Tag Archives: nuclear war

The Ukrainian Crisis: Time to Think Things Through!

Yesterday’s post noted that the number of Russians fearing nuclear war had more than doubled in the last two years, from 8% to 17%. Adding to the risk that the Ukrainian crisis could escalate to nuclear threats, the top story in today’s New York Times is headlined “U.S. Considers Supplying Arms to Kiev Forces.” Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Very Dangerous Ukrainian Development

Three months ago I explained why, somewhat paradoxically, the possibility of Ukraine’s joining NATO would create significant additional risks for Ukraine’s security – as well as US and world security. So I was very concerned today when Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty had … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Should NATO Welcome Ukraine?

With Ukraine’s effort to subdue the pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country faltering, it is understandable that its Prime Minister submitted a proposal to Parliament seeking NATO membership. What is surprising – and dangerous – is the response of NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen: “We fully respect Ukraine’s decisions as regards Ukraine’s security policy and alliance affiliations.” Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ukraine and Nuclear Risk

The Ukrainian crisis and Putin’s annexation of Crimea badly soured Russian-American relations. But an even more dangerous situation would result should Putin move Russian troops into additional portions of the eastern Ukraine. Certain events that are almost unknown in America increase the chance that will happen. In its own small way, this post hopes to combat that lack of information and thereby reduce the risk that the Ukrainian crisis will escalate further – potentially even to nuclear threats. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Crisis in Ukraine: What Can Be Done?

This post is a repost of a few key parts of Floyd Rudmin’s post of the same title, with a recommendation that you read the whole thing: “The crisis in Ukraine is serious. At some point soon, reality needs to become the priority. No more name-calling. No more blaming. If there are any adults in the room, they need to stand up. The crisis in Ukraine is going critical, and that is a fact.” Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 5: Operation Northwoods

Operation Northwoods is a prime example of why we need to raise critical questions before going to war. Written seven months before the Cuban Missile Crisis, this formerly top secret proposal by the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested ways to build public support for an American invasion of Cuba, including: “A ‘Remember the Maine’ incident could be arranged … We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba. … [Or] we could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. … [fostering] attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding.” Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 4: Nixon’s Madman Nuclear Alert

The first three installments in this series of posts drew on irrefutable evidence – formerly classified top secret documents and a recording of a presidential phone call – to show that the public needs to critically question government claims before going to war. Those posts showed that the Gulf of Tonkin incidents, which became the legal basis for the Vietnam War via Congress’ Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, were incorrectly portrayed by the Johnson Administration as unprovoked North Vietnamese aggression. The second incident never happened and the first incident was, in the words of CIA Director John McCone, a defensive reaction “to our attacks on their off-shore islands.” While the loss of over 58,000 Americans and approximately 2,000,000 Vietnamese is reason enough to avoid future such mistakes, the Vietnam War also added little-known nuclear risks. This post deals with the most bizarre of these, an event that has been dubbed Nixon’s “Madman Nuclear Alert.” In a 2003 paper, Stanford Prof. Scott Sagan and University of Wisconsin Prof. Jeremi Suri describe the origins and trajectory of this dangerous ploy: Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 1: The First Gulf of Tonkin Incident

Wednesday marks the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, a very appropriate time to reexamine ways that we have been fooled – or even worse, fooled ourselves – and gotten into needless wars. Avoiding such debacles is key to Defusing the Nuclear Threat because every war has at least a small chance of escalating to the use of nuclear weapons. The Vietnam War serves as Exhibit A in this argument since Nixon’s “Madman Nuclear Alert,” explained in a later installment in this series, added needless nuclear risk and was motivated by his desire to end the war on terms favorable to him. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Risky Business, Part II

My last post highlighted a little-known nuclear risk during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, involving the mistaken belief of an American F-16 pilot that the Pentagon had been attacked by the Russians instead of terrorists. Nuclear risk also was enhanced on … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment