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Leif Rosenberger

Leif Rosenberger

Dr. Leif Rosenberger retired from the US government in March of 2016 following a 35 year career in the civil service. He was a Full Professor of Economics at the US Army War College as well as the Chief Economist at both the US Pacific Command in Hawaii and the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

Articles by Leif Rosenberger

Is America Destined for War Against China?

29 days ago

Is America Destined for War Against China?
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist
ACERTAS
Introduction
Back in 2015 Harvard Professor Graham Allison wrote a best-selling book that says America and China are “destined for war.” He notes that war broke out 12 out of the last 16 times in history when a rising power threatened to displace a ruling power. A U.S. war against China would be the 17th time war would break out given these strategic conditions. Professor Allison’s book helped to turn almost all Republicans and Democrats on Capital Hill into hawks on China. A cosmetic trade agreement between the U.S. and China pleased Wall Street and cooled things down for a while.
Stop Blaming China for Covid-19
But President Trump is once again beating the drums of war. Admittedly, China’s initially

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How China is Winning Economics of Sino-U.S. Great Power Competition

April 15, 2020

How China is Winning Economics of Sino-U.S. Great Power Competition
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist
ACERTAS
Introduction
As the American people worry about the Coronavirus “invisible enemy” killing them in April 2020, Donald Trump has one more thing to bash China about. To be sure, the outbreak of coronavirus can be traced back to Wuhan province in December 2019. But Trump is wrong to blame Beijing for what he calls the “Chinese virus.” Trump should blame himself for gross mismanagement.
Trump was warned about a pandemic likely to hit America ever since the Obama/Trump transition three and a half years ago. The U.S. intelligence community also warned Trump early on. Trump dismissed this strategic warning as well as the tactical warnings starting in early January 2020. Trump also did

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How China is Winning Economics of Sino-U.S. Great Power Competition

April 15, 2020

How China is Winning Economics of Sino-U.S. Great Power Competition
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist
ACERTAS
Introduction
As the American people worry about the Coronavirus “invisible enemy” killing them in April 2020, Donald Trump has one more thing to bash China about. To be sure, the outbreak of coronavirus can be traced back to Wuhan province in December 2019. But Trump is wrong to blame Beijing for what he calls the “Chinese virus.” Trump should blame himself for gross mismanagement.
Trump was warned about a pandemic likely to hit America ever since the Obama/Trump transition three and a half years ago. The U.S. intelligence community also warned Trump early on. Trump dismissed this strategic warning as well as the tactical warnings starting in early January 2020. Trump also did

Read More »

How Russia is Winning Economics of U.S.-Russian Great Power Competition

April 14, 2020

14 April 2020
How Russia is Winning the Economic Side of U.S.-Russian Great Power Competition
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist
ACERTAS
Introduction
The Pentagon is determined to win the Great Power Competition with Russia. During the Cold War the two superpowers competed in a nuclear arms race and in Third World trouble spots. More recently, that competition has also taken place in Europe.
Back in 2013 Ukraine was a critical test of how the U.S. and its NATO allies would respond to Russian aggression in Europe. Pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych decided to reject closer ties with the European Union (EU) and agreed to financial assistance from Moscow by the end of 2013.
That decision was a catalyst for a popular uprising in November 2016 in Kyiv’s Maiden Square. The

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How Russia is Winning Economics of U.S.-Russian Great Power Competition

April 14, 2020

14 April 2020
How Russia is Winning the Economic Side of U.S.-Russian Great Power Competition
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist
ACERTAS
Introduction
The Pentagon is determined to win the Great Power Competition with Russia. During the Cold War the two superpowers competed in a nuclear arms race and in Third World trouble spots. More recently, that competition has also taken place in Europe.
Back in 2013 Ukraine was a critical test of how the U.S. and its NATO allies would respond to Russian aggression in Europe. Pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych decided to reject closer ties with the European Union (EU) and agreed to financial assistance from Moscow by the end of 2013.
That decision was a catalyst for a popular uprising in November 2016 in Kyiv’s Maiden Square. The

