Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Iraq effect affects Swedish innovation climate

It’s September 11 and the papers are once again filled with Iraq war stories. It will take a long time, many years, before the US can leave Iraq. And it will take even longer for the US to recapture the world authority and power it has lost due to the war in Iraq. Since January less than a third of the US population – 28 percent – still thinks the current US foreign policy is a good strategy.

Actually it’s all time low for any president in the US history.

Even if the public political memory is short, the damage the Iraq war has done to the international US reputation will be very hard to wash off. The successor in the White House will have a hard time refocusing on trade, industry, healthcare, environment and other areas.

This affects the innovation policy climate in Sweden. The only US news we get in Sweden is the Iraq war. Nothing about domestic politics, no new national programs, not even tax reduction. Nothing. Except the war.

The US is important for innovations in Sweden. Especially Silicon Valley. But when we talk about “internationalization” internally at Vinnova, more often other regions are mentioned: Germany, Norway, UK, Spain. I don’t think it is deliberate – still the US is Sweden’s third largest trading partner – but if the only news you get from a country is conflict, warfare and combat, you get fed up. The real interesting news gets lost in the noise from the war correspondents stories.


Post a Comment

<< Home