Monthly Archives: January 2013

Does Nuclear Deterrence Deter?

A few years ago, my wife pointed out that whoever coined the term nuclear deterrence was a marketing genius: it implies that threatening to destroy the world will deter behavior we don’t like. But what happens if nuclear deterrence morphs … Continue reading

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India Warns Kashmiris to Prepare for a Nuclear Attack

One of the likeliest flash points for a nuclear war is the enduring conflict between India and Pakistan, which have scores of nuclear weapons. In recent weeks, several fatal incidents across the disputed Kashmir border have stoked new fears that the firing of bullets could escalate into something even worse. Continue reading

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Could Japan Drag America into War with China?

Several earlier posts on this blog have highlighted the risk that China and Japan might come to blows over a few tiny, uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. One pathway to war is inadvertent escalation as a result of both nations sending jet fighters over the disputed territory. As noted in an an article in yesterday’s New York Times: Continue reading

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An American Dagger Pointed at Russia’s Heart?

The Magnitsky Bill and the Russian “anti-Magnitsky Bill” seem like petty squabbling, but a recent article in The National Interest (a publication of the Nixon Center, so it’s not left wing) maintains that the Magnitsky Bill is “a dagger pointed at the heart of Russia’s existing governmental structure.” Here are the most relevant excerpts: Continue reading

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Are We Winning the War on War?

My January 5 post, “A Hopeful Side to Human Nature,” presented evidence which indicates that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the better angels of our nature may be winning the war on war. Today’s Wall Street Journal had an article which adds to that evidence. It starts off: Continue reading

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Poking the Russian Bear: A New Cold War?

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment and the Magnitsky Bill are almost unknown in this country, but are frequently cited in Russia as proof that the US is stuck in a Cold War mentality. NYU Russian Studies Prof. Stephen Cohen cites these issues as key elements in what he calls “America’s New Cold War With Russia.” Here’s a quick, simplified time line: Continue reading

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A Hopeful Side to Human Nature

Soon after December’s Newton, CT, school massacre, Prof. Marc Bekoff wrote an article for Psychology Today which argued that human violence is almost unique within the animal kingdom. Bekoff recommended that we “rewild our hearts.” Jane Goodall, who has observed chimpanzee behavior for decades, co-authored a reply in today’s Wall Street Journal which comes to a very different, but very hopeful conclusion. Continue reading

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