Read More »

How Trump Squandered an Opportunity to Contain Coronavirus

March 31, 2020

29 March 2020

How Trump Squandered an Opportunity to Contain Coronavirus
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist
ACERTAS
Introduction
During this moment of global trauma, it’s hard to think about anything else except the deadly Coronavirus. Americans are stuck in their house afraid that if they even go for a walk around the block and get too close to someone, the virus could end up killing them next. Doctors and nurses without personal protection equipment (PPE) face more and more Americans struggling to breathe. And yet hospitals don’t have enough ventilators to keep all of these patients alive.
As American doctors and nurses face a life and death situation everyday of

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How Trump Squandered an Opportunity to Contain Coronavirus

March 31, 2020

29 March 2020

How Trump Squandered an Opportunity to Contain Coronavirus
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist
ACERTAS
Introduction
During this moment of global trauma, it’s hard to think about anything else except the deadly Coronavirus. Americans are stuck in their house afraid that if they even go for a walk around the block and get too close to someone, the virus could end up killing them next. Doctors and nurses without personal protection equipment (PPE) face more and more Americans struggling to breathe. And yet hospitals don’t have enough ventilators to keep all of these patients alive.
As American doctors and nurses face a life and death situation everyday of

Read More »

Is Russia a Resurgent Great Power Competitor in Central Asia?

January 15, 2020

15 January 2020

**Is Russia a Resurgent Great Power**

**Competitor in Central Asia?**

Dr. Leif Rosenberger

Chief Economist

ACERTAS

Introduction.
The Pentagon says Russia is a resurgent great power competitor. Is this true in Central Asia? This paper looks back at Russia’s economic performance in Central Asia when global oil prices were

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Is Russia a Resurgent Great Power Competitor in Central Asia?

January 15, 2020

Pentagon says Russia is a great power competitor. Not in Central Asia. Russian economic woes weaken its ties.
15 January 2020

**Is Russia a Resurgent Great Power**

**Competitor in Central Asia?**

Dr. Leif Rosenberger

Chief Economist

ACERTAS

Introduction.
The Pentagon says Russia is a resurgent great power competitor. Is this true in

Read More »

Kuwait’s Frustrating Socio-Economic Transformation

October 23, 2019

Kuwait’s Frustrating Socio-Economic Transformation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction:
At first glance, Kuwait appears to be a role model for other countries in the world. Kuwait is the most democratic Arab country in the Middle East. Kuwait mediates conflicts in this troubled region. And since World War 2, oil wealth has made Kuwait one of the world’s richest countries.
Kuwait has 6% of the world’s oil reserves, making it the country with the 6th largest proven oil reserves worldwide. These oil reserves are expected to last 86 years and its gas reserves are expected to last over 100 years. Kuwait is also the 9th largest oil producer in the world, producing at a rate of 3 million barrels a day in 2016.
And Kuwait had the good sense to save at least 10% annually of

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Kuwait’s Frustrating Socio-Economic Transformation

October 23, 2019

Why Kuwait’s public and lawmakers don’t buy into economic reforms yet
Kuwait’s Frustrating Socio-Economic Transformation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction:
At first glance, Kuwait appears to be a role model for other countries in the world. Kuwait is the most democratic Arab country in the Middle East. Kuwait mediates conflicts in this troubled region. And since World War 2, oil wealth has made Kuwait one of the world’s richest countries.
Kuwait has 6% of the world’s oil reserves, making it the country with the 6th largest proven oil reserves worldwide. These oil reserves are expected to last 86 years and its gas reserves are expected to last over 100 years. Kuwait is also the 9th largest oil producer in the world, producing at a rate of 3 million barrels a day in

Read More »

