Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Case for a National Service Draft



Writing at Foreign Policy, Thomas Ricks makes the case for compulsory national service:

In 1974, the military became all volunteer. In the 1980s, the Reagan tax cuts began a huge transfer of wealth to the already wealthy, top 1 percent of American society. Normally we don't connect these two events, but with the passage of time, I suspect we may come to see them together as the moment when the wealthy checked out of America and moved into physical and mental gated communities.

I've already talked about how over the last 30 years, the proportion of wealth going to the top 1 percent has gone from 10 percent of annual national income to almost 25 percent, a greater share than in the Roaring '20s. And many of the readers of this blog have contributed thoughts about the All-Volunteer Force, especially how many American parents no longer have a sense of skin in the game.

bring all this up again because when I think about the Tea Party and the broader national mood of anti-incumbency, I suspect it all is part of a growing national distrust and dislike of elites. If Washington is getting whupped today, Wall Street can't be far behind on the hit parade. While I have problems with the Tea Party, I do think it is correct to suspect that the elites are not doing their part. So where I think this winds up is probably a sharp populist backlash, in five or 10 years, when all the national bills really start coming due. Ireland today may be America soon. Get ready for increase in income tax rates. But, as the wealthy will tell you after a few drinks, occupational income is really for the little people. The real game is capital gains taxes, and the rate there is just 15 percent. I suspect it will double sometime down the road.

And while we are at it, let's have a parallel debate about national service, OK?

Bringing back a draft does not mean bringing back the draft we saw in the 1960s. Rather, I think we design a new deal that offer a three-part set of options:

The military option. You do 18 months of military service. The leaders of the armed forces will kick and moan, but these new conscripts could do a lot of work that currently is outsourced: cutting the grass, cooking the food, taking out the trash, painting the barracks. They would receive minimal pay during their terms of service, but good post-service benefits, such as free tuition at any university in America. If the draftees like the military life, and some will, they could at the end of their terms transfer to the professional force, which would continue to receive higher pay and good benefits.

The civilian service option.Don't want to go military? Not a problem. We have lots of other jobs at hand. You do two years of them -- be a teacher's aide at a troubled inner-city school, clean up the cities, bring meals to elderly shut-ins. We might even think about how this force could help rebuild the American infrastructure, crumbling after 30 years of neglect. These national service people would receive post-service benefits essentially similar to what military types get now, with tuition aid.

The libertarian opt-out. There is a great tradition of libertarianism in this country, and we honor it. Here, you opt out of the military and civilian service options. You do nothing for Uncle Sam. In return, you ask for nothing from him. For the rest of your life, no tuition aid, no federal guarantees on your mortgage, no Medicare. Anything we can take you out of, we will. But the door remains open -- if you decide at age 50 that you were wrong, fine, come in and drive a general around for a couple of years.

http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/11/19/when_the_rich_abandoned_america_and_what_that_has_to_do_with_defense

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Woman dies thanks to Florida Medicaid privatization death panel created by Jeb Bush



FORMER GOVERNOR JEB BUSH LED THE EFFORT TO IMPLEMENT MEDICAID PRIVATIZATION IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. BUSH AND THE REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE TURNED MEDICAID PATIENTS OVER TO PRIVATE HMO DEATH PANELS

The Florida Times Union reports:

Relatives say a Jacksonville mother would be alive today if her insurance provider hadn’t repeatedly denied her request for a liver transplant.

Alisa Wilson, 37, died Friday at 8:50 p.m. after a lengthy battle with an undisclosed liver disease, said her father, Eric Wilson.

“Her liver was gone,” Wilson said. “There was no more left. She needed that transplant two weeks ago.”

In her final days, the Wilsons desperately reached out to the media and health-law attorneys to get her approved for a transplant.

Over the summer, she was turned down several times by her insurer, a Medicaid reform HMO run by Sunshine State Health.

The family switched her to traditional “fee-for-service” Medicaid because the local transplant center at Mayo Clinic Florida doesn’t typically accept Medicaid HMOs.

Like many Medicaid recipients in Duval County, Wilson was required to join a private plan as part of a Gov. Jeb Bush-era experimental overhaul of the program.

Only Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau and Broward counties are part of the reform pilot, but state leaders are considering expanding it statewide.

About a week and a half ago, attorneys working on Wilson’s behalf said the insurance obstacles had been worked out. By then, however, her health was too shaky to risk going under the knife.

