy area after another," Schambra writes, "from transportation to science, urban policy to auto policy, Obama's formulation is virtually identical: Selfishness or ideological rigidity has led us to look at the problem in isolated pieces . . . we must put aside parochialism to take the long systemic view; and when we finally formulate a uniform national policy supported by empirical and objective data rather than shallow, insular opinion, we will arrive at solutions that are not only more effective but less costly as well. This is the mantra of the policy presidency."
Historically, that approach has not worked. The progressives failed to gain more than brief ascendancy, and the Carter and Clinton presidencies were marked by striking policy failures. The reason, Schambra says, is that this highly rational, comprehensive approach fits uncomfortably with the Constitution, which apportions power among so many different players, most of whom are far more concerned with the particulars of policy than its overall coherence.
The energy bill that went into the House was a reasonably coherent set of trade-offs that would reduce carbon emissions and help the atmosphere. When it came out, it was a grab bag of subsidies and payoffs to various industries and groups. Now it is stymied by similar forces in the Senate.
Schambra's essay anticipated exactly what is happening on health care. Obama, budget director Peter Orszag and health czar Nancy-Ann DeParle grasp the intricacies of the health-care system as well as any three humans, and they could write a law to make it far more efficient.
But now it is in the hands of legislators and lobbyists who care much less about the rationality of the system than they do about the way the bill will affect their particular part of it. Everyone has a parochial agenda. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, for example, wants to be sure a new cancer treatment center in Nevada has favored status.
Democracy and representative government are a lot messier than the progressives and their heirs, including Obama, want to admit. No wonder they are so often frustrated.
（３） 中華人民共和国（1971年までは 中華民国）
（５）ロシア （1991年までは ソビエト連邦）
＊この５ヶ国を、「５大国」または、英語の Permanent ５から「P5」とも呼ぶ。Libya’s Qaddafi Tells UN to Abolish Security Council
Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi told the United Nations today to abolish the Security Council, its most powerful body, saying the five permanent members had created a “terror council” to punish small nations.
In a speech that lasted more than 90 minutes and touched on dozens of topics, Qaddafi tried to rip in two a pocket-sized copy of the UN Charter, charging that the council’s existence violated the provision that all UN members be treated equally. He called for power to go to the General Assembly, whose rotating presidency this year is held by Libyan diplomat Ali Treki.
“The Security Council since its establishment did not provide us with security but on the contrary provides us with terror and sanctions,” he said. “It was used against us. It should not be called a security council, it should be called a terror council.”
Qaddafi’s appearance was his first before the General Assembly and his first in the U.S. since the country was removed from the U.S. government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2006. Libya was under sanctions imposed by the Security Council until 2003 after a Libyan security agent was convicted of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. The agent was returned to Libya last month.
The U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia are the permanent members of the 15-nation council. Libya is among the current temporary members of the panel. At one point, Qadaffi said Security Council seats should go to multinational organizations, including the Organization of African Unity, the non-aligned nations and the 50 U.S. states.
Qaddafi blamed the council for the global conflict that has occurred since the end of World War II. The Security Council, sometimes referred to as the UN’s principal policy-making panel, is the only body in the organization whose resolutions are legally binding on all members.
“Sixty-five wars broke out after the establishment of the UN and the Security Council, and the victims are millions more than the victims of World War II,” he said. “Were these wars in the interest of all of us? No, they were in the interest of one country or three countries or four countries.”
Turning to the heads of state gathered in the assembly chamber, Qaddafi said, “You are just like speakers on Hyde Park Corner” in London. “You make a speech and then disappear.”
More Voices Urged
He said the Security Council should be replaced by a new mechanism he didn’t clearly identify. He said greater voice should be given to the Assembly, where each of the 192 UN members has a vote.
“The General Assembly is the parliament of the world, the master of the world, and no one should object,” he said.
Qaddafi asked for $7.77 trillion in restitution for the wealth he said Europe’s former colonial powers stripped from the continent of Africa. He wore a silhouette of Africa on a brown shirt under a matching tunic.
The Libyan leader said he is proud of Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. presidency as a “son of Africa” and called him “a glimmer in the dark.” He praised Obama’s call for a reduction in nuclear weapons. Obama spoke just before Qaddafi.
Qaddafi used his platform to address a range of global issues, from nuclear disarmament to piracy in Somalia. He said the UN only objects to the nuclear ambitions of small states, and offered to broker a treaty between Somali sea bandits and the nations that fish and dump toxic waste along the country’s coast.
On Mideast Peace
Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, just days after Obama urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to build two states living side-by-side in peace, Qaddafi said a two-state solution was “not practicable.”
“The solution is an Arab state without religious fanaticism,” he said. “Look at Palestinian youth, look at Israeli youth -- they want peace and want to live in one state.”
Qaddafi’s speech was delayed by at least 10 minutes, as the Libyan leader stayed in his seat in the Assembly hall greeting well-wishers as Treki banged his gavel and called in vain in English and French for the delegates and heads of state to take their seats.
As diplomats returned to their seats, Treki called on security to escort the Libyan leader, whom he called “the King of Kings of Africa” and “Leader of the Revolution,” to the podium.
Move UN Sessions
At one point, Qaddafi noted that many world leaders appeared to have dozed off during his speech, and complained that holding UN sessions in New York caused jet lag. He said he had woken up at 4 a.m. because of the change in time zones.
Qaddafi arrived in New York yesterday, and it wasn’t clear if he had spent the night at the Libyan Mission to the UN or at an estate owned by developer Donald Trump in Bedford, New York, about 40 miles northeast of Manhattan.
Bedford town officials yesterday told the estate’s manager to stop the construction of a tent on the property where Qaddafi might have spent the night, according to the Web site of the Journal News, a local newspaper.
こんな時期に、鳩山の国連演説どころではないのだ。鳩山が中国に接近することも好ましく思っていない。オバマの最高司令官としての統治力には疑問の声があった。中東も、欧州も、日本までもが、漂い始めたからである。“OBAMA IS LETTING ALLIES TO DRIFT AWAY"と書かれたのだ。弱い指導者を持った日本が、トバッチリを受けるであろう。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナWavering on Afghanistan?オバマは、アフガニスタンに動揺している？President Obama seems to have forgotten his own arguments for a counterinsurgency campaign.大統領は、大統領選の真っ最中、アフガニスタンの武装蜂起に対処する作戦について、自分自身が挑んだ論争を忘れてしまったように見える、、
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
IT WAS ONLY last March 27 that President Obama outlined in a major speech what he called "a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan" that, he added, "marks the conclusion of a careful policy review." That strategy unambiguously stated that the United States would prevent the return of a Taliban government and "enhance the military, governance and economic capacity" of the country. We strongly supported the president's conclusion that those goals were essential to preventing another attack on the United States by al-Qaeda and its extremist allies.
So it was a little startling to hear Mr. Obama suggest in several televised interviews on Sunday that he had second thoughts. "We are in the process of working through that strategy," said on CNN." The first question is . . . are we pursuing the right strategy?" On NBC he said, "if supporting the Afghan national government and building capacity for their army and securing certain provinces advances that strategy" of defeating al-Qaeda, "then we'll move forward. But if it doesn't, then I'm not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan."
The president's doubts come at a crucial moment. He has just received a report from the commander he appointed, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, saying the United States and its allies are in danger of losing the war if they do not work more effectively to shore up the Afghan government and army and protect the population from insurgents. Gen. McChrystal, along with his seniors in Washington, believe that this counterinsurgency strategy is the only route to success, and that it will require a commitment of substantial additional resources, including thousands more U.S. troops next year.
The generals believed they had Mr. Obama's commitment to their approach after the policy review last spring. Now the president appears to be distancing himself from his commanders -- including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, who testified before Congress last week that more forces would be needed.
What has changed since March? As Mr. Obama noted, Afghanistan's presidential election has been plagued by allegations of fraud, sharpening questions about whether the government can be a reliable partner. Taliban attacks are spreading despite the deployment of 21,000 additional troops approved by the president earlier this year. Some in and outside the administration have argued for a more limited strategy centered on striking al-Qaeda's leaders, giving up the more ambitious political and economic tasks built into the counterinsurgency doctrine.
It's hard to see, however, how Mr. Obama can refute the analysis he offered last March. "If the Afghan government falls to the Taliban or allows al-Qaeda to go unchallenged," he said then, "that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can." Afghanistan, he continued, "is inextricably linked to the future of its neighbor, Pakistan," where al-Qaeda and the Taliban now aim at seizing control of a state that possesses nuclear weapons. Moreover, Mr. Obama said, "a return to Taliban rule would condemn their country to brutal governance . . . and the denial of basic human rights to the Afghan people -- especially women and girls."
"To succeed, we and our friends and allies must reverse the Taliban's gains, and promote a more capable and accountable Afghan government," Mr. Obama concluded. As Gen. McChrystal's report makes very clear, keeping faith with that goal will require more troops, more resources and years of patience. Yet to break with it would both dishonor and endanger this country. As the president put it, "the world cannot afford the price that will come due if Afghanistan slides back into chaos."
カザフスタンのウラニウム貯蔵倉庫とカにスターの中から、ウラニウム棒を取り出す。この話しは、ベストセラーになりつつある、DAVID・HOFFMANの新著、THE DEAD HANDから抜粋した。主人公(実在）は、ANDY WEBBER、カザフスタンに新設された米国大使館員である。明らかに、核物質に明るいから、科学者だと思われる。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナHalf a Ton of Uranium -- and a Long Flight
By David E. Hoffman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 21, 2009
On a snowy day in December 1993, just months after Andy Weber began his diplomatic job at the U.S. Embassy in Almaty, Kazakhstan, he met with a tall, bullet-headed man he knew only as Col. Korbator.
"Andy, let's take a walk," the colonel said. As they strolled through a dim apartment courtyard, Korbator handed Weber a piece of paper. Weber unfolded it. On the paper was written:
Weber did the calculation: 1,322 pounds of highly enriched uranium, enough to make about 24 nuclear bombs. He closed the note, put it in his pocket and thanked the colonel. After several months of patient cultivation of his contacts, Weber finally had the answer he had been seeking.
The piece of paper was a glimpse into what had become the most urgent proliferation crisis to follow the collapse of the Soviet Union: the discovery of tons of nuclear materials left behind by the Cold War arms race, much of it unguarded and unaccounted for.
This is the story of Project Sapphire, the code name for an early pioneering mission to secure a portion of those nuclear materials before they could fall into the wrong hands. New documents and interviews provide the fullest account yet of this covert operation to remove the dangerous uranium from Kazakhstan and fly it to the United States. When it was over, the U.S. government paid Kazakhstan about $27 million for the cache.
Efforts to lock up nuclear materials scattered around the globe are still underway. This week, at the U.N. Security Council, President Obama will chair a high-level meeting on the continuing dangers of proliferation.
Weber first learned of the uranium in Kazakhstan during the summer of 1993, when Vitaly Mette, a former Soviet navy submarine commander, discreetly set up a meeting by leaving a message for Weber with his handyman and car mechanic. Mette, who wore a leather jacket and kept his thick hair combed back from his angular face, told Weber that he wanted to sell uranium to the United States. But he was vague about the uranium's enrichment level. The uranium was stored at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant, an enormous industrial complex that fabricated reactor fuel in the grimy city of Ust-Kamenogorsk, in Kazakhstan's northeast. Mette was the director.
To build trust with Mette, Weber went hunting with him in the Altai Mountains of eastern Kazakhstan, near the borders of Russia and China. Weber enjoyed the banya steam baths, chewed on smoked pork fat and shivered in the early-morning cold with Mette and other Russians.
At the end of the trip, Mette volunteered to show Weber the plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk. "If it is not a secret," Weber asked Mette gently as they drove around the gargantuan fenced-off factory, "do you have any highly enriched uranium?"
Mette remained evasive. Weber needed proof to satisfy skeptics in Washington.
In 1993, two years after the Soviet Union's collapse, its former republics were brimming with highly enriched uranium and plutonium. That summer, Viktor Mikhailov, the Russian atomic energy minister, revealed that Russia had accumulated up to 1,200 metric tons of highly enriched uranium, more than was previously thought. The Iranians and the Iraqis were casting about for material to build nuclear bombs. "We knew that Iran was all over Central Asia and the Caucasus with their purchasing agents," recalled Jeff Starr, who was then director for threat reduction policy at the Pentagon.
