Tag Archives: critical thinking

Responding to North Korea’s Fourth Nuclear Test

Tonight’s PBS Newshour covered North Korea’s fourth nuclear test that occurred earlier today. Wendy Sherman, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and advisor to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, called for further sanctions “to ensure that we not allow North Korea to blackmail the international community, but that we take resolute action to tell them, this is not acceptable.” The only problem with her call to action is that it is more of the same that has gotten us nowhere over the last thirteen years. Continue reading

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Five Things America Needs to Learn

Harvard Prof. Stephen Walt has an excellent article in Foreign Policy that I highly recommend you read in its entirety. Although its title is “The Top 5 Things the Next American President Needs to Know About Foreign Policy,” ordinary Americans need to learn these as well because, until enough of us do, the president will be unable to act on them out of fear of the political consequences. Here are Prof. Walt’s key points, excerpted from his article: Continue reading

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Turkey Shoots Down Russian Jet: Part 3

My last blog post recommended amending Article V of the NATO Charter so that only unprovoked attacks on one NATO nation would be considered an attack on them all. If it turns out that Turkey’s shooting down a Russian jet on November 24 was unwarranted, do we really want to start World War III should Russia shoot down a Turkish fighter in a future such encounter? Continue reading

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Is the US Still Encouraging Islamic Militants to Attack Russia?

Back in the 1980s, the US armed and trained Islamic militants in their battle against the Soviets in Afghanistan, with President Reagan’s mistakenly seeing the mujahideen as “courageous Afghan freedom fighters,” instead of the violent, anti-Western extremists we now know them to be. I don’t know if our nation is still encouraging Islamic militants to attack Russia, but that certainly is the impression a Russian reader would get from a front page article in today’s New York Times that interviewed Chechens now fighting Russian separatists and “volunteers” in Ukraine. Continue reading

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Russia’s Alleged INF Violation

I’ve been looking for an objective and authoritative explanation of the US allegation that Russia is in violation of the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) arms control treaty … and I just found it. My colleague, Dr. Pavel Podvig, has precisely that kind of analysis in his article in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Here are some key excerpts (emphasis added): Continue reading

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Solving “a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma”

Most people have heard Winston Churchill’s description of Russia as “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” I also suspect that most took it as I did: Who can figure out that crazy nation? So it was a real surprise … Continue reading

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Could the US Resolve the Ukrainian Crisis By Doing Less?

Back on February 8, 2014, twelve days before the Kiev massacre which led to President Yanukovych fleeing to Russia, Ronald Reagan’s Ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock wrote very presciently, “Ukraine’s most serious problems are internal, not external. They must be solved by Ukrainians, not by outsiders. … I believe it has been a very big strategic mistake – by Russia, by the EU and most of all by the U.S. – to convert Ukrainian political and economic reform into an East-West struggle.” A recent poll confirms Ambassador Matlock’s perspective. Continue reading

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