A Global Effort to Protect Life: The UN Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons

Honduras became, at end of October, the fiftieth nation to ratify the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.[1] The Treaty, which was finalized in the summer of 2017, has been signed by 84 nations.[2] Now that 50 of those nations have ratified it, the treaty will officially enter into force as international … Continue reading A Global Effort to Protect Life: The UN Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons

Catastrophe by Mistake: The Button and the Danger of Accidental Nuclear War

The most likely way for the United States to end up in a nuclear war today is not because of an aggressive nuclear attack by Russia or North Korea or some other nation. Nor is it likely to be because the United States launches such an aggressive attack on another nuclear-armed nation. The most likely … Continue reading Catastrophe by Mistake: The Button and the Danger of Accidental Nuclear War

East Germany’s Peaceful Revolution: Remembering the Berlin Wall’s Fall

The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago this year, on November 9, 1989. This massive barrier that since the 1960s had effectively imprisoned the residents of Communist-ruled East Berlin was also a symbol of the larger Cold War division between Eastern and Western Europe and the Soviet Union and the United States. When Berliners broke … Continue reading East Germany’s Peaceful Revolution: Remembering the Berlin Wall’s Fall

To Save Humanity: What I Learned at the “Two Minutes to Midnight” Conference

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists decided earlier this year to adjust the “Doomsday Clock,” the organization’s index of probable nuclear and other dangers facing humanity.[1] Tensions between the United States and nations such as North Korea, Russia, and China, among other factors, prompted the Bulletin to move the Doomsday Clock’s hands to two minutes to midnight—“midnight” … Continue reading To Save Humanity: What I Learned at the “Two Minutes to Midnight” Conference

Apocalypse Averted: The Brink’s Tale of Near-Nuclear War

The world might have come close to ending in the early 1980s. Tensions had been rising between the United States and the Soviet Union for years, and Soviet leaders were convinced that their American counterparts were planning to launch a nuclear war. The Soviets became hypersensitive to possible warning signs of an impending American or … Continue reading Apocalypse Averted: The Brink’s Tale of Near-Nuclear War

Extermination by Hunger: Red Famine’s Story of Lethal Injustice

Joseph Stalin took a fateful trip to Siberia in January, 1928. Stalin, soon to become the Soviet Union’s supreme leader, traveled to the country’s outskirts to identify the causes of poor agricultural production and food shortages. He concluded that Soviet farming was too small-scale: most peasants tended small farms that were not economically efficient, while … Continue reading Extermination by Hunger: Red Famine’s Story of Lethal Injustice

​Using Empathy during a New Cold War

An American contemplating the hostile state of current US-Russian relations might well be pessimistic. Russia, this American observer might conclude, is an implacably hostile enemy whose actions reflect Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambition to act aggressively abroad while suppressing dissent at home. From this perspective, America has no choice but to wage a new Cold … Continue reading ​Using Empathy during a New Cold War

Engagement, Not Confrontation: The Need for a New US Policy toward Russia

America and Russia are currently engaged in a new Cold War: a conflict marked by mutual suspicion and hostility; confrontation in certain regions of the world, such as Ukraine and Syria; and at least potential military competition. Over a quarter-century after the last Cold War ended with the Soviet Union’s formal dissolution in December 1991, … Continue reading Engagement, Not Confrontation: The Need for a New US Policy toward Russia

The Just War Case for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

Although nuclear weapons receive far less attention today than during the Cold War, the weapons—and the dangers and ethical problems they pose—remain with us. The nuclear weapons currently held by the nine nuclear powers number almost 10,000. Of these, over 3,900 are deployed with operational military forces. Almost 2,000 nuclear weapons are on high alert … Continue reading The Just War Case for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

Resolving the Ukraine Crisis: A Proposal

Relations between the United States and Russia have deteriorated dramatically this past winter and spring as the result of the unfolding civil strife in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich accepted and then rejected a trade agreement with the European Union, resulting in popular unrest that led to Yanukovich’s overthrow. Russia then initiated a military occupation … Continue reading Resolving the Ukraine Crisis: A Proposal