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13 ноября, 05:23

Britain's Centurion: The Best Cold War Tank?

Michael Peck Security, Europe And it's not American. When someone mentions a list of the best tanks in history, the names are always the same: Tiger, T-34, M-1 Abrams. And always from the same nations: Germany, Russia, America. But great tanks from Great Britain? Though the British were the ones to develop armored fighting vehicles in World War I, British tanks of the Second World War can generally be described in one word: awful. There were tanks that could barely move without breaking down. Tanks that were fast but too thinly armored, or heavily armored but too slow. Tanks with radios that didn’t work. Tanks with guns that could shoot armor-piercing shells at other tanks, but not high-explosive rounds at infantry and antitank guns. The British had some successes here and there: the heavy Matildas that tore through lighter Italian armor in 1940, the Crocodile flamethrower tanks whose very presence terrified German troops into surrendering, or the “Funny” engineering tanks that proved invaluable at D-Day. But on the whole, British tanks like the Crusader proved a disappointment. There were reasons behind the failure. British railroads were too narrow to transport big vehicles the size of the German Tiger. British tactics were faulty, favoring gallant charges by tanks acting without infantry or artillery support. The British tank corps of World War II was schizophrenic, caught between those who wanted fast, light cruiser tanks that were essentially cavalry horses on treads, and those who wanted heavy, slow infantry tanks to help the foot soldiers breach enemy trenches. In the end, many British units were equipped with Lend-Lease American Shermans, a mediocre vehicle that at least was reliable. British armor had been roughly handled in North Africa, yet the Normandy campaign in the summer of 1944 was the real nightmare. British and American crews dreaded coming to grips with the heavily armored German Panthers and Tigers, whose powerful cannons inflicted huge losses on Allied armor. And then in 1945, the British got it right. The Centurion may have been the best tank overall during the 1950s and 1960s. Though fielded just a few months after World War II ended, the Centurion proved such a good design that it is still in service today with the Israeli and other armies. Read full article

16 октября, 15:42

The Iconic B-29 Bomber: The Plane America (and Russia) Loved

Sebastien Roblin Security, Europe It’s not just Chinese plans that Russia copies. Few aircraft have as great a mark on history as the B-29, the pencil-shaped American four-engine bomber that dropped the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What’s less well known is that the Soviet Union had its own B-29—as in, literally the same airplane, in all but a few respects. And like its American counterpart, this duplicate B-29 would deliver the Soviet Union’s first air-dropped nuclear weapon. In World War I, Russia pioneered the use of heavy bombers when it successfully fielded enormous Sikorsky-designed Ilya Muromets four-engine biplanes against Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany. The concept soon spread to all the major warring powers, and was elaborated into a doctrine of strategic bombing after the war. Strategic bombers are large aircraft that carry heavy bomb loads over great distances to hit strategic targets behind enemy lines such as factories, oil refineries, bridges and rail yards—or, as occurred frequently in World War I and II, urban population centers. By World War II, however, the Soviet Air Force (the VVS) was largely a tactical air arm focused on hitting targets close to the frontline. The VVS only fielded ninety-three new four-engine Pe-8 strategic bomber during the war, while England and the United States deployed thousands of heavy bombers. The United States’ most expensive weapons program during World War II was the development of the ultimate strategic bomber, the B-29 Superfortress. The B-29 exceeded its predecessors in speed, range and bomb load. It also featured remote-controlled defensive machine-gun turrets, while the eleven-man crew benefited from a fully pressurized crew compartment. The new B-29s were deployed to the Pacific theater starting in 1944, where their great range allowed them to launch raids on the Japanese home islands—ultimately including the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the even deadlier firebombing of Tokyo. The first units operated out of bases in southern China until the United States captured island bases closer to the Japan. At the time, the Soviet Union was receiving aircraft from the United States through the Lend-Lease program, so Moscow twice requested that the United States send over B-29s. Washington declined. Read full article

05 октября, 13:13

Understanding GOFO And The Gold Wholesale Market

Submitted by Koos Jansen, BullionStar.com An essay on the relationship between GOFO, gold forwards, the gold lease rate and the US dollar interest rate. In order to continue to reveal essential information about the physical and paper gold markets around the world, first I would like to expand on the inner workings of the gold wholesale market. In this post we’ll use the Gold Forward Offered Rates, in short GOFO, as an excuse to illuminate the most vital gears that drive the gold market engine. For, if we truly understand GOFO we also understand gold leasing, forwards and swaps, which are the building blocks of the gold wholesale market. Therefor, the goal of this post is to achieve a thorough understanding of  GOFO. GOFO officially “represents rates at which the market making members will lend gold on swap against US dollars”, but GOFO also resembles the gold forward rate and the difference between the US dollar interest rate and the gold lease rate. The purpose of this post is to explain all this in a simplified way. Let us start discussing gold forward contracts and work our way through this. Please be aware this post requires some studying and is not an easy read. Gold Forward Contracts In the gold market there are several possibilities to enter into contracts for buying or selling gold at a future date. These contracts can be used by gold market participants to lock in a future gold price or for speculation. The most common contracts are forwards and futures. On exchanges (organized markets) such as the COMEX gold futures contracts are traded, in the over the counter (OTC) market gold forwards are traded. For this post we’ll mainly focus on forwards. Below is a chart in which I’ve plotted an exemplar gold forward curve based on mid market rates. In addition, I've added a table in the chart with the the bid and ask quotes (that set the mid market rates). The bid quotes represent the prices at which market making members are willing to buy gold at a pre-determined date in the future. These are the same prices at which we the market takers are willing to sell gold at a corresponding date in the future. The ask, or offer, quotes represent the prices at which market making members are willing to sell gold at a pre-determined date in the future (market takers buy at these prices). The mid market rate is the mid-point between the bid and ask price. Have a look at the chart and the table. Chart 1. Gold forward curve. The slippage is $0.15. Please note, forward prices reflect what the market expects now about the future based on present circumstances. Forward prices do not determine what the actual spot price in the future will be. We can see the bid-ask spread in this example is a constant $0.3 for every gold forward contract. In reality these spreads can vary and are determined by the liquidity of the forward contract. For liquid contracts, which are traded in high volumes, the spread is thin (meaning the spread between the bid and ask quotes is small). For illiquid contracts the spread is wide. Furthermore, the difference between the mid market rate and the bid (or ask) is called the slippage. Let's have a look at a simplified example how a gold forward contract can be used. Say, a gold mining company anticipates the gold price will decline in the future. The miner has a steady output of 1,000,000 fine ounces a year and his annual expenses are 1.3 billion dollars, all to be paid at the end of the year. His business is viable starting at a gold price of $1,300 dollars an ounce. To ascertain to stay in business over one year’s time the miner can choose to enter into a 12 months forward contract in order to sell gold for $1,310.74. The seller of a forward contract is said to be short, the buyer of the contract is said to be long. The total amount of shorts and the total amount of longs are always equal with respect to forward and futures contracts. The total amount of outstanding contracts is what is referred to as the open interest. The long, in example, is a jewelry company that in turn seeks to lock in a future price for the well being of his enterprise. Perhaps it makes economic sense for the jeweler to borrow gold for the fabrication of gold ornaments, in the now, a loan he’s required to repay in one year’s time. Not to be exposed to future swings in the gold price he can choose to buy 12 months gold forward, assuring him to be able to repay the gold loan when it comes due. Let us move on to the workings of the gold lending (/lease) market. The Gold Lease Market In a free market any currency can be lent out. Whether it’s the US dollar, euro, Norwegian krone or gold. Interest is paid from the borrower to the lender to stimulate supply, compensate for the risk of defaulting on the loan and postponement of using the currency. It's true precious metals safely stored in a vault do not yield, however, when metal is lent out it will accrue interest. Gold lending in the gold wholesale market is referred to as gold leasing, and the acronym for the gold lease rate is GLR. The interest on a gold loan can be settled in gold or dollars, although most often the latter is agreed. From the London Bullion Market Association we can read: Market convention is for the interest payable on loans of precious metals to be calculated in terms of ounces of metal. These ounces are then generally converted to US dollars, based upon a US dollar price for the metal agreed at the inception of the lease transaction. In the past decades the most prominent gold lenders have been central banks. During perceived economic stability it was thought to be safe for central banks to lend large portions of their official gold reserves. Though, in recent years these leases have been unwound to a great extent. A borrower in the gold market can be, in example, the jewelry company mentioned in the previous chapter. In need of funds for production goods the jeweler can borrow dollars at ie 6 % from a bank, or he could directly borrow gold at ie 2 %. Historically, the normal state of the gold market offered a lower GLR than US dollar interest rate. Below is a chart with an exemplar gold lease curve - showing the mid market GLR for several tenors. The gold lease bid is the interest rate market making members are willing to pay for borrowing gold (and the rate market takers are willing to receive for lending gold), the gold lease ask is the interest rate market making members want for lending gold (and we the market takers are willing to pay for borrowing gold). Chart 2. Gold lease rate curve. Usually interest rates in financial markets are calculated on a 360 days a year basis. Let us move on to combine currency lending, spot and forward markets, and come to grips with how these are interrelated and how the wholesale market in general functions. Interest Rate Parity Free markets that cater liquid venues for lending currencies, spot exchange and trading in forward contracts give rise to a concept called interest rate parity. This concept can be tough to get your head around, therefor I will describe it first and then show the math to clarify it. Let us start at the base: the interest rate of any currency affects the forward value of this currency, because loans based on the interest rate grow into more supply of the currency over time. In example, a $5,000 US dollar loan at a 6 % US dollar interest rate grows into $5,300 in 1 year. The theory of interest rate parity suggests that the interest rates of two currencies determine the forward relationship between the values of these two currencies (/the forward price of either currency denominated in the other). As, both interest rates generate a return in the future, the volumes of which determine the forward price. With respect to gold, interest rate parity suggests the forward gold price is firmly correlated to the gold lease rate and US dollars interest rate. We should get familiar with the math that clarifies interest rate parity. We'll work with the following exemplar market: the spot gold price is $1,200, the US dollar interest rate is 6 % and the GLR is 2 % - we’ll ignore bid-ask spreads for now. From here it can get complicated. Suppose, a trader borrows $1,200 for 6 months (180 days) at the annual US dollar interest rate of 6 %. When the loan comes due the trader is obliged to repay the principal plus interest to the US dollar lender. In the following formula we can see the principal (1,200), the interest rate (0.06) and the tenor (180/360) going in: $1,200(1+0.06(180/360)) = $1,200(1.03) = $1,236 With the dollars borrowed the trader can buy 1 ounce of gold on spot and lend it for 6 months. When the gold loan matures the trader will get back the principal plus interest. In the next formula we can see the principal (1 oz), the interest rate (0.02) and the tenor (180/360) going in: 1(1+0.02(180/360)) = 1(1.01) = 1.01 oz Remarkably, as we know the spot gold price and the volumes the loans grow into, we can compute the 6 months forward gold price: the gold lend by the trader will grow into 1.01 ounces over a 6 months time horizon and his dollar loan will grow into $1,236 over the same period, so consequently the 6 months forward gold price is $1,223.76. $1,200/1       = $1,200         = spot gold price $1,236/1.01 = $1,223.76   = forward gold price As mentioned above, “both interest rates generate a return in the future, the volumes of which determine the forward price”. In one formula it will show the 6 months forward gold price is: $1,200(1+0.06(180/360)) / (1+0.02(180/360)) = $1,223.76 We can see the forward gold price is higher than the spot gold price because the GLR is lower than the US dollar interest rate. The market will set the 6 months forward gold price at $1,223.76, because any undervalued or overvalued forward gold price (bellow or above $1,223.76) would immediately be arbitraged (interest rate parity is said to be “a no-arbitrage condition”). Let’s have a look at an arbitrage trade in case the forward gold price would diverge from the forward price suggested by the theory of interest rate parity. Suppose, interest rates and the spot gold price are the same as above, but now the quoted forward gold price is too low at $1,220. To arbitrage this opportunity you want to buy (long) this cheap forward gold. Spot–forward arbitrage requires the opposite trade in the spot market - or one would just enter into a forward contract - in this case sell spot gold. If you don’t have spot gold you can borrow it. We can identify two legs in our arbitrage trade: sell spot gold = buy spot dollars buy forward gold = sell forward dollars The chronological order to arbitrage undervalued forward gold would be: Now, borrow 1 ounce of gold for 6 months at 1 % (an annual GLR of 2 % divided by 2. In this example the gold interest will be settled in gold) sell 1 ounce of gold on spot for $1,200 lend the $1,200 for 6 months at 3 % (an annual 6 % US dollar interest rate divided by 2) buy long a 6 months gold forward contract for 1.01 ounce at the quoted forward gold price of $1,220 per ounce to repay the gold loan plus interest. The 6 months forward contract will have a notional value of: 1.01*$1,220 = $1,232.2 Then, in 6 months time, receive $1,200 plus interest for the dollar loan: $1,200*1.03 = $1,236 settle the gold forward contract by paying $1,232.2 for 1.01 oz repay the gold loan with 1.01 oz The total revenue of the arbitrage trade is $1,236 dollars. Having to settle the forward with $1,232.2, leaves a profit of $3.8: $1,236−$1,232.2 = $3.8 The arbitrage opportunity will be taken advantage of until it’s closed, at that point in time the 6 months forward gold price is $1,223.76. For more clarity I should add that the closing of the arbitrage opportunity happens in the now, not in 6 months time. In addition, when the arbitragers step in the forward gold price could be pushed up from $1,220 to $1,223.76, as we’ve seen in the example trade, though in reality the other variables, such as the spot gold price or the GLR, can give way as well until interest rate parity has manifested. Interest rate parity suggests the spot, lending and forward markets are strongly linked. If one market is moving the others will move accordingly. In reality everything is more complicated than in our exemplar market because of additional costs involved such as collateral/margin requirements and transaction/shipping/insurance costs (and because interest rate parity is just a theory, which does not always hold). James Orlin Grabbe, the author who inspired me to pen this post, wrote in the late nineties:  The forward price of gold - the price agreed now for gold to be purchased or sold at some time in the future - is a function of the gold spot price, and the interest rates representing alternative uses of resources over the forward time period. James Orlin Grabbe. Introducing GOFO So, we can compute the forward gold price from the spot gold price, US dollar interest rate and GLR. The formula can be written as: F(T) = S(1+r(T/360)) / (1+r*(T/360)) F(T) = the forward gold price over a time horizon T days (up to 360 days) S = the spot gold price r = US dollar interest rate r* = GLR From this equation there is more to reveal. In our exemplar market the spot gold price is $1,200 and the 6 months forward gold price is $1,223.76. Ergo, the 6 months gold forward premium in percentages (/the forward rate) is: ($1,223.76/$1,200)−1 = 0.0198 = 1.98 % The 6 months forward rate is by approximation 2 % and consequently the annualized forward rate is by approximation 4 %. The difference between the US dollar interest rate (6 %) and the GLR (2 %) is also 4 %. Meaning, the forward rate equals the difference between the US dollar interest rate and GLR. Why? Math. If we play with the formula above we get a nominal forward premium of: F(T)−S = $1,223.76−$1,200 = $23.76 And by using (r−r*) as difference between the US dollar interest rate and GLR, we get: S(r−r*)−S = $1,200(0.03−0.01) −$1,200 = $24 The forward rate equals the difference between the US dollar interest rate and the GLR. At this point I would like to bring up GOFO. Grabbe wrote: Gold forward rates are sometimes referred to as "GOFO" rates, because GOFO was the Reuters page that showed gold forward rates. Although this is not the official definition of GOFO, it is true that GOFO resembles the forward rate. I say 'resembles' and not 'equals', because there is a tiny difference we will discuss in the final chapter about GOFO. Finally, we have explained two descriptions of GOFO mentioned in the introduction of this post. Namely, GOFO resembles the gold forward rate and the difference between the US dollar interest rate and the gold lease rate. The official and exact definition of GOFO we’ll save for last. GOFO ≈ US dollar interest rate − GLR GLR ≈ US dollar interest rate − GOFO US dollar interest rate ≈ GOFO + GLR Chart 3. A positive gold forward rate is called contango. When the forward rate is negative this is called backwardation. A negative forward rate implies gold for immediate delivery is trading at a premium to gold for future delivery. This can be caused by tightness in supply now or by market expectations the price will fall in he future. Backwardation is the opposite of contango, a positive forward rate. Historically contango has been the normal state of the gold market whereby the GLR is lower than the US dollar interest rate. Because GOFO resembles the gold forward rate, negative GOFO implies backwardation in the gold forward price. Unfortunately, GOFO is not being published anymore after it was negative for long periods in 2013 and 2014. The LBMA writes on its website: GOFO … was discontinued with effect from 30 January, 2015, following discussions between the LBMA and the contributors to the dataset, the LBMA Forward Market Makers. So much for transparency. In the chart below we can see GOFO went negative repeatedly in 2013 and 2014. The cause was presumably tightness in spot gold supply, as every time GOFO went sub-zero the spot gold price was pushed up. Chart 4. The 1, 2, 3, 6 and 12 months GOFO rates from July 2013 until April 2014. In the interest rate parity chapter we examined an arbitrage trade that surfaced when the forward gold price was too low in relation to the prevailing US dollar interest rate and GLR in our exemplar market. Naturally, a comparable arbitrage opportunity arises when the forward gold price is too high in relation to the prevailing US dollar interest rate and GLR. Say, the 6 months forward gold price in our exemplar market is not $1,223.76, but higher at $1,300. This time we want to sell overvalued forward gold and buy spot gold to strike a profit: buy spot gold = sell spot dollars sell forward gold = buy forward dollars Now, borrow 1,200 dollars for 6 months at 3 % (an annual US dollar interest rate of 6% divided by 2) buy 1 ounce spot gold for 1,200 dollars store the gold for a storage fee of $5 for 6 months sell short a 6 months gold forward contract at $1,300 for 1 ounce. The forward contract will have a notional value of: 1*$1,300 = $1,300 In 6 months time, settle the forward: deliver 1 ounce of gold and receive $1,300 pay storage costs $5 repay the initial dollar loan: $1,200*1.03 = $1,236 The proceeds of the gold forward are $1,300. Total expenses of the dollar loan ($1,236) and storage costs ($5) are $1,241, which leaves a profit of $59. $1,300−$1,236−$5 = $59 The trade can also be executed by buying spot gold end lend the metal for 6 months instead of storing it. In that case the profit would be higher as the storage costs would be replaced by interest accrued on the gold loan. A 6 months gold loan of 1 ounce would grow into 1.01 ounce. When this gold loan is settled in dollars, the return would be the interest in ounces converted to dollars based on the spot gold price: 0.01*$1200 = $12 (dollar return on 6 months gold loan) Using a dollar return on the gold loan would give a profit in our previous arbitrage trade of: $1,300−$1,236+$12 = $76 The difference in profit ($76 - $59 = $17) is of course equal to the storage costs plus the dollar return on the gold loan ($5 + $12 = $17). More on the pricing of commodity forward/futures contracts and the interaction between the theory of interest rate parity and the theory of storage will be discussed in a forthcoming post. Gold Forward Swaps & GOFO We’ve arrived at the official definition of GOFO, the swap. From the website of the London Bullion Market Association we can read the following official definition of GOFO: GOFO represents rates at which the market making members will lend gold on swap against US dollars. In parlance of the precious metals markets the word swap usually refers to a forward swap, whereby gold is sold spot and bought forward, or bought spot and sold forward. Essentially this is what GOFO is all about, a forward swap. The swap always has two legs, namely a spot and a forward leg. Consequently, the swap rate equals the forward rate. gold swap rate = gold forward rate = US dollar interest rate − GLR When market makers are willing to “lend gold on swap against US dollars” in the official definition of GOFO, they’re willing to execute a forward swap by selling gold spot and buying gold forward. The word “lend” in the official definition can be slightly deceiving, as strictly speaking there is no lending, the swap simulates lending: a gold loan to the market taker collateralized with dollars. When a swap is executed and the market maker (dealer) sells spot gold to the market taker (client) and simultaneously signs a forward contract to buy it back in due time, the client buys that spot gold with dollars (collateral) and is obligated to return the metal through the forward contract at a fixed price. From the client’s perspective the process can be viewed as borrowing gold (collateralized with dollars), from the dealer’s perspective the process can be viewed as lending gold (on swap against dollars). In the official definition of GOFO the dealer is the lender of gold but naturally he offers the reverse swap as well, whereby the dealer is the borrower. Let’s have a look at an example trade in which the dealer borrows gold: a central bank owns gold that it wants to put up as collateral for a 1 year dollar loan. The central bank and its dealer agree on a swap transaction. Based on the data from our exemplar environment the central bank will sell gold on spot to the dealer at $1,200 an ounce and then buy back the metal in 1 year’s time at $1,248 an ounce. $1,200*(1+(0.04(360/360))) = $1,248 Essentially, the central bank has borrowed dollars for 1 year at 4 % instead of 6 % because it has collateralized the loan with gold (/lend its gold simultaneously at 2 %). Again, the swap rate is the difference between the US dollar interest rate and the GLR. Let’s take it one step further and add bid-ask spreads to learn what GOFO is exactly. In more academic literature (The Non-Investment Products Code, NIPS code) we can read: GOFO is the Gold Forward Offered Rate and is the rate at which dealers will lend gold on the swap against US dollars. As such it provides an international benchmark and is the basis for the pricing of gold swaps, forwards and leases. … From GOFO rates, indicative mid-market gold lease rates can be determined as: Mid-market lease rate = (US dollar LIBOR less 0.0625%) minus (GOFO plus 0.125%) To explain the equation mentioned in the NIPS code, we should compare it to the one I penned in the previous chapter: GLR ≈ US dollar interest rate – GOFO The formulas are to a great extent similar. Though, the NIPS code uses LIBOR as the US dollar interest rate, which it corrects downwards by 0.0625 % because LIBOR is an offer rate - LIBID is its related bid. To compute the mid market US dollar interest rate the slippage, in this case 0.0625 %, is subtracted from LIBOR. In turn, GOFO is increased by 0.125 % because a “lend gold on swap against dollars” deal from a market maker’s perspective is based on the mid market spot leg, while the forward leg is the bid (in the official definition of GOFO the market maker buys forward, so the forward leg is the bid). To calculate the mid market forward leg GOFO must be increased by the slippage, which according to the NIPS code is 0.125 %. In the Nips code formula LIBOR is adjusted to come to the mid-market US dollar interest rate and GOFO is adjusted to come to the mid-market swap rate, in order to compute the mid-market GLR. In the end both formulas are: Mid-market gold lease rate = mid market US dollar interest rate – mid market gold swap rate Hopefully by now you can see how understanding GOFO helps understanding the essential workings of the gold wholesale market - which is very valuable for understanding gold in general.