“If they did it months ago, my daughter would be alive now,” her father said.

Representatives for Sunshine State and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which manages Florida’s Medicaid program, said they couldn’t speak to the specifics of the case, citing privacy laws.

Wilson’s funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 30, at Carthage Chapel Funeral Home, 929 W. Beaver St.

http://jacksonville.com/news/health-and-fitness/2010-11-22/story/jacksonville-woman-dies-after-insurer-repeatedly-denies-her

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Strategy Page: China Gains Military Might as UAV Gap Closes



The Strategy Page reports:

In the last decade, China has closed the gap (of a decade or more) in unmanned aerial vehicle development. China now has UAVs that are comparable, although not equal, to the American Predator and Global Hawk. China still lags, however, in user experience. American troops have over a million hours of UAV air time in combat zones. But in terms of the technology, the Chinese are there. The Chinese government has encouraged UAV development, and there are several companies currently at it, offering over 25 different UAV models.

But one Chinese firm, ASN Technology, has 90 percent of the military market in China, and a large chunk of the police and civilian business as well. While ASN has produced a UAV (ASN-229A), that looks just like the Predator, it is smaller (800 kg) while having a top speed of 180 kilometers an hour and 20 hours endurance. The ASN-229A can also carry two small missiles, similar to the U.S. Hellfire.

But most of the ASN models in use by the Chinese military are older, more like the 1990s technology found in the U.S. Army Shadow 200 (now being replaced by the Predator-like, 1.2 ton Gray Eagle). One of the most numerous Chinese army models, the ASN-206/207, is a 222 kg (488 pound) aircraft, with a 50 kg (110 pound) payload. The 207 model has a max endurance of eight hours, but more common is an endurance of four hours. Max range from the control van is 150 kilometers and cruising speed is about 180 kilometers an hour. A UAV unit consists of one control van and 6-10 trucks, each carrying a UAV and its catapult launch equipment. The UAV lands via parachute, so the aircraft get banged up a lot. A UAV battalion, with ten aircraft, would not be able to provide round the clock surveillance for more than a week, at best. But Chinese planners believe this is adequate. The unit contains repair crews, equipment and spare parts. This UAV can broadcast back live video, and be equipped for electronic warfare.

The Chinese army also have several models of smaller UAVs (50-100 kg/100-220 pounds), with endurance of 2-4 hours. The lack of persistence (the ability to stay in the air for long periods of time) means the Chinese are unable to use this most important of UAV capabilities. The Chinese now have new UAVs that are closer to current U.S. designs, but the Chinese military has not yet bought a lot of them.

While many Chinese UAVs demonstrate an American influence, some appear to be using Israeli technology. That's no accident, as four years ago, Israeli UAV manufacturer EMIT got busted after it was caught shipping UAV technology to China. EMIT was not a major player in the UAV industry, having only three models; the 450 kg Butterfly, 182 kg (400 pound) Blue Horizon, the 48 kg (hundred pound) Sparrow. The twenty year old firm has been scrambling to stay in business. The Chinese helped set up a phony cooperative deal in a Southeast Asian country, to provide cover for the transfer of EMIT UAV technology to China. Most of EMIT's production is for export, but Israel has agreed to consult with the United States about transfers of technology to China. This is because Israel has been caught exporting military equipment, containing American technology, to China (in violation of agreements with the United States.) China tends to get technology wherever, and whenever, it can.

China is offering most of its UAVs for export. One of the more interesting of these is a 220 kg (484 pound) helicopter UAV. The U8E has a top speed of 150 kilometers an hour, endurance of four hours, range (from operator) of 150 kilometers and a payload of 40 kg (88 pounds). This is sufficient for day/night cameras, laser designators and the like. Police like these helicopter UAVs, soldiers less so.

Two years ago, China revealed that it was developing a new UAV, similar to the U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk. Called Xianglong (Soaring Dragon), it is about half the size of the Global Hawk, at 7.5 tons, with a 14.5 meter (45 foot) wingspan and a .65 ton payload. Max altitude will be 18.4 kilometers (57,000 feet) and range will be 7,000 kilometers. It has a faster cruising speed (750 kilometers an hour) than the RQ-4.

The Chinese Xianglong is intended for maritime patrol, as is a U.S. Navy model of the RQ-4. The shorter range of the Xianglong is apparently attributable to the lower capabilities of the Chinese aircraft engine industry. The Xianglong is believed to be in limited service, meaning that it is still being developed.

