Foreign Policy

Obama Doubles Down on Nuclear Disarmament

President Obama’s State of the Union address included a declaration of his intention to pursue further reductions in nuclear forces to accelerate realization of global nuclear zero. He also said that North Korea’s day-earlier nuclear test would further isolate the regime, and that he would prevent Iran from joining the nuclear weapon club: Of course, our challenges don’t end with Read More ›

Violence & Tinseltown

On the day that Vice-President Biden is expected to announce his recommendations on how to reduce gun violence, hark back half a century, to 1963. School shootings were rare, with mass murder of students unheard of. Indeed, mass murders were virtually unheard of. In 1966 came one outlier case, when at the University of Texas a mentally ill sniper shot Read More ›

GOP Should Accept Obama’s Proposal, Without Endorsing

Republican leaders are negotiating with President Barack Obama over a package to prevent America, now awash in $16.25 trillion public debt, from going over the “fiscal cliff,” to prevent a ruinous plunge in America’s global credit standing. Alas, Republicans seem ready to fall into a classic political trap: sharing blame if a deal goes wrong while getting none of the Read More ›

The Day America Died

It was a tragic coincidence that Monday, April 1, 2013 was both the last day of the Jewish celebration of Passover and the 34th anniversary of the 1979 referendum establishing the Islamic Republic of Iran, under the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Ironically as well, it was the day after Western Christendom’s Easter Sunday. At noon that Monday, a Liberian-flagged freighter passed Read More ›

The Deadly Arithmetic of Nuclear Proliferation

THE SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS brought to global public consciousness the fear that rogue nations might use nuclear weapons or transfer them to terrorist groups, or that terrorists might themselves make a nuclear bomb. The first fear has far more foundation than does the second. The good news is that it is very hard to make bombs; the bad news is Read More ›

Nuclear Zero 2012: We Disarm While Others Arm

Begin with recent nuclear weapon-related developments: China tests new missiles, including road-mobile and nuclear submarine-launched ballistic missiles, plus multiple warhead missiles whose deployment will give China a nuclear first-strike capability. Viktor Yesin, a former chief of Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces, publicly places the Chinese nuclear arsenal at 1,600 to 1,800 warheads, with half operationally deployed and the remainder in storage, Read More ›

Why Russia and China Do Not Act on Syria

In a recent interview with the Business Insider, I said that “problems in Iran and Syria are ‘wonderful for the Russian economy.’” I meant it. Adam Taylor’s article, “For all the bluster, these three reasons show Russia’s position on Iran may be surprisingly sane” explores well why Russia is interested in the ambiguity around Iranian nuclear program. In brief, two Read More ›

Afghanistan: Finally an Opportunity for Plain Talk

The recent unintentional Koran burnings and the mass anti-American demonstrations and killings of four American officers have occasioned not only abject apologies from President Obama and our military commanders but the usual excuses from the American State Department and their foreign policy think tank friends. “We must work harder to gain the trust of our Afghan allies” goes the chorus. Read More ›

Cuba Problems are Same, Possibilities New

Most people are surprised when I tell them that I recently returned from a trip to Cuba. They are even more surprised when I tell them I flew directly from Miami to Havana. That is because, until recently, our government did not allow direct flights between Cuba and the United States. That has changed. Today, there are several flights a Read More ›

For All the Bluster, These 3 Reasons Show Russia’s Position On Iran May Be Surprisingly Sane

To many observers, Russia often appears to be dragging its feet in international condemnation of Iran. Last month, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was quick to say that after military attack on Iran the “consequences will be truly catastrophic, their real scope impossible to imagine.” Russia has also frequently pushed against the use of sanctions on Iran. This week it called Read More ›