14 сентября, 22:11

Lessons from FDR's Lend-Lease Program

Robert Murphy Security, Americas The core of any new security strategy must share the basic premise of FDR's lend-lease program When Hitler dragged the world into war in 1939 Americans were concerned about the future of Europe, but largely saw no direct role for the United States. By the summer of 1940, a majority of Americans favored the defeat of Germany but very few were inclined to do so with American troops. In fact, the majority of Americans still viewed Germany’s defeat in the context of a British, not allied, victory over the Reich. Europe was an ocean away, the scars of the war to end all wars were still visible, and the legacy of the Great Depression loomed over unemployment lines and shuttered factories. Their solution was a radical change in security philosophy. The creative and ambitious lend-lease program changed the course of the war.   A similarly radical revision of our current strategy can reverse the last decade’s decline in America’s global posture. We face a similar dilemma as President Roosevelt did in 1940.  The distant wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have exhausted the armed forces and bored the public. High unemployment, profligate public spending and ill-conceived social initiatives have left the country financially challenged, and deeply divided by race, income and profession. The nation’s poorly planned shifts in global security priorities and cuts to military strength have encouraged once marginal regional adversaries to engage in increasingly risky challenges to American influence. Bottom line: America is fatigued, yet we must somehow sustain the beneficial arrangements at the core of our security. Read full article

28 августа, 06:25

What If Hitler Never Invaded Russia During World War II?

Michael Peck Security, Europe This might be just the ultimate “what-if.” One of the most momentous decisions in history was Adolf Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Operation Barbarossa transformed Nazi Germany's war from a one-front struggle, against a weakened Britain and a still-neutral United States, into a two-front conflict. The Eastern Front absorbed as much as three-quarters of the German army and inflicted two-thirds of German casualties. So what would have happened if Hitler had not invaded Russia? The dynamics of the Third Reich and Hitler meant that Germany would not remain passive. In fact, it is hard to imagine Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union not at war, though the question is when this would have happened. One possibility was invading Britain in 1941, and thus either ending the European war or freeing the up the Third Reich to fight a later one-front war in the East. Thus Operation Sealion, the proposed 1940 amphibious assault on southern England, would merely have been postponed a year. The problem is that the Kreigsmarine—the German navy—would still have been badly outnumbered by the Royal Navy, even with the addition of the new battleship Bismarck. The British would have enjoyed an additional year to reinforce the Royal Air Force and to rebuild the divisions battered during the Fall of France. Britain would also have been receiving Lend-Lease from the United States, which by September 1941 was almost a belligerent power that escorted convoys in the North Atlantic. A few months later, America did formally enter the conflict; despite the Japanese advance in the Pacific, the United States would certainly have concentrated its growing strength on keeping Britain unconquered and in the war. A more likely possibility is that Hitler could have chosen to move south instead of east. With most of Western Europe under his control after the summer of 1940, and Eastern Europe either subdued or allied with Germany, Hitler had a choice by mid-1941. He could either follow his instincts and ideology and move against the Soviet Union, with its rich resources and open spaces for Nazi colonists. Smashing Russia would also be the apocalyptic climax for what Hitler saw as an inevitable showdown with the cradle of communism. Read full article

24 августа, 00:08

Liveblogging the Cold War: August 23, 1946: Eleanor Roosevelt

**Eleanor Roosevelt**: _[My Day][]_: [My Day]: https://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/myday/displaydoc.cfm?_y=1946&_f=md000425 >NEW YORK, Thursday--None of us can help being worried and indignant over the shooting down of two of our unarmed transport planes which had wandered over the Yugoslav border. Conceding that there may be some hidden reason why our planes are forbidden to...

