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Essential Information

A compendium of articles, reports, essays and investigations into the effects of militarism on the environment and human society. Send additional documents to editor@envirosagainstwar.org.


The Latest Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia:
(Ann Garrison / Special to Consortium News & Alex Christoforou and Mark Sleboda / The Duran)

Hungarian scholar George Szamuely sees a 70 percent chance of combat between NATO and Russia following the incident in the Kerch Strait and that it is being fueled by Russia-gate. There has been a proxy war within Ukraine since 2014, with NATO backing Poroshenko's Ukrainian government and Russia backing the separatists who speak Russian and identify as Russian in Ukraine's southeastern Donbass region. But in the Kerch Strait the hostilities are between Russia and Ukraine, with NATO behind Ukraine.

Saudi-gate: Investigators Probing Saudi Collusion and Trump's Military Kickbacks
(Ken Klippenstein / The Young Turks & Erin Banco / The Daily Beast)

Ignoring calls for sanctions following the murder of a Washington Post reporter, the Pentagon is set to support Saudi Arabia's military forces through 2025. Meanwhile, the Mueller investigation into foreign collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been expanded to include individuals in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

Trump Plans to Downgrade Nuke Waste from Dangerous to "Safe"
(Nicholas K. Geranios / Associated Press)

The Trump administration wants to reclassify some radioactive waste left from the production of nuclear weapons to lower its threat level and make disposal cheaper and easier. The Department of Energy proposal would lower the status of some high-level radioactive waste in several places around the nation, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State -- the most contaminated nuclear site in the country.

The University of California Is Complicit in Nuclear Build-up
(Beatrice Fihn / The Los Angeles Times)

A new nuclear arms race is underway, with California at the center, though it's not clear its citizens realize it. In California, the new nuclear arms race is bringing in a flood of cash to laboratories run by the University of California, where scientists, engineers and technicians have had a hand in designing every single nuclear weapon the US has ever built. California is complicit in the arms race, and if nuclear weapons were ever launched, it would be one of the prime attack targets.

Why Green New Deal Advocates Must Address Militarism & An Open Letter to Bernie Sanders
(Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater / Common Dreams & World BEYOND War)

Where is the call for the New Peace Deal that would free up hundreds of billions from the overblown military budget to invest in green infrastructure? Environmentalists need to contest the Pentagon's staggering global footprint. The US military is the world's largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels and the largest source of greenhouse gasses, contributing about 5 percent of global warming emissions.

US Dwarfs Rest of the World in Arms Production
(AntiWar.com & USAReally & Radio Free Europe & Reuters)

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released its latest report on the global arms trade, and as has been the case in recent studies, the conclusion is that the United States dominates the production and sale of arms. The US is not only in a leadership position, but dominates the entire rest of the planet combined. NOTE: Access to websites with further information and action options has been blocked.

In Syria, Yemen, and Around the World, Civilians Continue to Die from US-backed Wars
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports the US-led coalition has killed at least nine civilians in the town of Hajin. Among the slain were six children. According to the UN refugee agency, the US-backed war on Yemen caused 1,500 civilian casualties from August through October -- an average of 123 casualties per week. Meanwhile, US politicians alarmed by the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are silent on the thousands of civilians being routinely killed by US drones.

The Ancient Mythical Rites of Pearl Harbor Day
(David Swanson / Foreign Policy Journal)

What the US mainstream media won't inform you in their ritualistic annual Pearl Harbor Day rites is that the Japanese attack was anything but a surprise. On November 3, 1941, the US ambassador sent a lengthy telegram to the State Department warning that Washington's punishing economic sanctions might force Japan to commit "national hara-kiri." He wrote: "An armed conflict with the United States may come with dangerous and dramatic suddenness." And that, it appears, was the very idea.

Climate Change Requires that We Convert the US War Machine Now
(Bruce K. Gagnon / Organizing Notes )

"Climate Change Requires Conversion." This is the message we will be carrying to Bath Iron Works (BIW) during the next Navy destroyer 'christening' protest calling for the conversion of the shipyard to build sustainable technologies so that we can give the future generations a real chance to live on our Mother Earth. The Pentagon is the largest carbon polluter on the planet. We cannot effectively deal with the ravages of climate change by ignoring the colossus in the middle of the teashop.

Russia Responds to Trump's Threats with Major Mobilization of Ground and Nuclear Forces

Russia's brass are mulling measures to beef up the army amid Washington's plans to withdraw from the INF Treaty. The Russian Defense Ministry now plans to hold more than 4,000 drills and 8,500 practical combat training events throughout 2019 and Russia's Strategic Missile Force is being rearmed with Yars missile systems and the Avangard complex -- with the hypersonic glide vehicle -- has gone into serial production.

