Been a while since I produced one of these so perhaps timely perhaps not.
HAITI-Still almost 2 million without proper food, water, and shelter. Essentially a trapped population policed to prevent escape by the US military and Coast Guard the internal dynamics of the country are in turmoil including elections. Corrupt government and NGO officials continue to siphon off assistance.
PAKISTAN-The floods have impacted almost 40% of the country's economy even though only about 40% of the geography. This situation will continue to fester as we move into the weather changes precipitated by WINTER. The Pakistani Taliban and Afghani Taliban are separately led and constructed but again evidence that corruption in both countries siphoning off assistance. The US military seems completely unable to deal with civil corruption or even corruption of the civil military interface.
AFGHANISAN-- The opium poppy crop will be the largest and most important in a decade. Largely protected by the US and Karzai regimes this means that no long term conversion possible and by spring, Afghanistan will be conceded as hopeless by the US. Another long term failure of the military industrial academic congressional complex.
BP-CATASTROPHE--Once again no really accurate public informaton on either the science or financial claims settlement by the US government with almost total dependence on BP for crumbs of information. Probably two years off from relatively definitive assessement with at least 50% degree of confidence, this event is not being adquately funded by NAS for study. Oddly the Department of Interior has finally decided to ignore the Energy Department and has gotten the message that the future of that Department may well be tied to the BP CATATSTROPHE and its fallout. See 27 August 2010 page 1018-1019 issue of Science for one long term decision science effort, the SSWG [Strategic Science Working Group] established by DOI to study the catastrophe.
US Economy: Bets are down on deflation vis a vis inflation. Mine placed on deflation. WAPO announced today women now get most of PhDs in US. What would Margaret Sanger think now?
FEMA--No real test of FEMA yet post-Katrina but FUGATE and others continue to talk a good game. Playing may be another.
HURRICANE SEASON--Fortunately, so far pretty much a bust.
FALL ELECTIONS: Looking like a bust for the DEMS.
INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK: All holding fire depending on outcome of fall elections in US. Turkish election a very strange outcome as Turkey cannot continue as a house divided between EAST and WEST. Military Civil relations at the height of complexity for indefinite future. IRAQ about to descend into a two decades sleep while hoping no other nation-state tryies to steal its oil. SAUDI ARABIA--US and Israel deciding to arm that nation-state for conventional war with Iran.
AFRICA: Relations between Islam and Christen faiths grow more complex with next pope probably African.
ASIA: Southeast ASIA again growing edgy over economics and capital flows. Revolutions possible.
CHINA: Huge investments being made in academics and science.