13 августа, 01:34

Roundup

This week, as American Olympians made history and shattered records, Donald Trump continued setting his own record for most unstable, unqualified and dangerous presidential candidate in our country's history. An overshadowed and aggrieved Trump, who sees a very different America than the one making most Olympics-watching Americans proud, has achieved something truly remarkable: He has become unsatirizable, since his every utterance is already a punch line. He is the "you can't make this stuff up" candidate. This time, on Tuesday, he was wink-winking at the idea of, yes, presidential assassination, implying that if Hillary Clinton were elected, nothing could stop her from appointing judges, except, maybe, "Second Amendment people." The Secret Service confirmed that it had "more than one conversation" with the Trump campaign about the comments. Trump then denied it in a tweet, implying that those protecting him round the clock are lying. Then, on Wednesday, he claimed that President Obama and Clinton were the "founder" and "co-founder," respectively, of ISIS. And while more and more Republicans are choosing to maintain their credibility and integrity by jumping off the Trump Train to the Bottom, others like Paul Ryan continue to support Trump and, by extension, what he stands for. On the HuffPost front, I announced that I'll soon be leaving HuffPost to launch my new venture Thrive Global, which will be helping individuals and companies reduce stress and burnout and improve their health and productivity. I've long been passionate about doing everything I can to change the way we work and live, and now I'm putting that into action! And there is a real connection between leadership and the principles of Thrive, as FDR demonstrated in 1940. When he was confronted with the difficult decision of the U.S. entering the war at a time when the public was solidly against it, he took 10 days off, sailing around the Caribbean on a navy ship to think through this monumental question. The result was his idea for the crucial Lend-Lease program. As Roosevelt's speechwriter Robert Sherwood put it, "One can only say that FDR, a creative artist in politics, had put in his time on this cruise evolving the pattern of a masterpiece." Trump, at the extreme other end of the spectrum, demonstrates the opposite: that the more burned-out and sleep-deprived he is from his manic shambles of a campaign, the more unhinged he becomes and the more idiotic his decisions and pronouncements. And that's exactly what science tells us will happen. On Thursday, Trump said of his campaign's prospects: "at the end, it's either going to work or I'm going to, you know -- I'm going to have a very, very nice long vacation." Here's hoping he gets that nice long vacation -- not only for the sake of his country, but for his own sake. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 июня, 14:31

Why This Russian Wants to Give Donald Trump 100,000 Rubles

In the land of Putin, America’s gold-plated populist is seen as the best hope for stability and calm.

23 мая, 19:42

Arianna Huffington Tells Grads They Must 'Recharge And Refuel' To Show Real Leadership

"Bottom line, @FletcherSchool graduates, the world needs you." Thanks @ariannahuff! #fletcherclassof2016 pic.twitter.com/tQUP6nW9T3— Danielle Robinson (@dsrobinson10) May 21, 2016 Wearing your own exhaustion "as a badge of honor" is not a sign of true leadership, Arianna Huffington said in a commencement speech at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on Saturday. In fact, failing to take care of your personal health signals an inability to "organize, ruthlessly prioritize, and impose order on chaos," Huffington said.  "Please recognize that as science now makes clear, you’ll be able to fulfill all your dreams and obligations much more effectively -- and with much more creativity and joy -- if you regularly take time to recharge and refuel," she added. The editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post was, of course, speaking about getting enough sleep, which is the theme of her latest book, The Sleep Revolution. She pointed out that ambition can sometimes get the best of bright people, causing them to make poor choices that diminish their chances of accomplishing their goals. Huffington has also said a lack of rest could explain some of Donald Trump's abhorrent statements, since the GOP hopeful brags about only getting four hours of sleep a night. "Right now, wherever you look around the world, you see smart leaders -- in every field -- making terrible decisions," Huffington said. "What they’re lacking is not IQ, but wisdom. Which is no surprise; it has never been harder to tap into our inner wisdom, because in order to do so, we have to disconnect from all our omnipresent devices and distractions, and reconnect with ourselves." You'll be able to fulfill your dreams & obligations if you take time to recharge - @ariannahuff #TuftsFletcher2016 pic.twitter.com/zP9d7iJDW7— The Fletcher School (@FletcherSchool) May 21, 2016 Philosophers have often said that to "truly know the world, you have to first know yourself," Huffington reminded her audience at Fletcher.  "So if you feel like there’s just too much to be done, it’s important to remind yourselves of something our modern culture seems to have forgotten: That there are two threads running through our lives. One is pulling us into the world to achieve and make things happen, the other is pulling us back from the world to nourish, replenish and refuel ourselves," she said. "If we ignore the second thread, it is much harder to connect with our deepest courage and wisdom, the most essential building blocks of leadership." You can read Huffington's entire speech below: Dean Stavridis, members of the faculty, proud parents, family, and friends, and, above all, the graduating class of 2016, I'm deeply honored and grateful that you have invited me to be a part of such a special moment in your lives. And I don’t know if you can tell, but I have a slight accent, in fact a Greek accent, which means I’m obligated to comment on the fact that your dean -- who has had an incredible career in the Navy, as a thought leader and as a dean of this school -- is also, in addition to all these great things, Greek -- though, suspiciously, with no trace of an accent. But not to worry, I have enough accent for the both of us. This is, of course, an extraordinary time -- not just in your own lives, though I know it is certainly that -- but in all of our lives. When you picture the world you'll be graduating into after your last Fletcher Follies, it’s a world of both huge challenges and incredible possibilities -- where the vastly accelerated pace of technology is creating constant disruptions that require both resilience and wisdom. And because we can’t predict all of the downstream consequences of these disruptions, leadership -- which includes being able to remain serene and imperturbable in the middle of all crises and to see the icebergs before they hit the Titanic -- is more important than ever. And that’s where you and the Fletcher “Mafia” come in. As graduates, or very soon to be graduates, of the oldest graduate school of international affairs in the United States, you are uniquely poised to become the leaders the world needs to meet these challenges. So, I don’t want to put too much of a burden on you -- on top of student loans, the pressure to find a job and to find a place to live -- but, bottom line, the world needs you. In fact, the world is putting out the bat signal and counting on you to answer the call -- and the best part is, you don’t have to choose an alter ego or wear a funny suit. As Fletcher graduates, your opportunity, and your responsibility, is truly singular as you head out into the world. And what I want to urge you to do today is pay special attention to the building blocks of leadership, which will help you widen and redefine what leadership is. Because being the leaders the world so desperately needs today will require you to go not just onward and outward, but also inward to tap into your own wisdom. Right now, wherever you look around the world, you see smart leaders -- in every field -- making terrible decisions. What they’re lacking is not IQ, but wisdom. Which is no surprise; it has never been harder to tap into our inner wisdom, because in order to do so, we have to disconnect from all our omnipresent devices and distractions, and reconnect with ourselves.  The great Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who was a leader in his determination to bravely tell the truth, once wrote that “If you wanted to put the world to rights, who would you begin with? Yourself or others?” And I know all of you want to put the world to rights -- that’s why you’re at this wonderful, essential institution. To put it another way, in the words of another essential -- though not as admired -- institution, the airline industry, "Secure your own oxygen mask first before helping others." And this is something our leaders have forgotten. In fact, they do just the opposite -- in order to signal their dedication to the people or organizations they’re leading, they burn themselves out and proudly proclaim their refusal to sleep, to take time to recharge and renew themselves. As a result, we end up with leaders leading at less -- often much, much less -- than full capacity. And this of course is stunningly clear to anyone masochistic enough to be closely following the 2016 election. But as recent scientific findings make unambiguously clear, having the discipline to take time to recharge, including getting enough sleep, is essential for all the key elements of leadership: decision-making, impulse control, the ability to learn and take in new information, to act with reason and judgment instead of reacting with emotion. In short: wisdom. As Dean Stavridis wrote recently in an essay titled “Sleep is a Weapon” -- Greek minds do think alike -- there is power, including military power, in sleep. He recounts as just one example a tragic incident where 200 citizens were killed by a military mistake caused by sleep deprivation. And we actually do have evidence of how productive it is when a political leader does recognize the creative powers of recharging. In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt did something that would be inconceivable in today’s political climate. To think through the monumental question of whether America should enter the war, rather than putting out photos of himself and his team with their sleeves rolled up pulling all-nighters, FDR announced that he would instead be taking a 10-day vacation, sailing around the Caribbean on a navy ship. His wife Eleanor wrote him a letter that read, “I think of you sleeping ... and I hope getting rest from the world.” And as Roosevelt’s aide Harry Hopkins later said, “I began to get the idea that he was refueling, the way he so often does when he seems to be resting and carefree.” The result of Roosevelt’s refueling was the $50 billion Lend-Lease program, in which the United States would lend arms and supplies to Great Britain and be paid back after the war in kind. Or as Roosevelt’s speechwriter Robert Sherwood put it, “One can only say that FDR, a creative artist in politics, had put in his time on this cruise evolving the pattern of a masterpiece.” In fact, FDR’s ally and counterpart, Winston Churchill, also knew the value of renewal. Indeed, he’s credited by some with coining the term “power nap.” And evidently, he was on to something. To make up for having to often work late into the night, Churchill was disciplined about taking his afternoon naps on the cot he kept in his war room a few blocks from 10 Downing Street. This is how Churchill himself vividly described his habit of recharging: “You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner, and no halfway measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imaginations. You will be able to accomplish more." So if you feel like there’s just too much to be done, it’s important to remind yourselves of something our modern culture seems to have forgotten: That there are two threads running through our lives. One is pulling us into the world to achieve and make things happen, the other is pulling us back from the world to nourish, replenish and refuel ourselves. If we ignore the second thread, it is much harder to connect with our deepest courage and wisdom, the most essential building blocks of leadership. As many a philosopher, from every tradition, has said, to truly know the world, you have to first know yourself. To quote just one of them, Lao Tzu, “Knowing others is knowledge; knowing yourself is wisdom.” And when we access our courage and wisdom, and put them at the service of leadership, we will have the judgment and fortitude to be true to ourselves and to speak truth to power when it most matters. And it’s never mattered more than now. Will we rise to the occasion to speak the truth, or will we shrink from the moment and retreat to safe platitudes and euphemisms? That is now, and has always been, the first test of leadership. As Harold Pinter said in his Nobel acceptance speech, “the search for the truth can never stop. It cannot be adjourned, it cannot be postponed. It has to be faced, right there, on the spot.” And as we see now, some are facing it and some are not. At a moment when this country is on the cusp of legitimizing the most unqualified presidential nominee in U.S. history, some leaders are speaking the truth, and some are holding back. In the U.K., conservative Prime Minister David Cameron rose to the occasion, calling Donald Trump’s plan to institute a religious test to ban all Muslims from the United States exactly what it is: “divisive, stupid and wrong.” That’s bold. That’s true. And that’s leadership. The alternative is to pretend that the truth is always in the middle, and that our job is to present two sides to everything. But not every story has two sides, and the truth is often found on one side or the other. The Earth is not flat. Evolution is a fact. Global warming is a fact. And there are definitely not two sides to the truth that instituting a religious test to enter a country founded on religious freedom is “divisive, stupid, and wrong.” Claiming that Mexico is sending us rapists, inciting violence at rallies, or claiming that President Obama was not born in the United States -- we know these are all false and all wrong -- and if we don’t say so clearly and unequivocally, that’s how these insidious falsehoods become whitewashed and mainstreamed. I was delighted to meet the Director of the Edward R. Murrow Center earlier. And I asked him how Murrow would have dealt with Trump. “He would have skewered him,” he replied. The New York Times recently called Trump’s racism a “reductive approach to ethnicity,” and said that Trump’s attitude toward women is “complex” and “defies simple categorization,” as if sexism is suddenly as complicated as string theory. In the name of Edward R. Murrow, good journalism and the truth, can the media stop using euphemisms and stop trying to normalize Trump? Of course, in many ways, the world is always in some kind of emergency. And you are our diplomatic first responders. It’s right there in the Fletcher mission statement, “to educate professionals from around the world and to prepare them for positions of leadership and influence in the national and international arenas.” In the words of Dean Stavridis, that means training graduates to know the world. “The challenges we face in this turbulent 21st century,” he says, “quite literally transcend borders -- we must be ready to connect in every sense of the word.” So that’s what I want to explore today -- connecting… in every sense of the word, and transcending borders both external and internal. Connecting not just with the world, but, just as important, with yourselves. Many leaders today have lost sight of that. In today’s buzzing, blinking, and notification-soaked world, it’s very easy to allow your attention and your essence to be frittered away in a million different ways. And when we are exhausted and disconnected, that’s when we are more likely to make our biggest mistakes. To quote a modern practitioner of the political arts, Bill Clinton, “every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.” He did not specify which mistakes, but as David Maraniss wrote in his biography of Clinton: “Clinton had been sleeping only four to five hours a night since a professor said in college that many great leaders of the past had gotten by that way.” This aversion to sleep -- which is really at its heart an aversion to disconnecting from the world, our projects and to-do lists to reconnect with ourselves -- may well have played a part in several lapses in Clinton’s presidential judgment, including his handling of the issue of gays in the military -- now widely considered to be one of the low points at the beginning of his two-term presidency. And another example -- very much in the news today -- is Alexander Hamilton. He is, of course, the subject and namesake of the biggest Broadway hit musical of our lifetime, nominated for 16 Tony Awards, the musical for which The New York Times suggested people “mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets.” But as much press as the show has rightly gotten, one angle that deserves more attention is how it shows the value of making time to renew and replenish ourselves. Hamilton, it turns out, wasn't just the founding father of American banking, he was also the founding father -- and the first fully documented case -- of American political burnout. Ron Chernow, the author of the biography on which the musical is based, depicts a man who never slowed down. “This intensely driven man,” Chernow writes, “had a mind that throbbed incessantly with new ideas.” But how much better would his adopted country have been if he had given more time to his mind and his body to refuel before he hit a wall of burnout? This theme of constant, ceaseless work -- along with the inevitable consequences -- comes through resoundingly in the musical as well. Again and again, Hamilton is presented as a leader ultimately overwhelmed by the pressure of all the work ahead of him. “And there’s a million things I haven’t done,” he sings, “but just you wait, just you wait.” As you move onto a new, thrilling chapter in your lives, you may have a similar feeling -- of all the millions of things you haven’t done. But please recognize that as science now makes clear, you’ll be able to fulfill all your dreams and obligations much more effectively -- and with much more creativity and joy -- if you regularly take time to recharge and refuel. There’s even a song in the "Hamilton" musical entirely devoted to this theme and appropriately called “Non-Stop.” I promise I’m not going to sing -- I don’t want to cause a stampede. So bear with me. “Why do you write like you’re running out of time? Write day and night like you’re running out of time?” asks Aaron Burr. To which the ensemble answers: “Every day you fight like you’re running out of time, like you’re running out of time. Are you running out of time?” And, in a sense, he was. The sex scandal that would derail his career and indirectly affect the decisions that led to his own premature death was looming. Sleep deprivation had left Hamilton vulnerable to Maria Reynolds’ plot to seduce him and then blackmail him. In “Say No To This,” Hamilton is aware of his weakened state: “I hadn’t slept in a week,” he sings, “I was weak, I was awake You never seen a bastard orphan More in need of a break.” Alexander Hamilton was only 49 years old when he died, in the infamous duel with Aaron Burr. What connection did his burnout have with his untimely death? When you find yourself walking to a duel at dawn -- after you had lost your son in a duel three years earlier -- it’s fair to ask if you’re mustering all the wisdom you’re capable of. And perhaps if he’d listened to his wife Eliza’s advice to “take a break,” he’d have had more time to build the nation he was so devoted to. Burnout among our political leaders has proved as enduring as Hamilton’s bank and other parts of his legacy. In fact, our leaders actually brag about it. Our political campaigns constantly feature candidates presenting themselves as ceaselessly working -- as if that’s a good thing. In mid-April, Ted Cruz sent out a fundraising email proclaiming that he was sacrificing his health and his sleep because he was, “fighting morning and night for the future of the country.” Isn’t it time our leaders stop thinking we want them to be sick and exhausted all of the time? No leader would smoke in front of a camera, but most of our leaders clearly declare -- and show it in their faces -- how depleted they are. Yet, one recent scientific study showed that even moderate sleep deprivation can leave you with levels of cognitive impairment roughly equivalent to being legally drunk. And yet no campaign would feature a candidate saying, “Vote for me, because I structure my life so that I make all my decisions while effectively drunk.” (Actually, that might explain a lot about this year’s race, but that’s a different speech.) In fact, for even further evidence of the connection between leadership and sleep and recharging, there was a recent article by McKinsey, the management consulting firm, about just that in the Harvard Business Review titled, “There’s A Proven Link Between Effective Leadership And Getting Enough Sleep.” Now, if somebody even a year ago had showed me a piece written by McKinsey consultants saying that the way for executives to be better leaders is to sleep more, and not less, and that McKinsey would actually have a sleep specialist on staff, I would have assumed the piece was in The Onion.  But the piece is real, and so is the science it’s based on. The authors point to the science showing that the prefrontal cortex -- the part of our brain that’s the source of leadership, of problem solving, of organizing, of decision-making, of building teams, is also the part of the brain particularly affected by sleep deprivation. One study found that participants who had a good night’s sleep were twice as likely to come up with a hidden or hard to find shortcut to a given task than those who were sleep deprived. Another study they mention showed that sleep deprived brains are more susceptible to misinterpreting emotional cues from those around them and overreacting to emotional situations. Not exactly what you want in a leader of any kind. And yet our entire political system seems almost engineered to guarantee that kind of exhaustion. Hillary Clinton has said that during her time as secretary of state, she’d be so exhausted as she prepared to meet with world leaders that she would sometimes be “standing there and digging my fingernails into my palm to keep myself awake” so she could answer questions on behalf of our country. And this is actually celebrated in our misguided world as a feat of endurance. But is this really the best place from which to lead? Even if it results in our leaders’ collapse and concussion, as happened with Secretary Clinton? It’s no wonder that, after Hillary Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in 2012 -- having logged nearly 1 million miles flying to 112 different countries -- she told The New York Times that her most immediate goal was to see whether she could get “untired.”  There is a cultural shift happening, and you Fletcher graduates can help accelerate it. Instead of wearing your exhaustion as a badge of honor and a sign of how important and how much in demand you are, you can recognize that it’s actually a sign of an inability to organize, ruthlessly prioritize, and impose order on chaos -- all essential building blocks of leadership. To see the icebergs before we hit them requires a deeper kind of vision. It requires us to be aware of how we can be, in the words of psychologist Daniel Kahneman, “blind to our own blindness.” We can’t see everything, we can’t control the world and we can’t prevent the unexpected. But we can control ourselves, we can maximize our inner resources to deal with the unexpected, we can make the most of our intuition, our conscience, our wisdom. Because, contrary to our collective delusion, our successful leaders are successful not because of their burnout, but in spite of it. And you Fletcher graduates have the opportunity to redefine leadership to include a deep understanding and knowledge of yourselves so that you have the clarity to recognize the truth, the wisdom to live by it and the fearlessness to shout it from the rooftops, no matter what. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 мая, 19:42

