Nuclear disarmament: Thinking outside the silo

Proflieration, Threats

Nuclear disarmament: Thinking outside the silo

Every five years since 1970 diplomats and arms control experts have gathered to review progress – or lack of it – in the disarmament process enshrined in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The latest review conference, which was scheduled for May 2020, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This postponement is a silver lining behind a very dark cloud made up of the pandemic and several looming nuclear crises. It has bought time and with that time a new administration in Washington, one that is likely to be more open to multilateral efforts, pragmatic compromise and cooperative solutions.

The Politics of Stopping Pandemics

Disease, Threats

The Politics of Stopping Pandemics

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, global instability had caused a worrying rise in epidemics. Medical science alone won’t be able to turn the tide.

“Just a few years ago, many of us in the global health policy community were thrilled at the prospect of eliminating catastrophic infectious and tropical diseases,” Peter Hotez writes in his new book, “Preventing the Next Pandemic” (Johns Hopkins). He dates this high point of optimism to the start of 2015, when the success of vaccination campaigns had become dramatically evident. Polio, once endemic in more than a hundred countries, had been limited to three—Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Measles deaths were down by eighty per cent, from half a million children worldwide in 2000 to a fifth of that number.

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Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Khan Network

Proflieration, Threats

Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Khan Network

A.Q. Khan was the world’s leading black market dealer in nuclear technology, described by a former CIA Director as “at least as dangerous as Osama bin Laden.” A hero in Pakistan and revered as the Father of the Bomb, Khan built a global clandestine network that sold the most closely guarded nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea, and Libya.

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Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror

State War, Threats

Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror

Robert Young Pelton first became aware of the phenomenon of hired guns in the War on Terror when he met a covert team of contractors on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in the fall of 2003. Pelton soon embarked on a globe-spanning odyssey to penetrate and understand this shadowy world, ultimately delivering stunning insights into the way private soldiers are used.

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Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control

Proflieration, Threats

Containing Missile Proliferation: Strategic Technology, Security Regimes, and International Cooperation in Arms Control

The proliferation of ballistic missiles that can deliver weapons of mass destruction halfway across the world is a matter of growing urgency and concern, as is the fate of agreements limiting the development of such deadly weapons. The Bush administration’s scrapping of the ABM Treaty and pursuit of a huge National Missile Defense initiative are dramatic evidence of this concern

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Death by Government: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900

Genocide, Threats

Death by Government: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900

This is R. J. Rummel’s fourth book in a series devoted to genocide and government mass murder, or what he calls democide. He presents the primary results, in tables and figures, as well as a historical sketch of the major cases of democide, those in which one million or more people were killed by a regime.

In Death by Government, Rummel does not aim to describe democide itself, but to determine its nature and scope in order to test the theory that democracies are inherently nonviolent.

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