• Chicago


Everything stated in Cesar Chelala’s March 30 article, “Drone dependency trivializing Afghan war,” is true. There is too much secrecy surrounding drone strikes that kill or injure innocents. So, what is Japan’s solution for helping the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and South Asia?

Currently, 54 nations lack the rule of law and fall under the “conflict threshold” of $3,000 per capita GDP. Of the 24 conflicts in the world, the U.S. is involved in eight — Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Mexico and Columbia. If you know where the other 16 conflicts are, you will find horrific crimes that go unreported.

The eight conflicts involving the U.S. had been coming on since the 1979 Iranian revolution. Why is the U.S. in Iraq? Oil? Whose oil? Seventy-five percent of oil from the Mideast goes to Asia, specifically Japan, Korea and China. U.S. involvement in conflicts keeps oil going to the world. If the U.S. wasn’t there, prices of world goods related to oil would rise.

The U.S. produces 45 percent of its oil supply domestically. Other sources are Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Africa (Nigeria and Angola), followed by Saudi Arabia (12 percent), Iraq (2 percent) and Kuwait (1 percent) and then Russia. Does Japan think it could have worked with the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Somalia or Pakistan without friction for the next 20 years?

At present, five nations are at extreme risk of future war: North Korea, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. What would Japan Times readers recommend to avoid war? Commodity controls, Treasury sanctions on leaders’ families, kidnapping of leaders?

One way Japan could work to prevent conflict is to encourage Korean reunification by providing World War II reparations as reconstruction funds. Imagine: a natural gas pipeline through a reunified Korea to Japan without a security threat from North Korea; or a world moving away from oil to natural gas to hydrogen; or something that forces the Mideast to diversify its economies, productively and peacefully. Imagine Afghanistan as a wonderful ski retreat, a supplier of electricity to Central Asia and a regional railroad hub. Imagine Somalia and Yemen with wonderful skylines on their coasts drawing millions of tourists.

War will end by 2040 if per capita GDP in the 54 nations moves above $3,000. This won’t happen unless we address the truly disconnected areas of the world.

derek bergquist

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