Arianna Huffington Tells Grads They Must 'Recharge And Refuel' To Achieve Their Dreams

"Bottom line, @FletcherSchool graduates, the world needs you." Thanks @ariannahuff! #fletcherclassof2016 pic.twitter.com/tQUP6nW9T3— Danielle Robinson (@dsrobinson10) May 21, 2016 Don't sacrifice your health just to avoid FOMO, Arianna Huffington advised in a commencement speech at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy on Saturday. OK, Huffington didn't actually use the term "FOMO," meaning fear of missing out. But she alluded to it by asking graduates not to obsess over "all the millions of things you haven’t done." "Please recognize that as science now makes clear, you’ll be able to fulfill all your dreams and obligations much more effectively -- and with much more creativity and joy -- if you regularly take time to recharge and refuel," she said. The editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post was, of course, speaking about getting enough sleep, which is the theme of her latest book, The Sleep Revolution. She pointed out that ambition can sometimes get the best of bright people, causing them to make poor choices that diminish their chances of accomplishing their goals. Huffington has also said a lack of rest could explain some of Donald Trump's abhorrent statements, since the GOP hopeful brags about only getting four hours of sleep a night. "Right now, wherever you look around the world, you see smart leaders -- in every field -- making terrible decisions," Huffington said. "What they’re lacking is not IQ, but wisdom. Which is no surprise; it has never been harder to tap into our inner wisdom, because in order to do so, we have to disconnect from all our omnipresent devices and distractions, and reconnect with ourselves." You'll be able to fulfill your dreams & obligations if you take time to recharge - @ariannahuff #TuftsFletcher2016 pic.twitter.com/zP9d7iJDW7— The Fletcher School (@FletcherSchool) May 21, 2016 Philosophers have often said that to "truly know the world, you have to first know yourself," Huffington reminded her audience at Fletcher.  "So if you feel like there’s just too much to be done, it’s important to remind yourselves of something our modern culture seems to have forgotten: That there are two threads running through our lives. One is pulling us into the world to achieve and make things happen, the other is pulling us back from the world to nourish, replenish and refuel ourselves," she said. "If we ignore the second thread, it is much harder to connect with our deepest courage and wisdom, the most essential building blocks of leadership." You can read Huffington's entire speech below: Dean Stavridis, members of the faculty, proud parents, family, and friends, and, above all, the graduating class of 2016, I'm deeply honored and grateful that you have invited me to be a part of such a special moment in your lives. And I don’t know if you can tell, but I have a slight accent, in fact a Greek accent, which means I’m obligated to comment on the fact that your dean -- who has had an incredible career in the Navy, as a thought leader and as a dean of this school -- is also, in addition to all these great things, Greek -- though, suspiciously, with no trace of an accent. But not to worry, I have enough accent for the both of us. This is, of course, an extraordinary time -- not just in your own lives, though I know it is certainly that -- but in all of our lives. When you picture the world you'll be graduating into after your last Fletcher Follies, it’s a world of both huge challenges and incredible possibilities -- where the vastly accelerated pace of technology is creating constant disruptions that require both resilience and wisdom. And because we can’t predict all of the downstream consequences of these disruptions, leadership -- which includes being able to remain serene and imperturbable in the middle of all crises and to see the icebergs before they hit the Titanic -- is more important than ever. And that’s where you and the Fletcher “Mafia” come in. As graduates, or very soon to be graduates, of the oldest graduate school of international affairs in the United States, you are uniquely poised to become the leaders the world needs to meet these challenges. So, I don’t want to put too much of a burden on you -- on top of student loans, the pressure to find a job and to find a place to live -- but, bottom line, the world needs you. In fact, the world is putting out the bat signal and counting on you to answer the call -- and the best part is, you don’t have to choose an alter ego or wear a funny suit. As Fletcher graduates, your opportunity, and your responsibility, is truly singular as you head out into the world. And what I want to urge you to do today is pay special attention to the building blocks of leadership, which will help you widen and redefine what leadership is. Because being the leaders the world so desperately needs today will require you to go not just onward and outward, but also inward to tap into your own wisdom. Right now, wherever you look around the world, you see smart leaders -- in every field -- making terrible decisions. What they’re lacking is not IQ, but wisdom. Which is no surprise; it has never been harder to tap into our inner wisdom, because in order to do so, we have to disconnect from all our omnipresent devices and distractions, and reconnect with ourselves.  The great Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who was a leader in his determination to bravely tell the truth, once wrote that “If you wanted to put the world to rights, who would you begin with? Yourself or others?” And I know all of you want to put the world to rights -- that’s why you’re at this wonderful, essential institution. To put it another way, in the words of another essential -- though not as admired -- institution, the airline industry, "Secure your own oxygen mask first before helping others." And this is something our leaders have forgotten. In fact, they do just the opposite -- in order to signal their dedication to the people or organizations they’re leading, they burn themselves out and proudly proclaim their refusal to sleep, to take time to recharge and renew themselves. As a result, we end up with leaders leading at less -- often much, much less -- than full capacity. And this of course is stunningly clear to anyone masochistic enough to be closely following the 2016 election. But as recent scientific findings make unambiguously clear, having the discipline to take time to recharge, including getting enough sleep, is essential for all the key elements of leadership: decision-making, impulse control, the ability to learn and take in new information, to act with reason and judgment instead of reacting with emotion. In short: wisdom. As Dean Stavridis wrote recently in an essay titled “Sleep is a Weapon” -- Greek minds do think alike -- there is power, including military power, in sleep. He recounts as just one example a tragic incident where 200 citizens were killed by a military mistake caused by sleep deprivation. And we actually do have evidence of how productive it is when a political leader does recognize the creative powers of recharging. In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt did something that would be inconceivable in today’s political climate. To think through the monumental question of whether America should enter the war, rather than putting out photos of himself and his team with their sleeves rolled up pulling all-nighters, FDR announced that he would instead be taking a 10-day vacation, sailing around the Caribbean on a navy ship. His wife Eleanor wrote him a letter that read, “I think of you sleeping ... and I hope getting rest from the world.” And as Roosevelt’s aide Harry Hopkins later said, “I began to get the idea that he was refueling, the way he so often does when he seems to be resting and carefree.” The result of Roosevelt’s refueling was the $50 billion Lend-Lease program, in which the United States would lend arms and supplies to Great Britain and be paid back after the war in kind. Or as Roosevelt’s speechwriter Robert Sherwood put it, “One can only say that FDR, a creative artist in politics, had put in his time on this cruise evolving the pattern of a masterpiece.” In fact, FDR’s ally and counterpart, Winston Churchill, also knew the value of renewal. Indeed, he’s credited by some with coining the term “power nap.” And evidently, he was on to something. To make up for having to often work late into the night, Churchill was disciplined about taking his afternoon naps on the cot he kept in his war room a few blocks from 10 Downing Street. This is how Churchill himself vividly described his habit of recharging: “You must sleep sometime between lunch and dinner, and no halfway measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imaginations. You will be able to accomplish more." So if you feel like there’s just too much to be done, it’s important to remind yourselves of something our modern culture seems to have forgotten: That there are two threads running through our lives. One is pulling us into the world to achieve and make things happen, the other is pulling us back from the world to nourish, replenish and refuel ourselves. If we ignore the second thread, it is much harder to connect with our deepest courage and wisdom, the most essential building blocks of leadership. As many a philosopher, from every tradition, has said, to truly know the world, you have to first know yourself. To quote just one of them, Lao Tzu, “Knowing others is knowledge; knowing yourself is wisdom.” And when we access our courage and wisdom, and put them at the service of leadership, we will have the judgment and fortitude to be true to ourselves and to speak truth to power when it most matters. And it’s never mattered more than now. Will we rise to the occasion to speak the truth, or will we shrink from the moment and retreat to safe platitudes and euphemisms? That is now, and has always been, the first test of leadership. As Harold Pinter said in his Nobel acceptance speech, “the search for the truth can never stop. It cannot be adjourned, it cannot be postponed. It has to be faced, right there, on the spot.” And as we see now, some are facing it and some are not. At a moment when this country is on the cusp of legitimizing the most unqualified presidential nominee in U.S. history, some leaders are speaking the truth, and some are holding back. In the U.K., conservative Prime Minister David Cameron rose to the occasion, calling Donald Trump’s plan to institute a religious test to ban all Muslims from the United States exactly what it is: “divisive, stupid and wrong.” That’s bold. That’s true. And that’s leadership. The alternative is to pretend that the truth is always in the middle, and that our job is to present two sides to everything. But not every story has two sides, and the truth is often found on one side or the other. The Earth is not flat. Evolution is a fact. Global warming is a fact. And there are definitely not two sides to the truth that instituting a religious test to enter a country founded on religious freedom is “divisive, stupid, and wrong.” Claiming that Mexico is sending us rapists, inciting violence at rallies, or claiming that President Obama was not born in the United States -- we know these are all false and all wrong -- and if we don’t say so clearly and unequivocally, that’s how these insidious falsehoods become whitewashed and mainstreamed. I was delighted to meet the Director of the Edward R. Murrow Center earlier. And I asked him how Murrow would have dealt with Trump. “He would have skewered him,” he replied. The New York Times recently called Trump’s racism a “reductive approach to ethnicity,” and said that Trump’s attitude toward women is “complex” and “defies simple categorization,” as if sexism is suddenly as complicated as string theory. In the name of Edward R. Murrow, good journalism and the truth, can the media stop using euphemisms and stop trying to normalize Trump? Of course, in many ways, the world is always in some kind of emergency. And you are our diplomatic first responders. It’s right there in the Fletcher mission statement, “to educate professionals from around the world and to prepare them for positions of leadership and influence in the national and international arenas.” In the words of Dean Stavridis, that means training graduates to know the world. “The challenges we face in this turbulent 21st century,” he says, “quite literally transcend borders -- we must be ready to connect in every sense of the word.” So that’s what I want to explore today -- connecting… in every sense of the word, and transcending borders both external and internal. Connecting not just with the world, but, just as important, with yourselves. Many leaders today have lost sight of that. In today’s buzzing, blinking, and notification-soaked world, it’s very easy to allow your attention and your essence to be frittered away in a million different ways. And when we are exhausted and disconnected, that’s when we are more likely to make our biggest mistakes. To quote a modern practitioner of the political arts, Bill Clinton, “every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I’ve made because I was too tired.” He did not specify which mistakes, but as David Maraniss wrote in his biography of Clinton: “Clinton had been sleeping only four to five hours a night since a professor said in college that many great leaders of the past had gotten by that way.” This aversion to sleep -- which is really at its heart an aversion to disconnecting from the world, our projects and to-do lists to reconnect with ourselves -- may well have played a part in several lapses in Clinton’s presidential judgment, including his handling of the issue of gays in the military -- now widely considered to be one of the low points at the beginning of his two-term presidency. And another example -- very much in the news today -- is Alexander Hamilton. He is, of course, the subject and namesake of the biggest Broadway hit musical of our lifetime, nominated for 16 Tony Awards, the musical for which The New York Times suggested people “mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets.” But as much press as the show has rightly gotten, one angle that deserves more attention is how it shows the value of making time to renew and replenish ourselves. Hamilton, it turns out, wasn't just the founding father of American banking, he was also the founding father -- and the first fully documented case -- of American political burnout. Ron Chernow, the author of the biography on which the musical is based, depicts a man who never slowed down. “This intensely driven man,” Chernow writes, “had a mind that throbbed incessantly with new ideas.” But how much better would his adopted country have been if he had given more time to his mind and his body to refuel before he hit a wall of burnout? This theme of constant, ceaseless work -- along with the inevitable consequences -- comes through resoundingly in the musical as well. Again and again, Hamilton is presented as a leader ultimately overwhelmed by the pressure of all the work ahead of him. “And there’s a million things I haven’t done,” he sings, “but just you wait, just you wait.” As you move onto a new, thrilling chapter in your lives, you may have a similar feeling -- of all the millions of things you haven’t done. But please recognize that as science now makes clear, you’ll be able to fulfill all your dreams and obligations much more effectively -- and with much more creativity and joy -- if you regularly take time to recharge and refuel. There’s even a song in the "Hamilton" musical entirely devoted to this theme and appropriately called “Non-Stop.” I promise I’m not going to sing -- I don’t want to cause a stampede. So bear with me. “Why do you write like you’re running out of time? Write day and night like you’re running out of time?” asks Aaron Burr. To which the ensemble answers: “Every day you fight like you’re running out of time, like you’re running out of time. Are you running out of time?” And, in a sense, he was. The sex scandal that would derail his career and indirectly affect the decisions that led to his own premature death was looming. Sleep deprivation had left Hamilton vulnerable to Maria Reynolds’ plot to seduce him and then blackmail him. In “Say No To This,” Hamilton is aware of his weakened state: “I hadn’t slept in a week,” he sings, “I was weak, I was awake You never seen a bastard orphan More in need of a break.” Alexander Hamilton was only 49 years old when he died, in the infamous duel with Aaron Burr. What connection did his burnout have with his untimely death? When you find yourself walking to a duel at dawn -- after you had lost your son in a duel three years earlier -- it’s fair to ask if you’re mustering all the wisdom you’re capable of. And perhaps if he’d listened to his wife Eliza’s advice to “take a break,” he’d have had more time to build the nation he was so devoted to. Burnout among our political leaders has proved as enduring as Hamilton’s bank and other parts of his legacy. In fact, our leaders actually brag about it. Our political campaigns constantly feature candidates presenting themselves as ceaselessly working -- as if that’s a good thing. In mid-April, Ted Cruz sent out a fundraising email proclaiming that he was sacrificing his health and his sleep because he was, “fighting morning and night for the future of the country.” Isn’t it time our leaders stop thinking we want them to be sick and exhausted all of the time? No leader would smoke in front of a camera, but most of our leaders clearly declare -- and show it in their faces -- how depleted they are. Yet, one recent scientific study showed that even moderate sleep deprivation can leave you with levels of cognitive impairment roughly equivalent to being legally drunk. And yet no campaign would feature a candidate saying, “Vote for me, because I structure my life so that I make all my decisions while effectively drunk.” (Actually, that might explain a lot about this year’s race, but that’s a different speech.) In fact, for even further evidence of the connection between leadership and sleep and recharging, there was a recent article by McKinsey, the management consulting firm, about just that in the Harvard Business Review titled, “There’s A Proven Link Between Effective Leadership And Getting Enough Sleep.” Now, if somebody even a year ago had showed me a piece written by McKinsey consultants saying that the way for executives to be better leaders is to sleep more, and not less, and that McKinsey would actually have a sleep specialist on staff, I would have assumed the piece was in The Onion.  But the piece is real, and so is the science it’s based on. The authors point to the science showing that the prefrontal cortex -- the part of our brain that’s the source of leadership, of problem solving, of organizing, of decision-making, of building teams, is also the part of the brain particularly affected by sleep deprivation. One study found that participants who had a good night’s sleep were twice as likely to come up with a hidden or hard to find shortcut to a given task than those who were sleep deprived. Another study they mention showed that sleep deprived brains are more susceptible to misinterpreting emotional cues from those around them and overreacting to emotional situations. Not exactly what you want in a leader of any kind. And yet our entire political system seems almost engineered to guarantee that kind of exhaustion. Hillary Clinton has said that during her time as secretary of state, she’d be so exhausted as she prepared to meet with world leaders that she would sometimes be “standing there and digging my fingernails into my palm to keep myself awake” so she could answer questions on behalf of our country. And this is actually celebrated in our misguided world as a feat of endurance. But is this really the best place from which to lead? Even if it results in our leaders’ collapse and concussion, as happened with Secretary Clinton? It’s no wonder that, after Hillary Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in 2012 -- having logged nearly 1 million miles flying to 112 different countries -- she told The New York Times that her most immediate goal was to see whether she could get “untired.”  There is a cultural shift happening, and you Fletcher graduates can help accelerate it. Instead of wearing your exhaustion as a badge of honor and a sign of how important and how much in demand you are, you can recognize that it’s actually a sign of an inability to organize, ruthlessly prioritize, and impose order on chaos -- all essential building blocks of leadership. To see the icebergs before we hit them requires a deeper kind of vision. It requires us to be aware of how we can be, in the words of psychologist Daniel Kahneman, “blind to our own blindness.” We can’t see everything, we can’t control the world and we can’t prevent the unexpected. But we can control ourselves, we can maximize our inner resources to deal with the unexpected, we can make the most of our intuition, our conscience, our wisdom. Because, contrary to our collective delusion, our successful leaders are successful not because of their burnout, but in spite of it. And you Fletcher graduates have the opportunity to redefine leadership to include a deep understanding and knowledge of yourselves so that you have the clarity to recognize the truth, the wisdom to live by it and the fearlessness to shout it from the rooftops, no matter what. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 мая, 05:58

Willys MB: самый массовый джип Второй мировой войны

Сегодня американский внедорожник времен Второй мировой войны легко узнаваем на любых фотографиях военных и послевоенных лет, он является частым гостем на киноэкране не только в документальной хронике, но и практически во всех лентах об этой войне. Автомобиль еще при жизни стал настоящей классикой и дал название целому классу автомобилей. В настоящее время самим словом «джип» обозначается любой автомобиль, обладающий хорошей проходимостью в условиях бездорожья, но изначально это прозвище было закреплено за вполне конкретным образцом техники, чья судьба оказалась тесно переплетена не только с США, но и с историей нашей страны.

