Tag Archives: nuclear proliferation

North Korea’s Nuclear Test

A post concerning North Korea’s latest nuclear test is on my new website for the book my wife and I just completed. I’ve included the lead-in here and encourage you to read the whole post on that website. Continue reading

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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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US Hawks Unwittingly Aid Iranian Hardliners

While it is the opposite of their intent, hawks in the US who suggest attacking Iran provide ammunition to Iran’s hardliners, including those who want to develop nuclear weapons. The most recent example to come to my attention is a radio interview in which Senator Tom Cotton argued that “if military action were required … it would [not involve boots on the ground, only] several days of air and naval bombing.” Continue reading

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Creating Chaos: Time to Learn From Our Mistakes

Yesterday’s New York Times had an article noting that the head of the UN Mission in Libya fears “the country is very close to total chaos.” Islamic fundamentalist insurgents took control of Tripoli last summer, forcing what remains of the government into exile in Tobruk, and things have only gotten worse since then. Back in 2011, when we started military action which eventually led to the murder of Muammar Gaddafi, I warned of Libyan Blowback, Libyan Delusions, and the largely overlooked nuclear proliferation incentives we created by attacking a regime Pres. Bush had welcomed back into the family of nations when it gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Yet, with most American officials still maintaining that “Assad has to go,” we seem not to have learned our lesson. Continue reading

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Foreign Policy Lessons Applied to Iran

Harvard Professor of International Relations Stephen M. Walt has an excellent article at Foreign Policy, entitled “The Top 5 Foreign Policy Lessons of the Past 20 Years.” I’ve included some short excerpts after my signature line, and encourage you to read … Continue reading

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More “Strategic Insanity”?

Several of my past posts have mentioned a March 2013 article in which the highly respected Russian international relations expert Fyodor Lukyanov explained why his government is convinced that the US is engaged in “strategic insanity.”* While a recent article co-authored by my colleague and former Director of Los Alamos Dr. Siegfried Hecker doesn’t accuse our government of yet more strategic insanity, the situation he describes comes close to meeting that definition: Continue reading

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Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 7: Afghanistan

Our October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, less than a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, might seem like an unavoidable war because the Taliban had sheltered Osama bin Laden, and we could not afford to risk a repeat of that disaster. But a more careful analysis shows that our Afghan war, like the others examined in this series, could have been avoided. The trick is not to start the analysis in 2001, but in December 1979, when we started to arm jihadists who were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. One of them was Osama bin Laden. Continue reading

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