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There's a lot more, but that's enough get you on the road. Good luck, and remember that cold beer never tasted better until after you've made deadline. Skip to main content. Tip Sheets tip sheet. Recommendations for meeting the emotional challenges of covering war, from a group of seasoned veterans.

This documentary, available online and on DVD, features a wide range of Australian journalists their recounting experiences covering traumatic stories. Request Copies. When children are victims of violence, journalists have a responsibility to report the truth with compassion and sensitivity. Whether clinicians like it or not, children and families affected by trauma are routinely covered by the media. When that happens, clinicians often face difficult choices. This documentary, available online and on DVD, examines the impact of the news coverage of the Columbine High School shootings.

In conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Dart Centre Asia Pacific created a teaching video on the treatment of news sources. The project was developed to supplement teaching materials for journalism educators. Watch Now. A video by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Dart Centre Australasia on how peer support programs help journalists deal with trauma. Integrating clinical and social perspective without sacrificing either the complexity of individual experience or the breadth of political context, "Trauma and Recovery" brings a new level of understanding to the psychological consequences of the full range of traumatic life events.

Buy Now. Jonathan Shay is a Boston based psychiatrist caring for Vietnam combat veterans diagnosed with severe, chronic post-traumatic stress disorder.


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In this unique and revolutionary book, Dr. Although the Iliad was written twenty-seven centuries ago, so much can be learned about combat trauma, especially when it is threaded through the compelling voices and experiences of Vietnam vets. War journalists, like all who have prolonged exposure to violence, come home emotionally maimed and often broken. And yet, a news culture in denial has pretended that war journalists are immune from trauma. This fit into the macho culture of war journalism. It also assuaged the consciences of those running news organizations, who often crumple up and discard, years later, those they send to war.

Feinstein has provided us with research that is a chilling reminder that war journalists are human, as well as a searing indictment of major news conglomerates who have refused to acknowledge or address the suffering of their own. How do we help veterans who are returning from war with PTSD? Frank Ochberg, a leading authority on PTSD, shares his experiences, seasoned insights and suggestions in this intimate conversation with reporter Mike Walters.

He shares his insights regarding common symptoms to look out for and the importance of building trust and other aspects of the patient-therapist relationship. He then explains techniques he has developed that help his clients work through the trauma and adapt to civilian life. Mapping Trauma and Its Wake is a compilation of autobiographic essays by seventeen of the field's pioneers, each of whom has been recognized for his or her contributions by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Each author discusses how he or she first got interested in the field, what each feels are his or her greatest achievements, and where the discipline might - and should - go from here.

This impressive collection of essays by internationally-renowned specialists is destined to become a classic of traumatology literature. It is a text that will provide future mental health professionals with a window into the early years of this rapidly expanding field. Frank M. Ochberg, MD is adjunct professor of psychiatry, criminal justice and journalism at Michigan State University.

His book, Post Traumatic Therapy and Victims of Violence, is widely acclaimed as one of the leading resources in the field. In this long-awaited memoir, Lifton charts the adventurous and surprising course of his fascinating life journey, one that took him from what he refers to as, "a Jewish Huck Finn childhood in Brooklyn, to deep and meaningful friendships with many of the most influential intellectuals, writers, and artists of our time—from Erik Erikson, David Riesman, and Margaret Mead, to Howard Zinn and Kurt Vonnegut, Stanley Kunitz, Kenzaburo Oe, and Norman Mailer.

This work is more than a memoir, it is also a remarkable study of Hiroshima survivors. Lifton explored the human consequences of nuclear weapons, and then went on to uncover dangerous forms of attraction to their power in the spiritual disease he calls nuclearism. Lifton writing illuminates the reversal of healing and killing in ordinary physicians who had been socialized to Nazi evil.

In this original psychological literary work, Dr. Jonathan Shay continues what he started in his book, Achilles in Vietnam. Uses the Odyssey, the story of a soldier's homecoming, Shay sheds light on the pitfalls that trap many veterans on the road to recovery, the return to civilian life. The combination of psychological insight and literary brilliance feels seamless. Shay makes an impassioned plea to renovate American military institutions and in doing so deepens the readers understanding of the veteran's experience. Trauma Journalism personalizes this movement with in-depth profiles of reporters, researchers and trauma experts engaged in an international effort to transform how the media work under the most difficult of conditions.

Two experts from the VA National Center for PTSD come together in this work to provide an essential resource for service members, their spouses, families, and communities. They shed light on what troops really experience during deployment and once they return home. Pinpointing the most common after-effects of war and offering strategies for troop reintegration to daily life, Friedman and Slone cover the myths and realities of homecoming; reconnecting with spouse and family; anger and adrenaline; guilt and moral dilemmas; and PTSD and other mental-health concerns.

With a wealth of community and government resources, tips, and suggestions, After the War Zone is a practical guide to helping troops and their families prevent war zone stresses from having a lasting negative impact. Experiencing trauma at some point in life is almost inevitable, overcoming it is not. This inspiring book identifies ten key ways to weather and bounce back from stress and trauma. Steven M.


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Southwick incorporates the latest scientific research and interviews with trauma survivors. This book provides a practical guide to building emotional, mental and physical resilience after trauma. This book examines several current clinical approaches to trauma-focused treatment. Rather than describe theoretical approaches in isolation, the editors have integrated these interventions into a broader clinical context. Chapter authors emphasize basic therapeutic skills such as empathic listening, instilling resilience, and creating meaning, in the service of empirically-supported, highly efficacious trauma interventions.

Throughout, they focus on the real-life challenges that arise in typical therapy sessions to deepen our understanding and application of evidence based interventions. While this book is intended for all clinical mental health professionals who work with trauma survivors it is also a phenomenal resource for those who seek to broaden their understanding of the way various approaches to understanding treatment of trauma.

The award-winning author and noted psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton offers a powerful critique of American militarism during the Vietnam War. Home from the War is recognized as the ultimate text for those working with Vietnam veterans, the book's insights have had enormous influence among psychologists and psychiatrists all over the world. The Boston Globe called this book, "A powerful reminder not only of what happened, but of the monumental evil done by the particular human beings who were trained to heal and cure.

With chilling literary power, Lifton describes the Nazi transmutation of values that allowed medical killing to be seen as a therapeutic healing of the body politic. When Trauma and Recovery was first published in , it was hailed as a groundbreaking work. In a new afterword, Herman chronicles the incredible response the book has elicited and explains how the issues surrounding the topic have shifted within the clinical community and the culture at large.

