A Mistake from the Beginning: Looking Back on the Afghanistan War

The longest war in American history ended this August, as US troops left Afghanistan. What the US withdrawal will ultimately mean for both countries is not yet clear. However, I would argue the original US intervention in Afghanistan was a mistake. Consider the following: The United States’ intervention in Afghanistan was costly in lives. From … Continue reading A Mistake from the Beginning: Looking Back on the Afghanistan War

Hard Questions about the Response to Terrorism: Looking Back on September 11th

Andrew Young, the civil rights activist, politician, and diplomat, was present in Selma, Alabama, during the “Bloody Sunday” violence of March 7, 1965. When hundreds of Black Americans and others tried to march for voting rights only to be beaten and tear-gassed by Alabama state troopers, Young helped the wounded and others retreating from the … Continue reading Hard Questions about the Response to Terrorism: Looking Back on September 11th

People Standing against Tanks: The Civil Resistance of August 1991 and Its Ambiguous Legacy

Nonviolent civil resistance helped change history 30 years ago this August. When a group of hardline Communists within the Soviet Union attempted a coup in August 1991, they were met with significant resistance from other Soviet citizens, including both ordinary people and elites. The civil resisters ultimately prevailed over the coup plotters. The failed coup … Continue reading People Standing against Tanks: The Civil Resistance of August 1991 and Its Ambiguous Legacy

Seek Arms Control, Not an Arms Race: Responding to China’s Possible Nuclear Build-Up

Satellite images have revealed evidence that China may be increasing the number of nuclear weapons it possesses. Any increase in these massively lethal weapons is cause for concern for peace activists. However, the proper response to such an increase is diplomacy and arms control. We must resist any efforts by foreign policy hawks in the … Continue reading Seek Arms Control, Not an Arms Race: Responding to China’s Possible Nuclear Build-Up

No Combat Experience, No Opinion: Parallels in Pro-bombing and Pro-choice Rhetoric

Paul Fussell, a literary critic and World War II veteran, wrote an essay in the 1980s with the arresting title “Thank God for the Atom Bomb.”[1] A passionate defense of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fussell’s essay is still sometimes invoked today by bombing supporters.[2] However, Fussell’s argument is seriously flawed—and notably … Continue reading No Combat Experience, No Opinion: Parallels in Pro-bombing and Pro-choice Rhetoric

“My Conscience…Came Roaring Back to Life”: Daniel Hale and US Targeted Killing

Daniel Hale, a former US airman and military contractor, received an almost four-year prison sentence in federal court on July 27th. Hale’s crime was sharing with the media classified government documents related to targeted killing and other US counter-terrorism policies. Prosecuted for violating the Espionage Act, Hale pled guilty earlier this year to one of … Continue reading “My Conscience…Came Roaring Back to Life”: Daniel Hale and US Targeted Killing

Wasting Money on Instruments of Death: Nuclear Weapons in the 2022 Budget

The Biden administration’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022 contains much to disturb peace activists. The budget continues the long-standing pattern of grotesquely large military spending, with $715 billion allocated to the Defense Department.[1] Further, the budget specifically continues to fund lavishly the most extreme instruments of death, nuclear weapons. Peace activists need to work … Continue reading Wasting Money on Instruments of Death: Nuclear Weapons in the 2022 Budget

On Being a Non-Pacifist Peace Advocate: A Personal Reflection

My main concern, as a writer and activist, for almost a decade now has been the cause of peace: that is, defending human lives against the threat of war, especially the terrible threat of nuclear war. I expect this cause will continue to be my passion for the foreseeable future. Yet while I care deeply … Continue reading On Being a Non-Pacifist Peace Advocate: A Personal Reflection

Making a Nonviolent Revolution: Review of Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know

Certain historical episodes of nonviolent resistance to injustice are famous: the Indian struggle for independence; the American civil rights movement; and the Arab Spring uprisings come to mind. However, many people who are aware of such episodes are not familiar either with the larger history of nonviolent resistance or with how such resistance can be … Continue reading Making a Nonviolent Revolution: Review of Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know

A Blueprint for a Different Type of Peace Organization

Effective peace activism is urgently needed today. Tensions between the United States on the one hand and both Russia and China on the other are high and have the potential to escalate into war, leading to a nuclear catastrophe. US relations with Iran and North Korea also threaten larger violent conflicts. Meanwhile, the US military … Continue reading A Blueprint for a Different Type of Peace Organization