But the former Soviet lands were also awash in scams and deception -- people offering to sell MiGs, missile guidance systems or fissile material, real and imagined. When Weber filed his initial reports on his meetings with Mette, he recalled, "A lot of people thought it was a scam."
Weber went back to Mette. "Look," he remembered saying, "for us to take this seriously, you have to tell me what the enrichment level is, and how much of it there is."
Not long after that conversation came the note delivered by Col. Korbator.
* * *
Weber sent a cable to Washington, with limited distribution. Nothing happened for about a month. Then in January 1994, his cable came up as an afterthought at a White House meeting. Ashton B. Carter, an assistant secretary of defense, volunteered to take over the issue. Carter called Starr into his office. "Your job is to put together a team and go get this stuff out of Kazakhstan," Carter said. "Whatever you need -- do it." Carter wanted the uranium out within a month.
Starr put together a top-secret "tiger team," an ad hoc group of officials from different agencies. On Feb. 14, 1994, the Kazakh president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, made his first trip to Washington, where he met with President Bill Clinton. Weber and William Courtney, the U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan, were in Washington at the time of the visit.
In a White House ceremony, Clinton praised Nazarbayev's "great courage, vision and leadership" and announced that U.S. aid to Kazakhstan would triple, to $311 million. No mention was made of uranium.
Meanwhile, Weber and Courtney quietly went to see Nazarbayev at Blair House, where he was staying. They asked him if the United States could send an expert to verify the composition of the uranium at Ust-Kamenogorsk. Nazarbayev agreed, but he insisted it be done with the utmost secrecy.
The job went to Elwood Gift, a chemical-nuclear engineer with the National Security Programs Office at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Gift had experience in most of the nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment. He arrived in Kazakhstan on March 1 amid swirling snowstorms and holed up at Weber's house until the weather cleared. Several days later, using tickets in false names given to them by the Kazakh government, Gift and Weber boarded a plane for the 535-mile flight.
By this time, Weber had come to know Mette better. Weber found him charismatic, gutsy and intelligent, the opposite of an old Soviet bureaucrat. When Weber and Gift showed up the first morning to take samples of the uranium, Mette told them the story of how it ended up there. The uranium had been prepared for a secret submarine fuel project, but the project had been canceled in the 1980s. The highly enriched uranium was left behind.
As they approached the building, Weber saw that the security system consisted of what he later described as a "Civil War padlock." The doors swung open into a large room with concrete walls and a dirt floor. Knee-high brick platforms stretched from one end to the other, covered by sheets of plywood with steel buckets and canisters holding the uranium, spaced about 10 feet apart to avoid a chain reaction.
Working with plant technicians, Weber and Gift randomly selected a few containers and took them to a small laboratory area. In one canister, they found uranium rods wrapped in foil, as if they were items in a picnic cooler. Weber hefted one of the rods, and was surprised by how heavy it was.
Gift wanted to break off a piece and bring it back to verify the enrichment level. He asked a technician to take a hammer and a chisel to it, but the ingot would not break.
Weber went off with another worker to watch him file off some shavings for samples. At first, the technicians handled the uranium in a glove box, but one of them took it out and placed it on a table. The technician slid a piece of paper under it and began to file the ingot. Sparks flew, as if it were a child's holiday sparkler.
"My eyes are lighting up, because I've had this chunk of metal in my hand," Weber recalled. "I know it is bomb material. . . . This uranium metal would require nothing -- just being banged into the right shape and more of it to make a bomb. It didn't need any processing. This is 90 or 91 percent enriched uranium 235, in pure metal form. And I remember thinking that dozens of nuclear weapons could be fabricated from this, easily fabricated from this material, and how mundane it is. It was just a piece of metal. And just looking at these buckets, how could something this mundane have such awesome power and potential for destruction? So, as he started filing, and sparks are coming off, you can imagine what's going through my head."
Seeing the sparks, he called out, "Elwood! It's sparking!" Gift was on the other side of the room, dealing with another sample. He didn't realize they had taken the uranium out of the glove box, but he didn't look up. "Don't worry," Gift said, "that's just normal oxidation."
Gift collected eight samples of highly enriched uranium. Portions of four samples were dissolved in acid and analyzed by mass spectrograph while Gift and Weber were still there, and they confirmed it was 90 percent enriched uranium. They left with three of the dissolved samples and the eight original samples to do further analysis.
* * *
Back in Almaty, Weber and Gift told Courtney, the ambassador, they had verified that the uranium was highly enriched. Courtney immediately cabled Washington, noting the ancient padlock on the door. The cable, Weber said, "hit Washington like a ton of bricks."
Weber thought there was only one thing to do. "In my mind, it was a no-brainer," he said. "Let's buy this stuff as quickly as we can and move it to the United States."
In October 1994, after months of preparation, a covert mission to remove the uranium was almost ready to begin. "I kept pressing and pressing to get this thing going, knowing full well that winter comes early in this part of the world," Weber said. "It would get messy if we didn't get it finished before the first snowfall."
In Tennessee, the Oak Ridge Y-12 laboratory had built a mobile processing facility. A team of 29 men and two women had been recruited for the mission. On Oct. 7, Clinton signed a classified presidential directive approving the airlift, and a final briefing was held at Oak Ridge. The next day, three C-5 aircraft, among the largest planes in the world, lifted off from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, carrying the team and the mobile processing facility. They flew to Turkey, and then, after some delays, to Ust-Kamenogorsk.
Weber was waiting for them in the control tower of the small airport. "This was one of those bizarre post-Cold War experiences you have to live through to believe, but I'm in the control tower, nobody in the control tower speaks English," Weber recalled. "So they said, 'Andy, can you talk to the planes and guide them in?' "
The planes left, planning to return only when the uranium was packed up. On the ground, at the Ulba factory, the team members began their arduous work. Each day, they left their hotel before dawn and returned after dark, spending 12 hours packing the uranium into special containers suitable for flying. There were seven types of uranium-bearing materials in the warehouse, much of it laced with toxic beryllium.
This was an extraordinary mission, one country secretly swooping in to another to remove the danger of nuclear materials that had been all but abandoned. Altogether, the team discovered 1,032 containers in the warehouse, and each had to be methodically unpacked, examined and repacked into quart-size cans that were then inserted into 448 shipping containers -- 55-gallon drums with foam inserts -- for the flight. The process required precision, endurance and secrecy. If word leaked, the whole effort might have to be aborted.
By Nov. 11, the packing was finished and the 448 barrels were loaded onto trucks. The team was determined to get home for Thanksgiving, but bad weather set in. A week went by before one C-5 could leave Turkey for Kazakhstan.
At 3 a.m., with the plane on its way, the uranium was driven from the Ulba plant to the airport, with Weber in the lead security car, a Soviet-era Volga. "It was black-ice conditions," he recalled. "And these trucks were sliding all over the place, and I'm thinking, 'I don't want to make the call to Washington saying one of the trucks with highly enriched uranium went off the bridge into the river, and we're trying to locate it.' But somehow, miraculously, we made it all safely to the airport."
It took three hours to load the plane. But before it could take off, the runway had to be cleared of snow. Sleet, ice and rain blanketed the airfield, a pilot later recalled. There were no plows to be seen. Finally, airport workers brought out a truck with a jet engine mounted on the back. They fired up the engine and blasted the runway free of snow.
The C-5 heaved itself into the sky. The next day, two more C-5s flew in and back out with the remaining uranium, the gear and the team. The enormous transports, operating in total secrecy, flew 20 hours straight through to Dover with several aerial refuelings, the longest C-5 flights in U.S. history. Once on the ground in Delaware, the uranium was loaded into large, unmarked trucks specially outfitted to protect nuclear materials during the drive to Oak Ridge.
On Nov. 23, the Clinton administration announced at a Washington news conference that it had removed the uranium. Defense Secretary William J. Perry called it "defense by other means, in a big way" and added: "We have put this bomb-grade nuclear material forever out of the reach of potential black marketers, terrorists or a new nuclear regime."
With imagination and daring, Project Sapphire underscored what could be done with the cooperation of another government. But the methods used in that mission could not be replicated in Russia, where there was far more uranium and plutonium, and much more suspicion.
In late 1994, the Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee prepared a report about the extent of the Russian nuclear materials crisis. The top-secret document concluded that not a single facility storing highly enriched uranium or plutonium in the former Soviet Union had safeguards up to Western standards.
* * *
Epilogue: Since that 1994 report, many of the facilities with unguarded nuclear material in the former Soviet Union have undergone security upgrades. By 2008, more than 70 percent of the buildings with weapons-usable nuclear materials had been fortified, although the uranium and plutonium were still spread across more than 200 locations. At the Mayak Chemical Combine in the Russian city of Ozersk, a massive fortified vault was built by the United States at a cost of $309 million to store excess Russian fissile materials, although it is still partly empty.
Since Project Sapphire, highly enriched uranium has been removed from about 20 research reactors and sensitive installations around the former Soviet bloc.
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, shown in Kandahar, makes a plea for more troops in a confidential assessment of the Afghan war. McChrystal: More Forces or 'Mission Failure'
Top U.S. Commander For Afghan War Calls Next 12 Months Decisive
By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 21, 2009
The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warns in an urgent, confidential assessment of the war that he needs more forces within the next year and bluntly states that without them, the eight-year conflict "will likely result in failure," according to a copy of the 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post. This Story
McChrystal: More Forces or 'Mission Failure'
Changes Have Obama Rethinking War Strategy
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal says emphatically: "Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) -- while Afghan security capacity matures -- risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."
His assessment was sent to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Aug. 30 and is now being reviewed by President Obama and his national security team.
McChrystal concludes the document's five-page Commander's Summary on a note of muted optimism: "While the situation is serious, success is still achievable."
But he repeatedly warns that without more forces and the rapid implementation of a genuine counterinsurgency strategy, defeat is likely. McChrystal describes an Afghan government riddled with corruption and an international force undermined by tactics that alienate civilians.
He provides extensive new details about the Taliban insurgency, which he calls a muscular and sophisticated enemy that uses modern propaganda and systematically reaches into Afghanistan's prisons to recruit members and even plan operations.
McChrystal's assessment is one of several options the White House is considering. His plan could intensify a national debate in which leading Democratic lawmakers have expressed reluctance about committing more troops to an increasingly unpopular war. Obama said last week that he will not decide whether to send more troops until he has "absolute clarity about what the strategy is going to be."
The commander has prepared a separate detailed request for additional troops and other resources, but defense officials have said he is awaiting instructions before sending it to the Pentagon.
Senior administration officials asked The Post over the weekend to withhold brief portions of the assessment that they said could compromise future operations. A declassified version of the document, with some deletions made at the government's request, appears at washingtonpost.com.
McChrystal makes clear that his call for more forces is predicated on the adoption of a strategy in which troops emphasize protecting Afghans rather than killing insurgents or controlling territory. Most starkly, he says: "[I]nadequate resources will likely result in failure. However, without a new strategy, the mission should not be resourced."
The assessment offers an unsparing critique of the failings of the Afghan government, contending that official corruption is as much of a threat as the insurgency to the mission of the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, as the U.S.-led NATO coalition is widely known.
"The weakness of state institutions, malign actions of power-brokers, widespread corruption and abuse of power by various officials, and ISAF's own errors, have given Afghans little reason to support their government," McChrystal says.
The result has been a "crisis of confidence among Afghans," he writes. "Further, a perception that our resolve is uncertain makes Afghans reluctant to align with us against the insurgents."
McChrystal is equally critical of the command he has led since June 15. The key weakness of ISAF, he says, is that it is not aggressively defending the Afghan population. "Pre-occupied with protection of our own forces, we have operated in a manner that distances us -- physically and psychologically -- from the people we seek to protect. . . . The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily; but we can defeat ourselves."
McChrystal continues: "Afghan social, political, economic, and cultural affairs are complex and poorly understood. ISAF does not sufficiently appreciate the dynamics in local communities, nor how the insurgency, corruption, incompetent officials, power-brokers, and criminality all combine to affect the Afghan population."
Coalition intelligence-gathering has focused on how to attack insurgents, hindering "ISAF's comprehension of the critical aspects of Afghan society."
In a four-page annex on detainee operations, McChrystal warns that the Afghan prison system has become "a sanctuary and base to conduct lethal operations" against the government and coalition forces. He cites as examples an apparent prison connection to the 2008 bombing of the Serena Hotel in Kabul and other attacks. "Unchecked, Taliban/Al Qaeda leaders patiently coordinate and plan, unconcerned with interference from prison personnel or the military."
