Month: March 2013

Disarmament and the pro-life movement: A match made in heaven?

Disarmament and the pro-life movement: A match made in heaven?

They identify with different ends of the political spectrum, but nuclear disarmament activists and anti-abortion protesters have something in common: A desire to protect innocent life.
That shared interest represents a major opportunity that disarmament activists are letting slip by. Though nuclear weapons pose as great a danger to the planet as ever, the disarmament movement has flagged since the end of the Cold War. It can and should reinvigorate itself by recruiting anti-abortion Christians.

The thin red line

The thin red line

Both opposition forces and the Syrian government have alleged that chemical weapons were used in last Tuesday’s attack on the village of Khan al-Assal, bringing to the fore one of the most potentially far-reaching of the many dangers that have arisen during Syria’s civil war. Now entering its third year, the Syrian revolt — by far the longest uprising of the Arab Spring — is the first in history that threatens to violently topple a government armed with weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The meaning of Halabja

The meaning of Halabja

Halabja is a name etched in the history of chemical warfare. There are few documented instances of deliberate chemical weapons attacks against civilian communities; the one that Saddam Hussein’s forces made against the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja 25 years ago is the largest. Human Rights Watch recorded more than 3,200 immediate fatalities, with many more Kurdish citizens exposed to clouds of poisonous gas.

Nonproliferation in a time of austerity

Nonproliferation in a time of austerity

Since the early 1990s, the nonproliferation community has obsessed over the annual appropriations to programs at the US defense, state, and energy departments that are designed to keep weapons of mass destruction (WMD) out of the wrong hands. While the budgets of individual programs have fluctuated, the unmistakable trend in US nonproliferation spending was upward. Program managers could generally count on this year’s budget being higher than last year’s, and next year’s being higher still.