More essential now than ever, Covering Violence connects journalistic practices to the rapidly expanding body of literature on trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and secondary traumatic stress, and pays close attention to current medical and political debates concerning victims' rights. Sharing the Front Line and the Back Hills is a story that points to a crisis facing international institutions and the media who seek to alleviate and report human suffering throughout the world.

The goals of the editor are to tell the story of thousands of individuals dedicated to helping others; and to integrate issues of protection and care into all levels of planning, implementing and evaluating international intervention and action. The book identifies approaches that have proven useful and explores and suggests future directions. Ervin Staub explores the psychological, cultural, and societal roots of group aggression.

Tsunami Chronicles: Adventures in Disaster Management

He sketches a conceptual framework for the many influences on one group's desire to harm another: cultural and social patterns predisposing to violence, historical circumstances resulting in persistent life problems, and needs and modes of adaptation arising from the interaction of these influences. Drawing on more than 30 years of criminal justice experience, author Susan Herman explains why justice for all requires more than holding offenders accountable it means addressing victims three basic needs: to be safe, to recover from the trauma of the crime, and regain control of their lives.

This is the story of the Northern Ireland troubles told as never before. It is not concerned with the political bickering, but with the lives of those who have suffered and the deaths which have resulted from more than three decades of conflict. The history of Arab settlement in the United States stretches back nearly as far as the history of America itself.

For the first time, Alia Malek brings this history to life. In each of eleven spellbinding chapters, she inhabits the voice and life of one Arab American, at one time-stopping historical moment. Legal Lynching offers a succinct, accessible introduction to the debate over the death penalty's history and future, exposing a chilling frequency of legal error, systemic racial and economic discrimination, and pervasive government misconduct. As well as telling the story of an iconic man in the field of war photography, the film addresses the broader scope of ideas common to all those involved in war journalism, as well as the issues that they cover.

For the first time in the United States comes the tragic and profoundly important story of the legendary Canadian general who "watched as the devil took control of paradise on earth and fed on the blood of the people we were supposed to protect. Ophuls examines attitudes toward war in the Western media, and in the societies they inform. An enthralling, deeply moving memoir from one of our foremost American war correspondents. Janine Di Giovanni has spent most of her career—more than twenty years—in war zones recording events on behalf of the voiceless.

Echoes of Violence is an award-winning collection of personal letters to friends from a foreign correspondent who is trying to understand what she witnessed during the iconic human disasters of our time--in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and New York City on September 11th, among many other places. With inspiring fearlessness, McClelland tackles perhaps her most harrowing assignment to date: investigating the damage in her own mind and repairing her broken psyche.

She begins to probe the depths of her illness, exploring our culture's history with PTSD, delving into the latest research by the country's top scientists and therapists, and spending time with veterans and their families. This ground breaking book, the first collection of original essays on genocide to be published in anthropology, explores a wide range of cases, including Nazi Germany, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, and Bosnia. In Donald Rumsfeld signed a memo that authorized the controversial interrogation practices that later migrated to Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere.

From a behind-the-scenes vantage point, Phillipe Sands investigates how this memo set the stage for divergence. Shoah is Claude Lanzmann's landmark documentary meditation on the Holocaust. Assembled from footage shot by the filmmaker during the s and s, it investigates the genocide at the level of experience: the geographical layout of the camps and the ghettos; the daily routines of imprisonment; the inexorable trauma of humiliation, punishment, extermination; and the fascinating insights of those who experienced these events first hand. Humankind has struggled to make sense of human-upon-human violence.

Edited by two of anthropology's most passionate voices on this subject, "Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology" is the only book of its kind available: a single volume exploration of social, literary, and philosophical theories of violence. A gripping and insightful examination of the relationship between news-makers and news-watchers, looking at how images of war and tragedy are presented to us in the media and how we consume them. In his extraordinarily gripping and thought-provoking new book, Jeremy Bowen charts his progress from keen young novice whose first reaction to the sound of gunfire was to run towards it to the more circumspect veteran he is today.

The Observer's chief foreign correspondent Peter Beaumont, takes us into the guts of modern conflict. He visits the bombed and abandoned home of Mullah Omar; discovers a deserted Al Qaeda camp where he finds documents describing a plan to attack London; talks to young bomb-throwers in a Rafah refugee camp. Unflinching and utterly gripping. France's leading sociologist shows how, far from reflecting the tastes of the majority, television, particularly television journalism, imposes ever-lower levels of political and social discourse on us all.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. It promotes the kind of happiness and peace that gets into your bones. It seeps into everything you do and helps you meet the worst that life throws at you with new courage.

Slee: A Very Short Introduction, addresses the biological and psychological aspects of sleep, providing a basic understanding of what sleep is and how it is measured, a look at sleep through the human lifespan, and the causes and consequences of major sleep disorders. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust.

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This is a new edition of the world's leading textbook on journalism. Translated into more than a dozen languages, David Randall's handbook is an invaluable guide to the 'universals' of good journalistic practice for professional and trainee journalists worldwide. This provocative study of the political culture of nationalism in Sri Lanka and Australia - is one of the few genuinely comparative studies in anthropology and in taking up such an important question as nationalism it reminds us that truly relevant anthropology questions deep-seated cultural beliefs, including our own.

Family Secrets offers a sweeping account of how shame--and the relationship between secrecy and openness--has changed over the last two centuries in Britain. Deborah Cohen uses detailed sketches of individual families as the basis for comparing different sorts of social stigma. During World War Two, German cities and towns were targeted by Allied bombs, a good number almost entirely flattened.

Six hundred thousand German civilians died—a figure twice that of all American war casualties. Seven and a half million Germans were left homeless. Given the astonishing scope of the devastation, W. Sebald asks: Why? Christina Lamb's evocative reporting brings to life the stories that no one else had written about: the abandoned victims of almost a quarter century of war. Her unique perspective on Afghanistan and deep passion for the people she writes about make this the definitive account of the tragic plight of a proud nation.

Christina Lamb's powerful narrative traces the history of the brutal civil war, independence, and the Mugabe years, all through the lives of two people on opposing sides. Although born within a few miles of each other, their experience growing up could not have been more different. Jerusalem shows us a cosmopolitan city whose religious tolerance crumbled before the onset of Z ionism and its corresponding nationalism on both sides-a conflict that could have been resolved were it not for the onset of World War I.

With extraordinary skill, Amy Dockser Marcus rewrites the story of one of the world's most indelible divides. Based on "Blood Brothers," the award-nominated series that ran in Army Times, this is the remarkable story of a courageous military unit that sacrificed their lives to change Adhamiya, Iraq from a lawless town where insurgents roamed freely, to a safe and secure neighborhood. This is a timeless story of men at war and a heartbreaking account of American sacrifice in Iraq.