The assessment says that Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents "represent more than 2,500 of the 14,500 inmates in the increasingly overcrowded Afghan Corrections System," in which "[h]ardened, committed Islamists are indiscriminately mixed with petty criminals and sex offenders, and they are using the opportunity to radicalize and indoctrinate them."
Noting that the United States "came to Afghanistan vowing to deny these same enemies safe haven in 2001," he says they now operate with relative impunity in the prisons. "There are more insurgents per square foot in corrections facilities than anywhere else in Afghanistan," his assessment says.
McChrystal outlines a plan to build up the Afghan government's ability to manage its detention facilities and eventually put all such operations under Afghan control, including the Bagram Theater Internment Facility, which the United States runs.
For now, because of a lack of capacity, "productive interrogations and detainee intelligence collection have been reduced" at Bagram. "As a result, hundreds are held without charge or without a defined way-ahead. This allows the enemy to radicalize them far beyond their pre-capture orientation. The problem can no longer be ignored."
The general says his command is "not adequately executing the basics" of counterinsurgency by putting the Afghan people first. "ISAF personnel must be seen as guests of the Afghan people and their government, not an occupying army," he writes. "Key personnel in ISAF must receive training in local languages."
He also says that coalition forces will change their operational culture, in part by spending "as little time as possible in armored vehicles or behind the walls of forward operating bases." Strengthening Afghans' sense of security will require troops to take greater risks, but the coalition "cannot succeed if it is unwilling to share risk, at least equally, with the people."
McChrystal warns that in the short run, it "is realistic to expect that Afghan and coalition casualties will increase."
He proposes speeding the growth of Afghan security forces. The existing goal is to expand the army from 92,000 to 134,000 by December 2011. McChrystal seeks to move that deadline to October 2010.
Overall, McChrystal wants the Afghan army to grow to 240,000 and the police to 160,000 for a total security force of 400,000, but he does not specify when those numbers could be reached.
He also calls for "radically more integrated and partnered" work with Afghan units.
McChrystal says the military must play an active role in reconciliation, winning over less committed insurgent fighters. The coalition "requires a credible program to offer eligible insurgents reasonable incentives to stop fighting and return to normalcy, possibly including the provision of employment and protection," he writes.
Coalition forces will have to learn that "there are now three outcomes instead of two" for enemy fighters: not only capture or death, but also "reintegration."
Again and again, McChrystal makes the case that his command must be bolstered if failure is to be averted. "ISAF requires more forces," he states, citing "previously validated, yet un-sourced, requirements" -- an apparent reference to a request for 10,000 more troops originally made by McChrystal's predecessor, Gen. David D. McKiernan.
A Three-Headed Insurgency
McChrystal identifies three main insurgent groups "in order of their threat to the mission" and provides significant details about their command structures and objectives.
The first is the Quetta Shura Taliban (QST) headed by Mullah Omar, who fled Afghanistan after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and operates from the Pakistani city of Quetta.
"At the operational level, the Quetta Shura conducts a formal campaign review each winter, after which Mullah Omar announces his guidance and intent for the coming year," according to the assessment.
Mullah Omar's insurgency has established an elaborate alternative government known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, McChrystal writes, which is capitalizing on the Afghan government's weaknesses. "They appoint shadow governors for most provinces, review their performance, and replace them periodically. They established a body to receive complaints against their own 'officials' and to act on them. They install 'shari'a' [Islamic law] courts to deliver swift and enforced justice in contested and controlled areas. They levy taxes and conscript fighters and laborers. They claim to provide security against a corrupt government, ISAF forces, criminality, and local power brokers. They also claim to protect Afghan and Muslim identity against foreign encroachment."
"The QST has been working to control Kandahar and its approaches for several years and there are indications that their influence over the city and neighboring districts is significant and growing," McChrystal writes.
The second main insurgency group is the Haqqani network (HQN), which is active in southeastern Afghanistan and draws money and manpower "principally from Pakistan, Gulf Arab networks, and from its close association with al Qaeda and other Pakistan-based insurgent groups." At another point in the assessment, McChrystal says, "Al Qaeda's links with HQN have grown, suggesting that expanded HQN control could create a favorable environment" for associated extremist movements "to re-establish safe-havens in Afghanistan."
Overall, McChrystal provides this conclusion about the enemy: "The insurgents control or contest a significant portion of the country, although it is difficult to assess precisely how much due to a lack of ISAF presence. . . . "
The insurgents make money from the production and sale of opium and other narcotics, but the assessment says that "eliminating insurgent access to narco-profits -- even if possible, and while disruptive -- would not destroy their ability to operate so long as other funding sources remained intact."
While the insurgency is predominantly Afghan, McChrystal writes that it "is clearly supported from Pakistan. Senior leaders of the major Afghan insurgent groups are based in Pakistan, are linked with al Qaeda and other violent extremist groups, and are reportedly aided by some elements of Pakistan's ISI," which is its intelligence service. Al-Qaeda and other extremist movements "based in Pakistan channel foreign fighters, suicide bombers, and technical assistance into Afghanistan, and offer ideological motivation, training, and financial support."
Toward the end of his report, McChrystal revisits his central theme: "Failure to provide adequate resources also risks a longer conflict, greater casualties, higher overall costs, and ultimately, a critical loss of political support. Any of these risks, in turn, are likely to result in mission failure."
この記事を読んで考えたことがある。「オバマは、アフガニスタンからも、撤退するのかも知れない」と。アメリカの経済を再建することが最優先問題と考えれば、そうなるだろう。それでは、「テロとの戦争」はどこに行く？ 伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナClinton Says Discipline, Growth Needed to Reduce Budget Deficit
Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said the Obama administration’s best hope to reduce the budget deficit is to focus on reviving the economy while maintaining discipline in budgeting.
“The most important thing is to have honest accounting and real discipline in the way you spend or cut taxes,” Clinton, 63, said in an interview today with Bloomberg Radio. “If you’re going to expend revenues or reduce them coming in, you have to replace them.”
Clinton endorsed Obama’s call for “pay-as-you-go” budget rules that would require that future spending increases or tax cuts be paid for with revenue increases. Still, he said progress on the budget deficit would mostly turn on the success of Obama’s economic strategy.
“The better the economy is, the quicker you’ll balance the budget,” Clinton said. “But anyone that says that they know how quickly they can do it with precision is not being entirely candid because part of it depends on factors beyond your control.”
The federal budget deficit will total $1.6 trillion this year as revenue falls and the government spends at the fastest pace in 57 years, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said last month.
The gap will be equal to 11.2 percent of the economy, the biggest since World War II. The shortfall is largely attributable to the financial crisis, which has reduced tax revenue even as the government increased spending on stimulus programs and bailouts for financial companies and automakers, the CBO said.
Investor concern about the deficit, which has grown from $455 billion in 2008, has contributed to the weakness of the dollar. The trade-weighted dollar index has fallen 12 percent since Obama’s inauguration in January. The index measures the currency’s performance against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc and Swedish krona.
Under Clinton, the budget balance swung to a surplus of $236 billion in 2000, his last full year in office, from a deficit of $290 billion deficit in 1992 during the final year of the George H.W. Bush presidency. The dollar index rose 21 percent in the Clinton years.
すると、いよいよ、米国債は売れなくなってくるのか？だとすれば、やはり米ドルは下落する一方である。日本円は高騰し～輸出産業は海外に出るしかなくなる。丁度、１９８０年後半に、日系企業がアメリカに進出したように。中国に進出する企業も増加する。ガイトナーは、米ドルがなし崩しに下落するに任せるであろう。実際、それがアメリカの経済には良いのだから。さあ、国際音痴の鳩山内閣はどうする？伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナDollar to Fall as U.S. Assets Lag, Barclays’ Englander Says
Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar will weaken as U.S. investors send money overseas and the nation’s assets fail to attract global investors, said Steven Englander, chief currency strategist for the Americas at Barclays Capital Inc.
“Even though U.S. asset markets are doing well, they’re not doing well enough,” Englander said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio. “The question is, what is there in the U.S. to attract capital? And that answer is hard to find.”
Net buying of long-term equities, notes and bonds totaled $15.3 billion in July, compared with purchases of $90.2 billion in June, the Treasury Department said on Sept. 16. Including short-term securities such as stock swaps, foreigners sold a net $97.5 billion in July, compared with net selling of $56.8 billion the previous month.
Emerging economies such as China and Russia have questioned the dollar’s dominance in the global economy because of a federal budget deficit projected to exceed $1.5 trillion in the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. Investors abroad reduced purchases of Treasuries by more than a third in July from the prior month and were also net sellers of U.S. corporate and agency debt.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. stocks has gained 17 percent this year, lagging behind the 60 percent increase in Brazil’s Bovespa benchmark and the 28 percent advance in Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite Index. The Canadian dollar will probably rise to parity versus the U.S. currency from C$1.0658, or 93.83 U.S. cents, Englander predicted.
‘Fighting This Recovery’
The dollar traded today within a penny of its lowest level in a year versus the euro and has fallen this month against all of its 16 most actively traded counterparts. The Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc, has fallen 6.3 percent this year to 76.21.
“We don’t think that global investors have enough risk on,” Englander said. “A lot of investors have been fighting this recovery, fighting the asset-market recovery, and they’re beginning to throw in the towel.”
The Dollar Index declined 15 percent from its three-year peak of 89.62 on March 4. The dollar fell the most this month against higher-yielding currencies including the South African rand, Brazilian real and New Zealand dollar.
Barclays raised the bank’s forecast for the Canadian dollar to C$1.02 per U.S. dollar in six months, from C$1.10 earlier, and to parity in 12 months, from C$1.06 earlier this week.
Bank of Canada
The loonie appreciated 14 percent against the U.S. dollar this year after losing a record 18 percent in 2008. Its strength is creating “headwinds” that threaten the nation’s economic recovery, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor John Murray said on Sept. 15 in Berlin. A stronger Canadian dollar makes the nation’s exports more expensive.
The gain in Canada’s dollar prompted speculation the nation’s central bank is intervening to weaken it. A Bank of Canada spokeswoman, Stephanie Bento, said today that any intervention would be announced on the central bank’s Web site.
バーナンキFRB議長は、ブルッキングス政策シンクタンクの講演で、“リセッションは、多分終わった。だが、回復（成長）は、雇用が改善されるほどに強くないのかも知れない”と語った。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナBernanke Says U.S. Recession ‘Very Likely’ Has Ended
Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the worst U.S. recession since the 1930s has probably ended, while warning that growth may not be strong enough to quickly reduce the unemployment rate.
“Even though from a technical perspective the recession is very likely over at this point, it’s still going to feel like a very weak economy for some time,” Bernanke said today at the Brookings Institution in Washington, responding to questions after a speech.
The remarks are Bernanke’s most explicit statement that the contraction that began in December 2007 is over. They echoed comments yesterday by San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen and followed a report today showing retail sales rose last month by the most in three years, adding to evidence of a recovery.
“Unemployment will be slow to come down” if growth turns out to be “moderate” and not much more than the economy’s underlying potential, Bernanke said.
The central bank has kept the benchmark lending rate as low as zero since December and in August said “exceptionally low” rates are likely warranted for “an extended period.”
The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee also said in its Aug. 12 statement that there were signs that “economic activity is leveling out.” The Fed’s Beige Book report last week said that 11 of its 12 regional banks reported signs of a stable or improving economy in July and August.
Yellen said in a speech yesterday that the U.S. summer “likely marked the end of the recession, and the economy should expand in the second half of this year. A wide array of data supports this view.”
The unemployment rate reached 9.7 percent in August, a quarter-century high, and employers have eliminated almost 7 million jobs since the recession started, the biggest drop in any post-World War II economic downturn. Banks worldwide have recorded more than $1.6 trillion of losses and writedowns since the start of 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
The central bank in March authorized $1.45 trillion in purchases of mortgage-backed securities and other housing debt this year. Policy makers decided last month to taper off a $300 billion program buying U.S. Treasuries through October, while debating a similar move for MBS purchases. Bernanke convenes the next meeting of Fed policy makers Sept. 22-23 in Washington.
The economy will rebound at a 2.3 percent pace next year, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. The growth rate won’t be fast enough to lower the unemployment rate below 9 percent, the economists predict.
