Links – March 8, 2017

Quite an article on US cyber attacks on North Korean missile tests. A backgrounder on how David Sanger and Bill Broad got the story. Something like this is a lot of work. And dealing with it is even more work: Why the Trump administration isn’t ready. The difficult decisions and diplomacy ahead.  PhotoAn image distributed by the North Korean government showing the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, visiting a missile test center in North Pyongan Province. Analysts say the pair of engines he is standing in front of could power an intercontinental ballistic missile.CreditKorean Central News Agency, via Reuters Read More

Links – January 17, 2017

Apologies for not posting my own writing for so long. I am working on posts, but so much news is coming out that it is hard to keep track. Here’s what others have been writing. Oh, and a movie recommendation: go see “Hidden Figures.” It is extremely accurate about what women of color faced in science in the early 1960s, much of which all women faced. I experienced a number of the situations depicted. And the clothes and other props are very well done.  Read More

Links – January 2, 2017

This story goes back to 2007, when Israel bombed a nuclear reactor under construction in Syria. It’s a detailed account from Michael Hayden, who was director of the CIA at the time. The uncertainties and the complexity of the story are normal for international affairs, and thus the story is a good example of the kind of thing President Donald Trump will face. Short version: Syria builds a nuclear reactor to produce bomb material. Israel wants America to destroy it. America refuses, Israel bombs the site. The world learns it was a reactor. But the whole thing is worth reading. Photo: The reactor before it was bombed.  Read More

Links – December 26, 2016

Why the State Department is worried about Donald Trump and his tweets.   Could Trump’s tweets spark a nuclear arms race? The President (or President-elect) of the United States can’t just say anything, it turns out.

Max Fisher quoted one of my tweets in his discussion of Trump’s nuclear tweet.

Jerusalem’s status is another situation where Trump’s real-estate negotiating techniques aren’t going to work.

Trump’s transition team has asked for the names of people working on climate change in the Department of Energy, women’s issues in the Department of State, and countering violent extremism in the Department of Homeland Security. So far those requests, looking very much like witch hunts, have been turned down. But once in office, Trump will have more leverage.  Read More

Links – December 22, 2016

Donald Trump tweeted today that the United States needs more nuclear weapons. So that has occupied a certain amount of mental space. I did a tweet stream. Here are the New York Times news and a Max Fisher explainer, NBC News, and Yahoo News. Particularly good from Jeffrey Lewis. We are in for uncertainty and instability if Trump continues his tweets.

Ronald Reagan’s first full briefing on nuclear war, declassified from 1982.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell tells climate researchers to fight disinformation. Scientists at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco demonstrate.

We wrote about this guy and his death ray a while back.

Good explainer about Vladimir Putin’s reunification of the Russian security services.

Russia is no longer in the top five defense spenders.

This week is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the official dissolution of the Soviet Union. A reporter who grew up during that time reminisces. Photo from here.

Communications with North Korea are a good thing.

 

Links – December 9, 2016

Donald Trump continues to insist that hacking before the election could not have been by Russia. Germany, with an election in the near future, is seeing a similar pattern of hacking. Republicans in Congress are asking for an investigation. Republicans!

This is a good explanation of what the problem may be with Mike Flynn, Trump’s designated National Security Advisor. But the National Security Advisor is supposed to help in distinguishing bad information from good. Read More

Links – November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro, who ruled through eleven American presidencies, is dead. The Miami Herald has the definitive (long) obituary. I think it’s a fair assessment; I recall Castro depicted in the United States as a freedom fighter against the landed overlords, and then his turn to Communism and the Soviet Union. As the obit says, we’ll never know if he was a communist all along. All that is vivid to me because my high school hosted a talk on Castro’s 1956 victory, one of my first understandings of international events.  Read More