Trump Rejects Nuclear Treaty then Gives Russia 60 Days to 'Comply' with Nuclear Treaty
(AntiWar.com & John Lewallen / Avoiding Nuclear War.com)

The US needs to immediately announce a no-first-use nuclear posture and reduce weapons and deployments to avoid an accidental or pre-emptive strike. Both Democrats and Republicans should support the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. At the same time, the US has vowed to ignore the INF treaty, accusing Russia of violating the same treaty. Russia denies it. The apparent goal is to provide the Pentagon with a pretext to deploy more US nuclear missiles inside Europe.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Save The Nuclear Forces Treaty
(Roots Action & Ira Helfand / CNN)

The 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice underscored the great folly of Donald Trump's threat to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia. Vladimir Putin's response that "there would be nothing left except an arms race" shows our world leaders have failed to learn from history. Nuclear weapons are doomsday weapons that should be understood as "suicide bombs." Nuclear weapons and nuclear threats are a "lose-lose proposition."

Trump Says "Pull the Plug" on Syrian Peace Talks: Prefers Another Endless War . . . or WWIII
(Tom O'Connor / Newsweek & AntiWar.com & Laura Rozen / Al-Monitor)

Donald Trump came into office harshly critical of endless wars in the Middle East, but seems to be staring down the barrel of another such conflict in Syria. In addition to wanting ISIS defeated, the US wants Iran ousted, and all Shi'ite militias out of Syria. On top of that, they also want regime change, and a role in determining Syria's future. In the meantime, Trump's US envoy James Jeffrey wants the world to "pull the plug" on peace talks involving Syria and Russia.

Two Presidents Bush; Two Iraq Wars; One Shared Goal: US Access to Oil
(Middle East Research and Information Project & History.com & Naval History and Heritage Command & Antonia Juhasz / CNN & Portside)

In 2000, Big Oil, including Exxon, Chevron, BP and Shell, spent more money to get fellow oilmen Bush and Cheney into office than they had spent on any previous election. The National Energy Policy Development Group, chaired by Cheney, brought the administration and the oil companies together to plot our collective energy future. In March, the task force reviewed list of targets, outlining Iraq's entire oil productive capacity. Planning for a military invasion was soon under way.

Dismantle the American Doomsday Machine: Ellsberg
(Paul Jay / The Real News Network)

Former Pentagon nuclear strategist and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says Congress should eliminate the nuclear "hair-trigger," retire obsolete ICBM's, and hold hearings into the threat of an atomic war unleashing a nuclear winter. The obstacle to banning these world-ending weapons is not "public opinion" so much as the intransigence of officials and elites in both parties and major institutions that consciously support militarism, American hegemony, and arms production and sales.

Pentagon Fails Audit in the Face of Historic Trillion-dollar Fraud
(Dave Lindorff / The Nation & Defense News / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

The Pentagon has literally been making up numbers in its annual financial reports to Congress -- representing trillions of dollars' worth of seemingly nonexistent transactions -- knowing that Congress would rely on those misleading reports when deciding how much money to give the DoD the following year. The funds the Pentagon has been amassing over the years through its bogus bookkeeping maneuvers "could easily be as much as $100 billion."

US Bombs Hospital and Prison in Syria; Kills 18 Women and Children in Afghanistan
(AntiWar.com & BBC World News & Reuters)

The UN has confirmed that a US attack in Afghanistan's Helmand Province killed 23 civilians -- including eight women and 10 children -- adding to the number of Afghan civilians killed by the US. Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reports US attacks are killing many civilians and non-combatants. US strikes against al-Shafa targeted a hospital, a prison, and several homes. The toll of noncombatants is expected to rise as more bodies are found in the rubble.

America's Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost $5.9 Trillion and Killed 240,000 Civilians
(William Hartung / American Committee for East-West Accord)

Despite the fact that the Pentagon's military budget is the largest in the history of the world, the US hasn't won a war since 1945 and has spent 17 years losing a futile war in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, the National Defense Strategy Commission is warning that America faces a "national security emergency" that leaves its ability to defend "its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests" increasingly in doubt -- and the only solution is to give the military even more money.

Banned in Combat: The Underreported Dangers of Tear Gas
(Alex Horton / The Washington Post )

CS gas is an aerosol compound considered a chemical weapon. It has been outlawed on the battlefield by nearly every nation on Earth, including the US. But as a riot-control agent, 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile is legal to use by both police and federal authorities in the United States and many other countries. On Sunday, US Customs and Border Protection agents fired these chemical weapons over an international border at unarmed refugees and families seeking asylum in the US.

ACTON ALERT: Tell Congress to Block Trump and Bolton: Save Nuclear Ban Treaty!
(Roots Action, World BEYOND War, The Nation, Environmentalists Against War et al.)