“The chairman got it about right,” Glenn Hutchins, co- founder and co-chief executive of Silver Lake, a private investment firm with $13 billion under management, said on a panel following Bernanke’s speech.
“We are experiencing stability both in financial markets and underlying corporate performance,” he said. “But the overwhelming sense of market participants right now is that we are at a very low level of activity.”
Before becoming a central banker, Bernanke, a former Princeton University economics professor, served on the National Bureau of Economic Research’s business-cycle dating committee, the group that determines the dates of U.S. recessions.
Stanford University Professor Robert Hall, the panel’s current chairman, said in August that declaring the recession over may take more than a year because of the risk that recent signs of stabilization will prove short-lived.
Sales at U.S. retailers rose 2.7 percent last month, led by a jump in auto purchases as consumers took advantage of the government’s “cash-for-clunkers” program. The increase exceeded the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and followed a 0.2 percent drop in July, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington.
Responding to a separate question, Bernanke said he’s “pretty optimistic” on chances for an overhaul of financial regulations given a crisis that was “too big a calamity” to ignore. “I feel quite confident that a comprehensive reform will be forthcoming,” Bernanke said.
Congress is preparing the biggest overhaul of U.S. financial regulations since the 1930s, when the Fed was reorganized. The U.S. Treasury proposes to give the Fed greater authority over the capital, liquidity, and risk-management standards at the largest financial firms. Congressional leaders haven’t supported that proposal and are considering giving broader authority to a council of regulators.
“The problem we had in part was the lack of systemic oversight,” President Barack Obama said in an interview with Bloomberg News yesterday. “We want to have a systemic-risk regulator,” he said, adding that “the Fed is best equipped to do this.”
伊勢は、オバマの指導力を疑ってきた。安全保障～核不拡散～中東～アフガニスタン～巨大銀行解体を指導して、改善できる勇気を持っているとは思わない。SITGLITZ教授と同じ意見である。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナStiglitz Says Bank Problems Bigger Than Pre-Lehman
Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize- winning economist, said the U.S. has failed to fix the underlying problems of its banking system after the credit crunch and the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
“In the U.S. and many other countries, the too-big-to-fail banks have become even bigger,” Stiglitz said in an interview yesterday in Paris. “The problems are worse than they were in 2007 before the crisis.”
Stiglitz’s views echo those of former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who has advised President Barack Obama’s administration to curtail the size of banks, and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, who suggested last month that governments may want to discourage financial institutions from growing “excessively.”
A year after the demise of Lehman forced the Treasury Department to spend billions to shore up the financial system, Bank of America Corp.’s assets have grown and Citigroup Inc. remains intact. In the U.K., Lloyds Banking Group Plc, 43 percent owned by the government, has taken over the activities of HBOS Plc, and in France BNP Paribas SA now owns the Belgian and Luxembourg banking assets of insurer Fortis.
While Obama wants to name some banks as “systemically important” and subject them to stricter oversight, his plan wouldn’t force them to shrink or simplify their structure.
Stiglitz said the U.S. government is wary of challenging the financial industry because it is politically difficult, and that he hopes the Group of 20 leaders will cajole the U.S. into tougher action.
“We aren’t doing anything significant so far, and the banks are pushing back,” said Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor. “The leaders of the G-20 will make some small steps forward, given the power of the banks” and “any step forward is a move in the right direction.”
G-20 leaders gather Sept. 24-25 in Pittsburgh and will consider ways of improving regulation of financial markets and in particular how to set tighter limits on remuneration for market operators. Under pressure from France and Germany, G-20 finance ministers earlier this month reached a preliminary accord that included proposals to reduce bonuses and linking compensation more closely to long-term performance.
Reluctant to Act
“It’s an outrage,” especially “in the U.S. where we poured so much money into the banks,” Stiglitz said. “The administration seems very reluctant to do what is necessary. Yes they’ll do something, the question is: Will they do as much as required?”
Stiglitz is too pessimistic and the banking system will probably continue to strengthen, said Jim O’Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in London. “I’m not sure why he’s saying it,” O’Neill told Bloomberg Television today. “The banks were close to near death. We’ve been to hell and back, so to speak, and we’re on the road to recovery.”
Stiglitz, former chief economist at the World Bank and member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the world economy is “far from being out of the woods” even if it has pulled back from the precipice it teetered on after the collapse of Lehman.
“We’re going into an extended period of weak economy, of economic malaise,” Stiglitz said. The U.S. will “grow but not enough to offset the increase in the population,” he said, adding that “if workers do not have income, it’s very hard to see how the U.S. will generate the demand that the world economy needs.”
The Federal Reserve faces a “quandary” in ending its monetary stimulus programs because doing so may drive up the cost of borrowing for the U.S. government, he said.
“The question then is who is going to finance the U.S. government,” Stiglitz said.
Stiglitz gave the interview before presenting a report to French President Nicolas Sarkozy that urged world leaders to drop an obsession for focusing on gross domestic product in favor of broader measures of prosperity.
“GDP has increasingly become used as a measure of societal well being, and changes in the structure of the economy and our society have made it an increasingly poor one,” Stiglitz said.
Sarkozy said today in a speech in Paris that focusing on GDP as the main measure of prosperity had helped to trigger the financial crisis. He ordered France’s statistics agency to integrate the findings of Stiglitz’s study into its economic analysis.
Assessing government’s contribution to economic output, which ranges from 39 percent in the U.S. to 48 percent in France, is one of the shortcomings of the GDP model, as is its difficulty in estimating improvements in the quality of products such as cars instead of just quantity, Stiglitz said.
Similarly, increased household debt may drive up output numbers, even though that doesn’t amount to a real increase in wealth, he added.
While Stiglitz doesn’t recommend dropping GDP altogether, he wants governments to consider such matters, along with issues of environmental sustainability, in policy making.
“Most governments make a fetish out of it. If you take one message out of our report, make it avoid GDP fetishism,” he said. “The message is to encourage political leaders away from that.”
オバマには、ルーズベルトの勇気がない。つまり、カルテルを解体する勇気がない。何故か？ガイトナーに頼っているからだ。オバマの財務長官は、メガバンクの飼い犬である。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナLehman Monday Morning Lesson Lost With Obama Regulator-in-Chief
Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Less than 24 hours after his swearing-in ceremony, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner surprised Camden R. Fine with an invitation to a one- on-one meeting about the financial crisis.
“I about fell out of my chair,” said Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, a Washington-based trade group with about 5,000 members. He was in a corner office overlooking the White House at the Treasury Department the next morning, telling Geithner that behemoths such as Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. were a menace, he said.
“They should be broken up and sold off,” Fine, 58, said he declared, as Geithner scribbled notes before thanking him for his time and ushering him out into the January chill.
The Treasury secretary didn’t follow through on Fine’s suggestion, just as he didn’t act on the advice of former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. head Sheila C. Bair, or the dozens of economists and politicians who pressed the White House for measures that would limit the size or activities of U.S. banks.
One year after the demise of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. paralyzed the financial system, “mega-banks,” as Fine’s group calls them, are as interconnected and inscrutable as ever. The Obama administration’s plan for a regulatory overhaul wouldn’t force them to shrink or simplify their structure.
Policy of Containment
“We could have another Lehman Monday,” Niall Ferguson, author of the 2008 book “The Ascent of Money” and a professor of history at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said in an interview. “The system is essentially unchanged, except that post-Lehman, the survivors have ‘too big to fail’ tattooed on their chests.”
After the deepest recession since the 1930s, which has seen the world’s largest economy shrink 3.9 percent since the second quarter of last year, and more than $1.6 trillion in worldwide losses and writedowns by banks and insurers, President Barack Obama decided on a policy of containment rather than a structural transformation.
His proposal for revamping the way the U.S. monitors and controls banks doesn’t include taking apart institutions, supported by taxpayer loans, that have grown in scope and size since Lehman imploded. The biggest, Charlotte, North Carolina- based Bank of America, had $2.25 trillion in assets as of June, 31 percent more than a year earlier, and about 12 percent of all U.S. deposits.
Instead, the Obama plan would label Bank of America, New York-based Citigroup and others as “systemically important.” It would subject them to capital and liquidity requirements and stricter oversight, relying on the same regulators who didn’t understand the consequences of a Lehman failure. And while companies could be dismantled if they got into trouble, they, their creditors and shareholders could also be bailed out with taxpayer money, according to the plan.
The chief architects, Geithner, 48, and National Economic Council Director Lawrence H. Summers, 54, say they don’t think it would be practical to outlaw banks of a certain size or limit trading activities by deposit-taking banks, according to people familiar with their thinking. They said the two men, who declined to be interviewed, and others on Obama’s team believe the lines are too fuzzy between banking and investing products and that forcing the divestiture of units and assets would create bedlam.
“It’s a very difficult thing to say as a national policy goal that we’re going to limit the success of an American firm,” said Tony Fratto, 43, a spokesman for President George W. Bush and former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson who now heads a Washington consulting firm.
The lesson of Sept. 15, 2008, is that limits may be necessary, according to Fine and other critics of the government’s regulatory proposals.
Lehman, the leading underwriter of mortgage-backed securities in 2008, was done in by too much borrowing and too many real estate investments that couldn’t be sold easily. When the property market turned sour -- home prices fell by 20 percent in the two years preceding the bankruptcy, according to the S&P/Case-Schiller home-price index of 20 U.S. cities -- and creditors wanted more collateral for loans or their money back, the investment bank had to fold.
It had $613 billion in debt and so many deals with so many companies that its bankruptcy set off a chain reaction the government and other Wall Street firms didn’t anticipate. Simon H. Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, likened it to the fictitious substance ice-nine in the 1963 Kurt Vonnegut Jr. novel “Cat’s Cradle,” one drop of which could crystallize all the water on Earth. The Chapter 11 filing froze the global financial infrastructure.
“This was a failure of the entire system,” Obama said on June 17 when he introduced his blueprint. “A regulatory regime basically crafted in the wake of a 20th-century economic crisis - - the Great Depression -- was overwhelmed by the speed, scope, and sophistication of a 21st-century global economy.”
The president’s fix is to empower the Fed to put the brakes on banks, hedge funds, insurers or other financial firms whose crash could have a crippling domino effect. About 25 companies may qualify based on their assets and on factors such as funding relationships, Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told the House Financial Services Committee on July 24.
“Most reform proposals acknowledge, perhaps with some consternation, that systemically important institutions are likely to be with us into the indefinite future,” said Daniel K. Tarullo, a member of the Fed’s board of governors, in an interview. “The proposed reforms are oriented toward forcing those institutions to internalize more of the risks they create and thus making it less likely they will create problems for the system as a whole.”
A Financial Services Oversight Council -- made up of the heads of the FDIC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other agencies -- would advise the Fed on potential threats.
The Treasury would be able to take over and wind down financial institutions with an authority modeled on powers held by the FDIC, which guarantees deposits and can close and sell failing banks under its jurisdiction. A Consumer Financial Protection Agency could restrict what it viewed as unsuitable products for Americans.
The existence of such a regulatory framework might have averted Lehman’s chaotic end -- and the economic crisis that followed -- because cheap money wouldn’t have been allowed to inflate a real estate bubble with questionable mortgages and mortgage derivatives, according to Austan Goolsbee, a member of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers.
“One of the fundamental principles of the plan is that if you’re menacing to the system, someone is going to regulate you very closely,” said Goolsbee, 40. “They’re going to be in there watching everything you do.”
If a consumer agency had existed, lenders wouldn’t have been able to sell so many complex and costly mortgages, said Ralph L. Schlosstein, chief executive officer of New York investment bank Evercore Partners Inc. and a supporter of Obama’s.
“There has never been decent regulation of the appropriateness of lending products as opposed to investment products, and the fact that that didn’t exist really allowed trillions of dollars of crap loans that were neither affordable nor understood to be made,” said Schlosstein, a co-founder and former president of asset management company BlackRock Inc.
As much as it might mitigate some risks, the Obama strategy is fatally flawed because it fails to force the largest banks to change their behavior, said Johnson, the former IMF economist who is now a professor for finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
“The biggest problem is it doesn’t deal with too-big-to- fail,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t say anything.”
If constraints aren’t legislated, “complexity will multiply and take on new forms,” and regulators once again won’t be able to keep up, he said. “You have to make things a lot smaller.”
