Preventing Ukraine From Spiraling Out of Control

The crisis in Ukraine continues to simmer, but thankfully has not yet boiled over. Here are some of the developments since I last wrote on this topic, followed by some thoughts on what is needed to minimize the risk of the conflict spiraling out of control. Continue reading

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Is the Ukrainian Crisis Spiraling Out of Control?

Today’s news shows a heightened nuclear risk due to a dangerous feedback process at work in the Ukraine. The New York Times’ page 1 ominous headline was, “Striking Town, Ukraine Forces Defy Warning,” and the Wall Street Journal echoed the danger, “Ukraine Sends Troops East As Pro-Russia Forces Strike.” Is the Ukrainian crisis spiraling out of control, and if so, what might we do to reverse that dangerous process? Continue reading

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Turkish False Flag Operation?

According to a recent New York Times article Turkey appears to have considered using a false flag operation to drum up public support for attacking Syria. If true – and the statement from the Foreign Ministry mentioned below seems to indicate that is the case – this is one more reason to be careful in accepting drumbeats to war. For other examples, see this blog’s series on Avoiding Needless Wars. The first installment on the first Gulf of Tonkin incident has links to the other nine at the end. Here’s the gist of the Times article: Continue reading

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Chris Christie’s “Bridge-Gate”: A Dangerous Lack of Critical Thinking

At first glance there might seem to be no connection between Defusing the Nuclear Threat and the current controversy over New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridge-Gate.” But a closer examination reveals a dangerous lack of critical thinking on the part of the media and society as a whole. As argued in my Stanford class handout, “Critical Thinking, War, and Nuclear Weapons:” Continue reading

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Significant Progress on Reducing Iran’s Uranium Stockpile

With all the bad news coming out of the Ukraine, it’s nice to report significant progress on rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For the first time in a year, that nation’s stockpile of 20% enriched uranium has shrunk to the point that it can no longer be further enriched to make a weapon. While cautious optimism is in order, that is really good news. Here are some key excerpts from a February 26 article covering this development (emphasis added): Continue reading

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More on the Ukraine

With the Crimea voting today on whether to secede from the Ukraine, and early returns indicating strong support for secession, the following perspectives on the crisis are particularly relevant. As before, I am emphasizing unusual perspectives not because the mainstream view (“It’s  Russia’s fault!”) doesn’t have some validity, but because it over-simplifies a complex issue. And, when dealing with a nation capable of destroying us in under an hour, it would be criminally negligent not to look at all the evidence before imposing sanctions or taking other dangerous steps. Continue reading

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Henry Kissinger’s Perspective on the Ukrainian Crisis

Former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger had an OpEd last week in The Washington Post which just came to my attention, and which presents yet another, interesting perspective on the Ukrainian crisis. I’ve excerpted some key parts just below my signature line. Continue reading

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