Recently in Military Category

Britain could annex Maldives territory?

Former Attorney General recently warned;

The former Attorney General told an opposition rally last night Britain may take exclusive control of forty square miles of Indian Ocean off the Maldives south coast, because the Government has failed to contest a legal claim dating back to the 1990s.

Yesterday he told a rally of opposition parties that the Maldives Government had failed to contest a claim by the UK Government to all waters within a two hundred mile radius of a British base on Diego Garcia, which intrudes into Maldivian waters by forty square miles...

The former Attorney General said the Finance Ministry had refused his department’s request to pay legal fees of $1,000 a day and the President’s Office had instructed him to seek foreign aid.

“The Government only finds money when it wants to, for example to build the nine storey police headquarters,” he told an audience of over a thousand in the Dhaarubaruge conference centre.

Related;
Key military outposts

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Altruism
The term altruism was coined by the 19th century sociologist Auguste Comte and is derived from the Latin “alteri” or "the others”. It describes an unselfish attention to the needs of others. Comte declared that man had a moral duty to “serve humanity, whose we are entirely.” The idea of altruism is central to the main religions: Jesus declared “you shall love your neighbour as yourself” and Mohammed said “none of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself”. Buddhism too advocates “seeking for others the happiness one desires for oneself.”…
If both mankind and the natural world are selfishly seeking to promote their own survival and advancement, how can we explain being kind to others, sometimes at our own expense? How have philosophical ideas about altruism responded to evolutionary theory? And paradoxically, is it possible that altruism can, in fact, be selfish? Contributors include Miranda Fricker, Senior Lecturer in the School of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and John Dupré, Professor of Philosophy of Science at Exeter University and director of Egenis, the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (from BBC’s In Our Time).

Niall Ferguson: The War of the World
The 20th century was a period of unprecedented economic growth and scientific discovery, but equally a century of unparalleled bloodshed and warfare - estimates suggest that 1 in every 22 deaths in the 20th century were the result of violence. Niall Ferguson argues that the intensity of the 'hundred years war' can be explained by the factors of ethnic disintegration, economic volatility, and empires in decline - forces which are to be found behind sites of contemporary conflict, notably the Middle East.

Can chocolate cure hypochondria?
Associate Professor in Latin Humanism Yasmin Haskell from the University of Western Australia talks about the history of hypochondria and benefits of chocolate.

How to Make Money – from War

The Guardian reports;

Armor Group International, the security firm that makes most of its profits in Iraq, reported a drop in earnings for the first half of the year because of increased competition for business and the loss of a major training contract in Iraq.

The London-based company reported a 30% rise in sales to $134.4m in the six months to June 30. Armor generated more than half of its revenues from business in Iraq - $70.3m - although its non-Iraq business grew by 57%.

However, pre-tax profits slipped to $3.7m from $4.7m for the same period a year ago. Analysts had expected profits to be only 10% lower than last year's.

Armor is chaired by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Conservative foreign and defence secretary. It is one of the UK's leading providers of private security for reconstruction workers in Iraq.

"The group has achieved strong revenue growth over the first half, and we are encouraged by the significant growth outside Iraq," said Dave Seaton, the chief excecutive officer.

The main hit to sales was from the loss of a $7.8m contract with the United States for training staff at the ministry of justice in Iraq, the company told Reuters. "It was a one-off programme funded by the US," Mr Seaton said. "The Iraqi government does not have the funding for its own training needs."

Armor is diversifying and has new or extended contracts providing security at the World Bank headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan; clearing land mines in southern Sudan, and doing security work for oil and gas companies.”

I wouldn't be worried so much as Failed States in the world seems to be increasing according to this World Bank report.

Related;

World Bank Lists Failing Nations That Can Breed Global Terrorism;

“The number of weak and poorly governed nations that can provide a breeding ground for global terrorism has grown sharply over the past three years, despite increased Western efforts to improve conditions in such states, according to a new World Bank report.

"Fragile" countries, whose deepening poverty puts them at risk from terrorism, armed conflict and epidemic disease, have jumped to 26 from 17 since the report was last issued in 2003. Five states graduated off the list, but 14 made new appearances, including Nigeria and seven other African countries, Kosovo, Cambodia, East Timor, and the West Bank and Gaza. Twelve states, including Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan, made both lists.”

Linguistic Abuse

loaded_words_medium.jpgStephen Poole, author of Unspeak,

“In December 2002, two prisoners at the US base in Bagram, Afghanistan, died after trauma to their legs of such severity that the coroners compared it to the results of being run over by a bus. The subsequent official investigation was nothing if not creative. The death of one was explained in this way:

'No one blow could be determined to have caused the death,' the former senior staff lawyer at Bagram, Col. David L. Hayden, said he had been told by the Army's lead investigator. ‘It was reasonable to conclude at the time that repetitive administration of legitimate force resulted in all the injuries we saw'.

The logic of this is startling. You may compare it in some ways to the Chinese method of execution, used until 1905, known as 'death by a thousand cuts'. Since no one cut can be determined to cause death, no one is responsible for the killing. Similar is the principle behind the firing squad: everyone fires at the same time and one soldier has a blank, so no one soldier can be sure that he killed his comrade. But at least in these two cases the intention is avowedly to cause death. To use the argument as an excuse for 'accidental' extrajudicial killing is different. It is perhaps more like a sophistic application of Zeno's paradox of motion. Since at every place in the flight of an arrow it can be considered at rest, an infinite number of such points of rest cannot possibly add up to travel, so the arrow does not actually move and can never reach its target. Similarly, no number of 'legitimate' things can ever add up to something that is illegitimate. It's just one of those unfortunate things.

But this is deliberate linguistic misdirection. The insertion of the word 'legitimate' before 'force' aims exactly to pre-empt the question of legitimacy. Even if one allows that some force might be legitimate, you're dissuaded from wondering whether a repetitive sequence of legitimate blows can be illegitimate. That principle is common in other areas of law: repetitively playing your music too loud can add up to a disturbance of the peace. 'Legitimate' force also implies that the victim had been found guilty of a crime deserving of violent punishment; but the dead prisoners had never had a trial.

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