Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Foreign Affairs

While I was in Holland I grabbed a copy of Foreign Affairs in the hope that it would be an interesting reading even if there is no Clash of Civilizations class article in it this time.
The articles I read, so far, haven't changed my life but nevertheless they were interesting. There was an article discussing American support for a Jewish state (which was never limited to the American Jews, but included for different reasons groups from the whole spectrum of public life).
One other was discussing the misuse of American oil reserves by the previous presidents since its creation in the 1970s and proposing an independent board to oversee it. The article, though this wasn't its primary intention, has given an interesting insight into how different countries store their oil, for example Japan has to use earthquake-proof steel tanks on valuable land, the US uses - I presume, among other locations - sand domes, while South Korea counts towards its capacity a storage facility in Norway.
With the elections coming closer many articles were discussing the foreign policy of the US as it should be. I haven't read all the articles on this topic, yet, but the main ideas expressed were stronger North American integration - with supporting the deepening of NAFTA cooperation, as it seems this is against the views expressed by the leading candidates, stronger economic cooperation with China, and measures to regain the lost respect of the world. An interesting tidbit from these articles was the fact, that to transport anything from Mexico to the States, it usually needs 3 different trucks, because Mexican trucks can't enter the States: one to bring it to the border  and unload in a warehouse, one to transfer it to an other warehouse on the American side, and one to deliver it to its final destination.
I have found this journal quite interesting, and I don't regret buying it: even though its whole content is available on their website for free, it is much more comfortable to read the printed version.

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