Security

“So accept the favours, sway the key blocs, and you will get into power — ruling with actions that look contradictory and stupid to those who don’t understand the game: privately helping a powerful industry you publicly denounced, or passing laws that hurt a bloc that voter for you. But your job isn’t to have […]

{ 1 comment }

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 […]

{ 10 comments }

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. […]

{ 16 comments }

Everyone is aware of the placebo effect, in which a mock or inert intervention like a sugar pill in a clinical trial will nonetheless produce what seem like real effects to the people who receive it. The nocebo effect is the opposite: where people exposed to something harmless can experience apparent ill effects because they […]

{ 0 comments }

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 […]

{ 24 comments }

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 […]

{ 1 comment }

One of the certain consequences of climate change is that it will change the relative prospects and appeal of living in different areas, both in the short-term as acute incidents like wildfires and floods occur and long-term as agricultural productivity, water availability, and sea level shift. This is a reason why climate justice activists see […]

{ 4 comments }

This week’s issue of The Economist has Taiwan on the cover and describes it as the “most dangerous place on Earth”. It is widely reported that a central purpose behind China’s military buildup and particularly the acquisition of naval and amphibious warfare capabilities is the country’s ambition to conquer its democratic neighbour. The implications thereof […]

{ 22 comments }

Britain’s Armageddon weapon are their four Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines: Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant, and Vengeance. Since decomissioning their aircraft-dropped bombs in 1998, the subs have been the only means of delivery for British nuclear weapons, with each possessing 16 ballistic missile tubes for Trident D5 missiles, each built to carry as many as 14 of […]

{ 2 comments }

The Biden administration has announced that most US forces will withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11th. What have we learned since 2001 and what have the consequences of the war been? Could Al Qaeda have been expelled or destroyed without the invasion? How will the US / NATO / Canadian intervention affect Afghanistan’s long-term future? […]

{ 38 comments }