Chinese firms have also been developing jet propelled UAVs. Three years ago, Beijing Black Buzzard Aviation Technology Limited, offered for sale two such UAVs . Both are powered by a miniature jet engine, larger than the types used in remote control model aircraft. Both models are similar in appearance, and look more like target drones than reconnaissance UAVs. The HFT-40A weighs 57 kg (100 pounds), is 3.3 meters (ten feet) long, with a 2.1 meter (6.5 foot) wingspan. It has a top speed of 500 kilometers an hour, max endurance of three hours and can operate 80 kilometers from its base station. The HFT-60A weighs 90 kg (198 pounds), is 3.8 meters (11 feet) long, with a 2.2 meter (seven foot) wingspan. It has a top speed of 700 kilometers an hour, endurance of three hours and can operate 150 kilometers from its base station.

These two UAVs are unique, as most users want endurance and slow speed. It's unclear what market these two high speed, low endurance UAVs are being pitched to. But the Chinese government encourages such research, as it provides a technology base for the development of larger, combat UAVs. Some of these have begun to appear, serving as high speed recon aircraft for naval forces. Once these UAVs spot an American carrier, high speed cruise missiles will not be far behind.

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairfo/articles/20101119.aspx

Big Oil, Partisan Politics Block Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles Bill



Reducing dependence on foreign oil is critical to America's economic health and national security. Partisan politics and short-sighted thinking has stood in the way of a real plan for energy independence. Daniel J. Weiss, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, argues for passage of legislation to encourage a switch to natural gas and electrical vehicles.

Weiss writes:

The Senate has one last chance to pass clean energy measures before the 111th Congress adjourns for the year. Many other clean energy and climate measures were blocked in this Congress, but there’s hope for a better ending to this clean energy legislative tragedy: The pending bill currently is composed of proposals with bipartisan authors.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) canceled a cloture vote that would have allowed passage of his Promoting Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles Act, S. 3815. Instead, he is reportedly conducting talks with one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), to see if a bipartisan agreement over the bill’s passage is possible. It is a modest proposal that would increase incentives for natural gas trucks, create a pilot program for electric vehicle recharging infrastructure, and raise the oil spill liability fee from 8 cents to 21 cents per barrel.

Sen. Reid’s bill is based on several bipartisan proposals. Its natural gas vehicles provisions are drawn from the NAT GAS Act, S. 1408. It would provide money for rebates to purchase natural gas cars and trucks. CAP estimates that the conversion of trucks to natural gas could save 1.2 million barrels of oil per day by 2035. The Senate Democratic Policy Committee notes that, “The natural gas industry ... estimated that this program will create more than 100,000 direct manufacturing and labor jobs and more than 450,000 indirect jobs.” Its cosponsors include conservative Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), George LeMieux (R-FL), and Hatch.

The electric vehicle provisions in S. 3815 are based on The Electric Vehicle Deployment Act, S. 3442. It would speed the transition to electric vehicles by creating a pilot program to help some communities create electric vehicle recharging infrastructure for plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. Its cosponsors include Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), and LeMieux.

The cost of these programs would be offset by a fairly small increase in the oil spill liability fee from 8 cents to 21 cents per barrel. This would lead to an increase in gasoline prices of no more than one-thirteenth of a cent per gallon. In other words, it would boost the price of seven and a half gallons of gasoline by a single penny. To put this in perspective, gasoline prices rose 7 cents per gallon over the past month.

Big Oil companies oppose this because it would reduce oil use and increase their oil spill liability fee by a pittance. Nonetheless, Big Oil’s opposition to this tiny fee hike could be enough to convince senators to vote against this very modest bill. The negotiations over the legislation are focusing on whether to levy this small fee increase or use some other mechanism to offset its cost.

Republican senators face pressure from their leaders to oppose the bill to deny President Barack Obama even a small victory in addition to demands from Big Oil. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made it clear that politics trumps progress when he said that, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” It is easy to imagine GOP Senate leaders following this dictum by strong-arming their caucus to vote against ending debate and passing this bill.

Republican senators who supported the NAT Gas Act and Electric Vehicle Development Act should also support S. 3815 if there is an agreement between Sens. Reid and Hatch. The bill would then pass. If past is prologue, though, enough of these senators could follow Big Oil and their Senate leadership to kill this common sense, low-cost legislation that would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It would join comprehensive global warming and clean energy legislation along with other essential clean energy jobs proposals on the scrap heap of bills Big Oil and Senate Republican leaders opposed.