Aaron Glantz reported extensively from Iraq during the first three years of this war and has been reporting on the plight of veterans ever since. The War Comes Home is the first book to systematically document the U. Kathie Klarreich's compelling memoir interweaves shattering political events with an intensely personal narrative about the Haitian musician Klarreich, who turns out to be as enthralling and complicated as the political events she covered.

A close-up portrait of hatred, a community rendered helpless, and the police blunders and cover-ups, it is a compelling and utterly human portrait of two killers-an unforgettable cautionary tale for our times. This story is at times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, Always Running is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-earned lesson for the next generation.

Still Here, documents the ongoing expressions of hope, perseverance, and suffering in the still-devastated communities of New Orleans and Texas post hurricane Katrina. Mike Walter loved chasing the big story, but on one September morning, the biggest story of his career chased him down: a jet rained from the sky, piercing the Pentagon and shattering his emotional well being.

He notes that China's current account surplus has declined since from ten to four percent of GDP, but says that is not because of any decline in savings another way of saying rise in consumption but because of an increase in domestic investment. Other things being equal, he expects the decline of the current account surplus to reverse itself. Because "Beijing is finding it impossibly hard to raise the consumption rate," and because "it is extremely important that it reduce the investment rate before debt levels become unsustainable" if this sounds familiar to us Japan types, that's not a coincidence.

But of course other things are not equal. Looking around the world these days, one wonders who is going to do that. The Europeans, where the countries of peripheral Europe are being forced to cut back on all kinds of spending; i. The United States, where both the Obama stimulus package and the Bush tax cuts will come to an end soon, while presidential politics degenerates into a "more austere than thou" circus?

Remember, less spending means more savings and thus, other things being equal, reduced current account deficits. So we come to Japan where Pettis notes that all the austerity talk out of Nagatacho and Kasumigaseki threatens to put Tokyo on a direct collision course with Beijing. There is one serious problem with Pettis' analysis. He writes of the early s that "rather than privatize assets and transfer wealth directly to the household sectors, the Japanese began rebalancing by having the government assume private sector debt.

While Richard Koo is absolutely right that shoveling money into the economy in the form of these "assets" kept Japan from depression, there is effectively no way to "privatize" most of them — no one would buy them. It is not a matter, as Pettis seems to think, of "reluctance" on the part of the Japanese authorities "to solve its debt problems by privatization.

Alas, however, this misunderstanding re-enforces Pettis' broader point — that the policy mix being debated in Tokyo today and seemingly championed by Noda can succeed, if implemented, only by restoring Japan's trade surplus — and thus increasing its current account surplus. That, in turn, can only happen if counterbalancing deficits increase elsewhere — or surpluses elsewhere go down, which if Pettis is correct about China, is a non-starter. It has been ninety years now since John Maynard Keynes pointed out in the Economic Consequences of the Peace that squeezing money out of people does not bring prosperity.

What may appear to work for the individual household, company, or even country produces only misery when everyone tries to do it at the same time. That's how we got the Great Depression. For some decades after that catastrophe, the world seemed to have learnt its lesson. But hearing what is coming out of Washington, Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, London, Frankfurt and Brussels, one can only assume the lesson has been forgotten. The only hope Pettis offers is a possible "reduction in commodity prices, including oil, which will help absorb some of the changes in trade balances.

I want to sketch out a scenario in which rather than analyze policy announcements or make predictions I try to lay out the various possible paths open to China. The scenario concerns trade. Over the next two years the forecast is, depending on who you talk to, either that it will rise significantly, or that it will decline to zero and perhaps even run into deficit. The Ministry of Commerce has argued the latter and the World Bank the former.

I am not sure which way the surplus will go, but I would argue that either way it is going to be a very strained and difficult process for both China and the world. On the one hand if the Ministry of Commerce is arguing, as many do, that the rapid contraction in the surplus indicates that China is indeed rebalancing and will continue to do so, I think they are almost certainly wrong.

China is not rebalancing and the decline in the surplus was driven wholly by external conditions. In fact until , and probably also in , the imbalances have gotten worse, not better. For proof consider China's total savings rate as a share of GDP relative to China's total investment rate. The current account surplus, of course, is equal to the excess of savings over investment — any excess savings must be exported, and by definition the current account surplus is exactly equal to the capital account deficit.

This is the standard accounting identity to which I have referred many times in my newsletters. The savings and investment numbers show that the last time investment exceeded savings was in , and during that time China of course ran a current account deficit. This was just before Beijing sharply devalued the RMB, after which it immediately began running a surplus, which has persisted for 17 years.

From the accounting identity it is clear that if the current account surplus declines, there are logically only two ways it can happen. One way is for the savings rate to decline. In that case the investment rate must either rise, or it must decline more slowly than the savings rate. The other way is for the savings rate to rise. In that case the investment rate must rise even faster. In the first case a declining savings rate indicates that Chinese consumption is indeed rising and Chinese investment is declining or at least rising more slowly than consumption. This is the "right" way for the trade surplus to decline because it represents a rebalancing of the Chinese economy away from its dependence on investment and the trade surplus and towards consumption.

In the second case — the "wrong" way — consumption is actually declining further as a share of GDP, and the reduction in China's dependence on the trade surplus is more than matched by an increase in its dependence on trade. So is China rebalancing? Of course not. Rebalancing would require that the domestic consumption share of GDP rise. Is the consumption share of GDP rising? Clearly not. If consumption had increased its share of GDP since the onset of the crisis, the savings share of GDP would be declining.

And yet savings continue to rise. This is the opposite of rebalancing, and it should not come as a surprise. Beijing is trying to increase the consumption share of GDP by subsidizing certain types of household consumption white goods, cars , but since the subsidies are paid for indirectly by the household sector, the net effect is to take away with one hand what it offers with the other. This is no way to increase consumption. Meanwhile investment continues to grow and, with it, debt continues to grow, and since the only way to manage all this debt is to continue repressing interest rates at the expense of household depositors, households have to increase their savings rates to make up the difference.

So national savings continue to rise. What then explains the decline in China's current account surplus over the past three years? The numbers make it pretty obvious. The sharp contraction in China's current account surplus after had was driven by the external sector, and in order to counteract the adverse growth impact Beijing responded with a surge in investment in You can argue whether or not this was an appropriate policy response yes because otherwise growth would have collapsed, or no because it seriously worsened the imbalances , but certainly since then as consumption has failed to lead GDP growth, investment has continued rising too quickly.