04 мая, 23:55

Alexander Hamilton: Father of American Banking and American Burnout

On Tuesday, the musical Hamilton was nominated for a record 16 Tony awards. And three weeks ago, its creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, won the Pulitzer Prize. And it's all, of course, richly deserved -- Hamilton is everything the critics say it is: Ben Brantley of the New York Times, for instance, suggested people "mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets." Ideally though, they should get tickets for their children too as the show has also been credited with getting young people interested in American history. But one angle of the saga of Hamilton, both on-stage and off, that has not been commented on is how it shows the value of time off. In fact, in March, before the most recent round of awards and accolades began, Miranda announced he was going to take some time for himself. "I'm going on vacation next week to my undisclosed location under the sea where I recharge," he said in a YouTube video. The video is part of a series Miranda does called "Ham4Ham," in which he performs and interacts with people waiting to get tickets to the show -- it's not enough that he entertains them for 2 hours and 45 minutes once they do get tickets! His vacation was certainly well-deserved. Since he opened the show Off Broadway at the Public Theater in February of last year, Hamilton has been performed over 400 times. As the show's description on Playbill puts it: "From bastard orphan to Washington's right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country's first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, Hamilton is an exploration of a political mastermind." But, in addition to all that, one element of the show I found particularly interesting given my exploration of all things sleep is how it depicts a crucial and apparently timeless facet of our political culture. Hamilton wasn't just the subject of our country's first sex scandal -- he was perhaps also our first fully documented case -- and the founding father -- of political burnout. Ron Chernow, the author of Alexander Hamilton, the biography on which the musical is based, depicts a man who never slowed down. "This intensely driven man," Chernow writes, "always compensating for his deprived early years, had a mind that throbbed incessantly with new ideas. When it came to issues confronting America, he committed all the resources of his mind." But how much better would his adopted country have been if he had given some time to his mind and his body to refuel before he hit a wall of burnout? Miranda himself proved the value of taking time off since it was while taking a breather from his previous hit show that he happened to read the Chernow biography that Hamilton is based on. "I don't think it's a coincidence that it was my first vacation from 'In the Heights' where I read this book," he said on Charlie Rose in March. "It was literally the first time I had any time off from the show." Put another way, the inspiration for a musical about a man unable to give himself some time to recharge came to Miranda when he chose to give himself some time to recharge. And one of the biggest takeaways from the musical, for me, is this question: If the hard-driving Alexander Hamilton had given himself that time, how much better -- and longer -- would he have been able to serve the adopted country he loved so much? The perpetual motion started early on, with Hamilton asking to be admitted to Princeton on an accelerated track. He was turned down, Chernow writes, likely because Princeton had allowed James Madison to finish on an accelerated schedule, during which he "worked himself into a state of nervous exhaustion." When Madison finished his degree, according to Chernow, "he was still so debilitated from his intense studies that he feared for his health." So Hamilton wound up at King's College (later renamed Columbia), where he rose at 6 a.m. every day and studied day and night. And this compulsion never let up. In the Revolutionary War, Hamilton rode on horseback "at a furious pace" along the Hudson delivering important messages from George Washington. Riding as many as 60 miles a day for five days straight, the trips took their toll on Hamilton. As he wrote to Washington in 1777, to explain a delay in his travels, "I have been detained here these two days by a fever and violent rheumatic pains throughout my body." The frenzied pace continued after the war as Chernow writes, "At moments of supreme stress, Hamilton could screw himself up to an emotional pitch that was nearly feverish in intensity." At one point, Chernow tells how the chronically overstretched founder of our country's first bank had to write to the Bank of the United States to admit "he did not know his account balance because he had lost his bank book." This theme of constant, ceaseless work -- along with the inevitable consequences -- comes through resoundingly in the musical as well. Again and again, Miranda presents a Hamilton who feels the pressure of all the work ahead of him. "And there's a million things I haven't done," he sings, "but just you wait, just you wait." In the second act, as Hamilton is trying to get the Report on the Public Credit, his financial plan to establish government credit by full payment of government debt, through Congress, his wife Eliza and her sister Angelica urge him, in the song "Take a Break," to get some rest. "Run away with us for the summer," Eliza begs. "Let's go upstate." To which Hamilton replies: "I have to get my plan through Congress. I can't stop until I get this plan through Congress." The women tell him that "John Adams spends the summer with his family." But Adams, Hamilton throws back, "doesn't have a real job anyway." The sisters, in fact, are a counterpoint to Hamilton's idea of a non-stop working existence. "Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!" sings Eliza in "The Schuyler Sisters." And in "That Would Be Enough," she urges him to: "Look at where you are Look at where you started The fact that you're alive is a miracle Just stay alive, that would be enough." There's even a song entirely devoted to the theme of Hamilton working non-stop, called, appropriately, "Non-Stop." "Why do you write like you're running out of time? Write day and night like you're running out of time?" asks Aaron Burr. To which the ensemble answers: "Every day you fight like you're running out of time, like you're running out of time. Are you running out of time?" And, in a sense, he was. The sex scandal that would derail his career, and indirectly affect the decisions that led to his own premature death, was looming. Sleep deprivation had left Hamilton vulnerable to the plot, hatched by Maria Reynolds and her husband James, for Maria to seduce Hamilton and then blackmail him. In "Say No To This," Miranda's Hamilton is aware of this: "I hadn't slept in a week I was weak, I was awake You never seen a bastard orphan More in need of a break Longing for Angelica Missing my wife That's when Miss Maria Reynolds walked into my life." And so begins an affair, and America's first sex scandal -- fueled by America's first-recorded, and now sung -- case of serious political burnout. (As Bill Clinton himself acknowledged: "Every important mistake I've made in my life, I've made because I was too tired.") "Like many people driven by their careers, he did not allow himself sufficient time for escape and relaxation," Chernow writes, describing Hamilton as "a volatile personality encased inside a regimented existence." Once the Reynolds affair was made public, Hamilton's political opponents used it against him, making sure Hamilton was "distracted by the Reynolds probe." "This sword of Damocles," Chernow writes, "perpetually dangling above his head, may provide one explanation of why he never made a serious bid to succeed Washington as president." And the episode also laid the groundwork for his feud with Burr. "For fifteen years, Hamilton had tried to run down the sources of the lies told about him," Chernow writes. "The effort had left him weary and dispirited, but he still could not shed the fantasy that, if only he went after slander with sufficient persistence, he could vanquish his detractors once and for all." And it was this mood of lashing out, a habit he honed during the Reynolds scandal, that led to his duel with Burr. There's certainly no doubt that burnout among our political leaders has proved as enduring as Hamilton's bank and other parts of his legacy. In fact, most of them actually brag about it. Our political campaigns constantly feature candidates presenting themselves as ceaselessly working - as if that's a good thing. Ted Cruz used his sleep deprivation as a fundraising tool two weeks before he suspended his campaign (was his decision to nominate Carly Fiorina made in the brain fog of exhaustion?) In fact, we now know from mountains of recent science that sleep deprivation dulls our judgment, our decision-making, our creativity, our productivity -- in short, pretty much every quality you want in a political leader. And that's no surprise: one recent scientific study showed that even moderate sleep deprivation can leave you with levels of cognitive impairment roughly equivalent to being legally drunk. And yet no political campaigns would feature a candidate saying, "vote for me, because I structure my life so that I make all my decisions while effectively drunk." (Actually, that might explain a lot about this year's race, but that's a different post.) "No politician would smoke in front of a camera," Dr. Till Roenneberg, a prominent sleep scientist in Germany, told me, "but all politicians clearly declare -- and show it in their faces -- how little they have slept. We know how important sleep is, but they convey to the world that sleep deprivation is good." In fact, a recent McKinsey study shows how degraded our prefrontal cortex, which directs executive functioning, becomes when we're sleep deprived. And we actually do have evidence of how productive it is when a politician does recognize the creative powers of recharging. In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was confronted with a problem every bit as pressing as Hamilton's financial plan -- how to give aid to Britain in the war without formally entering it. But, unlike Hamilton, Roosevelt did decide to go away. To think through the problem, he announced he was going to take ten-days to sail around the Caribbean on a navy ship. And like Eliza, Eleanor was all for it. "I think of you sleeping and eating and I hope getting rest from the world," she wrote him. Roosevelt's aide Harry Hopkins also saw the importance of what Roosevelt was doing. "I began to get the idea that he was refueling," Hopkins later said, "the way he so often does when he seems to be resting and carefree." The result of that refueling was Roosevelt's idea for the $50 billion Lend-Lease program, in which the U.S. would lend arms and supplies to Britain and be paid back in kind after the war. Would he have come up with the plan by continuing to work around the clock "as though he was running out of time?" Those around him certainly attributed the masterful plan to Roosevelt's masterful use of his creative resources. "One can only say that FDR, a creative artist in politics, had put in his time on this cruise evolving the pattern of a masterpiece," Roosevelt's speechwriter Robert Sherwood later wrote. After Hillary Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in 2012 -- having logged nearly 1 million miles flying to 112 different countries -- she told the New York Times' Gail Collins. "I would like to see whether I can get untired." What a great word -- "untired." Is she making room in the current campaign to regularly get herself untired? In a Daily Show appearance in 2007, her husband talked about the wider consequences of political burnout! "I do believe sleep deprivation has a lot to do with some of the edginess of Washington today," he said. "You have no idea how many Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate are chronically sleep-deprived." And if you thought politics was edgy in 2007, take a look at the headlines today as our politicians continue to push away a free and available resource -- sleep and renewal -- that can help them come up with more creative solutions to our many challenges. Alexander Hamilton was only 49 years old when he died, in the infamous duel with Aaron Burr. What connection did his burnout have with his untimely death? When you find yourself walking to a duel at dawn -- after you had lost your son in a duel three years earlier -- it's fair to ask if you're mustering all the wisdom you're capable of. Like other burnout aficionados, Hamilton was selling himself short. Contrary to all our collective delusions, he was successful not because of his overwork and burnout, but in spite of them. And perhaps if he'd listened to Eliza's advice to "take a break," he'd have had more time to build the nation he was so devoted to. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 апреля, 08:21

