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
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.
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
Although great empires rank among the most powerful engines of world history, they are also among the most dangerous, especially as they brood over their decline.
The Russian empire provides a striking illustration of this phenomenon. Traditionally referred to as the “prison of nations,” Russia, in its Czarist and Soviet phases, controlled a vast Eurasian land mass of subject
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
The vast destruction wrought by the atomic bombing of Japan in August 1945 should have been enough to convince national governments that the game of war was over.
Wars have had a long run among rival territories and, later, nations, with fierce conflicts between Athens and Sparta, Rome
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
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
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
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,