The White House proposal to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty has been widely criticized, for good reason. Former military officials and diplomats see the INF treaty as a "bedrock" of arms control that eliminated thousands of deadly medium-range missiles in Europe. The Trump administration alleges the INF is flawed but if there is a problem, the answer is to try to fix the treaty, not walk away from it.

ACTION ALERT: An Open Letter to Senator Bernie Sanders
(World BEYOND War et al.)

Dear Senator Sanders: We write to you as US residents with great respect for your domestic policies. We support the position of more than 25,000 people who signed a petition during your presidential campaign urging you to take on militarism. We believe that Dr. Martin Luther King was correct to assert that racism, extreme materialism, and militarism needed to be challenged together rather than separately, and that this remains true today.

Women against the Bomb: Why the Fate of the Earth Depends on Women
(Beatrice Fihn / The Nation)

The breakthrough for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came after we showed political leaders the faulty foundations of the realpolitik arguments underpinning the nuclear world order. When it comes to doomsday weapons, the supposed realists ignore reality -- reality like the 7,000-degree-Fahrenheit ground temperature in Nagasaki after an American B-29 bomber dropped "Fat Man" on the city in August 1945.

US Bombs Continue to Kill in Laos 50 years after the Vietnam War
(Padraic Convery / Al Jazeera & Mark Landler / The New York Times)

This year's Thanksgiving celebration marks 50 years since the American military embarked on the biggest bombing campaign in world history -- decimating the small Southeast Asian country of Laos by dropping more than two million tons of bombs on it at the height of the Vietnam War. Half a century on, innocent lives are still being lost as the country struggles with the leftovers of the conflict.

Trump's Sorry Saudi Saga: "America First" Means "Money First"
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

Donald Trump has proclaimed that, dispute the anger toward the Saudi regime over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, "the United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region." To justify his decision, Trump noted that "Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producing nation in the world" and a big client for "Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and many other great US defense contractors."

Trump's Space Force Is No Joke
(In These Times & Sputnik International & POLITICO/Lockheed Martin)

In the rush to heap scorn upon the Trump administration, the president's critics sometimes miss the forest for the trees. Critics mocked the idea as "ridiculous," "stupid" and part of an "imaginary space war." "There's no threat in space! Who are we fighting?" But "war in space" is no joke. For all intents and purposes, a space force already exists. International conflict in space is no longer a plotline ripped from a sci-fi paperback. A space war is becoming more and more likely.

America's Permanent-War Complex
(Gareth Porter / The American Conservative)

What President Eisenhower dubbed the "military-industrial complex" has evolved over the decades into a "permanent-war complex" that is now engaged in conflicts in at least eight foreign countries -- none of which are intended to be temporary. The privatization of military and intelligence began before the end of the Cold War and was designed to benefit about 50 dominant US companies. Today, roughly half of the annual defense budget goes to private contractors including Lockheed, Raytheon and Boeing.

Mass Shootings -- When the 'War on Terror' Comes Home
(Priya Satia / San Francisco Chronicle Op-ed)

Commentary: The terrorism of guns and mass shootings in the US is not purely a domestic phenomenon, but a product of America's relationship with the world. Terrorism in American life is inseparable from American violence in the world. The ties between violence and industrial capitalism are deep and systemic, dating from the 18th century. These domestic shootings are shaped by the business of arms. While many struggle to regulate firearms, the arms makers push to keep markets everywhere open.

US Soldiers Died for Nothing in WWI
(Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)

If the US had not intervened in World War I, it is a virtual certainty that there would have been a negotiated settlement between the warring parties. US interventionism instead brought about the total defeat of Germany. The result of Germany's total defeat? The vengeful Treaty of Versailles, which later provided Hitler with his rationale for his rise to power. So much for making the world safe for democracy.

ACTION ALERT: Tell New House Leaders to Refuse War Lobby Money
(World BEYOND War & Lee Fang / The Intercept)

Weapons makers are moving money to the Democrat in line to chair the House Armed Services Committee. Rep. Adam Smith, a hawkish Democrat from Washington state is beholden to the military-industrial complex. Sarah Smith, a working-class activist and democratic socialist, has attacked Smith's pro-war record. Read who's been taking War Lobby contributions and sign the petition asking Democrats (especially those appointed to serve on critical committees) to refuse and return all War Lobby donations.

With Nearly $6 Trillion Spent Since 9/11, the US Military Can No Longer Afford to Dominate the Planet
(AntiWar.com & CBS Evening News)

Starting in late 2001, the US has engaged in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere around the world. Many of those wars have become more or less permanent operations. Now, a new report by a bipartisan Congressional commission says the US could lose a war against China or Russia. The warhawks claim the Pentagon is "underfunded" and the military needs more money because, unlike China and Russia, the US goal is not self-protection but the maintenance of global power.