That too-big-to-fail predicament -- the theory that certain businesses can’t be allowed to go bankrupt because of the economic damage that would cause, and that the implicit government guarantee encourages risky behavior -- was discussed in conference rooms and watering holes during the Kansas City Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in August.
The chairman of the regional Fed and the event’s host, Thomas M. Hoenig, 63, had set the tone with speeches over the past year that warned against allowing power to be concentrated in a “financial oligarchy.” Hoenig played on the theme at the opening steak-and-salmon dinner on Aug. 20 at Jackson Lake Lodge, a National Historic Landmark in Grand Teton National Park. Access had to be limited, he said, for fear the group would grow “too big to feed.”
That thread of humor spread as speakers tried to work references to size and failure into their remarks, with varying degrees of success, according to Mark Gertler, 58, a New York University economist and former research partner of Bernanke’s who attended the conference.
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, Bernanke’s thesis adviser at MIT, addressed the topic more seriously at lunch on Aug. 21.
“At this stage, we seem to be taking it for granted that we should go back to the structure of the financial system as it was on the eve of the crisis,” Fischer, 65, a former Citigroup vice chairman, told his audience in the lodge’s Grizzly Room. “Even for the largest economies, there is a case for discouraging financial institutions from growing excessively.”
Fischer’s comments echoed those of Volcker. The 82-year-old head of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board began his campaign for restructuring the basics of U.S. banking 17 months ago in a speech to the New York Economic Club. It was April 8, 2008, three weeks after the Fed helped New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. buy Bear Stearns Cos. by extending a $30 billion backstop.
The “demonstrably fragile financial system that has produced unimaginable wealth for some, while repeatedly risking a cascading breakdown of the system as a whole, needs repair and reform,” the 6-foot-7-inch (2.01-meter) Volcker said, grasping a podium that reached only to his waist. Before the speech at the Grand Hyatt New York, he belatedly celebrated his 80th birthday by blowing out a candle on a cake shaped like a stack of gift boxes.
Volcker’s ideas for overhauling the system -- including strict regulation of over-the-counter derivatives trading -- were outlined in an 82-page report prepared by the Group of 30, an organization of current and former central bankers, finance ministers, economists and financiers that Volcker heads.
When he made the document public on Jan. 15, Volcker told reporters that he “sent a copy to some of the people in the new administration that would have an interest in it.” Since then, Volcker, an adviser to Obama during the presidential race, has lobbied Geithner and Summers, according to people familiar with the discussions. The former Fed chairman is taking his case on the road this month, starting with a speech on Sept. 16 to the Association for Corporate Growth in Beverly Hills, California.
Volcker would subject money market funds to the same regulatory burdens as banks, demanding they hold capital to protect against losses like those suffered by the Reserve Primary Fund when Lehman’s bankruptcy touched off a run and more than 60 percent of its assets were withdrawn in two days.
Another critical change, according to Volcker, would be to prohibit big, interconnected companies that handle essential services such as deposit-taking and business payments from making high-risk bets with their own money in so-called proprietary trading. Volcker also wouldn’t allow non-financial firms to own government-insured deposit-taking companies. The proposals, intended to prevent another ice-nine episode, are similar in some respects to restrictions in place in the U.S. for more than 60 years until the Glass-Steagall Act was overturned by Congress in 1999.
“Does anyone think it’s a coincidence that less than 10 years after they repealed Glass-Steagall, the financial markets collapsed?” said Fine of the community bankers group. He called current rules for banking a recipe for a “Molotov cocktail.”
Bair, the FDIC chairman, has taken a different tack: She wants to check growth by charging fees based on the risks banks take. If Lehman had to pay for its gambles, it might not have held $84 billion in mortgage investments and loaded up on mortgage-backed securities in early 2008, after the subprime crisis began.
“A financial system characterized by a handful of giant institutions with global reach and a single regulator is making a huge bet that those few banks and their regulator over a long period of time will always make the right decisions,” Bair told the Senate Banking Committee in May. She and Geithner have clashed because of her public opposition to his plan to make the Fed the chief overseer of systemically important financial institutions.
For the executives and government officials who met at the New York Fed the weekend before Lehman went bust last September, the right decisions weren’t obvious.
Their focus was on mitigating damage from about 1 million over-the-counter derivatives trades that Lehman had participated in, according to people who attended the meetings. The men and women in the room weren’t prepared when panic struck the $3.6 trillion money market industry, which provides short-term loans called commercial paper used by corporations such as General Electric Co. to pay everyday bills.
“They didn’t know who Lehman was intertwined with because they hadn’t done their homework,” said Joseph Stiglitz, a Columbia University economics professor who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001 for his analysis of markets with asymmetric information.
That came home to Fratto the Saturday morning before Lehman fell apart. He sat in his West Wing office at the White House, adorned with pictures of his children and an inscribed photograph of Bono, monitoring the negotiations when he got a call from a friend at a New York bank.
Sipping from a cup of Starbucks coffee with an extra shot of espresso, Fratto asked what she was doing at work.
“She told me that every bank in New York City had their back offices filled with people trying to figure out their counterparty risk to Lehman,” Fratto recalled. “I was stunned. Everyone knew that Lehman had been listing for six months.”
‘Web of Counterparties’
Richard Bookstaber, a former trader and risk manager who warned a crisis was likely in his 2007 book “A Demon of Our Own Design: Markets, Hedge Funds, and the Perils of Financial Innovation,” testified in Congress in October 2007 and June 2008 that regulators didn’t have adequate information to understand the dependencies between companies. The White House proposal to move over-the-counter derivatives onto clearinghouses and exchanges would help by giving regulators and companies involved in transactions better information, he said.
“You have to know the web of counterparties,” he said in an interview. “Nobody knew that, so they’re really shooting in the dark in terms of what the impact would be of Lehman not being saved and what would be necessary to save Lehman.”
By the middle of September 2008, it was too late to save the company, and when profits were rolling in it would have been too early, said Ron Feldman, senior vice president in charge of bank supervision at the Minneapolis Fed and co-author of “Too Big to Fail: The Hazards of Bank Bailouts,” published in 2004.
“When the firms are making a lot of money, it’s very difficult to tell them to stop doing certain things,” Feldman said in an interview. “That’s when all the risks are taken.”
Once losses are overwhelming, regulators may have trouble closing down businesses with depositors and creditors in far- flung places. Lehman was an international company based in New York, and people in cities as distant as Hong Kong lost their savings without any inkling their securities were linked to the investment bank.
Citigroup, the bank that has received the most support from the U.S. government, had $494 billion in deposits at foreign branches on June 30 compared with $317 billion in U.S. deposits, according to the company’s latest regulatory filing. That kind of global sprawl at Citigroup and other big financial institutions would make it difficult for U.S. authorities to wind them down.
“Unless we get an internationally agreed-upon insolvency regime, which I cannot believe is ever going to happen in our lifetime, then you just can’t deal with it,” said Bradley K. Sabel, a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York who spent 18 years at the New York Fed.
Four U.S. companies -- Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia Corp. eight months ago -- have grown to command 46 percent of the assets of all FDIC-insured banks, up from 37.7 percent a year ago. Bank of America, which agreed to acquire Merrill Lynch & Co. the day before Lehman filed for bankruptcy, has 13.3 percent of the total.
New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the world’s biggest securities firm before converting to a bank seven days after Lehman went under, ratcheted up its trading risks to a record in the first six months of this year, leading to a 67 percent jump in revenue from trading and principal investments over the same period last year. Goldman Sachs also has international reach, with more than 900 subsidiaries in places including the Cayman Islands, Mauritius, Panama and Liberia, according to an SEC filing for the year 2008.
“Nothing has changed except that we have larger players who are more powerful, who are more dependent on government capital and who are harder to regulate than they were to begin with,” said Nomi Prins, who was a managing director at Goldman Sachs before leaving in 2002 and becoming a writer. “We’re in a far less stable environment.”
The ability to wind down big banks would help restore discipline, according to Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal S. Wolin.
“Special resolution authority would give the government the tools it needs to let firms fail in times of severe economic distress without destabilizing the entire financial system,” Wolin said.
The Treasury would also retain the power to save a company and turn to taxpayers to recapitalize it or pay creditors or shareholders, according to the Obama plan.
That bothers Philip L. Swagel, an assistant Treasury secretary under Paulson and now an economics professor at McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University in Washington. He said the White House isn’t doing much to convince investors -- or executives -- that the next bank to wobble won’t be propped up too.
“Their answer is basically a permanent TARP,” Swagel said referring to the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.
One evening in Jackson Hole, central bankers and economists, sipping cocktails on a patio with a view of the Teton Range, talked about what was really worrying them, according to Gertler, the New York University professor. It was that politicians wouldn’t have the mettle to enact significant changes, he said.
“The broader concern was not so much shaping the details of the policy, but whether the legislation would die in Congress,” he said.
The House Financial Services and Senate Banking committees began holding hearings on regulatory proposals before the August recess. Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the Democrat who heads the House panel, has said it will consider the consumer agency first before moving on to other provisions. In the Senate, the entire package will be taken up as one bill, which is unlikely to reach the floor before next year.
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Citigroup were three of the five biggest donors to federal candidates and political parties in last year’s election cycle, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington research group.
Banking industry trade groups are pushing to kill the consumer agency, which they contend will make it impossible to offer the variety of loans and accounts that customers demand and deserve. Banks are also fighting the Treasury’s proposal to move the $592 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market onto clearinghouses and exchanges.
While pieces of the administration’s plan may help stave off future crises, the lesson of the Lehman collapse is that big, global financial institutions can create risks that even experienced regulators and bankers won’t always anticipate or understand, according to critics such as Christopher Whalen, managing director of Torrance, California-based Institutional Risk Analytics, which evaluates banks for investors.
At talks in London that concluded on Sept. 5, finance officials from the Group of 20 agreed that banks should be forced to hold more capital, raise the quality of assets they keep in reserve and curtail leverage. The Financial Stability Board, a committee of regulators based in Basel, Switzerland, will flesh out the details before leaders of G-20 countries, which include the U.S., Japan, China and members of the European Union, meet in Pittsburgh on Sept. 24.
“Our objective is to reach agreement by the end of next year on a new standard that will raise capital and liquidity requirements and dampen rather than amplify future credit and asset-price bubbles,” Geithner said in London.
The G-20 proposal doesn’t address the right issues, according to Institutional Risk Analytics’ Whalen.
Every big firm that got into trouble last year had a ratio of capital to risk-weighted assets exceeding government minimums, regulatory filings show.
Fifteen days before its bankruptcy, Lehman estimated its Tier 1 capital ratio was 11 percent, up from 10.7 percent at the end of May, the investment bank said in a Sept. 10, 2008, press release. SEC rules obliged Lehman to notify the agency if its total ratio, of which Tier 1 was just a piece, slipped under 10 percent or was expected to do so.
“It was the activities of the banks -- not their lack of capital -- that caused the problem,” Whalen said. “We have to change the behavior of these institutions, and higher capital requirements are not going to change their behavior.”
Some financial executives have applauded the Geithner proposals. Walid Chammah, co-president of Morgan Stanley, said at a banking conference this week in Frankfurt that he doesn’t believe breaking up banks is the right approach. Instead, they should be required to hold more capital and liquid assets.
‘Break the Power’
The White House proposals are meek compared with what the U.S. did under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, according to Charles R. Geisst, a finance professor at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, and author of “Wall Street: A History.”
The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 forced then-mighty J.P. Morgan & Co. to split in two, creating Morgan Stanley as a standalone investment bank.
Roosevelt’s effort was “antitrust legislation to break the power of the New York City money-center banks,” Geisst said. While today’s titans such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs “have the same sort of influence, for some reason most people here do not want to alienate them.”
Ｃｏｏｐｅｒ Ｔｉｒｅ ＆ Ｒｕｂｂｅｒ Ｃｏｍｐａｎｙ は、全米で第４位のタイヤ製造会社である。１９２６年に英国で創業された会社だ。オハイオ～アラバマ～アーカンサスなどに展開。米中貿易協定が開始してから、中国に４箇所の工場を持つようになった。２００５年には、＄６００ ミリオンの輸入が、２００８年には、＄１．７ ビリオンと膨れた。工場を中国へ持って行ったことによって、USの工場が閉鎖され、５０００人が失業した。オバマらの民主党は労働組合の票が命である。グローバリゼーシオンによる景気回復を選ぶのか？または、USの労働者を守るのか？悩ましいところである。だが、要点は、どこに「線」を引くのかだ。伊勢は今回のTARIFFに賛成である。理由は、経済以外の中国による諸問題を配慮するからである。例として、中国が保有する米国債が人質になっていることがある。China Government ‘Strongly Opposes’ U.S. Tire Tariff Imposition
Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- China “strongly opposes” U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to impose tariffs on tire imports from China and may refer the case to the World Trade Organization, the Asian country’s Ministry of Commerce said.