It is, in other words, rising investment, not rebalancing towards higher consumption, that explains the contraction in the current account surplus. The savings share of GDP is still actually rising. In it he says:. Many a headline has highlighted how rising costs in China are putting pressure on profit margins and reducing the competitiveness of the country's huge labour-intensive, export -oriented manufacturing industry — prompting multinational companies to start shifting production to other countries in Asia.

However, a closer look at trade data shows that China's overall exports are still gaining market share. In , Chinese exports grew by around 20 per cent in US dollar terms and 10 per cent in real terms, compared to an increase in real global imports of around 7 per cent. Kujis goes on the argue that China's export growth will remain strong in the future, and he may be right, but for me what is important here is that while the world is struggling with weak growth in demand, and surplus countries are being forced to rein in their surpluses, China's share of total surpluses are probably actually expanding.

This suggests that China is restraining, not leading, global trade rebalancing, and given China's difficulty in raising the consumption share of GDP this shouldn't be a surprise. So which way will China's current account surplus move over the next few years? If we could ignore external conditions, I would argue that the current account surplus should grow in the next few years.

Because Beijing is finding it impossibly hard to raise the consumption rate, and yet it is extremely important that it reduce the investment rate before debt levels become unsustainable. Under these conditions I would argue that we should expect the savings rate to hold steady as a share of GDP or — if we are lucky — for it to decline slowly over the next few years.


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Investment, on the other hand, should decline quickly unless it proves difficult for the post-transition leadership to arrive at a consensus about the need to slow investment growth. I would expect investment to begin dropping erratically sometime in , but I confess that I have no sense of whether or not those who understand how dire the economic situation is can convince the others within the leadership during this period.

If investment rates drop more quickly than the savings rate, by definition this would result in an increase in China's current account surplus. This is why I would argue that if we ignore external conditions I would predict a rise in China's trade surplus over the next few years. But of course there is a huge constraint here. Can the world accommodate China's need to absorb more foreign demand in order to help it through its own transition?

Here I am pretty pessimistic. The first problem is that the big deficit countries have little appetite for rising imbalances. Clearly the US wants to reduce its trade deficit and at the very least it will resist a rapid increase in the trade deficit. The deficit countries of peripheral Europe , who with the US represent the bulk of global trade deficits, are going to have to adjust quite quickly as the financial crisis continues and as their growth slows, and their deficits will contract sharply as their abilities to finance them contract. Declining trade deficits around the world require declining trade surpluses.

Part of the adjustment in Europe I suspect will be absorbed by a contraction in Germany's surplus, but the Germans of course are resisting as much as possible since they, too, are dependent for growth on absorbing foreign demand. I don't know how this will pan out, but certainly Europe as a whole expects its trade surplus to rise, and if instead it begins to run a large deficit, German growth will go negative and the debt burden of peripheral Europe will be harder than ever to bear. Don't expect Europe, in other words, easily to accommodate China's need for a growing trade surplus.

If foreign capital flows to Europe increase — perhaps as China and other BRICs lend money to Europe — Europe's exports will certainly decline relative to imports, but because this means much slower growth for Europe, I don't think it is sustainable. But a much bigger problem may be Japan, and I am surprised that no one seems to be discussing the very adverse Japanese impact on the future development of global trade balances. Japan, as everyone knows, has an enormous debt burden that is only made manageable because it is financed domestically at extremely low rates.

Here is Peter Tasker of the Financial Times on the subject:. When Japan's bubble economy imploded in the early s, public finances were in surplus and government debt was a mere 20 per cent of gross domestic product. Twenty years on, the government is running a yawning deficit and gross public debt has swollen to a sumo-sized per cent of GDP. How did it get from there to here? Not by lavish public spending, as is sometimes assumed. Japan's experiment with Keynesian-style public works programmes ended in True, they had failed to trigger durable economic recovery. But the alternative hypothesis — that fiscal and monetary virtue would be enough — proved woefully mistaken.

Economic growth had been positive in the first half of the "lost decade", but after the government raised the consumption tax in any momentum vanished. Today Japan's nominal GDP is lower than in Tokyo is clearly worried that it is running out of time to manage the debt, and the indications are that it has finally become serious about reducing its debt burden. This January deficit comes on the back of Japan's overall trade deficit, the first time Japan has had an annual trade deficit in many decades. If Japan runs a current account deficit, of course, it means that Japan must turn to foreign sources to finance government debt — a very unwelcome prospect.

How can Japan reduce its debt? I am no expert on Japanese policies but according to much of what I am hearing Tokyo is planning to raise taxes further, especially consumption taxes, and to use the proceeds to pay down the debt. According to an article in the Financial Times that appeared two months ago;. The government and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan agreed on Friday on a draft plan to raise the country's controversial sales tax from , taking a key step towards improving the country's stretched finances.

Prime minister Yoshihiko Noda has faced an uphill struggle to convince some members of his own party, the opposition and the public that the tax is needed to help restore Japan's fiscal health at a time of global fears over sovereign debt. The tax has been opposed on the grounds that it could damage an already weak economy. The consumption tax, which is the government's most stable income stream at about a fifth of total revenues, has long been an obvious candidate for reform. In addition Tokyo and the business community are putting downward pressure on wages in order to increase the competitiveness of the tradable goods sector.

Here is another article from the Financial Times :. Bonuses have been coming under heavy pressure in Japan for years as part of a wider effort to restrain incomes. And while workers around the developed world have been complaining of a squeeze on incomes over the past two decades, in Japan thinner pay packets fuel wider deflation. That makes it even harder for the government to rein in its runaway debt and for the central bank to use monetary policy to boost growth. The National Tax Agency says average annual salaries, including bonuses, fell in nominal terms every year but one in the decade to , sliding from Y4.

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation Rengo says the average size of workers' bonuses has fallen from a peak of 4. More recently, a faltering of Japan's recovery from its deep slump is threatening to further tighten the screws. Total cash earnings for Japanese salaried workers were down 0. This could turn out to be a huge problem for China and the world. Because raising consumption taxes and reducing wages will push up the Japanese savings rate substantially. Either action pushes the growth rate of disposable income down relative to GDP growth, and lower disposable income usually means lower consumption — which is the same as higher savings.

These policies will probably also reduce the investment rate. Lower Japanese consumption, after all, should reduce business profits and so reduce the incentive for expanding domestic production, while pressure for austerity should restrain or even reduce government investment. By definition more savings and less investment mean that Japan's trade surplus must rise.

Japan, in other words, is planning to move backwards in terms of rebalancing. Remember that until Japan had the same problem that China did: its rapid growth was largely a function of policies that transferred wealth from the household sector to subsidize growth. These policies — an undervalued currency, repressed interest rates and low wage growth, which of course are the same as China's — restrained consumption and encouraged debt-fueled investment.

