Tag: national security

Russian Trolls Love Targeting U.S. Veterans

The post popped up in select Instagram feeds shortly before the election in 2016. Its photo depicted an anonymous black-clad woman on an airport tarmac, crying over a metal casket covered in an American flag. “Killary Clinton will never understand what it feels like to lose the person you love for the sake of your […]

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The Curse of Osama Bin Laden

Five years before masterminding the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, Osama bin Laden laid out his strategy in a declaration of jihad “against the Americans occupying the land of the two holiest sites.” The aim: “Expel the infidels from the Arabian peninsula.” Bin Laden argued that the Saudi […]

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Democrats Are Trapped in Trump’s “Deep State” War

The ongoing contretemps between President Donald Trump and the intelligence community forces a dismal and daunting question: Whose side must be taken in a power struggle between a legion of professional liars and a consummate bullshit artist?  Both the president and the spy agencies have mastered the arts of misrepresentation, self-righteousness, and Twitter (but perhaps […]

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Firing John Bolton Doesn’t Make You a Pacifist

Nothing about Donald Trump’s contentious Tuesday tweet-firing of National Security Advisor John Bolton was hugely surprising. Bolton, a prickle of a man notorious for his whiskery affect and grenade-lobbing neoconservatism, had long seen his influence fading in the White House, particularly after the latest rift opened between him and Trump insiders over the now-dead Afghanistan […]

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Firing John Bolton Doesn’t Make Trump a Pacifist

Nothing about Donald Trump’s contentious Tuesday tweet-firing of National Security Advisor John Bolton was hugely surprising. Bolton, a prickle of a man notorious for his whiskery affect and grenade-lobbing neoconservatism, had long seen his influence fading in the White House, particularly after the latest rift opened between him and Trump insiders over the now-dead Afghanistan […]

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The Tragedy of Trump Diplomacy

After 18 years of war, the United States had a fighting chance at ending the longest continuous conflict in its history. A deal was within reach with the Afghan Taliban. Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, had spent months shuttling between Doha, Kabul, and Washington, slowly putting the pieces together for an end […]

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James Mattis’s Bizarre Cult of “Lethality”

The dawn of industrialized killing in the trenches of World War I birthed a constellation of euphemisms to gloss over the horrors of mortality in modern war, from “clicking it” to “drawing your full issue.” The fallen mudfoots of World War II, or their vanquished foes, “bit the dust” and “checked out” in the course […]

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The Absurd Strategy Behind Russia’s Nuclear Explosion

The United States and Russia are entering a new arms race, and the costs aren’t just monetary. On August 8, Russian civilians around the remote village of Nyonoksa found themselves downwind of a military nuclear propulsion experiment gone wrong in the White Sea, just outside the Arctic Circle. According to the Russian ministry of defense, […]

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Ilhan Omar Is Already Changing Washington

This week, Donald Trump opened a new front in his war against women of color in Congress. “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit,” the president tweeted Thursday morning, referring to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, two young Muslim Democrats who make up half of the progressive […]

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Ebola Outbreaks Are About Inequality

Living conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern province of North Kivu were already precarious when the first cases of Ebola were reported there last July. Only eight days earlier, officials had declared an Ebola outbreak on the western side of the DRC over. Suddenly, World Health Organization officials faced an outbreak they […]

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India’s Looming Ethno-Nationalist Catastrophe

In the long list of enemies maintained by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of India (BJP), the Muslims of the northwestern state of Kashmir have always held a special place. The only Muslim-majority state in India, and one guaranteed notional autonomy under Article 370 of the Indian constitution, Kashmir is routinely depicted by the right-wing […]

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Trump’s Reckless New Missile Race

After 32 years, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia is dead. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the U.S.’s final withdrawal from the accord last week, blaming Russian violations for the move and promising “a new chapter by seeking a new era of arms control that moves beyond the […]

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FBI Says QAnon, Internet Conspiracy Theorists Are National Security Threats

The FBI has named some of America’s wildest and most troubling conspiracy theories as serious national security threats, citing various violent events in recent years as evidence. The internal intelligence bulletin, first reported by Yahoo News, was written by the agency’s Phoenix bureau and is dated May 2019. It names known conspiracy theories which have […]

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The Sparta Fetish Is a Cultural Cancer

Last spring, 28 Tory hardliners unleashed another round of havoc on British politics, refusing to vote for Prime Minister Theresa May’s compromise Brexit plan and paving the way for her replacement by Britain’s Trump variant, Boris Johnson. The group of hardcore Euroskeptics dubbed themselves “Spartans” for their singleminded willingness to hold the line, to sacrifice […]

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It’s Plainly Obvious That Donald Trump Has No Iran Policy

What, precisely, does Donald Trump want to do with Iran? It’s increasingly clear that even he doesn’t know the answer to that question. Last month, the president seemed close to taking military action against Iran over the still-mysterious bombing of two foreign tankers in the Gulf of Oman—and then nothing happened. Shortly after, Trump approved […]

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The Kids Aren’t Alright

The annual G20 summit is a dry, diplomatic affair that rarely offers viral moments. This year’s gathering in Japan was an exception, thanks to Ivanka Trump. The French government posted a clip last weekend that shows British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron deep in discussion as the president’s eldest daughter awkwardly […]

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America’s Once and Future Concentration Camp

The sidearm-clad Army MP peered through the back window of my car, and Bella the Dog, my 110-pound Anatolian shepherd/Saint Bernard hybrid, peered back at him from the rear seat. Bella had driven with me on this trip from Arkansas to Texas; on our way home, we were making a stop here, at Fort Sill […]

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Is Anyone Surprised Iran Has Returned to Enrichment?

The United States continues to have one strategic overriding objective with Iran: to prevent it from acquiring the capability to build nuclear weapons. If that one objective is achieved, then the United States, Israel and its friends in the region are more than capable of deterring Iranian aggression in the region, and defeating it in […]

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Who Is Actually Running the U.S. Military’s Iran Efforts?

The United States appears to be fast entering a war footing with Iran—blaming the country for an attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, accusing it of testing the limits of their now-dead nuclear accord with the U.S., sending 1,000 extra troops to the Middle East, and reportedly considering “tactical” strikes. […]

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