Let’s hope such a sad fate for clean energy can be avoided in this Congress.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/11/final_act.html

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Atomic Insights: Nuclear Industry Can Lead a Revival in U.S. Manufacturing



The informative blog Atomic Insights calls attention to nuclear power's potential role in revitalizing the U.S. industrial base:

Nuclear Industry Can Lead a Revival in Skilled Labor and Manufacturing in the United States

by Rod Adams

The Nuclear Energy Institute, the American Nuclear Society and the North American Young Generation in Nuclear have been investing time and money into focused workforce development programs for several years. The people leading the effort are taking the action to ensure that there are educated and trained people who are ready to meet the challenge of continuing to reliably operate and maintain our existing fleet of 104 nuclear reactors at the same time that we are reestablishing our nuclear plant manufacturing and construction industry.

The below is an op-ed describing the effort by one of its leaders.


Nuclear Industry Workforce Education Revitalizes Skilled Labor and Manufacturing Careers
By Elizabeth McAndrew-Benavides
President
North American Young Generation

In 1950 manufacturing accounted for more than 30 percent of all U.S. employment. These skilled labor careers provided an unprecedented standard of living for more than two decades following the end of World War II, allowing millions of Americans to purchase homes and autos and pay for their children to go to college.

By 2006, manufacturing employment shrunk to a mere 10 percent of U.S. employment and with it the bulk of America’s well-paying skilled labor careers. Prognosticators predicted manufacturing’s ultimate demise as a significant driver of the American economy. But a look at the U.S. nuclear industry tells a different story: a narrative where job growth in the skilled trades is on an upward trend and the industry can serve as a role model for the revitalization of the U.S. manufacturing sector through the creation of new careers and economic expansion. In fact, it already has.

At this point 13 license applications for up to 22 new reactors have been filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the industry expects four-to-eight new plants to be operating by the end of the decade. Construction activities already have begun at plant sites in Georgia and South Carolina. As a consequence, over the past three years more than 15,000 careers, not just jobs, have been created as the nuclear industry has invested over $4 billion in new nuclear plant development. Plans call for the investment of another $8 billion to be in position to supply the materials needed to begin large-scale construction in 2011-2012. Many of these careers don’t require a college degree, but have earnings potential that equals, and even exceeds, that of college graduates. Teachers can play an instrumental part in creating awareness among their students of these careers.

K-12 educators should incorporate what we call “Energy Literacy” into their teaching plans and thus can play a significant role in encouraging their students to consider the career possibilities as electrical and mechanical technicians, radiation monitors, health physicists and engineers of all kinds. The nuclear industry has resources to help educators explain to students what career opportunities are available in nuclear power. For example, FREE curriculum and lesson plans are available from groups such as the National Education Foundation and The Ford Foundation on all sectors of energy production including nuclear power. The industry offers expert speakers from diverse nuclear-oriented groups including Women in Nuclear, the North American Young Generation in Nuclear and the American Nuclear Society, and there is a successful nuclear energy mentoring program known as Power Set that could be replicated around the country.

But is there proof of a revival in the American nuclear industry that warrants teachers’ interest? You bet there is.

For example, Alstom just opened a new $300 million turbine manufacturing facility in Tennessee to supply turbines for use in North American power plants; Shaw Modular Solutions constructed a 410,000-square-foot nuclear modernization facility in Louisiana to assemble structural, piping, equipment and other modules for new nuclear plants that will employ 700 to 1,400 assembly line and skilled technical workers at full capacity. AREVA and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding broke ground last summer on a $360-million manufacturing and engineering facility in Newport News, Va., that will manufacture heavy components such as reactor vessels, steam generators and pressurizers. Expected to open in 2012, this facility will create more than 500 skilled hourly and salaried careers. And this is only the beginning.

Over the next five years, 38 percent of the current nuclear industry work force employed at the nation’s 104 operating plant will be eligible for retirement, leaving a shortfall of more than 25,000 skilled workers. In addition, each new nuclear plant will create up to 2,400 temporary and highly-paid positions over the five-year construction period and 400-to-800 new permanent careers.

Much as a major league baseball team must build a pipeline of young players in their farm system years in advance so they’ll be ready to replace retiring players, so must the nuclear industry replenish its work force to avoid any skills shortage and be ready for expansion. The nuclear industry realized this trend years ago and is doing just that.