This investment, we now realize, was wasted on a massive scale and the eventual government absorption of all the bad debt caused government debt to rise. After Japan began the slow rebalancing process, but rather than privatize assets and transfer wealth directly to the household sector, the Japanese did it by having the government assume private sector debt. This was politically much easier than privatizing and removing interest rate and capital allocation distortions, but it also meant much slower growth and burgeoning debt. Now Japan is faced with the same difficult options that it faced twenty years ago and that China faces today.

It can privatize government assets, or it can revert to the bad old days of consumption constraining policies. But if it constrains consumption growth and does not replace consumption with a surge in investment, how can it possibly grow except with explosive growth in the trade surplus? Domestic consumption, domestic investment, and the trade surplus are, after all, the only sources of demand growth for any economy.

So where does all this leave us? It's all pretty clear to me. Of the two big trade deficit entities, neither the US nor peripheral Europe can allow their deficits to rise and we may even see, in the latter case, a sharp drop in the deficit. Of the three big surplus countries, Germany is reluctant to allow it's surplus to decline by much, and certainly if it declines faster than the European deficits decline, Europe's debt crisis will be much worse than ever.

China's surplus can decline only if we see a very improbable decline in its savings rate or a very unwelcome increase in its investment rate — and my guess is that the internal pressures are for the savings rate to hold steady as the investment rate declines. And Japanese reluctance to solve its debt problems by privatization requires that it resolve them with an increase in the trade surplus.

Needless to say this isn't going to work, and at least one of the above is going to be extremely disappointed. The "good" news is that if this conflict leads to much slower global growth, as it certainly will, the resulting reduction in commodity prices, including oil, will help absorb some of the changes in the trade imbalances as commodity exporting countries see their exports fall sharply.

But I don't see much other relief. This is an abbreviated version of the author's newsletter which appeared at China Financial Markets found here on March 20, Pettis has worked on Wall Street in trading, capital markets, and corporate finance since On 16 March , North Korea announced that it would launch an earth observation satellite named Kwangmyongsong Lodestar 3, aboard an Unha carrier rocket sometime between the hours of 7 am and noon on a day between 12 and 16 April, to commemorate the th anniversary of the birth of its state founder, Kim Il Sung, and the attainment of "strong and prosperous" status by the country.

The launch from a base in the north of the country close to the border with China would be pointed south, dropping off its first phase rocket into the Yellow Sea about kms to the southwest of South Korea's Byeonsan peninsula and the second into the ocean about kilometres east of Luzon in the Philippines.

Due notice of the impending launch was issued to the appropriate international maritime, aviation and telecommunication bodies IMO, ICAO and ITU and, to mark the occasion, North Korea announced that it would welcome scientific observers and journalists. The 15 April date, in the th year according to the calendar of North Korea, has long been declared a landmark in the history of the state, and the launch seems designed to be its climactic event. Meteorological earth observation satellites multi-functional, but weather forecasting central are either polar orbiting Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite or POES or stationary.

Where polar orbiting satellites circle the globe Both types are multi-functional and in the words of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA they are able to "collect global data on a daily basis for a variety of land, ocean, and atmospheric applications The US has three of the stationary variety in operation.

Japan conducts fairly regular launches from its Tanegashima space station site, and devotes some of its information gathering capacity to spying on North Korea. Note that this trajectory, traversing both China and Taiwan, would make any intervention by the US or Japan extremely difficult. Satellites, of whichever type, are a mark of advanced scientific status and economic development. As a country that especially in recent years has suffered from acute weather irregularities, presumed due to global warming, and is surrounded by satellite-operating states, North Korea has a strong interest in itself joining the select company, both for motives of pride and face as well as for scientific and economic reasons.

A covert military purpose, development of intercontinental ballistic missile capacity, may be assumed, since the rocketry is virtually the same, only the load and the trajectory differ; but this is true of all satellite-launching countries. North Korea became a signatory to the Outer Space treaty of in , and now protests that it alone of the world's nations cannot be denied the universal right to the scientific exploration of space simply because of that convergence of civil and military technology.

However, no sooner was its March announcement of the launch made than much of the world exploded with indignation and demanded it immediately cancel it. South Korea called it a "grave provocation. The Secretary-General of the United Nations said much the same. The Japanese government took steps to rush PAC3 Patriot missile sets to Okinawa and its outlying islands to protect them and the Foreign Minister threatened to order the shooting down of any object that might penetrate into Japanese territory.

A senior official of the Obama administration traveled to Australia to warn that the region "roughly between Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines" might be impacted, the Australian Foreign Minister declared "a real and credible threat to the security of the region and to Australia" and the Sydney Morning Herald published the story under a headline suggestive of an imminent North Korean attack. Although the satellite story broke in the global media only with the Pyongyang announcement, North Korea had given the United States considerable advance notice of its intention.

It did so by at least 15 December , just days before the death of the country's then leader, Kim Jong-il presumed to have been 17 December. In return the US would grant ", metric tons of nutritional assistance, and it stated that it did not have any "hostile intent" and was prepared to take steps to improve the bilateral relationship in the "spirit of mutual respect for sovereignty and equality. This apparently inconsequential sentence was profoundly significant, since that agreement addressed comprehensively the problems of the peninsula and mapped out a path to their resolution, by a graduated, step-by-step process leading to North Korean denuclearization in exchange for diplomatic and economic normalization.

The agreement also included a Japanese commitment to take steps to normalize relations and of the directly related parties to "negotiate a permanent peace regime on the Korean peninsula" and to do so "in the spirit of "mutual respect and equality. The most reluctant party, in and indeed throughout the talks, was the US, described by former Department of State's top North Korea expert Jack Pritchard as "a minority of one … isolated from its four other allies and friends," and facing an ultimatum from the Chinese chair of the conference to sign or else bear responsibility for their breakdown.

After affixing its reluctant signature on 19 September, however, on 20 September the US launched financial sanctions designed to bring the Pyongyang regime down, plainly in breach of the agreement it had just signed. When the US in proclaimed its commitment to the principles, therefore, North Korea must have been inclined to accept the assurance with a grain of salt. Blame for the breakdown in the multilateral Beijing negotiations and the stalling of the and later, Beijing agreements to which now presumably the agreement will also have to be added attaches to other parties at least as much as to North Korea.

In , when on 5 April North Korea launched an earlier version, Kwangmyongsong No 2, of the rocket now being assembled, there was also a huge fuss. So North Korea appears to have done what it said it would do, even though it failed to achieve its purpose. Only Japan, having used the ambiguous term "flying object" hishotai until the launch, shortly after it swung — government and media alike — into adoption of the word "missile.