Ленд-лиз: только факты

Ленд-лиз: только фактыМало кто знает, что военные поставки по ленд-лизу (lend — lease), внаём вовсе не были бесплатны - Россия как правопреемница СССР заплатила последние долги по ним аж в 2006-м году», - пишет историк и публицист Евгений Спицын .В вопросе ленд-лиза (с английского lend — давать взаймы и lease — сдавать в аренду, внаём — ред.) для СССР существует много тонкостей, в которых неплохо было бы разобраться — на основе исторических документов.Часть IНе совсем безвозмездноЗакон о ленд-лизе или «Закон по обеспечению защиты Соединенных Штатов», который был принят Конгрессом США еще 11 марта 1941 года, давал президенту США «право передавать взаймы или в аренду другим государствам различные товары и материалы, необходимые для ведения военных действий», если эти действия, по определению президента, являлись жизненно важными для обороны США. Под различными товарами и материалами понимались оружие, военная техника, боеприпасы, стратегическое сырье, амуниция, продовольствие, товары гражданского назначения для армии и тыла, а также любая информация, имеющая важное военное значение.Сама схема ленд-лиза предусматривала выполнение страной-получателем ряда условий: 1) уничтоженные, утраченные или потерянные во время боевых действий материалы не подлежали оплате, а уцелевшее и пригодное для гражданских целей имущество следовало оплатить полностью или частично в порядке погашения долгосрочного кредита, выданного самими США; 2) сохранившиеся военные материалы могли оставаться у страны-получателя до тех пор, пока США не затребуют их назад; 3) в свою очередь, арендатор обязывался помогать Соединенным Штатам всеми имевшимися у него ресурсами и информацией.Между прочим, и об этом тоже мало кто знает, закон о ленд-лизе обязывал страны, претендовавшие на американскую помощь, представлять США исчерпывающий финансовый отчет. Неслучайно министр финансов США Генри Моргентау-младший во время слушаний в сенатском комитете назвал это положение уникальным во всей мировой практике: «Впервые в истории одно государство, одно правительство предоставляет другому данные о своем финансовом положении».С помощью ленд-лиза администрация президента Ф.Д.Рузвельта собиралась решить ряд неотложных задач, как внешнеполитических, так и внутренних. Во-первых, такая схема позволяла создать новые рабочие места в самих США, которые еще не до конца вышли из тяжелейшего экономического кризиса 1929-1933 годов. Во-вторых, ленд-лиз позволял американскому правительству оказывать определенное влияние на страну-получателя ленд-лизовской помощи. Наконец, в-третьих, посылая своим союзникам только оружие, материалы и сырье, но не живую силу, президент Ф.Д.Рузвельт выполнял свое предвыборное обещание: «Наши парни никогда не будут участвовать в чужих войнах».Первоначальный срок поставок по ленд-лизу был установлен до 30 июня 1943 года, с дальнейшей ежегодной пролонгацией по мере необходимости. А первым администратором этого проекта Рузвельт назначил бывшего министра торговли, своего помощника Гарри Гопкинса.И не только для СССРВопреки еще одному распространенному заблуждению, система ленд-лиза создавалась отнюдь не под СССР. Первыми военную помощь на основе особых арендных отношений (аналога оперативного лизинга) в конце мая 1940 года попросили англичане, поскольку фактический разгром Франции оставил Великобританию без военных союзников на европейском континенте.Сами англичане, запросившие первоначально 40-50 «старых» эсминцев, предложили три схемы расчетов: безвозмездный дар, оплата наличными и лизинг. Однако премьер У.Черчилль был реалистом и прекрасно понимал, что ни первое, ни второе предложения энтузиазма у американцев не вызовут, поскольку воюющая Англия была фактически на грани банкротства. Поэтому президент Рузвельт быстро принял третий вариант, и в конце лета 1940 года сделка состоялась.Затем в недрах американского Министерства финансов родилась идея распространить опыт одной частной сделки на всю сферу всех межгосударственных отношений. Подключив к разработке законопроекта о ленд-лизе Военное и Военно-морское министерства, администрация президента США 10 января 1941 года внесла его на рассмотрение обеих палат Конгресса, который и был утвержден им 11 марта. Между тем, в сентябре 1941 года Конгресс США после долгих дебатов одобрил так называемую «Программу победы», суть которой, по словам самих американских военных историков (Р.Лейтон, Р.Коакли), заключалась в том, что «вкладом Америки в войну будет оружие, а не армии».Сразу после подписания этой программы президентом Рузвельтом его советник и спецпредставитель Аверелл Гарриман вылетел в Лондон, а оттуда — в Москву, где 1 октября 1941 года нарком иностранных дел СССР В.М.Молотов, британский министр запасов и снабжения лорд У.Э.Бивербрук и президентский спецпредставитель А.Гарриман подписали Первый (Московский) протокол, который положил начало распространению программы ленд-лиза на Советский Союз.Затем, 11 июня 1942 года, в Вашингтоне было подписано «Соглашение между правительствами СССР и США о принципах, применимых к взаимной помощи в ведении войны против агрессии», которое окончательно отрегулировало все принципиальные вопросы военно-технического и экономического сотрудничества двух главных участников «антигитлеровской коалиции». В целом, в соответствии с подписанными протоколами, все ленд-лизовские поставки в СССР традиционно делят на несколько этапов:Пред ленд-лиз — с 22 июня 1941 по 30 сентября 1941 года (до подписания протокола); Первый протокол — с 1 октября 1941 по 30 июня 1942 (подписан 1 октября 1941); Второй протокол — с 1 июля 1942 по 30 июня 1943 (подписан 6 октября 1942); Третий протокол — с 1 июля 1943 по 30 июня 1944 (подписан 19 октября 1943); Четвертый протокол — с 1 июля 1944 по 20 сентября 1945 (подписан 17 апреля 1944).2 сентября 1945 года подписанием акта капитуляции милитаристской Японии Вторая мировая война была завершена, а уже 20 сентября 1945 года все поставки по ленд-лизу в СССР — прекращены.Что, куда и сколькоПравительство США никогда не публиковало подробных отчетов того, что и сколько было отправлено по программе ленд-лиза в СССР. Но по уточненным данным доктора исторических наук Л.В.Поздеевой («Англо-американские отношения в годы Второй мировой войны 1941-1945 гг., М., «Наука», 1969; «Лондон — Москва: Британское общественное мнение и СССР. 1939-1945», М., Институт всеобщей истории РАН, 1999), которые были извлечены ей из закрытых американских архивных источников, датированных 1952 годом, поставки по ленд-лизу в СССР осуществлялись по пяти маршрутам:Дальний Восток — 8 244 000 тонн (47,1%); Персидский залив — 4 160 000 тонн (23,8%); Северная Россия — 3 964 000 тонн (22,7%); Советский Север — 681 000 тонн (3,9%); Советская Арктика — 452 000 тонн (2,5%).Его соотечественник, американский историк Дж.Херринг столь же откровенно писал, что «ленд-лиз не был самым бескорыстным актом в истории человечества… Это был акт расчетливого эгоизма, и американцы всегда ясно представляли себе выгоды, которые они могут из него извлечь».И это было действительно так, поскольку ленд-лиз оказался неиссякаемым источником обогащения многих американских корпораций. Ведь, по сути, единственной страной антигитлеровской коалиции, получившей весомый экономический выигрыш от войны, были именно США. Недаром в самих Соединенных Штатах Вторую мировую войну порой называют «хорошей войной», что, например, видно из названия работы известного американский историка С.Теркели «The Good War: An Oral History of World War II» («Хорошая война: устная история Второй мировой войны» (1984)). В ней он откровенно, с цинизмом отмечал: «Почти весь мир во время этой войны испытал страшные потрясения, ужасы и был почти уничтожен. Мы же вышли из войны, имея в наличии невероятную технику, орудия труда, рабочую силу и деньги. Для большинства американцев война оказалась забавой… Я не говорю о тех несчастных, которые потеряли своих сыновей и дочерей. Однако для всех остальных это было чертовски хорошее время».Практически все исследователи этой темы в один голос говорят о том, что программа ленд-лиза заметно оживила экономическую конъюнктуру в США, в платежном балансе которых операции по ленд-лизу стали на время войны одной из ведущих статей. Для выполнения поставок по ленд-лизу администрация президента Рузвельта стала широко использовать так называемые контракты с «фиксированной рентабельностью» (cost-plus contracts), когда частные подрядчики могли сами устанавливать определенный уровень доходов по отношению к издержкам.В случаях, когда требовались значительные объемы специализированной техники, в роли арендодателя выступало правительство США, покупавшее все необходимое оборудование для последующей передачи его в лизинг.Только цифрыКонечно же, поставки по ленд-лизу приблизили победу над врагом. Но вот некоторые реальные цифры, которые говорят сами за себя.Например, в годы войны стрелкового оружия всех основных типов на предприятиях Советского Союза было произведено более 29,1 млн. единиц, в то время как с американских, британских и канадских заводов на вооружение в РККА поступило всего лишь около 152 тыс. единиц стрелкового оружия, то есть 0,5%. Аналогичная картина наблюдалась и по всем типам артиллерийских систем всех калибров — 647,6 тыс. советских орудий и минометов против 9,4 тыс. заграничных, что составляло менее 1,5% от их общего числа.По другим видам вооружений картина была несколько иная, но тоже не столь «оптимистическая»: по танкам и самоходным орудиям соотношение отечественных и союзнических машин составляло, соответственно, 132,8 тыс. и 11,9 тыс. (8,96%), и по боевым самолетам — 140,5 тыс. и 18,3 тыс. (13%).И еще: из почти 46 млрд. долларов, в которые обошлась вся ленд-лизовская помощь, для Красной Армии, разгромившей львиную долю дивизий Германии и ее военных сателлитов, США выделили всего 9,1 млрд. долларов, то есть чуть больше одной пятой средств.В то же время Британская империя получила более 30,2 млрд., Франция — 1,4 млрд., Китай — 630 млн. и даже страны Латинской Америки (!) получили 420 млн. долларов. А всего поставки по программе ленд-лиза получили 42 страны.Надо сказать, что в последнее время общие поставки по ленд-лизу стали оценивать несколько иначе, но сути общей картины это не меняет. Вот какие существуют уточненные данные: из 50 млрд. долларов почти 31,5 млрд. было потрачены на поставки в Великобританию, 11,3 млрд. — в СССР, 3,2 млрд. — во Францию и 1,6 млрд. — в Китай.Но, может быть, при общей незначительности объема заокеанской помощи она сыграла решающую роль именно в 1941 г., когда немцы стояли у ворот Москвы и Ленинграда, и когда до победного марша по Красной площади оставалось всего каких-то 25-40 км?Давайте посмотрим статистику поставки вооружений за этот год. С начала войны до конца 1941 г. Красная Армия получила 1,76 млн. винтовок, автоматов и пулеметов, 53,7 тыс. орудий и минометов, 5,4 тыс. танков и 8,2 тыс. боевых самолетов. Из них наши союзники по антигитлеровской коалиции поставили всего 82 артиллерийских орудия (0,15%), 648 танков (12,14%) и 915 самолетов (10,26%). Причем изрядная часть присланной военной техники, в частности 115 из 466 танков английского производства, в первый год войны до фронта так и не добралась.Если перевести эти поставки вооружений и военной техники в денежный эквивалент, то, по данным известного историка, доктора наук М.И.Фролова («Тщетные потуги: против принижения роли СССР в разгроме фашистской Германии», Лениздат, 1986; «Великая Отечественная война 1941-1945 гг. в немецкой историографии», С-П., изд-во ЛТА, 1994), которые многие годы успешно и достойно полемизирует с немецкими историками (В.Швабедиссен, К.Уэбе), «до конца 1941 года — в самый тяжелый для Советского государства период — в СССР по ленд-лизу из США были направлены материалы на сумму 545 тыс. долларов при общей стоимости американских поставок странам антигитлеровской коалиции 741 млн. долларов. То есть менее 0,1% американской помощи получил Советский Союз в этот сложный период.К тому же первые поставки по ленд-лизу зимой 1941-1942 года достигли СССР очень поздно, а в эти критические месяцы русские, и одни только русские, оказывали реальное сопротивление германскому агрессору на своей собственной земле и своими собственными средствами, не получая какой-либо заметной помощи со стороны западных демократий. К концу же 1942 года согласованные программы поставок в СССР были выполнены американцами и англичанами на 55%. В 1941-1942 годах в СССР поступило всего 7% отправленных за годы войны из США грузов. Основное количество вооружения и других материалов было получено Советским Союзом в 1944-1945 годах, после коренного перелома в ходе войны».