Tag Archives: critical thinking

Is the Ukrainian Crisis Spiraling Out of Control?

Today’s news indicates 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 that warning, “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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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 … 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. Continue reading

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Nixon’s Adviser Warns Ukraine Could Have “Echoes of 1914″

An interview in The New Republic presents yet another perspective on the Ukrainian crisis. In it, Dmitri Simes warns that actions by the Obama administration could lead to “worse than anything we have witnessed during the Cold War. We would hear the echoes of 1914.” Simes is the founding president of The Nixon Center, now known as The Center for the National Interest, and served as an unofficial policy adviser to President Nixon. Continue reading

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Ukraine: Why We Need to Stop and Think

Pictures of Ukrainians – some dead, some alive – with blood all over them tugs at our heart strings. And well it should. But, before we let our emotions get the better of us, we need to stop and think: What do we really know? Unless we do that, we risk spilling far more blood. Continue reading

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Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 10: Iran

The interim agreement to freeze Iran’s nuclear program has been praised by some as a diplomatic breakthrough and condemned by others as a prelude to nuclear disaster. A full appraisal must wait until we see what the follow-on agreements, if any, look like. In the meantime, here’s my take: Continue reading

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My Take on Snowden’s Revelations

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by KNBC’s Scott McGrew regarding Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying. The clip is eight and a half minutes long, and here are some of the main points I made:

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Secretary of Defense Admits Perfection is Required

Yesterday, in a speech to STRATCOM, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said: “Perfection must be the standard for our nuclear forces. … there is no room for error. … Americans trust you with their security, their families, and their future.” Unfortunately, saying that perfection is required, does not mean perfection is achieved: “to err is human.” So why are we relying on nuclear deterrence when just one mistake could destroy our homeland, and us along with it?
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