The U.S. violated rules of the WTO and the tariff imposition is a breach of the commitments made by the U.S. at the Group of 20 summits, the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site, citing spokesman Yao Jian. The move will harm both countries’ interests and produce a chain reaction of trade protectionism, slowing world economic recovery, it added.
The U.S. government placed tariffs starting at 35 percent on tire imports from China, backing a United Steelworkers union complaint against the second-largest U.S. trading partner, according to a White House statement yesterday. The case brought by the United Steelworkers is the largest so-called safeguard petition filed to protect U.S. producers from increasing imports from China.
“It is an abuse of the trade remedy measures and made an extremely bad start against the backdrop of global financial crisis,” China’s statement said. China will reserve “all legitimate rights, including referring the case to the WTO.”
The decision is a blow to Chinese producers such as GITI Tire Pte Ltd., the largest Chinese tire maker, and U.S. retailers of low-cost imports.
“By taking this unprecedented action, the Obama administration is now at odds with its own public statements about refraining from increasing tariffs,” Vic DeIorio, executive vice president of GITI Tire in the U.S., said in a statement. “This decision will cost many more American jobs than it will create.”
Four U.S. companies have operations in tire production in China and they account for two-thirds of exports to the U.S., and the tariffs will have a direct impact on these companies, China’s commerce ministry said.
The U.S. decision of tariff imposition “lacks of support from factual evidence,” according to the ministry. China’s tire exports to the U.S. fell by 16 percent in the first half of 2009 from a year earlier, after a gain of 2.2 percent in the whole of 2008, it said.
The independent U.S. International Trade Commission recommended that Obama impose duties for three years, starting at 55 percent, to counter a tripling of tire imports from China from 2004 to 2008. The union, which represents 15,000 employees at 13 tire plants in the U.S., said cheap imports were forcing factories to close, eliminating jobs.
“These remedies are a necessary response to the harm done to U.S. workers and businesses,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement. “Enforcing trade laws is key to maintaining an open and free trading system.”
Democratic Representative Louise Slaughter of New York said the decision was “the first big test of whether President Obama was going to side with the interest of big corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or with workers.”
“I am happy to say that he came down on the right side,” she said in an e-mailed statement.
China’s tire exports are “mainly” supplied to the automobile maintenance market in the U.S., while those made by local producers are supplied to the car producers, China’s commerce ministry said. “They are not in direct competition,” it added.
Obama is to speak at a convention of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, next week. He is also hosting Chinese President Hu Jintao and other world leaders at an economic summit in Pittsburgh later this month.
China is the second-largest U.S. trading partner, after Canada.
Since the Steelworkers filed their petition in April, tire imports from China rose as importers raced to beat the imposition of tariffs or quotas. The tariffs Obama imposed are in addition to existing 4 percent duties on all Chinese tires for cars and light trucks.
All of the U.S. tire makers have operations in China, according to the ITC, and none of them publicly supported the Steelworkers complaint. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the largest U.S. tiremaker, stayed neutral. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., the second-largest U.S. tiremaker, opposed the relief. The company has a plant in China.
Chinese officials and a lobbying group for multinational companies such as Caterpillar Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have urged Obama to refrain from curbing imports, saying it could lead to a “downward protectionist spiral.”
Imposing tariffs will have “highly damaging ripple effects throughout the U.S. economy by increasing the cost of imported tires that largely comprise the low-end of the tire market,” the Emergency Committee for American Trade, which represents those companies, wrote in a letter to Obama last month.
Former President George W. Bush turned down each of the four requests for such trade safeguards in other industries, saying they would do more harm than good to the U.S. economy. Obama pledged during the election campaign to take a harder line against Chinese trade barriers, and said he would assess these safeguard cases on their merits.
Delta Air Rises to Seven-Month High on Reports of Talks on JAL
Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s largest carrier, rose to a seven-month high after reports that it’s in talks about investing in Japan Airlines Corp.
The Wall Street Journal, following a report by public broadcaster NHK, said Delta’s discussing taking a stake in Japan Airlines, citing an unnamed person. NHK said the carrier is in talks with Delta on a capital tie-up that may be valued in tens of billions of yen, or hundreds of millions of dollars.
Satoru Tanaka, a Japan Airlines spokesman, said by telephone the NHK report “of the tie-up talks is not true.” Kent Landers, a spokesman for Delta, declined to comment.
Delta climbed 19 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $8.29 at 10:39 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading after reaching $8.52, the highest in intraday trading since Jan. 29. The stock of Atlanta-based Delta fell 28 percent this year.
The U.S. carrier is a member of the SkyTeam partnership that includes Air France-KLM and Korean Air, while JAL belongs to the Oneworld alliance, whose members include AMR Corp.’s American Airlines and British Airways. Alliances let airlines put passengers on each other’s planes, increasing sales with lower costs.
An investment in JAL, as Japan Airlines is also known, “doesn’t make sense” because Delta will need cash to pay debt and pension obligations next year, said Helane Becker, an analyst at Jesup & Lamont Securities in New York. Delta ended the second quarter with $4.9 billion in cash and cash equivalents, and said $1.5 billion of debt matures in 2010.
“Quite frankly, I don’t know why they’d want to use their cash to make an investment in JAL,” said Becker, who has a buy rating on Delta. “That cash is accounted for by other demands for debt repayments and pension.”
Delta may ultimately seek an alliance with JAL instead, Becker said. Delta already has an Asia hub at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport that it gained with the purchase of Northwest Airlines last October. An accord with JAL would let it serve more cities within Japan.
An accord would prove beneficial to Japan Airlines. The carrier posted a 99 billion yen loss in the quarter ended June 30, the most in at least six years, as business and leisure travel plummeted during the country’s worst postwar recession. The government set up a panel of legal and academic experts last month to help restructure the carrier, which has eight unions and has had losses in three of the past four years.
“The reports that the two companies are negotiating a tie- up are probably true,” Ryuhei Maeda, director-general of Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau, said in an interview today. “This is one of the ideas I have strongly recommended to Japan Air.”
Delta’s discussions with JAL started a few weeks ago and may take several months to complete, the Wall Street Journal reported.
オバマ政権が出発してから、七ヶ月にも満たない。オバマの医療制度改革に高齢者（６５以上）はほぼ反対だ。セニアたちは、この社会主義医療制度(SOCIAL・MEDECINE)によって、姥捨て山に捨てられると信じているからである。オバマは、一部政府による医療保険とかで妥協を図る。だが、それも通らないだろう。セニアたちが賛成するのは、コスト削減だけなのである。「オバマは、来年１１月の中間選挙で敗北する」と、ビル・クリントンの選挙参謀だったデイック・モリス。オバマとペロシ組は、早々とその特権を失う。（だから、言ったじゃね～か！伊勢） 伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナDEMOCRATS LOSING SENIORS
By DICK MORRIS
Published on TheHill.com on September 8, 2009
Nowhere is the fallout from Obama's healthcare proposals more evident than among the elderly, and nothing is more dangerous permanently for the Democratic Party than their increasing disaffection.
A Wall Street Journal poll taken last week reflects a gain by Republicans in party identification, closing the gap from 40-33 in April in favor of the Democrats to a Democratic margin of only 35-34. The data reflects that one-third of this six-point closure of the partisan gap comes from a major shift among the elderly -- the only demographic group to have moved dramatically.
In April, the elderly broke evenly on their party identification, with 37 percent supporting each political party. Now the Republicans hold a lead, at 46-33. This 13-point closure among the 14 percent of the vote that is cast by those over 65 represents two of the six points of closure nationally.
No other group changed nearly as much. Neither liberals nor minorities nor any other age group moved nearly as dramatically as did the elderly. The Journal's pollsters noted that "perhaps the most striking movement is with senior citizens."
The Democratic Party, led by Obama, is systematically converting the elderly vote into a Republican bastion. The work of FDR in passing Social Security in 1937 and of LBJ in enacting Medicare in 1965 is being undone by the president's healthcare program. The elderly see his proposals for what they are: a massive redistribution of healthcare away from the elderly and toward a population that is younger, healthier and richer but happens, at the moment, to lack insurance. (Remember that the uninsured are, by definition, not elderly, not young and not in poverty -- and if they are, they are currently eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or SCHIP and do not need the Obama program.) The elderly see the $500 billion projected cut in Medicare through the same lens as they viewed Gingrich's efforts to slice the growth in the program in the mid-1990s.
When the president addresses Congress and the nation on Wednesday night, he will likely indicate a willingness to compromise on aspects of his program. He might attenuate his support of the public option for insurance companies and could soften other aspects of his proposal as it is embodied in the House bill.
But the fundamental equation will not change: He is cutting Medicare spending and using the money to subsidize coverage of those who are now uninsured but cannot afford to pay full premiums. It is this equation that has the elderly up in arms.
And our seniors correctly understand that you cannot extend full health benefits to some portion of the 50 million who live here and lack insurance without causing rationing of existing health services unless you expand the number of doctors and nurses and the amount of medical equipment.
When President Harry Truman first proposed compulsory health insurance in 1949, he coupled his proposal with a big increase in federal aid to medical education. He grasped the fundamental reality that you cannot expand coverage without expanding the number of people who provide the service -- unless you are prepared to resort to wholesale rationing.
If Democratic senators and congressmen believe that the elderly will recover from their Republican tendencies by Election Day 2010 -- or even by 2012 or 2014 -- they misjudge their senior constituents. The elderly are the group most dependent on government services, and they follow politics with an attention that only the needy can give.
They will not forget if the Democrats push through cuts in Medicare and then ask for their support in the next election. Their memories are long and they turn out in huge numbers. Until now, these traits have worked to the advantage of the Democrats. Now they are increasingly likely to deliver Congress and the White House to the Republicans.
リーマン・ブラザースが倒産してから、１年が経った。TARP(財政出動による金融機関救済）の削減をガイトナー財務長官が発表した。「ついに」である。少しずつ、返済もあり～倒産の危険性が減少（？）したと見たからだ。最も大きな理由は、財政赤字の削減なのだ。経済学社の巨人～バフェッ戸あんどのモンスター投資機関から、“ダラーはクラッシュする”と大声が出たからである。これらの発言は、今までの批判のレベルではなかったのだ。オバマは震えた。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナGeithner Says Government Moving to Reduce Its Role in Markets
Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the government is moving to withdraw some of its support for financial markets and cautioned that the recovery will have “more than the usual ups and downs.”
“As we enter this new phase we must begin winding down some of the extraordinary support we put in place for the financial system,” Geithner said in testimony to the Congressional Oversight Panel that monitors the $700 billion financial-rescue program. “We are now in a position to evolve our strategy as we move from crisis response to recovery, from rescuing the economy to repairing and rebuilding the foundation for future growth.”
Almost a year after Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy, Treasury officials are trying to portray as successful their efforts to stabilize the banking system and lay a foundation for economic recovery. Geithner said the rebound in growth won’t be quick, and he urged passage by year end of legislation to toughen oversight of financial markets.
“Given the extent of damage done to the financial system, the loss of wealth for families and the necessary adjustments after a long period of excessive borrowing around the world, it is realistic to assume recovery will be gradual, with more than the usual ups and downs,” he said.
The Obama administration inherited the Troubled Asset Relief Program from the Bush administration, which used it to make capital injections into banks after scrapping an earlier plan to buy troubled assets directly. Since last year, the Treasury has invested more than $200 billion in U.S. banks; as of Sept. 4, the Treasury had received $70.4 billion in repayments.
Banks that have repaid the government include Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, according to a Treasury tally.
The Treasury expects another $50 billion to be repaid in the next year to 18 months, a department official told reporters earlier today on condition of anonymity.
The Treasury will continue to pursue programs that have not yet started, such as its plans to buy small-business loans and to remove toxic assets from bank balance sheets through the Public-Private Investment Program, the official said. The first PPIP funds are expected to begin operating later this month or in October, the official said.