Kuwait’s Frustrating Socio-Economic Transformation

October 23, 2019

Why Kuwait’s public and lawmakers don’t buy into economic reforms yet
Kuwait’s Frustrating Socio-Economic Transformation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger
Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction:
At first glance, Kuwait appears to be a role model for other countries in the world. Kuwait is the most democratic Arab country in the Middle East. Kuwait mediates conflicts in this troubled region. And since World War 2, oil wealth has made Kuwait one of the world’s richest countries.
Kuwait has 6% of the world’s oil reserves, making it the country with the 6th largest proven oil reserves worldwide. These oil reserves are expected to last 86 years and its gas reserves are expected to last over 100 years. Kuwait is also the 9th largest oil producer in the world, producing at a rate of 3 million barrels a day in

Read More »

How Syria’s Gross Mismanagement of Water is Critical Factor Leading to Civil War

September 17, 2019

Drought, food insecurity, migration, social unrest and Assad’s indifference fuel conflict
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction
On 14 March 2011 international security analysts were predicting that Syria was stable and immune from Arab Spring. [1] The next day the Syrian civil war erupted and has been going strong ever since then. What went wrong? What did the “realists” miss? [2] In thinking about the Syrian civil war and whether it could have been avoided, many scholars tend to look at ideological, religious or political factors as the major reasons for the war. That’s not enough.
What was Overlooked?
What is often overlooked is the Syrian government’s gross mismanagement of its natural resources as an underlying root cause of the Syrian uprising in March of

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How Syria’s Gross Mismanagement of Water is Critical Factor Leading to Civil War

September 17, 2019

Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction
On 14 March 2011 international security analysts were predicting that Syria was stable and immune from Arab Spring. [1] The next day the Syrian civil war erupted and has been going strong ever since then. What went wrong? What did the “realists” miss? [2] In thinking about the Syrian civil war and whether it could have been avoided, many scholars tend to look at ideological, religious or political factors as the major reasons for the war. That’s not enough.
What was Overlooked?
What is often overlooked is the Syrian government’s gross mismanagement of its natural resources as an underlying root cause of the Syrian uprising in March of 2011.[3]
A Privileged Few
Where should be begin? Well, for starters, Syrian agricultural planners

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How Syria’s Gross Mismanagement of Water is Critical Factor Leading to Civil War

September 17, 2019

Drought, food insecurity, migration, social unrest and Assad’s indifference fuel conflict
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction
On 14 March 2011 international security analysts were predicting that Syria was stable and immune from Arab Spring. [1] The next day the Syrian civil war erupted and has been going strong ever since then. What went wrong? What did the “realists” miss? [2] In thinking about the Syrian civil war and whether it could have been avoided, many scholars tend to look at ideological, religious or political factors as the major reasons for the war. That’s not enough.
What was Overlooked?
What is often overlooked is the Syrian government’s gross mismanagement of its natural resources as an underlying root cause of the Syrian uprising in March of

Read More »

Oman’s Make or Break Economic Transition

August 30, 2019

Oman’s turbulent journey on oil and post-oil tracks in a cash crunch.
Oman’s Make or Break Economic Transition
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction
The Sultan of Oman thought he had a problem back in 2011 when Arab Spring swept across his country. [1] Unemployment – especially among the youth – was acute and Oman had the lowest per capita GDP in the GCC. The Sultan was understandably fearful that social unrest could threaten his monarchy unless his government did something decisively to buy off dissent.
The price for quickly buying off dissent was high: The Sultan opted for 50,000 new government jobs, raised the minimum wage for government employees, launched a new jobless benefit, subsidized around 84,000 low-income households, almost doubled university enrollments

Read More »

Oman’s Make or Break Economic Transition

August 30, 2019

Oman’s Make or Break Economic Transition
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction
The Sultan of Oman thought he had a problem back in 2011 when Arab Spring swept across his country. [1] Unemployment – especially among the youth – was acute and Oman had the lowest per capita GDP in the GCC. The Sultan was understandably fearful that social unrest could threaten his monarchy unless his government did something decisively to buy off dissent.
The price for quickly buying off dissent was high: The Sultan opted for 50,000 new government jobs, raised the minimum wage for government employees, launched a new jobless benefit, subsidized around 84,000 low-income households, almost doubled university enrollments and increased the monthly stipend for students. [2]
At the time,

