Bill Ardolino, “Soviet Workhorses, ISAF training form the backbone of a developing Afghan Air Force” – from the article: Time will tell whether the Afghan Air Force can progress quickly enough to sustain itself without day-to-day ISAF involvement. Current strengths remain equipment procurement, progress in staffing, and the quality of the pilots. The nascent air force still needs significant improvement, however, in the areas of communications, advanced tactics, logistics, performance of maintenance functions, and the consistency and localization of Afghan training. Overall, American advisers project optimism, though specifying that it is contingent upon continued Western involvement over the next few years.
“Pressed to Act, Bank of Japan Sees Few Ways to Lift Demand” (nytimes) – it is thought by some that the US will go through what Japan is going through. Our economic problems and policies are combining to stifle demand on the part of consumers: the bit about “zombie companies” propped up by the government is particularly worrisome.
Megan McArdle, “The Role of Regulation” – we have a bunch of ways in which we prevent people doing anything that might help them make a living. Licensing can be a very good thing, or in the examples cited here, really, really awful.