Other, unused programs will be allowed to expire, including a program guaranteeing money-market mutual funds and the Capital Assistance Program, which was established earlier this year to provide extra money to banks that needed it and couldn’t access private markets.
“We can plan to reduce the government’s direct involvement in the financial system, but we must move cautiously or risk a relapse,” the Treasury said in a document distributed at the briefing in Washington.
The Treasury also has pledged TARP money for a range of other programs, from foreclosure-prevention efforts and auto- company assistance. The Treasury plans to move forward with its housing programs and is also looking at ways to help small banks through the economic downturn, the official said.
This year, the department will press Congress to pass the Obama administration’s regulatory reform agenda, intended to tighten supervision of financial firms that could pose a systemic risk. The future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-backed mortgage companies currently in conservatorship, won’t be tackled until next year, the official said.
The Treasury expects that unemployment may rise, financial system losses will continue and 6 million families could face foreclosure over the next three years, according to the document provided to reporters.
“Despite having pulled back from the brink, the nation still faces serious challenges,” the Treasury said.
Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The yen dropped against all 16 of its major counterparts as Asian stocks rallied before reports forecast to show China’s retail sales and industrial production gained in August, damping demand for the currency as a refuge.
The dollar traded near the lowest level since December against the euro on speculation two Federal Reserve officials will signal they plan to keep borrowing costs near zero, boosting demand for higher-yielding assets. The New Zealand dollar climbed toward a one-year high against the U.S. currency after the South Pacific nation’s central bank indicated it was less likely to cut interest rates from a record low.
“The rally in stocks and China’s data are proving a floor for risk appetite for the short term, weighing down on the yen,” said Satoshi Okagawa, head of the foreign-exchange forward trading group at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. in Tokyo. “People are paying close attention to China.”
The yen fell to 134.21 per euro as of 10:01 a.m. in Tokyo from 133.99 in New York yesterday, when it touched 134.41 yen, the lowest since Aug. 28. The dollar was at $1.4557 per euro from $1.4557, after reaching $1.4601 yesterday, the weakest level since Dec. 18. Japan’s currency fell to 92.18 per dollar from 92.04. It rose to 91.61 yen yesterday, the highest since Feb. 17.
New Zealand’s dollar gained 0.5 percent to 69.93 U.S. cents, from 69.59 cents yesterday, when it rose to 70.08 cents, the strongest since Aug. 29, 2008.
The Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 1.7 percent today, extending a global equities rally that yesterday took the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to an 11-month high.
The yen also weakened as economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast China’s August retail sales and industrial production may have gained 15.3 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively, from a year earlier. The Beijing-based statistics bureau is set to report the data at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
The yen typically strengthens in times of financial turmoil because Japan’s trade surplus makes the currency attractive as it means the nation does not have to rely on overseas lenders.
Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart will speak in Jacksonville, Florida, and Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn will speak in Washington today.
The greenback became the cheapest funding currency in London this week, making it more attractive as a means of financing purchases of higher-yielding assets. The three-month London interbank offered rate, or Libor, for loans in dollars fell yesterday to a record low of 0.299 percent, compared with 0.307 percent for the Swiss franc and 0.370 percent for the yen, according to the British Bankers’ Association.
“The market is working against the dollar, which is the favored funding currency when equities are rising and you want to buy risky assets,” said Greg Gibbs, a foreign-exchange strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in Sydney. “We anticipate potential further weakness of the U.S. dollar, and the euro is going to be higher.”
The Dollar Index, which IntercontinentalExchange Inc. uses to track the currency against the euro, yen, pound, Swiss franc, Canadian dollar and Swedish krona, was at 77.040 after dropping yesterday to as low as 76.803, the weakest level since Sept. 26, 2008.
New Zealand’s currency strengthened against all 16 major counterparts after Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard left the official cash rate at a record-low of 2.5 percent amid expectations the economy faces a slow recovery from the worst recession in three decades. Bollard moved away from considering rate cuts, compared with the previous monetary policy statement on July 30.
“New Zealand’s central bank wasn’t quite as aggressive as it might have been, switching away from the possibility of rate cuts to a commitment to keeping rates at a record low,” said Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Sydney. “The kiwi is also benefiting from the current broad pessimism regarding the U.S. dollar.”
米ドルが弱ることを誰も好まないのだが、必然の帰結なのかも知れない。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナNobody Liking Dollar Deficits Makes Rogoff Favorite
Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- For the first time in at least two years, deficits are starting to matter to currency investors, and that may be bad news for the dollar.
While the trade-weighted Dollar Index fell 2.2 percent in the past two years as capital markets froze, the budget gap reached $1 trillion and the economy sank into the deepest recession since the 1930s, traders are now banking on a longer- term decline. Forward contracts show the greenback weakening to $1.49 per euro in the next 10 years, compared with an average of $1.17 since the single European currency was introduced in 1999.
The budget and current-account deficits are coming back into focus as President Barack Obama’s stimulus measures revive the economy, reducing demand for the relative safety of U.S. assets. The JPMorgan G7 Volatility Index measuring perceptions of risk fell to the lowest level in a year. Morgan Stanley currency strategists said in a Sept. 3 report that “economic data releases are now more important for FX daily moves than in the past four years.”
“As the normalization of the markets has taken place, the market starts to differentiate currencies,” said Paresh Upadhyaya, a senior vice president at Boston-based Putnam Investments who helps manage $21 billion. He turned bearish on the U.S. currency in April. “You have to be negative on the dollar.”
Economists forecast the current-account deficit will rise to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 and 3.5 percent in 2011 from 2.9 percent this year as consumer and business spending boost imports and oil prices increase, according to the median estimates in Bloomberg News surveys. Europe’s deficit will account for 1.2 percent of GDP, a separate poll shows.
The budget deficit reached a record $1.27 trillion in the first 10 months of fiscal 2009 ending Sept. 30 as the recession curbed tax receipts and the Obama administration increased spending. The gap will grow to $1.6 trillion in fiscal 2010 before narrowing to $1.4 trillion the following year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
“We are at a cross-road,” Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University professor and former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund in Washington, said in an interview last week. “If the Obama Administration fails to rein in the long-term budget deficits, the dollar is set to decline for decades.”
The Commerce Department will report the trade balance for July on Sept. 10. The median estimate of 62 economists surveyed by Bloomberg is for a deficit of $27.3 billion. While that improved from $64.9 billion a year earlier, it’s been little changed since February.
Trade feeds into the broader current-account balance, which includes transfer payments and investment income and stood at a negative $101.5 billion in March. While the gap has narrowed from a record $214.8 billion in September 2006, it’s still above the average of $63.2 billion over the past 30 years and means the U.S. needs to attract about $1 billion a day in new foreign capital for the dollar to maintain its value.
Dollar bears note net purchases of long-term U.S. securities by foreign investors fell below the trade deficit by $46 billion in the first half of the year, one of the only three occasions since 1994 there was a shortfall, according to Treasury Department data.
‘Huge Financing Need’
When that happened in the second half of 2007, the Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s Dollar Index, which measures the currency’s performance against the euro, yen, pound, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc and Swedish krona, fell 6.38 percent.
“The U.S. has such a huge financing need that you wonder what level of the dollar that will require,” said Emanuele Ravano, a managing director in London for Pacific Investment Management Co., which oversees more than $840 billion. “The dollar will need to weaken” to attract investment, he said. Pimco has been calling for a weaker dollar since before credit markets seized up in August 2007.
Wagers by hedge funds and other large speculators against the dollar versus eight major currencies rose to 217,367 contracts on Aug. 25, the most since July 2008, figures from the Washington-based Commodity Futures Trading Commission show. As recently as April, traders were betting the dollar would gain.
The Dollar Index fell at the start of the credit-market seizure two years ago, dropping 13 percent to a record low in April, 2008. It rebounded 25 percent by March as the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the bailout of American International Group Inc. and the forced sale of Merrill Lynch & Co. sparked concern the global financial system was close to collapse, driving traders to the perceived safety of the U.S. currency and government debt.
The index has since retreated 14 percent and closed Sept. 4 at 78.136 as financial markets stabilized and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index surged 49 percent in the biggest rally since the 1930s. It fell to 77.234 today, down 5 percent this year.
The dollar declined 1 percent to $1.4479 per euro as of 6:52 a.m. in New York, and depreciated 0.9 percent against the yen to 92.22.
Concerns about the dollar’s performance are overblown, said Christoph Kind, who manages $20 billion as head of asset allocation in Frankfurt at Frankfurt-Trust Investment GmbH.
Increased savings will make the U.S. less dependent on foreign capital, he said. Americans saved 6 percent of their incomes in May, the highest level since 1998 and up from zero in April 2008. The rate fell to 4.2 percent in July, in line with the average over the past 20 years.
“The U.S. is not going back to the old model of growth,” where Americans used borrowed money to buy foreign goods, said Kind. “The new growth model will be more export-led. From that point, the narrowing in the current-account deficit will begin, which is positive for the dollar.”
King is “overweight” the dollar, meaning he owns a greater percentage of assets denominated in the currency than is contained in benchmark indexes. The median estimate of 33 strategists surveyed by Bloomberg is for the greenback to end 2010 at $1.40 per euro.
Bond yields may also help the dollar. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yielded an average 3.34 percentage points more than the Fed’s target rate for overnight loans between banks during the last three months. Whenever the gap approaches 4 percentage points, U.S. debt becomes “hugely” attractive to foreign investors, according to Alan Ruskin, head of currency strategy at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut.
Dollar and Spreads
The Dollar Index gained 6.56 percent in 2001 as the spread reached about 3.65 percentage points. The 10-year yield will rise to 4.39 percent by the end of 2010, as the Fed’s target rate for overnight loans between banks increases to 1 percent, according to the median estimate of more than 45 economists and strategists surveyed by Bloomberg.
“The combination of a large public sector deficit that pushes up market-determined real and nominal yields, with a relatively small external financing need, may well be associated with a reasonably strong currency,” Ruskin wrote in a research note to clients on Aug. 19.
Harvard’s Rogoff and Maurice Obstfeld, a professor at the University of California Berkeley, predicted in November 2005 that the dollar would need to depreciate as much as 30 percent on a trade-weighted basis to close a current-account deficit totaling 6 percent of GDP. The Dollar Index is down about 15 percent since then.
Emerging Markets Benefit
Now, Rogoff says the dollar will decline against emerging market currencies by about 2 percent each year for the next 10 years as the developing world economies account for a larger share of global growth. To keep the dollar from depreciating, the U.S. current-account deficit should be no larger than 2 percent or 2.5 percent of GDP, he said.
As Obama pushed the nation’s marketable debt to $6.78 trillion, the country became more reliant on foreign funding. Almost 50 percent of the debt is held outside the country, up from 35 percent in 2000, U.S. figures show.
International investors have reduced purchases of long-term U.S. assets in recent months, according to the Treasury Department. Net inflows into Treasuries and stocks fell to $82.8 billion in the second quarter from $235 billion a year earlier, a 65 percent decline.
No ‘Performance Advantage’
The need for foreign investors may only increase in the final four months of 2009.
After purchases by the Fed, the net supply of long-term U.S. government and agency debt has been about $50 billion a month this year, Dean Maki, head of U.S. economics research at Barclays Capital in New York, wrote in a Sept. 4 report. As the Fed slows its so-called quantitative easing program, net supply may reach $200 billion by year-end, he wrote.
“In the broadest sense, the dollar tends to prosper when a unique U.S. asset attracts foreign buyers,” such as high real yields in the early 1980s and the Internet boom in early 2000s, Steven Englander, the chief currency strategist at Barclays, wrote in a research note on Aug. 27. “There is no asset class in which U.S. assets have a clear performance advantage”
＊去年の夏から、伊勢がブログで取り上げてきた「米ドルの信用力」のことです。この論文や、JOSEPH・STIGLITZ（コロンビア大学経済学教授）の「W・DIPがやってくる」は、オバマ政権や、アメリカへの警告だが、勿論、世界への警告なのである。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナU.S. Dollar Will Weaken, Currency Crash Possible, Roubini Says
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar will weaken and the U.S. risks seeing a crash of the currency unless it does more to control the deficit and reduce debt, said New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the financial crisis.
“If markets were to believe, and I’m not saying it’s likely, that inflation is going to be the route that the U.S. is going to take to resolve this problem, then you could have a crash of the value of the dollar,” Roubini said in an interview today in Cernobbio, Italy. “The value of the dollar over time has to fall on a trade-weighted basis, but not necessarily relative to euro and yen.”
