Bye-Bye World: While Nuclear Weapons and Wars Exist, Annihilation Beckons

It’s been a long time since the atomic bombings of August 1945, when people around the planet first realized that world civilization stood on the brink of doom.  This apocalyptic ending to the Second World War revealed to all that, with the advent of nuclear weapons, violent conflict among nations had finally reached the stage where it could terminate life on earth.  Addressing a CBS radio audience in early 1946, Robert read more

There Is an Alternative to War

The war in Ukraine provides us with yet another opportunity to consider what might be done about the wars that continue to ravage the world.

The current Russian war of aggression is particularly horrific, featuring a massive military invasion of a smaller, weaker nation, threats of nuclear war, widespread war crimes, and imperial annexation.  But, alas, this terrible war is but one small part of a history of violent conflict that has characterized thousands of years of human existence.

Is there read more

Russia’s Justifications for Its War in Ukraine Don’t Hold Up

The Russian government’s justifications for its war in Ukraine―the largest, most destructive military operation in Europe since World War II―are not persuasive.

Although, in defending the Russian invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s primary emphasis has been on the threat of Ukraine joining NATO, that action, had it occurred, would have been perfectly legitimate under international law.  The UN Charter, which is an instrument of international law, does not read more

What the Cuban Missile Crisis Can Teach Us About the Ukraine Crisis

Commentators on the current Ukraine crisis have sometimes compared it to the Cuban missile crisis.  This is a good comparison―and not only because they both involve a dangerous U.S.-Russian confrontation capable of leading to a nuclear war.

During the 1962 Cuban crisis, the situation was remarkably similar to that in today’s Eastern Europe, although the great power roles were reversed.

In 1962, the Soviet Union had encroached on the U.S. government’s self-defined sphere of influence by installing read more

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the World’s Future

Late January of this year will mark the first anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  This momentous international agreement, the result of a lengthy struggle by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and by many non-nuclear nations, bans developing, testing, producing, acquiring, possessing, stockpiling, and threatening to use nuclear weapons.  Adopted by read more

Most Americans Look Favorably on Global Governance

Amid all the flag-waving, chants of “USA, USA,” and other nationalist hoopla that characterize mainstream politics in the United States, it’s easy to miss the fact that most Americans favor global governance.  Although a great many Americans do feel a sense of identification with the U.S. government, a majority also supports the exercise of transnational authority.

This approval of global governance is especially striking in the case of the United Nations.  A February read more

Why Is U.S. Military Spending Increasing to New, Outlandish Levels?

Although critics of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan to increase funding for U.S. education, healthcare, and action against climate catastrophe say the United States can’t afford it, there are no such qualms about ramping up funding for the U.S. military.

This May, the Pentagon asked Congress to fund a $715 billion budget for Fiscal 2022—an increase of $10 billion over read more

The Fate of Cassandra: Dire Predictions Go Unheeded

In ancient Greek mythology, Cassandra was a priestess who was able to predict the future but unable to convince others to act upon her prophecies.

The fate of Cassandra seems particularly relevant today, for there has been ample warning about three developments that threaten continued human existence—preparations for nuclear war, climate change, and disease pandemics—without, however, adequate measures being taken to safeguard human survival.

Ever since the atomic bombing of Japan in 1945, read more