US Refuses to Adopt a Nuclear Weapon "No-First-Use" Pledge
(Paul Jay Interviews Daniel Ellsberg / The Real News / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

Commentary from a former nuclear weapons planner: In an atomic attach, nearly everyone on Earth will die. But if we go back to earlier calculations -- 50 million dead on a first strike versus 150 million or 100 million on a second strike -- there, again, the idea was that we will survive that 50 million well. But our values -- meaning our democracy -- would be very unlikely to survive just one or two explosions on a single city.

Trump Removes Oversight on Weapons Deals: Arms Sales Soar 13%
(Mike Stone / Reuters & Annie Linskey / The Boston Globe)

Donald Trump greenlighted the sale of 1,600 semiautomatic pistols to Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail last year, arming the thuggish dictator with some of the best guns money can buy. The very next day, Turkish bodyguards beat up several US citizens protesting outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington. Lawmakers are required to be consulted before allowing sales of high-powered weapons to foreign dictators. Trump wants Congress out of the picture.

Trump Prepares to Dump Nuclear Treaties and Resume Atomic Arms Race
(Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)

Donald Trump's expressed intention to withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear Force Agreement appears to be part of a broader strategy aimed at unwinding over 50 years of agreements to control and limit nuclear weapons -- and returning to an era characterized by the unbridled development weapons of mass destruction. The White House has already announced that it does not plan to extend the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) when it expires in 2021.

Did A North Korean Nuclear EMP Bomb Threat Lead Trump to Peace Talks?
(John Lewallen / Avoiding Nuclear War )

Kim and Trump seemed on a catastrophic collision course, threatening war instead of pursuing diplomacy. The sudden change may have been due to Kim testing "thermonuclear nuke . . . which can be detonated at high altitudes for a super-powerful EMP attack."

Trump Versus Nuclear Treaties: Unwrapping Armageddon
(Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)

The US and the Soviet Union have come within minutes of an accidental nuclear war on at least two occasions. The INF Treaty came about because of strong opposition and huge demonstrations in Europe and the US. That kind of pressure, coupled with a pledge by countries not to deploy such weapons, will be required again, lest the entire tapestry of agreements that kept the horror of nuclear war at bay vanish.

The UN Votes on Nuclear Arms Issues
(The Basel Peace Office)

October 24-30 was UN Disarmament Week, during which member states voted on a range of disarmament decisions and resolutions. Decisions are binding on the United Nations. Resolutions are not binding but can be very authoritative and influential if supported by key countries. The deliberations and votes took place in an environment of increasing tensions between nuclear-armed States, and also an increasing divide between nuclear-armed and non-nuclear countries.

Another Shooting Incident: Man Trained to Commit Mass Murder Commits Mass Murder
(David Swanson / DavidSwanson.org)

Commentary: In US mass shootings, military vets are more than twice as likely to be mass shooters. Needless to say, this is a statistic about a large population, not information about any particular individual. While profiling and discrimination are counterproductive, here's what else might be counterproductive: Training people to commit mass murder, launching wars, and returning people traumatized by wars into a heavily armed society taught that mass-killing is the way to solve problems.

Game of Drones: A New Type of War Crime That's Going Unpunished

Unmanned drones are the modern weapons of choice in the fight against terrorism. The tribal areas of Pakistan where various militant groups seek a hideout have been hit by numerous CIA drone strikes. The attacks are far from precise and it's claimed they have often killed or maimed civilians, including children.

POST-ELECTION ACTION ALERT: Tell New House to End the US War in Afghanistan!
(Win Without War)

Last night, control of the House of Representatives flipped. And today, we woke up in a world where we can end the United States' longest war. After seventeen years, this terrible, failed war is STILL tragically costing lives and throwing trillions of dollars down the drain -- and into the overflowing coffers of the US Arms Industry.

War Crimes Committed by US Arms: How Do Weapons Manufacturers Sleep at Night?
(David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies / Foreign Policy in Focus)

The five largest US arms manufacturers -- Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics -- owe much of their profits to the sale of weapons to three repressive nations -- Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt -- that have a long history of repressing their own citizens and killing civilians in neighboring countries. But nobody in the Big War lobby is losing any sleep over this relationship.

A Warning from Moscow: Trump's Breach of Nuclear Treaty Would Free Russia to Install Missiles in Cuba
(RT News & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge.com)

Donald Trump's unilateral plan to walk away from the crucial Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty has Moscow considering siting military facilities in Cuba. With the US already having installed bases and missiles along the Russian border, a senior Russian official has proposed that his country respond to Trump's provocation by building a military missile base inside Cuba. Moscow has warned that a failure of talks between the US and Russia could trigger "a new Cuban crisis."