For a country supposedly irrationally aggressive, one that is "no a normal state but more a nation-scale exercise in organized crime" as the Sydney Morning Herald put it , 7 North Korea has been remarkably consistent in its pursuit of the moral goals of equality and respect. Its recent history shows that its interest in negotiations diminishes as other parties attempt to narrow the focus to its nuclear and missile programs and grows as the agenda incorporates comprehensive normalization, a treaty to end the Korean War, multilateral economic cooperation, and Japanese reparations for colonialism.

Such tactics are better seen not as recalcitrance, blackmail, or belligerence, but as a calculated response to American and Japanese intimidation. Obsessed with security and the search for an absolute guarantee of immunity from attack by its enemies, it has become a kind of "porcupine state," resisting foreign bodies by stiffening its quills, rather than an expanding or rampaging one.

While the world's attention focussed on whatever might be about to happen on the North Korean launch-pad, huge US and South Korean war games, rehearsals for war, were taking place just off North Korean shores. As at time of writing 30 March there are several possibilities. Pyongyang might, although it seems unlikely, choose to buckle under the pressure and cancel the launch.

Such display of weakness and repudiation of the legacy of the late leader would have unpredictable domestic consequences, and the act of submission would likely encourage the member states of the Beijing group to demand more. If, however, Pyongyang resists all pressures and proceeds with the launch, either the launch succeeds or it does not.

If an "advanced geostationary meteorological satellite" duly takes its place in the skies, the world will face a fait accompli. Despite sanctions and irrespective of its poverty and isolation, North Korea's claim to a place in the ranks of advanced scientific and industrial powers would be reinforced and, sooner or later, the hostile powers would have to return to the agenda of September a comprehensive peninsular peace and normalization agenda. Embattled, it might resume nuclear testing as it did when the Security Council denounced the failed launch in , the regime's hold would likely weaken and the "North Korea problem" might become just so much more difficult to resolve.

The merciless stare which almost the entire world fixes upon North Korea is not to be understood solely in rational terms. The stare is less fierce, it is true, in the case of Russia and China, but both on this occasion seem at least to be joining the coalition of the hostile in urging North Korea to cancel the launch and avoid "provocation. The United States and Japan expect others to condemn North Korea, and it is easy to find cause to condemn and much less likely to cause offence in the global quarters that count than any serious attempt to identify and pursue global powers that are responsible for aggression and abuse on the grand scale.

Thus for the Government of Australia, having shown no previous interest in peninsular matters and no understanding of the historic context or of the core of legitimacy that encapsulates North Korea's cry to the world, to declare itself threatened by the imminent launch and to demand it be cancelled is simply a cheap and empty gesture. In so far as the "North Korean problem" is defined as the problem of quelling North Korea's nuclear or missile ambitions and its innate violence and lack of reason, the focus is on the symptom rather than the cause.

As I have written elsewhere, The very term "the North Korea nuclear problem" … begs a major question. It assumes that it is North Korea that is irrational, aggressive, nuclear obsessed and dangerous, and the US that is rational, globally responsible, and reacting to North Korean excesses. To thus shrink the frame of the problem is to ignore the matrix of a century's history — colonialism, division, half a century of Korean War, Cold War as well as nuclear proliferation and intimidation. It is to assume that what it describes as "the North Korean nuclear weapons program" can be dealt with while ignoring the unfinished issues of the Korean War and the Cold War, and even of Japanese imperialism.

What this formulation of the "North Korea problem" ignores is something that I have referred to as the "US problem," the US's aggressive, militarist hegemonism and contempt for international law. Its missile and nuclear weapons tests were both provocative and unwise, but neither breached any law, and both were carried out under extreme provocation. The North Korean state plainly runs roughshod over the rights of its citizens, but the extremely abnormal circumstances under which it has existed since the founding of the state in , facing the concentrated efforts of the global superpower to isolate, impoverish, and overthrow it, have not been of its choosing.

Frozen out of major global institutions and subject to financial and economic sanctions, denounced in fundamentalist terms as "evil" and beyond redemption , North Korea could scarcely be anything but suspicious and fearful. Suspicion and fear, on the part of a state as well as of an individual, is likely to be expressed in belligerence. In particular, North Korea has faced the threat of nuclear annihilation for more than half a century.

If anything is calculated to drive a people mad, and to generate in it an obsession with unity and survival, and with nuclear weapons as the sine qua non of national security, it must be such an experience. Its demand for relief from nuclear intimidation was unquestionably just and yet was ignored by the global community, till, eventually, as we know, it took the matter into its own hand.

The common association in the public mind outside North Korea is of that country as nuclear and or missile threat, whereas from inside the country the overwhelming consciousness is that of a small country constantly bullied and threatened by larger and more powerful ones, and in particular of facing nuclear intimidation far longer than any country on earth. That it has survived so long is in no small measure due to its focus on developing its "deterrent.

The real issue is the far too long continued state of "temporary" ceasefire on the peninsula. The task is to normalize relations between north and south and between North Korea and its former colonial master Japan and its bitter enemy of 62 years, the United States, and bring this country in from the "cold" of international isolation. The more the "international community ie, the US and its allies concentrate on strangling North Korea to force it to submit, the more entrenched becomes the regime, able to point convincingly to the powerful coalition threatening it.

If relations were once normalized on the peninsula and between North Korea and Japan and the United States, it would have to legitimize itself by serving its people and meeting their needs. The country that can manage space and nuclear programs despite a half-century of sanctions and acute international isolation plainly has plenty of talent and potential. The answer to concerns over its nuclear weapon program is to negotiate a true international guarantee of its security and remove the US nuclear threat, and the answer to concerns over its space program is to deepen international cooperation and provide an internationally approved regional launch centre.

He is author of many books and articles on modern and contemporary East Asia, and many of his articles are accessible on this site. In and he contributed a monthly column to the Seoul daily Kyunghyang shinmoon. The earthquake and tsunami of March 11, did more than just devastate Japan and unleash a local nuclear disaster. They exposed a host of design flaws in current nuclear technology whose solutions are linked to dramatically unsettling security issues.

The nuclear power industry spent decades distancing itself in the public mind from the dangers of radiation released by nuclear weapons. Having largely overcome that psychological obstacle in many countries, it first had to overcome the immense challenges to sustaining public trust posed first by the Three Mile Island reactor meltdown in March and then the catastrophic failure of the Chernobyl reactor complex in April In the last decade, with a self-proclaimed mandate to produce "low-carbon electricity" in the face of global warming, the industry looked set for a renaissance, especially in Asia - the only growth market for nuclear power plants in the last two decades.

