Sunday, February 15, 2015

$29 Billion Stimulus Program Helps Japan Out Of Its Recession -- February 15, 2015

I just love the spin.

Reuters is reporting that Japan has come out of a recession:
...contracting for two straight quarters, supported by a pick-up in exports.
Reuters is a pretty good business news organization (or so I've been led to believe). I find it interesting that Reuters picked up on "exports," but completely failed to mention the $29 billion stimulus program that was put in place less than two months ago. On December 27, 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday approved a $29.17 billion stimulus package meant to boost consumer spending and regional economic activity, seeking to revive an economy in recession.  
Many story lines.  

Bigger Boots On The Ground

One really needs to parse presidential statements closely. In response to taking on the JV team, the president (or his press secretary) said that there would be no US troops on the ground (in Syria or Iraq). The president (or his press secretary never mentioned other options -- I knew Turkey was out of the question. I had forgotten about Kuwait -- but that makes perfect sense -- almost re-doing the first Iraq War in which the first Bush sent troops to Kuwait. But I guess I didn't parse the presidential statement closely enough. is reporting
President Barack Obama on Wednesday asked Congress to authorize long-term combat efforts against the Islamic State, but reinforced his pledge to not use the Army's big combat units in the fight.
"Local forces, rather than U.S. military forces, should be deployed to conduct such operations," Obama said in a letter to lawmakers. "The authorization I propose would provide the flexibility to conduct ground combat operations in other, more limited circumstances, such as rescue operations involving U.S. or coalition personnel or the use of special operations forces to take military action against (Islamic State) leadership."
The Army has kept a brigade in Kuwait since the end of the Iraq war in 2011. Those soldiers, including two units from Fort Carson, have worked to train local troops from throughout the Middle East. In its most recent deployment to Kuwait, Fort Carson's 2nd Brigade Combat team conducted training missions with allies including Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, which have joined the coalition against Islamic State fighters.
But now:
As Congress mulls America's war with the Islamic State terror group, more than 4,000 Fort Carson soldiers prepared Thursday to leave for Kuwait, where they will take over as America's largest ground force in the troubled region.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team bid farewell to the post in a ceremony and soon will serve as U.S. Central Command's Reserve force in the Middle East - the first soldiers into battle if a major combat force is used to battle Islamic State fighters.
The unit is Fort Carson's heaviest force, armed with tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Many of its soldiers are veterans of one or more of the brigade's four combat tours in Iraq.
Interesting. On paper it's simply replacing one brigade with another -- except this is quite a brigade going over there now. Hopefully the A team.

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