Withdrawing From the INF Treaty: One of Trump's Most Dangerous Moves Yet
(Martin Fleck / Foreign Policy in Focus and AntiWar.com & Julian Borger and Martin Pengelly / The Guardian)

On October 21, 2018, Donald Trump announced that the US would unilaterally withdraw from the INF nuclear arms agreement. Withdrawing from the INF treaty would turn back the clock to a dangerous era that put the United States and Russia on the brink of nuclear war. This ill-advised move could fuel a new arms race and ignite another Cold War, or worse. The Kremlin has already hinted that it's prepared to develop new weapons to "restore balance" in preparations for a nuclear war.

Navy's Costliest Carrier Unable to Handle Bombs
(Anthony Capaccio / Bloomberg)

The US NAvy's $13 billion Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier -- the costliest warship in history -- was delivered last year without elevators needed to lift bombs from below deck magazines for loading on fighter jets. Previously undisclosed problems with the 11 elevators for the ship built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. add to long-standing reliability and technical problems with two other core systems -- the electromagnetic system to launch planes and the arresting gear to catch them when they land.

Anti-Drone Protesters Arrested While Blocking Traffic at US Drone Base
(CODEPINK and Veterans for Peace, et al. & Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute)

Four drone protesters arrested at a US drone base in California face trespassing charges with a maximum penalty of six months in prison. Thousands of civilians have been killed. Funerals, weddings, mosques, and schools have been hit by US drones. The activists oppose the use of drones to kill both civilians and "enemy soldiers," explaining the use of "remotely controlled aggressive violence, without any imminent threat, has become normalized in US foreign policy." The US owes the public an accounting of who is being killed.

Let's Stop the Merchants of Death: US Arms Makers
(Sheldon Richman / AntiWar.com)

America's arms makers, the military contractors, are routinely mislabeled "defense" contractors. But the military-industrial complex has little, if anything, to do with defense. It's about empire, aggression, and illicit profits. It's safe to say that America's major military contractors would not exist were it not for the US government and its mammoth military establishment. When it comes to demanding weapons of mass destruction the Pentagon has no rival and the US is the world's largest arms exporter.

Governments Should Stop Selling Arms to Right Violators
(Robert Fisk / The Independent & Benjamin Kentish / The Independent)

US arms -- bombs, missiles, and guns -- are winding up in the hands of Washington's "enemies" on a regular basis because it's profitable to arm both sides of any given conflict. Now an influential group of British MPs is demanding that governments should look to block arms sales to countries accused of rights abuses. The ministers urged the introduction of monitoring to determine where UK weapons are being deployed, in bid to stop them being used to commit war crimes.

Nuclear Weapons and UN Disarmament Resolutions
(Move the Nuclear Money Campaign and the Basel Peace Office)

The anti-nuclear campaign has some practical suggestions for reinvesting the money spent on weapons of global mass destruction. The $1 trillion the US plans to spend to "modernize" the nuclear arsenals over the next 10 years could, instead, be used to help end poverty, protect the climate, and achieve sustainable development goals. Meanwhile, world peace is threatened by the increased scale and tempo of war games -- including nuclear drills -- by nuclear-armed states and their allies.

Massive US/NATO Drill in Norway Prompts Fears of New World War
(Andreas Berg / Special Ops & Andrew Osborn / Reuters)

Opposition of Norwegian politicians have warned that "Trident Juncture," a large-scale drill involving about 50,000 from 31 nations is exacerbating tensions between the US and Russia, and placing Norway in the middle as Washington increasingly targets Russia with provocations. Meanwhile, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has denounced Donald Trump's decision to leave an arms control treaty that helped end the Cold War. Gorbachev fears a new arms race and an increased risk of nuclear conflict.

Nuke-warhawk John Bolton Put in Charge of WWIII
(Scott Ritter / The American Conservative & Peter Lavelle / RT News)

Donald Trump appears to have surrendered to the anti-arms control philosophy of John Bolton, who views such agreements as unduly restricting American power. Bolton was also behind the 2001 decision by President George W. Bush to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, an act the Russians viewed as inherently destabilizing. The Russians have been asking the US to provide evidence to substantiate its allegations of Russian noncompliance, something the US so far has not done.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to End US Support for the Saudi-led War in Yemen
(Shia News and World Services & CREDO Action )

Saudi Arabia's gruesome assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has captured worldwide attention, but it is just one example of the Saudi regime's brutal disregard for human rights. For more than three years, Saudi Arabia, with massive US support, has been waging a war in Yemen that has created the world's worst humanitarian crisis. At last, there is political momentum to finally end United States support for its war in Yemen -- which could lead to the end of the war for good.