Then came On March 11, , at 14 minutes before 3 o'clock in the afternoon the massive Tohoku earthquake unleashed a tsunami that killed some 20, people and swept over the Fukushima reactor complex, inundating buildings with water that rose up to 15 meters above sea level. In seconds, decades of public relations work was demolished. The global future for nuclear power is now dim although not yet pitch black.

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Fukushima once again demonstrated the inherent risks associated with existing reactor technology. In the process it fused the issues of nuclear safety and nuclear security, which the industry and pro-nuclear governments had striven for decades to separate. As Indian physicist M.

Ramana wrote after , "Catastrophic nuclear accidents are inevitable, because designers and risk modelers cannot envision all possible ways in which complex systems can fail"-and in the case of nuclear power plants, like some other potentially very high impact technological failures-the consequences of nuclear power plant failure can be truly catastrophic. They include:. The tragedy is that did not have to happen.

Scientists, military agencies and civil society organizations all anticipated and warned of the events that occurred at Fukushima. Ultimately, the people who lived in the vicinity of Fukushima paid dearly for the errors of the nuclear industry and its political allies. Satellite imagee of th Fukushima Daiichi plant after March 11, The common-mode failures that occurred at Fukushima due to the earthquake and tsunami included the loss of offsite electrical power to the reactor complex, the loss of oil tanks and replacement fuel for diesel generators, the flooding of the electrical switchyard and perhaps damage to the inlets that brought in cooling water from the ocean.

As a result, even though there were multiple ways of removing heat from the core, all of them failed. The course of events at Fukushima is not yet documented fully; and the event itself is not over - the reactors are not yet completely shut-down although the molten fuel is now at a manageable temperature - so long as cooling is maintained. Within weeks of , nuclear engineers and power industry experts drew a number of specific lessons from the errors at Fukushima. These are widely applicable to existing reactors as well as future designs. These errors include:. However, the problems have much deeper institutional and cultural roots that cannot be overcome by mere technological fixes.

Not only were TEPCO's early "accidents" largely ignored in terms of its corporate safety culture and that of the regulators in Japan, but the utility industry presumed-apparently correctly in the case of Fukushima-that the costs of failure would be largely socialized in the case of a disaster. In effect, also announced that the "light water reactor" era is over, buried by the tsunami and its aftermath.

As Richard Lester, chairman of MIT's Nuclear Engineering Department stated, a new generation of reactor designs, created by a new generation of nuclear engineers, is required. According to Lester, the changes needed are not incremental, but fundamental, and involve innovations such as integrated reactor-direct disposal systems, entirely new materials, and the use of massive computational capacity, so that "nuclear power plants of the year will have about as much resemblance to today's workhorse light-water reactors as a modern automobile has to a Model T.

In Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, the fallout was immediate, with political authorities quickly announcing the phasing out of nuclear power, by in the German case. In China, after a review of safety issues associated with 26 reactors under construction or planned, the government announced that it planned to proceed as planned. In India, a full-blown social movement led by farmers opposing existing and future reactors has emerged as a new national political force leading the national government to respond in a heavy-handed manner.

He conveniently failed to mention that Korea's reactors are in a war zone and are likely targeted by North Korea. Other countries also reviewed their plans. In , Vietnam, for example, had already discovered that the coast on which its first reactor is to be sited, like Fukushima, has already experienced a meter tsunami, originating in the Manila trench.

The Indonesian reactor project has gone into hiding, waiting for local community opposition to subside to plans to build a reactor on the Muria Peninsula in Central Java. The Philippines' lone plant, at Bataan on the slopes of the potentially active Mt. Instead of rehabilitation it is to become a tourist attraction. Meanwhile, in Japan itself, the nuclear industry is circling the wagons in an effort to protect its role in the electric utility oligopoly that favors nuclear power.

Industry insiders observe that the industry is prepared to accept many fewer light water reactors provided it can protect a reprocessing plant and breeder reactor that is based on plutonium fuel bred from otherwise inert uranium - always the long run vision of the nuclear industry. However, Japan appears to have cancelled plans to restart the Monju breeder reactor. If this dismal end comes to pass, then the future of Japan's enormous stockpile of separated plutonium - now about 80 metric tons - will have to be addressed.

If this plutonium is not used in breeder reactors - as seems highly probable - or in mixed oxide fuel for light water reactors - which seems only slightly less improbable - then plutonium's only residual value in Japan would be for nuclear weapons or for export, presumably to a nuclear weapons state. Both options would be hugely divisive in Japan and the region. Thus, the Fukushima meltdown will continue to echo back and forth between the safety and security realms for decades.

One of the most important discoveries at Fukushima is how brittle the spent fuel ponds were when they were deprived of coolant, especially as a result of co-location with reactors. The spent fuel ponds contain enormous amounts of radioactive material whose release could lead to wholesale evacuations of cities and towns. Thus, Fukushima was a "wet run" at what could happen not only after a technological failure, but as a result of an attack on a nuclear facility by a state or non-state actor, or as a result of terrorist diversion of spent fuel and its subsequent use to threaten or attack concentrated populations or military targets.

In such an attack, one might also expect - as occurred at Fukushima - a set of unpredictable consequences and linked effects. Military analysts have long recognized that reactors posed such a risk, especially in the case of war or terror attack, but did not address the same risk in relation to spent fuel ponds.

In the United States, independent researchers have analyzed the risks posed by poorly protected and badly designed spent fuel ponds in reactor containment buildings, putting pressure on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to respond - to date with limited but not insignificant results. Some redesign of storage casks could also greatly reduce the risk that a successful non-state actor could breach such spent fuel containers.

Importantly, the MIT Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle study, which was updated in March , strongly recommended that spent fuel be stored in a central repository, noting that "requirements for on-site spent fuel management may increase and design basis threats may be elevated" as a result of the Fukushima disaster.

Such spatial rearrangement of on-site spent fuel storage at various types of power reactors, and from reactors to centralized sites, entails incurring costs. In addition, it also could increase vulnerability to possible attack on such storage sites once the spent fuel ponds or spent fuel in dry cask storage are moved outside the reactor containment building as is the case already with pressurized water reactors. Ironically, so long as the spent fuel ponds are inside the reactor containment building, they are somewhat secured from armed attacks by the building itself and facility security systems, although variousmodes of attack such as crashing aircraft into reactor buildings on the model still pose a conceivable threat to these enclosed pools.

