We Need a Coronavirus Truce

During World War I, soldiers all along the Western front held a series of informal truces in December 1914 to commemorate Christmas. It was early in the war, and opposition had not yet hardened into implacable enmity. The military command, caught by surprise, could not impose complete battlefield discipline. An estimated 100,000 British and German soldiers participated. They exchanged smokes,...
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Trump’s Attack on the Law Is Global

Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, Donald Trump decided to ignore the advice of his own top brass and personally dismiss charges in three military court cases dealing with war crimes. That decision has already cost Navy Secretary Richard Spencer his job, outraged a wide range of U.S. veterans, and raised concerns abroad of a weakened U.S. commitment to international law. Trump’s direct...
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Soldiers Who Fight War

One of the enduring myths connected to the Vietnam War is that the U.S. military could have won the war if the politicians and protestors back in Washington didn’t somehow handicap the generals. When George H. W. Bush launched the first Gulf War in 1990, for instance, he said that “this will not be another Vietnam. Our troops will…not be asked to fight with one hand tied behind their...
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Trump’s Endless Wars

Donald Trump loves to talk about ending the endless U.S. wars that he inherited as president. He tweets about it. He endlessly criticizes his predecessors for their martial mistakes. But like the old saw about the weather, Trump talks a whole lot about endless wars but doesn’t do anything about them. Just this month, he went against the advice of pretty much everyone to pull 1,000 U.S. troops...
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A Farewell to Arms Control?

My first trip to Washington, DC to do something other than protest on the streets was to interview for a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, which brings young people to the nation’s capital to work on arms control and disarmament. It was 1987, around the time that Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Agreement. The INF treaty committed the...
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North Korea: Nukes vs. War?

Nuclear weapons have held the world hostage for more than 70 years. Although they possess terrifying power and the world has come close to nuclear war on several occasions, these weapons have only been used twice, in 1945, by the United States against Japan. Advocates of deterrence believe that nuclear weapons actually kept the peace during the Cold War. The United States and Soviet Union,...
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