Bombs and rockets

One inescapable but confounding element of trying to understand politics, international relations, and history up to the present day is that we don’t have access to what governments are doing in secret. We will need to re-write the history of these times decades from now, if circumstances and freedom of information laws permit historians to […]

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My cousin: Toronto woman fundraises for grassroots rescue mission in Ukraine

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Christopher Chivvis has an article in The Guardian about the danger of escalation to the use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine crisis: There are possible other paths toward further escalation, but they all eventually lead toward the nuclear threshold. Scores of war games carried out by the United States and its allies in the […]

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Theoretically, nuclear fission could play a big role in providing energy-rich lifestyles to people around the world without climate change. At the same time, there are severe economic, social, and political headwinds to even maintaining existing capacity, much less building more. Now, I fear that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will add further causes for concern. […]

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The most disturbing thing about the January 6th riot and Trump coup attempt has been the reaction of American politicians. Despite being witnesses and targets of the attack, politics as usual has persisted, including Trump’s dominance of the Republican party. This suggests a substantial danger that Americans in power will choose the victory of their […]

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In what may be the rocket-launched science story of the decade, the James Webb Space Telescope launched from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana early Christmas morning Toronto time with me and many other science nerds watching the feed with mingled excitement and fear. The process from here is remarkable both in terms […]

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Avner Cohen provides a great summary of writing history (here under the particular limitations of studying Israel’s nuclear arsenal): The narrative I offer, then, is by nature incomplete and interpretative. Like all narratives, it is not written from God’s-eye view; rather, it is a story told through incomplete human and archival sources. Cohen, Avner. “Before […]

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The scope of the Israeli request for French technological assistance, the details of which Shimon Peres spelled out in Paris in 1956/1957, was tantamount to a national proliferation commitment. Enough is now known about the extent of the Dimona deal to appreciate how determined Ben-Gurion was to pursue it. The Dimona nuclear complex was designed […]

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In September, the US, Australia, and the UK announced the trilateral AUKUS security pact, a key element of which is for the US and UK to provide nuclear propulsion technology for Australian submarines. From an arms race and proliferation perspective, the development is somewhat worrying. To limit their size and maximize the time period between […]

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On a global level, bin Laden’s 9/11 attacks set the course of U.S. foreign policy for the first two decades of the twenty-first century and reshaped the Muslim world in ways that bin Laden certainly didn’t intend and that few could have predicted in the immediate aftermath. The Authorization for Use of Military Force, which […]

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