The industry is keeping close track of the job openings and student enrollments to ensure that the pipeline of new workers fits the number of careers available. The industry has set up partnerships with 43 community colleges across the country and implemented what’s known as a uniform curriculum program to ensure that the proper educating and training of the next generation of nuclear industry workers is done in a cohesive manner. This past May, the first graduates of this program at Chattanooga State and Salem Community College in New Jersey moved into careers with average salaries ranging from $66,000-to-$72,000 a year. Since nuclear plants operate for up to 60 years, it’s as close to a lifetime guarantee of employment as possible.

The world has changed dramatically since the golden age of U.S. manufacturing and the high percentage of skilled labor and blue collar careers of the 1950s through the ‘70s. But the revitalization of the nuclear industry in America, where we expect to see dozens of new plants built over the next two decades, offers proof that, to paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of manufacturing’s death in the United States are greatly exaggerated.

Read the full post at:
http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2010/11/nuclear-industry-can-lead-revival-in.html

Sacramento Business Journal: Don't let unemployment benefits expire



The Sacramento Business Journal explains why Congress must extend unemployment compensation benefits:

Allowing federally supported unemployment insurance benefits to expire would deliver a sharp blow to the economy and could endanger the fragile economy, a report released Friday by the California Budget Project concludes.

The benefits provide a substantial boost to the economy because jobless workers spend the money quickly and locally. They pay the mortgage or rent, buy groceries, pay the heating bill and put gas in the car.

Unless Congress acts, emergency measures that provide additional weeks of federally supported benefits to unemployed workers who exhaust their regular state benefits are set to expire Nov. 30.

If this happens, more than 400,000 unemployed Californians will lose access to federally supported UI benefits next month alone, the CBP reports.

Discontinuing the benefits before the job market shows strong signs of recovery would force unemployed workers and their families to cut spending. As a result, businesses would have fewer customers and weaker sales — and that could ultimately cost jobs, according to the report.

California’s unemployment rate was 12 percent in October, preliminary data from the state Employment Development Department show. That’s down slightly from a revised 12.2 percent in September. The unemployment rate in the Sacramento metropolitan area was an average of 12.1 in October, down fro a revised 12.5 percent in September.

“Congress has never before cut off emergency UI benefits at a time when the unemployment was this high,” the report concludes.

http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2010/11/19/budget-project-dont-let-unemployment.html

Following a failed vote in the House of Representatives to renew federal unemployment insurance for only three months, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) reissued its call for a full‐year renewal of the existing programs and pointed to a rush of new federal research that supports extending the program through 2011. Newly released studies by the Department of Labor and the Congressional Budget Office affirm, yet again, the vital role unemployment insurance has played in combating the recession and rebuilding the economy.

“Everything we know about unemployment, the economy and the costs and benefits of federal unemployment insurance dictates renewing the programs for a full year – and ending the game of chicken Congress has played with America’s unemployed workers, their families and communities for the last several months,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project.

“Sadly, Congress is once again heading out of town just as the federal unemployment insurance programs are slated to expire, this time right as the holiday season begins. It is critical that a full‐year renewal of the program moves to the top of the agenda when Congress returns on November 29th, to minimize the hardship and disruption to families and the economy that will result from the November 30th cut‐off,” said Owens.

“Several new federal studies are just the latest proof that Congress should enact a meaningful, year‐long reauthorization of the federal unemployment insurance programs that expire November 30th, or else the economy – and millions of out‐of‐work Americans – will take a giant step back,” said Owens. “Short‐term stop‐gap measures, like the three‐month continuation the House defeated today, are ill‐advised and however well intentioned could ultimately do more harm than good.”

On Tuesday the Department of Labor issued an independent study commissioned by the Bush Administration and co‐authored by the chief economic advisor to John McCain’s Presidential campaign, finding that since mid‐2008, the federal unemployment insurance programs have saved 1.6 million jobs in every quarter – averting 1.8 million layoffs per quarter at the height of the downturn – and that the programs reduced the unemployment rate by 1.2 points.

The DOL study also affirmed the multiplier effect of unemployment insurance: “For every dollar spent on unemployment insurance, this report finds an increase in economic activity of two dollars,” it states.

A new Congressional Budget Office study this week echoed the DOL findings, saying that “the extensions of unemployment insurance benefits in the past few years increased both employment and participation in the labor force over what they would otherwise have been in 2009."

