The 21st Century Nuclear Arms Race

Policies, Security

The 21st Century Nuclear Arms Race

A new report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)—focusing on nuclear weapons spending– following on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recent decision that their Doomsday Clock, should be set as close as it has ever been to nuclear catastrophe. should serve as a wake up calls for humanity.

Preparations for genocidal or omnicidal nuclear war are undeniably suicidal madness. Worse, with provocative military actions by the U.S., Russia, and China in the Baltic, Black, South and East China Seas, and in relation to Ukraine and Taiwan, an accident or miscalculation could all too easily trigger a life ending nuclear cataclysm.

At a time when scientific, financial, and diplomatic cooperation are desperately needed to stanch and reverse the climate emergency and to overcome and prevent the current and future pandemics, 21st century nuclear arms races are already claiming lives and threatening our future with national treasures being wasted in preparations to end all life as we know it.

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Why Do We Eat Bad Food?

Agriculture, Policies

Why Do We Eat Bad Food?

Mark Bittman writes the way he cooks: The ingredients are wholesome, the preparation elegantly simple, the results nourishing in the best sense of the word. He never strains; there’s no effort to impress, but you come away full, satisfied, invigorated.

From his magnum opus, How to Cook Everything, and its many cookbook companions, to his recipes for The New York Times, to his essays on food policy, Bittman has developed a breeziness that masks the weight of the politics and economics that surround the making and consuming of food. In Animal, Vegetable, Junk, his latest book, he offers us his most thoroughgoing attack on the corporate forces that govern our food, tracking the evolution of cultivation and consumption from primordial to modern times and developing what is arguably his most radical and forthright argument yet about how to address our contemporary food cultures’ many ills. But it still goes down easy; the broccoli tastes good enough that you’ll happily go for seconds.

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The Art of War in an Age of Peace: U.S. Grand Strategy and Resolute Restraint

Civil War, Policies

The Art of War in an Age of Peace: U.S. Grand Strategy and Resolute Restraint

This thoughtful and reflective book could serve as a guide for U.S. President Joe Biden’s national security team as they prepare for the challenges of the next few years. O’Hanlon draws on his experience of engaging in the big policy debates of the last three decades, including examining the preparation behind and the legacy of the United States’ recent wars.

Taking into account the polarized nature of U.S. politics, he concludes that the United States must learn to limit its ambitions even while continuing to defend core interests. He advocates a strategy of “resolute restraint,” which means, for example, that if China attacks Taiwan, the United States should move quickly to help defend the island without believing that it has to then defeat China in a wider war. This is a valuable addition to current policy debates, on issues from climate change to nuclear arms control to the challenges posed by China and Russia.

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We Must Enhance—but also Decolonize—America’s Global Health Diplomacy

Health, Policies

We Must Enhance—but also Decolonize—America’s Global Health Diplomacy

COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the world, accounting for more than 2.7 million deaths so far; prolonged economic shutdowns; and the dismantlement of global health systems. In no small part, this is due to failures of governance and intentional health policy choices. Despite the swift and unprecedented development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, more than 66 percent of the countries around the world—predominantly in the Global South—have yet to receive a single vaccine dose. In comparison, 10 countries have received 75 percent of the global vaccine supply.

These appalling statistics represent the outcomes of contemporary neocolonial approaches—policies, programs and global governance structures that continue to sustain the same power dynamics and outcomes as during colonization—towards the non-Western world.

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How the US Invested in the War on Terrorism at the Cost of Public Health

Health, Policies

 How the US Invested in the War on Terrorism at the Cost of Public Health

Here’s one big takeaway from our country’s disastrous 2020 covid response: For 20 years, we’ve lavished attention and money on fighting human terrorism and forgot that the terrorism of nature is equally deadly, deserving equal preparation.

Today, with more than 545,000 U.S. covid deaths, I hope we’ve learned the huge cost of allowing our public health structure to wither as we single-mindedly pursued the decades-long war on terror. Slowly, with no one much paying attention, here’s how it happened.

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China: Fragile Superpower: How China’s Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise

China, Demographic

China: Fragile Superpower: How China’s Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise

Once a sleeping giant, China today is the world’s fastest growing economy–the leading manufacturer of cell phones, laptop computers, and digital cameras–a dramatic turn-around that alarms many Westerners. But in China: The Fragile Superpower, Susan L. Shirk opens up the black box of Chinese politics and finds that the real danger lies elsewhere–not in China’s astonishing growth, but in the deep insecurity of its leaders. China’s leaders face a troubling paradox: the more developed and prosperous the country becomes, the more insecure and threatened they feel.

Shirk, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for China, knows many of today’s Chinese rulers personally and has studied them for three decades. She offers invaluable insight into how they think–and what they fear. In this revealing book, readers see the world through the eyes of men like President Hu Jintao and former President Jiang Zemin.

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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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