Roubini said he didn’t see a risk of a dollar crash in the “‘short term.” The value of the U.S. currency relative to currencies such as the yen or the euro “cannot change too much compared to current levels because if the dollar were to weaken a lot and the euro strengthen a lot, that’s going to warp any chance for the European economy to recover, same argument as to the yen,” he said.
“Most of the adjustment of the dollar in the future has to occur relative to China, relative to emerging Asia and relative to some of the other commodity exporters in the world, whether these are advanced economies or emerging markets,” he said.
Foreign creditors need assurances that the U.S. will address its deficit, Roubini said.
“Unless in the medium term these issues of fiscal sustainability are addressed, and unless we mop up that excess liquidity from the financial system, eventually the financial markets and the foreign creditors of the United States might get more concerned about the sustainability of the U.S. fiscal deficit and about the U.S. being tempted to use the inflation tax as a way of resolving its private and public debt problems,” he said.
ノーベル経済学賞受賞者のジョゼフ・スティグリッツ、コロンビア大学教授は、“USの経済復興は持続しないのかも知れない”と語った。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナStiglitz Says U.S. Economic Recovery May Not Be ‘Sustainable’
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy faces a “significant chance” of contracting again after emerging from its worst recession since the 1930s, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said.
“It’s not clear that the U.S. is recovering in a sustainable way,” Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor, told reporters yesterday in New York.
Economists and policy makers are expressing concern about the strength of a projected economic recovery, with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner saying two days ago that it’s too soon to remove government measures aimed at boosting growth.
Stiglitz said he sees two scenarios for the world’s largest economy in coming months. One is a period of “malaise,” in which consumption lags and private investment is slow to accelerate. The other is a rebound fueled by government stimulus that’s followed by an abrupt downturn -- an occurrence that economists call a “W-shaped’ recovery.
“There’s a significant chance of a W, but I don’t think it’s inevitable,” he said. The economy “could just bounce along the bottom.”
Stiglitz said it’s difficult to predict the economy’s trajectory because “we really are in a different world.” He said the crisis of the past year was made worse by lax regulation that allowed some financial firms to grow so large that the system couldn’t handle a failure of any of them.
“These institutions are not only too big to fail, they are too big to be managed,” he said.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations meet in London Sept. 4-5 to lay the groundwork for a summit in Pittsburgh later this month, where leaders will consider measures to overhaul supervision of the financial system.
The U.S. Treasury Department, in a statement yesterday, said it wants a global agreement requiring banks to increase their capital cushions to be reached by the end of next year.
Stiglitz, 66, said that while $787 billion in federal government stimulus is propelling growth this quarter, there’s no guarantee the economy will maintain its momentum. On whether the U.S. needs another injection of stimulus, Stiglitz said it’s best to “wait and see.”
“We did have a very big stimulus, and that stimulus has added to economic growth and will be adding in the current quarter,” he said. “But the question going forward in 2011 is the stimulus is coming off, and that’s a negative.”
A U.S. government bailout of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which filed for bankruptcy a year ago, wouldn’t have prevented the global economy from sliding into a recession, Stiglitz said.
“Whether Lehman Brothers had or had not been bailed out, the global economy was headed for difficulties, a fact that seems increasingly evident as the world sputters in its recovery,” he said.
U.S. GDP shrank at a 1 percent annual rate from April to June, following a 6.4 percent pace of contraction in the first three months of the year.
The drop was the fourth in a row, the longest contraction since quarterly records began in 1947. The world’s largest economy has shrunk 3.9 percent since last year’s second quarter, making this the deepest recession since the Great Depression.
Stiglitz won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001 for showing that markets are inefficient when all parties in a transaction don’t have equal access to critical information, which is most of the time.
With so much excess capacity, the American economy faces a short-term threat of disinflation and possibly deflation, Stiglitz said. Wages may even decline, given recent high productivity and the likelihood of an extended period of high unemployment, he said.
Longer term, he said the Fed’s aggressive monetary policy will mean inflation becomes the greater threat. “With the magnitude of the deficits and the balance sheet of the Fed having been blown up, it’s understandable why there are anxieties about inflation,” he said.
While the Fed says it has the tools to deal with it, there are still concerns, Stiglitz said. Because monetary policy takes six to 18 months to have its full effect, the central bank will have to begin withdrawing monetary stimulus on the basis of forecasts.
The Fed’s record on its economic forecasts isn’t enough to reassure investors and, as a result, the U.S. currency may suffer, he said.
“Whether or not they’re able to do it, the uncertainty today about whether they can do it can contribute to the weakness of the dollar,” Stiglitz said. “That’s one of the reasons there is increasing interest around the world in discussing alternatives to the dollar system.”
Stiglitz, who is a member of a United Nations commission that will study the global financial system and currency regimes, said “the logic is compelling” for a new global currency.
The current system creates instability, weakens global confidence, and is fundamentally unfair to developing countries that are in essence lending the U.S. trillions of dollars and bearing the risk, he said.
“In most quarters, there is a feeling we should move away from the dollar system. The question is do we do it in an orderly way, or a chaotic way,” Stiglitz said. “The size of the deficit and the size of the balance sheet of the Fed have just increased the anxiety and the desire that something be done.”
While some think it would hurt the U.S. to no longer be able to borrow cheaply in dollars, “that era is over,” he said. “We’re moving to a more multi-polar world.”
Between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Lehman Brothers was “the short period of American triumphalism, where we dominated the global scene. That period is over,” Stiglitz said.
９・４・０９ 北朝鮮は、「プルトニウム抽出最終工程に達し、ウラニウム濃縮にも成功した～核兵器を製造する準備ができた～経済制裁を続けるのか、核保有国を認めて話し合うのか？」と国連に迫った。日本では、朝鮮半島宥和政権ができた。それを「チャンス到来！」と受けて、金正日は国際社会、特に、日本に妥協を迫ったのである。伊勢平次郎 ルイジアナ
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- North Korea said it is “weaponizing” plutonium and enriching uranium and told the United Nations to choose between talks or imposing sanctions over its nuclear program.
Reprocessing of spent fuel rods is “at its final phase and extracted plutonium is being weaponized,” the official Korean Central News Agency said today. “Experimental uranium enrichment has successfully been conducted to enter into the completion phase.”
North Korea is ready for both dialogue and sanctions over its nuclear program, KCNA said. If Security Council members put sanctions first, the country will respond with “bolstering our nuclear deterrence first before we meet them in a dialogue,” the news agency said, citing the country’s permanent representative to the UN body.
North Korea fired more than a dozen missiles this year in defiance of international pressure, prompting the Security Council to impose sanctions in June. The communist country said in April it would never return to nuclear disarmament talks involving the U.S., China, Russia, South Korea and Japan.
The government signaled a softening of its stance last month, saying it may be open to negotiations outside the six- party forum.
North Korea made its statement on sanctions in a letter sent to the UN Security Council president yesterday, KCNA said in its report. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice currently holds the council’s rotating presidency.
The U.S. is “willing to engage in dialogue with North Korea, in the context of the six-party process, to see if North Korea is prepared to recommit to verifiable denuclearization,” Philip J. Crowley, a State Department spokesman, said by e-mail. “We will continue to work with the international community on enforcement of international sanctions. This is not an either-or proposition, but how this proceeds really depends on the choice for North Korea to make.”
North Korea “will never be bound” by the UN sanctions resolution imposed in June, KCNA said.
“We have never objected to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and of the world itself,” it said. “What we objected to is the structure of the six-way talks which had been used to violate outrageously the DPRK’s sovereignty and its right to peaceful development.”
Kim Jong Il’s regime, which tested its second nuclear device May 25, said in June it will continue its nuclear weapons program, including the use of plutonium stockpiles for weapons and developing a program to produce highly enriched uranium.
The Security Council voted unanimously in June to adopt a U.S.-backed resolution punishing North Korea for its May nuclear test. The measure seeks to curb loans and money transfers to North Korea and step up inspection of cargoes containing material that might contribute to the development of nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles.
Stephen Bosworth, the U.S. special envoy on North Korea’s nuclear program, is in China to discuss how to resume disarmament talks. He travels to South Korea and Japan at the weekend after his talks in Beijing.
Hatoyama Seeks ‘Yukio-Barack’ Rapport as He Plans to Woo China
Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- When Yukio Hatoyama travels to the U.S. this month as Japan’s new prime minister, he’ll have a chance to tell President Barack Obama just what he envisages in calling for a “more equal alliance.”
Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan won a landslide election two days ago, ousting a government that had held sway for half a century and signed an agreement in 1960 to host U.S. soldiers on Japanese soil to provide for the country’s security.
The DPJ’s platform proposed revising an accord stipulating how the 50,000 American troops stationed in Japan are treated, and developing an “autonomous” foreign policy that is still rooted in the U.S. alliance. Hatoyama has called for closer ties in Asia, especially with China, as that country develops a military capability in line with its economic expansion.
“The DPJ wants to have good relations with China and they want to have very good relations with the United States,” Gerald Curtis, a professor of Japanese politics at Columbia University in New York, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “The Hatoyama government will not do things that are going to provoke major controversy with the United States.”
Hatoyama, 62, is set to be sworn in as prime minister in time to represent Japan at this month’s Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh and the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Obama, 48 will attend both meetings, giving him a chance to meet Hatoyama.
DPJ officials say they would welcome the kind of first-name relationship former premier Junichiro Koizumi enjoyed with President George W. Bush.
“The issue for us now is whether Hatoyama can establish a ‘Yukio-Barack’ relationship,” DPJ upper-house legislator Kan Suzuki said in an Aug. 26 interview. “Our biggest policy challenge is diplomacy. As an opposition party, we had a complete lack of information.”
As his party’s election landslide unfolded, Hatoyama praised Obama for having “steered U.S. diplomacy toward dialogue.”
“We must create a country with the trust of the international community,” Hatoyama said at a press conference early yesterday morning. “There should be many roles that Japan can fulfill between the U.S. and a rising China.”
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly described the U.S.- Japan partnership as “key to pursuing peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.” In an Aug. 30 statement, he said the U.S. “will work closely with the new Japanese government” on issues including curbing North Korea’s nuclear program, combating climate change and “bringing stability to Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
The U.S. isn’t concerned that Japan may seek stronger ties with China and other Asian powers, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday.
“We believe that we’ve always had a strong relationship and that relationship will continue, regardless of what Japanese government is in power,” Gibbs said.
While in opposition, Hatoyama’s party resisted Japan’s limited role in providing naval refueling services to support the U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan. DPJ leaders are also seeking to reduce the estimated $10.3 billion cost of transferring 8,000 Marines from Japan’s southern island of Okinawa to Guam by 2014.
Yesterday, Kelly praised Japan’s refueling role while telling reporters that “it’s up to each country to determine how they can best contribute” to stabilizing Afghanistan. He said the U.S. “has no intention” of renegotiating the Guam agreement.
Japanese citizens, especially in Okinawa, favor changing the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces agreement that gives American servicemen protection from legal prosecution in Japan. A U.S. Marine was sentenced by a U.S. military court to four years in prison in May 2008 for sexual abuse of a 14-year-old Okinawan girl but cleared of rape charges in the latest of a series of such incidents.
The DPJ seeks to revise the agreement, a legacy of the U.S. occupation of Japan after World War II, which by the time it ended was twice as long as the war between the two countries.
“We want to move away from U.S. dependency to a more equal alliance,” Hatoyama said in a February interview, before he became head of the party. “We’ve followed the U.S. subserviently in the past.”
Foreign policy got little attention during the campaign, with Hatoyama barely mentioning issues such as North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests. Japan participates in stalled six- party talks designed to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program, a forum the communist regime has been trying to circumvent by seeking direct talks with the U.S.
The Obama administration, anticipating an LDP defeat as Prime Minister Taro Aso’s approval ratings plummeted, requested a meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and senior DPJ officials, including Hatoyama, when she visited Tokyo in February.
The new Japanese government may put foreign policy aside temporarily as it works to revive the economy, said Sheila Smith, a senior fellow for Japan Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.
Still, the U.S. military should be paying attention to the DPJ’s desire to reduce U.S. forces in Okinawa and its pledge to end Afghan refueling missions, she said.
“They have a tremendous agenda,” Smith said, citing promises on domestic economic stimulus plans. “It’s not quite clear to me where they’ll start.”