Часть IIТеперь посмотрим, что же представляли собой боевые машины союзных стран, которые первоначально шли по программе ленд-лиза.Из 711 истребителей, прибывших из Англии в СССР до конца 1941 года, 700 составляли безнадежно устаревшие машины типа «Киттихок», «Томагавк» и «Харрикейн», которые существенно уступая немецкому «Мессершмиту» и советскому «Яку» по скорости и маневренности и не имели даже пушечного вооружения. Даже если советскому летчику и удавалось поймать вражеского аса в пулеметный прицел, то их пулеметы винтовочного калибра зачастую оказывались совершенно бессильными против довольно крепкой брони немецких самолетов. Что касается новейших истребителей «Аэрокобра», то в 1941 году их было поставлено всего 11 штук. Причем первая «Аэрокобра» прибыла в Советский Союз в разобранном виде, без какой-либо документации и с полностью отработанным моторесурсом.Это, кстати, относится и к двум эскадрильям истребителей «Харрикейн», вооруженных 40-мм танковыми пушками для борьбы с бронетехникой противника. Штурмовики из этих истребителей получились совсем никчемные, и они всю войну простояли в СССР без дела, поскольку желающих лететь на них в Красной Армии просто не нашлось.Аналогичная картина наблюдалась и с хвалеными английскими бронемашинами — легким танком «Валлентайн», который советские танкисты окрестили «Валентина», и средним танком «Матильда», которую те же танкисты обозвали еще хлестче — «Прощай, Родина», Тонкая броня, пожароопасные карбюраторные двигатели и допотопная трансмиссия делали их легкой добычей немецких артиллеристов и гранатометчиков.По авторитетному свидетельству личного помощника В.М.Молотова В.М.Бережкова, который в качестве переводчика И.В.Сталина участвовал во всех переговорах советского руководства с англо-американскими визитерами, Сталин нередко возмущался тем, что, например, англичане поставляли по ленд-лизу устаревшие самолеты типа «Харрикейн» и уклонялись от поставок новейших истребителей «Спитфайр». Более того, в сентябре 1942 года в беседе с лидером республиканской партии США У.Уилки, в присутствии американского и английского послов и У.Стэндли и А.Кларка Керра, верховный главнокомандующий прямо поставил перед ним вопрос: почему английское и американское правительства снабжают Советский Союз некачественными материалами?И пояснил, что речь идет, прежде всего, о поставках американских самолетов П-40 вместо куда более современных «Аэрокобр», и что англичане поставляют никуда не годные самолеты «Харрикейн», которые значительно хуже германских. Был случай, добавил Сталин, когда американцы собрались поставить Советскому Союзу 150 «Аэрокобр», но англичане вмешались и оставили их себе. «Советские люди… отлично знают, что и американцы, и англичане имеют самолеты, равные или даже лучшие по качеству, чем немецкие машины, но по непонятным причинам некоторые из этих самолетов не поставляются в Советский Союз».Американский посол адмирал Стэндли не имел сведений на этот счет, а английский посол Арчибальд Кларк Керр признал, что он в курсе дела с «Аэрокобрами», но стал оправдывать их отправку в другое место тем, что эти 150 машин в руках англичан принесут «гораздо больше пользы общему делу союзников, чем, если бы они попали в Советский Союз».Обещанного три года ждут?США обещали прислать в 1941 году 600 танков и 750 самолетов, а послали первых всего 182 и 204, соответственно.Та же история повторилась и в 1942 году: если советская промышленность выпустила в этот год более 5,9 млн. единиц стрелкового оружия, 287 тыс. орудий и минометов, 24,5 тыс. танков и самоходных орудий и 21,7 тыс. самолетов, то по ленд-лизу за январь-октябрь 1942 года было поставлено всего 61 тыс. единиц стрелкового оружия, 532 орудий и минометов, 2703 танков и самоходок и 1695 самолетов.Причем с ноября 1942 года, т.е. в самый разгар битвы за Кавказ и Сталинград и проведения операции «Марс» на Ржевском выступе, поставки вооружений практически полностью прекратились. По информации историков (М.Н.Супрун «Ленд-лиз и северные конвои, 1941-1945 гг.», М., изд-во «Андреевский флаг», 1997), эти перебои начались уже летом 1942 года, когда немецкая авиация и подлодки разгромили печально знаменитый Караван PQ-17, брошенный (по приказу Адмиралтейства) британскими конвойными судами. Результат оказался катастрофическим: до советских портов дошло всего 11 из 35 судов, что и было использовано в качестве предлога для приостановки отправки следующего конвоя, который отплыл от британских берегов только в сентябре 1942 года.Новый Караван PQ-18 потерял по дороге 10 транспортов из 37, и очередной конвой был отправлен только в середине декабря 1942 года. Таким образом, за 3,5 месяца, когда на Волге шла решающая битва всей Второй мировой войны, в Мурманск и Архангельск пришло поодиночке менее 40 судов с ленд-лизовскими грузами. В связи с этим обстоятельством у многих возникло законное подозрение, что в Лондоне и Вашингтоне все это время просто выжидали, в чью пользу завершится сражением под Сталинградом.Между тем, с марта 1942 года, т.е. всего через полгода после эвакуации из европейской части СССР более 10 тыс. промышленных предприятий, начался рост военного производства, которое уже к концу этого года превысило довоенные показатели в пять раз (!). Причем надо отметить, что 86% всей рабочей силы составляли старики, женщины и дети. Именно они в 1942-1945 годах дали советской армии 102,5 тыс. танков и самоходок, более 125,6 тыс. самолетов, более 780 тыс. артиллерийских орудий и минометов и т.д.Не только оружие. И не только союзникам…Шли по ленд-лизу и поставки, не относящиеся к основным видам вооружений. И тут цифры получаются и впрямь солидные. В частности, мы получили 2586 тыс. тонн авиационного бензина, что составляло 37% от произведенного в СССР в годы войны, и почти 410 тыс. автомобилей, т.е. 45% всего автотранспорта РККА (без учета трофейных автомобилей). Немалую роль сыграли и поставки продовольствия, хотя за первый год войны они были крайне незначительны, а всего США поставили примерно 15% мясных и прочих консервов.А еще были станки, рельсы, паровозы, вагоны, радиолокаторы и другое полезное имущество, без которых много не навоюешь.Безусловно, ознакомившись с этим внушительным списком ленд-лизовских поставок, можно бы искренне восхититься американскими партнерами по антигитлеровской коалиции», если не один нюанс: одновременно американские промышленные корпорации осуществляла поставки и в нацистскую Германию…Например, нефтяная корпорация «Стандарт Ойл», принадлежавшая Джону Рокфеллеру-младшему, только по линии немецкого концерна «И.Г.Фарбениндустри» продала Берлину бензина и смазочных материалов на 20 млн. долларов. А венесуэльский филиал этой же компании ежемесячно отправлял в Германию 13 тыс. тонн сырой нефти, которую мощная химическая промышленность Третьего Рейха тут же перерабатывала в первоклассный бензин. Причем, драгоценным топливом дело не ограничивалось, и немцам из-за океана шел вольфрам, синтетический каучук и масса разных комплектующих для автомобильной промышленности, которыми германского фюрера снабжал его старинный друг Генри Форд-старший. В частности, хорошо известно, что на снабжение германского вермахту шло 30% всех автопокрышек, изготовленных на его заводах.Что касается общего объема фордовско-рокфеллеровских поставок нацистской Германии, то полных сведений на этот счет нет до сих пор, поскольку это строжайшая коммерческая тайна, но даже то малое, что стало достоянием общественности и историков, позволяет понять, что торговля с Берлином в годы отнюдь не затихала.Ленд-лиз — не благотворительностьСуществует версия, что со стороны США ленд-лизовская помощь носила чуть ли не благотворительный характер. Однако при ближайшем рассмотрении и эта версия не выдерживает критики. Прежде всего, потому, что уже в ходе войны в рамках так называемого «обратного ленд-лиза» Вашингтон получил необходимого сырья общей стоимостью почти в 20% от переданных материалов и вооружений. В частности, из СССР были отправлены 32 тыс. тонн марганцевой и 300 тыс. тонн хромовой руды, значение которых в военной промышленности было крайне велико. Достаточно сказать, что когда в ходе Никопольско-Криворожской наступательной операции войск 3-го и 4-го Украинских фронтов в феврале 1944 года германская промышленность лишились никопольского марганца, то 150-мм лобовая броня немецких «королевских тигров» стала держать удар советских артиллерийских снарядов куда хуже, чем аналогичный 100-мм броневой лист, который стоял раньше на обычных «тиграх».Кроме того, за союзные поставки СССР расплачивался золотом. Так, только на одном британском крейсере «Эдинбург», который был потоплен немецкими подлодками в мае 1942 года, находилось 5,5 тонн драгоценного металла.Значительную часть оружия и боевой техники, как и полагалось по договору ленд-лиза, Советский Союз по окончании войны вернул обратно. Получив взамен счет на круглую сумму в 1300 млн. долларов. На фоне списания ленд-лизовских долгов иным державам это выглядело откровенным грабежом, поэтому И.В.Сталин потребовал пересчитать «союзнический долг».Впоследствии американцы были вынуждены признать, что ошиблись, но накрутили на итоговую сумму проценты, и окончательная сумма, с учетом этих процентов, признанная СССР и США по Вашингтонскому соглашению в 1972 году, составила 722 млн. зеленых. Из них 48 млн. были выплачены США при Л.И.Брежневе, тремя равными платежами в 1973 году, после чего выплаты были прекращены в связи с вводом американской стороной дискриминационных мер в торговле с СССР (в частности, пресловутой «Поправки Джексона-Вэника» — авт.).Лишь в июне 1990 года, в ходе новых переговоров президентов Дж.Буша-старшего и М.С.Горбачева, стороны вернулись к обсуждению ленд-лизовского долга, в ходе которых были установлены новый срок окончательного погашения задолженности — 2030 год, и оставшаяся сумма долга — 674 млн. долларов.После распада СССР его технически долги были разделены на долги правительствам (Парижский клуб) и долги частным банкам (Лондонский клуб). Долг за ленд-лиз был долговым обязательством перед правительством США, то есть частью долга Парижскому клубу, который Россия полностью погасила в августе 2006 года.По собственным оценкамПрезидент США Ф.Д.Рузвельт прямо говорил, что «помощь русским — это удачно потраченные деньги», а его преемник в Белом доме Г.Трумэн еще в июне 1941 года на страницах «Нью-Йорк Таймс» заявил: «Если мы увидим, что Германиия побеждает, мы должны помогать России, а если верх будет одерживать Россия, мы должны помогать Германии, и пусть они, таким образом, убивают друг друга как можно больше»…Первую официальную оценку роли ленд-лиза в общей победе над нацизмом, которая затем в разной интерпретации тиражировалась во многих энциклопедиях и научных работах, дал член Политбюро ЦК ВКП(б), председатель Госплана СССР Н.А.Вознесенский, который в работе «Военная экономика СССР в период Отечественной войны» (М., Госполитиздат, 1948) писал: «Если сравнить размеры поставок союзниками промышленных товаров в СССР с размерами производства промышленной продукции на социалистических предприятиях СССР, то окажется, что удельный вес этих поставок по отношению к отечественному производству в период военной экономики составит всего лишь около 4%».Сами американские ученые, военные и чиновники (Р.Голдсмит, Дж.Херринг, Р.Джоунс) признают, что «вся союзная помощь СССР не превысила 1/10 советского производства вооружений», а общий объем ленд-лизовских поставок, с учетом знаменитой американской тушенки «Второй фронт», составила порядка 10-11%.Более того, известный американский историк Р.Шервуд в своем знаменитом двухтомнике «Рузвельт и Гопкинс. Глазами очевидца» (М., «Иностранная литература», 1958), написанном в разгар холодной войны, цитировал Гарри Гопкинса, который сказал, что «американцы никогда не считали, что помощь по ленд-лизу является главным фактором в советской победе над Гитлером на Восточном фронте. Победа была достигнута героизмом и кровью русской армии».источник : http://aloban75.livejournal.com/1798282.html

