As Olmert sees it, the money was wasted on the reckless "adventurous fantasies" of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak; fantasies that were not - and will not - be implemented.
NIS 11 billion went into planning, equipment and training for the mission, the money went toward preparing for an attack on Iran that never materialized.
Netanyahu strived to maintain good relations with the military, even at the expense of increasing budget deficits. This approach was only partly successful.
The heads of the military and security establishments refused to support an attack on Iran, and, in essence, foiled his most important initiative. This did not give him pause to reconsider the wisdom of increasing the defense budget.
While Arab regimes collapsed in the Arab Spring along with their military threats, a conspiracy of silence between the defense establishment and politicians has prevented an honest discussion of cuts in the defense budget
Manuel Trajtenberg has warned that Israel cannot sustain larger defense spending and that further increases will lead to financial collapse.
As the contractions to the birth pains increases
Britons may remember 2012 as the year the weather spun off its rails in a chaotic concoction of drought, deluge and flooding, but the unpredictability of it all turns out to have been all too predictable: Around the world, extreme has become the new commonplace
Especially lately. China is enduring its coldest winter in nearly 30 years. Brazil is in the grip of a dreadful heat spell. Eastern Russia is so freezing — minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and counting — that the traffic lights recently stopped working in the city of Yakutsk.
Bush fires are raging across Australia, fueled by a record-shattering heat wave. Pakistan was inundated by unexpected flooding in September. A vicious storm bringing rain, snow and floods just struck the Middle East. And in the United States, scientists confirmed this week what people could have figured out simply by going outside: last year was the hottest since records began.
This is what was said by Omar Baddour, chief of the data management applications division at the World Meteorological Organization, in Geneva.
“Each year we have extreme weather, but it’s unusual to have so many exteme events around the world at once, the heat wave in Australia; the flooding in the U.K., and most recently the flooding and extensive snowstorm in the Middle East — it’s already a big year in terms of extreme weather calamity.”
Britain’s weather service, declared 2012 the wettest year in England, and the second-wettest in Britain as a whole, since records began more than 100 years ago. Four of the five wettest years in the last century have come in the past decade (the fifth was in 1954).
The biggest change, said Charles Powell, a spokesman for the Met Office, is the frequency in Britain of “extreme weather events” — defined as rainfall reaching the top 1 percent of the average amount for that time of year. Fifty years ago, such episodes used to happen every 100 days; now they happen every 70 days.
The same thing is true in Australia, where bush fires are raging across Tasmania and the current heat wave has come after two of the country’s wettest years ever.
US National Climate Assessment reveals that severe weather disruption is going to be commonplace in coming years
Global warming is already having a major impact on life in America, a report by US government scientists has warned. The draft version of the US National Climate Assessment reveals that increasing storm surges, floods, melting glaciers and permafrost, and intensifying droughts are having a profound effect on the lives of Americans.
"Corn producers in Iowa, oyster growers in Washington state and maple syrup producers have observed changes in their local climate that are outside of their experience," states the report.
Health services, water supplies, farming and transport are already being strained, the assessment adds. Months after superstorm Sandy battered the east coast, causing billions of dollars of damage, the report concludes that severe weather disruption is going to be commonplace in coming years.
The national climate assessment, written by a team of 240 scientists, is required every four years by US law. The first was written in 2000, though no report was issued while George W Bush was president. The next came out in 2009.
Written at LastDayWatchers