The INF Treaty and the Crises of Arms Control
(Zia Mian / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

The decision by the Trump Administration to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty is causing concern and rightly so. Some of the blame can be laid at the door of generations of American politicians, strategists, military planners and weapon builders, and their advocates ideologically opposed to limiting US military power, wary of treaties and international institutions, and seeking to sustain and expand dominance. Upon reflection, arms control crises are not an exception but the rule.

Trump's Treaty-busting "Powers" Stem from Congressional Weakness
(Russell Feingold / NBC News)

Commentary: During this administration, everyone has to be watching for potential abuses of power. The Constitution provided for the separation of powers to save us from autocrats but the legislative branch has undermined that. Donald Trump now can unilaterally withdraw from treaties because Congress has abdicated responsibility. The failure to assert Congress' constitutional prerogative now hands an erratic and often vengeful leader the power to undo crucial international agreements.

How Many Millions of People Have Been Killed in America's Post-9/11 Wars? Part 1: Iraq
(Nicolas J.S. Davies / Special to Consortium News)

The numbers of casualties of US wars since Sept. 11, 2001 have largely gone uncounted. Our estimate is that about 2.4 million people have probably been killed in Iraq as a result of the historic act of aggression committed by the US and UK in 2003. In this report, I will explain in greater detail how we arrived at that estimate and provide some historical context. In Part 2 of this report, I will make a similar up-to-date estimate of how many people have been killed in America's other post-9/11 wars.

US Gun Laws Are behind the Refugee Flight to US
(The Brady Report & Lisa Marie Pane / Associated Press)

The recent photos of imprisoned toddlers huddled under aluminum foil blankets on concrete floors have awakened Americans to the inhumane conditions suffered by migrant children from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. What many people may not realize is that the violence that forced these families to flee in the first place is driven in considerable part by US gun laws. On average, 253,000 US-made firearms flood into Mexico each year.

With Growing Global Calls to Abolish Nukes, Trump Vows to Abandon Historic Nuclear Treaty
(Alice Slater / World BEYOND War & Institute for Public Accountability & Fox News & The Guardian)

With 122 nations having voted last summer to adopt a treaty for the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons, just as the world has banned chemical and biological weapons, it seems that the world is locked in a new Cold War time-warp, totally inappropriate to the times. Donald Trump has confirmed the US will leave an arms control treaty with Russia dating from the cold war that has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades.

Trump Threatens US-Russia Anti-Nuke Treaty: A Prelude to a New Atomic Arms Race?
(Zeke Miller and Michael Balsamo / Associated Press)

First, Donald Trump announced he was abandoning the Iran Nuclear Deal -- despite all evidence holding that Iran was in full compliance with the agreement. Now Trump says he intends to scrap a landmark arms control agreement with Russia claiming -- again without offering specific evidence -- years of violations by Moscow in developing prohibited weapons. The Kremlin, for its part, has accused the US of violating the agreement, warning that the pullout "would be a very dangerous step."

Pentagon Planning for War with Russia and China at the Same Time
(Aaron Mehta / Defense News)

The Pentagon is in the opening stages of "redesigning the force" around the challenges of Russia and China, the department's No. 2 uniformed official said Tuesday -- while warning that America may not be able to afford preparing for two unique problem sets. In recent strategy documents, the Pentagon narrowed its focus to what it calls the 4 + 1 threats -- Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and terrorism. There was no mention of climate change, hunger, disease, economic instability, or on-going environmental collapse.

Washington Is Building a New Atomic Weapon to Threaten Russia
(Manlio Dinucci / Global Research & Sputnik News)

The US has also approved plans to build long-range nuclear missiles that would violate the US-Russia nuclear non-proliferation treaty. However, a decisive difference is ignored: the Russian missiles (assuming their range is intermediate) are deployed in a defensive position inside Russian territory, while the US intermediate-range missiles would be deployed in an offensive position close to the Russian border. It is as if Russia deployed nuclear missiles pointed at the US in Mexico.

Trump's Mistaken: Saudi Arms Sales Wont Boost Jobs
(Alexia Fernandez Campbell / Vox.com)

Donald Trump has been pushing back against public pressure to cancel weapon sales to Saudi Arabia in light of recent news that Saudi leaders ordered the assassination of a US resident and journalist who wrote for the Washington Post. Trump wants America to think that tons of US jobs depend on the sale of US military weapons to Saudi Arabia and other shady regimes. But they really don't.

