Posts by Martin Hellman

More on the Ukraine

With the Crimea voting today on whether to secede from the Ukraine, and early returns indicating strong support for secession, the following perspectives on the crisis are particularly relevant. As before, I am emphasizing unusual perspectives not because the mainstream view (“It’s  Russia’s fault!”) doesn’t have some validity, but because it over-simplifies a complex issue. […]

data scanning

My Take on Snowden’s Revelations

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by KNBC’s Scott McGrew regarding Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying. The clip is eight and a half minutes long, and here are some of the main points I made: A lot of what are now seen as NSA’s abuses were authorized by the Patriot Act, which was passed and renewed by […]

The post My Take on Snowden’s Revelations appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

data scanning

My Take on Snowden’s Revelations

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by KNBC’s Scott McGrew regarding Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying. The clip is eight and a half minutes long, and here are some of the main points I made: A lot of what are now seen as NSA’s abuses were authorized by the Patriot Act, which was passed and renewed by […]

The post My Take on Snowden’s Revelations appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

Powell-anthrax-vial

Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 9: Iraq

The two reasons given for invading Iraq in 2003 were baseless: Saddam Hussein’s WMDs were illusory, as were his connections to al Qaeda. While this needless war is often attributed to an intelligence failure, we all are at fault. Our elected officials failed to ask the questions they should have before going to war. So […]

The post Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 9: Iraq appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

United Nations Security Council

Why Russia Resists a UN Resolution on Syria

The mainstream media has largely failed to mention one of the main reasons Russia has been resisting a UN Security Council Resolution which would allow the use of force if the US believes that Syria has failed to meet its obligations. Back in March 2011, Russia allowed UNSC Resolution 1973 which authorized “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan […]

The post Why Russia Resists a UN Resolution on Syria appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

belle syria

Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 8: Syria

There are strong indications that President Obama will take military action against Syria,  even though several key questions have not been answered. First, what good will an American attack do? Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey recently told Congress, “Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing […]

The post Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 8: Syria appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

Afghanistan_War_Helicopter

Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 7: Afghanistan

Our October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, less than a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, might seem like an unavoidable war because the Taliban had sheltered Osama bin Laden, and we could not afford to risk a repeat of that disaster. But a more careful analysis shows that our Afghan war, like the others examined […]

The post Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 7: Afghanistan appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 6: North Korea

Over the last few months, North Korea has severely tested the world’s patience. It conducted its third nuclear test, canceled the armistice ending the Korean War, threatened the US with nuclear ruin, warned foreigners to leave the country because war was imminent, cut its hotline with South Korea, and readied a missile for firing. This […]

The post Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 6: North Korea appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

USS Maine

Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 5: Operation Northwoods

Operation Northwoods is a prime example of why we need to raise critical questions before going to war. Written seven months before the Cuban Missile Crisis, this formerly top secret proposal by the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested ways to build public support for an American invasion of Cuba, including: “A ‘Remember the Maine’ incident […]

The post Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 5: Operation Northwoods appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.

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Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 4: Nixon’s Madman Nuclear Alert

The first three installments in this series drew on irrefutable evidence – formerly classified top secret documents and a recording of a presidential phone call – to show that we need to critically question government claims before going to war. Those posts showed that the Gulf of Tonkin incidents, which became the legal basis for […]

The post Avoiding Needless Wars, Part 4: Nixon’s Madman Nuclear Alert appears on ScienceWonk, FAS’s blog for opinions from guest experts and leaders.