Once spent fuel is removed from the reactor building, as seems necessary after Fukushima, various cost and design choices will need to be made with regard to storage and disposition. Each of these choices entails different levels of risk. One such choice pertains to the cost and longevity of spent fuel storage technologies. Options include deciding between pools and dry casks, and between dry casks suitable for high level waste almost straight out of the reactor versus dry casks used only after five or ten years of decay and cooling off, which are less expensive, but also more vulnerable to attack.

Other choices include:. Some of these steps could also move towards resolving the as-yet unsolved problem of what to do with nuclear wastes in the long-term for example, deep borehole disposal would make these materials invulnerable to attack and isolate them forever from the biosphere. These and other design considerations affect the possibility that a devastating radiological attack by a state or a non-state actor could occur by exploiting the measures taken, post, to reduce the reciprocal risk of reactors and spent fuel storage systems, as well as the radiological outcome of a successful attack.

The steps taken to reduce this reciprocal risk may also affect the probability of successful diversion of spent fuel for use in a dirty bomb or an actual nuclear weapon at another location. Evaluation of alternative disposition of spent fuel must also take the risk of diversion into account. This post safety-security linkage is a challenge for pro-nuclear states such as South Korea and China, whether or not they have nuclear weapons-the only difference in the case of nuclear weapons states being that they have more material to secure and to keep safe than those who only run a nuclear fuel cycle for nuclear power.

They will have to address the issue of spent fuel disposition and disposal in a safe and secure manner while recognizing that the issue applies to existing reactors and will likely require retrofit to separate spent fuel ponds from reactor containment buildings. The agenda for the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit of March , was set well before occurred.

Its focus on nuclear facilities and materials security derived from the first summit in Washington in However, as host, South Korea has pushed hard for the inclusion of the security-safety nexus at the summit. This information strategy was proposed after Fukushima in part due to the failure of the Japanese government to share what it knewabout rapidly evolving events at the reactor site with neighboring states, leaving them to figure out for themselves the implications of radioactive plumes and possible exposure due to regional wind patterns, just as some Japanese fleeting from Fukushima's radiation moved into even more radioactive areas at the urging of the government and TEPCO.

Whether regional coordination will go beyond annual meetings of senior officials and the signing of some agreements to address more profound issues of multilateral and regional response is unknown. In this regard, one of 's implications for regional insecurity includes large-scale humanitarian response and evacuation.

Indeed, it emerged nearly a year after Fukushima that the Japanese government had been advised that it might have to evacuate the entire Tokyo urban region - some 35 million people. Even raising this scenario for discussion in China or South Korea seems politically impossible, in spite of the obvious lessons from Fukushima. Yet it seems inevitable based on actual operating experience.

Stories that Matter: Managing the Disaster Cycle

Based on the history of nuclear power, we find that for every 1, reactor-operating years, at least one such an accident will occur - and this figure could prove conservative as more countries with immature institutional and technological infrastructure promote massive and rapidly growing nuclear programs - that is, above all, China. Ramana, "Beyond our imagination: Fukushima and the problem of assessing risk,"Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, April 19, , here. Krolicki, S. DiSavino, T. Fuse, Special Report: Japan engineers knew tsunami could overrun plant, March 29, , here.

This scenario was constructed in by the US Department of Defense in collaboration with the Korean Institute of Defense Analysis and Japan's National Institute of Defense Studies and aimed at facilitating tripartite collaboration in response to a "chain of regional crises for which they must analyze various possible measures to enhance tripartite collaboration in dealing with disaster, particularly centered on the military's role and capabilities in support of overall national objectives.

November 16, , here. Tong et al, "Tomography of the Iwaki earthquake M 7. Lester, "Why Fukushima Won't Kill Nuclear Power; Today's most advanced designs move toward the goal of 'walk-away safety'-reactors that shut down and cool themselves without electricity or any human intervention," Wall Street Journal Online , April 5, , here. Kurtenbach, "Chinese towns spar over planned nuclear plant," Associated Press, February 16, , here. Robichaud, "The consequence of a dirty bomb attack," April 11, , here.

See S. Holt and A. Dover, M. Hayes, D. Tanter, K. Takase, J. Kang, B. Wen, G. Thompson, K. Yi Kiho, A. Imhoff, S. Bruce J. Takase, P. Hayes, R. Hayes and D. Two recent documentaries make excellent viewing for anyone interested in the history of American military bases overseas — and their ongoing ramifications.

With an estimated 1, US military bases outside of the 50 states, 1 the United States currently has the largest number of overseas military bases of any country in history. Why does the US need military bases in over countries? Why is the US still aggressively expanding into many new countries? Standing Army 72 min. Living Along the Fenceline 67 min. Offering both global and personal perspectives, these two films are complementary and would work well together as tools to initiate dialogue and discussion on base issues and the role of American global military power.

The empire of bases. A graphic from Living Along the Fenceline courtesy of the filmmakers. Their film project grew not unlike the base network itself , and eventually included Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Diego Garcia, and Iraq. This kind of film is incredibly difficult to make, and the filmmakers have grappled with their subject admirably.

Christmas in mud as rain pelts Typhoon Yolanda zone

The graphics in the film are also excellent: beautifully illustrated, they render very complex geographical and historical information easy to follow. Likewise, the narration and the cinematography are top-notch. But what this complex film really has going for it is its breadth, and scope: from the very beginning, it points to the need to understand the underlying reasons for the proliferation of American bases.

Unfortunately — for the world and for the film — there is no simple answer to this question. The film only hints at the market forces that drive these equations — and offers as a single example the proposed AMBO oil pipeline that would pass through eastern Europe. Only once does the base seem to match the creepiness of the music, when the tour guide allows the camera into a video game room.

There, on a video screen, we see a virtual raid on a ruined village, down the barrel of a virtual gun, and the effect is chilling. The banality of life in the camp is perhaps the heart of the problem the filmmakers faced: militarization is a slippery enemy, and the everyday routine of American military culture inside the base seems to defy the violence it continues to perpetrate outside.

The enemy is the system that proliferates the bases. Standing Army also includes many beautifully shot interviews with extremely eloquent subjects, and they do an excellent job of placing the bases in their geo-political context. This one-sided approach deprives the film of a tension that might have been provided by juxtaposing these interviews with the claims of American political or military leaders.

It would have been nice to hear from, say, an American ambassador to one of these countries, or even from an elected official from a host city struggling with the pros and cons of dealing with its US base. Despite these limitations, Standing Army contains some priceless moments. Toward the end of the film, there is a magical sequence in which the filmmakers deftly cut between DoD footage, showing Okinawan-based US Marines violently beating on each other during a training exercise, and an interview with Vietnam veteran Allen Nelson, describing the perspective of a Marine stationed in Okinawa:.

Someone looks at you funny, and you kick his butt.