The biggest part of the winning the war on terrorism isn't our machinations in the ME, it is keeping the global economy growing over the long term (and expanding that growth to new areas of the world). New data indicates that the management of the US economy is key to making this happen (something the Bush team seems uniquely ill prepared to do — could you imagine a Russian, Mexican, or East Asian financial crisis with the Bush team at the helm?? Yikes!). IF our economy falters, the global economy will contract severely spreading terrorism faster than we can stamp it out. This is from Stephen Roach:
In all my years in this business, Ive never come across such a worrisome and potentially lethal confluence of imbalances. For starters, they are global in scope. A lopsided world economy has never been so dependent on one growth engine the United States. Over the seven-year 1995 to 2002 interval, revised figures now indicate that the US accounted for fully 96% of the cumulative increase in world GDP (at market exchange rates); thats nearly three times Americas 33% share in the global economy. (Note: Previously, our estimates suggested that the US had accounted for 64% of the increase in world GDP over the 1994 to 2001 interval; revised statistics now place the total increase in world GDP over the 1995 to 2002 interval at $3.164 trillion and the US gain at $3.045 trillion over the same period.) In other words, outside of the United States, the rest of the world accounted for only 4% of the cumulative increase in global GDP over the seven years ending in 2002. While the strength of the dollar has exaggerated Americas contribution to world GDP growth over this period, there can be no mistaking the extraordinarily narrow base of this US-centric global growth dynamic.