The story US to boost Pacific troops in response to China's might
(November 16) sounds like a scenario that was played out in Alex Berenson's novel The Ghost War.
However China's threat to the US is not on the high seas but on the economic battlefield. China holds the largest sovereign debt at just over $1 trillion and the balance of trade is in China's favour.
I don't buy that the decision to deploy troops to Australia is based on China's harassment of Filipino and Vietnamese ships.
These are sovereign countries and I'm sure if China was a threat they would have raised the issue at the UN Security Council.
By the same token why hasn't the US done more in the Gulf of Aden to battle the problem of piracy? Some 21,000 ships traverse the Sea of Aden and are constantly under the threat of piracy, which could negatively impact world trade.
It's surprising that the US president, who is faced with all sorts of domestic problems and is planning to pull troops from Afganistan due in part to cost, is now incurring additional cost to deploy troops to Australia.
I think there is more in the mortar than the pestle.
Randall Mohammed, Dubai
QE2 should get back in the water
It was good to read your excellent story Renovations begin on QE2 (October 29) regarding the cruise liner Queen Elizabeth 2.
As you may be aware there remains intense interest not only here in the UK but around the world as to the fate of this iconic ship. A great deal of people, to say the least, would wish her returned permanently to British waters. Lets hope that the new plans do actually mean restoration and not alteration and destruction, and the penny finally drops in realising the incredible asset it is.
I choked on my morning cuppa upon reading the comical quote from David Ross, a veteran engineer: "It's always a difficult question when you have something that's reached the end of its life." I don't think so mate. The question is finding someone with the cash, real enthusiasm and passion to put forward the decision to have her brought up to current maritime standards and continue her sailing across the oceans.
That's where the real crowd pulling would come from, and the opportunity to preserve her magnificent, timeless lines for future generations to enjoy.
Ross Burnside, UK
I just want to say that this once magnificent ship touched our lives. My husband and I were one of the first acts ever to work on the QE2 in December 1968.
As Mr Ross says these wonderful liners touch your lives; they become a living object and not just a lump of metal. I do hope she is renovated appropriately.
It is always touching for us to see the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California as we performed on her as well. Let's just hope that Dubai gives the QE2 the home she deserves.
Beverly Martinez, US
Start planning for mind games now
Once again Ali Khaled has offered us fine food for thought (Mind games: will future wars be fought in the head? November 16).
As the world continues to build newer, more devastating weaponry and means by which to annihilate each other, the most dangerous - and yet most controllable - weapon may be in our heads.
But like drone aircraft and cyber-warfare technologies, many of tomorrow's weapons operate without any international conventions or treaties covering their use.
Time to draft a treaty for weapons of the brain, perhaps?
Name withheld by request
Paul still rocks at ripe old age of 69
Reading Paul McCartney gig: so that's what Beatlemania felt like (November 16), I'm so happy that the writer's first McCartney experience was a positive one.
For the record, Paul has more than six months before his 70th birthday, June 18, 2012. He is currently "only" 69.
Linda Hutchinson, Abu Dhabi
No safe form of tobacco exists
In reference to the editorial Tobacco-flavoured ads (November 14) I want to stress that there is no safe form of tobacco use. All forms contain nicotine and cause addiction and health problems.
Nicotine dependence is an addiction to all tobacco products caused by the presence of this substance.
These candy-flavoured tobacco products need to be banned.
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (Casaa) and E-Cigarette Forum (ECF) are the largest repositories of unsubstantiated medical claims regarding "harm reduction" on the internet.
Eliza Electricman, Abu Dhabi