Read More »

Oman’s Make or Break Economic Transition

August 30, 2019

Oman’s turbulent journey on oil and post-oil tracks in a cash crunch.
Oman’s Make or Break Economic Transition
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
Introduction
The Sultan of Oman thought he had a problem back in 2011 when Arab Spring swept across his country. [1] Unemployment – especially among the youth – was acute and Oman had the lowest per capita GDP in the GCC. The Sultan was understandably fearful that social unrest could threaten his monarchy unless his government did something decisively to buy off dissent.
The price for quickly buying off dissent was high: The Sultan opted for 50,000 new government jobs, raised the minimum wage for government employees, launched a new jobless benefit, subsidized around 84,000 low-income households, almost doubled university enrollments

Read More »

No Quick Fix for Ghana’s Economic Challenges

July 28, 2019

At 1st glance, Ghana appears to be on a roll, but appearances are deceiving. Ghana faces daunting economic challenges.
No Quick Fix for Ghana’s Economic Challenges
Dr. Leif Rosenberger Chief Economist ACERTAS
Introduction
Thanks to the surge in Ghana’s new production of oil, Ghana’s economy is growing at nearly 9% a year, the fastest economic growth in Africa. In addition, an IMF loan helped Ghana clean up its rotten banks and generate a budget surplus. Does this mean Ghana’s economic

Read More »

No Quick Fix for Ghana’s Economic Challenges

July 28, 2019

At 1st glance, Ghana appears to be on a roll, but appearances are deceiving. Ghana faces daunting economic challenges.
No Quick Fix for Ghana’s Economic Challenges
Dr. Leif Rosenberger Chief Economist ACERTAS
Introduction
Thanks to the surge in Ghana’s new production of oil, Ghana’s economy is growing at nearly 9% a year, the fastest economic growth in Africa. In addition, an IMF loan helped Ghana clean up its rotten banks and generate a budget surplus. Does this mean Ghana’s economic

Read More »

No Quick Fix for Ghana’s Economic Challenges

July 28, 2019

No Quick Fix for Ghana’s Economic Challenges
Dr. Leif Rosenberger Chief Economist ACERTAS
Introduction
Thanks to the surge in Ghana’s new production of oil, Ghana’s economy is growing at nearly 9% a year, the fastest economic growth in Africa. In addition, an IMF loan helped Ghana clean up its rotten banks and generate a budget surplus. Does this mean Ghana’s economic strategy is a role model for the rest of Africa?
Not so fast. This is no time for Ghana to rest on its laurels. Three million

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Afghan Conflict: Root Cause, Economic Impact and Reconciliation

May 22, 2019

The root cause of Afghan conflict was economic failure. Reconciliation requires economic transformation.
The Afghan Civil War: Root Cause, Economic Impact and Prospects for Reconciliation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
The Challenge of Reconciliation
18 years of fighting in Afghanistan is long enough. US President Donald Trump wants to declare victory and cut and run from Afghanistan. That means all the US soldiers would be home well

Read More »

Afghan Conflict: Root Cause, Economic Impact and Reconciliation

May 22, 2019

The root cause of Afghan conflict was economic failure. Reconciliation requires economic transformation.
The Afghan Civil War: Root Cause, Economic Impact and Prospects for Reconciliation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
The Challenge of Reconciliation
18 years of fighting in Afghanistan is long enough. US President Donald Trump wants to declare victory and cut and run from Afghanistan. That means all the US soldiers would be home well

Read More »

Afghan Conflict: Root Cause, Economic Impact and Reconciliation

May 22, 2019

The Afghan Civil War: Root Cause, Economic Impact and Prospects for Reconciliation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist, ACERTAS
The Challenge of Reconciliation
18 years of fighting in Afghanistan is long enough. US President Donald Trump wants to declare victory and cut and run from Afghanistan. That means all the US soldiers would be home well before what Trump hopes will be his re-election in 2020.
Trump picked Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad, an excellent

Read More »