01 апреля, 00:11

How Russia Undermines Nuclear Security

William Courtney, John Herbst Security, Eurasia Moscow's saber rattling challenges Washington's security guarantees. Russian aggression in Ukraine and nuclear saber rattling are jeopardizing the very global nonproliferation efforts that this week’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington seeks to further. Moscow’s actions deserve a stronger response than they have received, not least to deter potential proliferators and reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism. In some respects, Russia has been a responsible nuclear steward. Contrary to fears, no former Soviet nuclear weapon is known to have gone missing. During and after the Soviet collapse in 1991, Russia, with U.S. help, removed nuclear weapons from every former Soviet republic. The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and other U.S. initiatives have helped Russia dismantle nuclear missile silos, bombers and submarines; improve the security of nuclear weapons; and install technology to detect nuclear smuggling. The scale of these U.S.-Russian cooperative endeavors has only one parallel—U.S. aid to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease Act, which was the principal means for providing aid to foreign countries during World War II. Today, Russia and America co-lead the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, a voluntary partnership of eighty-six nations and five international organizations, and have concluded accords to reduce strategic nuclear forces. Since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, however, Russia’s record in lessening nuclear dangers has been checkered. Moscow played a key role in the P5+1 talks held in November, which reached a historic deal to constrain Iran’s nuclear weapons potential. On the negative side, Russia has flight-tested at least one missile banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Moscow’s greatest nuclear transgression concerns Ukraine. To help quell serious debate in Ukraine about the risks of future Russian aggression, Moscow, London and Washington signed the Budapest Memorandum of Security Assurances in 1994. The three pledged to respect the independence, sovereignty and existing borders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and refrain from the threat or use of force against them. Separately, France and China offered similar assurances. Read full article

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14 марта, 18:15

Lend-Lease: How American supplies aided the USSR in its darkest hour

75 years ago the U.S. signed a bill to provide its allies with vital goods

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03 февраля, 17:43

Выгоду приносят и косвенные пути

Бурное обсуждение статей «Какую выгоду получили США от второй мировой войны?» и «Была ли плата за ленд-лиз золотом?» показывает: главным источником послевоенного процветания Соединённых Государств Америки стал не прямой доход от экономического взаимодействия с союзниками во время войны (так, основная масса оружия, боеприпасов, техники, продовольствия и т.п. поставлялась на условиях lend-lease — с оплатой только после войны и только того, что не будет утрачено в ходе войны или возвращено после неё — или в лучшем случае оплачивалась встречными поставками сырья), а доступ на рынки, практически закрытые для СГА ранее — например, торговля с Канадой и Австралией, входившими тогда в почти закрытую от импорта Британскую империю (а теперь — в Британское содружество наций, чьи рынки не закрыты для сторонних партнёров), возросла в несколько раз. Да и уничтожение многих конкурентов — не только боевыми действиями, но и, по сути, напором dumping — тоже помогло.Впрочем, другие темы, затронутые в ходе обсуждения, также весьма увлекательны даже несмотря на то, что львиная доля утверждений (в том числе и в исходном тексте статей) принадлежит лицам, откровенно некритично относящимся к экономическим и политическим догмам англосаксонского происхождения, а при разногласиях между утверждениями из таких источников предпочитающим наилиберальнейшие версии.По одному из поднятых там вопросов — ценности самого ленд-лиза с военной точки зрения — могу сказать: насколько мне известна структура собственного советского производства во время войны и структура импорта, похоже на то, что поставки союзников хотя и составили в ценовом выражении всего 1/25 собственного производства СССР, но позволили сократить потери населения СССР примерно на 1/10, а то и на 1/8. Надеюсь, эти 3–4 миллиона спасённых жизней вместе с отмеченной в статье «Великую войну готовили заблаговременно» ролью СГА в индустриализации СССР (как противовеса — вместе с Германией — главному конкуренту СГА — Британской империи) в какой-то мере компенсируют изученную в той же статье роль Британии и СГА в организации Второй Мировой войны.

07 декабря 2015, 19:00

GE Sheds its Mexican Equipment Lending & Leasing Business

General Electric (GE) inked an agreement to sell its equipment lending and leasing business in Mexico to Linzor Capital Partners.

16 ноября 2015, 05:01

A Grand Bargain With Putin Against ISIS?

What follows is not very pretty. But it may be the best option available in a crisis without good options. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made no secret of the fact that he would like some kind of political settlement with the West. The German magazine Der Spiegel has just published a leaked official Russian memo outlining a proposed grand bargain in which Putin eases out its close ally, Syrian President Assad, in favor of a still pro-Russian regime that at least stops killing its own people. In return the West acknowledges what has been an open secret for several decades--that Syria is Russia's sphere of influence in the Arab world. Then the U.S., Russia, Iran, and the rest of the grand coalition can get on with the urgent business of eliminating or at least drastically weakening ISIS. Greater progress on getting rid of Assad was raised at a strategy conference on Syria held in Vienna earlier this week that included senior diplomats from the U.S., Russia, Iraq and several other nations. No grand bargain was reached but the idea will surely be raised again at the G-20 Summit now under way in Turkey. Until the Paris attacks, there was little enthusiasm in the West for this approach. Putin, after all, is a thug and he has put Russia on an expansionist course. On the other hand, maybe a grand bargain with Putin against ISIS is not so crazy. As part of the deal, the U.S. and Russia would have to reach some understanding about how to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, probably acknowledging a Russian sphere of influence in the eastern, Russian-speaking part of the country. That is not pretty either. But then the great powers would actually have a real chance of reversing the territorial gains of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, restoring stability to Syria, which in turn would slow the torrent of refugees now engulfing Europe, increasing votes for far-right parties, and undermining the European Union. Maybe that's not such a bad bargain. Right now, the U.S., Russia, and to some extent Iran are each pursuing inconsistent military actions against ISIS rather than collaborating. That's really crazy. Would we be selling out the promise of a democratic Syria? It's not as if any of the regimes in the Middle East are Jeffersonian democracies, or have any chance of becoming so any time soon. During World War II, the U.S. and the far more repressive Soviet Russia were allies against an even worse Nazi regime. We gave the Soviets Lend Lease aid, to help them destroy the Wehrmacht after Hitler's worst blunder of the war, his invasion of Russia. As the War was ending, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill took the lead at the Yalta conference of February 1945 in negotiating post-war spheres of influence, acknowledging Stalin's demands for client states on the USSR's near borders. That was not pretty either; it was outrageous. What the West did not give Russia, Stalin took by military occupation. But the alternative was probably a pivot from an exhausting war against Hitler to a shooting war against Stalin. Nobody wanted that. It took another forty years for communism to finally collapse. Churchill had habit of making such deals. After World War I, it was Churchill who carved up the Middle East into its current sheikdoms and kingdoms, partly for geo-political reasons and partly to make deals between client states and Western oil companies. This was also far from pretty, and it seeded the ground for much of today's anti-Western rebellions in the region. What goes around comes around. But there are truly ugly, and not so ugly, versions of realpolitik. The Middle East imperialism of the younger Churchill was an outrage that took the better part of a century to backfire on the West. The deal at Yalta in 1945 probably gave Stalin more territory than the West had to. On the other hand, the wartime alliance with the loathsome Soviet dictator was absolutely necessary to defeat Hitler. Which brings me back to Putin. A few commentators, such as the Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen, have argued that it is at least partly the fault of the West that Putin is now our enemy. Russia, Cohen contends, has legitimate security interests like any other great power. From Russia's perspective, expanding NATO to Russia's very borders and colluding in the overthrow of a pro-Moscow government in Kiev were gratuitous provocations. For this argument, Cohen has been excoriated in in leftwing and rightwing publication alike. I don't share Cohen's analysis, but he is right on one point. Russia and the U.S. do potentially have some common interests. The attacks on Paris demonstrate that ISIS and its local sympathizers are capable of hitting civilian targets almost at will. Unlike al-Qaeda, ISIS is partly decentralized, and far more difficult for police and intelligence to infiltrate or monitor. On the other hand, fanatical zealots tend to overreach, just as Hitler disastrously overreached when he invaded Soviet Russia. In its recent actions, ISIS has over-reached. In the past few weeks, ISIS or its sympathizers blew up a Russian civilian airliner and suicide-bombed a neighborhood in Beirut controlled by Hezbollah, in addition to its barbaric attacks in Paris. This all may be consistent with ISIS's warped world view--but it is strategic insanity. You can't attack everybody without bringing everybody into a coalition against you. It's no accident that the Putin memo was leaked to a German magazine. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in Soviet-occupied East Germany, is fluent in Russian. Putin, who was a KGB agent in East Germany, is fluent in German. The two leaders speak at least weekly. The idea of such a grand bargain surely has some appeal to Merkel, as the refugee crisis increasingly threatens her own leadership in Germany. A grand bargain with Putin is still a long shot. In terms of domestic politics, the initial consequence would be catcalls from the right. But if the result were to end the civil war in Syria, reverse territorial gains of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and ease the refugee crisis in Europe, and reduce the capacity of ISIS to menace the West, the jeers would turn to cheers. In a nation such as ours that cherishes democracy, this brand of realpolitik is never pretty--and it can be executed well or badly. It makes strategic sense only when all the other options are worse. Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect and professor at Brandeis University's Heller School. His latest book is Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. Like Robert Kuttner on Facebook: http://facebook.com/RobertKuttner -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 ноября 2015, 14:18

Liveblogging History: November 11, 1945: John F. Kennedy

**John F. Kennedy**: [Crosscup-Pishon American Legion Post](http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/JFK-Speeches/Boston-MA-Crosscup-Pishon-American-Legion_19451111.aspx): >Our foreign policy today may well determine the kind of life we will live here for generations. For the peace and prosperity of this country are truly indivisible from the peace and prosperity of the world in this atomic age. >But before we whole-heartedly subscribe to any foreign policy, it may be well for us to examine the kinds of government that are taking over in the countries of post-war Europe and try to estimate where they are headed. I would like to offer for your consideration today my personal observations on three of these countries—England, Ireland, and Germany—victor, neutral, and vanquished. >The subject is a very broad one so that I am going to speak chiefly on the political parties of England and Ireland to try to estimate the reasons for their success or failure and to study the problems they face and their prospects for the future. In the case of Germany I merely propose to estimate the possibilities as they appear at the present time of building any kind of democratic government—democratic in the western sense. >The outstanding political event of the year was the emergence of the Labour Party...