New Nukes Increase Risk of War, But Citizens Possess the 'Power to Stop Them'
(Paul W. Lovinger / War And Law League News)

The nuclear peril never went away. Mankind is 2 minutes to 'midnight.' New nukes increase risk of war, but citizens possess 'power to stop them' according to speakers at a San Francisco panel that argues 'people power' can overcome the failures of a deficient media and prevent nuclear debacle. Speakers at the recent anti-nuclear forum included Ray McGovern, Marylia Kelley, and Jacqueline Cabasso.

Trump Is Shaping Plans for "an Arab NATO"
(Khalid Al-Jaber / Al-Jazeera & Marwan Kabalan / Al-Jazeera)

The Trump administration is continuing to push forward with plans to establish a so-called "Arab NATO". The military alliance is supposed to include the six Gulf Cooperation Council members -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- in addition to Egypt and Jordan. The Middle East Strategic Alliance is meant to "serve as a bulwark against Iranian aggression, terrorism, extremism" while bringing "stability to the Middle East." The launch of MESA is set for early 2019.

Why More And More Countries Are Blocking Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia And The UAE
(Dominic Dudley / Forbes & Tom O'Connor / Newsweek)

Even before reports of the alleged murder of a reporter during a visit to the Saudi Embassy in Turkey, civilized nations were cutting military ties with the Saudi regime. Spain has become the latest country to halt an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, as criticism continues over the conduct of the war in Yemen -- which may have directly killed 50,000 civilians. Other countries to sever military arms ties with the Saudis include: Belgium, Germany, Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, and Canada.

Saudi Arabia Is Largest Buyer of US Weapons: Arms Dealers Say the Murder of a Journalist Isn't Worth the Loss of $100 Billion in Sales
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Irina Ivanova / CBS MoneyWatch & Reuters)

Major US defense contractors -- like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon -- have expressed concern to the Trump administration that lawmakers, angered by the disappearance of a Saudi journalist in Turkey, will block further arms deals with Saudi Arabia, costing them some very lucrative sales. Trump has agreed, arguing that the death of one journalist ("who isn't even a US citizen") isn't worth the loss of $110 billion in weapons sales. Congress, however, may have other ideas.

Tensions Rise as US Threatens to 'Take Out' Russian Missiles
(Jonathan Marcus / BBC & BBC News)

The threat from a senior US diplomat to "take out" Russian missiles that Washington believes are in breach of an important Cold War arms control treaty looks set to cause additional tensions with Moscow, just ahead of a meeting of NATO defence ministers that opens in Brussels. The threat came from Trump's NATO ambassador, Kay Bailey Hutchison, who added the warning that "They are on notice." It is not exactly clear what she is saying. Is she threatening a pre-emptive strike out of the blue? Surely not.

ACTION ALERT: Three Days of Action for Yemen in November
(Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Veterans for Peace)

The US-financed Saudi-led war, which now is in its fourth year, has killed thousands of civilians created tens of thousands of refugees Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis, prompted the outbreak of deadly diseases, and left 60% of the population -- 18 million people -- without clean water and sufficient food. The UN has called Yemen "the world's worst humanitarian crisis." And Washington -- along with the Saudi monarchy -- is largely responsible for the carnage in what has been called a "war rime."

US Planning BioWar with Virus-armed Bugs and Plants Used as Spies
(Josh Gabbatiss / The Independent & Erin Durkin / The Guardian )

Insects could be turned into "a new class of biological weapon" using new US military plans, experts have warned. The Insect Allies programme aims to use bugs to disperse genetically modified (GM) viruses to crops. Such action will have profound consequences and could pose a major threat to global biosecurity.

The US Military Is The Worst Polluter on the Planet -- And It's Totally Unregulated
(Project Censored 2010)

The US military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet. Impacts include: uninhibited use of fossil fuels, massive creation of greenhouse gases, and extensive release of radioactive and chemical contaminants into the air, water, and soil. In spite of the evidence, the environmental impact of the US military goes largely unaddressed by environmental organizations and was not the focus of any discussions at the 2010 UN Climate Change Conference.

ACTION ALERT Tell Congress: Stop Fueling War in Yemen
(Win Without War)

The US is in Yemen because, in part, Raytheon's powerful lobbyists In Washington managed to sway Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Meanwhile, 23 members of the US House have introduced a War Powers Resolution that would withdraw US Armed Forces from supporting unconstitutional hostilities alongside Saudi Arabia in Yemen. This resolution needs urgent public support to stop US involvement in the horrific attacks on the people of Yemen.

And, in Other News: US Stages Provocations Aimed at China and Russia, Triggering Reactions
(TIME Magazine & Reuters & TASS & Sputnik News & RT News)

With attention riveted on the Kavanaugh hearings, troubling military maneuvers by the Big Powers have received little attention. In one case, a US navy ship conducted a provocative 10-hour patrol in the South China Sea, sailing within 12 nautical miles of Chinese outposts. China responded by cancelling scheduled security talks with the US. The US threatened Russia with a naval blockade over gas pipeline project but has granted Russia permission to surveil US activities using a high-tech spy-plane.

