Today marks the 60th anniversary of the start of the Cuban missile crisis — the day that JFK was told of the U2 photos showing that the Soviets had deployed nuclear missiles to Cuba. How dangerous was that crisis and what does that say about the risk over the last sixty years? How has the war in Ukraine affected that level of risk?
Those questions and more are treated in my report “Sixty Years After the Cuban Missile Crisis: Time to Stop Playing Russian Roulette.” The one page Executive Summary that starts it off will suffice for many, and what’s said there is backed up in the report as a whole.
Former President Trump is rightly being criticized for politicizing the Department of Justice. Given its awesome powers, DOJ must be above politics and not used by a president to harass, much less prosecute, his political opponents.
Trump’s actions have drawn understandable comparisons to Richard Nixon, who was forced to resign the presidency over Watergate and whose attorney general, John Mitchell, served 19 months in prison as a result of his related crimes.
But there’s at least one other president who politicized the DOJ and who deserves to be roundly criticized for having done that: John F. Kennedy.
Our nation could help Ukraine resist Russia’s invasion by requiring that Ukraine agree to extradite anyone who misused US aid to the point that they violated US law. Unfortunately, this is needed with the head of Interpol warning that US weapons will end up in the hands of criminals and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko alleging that the Ukrainian natural gas company Naftogaz was trying to embezzle $8 billion.*
The risk of the war in Ukraine escalating to a full-scale nuclear war is far greater than our nation realizes. While it is impossible to quantify that risk precisely, I estimate that it is roughly comparable to pulling the trigger in a global version of Russian roulette once each year that this war continues.  And, right now, the prognosis is for an extended war that lasts at least that long. This extremely dangerous situation is complicated by the need to ensure that Russia’s aggression does not succeed.
This blog has been inactive since June 2019. I am primarily using Twitter to communicate, where I am @MartinHellman2. But, in a few minutes, I’ll be putting up a new post here on Ukraine. In the meantime, here are some of my recent tweets:
Five years, ago, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I posted a letter written by my friend and D-Day veteran Bill Kays to President Obama. In it, Bill asked Obama to pay tribute to the sacrifices of the Soviets on the Eastern Front, without whose efforts Bill probably would have been killed by Nazi defenders on Omaha Beach. I am sad to report that Bill died on September 9, 2018. One of the best ways we can pay tribute to his memory and his sacrifices is to work toward building a more peaceful world so that no one ever has to face the horror that he did on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. Continue reading
My last post described how just 600 motivated voters helped get the New START arms control treaty passed in 2010, and asked you to work in a similar way to help prevent a second Korean War. There has been good news in the two weeks since that post. I am writing now to relay that news and provide more details on how you can work most effectively in this critically needed effort. Continue reading
I am writing to ask you to help prevent a second Korean War by supporting a critically needed bill that will prevent President Trump from attacking North Korea without Congressional approval. Your ability to have that big an impact may sound farfetched, so I’ll start with some background showing how just 600 Georgia voters helped get the New START arms control treaty passed in 2010. This is described in endnote 149 of my book, co-authored with my wife Dorothie (click for free PDF): Continue reading
In Monday’s speech about Afghanistan Pres. Trump assured his audience, “In the end, we will win.” Since he did not define what victory might look like or how we might achieve it, I’ll offer a suggestion on how to start: Ask more questions.
If our nation had done that in 1979, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, we might well have prevented the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which were plotted in Afghanistan by Osama bin Laden, whom we earlier had supported as a “freedom fighter. We also might well have avoided our current quagmire—our longest war ever. Continue reading
In business, a company gets into trouble when it starts believing its own BS. The same is true for a nation, except there “bankruptcy” can mean war, possibly nuclear. To prevent needless wars and ultimately to save the planet, we as a nation need to stop believing our own BS. The seven international case studies in our book provide many examples (click for free PDF and see pages 169-223), and recent articles in TIME and the New York Times highlight the problem, unfortunately by example, not by correcting the problem. Continue reading