A Census Bureau report in September found that 3.3 million people, including 1 million children, were kept out of poverty with income support provided through unemployment insurance, a NELP analysis of the study explained.

Goldman Sachs analyst Alec Phillips has projected that allowing the federal unemployment insurance programs to expire will cut consumer spending significantly and reduce already‐languid GDP growth by half a percentage point.

A Congressional Budget Office report from January ranks unemployment insurance as the most effective stimulus to the economy, generating $1.90 in economic activity for every $1 the government spends. The report ranks tax cuts for wealthy Americans as the least effective method of economic stimulus.

“There is a real disconnect in those calling for unpaid‐for millionaire tax cuts – adding $700 billion to the deficit – but then refusing to commit $65 billion for the long‐term unemployed hanging on by a thread, even though the spending on unemployment insurance produces twice its cost in new economic growth. As the CBO has reported earlier, tax cuts to the wealthy are the least effective form of economic stimulus, whereas unemployment insurance is far and away the most effective,” said Owens.

These studies parallel strong public support to continue the unemployment insurance programs. A poll released Monday, conducted by Hart Research Associates, found that Americans overwhelmingly believe Congress should continue providing federal unemployment insurance to workers who have exhausted their state benefits and are still unemployed, and that Americans firmly reject the idea that deficit concerns should lead to cuts in support for the jobless when the unemployment rate remains so high.

www.unemployedworkers.org

Thursday, November 18, 2010

U.S.-China Economic Security Review Commission Report Released to Congress



The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission released its 2010 Report on Wednesday to Congress. The Commission’s Chairman and Vice Chairman discussed the Commission’s findings and recommendations.

In his opening statement, Commission Chairman Dan Slane said “The 2010 Annual Report reflects the Commission’s conclusions that China has failed in some notable areas to fulfill the promises it made nine years ago when it joined the World Trade Organization. Specifically, China is adopting a highly discriminatory policy of favoring domestic producers over foreign manufacturers. Under the guise of fostering “indigenous innovation” in its economy, the government of China appears determined to exclude foreigners from bidding on government contracts at the central, provincial, and local levels. In addition, China has proposed that its many state-owned corporations be exempt from WTO rules on procurement. The Chinese government quite simply intends to wall off a majority of its economy from international competition.”

In her opening statement, Vice Chairman Carolyn Bartholomew commented on China’s military modernization, saying “As a result of China’s improved offensive air and missile capabilities, the Chinese military has strengthened its capacity to threaten U.S. forces and bases in the region. Currently, China’s conventional missile capabilities alone may be sufficient to temporarily knock out five of the six U.S. air bases in East Asia. Saturation missile strikes could destroy U.S. air defenses, runways, parked aircraft, and fuel and maintenance facilities. Complicating this scenario is the future deployment of China’s anti-ship ballistic missile, which could hold U.S. aircraft carriers at bay outside their normal operating range.”

Among the topics in the 316-page report:

Economics and Trade Issues:

China’s ‘indigenous innovation’ policy to promote favored industries and limit imports.
China’s currency manipulation and its effects on the United States.
China’s purchases of U.S. Treasury securities and the implications for the United States.
China’s measures to restrict rare earth element exports.

China’s past and future role in the World Trade Organization.
National Defense Issues:

China’s growing air and missile capabilities, and the increasing capacity to strike U.S. bases and allies in the region.
China’s improving commercial aviation manufacturing capabilities, and the spillover benefits for China’s defense aviation industry.
The increasingly sophisticated nature of malicious computer activity associated with China.

Foreign Affairs Issues:

China’s increasing political, economic, energy and security interactions with Southeast Asia, and the implications for U.S. interests in the region.
Recent developments in the China-Taiwan relationship, and implications for the United States.

Energy and Environmental Issues:

China’s efforts to promote green energy in order to increase its energy security, prevent environmental degradation, and develop a globally competitive green energy industry.
Ohio’s response to China’s promotion of its alternative energy industries.
Censorship Issues:

How China’s revised state secrets laws may conflict with U.S. disclosure requirements and put U.S. investments in Chinese firms at risk.
For more information and a copy of the 2010 Report, please visit www.uscc.gov

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission is a bipartisan Congressional Commission established in 2000 to investigate, analyze and provide recommendations to Congress on the economic and national security implications of the U.S.–China relationship