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- Released October 10, 2008
For decades, U.S. military officials have used the euphemism “collateral damage” to refer to the deaths of civilians and destruction of property that resulted from military operations. As a public relations device, this term has helped mask the true toll of aggressive actions and given the impression that any harm inflicted was purely unintentional. Military officials also repeatedly assert that they make every effort to minimize these accidental results. As former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated in an ABC interview shortly after the Iraq invasion in 2003, “Our preference is, as a country, to have as little collateral damage as possible.” However the reality is that the U.S. military has made very little effort to avoid massive destruction in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in some cases, policies and practices seem intended to drive up the level of devastation.
- Released October 9, 2008
Dirty is the New Clean
The World Bank’s Strategic Framework on Development and Climate Change, a three-year ‘flexible’ framework for the Bank's institutions, makes a strong case for urgent action on global warming. It goes so far as to say that climate change will potentially undo development gains made in recent decades in many countries, implying that climate change can trump development, no matter how much money is spent trying to achieve the United Nations’ eight poverty-reducing Millennium Development Goals.
With this rhetoric, it appears that the Bank really wants to address climate change. But the Strategic Framework’s climate solutions suggest something different. In the name of technological and political neutrality, the Bank does nothing substantial to prioritize “new” renewable energy sources or decentralized, locally-driven mitigation or adaptation efforts. The Bank continues to stall on promises to account for its own greenhouse gas emissions, and it continues to increase financing for fossil fuels.
- Released October 8, 2008
World Bank Group Fossil Fuel Financing, 2004-2008
Relying exclusively on the World Bank’s own figures, our analysis shows World Bank Group lending to coal, oil, and gas is up 94% from 2007, reaching over $3 billion. Coal lending alone has increased an astonishing 256% in the last year.
By comparison, the Bank reported that renewable energy and energy efficiency lending is up 87%, with the vast majority going to support large hydropower projects and supply-side energy efficiency. Only $476 million went this year to support “new renewables”. That represents only a 13% increase over last year’s $421 million, according to the Bank’s own number.
- Released September 29, 2008
Reaction to Bailout Vote
In response to the stunning House of Representatives vote against the proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, IPS economic analysts propose ways to make Wall Street pay for the bailout, rather than average taxpayers.
- Released September 22, 2008
Executive Summary for 'A Unified Security Budget for the United States'
At a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July, Eric Edelman, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, said: “We all agree that a militarized foreign policy is not in our interests.” He’s right. Since 2004, the annual Unified Security Budget report has outlined and promoted a rebalancing of resources funding offense (military forces), defense (homeland security), and prevention (non-military international engagement, including diplomacy, nonproliferation, foreign aid, peacekeeping, and contributions to international organizations.)
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