Trump’s Economic Coercion Backfires in Iraq

May 14, 2019

Trump’s counterproductive pressure on Iraq to stop gas imports from Iran antagonizes Baghdad. Shia Iraq pivots to Iran.
​Trump’s Economic Coercion Backfires in Iraq
Leif Rosenberger Chief Economist ACERTAS
Until recently, Baghdad viewed Iranian natural gas as the easiest way to fill its widening gap in electricity. In 2013, Iraq signed a deal to import 25 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of Iranian natural gas – 9.1 bcm annually – to feed

Read More »

Trump’s Economic Coercion Backfires in Iraq

May 14, 2019

​Trump’s Economic Coercion Backfires in Iraq
Leif Rosenberger Chief Economist ACERTAS
Until recently, Baghdad viewed Iranian natural gas as the easiest way to fill its widening gap in electricity. In 2013, Iraq signed a deal to import 25 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of Iranian natural gas – 9.1 bcm annually – to feed three Baghdad-area power plants. But now the US is putting pressure on Iraq to get onboard with sanctions against Iran as

Read More »

Trump’s Economic Coercion Backfires in Iraq

May 14, 2019

Trump’s counterproductive pressure on Iraq to stop gas imports from Iran antagonizes Baghdad. Shia Iraq pivots to Iran.
​Trump’s Economic Coercion Backfires in Iraq
Leif Rosenberger Chief Economist ACERTAS
Until recently, Baghdad viewed Iranian natural gas as the easiest way to fill its widening gap in electricity. In 2013, Iraq signed a deal to import 25 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of Iranian natural gas – 9.1 bcm annually – to feed

Read More »

Inside Morocco’s Economic Transformation

April 15, 2019

Mohammed VI celebrates two decades as king of Morocco in 2019. He has good reasons to be proud of the economy.
Inside Morocco’s Economic Transformation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist at ACERTAS
Mohammed VI celebrates two decades as king of Morocco in 2019. He has good reasons to be proud of the economy. On the positive side, King Hassan II – the father of King Mohammed VI — listened to the IMF and implemented macroeconomic reforms. So when King Hassan II died in 1999, Mohammed VI inherited a stable macro-economic situation. For instance, the economy enjoyed a low debt to GDP ratio and a relatively small budget deficit as a percentage of GDP.
Successful Economic Development
But Morocco’s economic development was struggling at first. The economy was too dependent on agriculture,

Read More »

Inside Morocco’s Economic Transformation

April 15, 2019

Mohammed VI celebrates two decades as king of Morocco in 2019. He has good reasons to be proud of the economy.
Inside Morocco’s Economic Transformation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist at ACERTAS
Mohammed VI celebrates two decades as king of Morocco in 2019. He has good reasons to be proud of the economy. On the positive side, King Hassan II – the father of King Mohammed VI — listened to the IMF and implemented macroeconomic reforms. So when King Hassan II died in 1999, Mohammed VI inherited a stable macro-economic situation. For instance, the economy enjoyed a low debt to GDP ratio and a relatively small budget deficit as a percentage of GDP.
Successful Economic Development
But Morocco’s economic development was struggling at first. The economy was too dependent on agriculture,

Read More »

Inside Morocco’s Economic Transformation

April 15, 2019

Inside Morocco’s Economic Transformation
Dr. Leif Rosenberger, Chief Economist at ACERTAS
Mohammed VI celebrates two decades as king of Morocco in 2019. He has good reasons to be proud of the economy. On the positive side, King Hassan II – the father of King Mohammed VI — listened to the IMF and implemented macroeconomic reforms. So when King Hassan II died in 1999, Mohammed VI inherited a stable macro-economic situation. For instance, the economy enjoyed a low debt to GDP ratio and a relatively small budget deficit as a percentage of GDP.
Successful Economic Development
But Morocco’s economic development was struggling at first. The economy was too dependent on agriculture, accounting for 20% of GDP and too reliant on rainfall. Inadequate infrastructure made it difficult to move goods

Read More »