Tag Archives: Hellman

How Strict is Russian Censorship?

Radio Free Europe’s post about a spoof on Putin shows that, in spite of all the abuse, Russia today is nothing like the pre-perestroika Soviet Union. Continue reading

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Our Nuclear Weapons Are Safe!

Great news. Our Nuclear Weapons Are Safe! At least that’s what the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget of the US Government says on page 104 … Continue reading

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Isn’t the Cold War Over?

Most people justify their complacency about the world’s 20,000 nuclear weapons by noting that the Cold War is over. But, the more I study Russian-American relations, the more potential I see for a misunderstanding to escalate into a crisis, and the more concerned I become about the world’s nuclear complacency. I sometimes feel like a German Jew in the early 1930’s who has read Mein Kampf and vainly tries to alert his compatriots to the need to take action before it’s too late. Continue reading

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Palm Trees Sprout in Moscow

Moscow demonstrations protesting the recent elections didn’t portray Russia as heading toward another revolution, so Fox News substituted video footage of violent demonstrations in Athens, complete with scenes of streets on fire. Continue reading

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Ex-Spymaster on Iranian Nuclear Threat

In a recent interview, retired four-star admiral and former head of the super-secret NSA, Adm. Bobby Inman, portrays a very different Iranian threat from the usual – and a very different approach for dealing with Iran successfully. Continue reading

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Heading for Another Cuban Missile Crisis?

My last post warned that our current approach to missile defense has the potential to ignite a new Cuban crisis, comparable to that of 1962, something I also had warned of in a post back in 2008. So imagine my surprise and concern when, soon after completing that post, I came acros an article in RT (formerly Russia Today) entitled US and Russia: heading for another ‘Cuban missile crisis?’ Continue reading

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Russian-American Relations: Reset or Reload?

Yesterday’s issue of the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that our Ambassador-designate to Russia, Michael McFaul, was “one of the authors of the American-Russian reload.” I was familiar with President Obama’s efforts to reset Russian-American relations, so this seemed like an ominous new direction, especially for our ambassador to Russia. Fortunately, web searching showed that reload was used in some Russian accounts to mean reset, and was corrected in the version of the Kommersant article linked to above. But, for reasons given below, an important question still remains: “Are we resetting or reloading our relationship with Russia?” Continue reading

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North Korean Delusions

Reading the mainstream media, you’d be forgiven if you thought the only problems with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program were a direct result of that rogue nation’s “nut job” leaders. The most recent example is the coverage of a talk on nuclear proliferation given my friend and colleague, Dr. Siegfried Hecker. While he’s now a professor here at Stanford, in his former life, he was Director of Los Alamos from 1986 to 1997, so “when Sig talks, people listen.” Continue reading

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Libyan Delusions

Back in March, as NATO attacks on Libya moved into full swing, I wrote three related blog posts (“Libyan Blowback?”, “More on Libya,” and “Let’s Make a Deal!”) that illuminated the nuclear proliferation aspects of our attacks. But, humanitarian concerns trumped nonproliferation considerations, and we attacked anyway. Or did we fool ourselves? Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article “Revenge Feeds Instability in Libya” on page A7 which suggests that we suffered at least some self-delusion: Continue reading

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Leave Nuclear Deterrence To The Experts?

Sometimes it is claimed that we should leave nuclear matters to “those who know better” because classified information allows the experts to make better decisions. While I don’t have direct experience with classified information related to nuclear weapons, a very … Continue reading

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