Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blair Warns of Economic Unrest

Dennis Blair, Obama's director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday that the global recession could create unrest overseas that would be a threat worse than terrorism. He said:
“The longer it takes for the recovery to begin, the greater the likelihood of serious damage to U.S. strategic interests.
In other words, we can expect the Global Peace Index - the Dow-Jones of world peace - to take a hit. Just to start with the first name on the list, the most peaceful country in the world in mid-2008 was Iceland, which has seen all three of its major banks become insolvent.

Iceland replaced Norway as #1 in both the Global Peace Index and the UN's best-place-to-live table of 177 countries, based on health care, life expectancy, per-capita income and education.

With a population of barely 300,000, Iceland has an admired free health and education system. It buys the most books per capita and the most mobile telephones, and it has the highest proportion of working women in the world.

But Iceland's banking system has liabilities of more than $100 billion, a huge amount for a country with a GDP of $14 billion.

Iceland certainly over the long run qualifies as a peaceful country, since it gave up its armed forces 700 years ago.

But at the end of November, Iceland's citizens assembled to call for the government to resign, and at least five people were injured. The krona’s value was cut in half following a banking crisis that started in October. One-third of the population is at risk of losing their homes and savings.

Global Peace Index Rankings

The table below provides the 2008 GPI rankings for the 140 countries analysed in that year and the 121 countries analysed in 2007, as well as year-on-year comparison. Countries most at peace are ranked first. A lower score indicates a more peaceful country. You can click on a country to see the detail of its peace indicators and drivers.

Global Peace Index 2008 http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/results/rankings.php
• Compare
• 2007
• 2008
Country
Rank
Score
Iceland1
1.176
Denmark
2
1.333
Norway
3
1.343
New Zealand
4
1.350
Japan
5
1.358
Ireland
6
1.410
Portugal
7
1.412
Finland
8
1.432
Luxembourg
9
1.446
Austria
10
1.449
Canada
11
1.451
Switzerland
12
1.465
Sweden
13
1.468
Germany
14
1.475
Belgium
15
1.485
Slovenia
16
1.491
Czech Republic
17
1.501
Hungary
18
1.576
Chile
19
1.576
Slovakia
20
1.576
Uruguay
21
1.606
Netherlands
22
1.607
Hong Kong
23
1.608
Romania
24
1.611
Oman
25
1.612
Bhutan
26
1.616
Australia
27
1.652
Italy
28
1.653
Singapore
29
1.673
Spain
30
1.683
Poland
31
1.687
South Korea
32
1.691
Qatar
33
1.694
Costa Rica
34
1.701
Estonia
35
1.702
France
36
1.707
Vietnam
37
1.720
Malaysia
38
1.721
Latvia
39
1.723
Ghana
40
1.723
Lithuania
41
1.723
United Arab Emirates
42
1.745
Madagascar
43
1.770
Taiwan
44
1.779
Kuwait
45
1.786
Botswana
46
1.792
Tunisia
47
1.797
Panama
48
1.797
United Kingdom
49
1.801
Mozambique
50
1.803
Laos
51
1.810
Cyprus
52
1.847
Zambia
53
1.856
Greece
54
1.867
Gabon
55
1.878
Argentina
56
1.895
Bulgaria
57
1.903
Tanzania
58
1.919
Nicaragua
59
1.919
Croatia
60
1.926
Libya
61
1.927
Cuba
62
1.954
Morocco
63
1.954
Equatorial Guinea
64
1.964
Jordan
65
1.969
Bosnia and Herzegovina
66
1.974
China
67
1.981
Indonesia
68
1.983
Egypt
69
1.987
Paraguay
70
1.997
Senegal
71
2.011
Kazakhstan
72
2.018
Malawi
73
2.024
Bahrain
74
2.025
Syria
75
2.027
Rwanda
76
2.030
Namibia
77
2.042
Bolivia
78
2.043
Albania
79
2.044
Peru
80
2.046
Burkina Faso
81
2.062
Dominican Republic
82
2.069
Moldova
83
2.091
Ukraine
84
2.096
Serbia
85
2.110
Bangladesh
86
2.118
Macedonia
87
2.119
Mongolia
88
2.155
El Salvador
89
2.163
Brazil
90
2.168
Cambodia
91
2.179
Cameroon
92
2.182
Mexico
93
2.191
Belarus
94
2.194
Papua New Guinea
95
2.224
Jamaica
96
2.226
United States of America
97
2.227
Trinidad and Tobago
98
2.230
Mali
99
2.238
Ecuador
100
2.274
Azerbaijan
101
2.287
Turkmenistan
102
2.302
Guatemala
103
2.328
Honduras
104
2.335
Iran
105
2.341
Yemen
106
2.352
India
107
2.355
Saudi Arabia
108
2.357
Haiti
109
2.362
Angola
110
2.364
Uzbekistan
111
2.377
Algeria
112
2.378
Philippines
113
2.385
Uganda
114
2.391
Turkey
115
2.403
South Africa
116
2.412
Congo (Brazzaville)
117
2.417
Thailand
118
2.424
Kenya
119
2.429
Mauritania
120
2.435
Ethiopia
121
2.439
Cote d'Ivoire
122
2.451
Venezuela
123
2.505
Zimbabwe
124
2.513
Sri Lanka
125
2.584
Myanmar
126
2.590
Pakistan
127
2.694
Democratic Republic of the Congo
128
2.707
Nigeria
129
2.724
Colombia
130
2.757
Russia
131
2.777
Lebanon
132
2.840
North Korea
133
2.850
Central African Republic
134
2.857
Chad
135
3.007
Israel
136
3.052
Afghanistan
137
3.126
Sudan
138
3.189
Somalia
139
3.293
Iraq
140
3.514

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