F-35 Fighter Jet -- Pentagon's "Trillion-dollar Turkey" -- Crashes in South Carolina
(Agence France-Presse & The Times of Israel & The Guardian & News Corp Australia Network & The American Conservative)

A US F-35 fighter was destroyed in a crash while training Friday. The crash -- the first of its kind for the troubled program -- marks an unfortunate moment for the most expensive plane in history. The Pentagon has reportedly covered up performance and design flaws and classified its April report into problems encountered in the F-35's first operational deployment. We don't know how it went. We won't know how it went. We know problems emerged.

Republican Rebels Block Restrictions on Saudi Nuclear Deal
(Bryant Harris / Al Monitor)

A handful of Senate Republicans are bucking their leadership by holding up a resolution calling on the Donald Trump administration to refrain from reaching a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia that falls short of America's so-called gold standard. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to unanimously pass a nonbinding resolution on the floor urging the Trump administration to "prohibit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from enriching uranium or separating plutonium on its own territory."

US Stores Nuclear Bombs in 5 Foreign Countries, in Violation of the NPT
(John LaForge / CounterPunch)

The US military practice of placing nuclear weapons in five other countries (no other nuclear power does this) is a legal and political embarrassment for US diplomacy. The US currently deploys 150-to-180 nuclear weapons at bases in Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey and Belgium. The governments involved refuse to "confirm or deny" the locations of the B61 free-fall gravity bombs -- even though all six countries are parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

UN Report: Increasing Numbers of Afghan Women and Children Are Dying in US Airstrikes
(Agence France-Presse & James Mackenzie and Abdul Qadir Sediqi / Reuters)

An airstrike appears to have killed 12 members of an Afghan family, including ten children aged six to 15, the United Nations said, citing preliminary findings, as US and Afghan forces ramp up aerial bombardments against militants. UN investigators also are reviewing reports of civilian casualties from "a number of alleged air strikes in other parts of the country," including "credible reports" that nine members of a family were killed in an air strike on Saturday in the eastern province of Kapisa.

ACTION ALERT: Support Senate Bill to Block the Trump/Bolton Push for War with Iran
(Win Without War & Julia Conley / Common Dreams & World BEYOND War & Hon. Tom Udall / US Senate & CREDO Action)

Yesterday, at the United Nations, Trump demanded a roomful of world leaders get behind "regime change" in Iran. That's Washington-speak for war. We cannot let this terrible administration drag us into war with Iran. We've got to fight back the best and strongest way we know how: People power. Support Tom Udall's Senate bill to block a preemptive strike against Iran as illegal under the War Powers Act and the United States Constitution which states that only Congress can declare wars.

'Fighting for Freedom' -- America's Abiding Myth
(Gar Smith / The-Edge)

In 1993, a Congressional Research Service report listed "234 instances in which the US has used its armed forces abroad in situations of conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes." A Global Policy Forum assessment of "US Interventions -- 1798 to the Present" reveals a record of imperial meddling unmatched in the long, bloody history of nations. Of the UN's 192 member states, over the past two centuries, the US has attacked, invaded, policed, overthrown or occupied 62 of them.

Trump Puts Arms Sales Ahead of Yemeni Lives
(Michael Horton / The American Conservative)

How much is a Yemeni child worth? Not much it seems: about $400 if one uses the Trump administration's calculations. The UK-based charity Save the Children estimates that five million Yemeni children are at risk of starvation. That risk has increased markedly thanks to the Trump administration's fear of endangering $2 billion worth of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. This came after an American-made missile fired by either a Saudi or Emirati jet incinerated a bus full of schoolchildren last month.

War Profiteers: The US War Machine And the Arming of Repressive Regimes
(Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies / CODEPINK)

The US is the leading purveyor of arms, global war and militarism, with 800 military bases in 80 countries around the world and a military budget larger than the next seven countries combined. Since the 1980s, Washington has increasingly used the armed forces in an offensive -- not defensive -- way, to attack other countries from Nicaragua and Panama to Iraq and Libya. These interventions created more global insecurity, disrupting the lives of ordinary people and raising tensions between nuclear-armed nations.

US Weapons Responsible for Soaring Civilian Deaths in Yemen and Afghanistan
(International Rescue Mission & AntiWar.com & Reuters)

The US-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen has seen the already huge civilian death toll of the war skyrocket 164% just since June. A single nine-day period in August left nearly 500 civilians killed. In Afghanistan, a soaring number of US airstrikes -- nearly 3,000 strikes in the first six months of 2018 -- have left 149 civilians killed and 204 wounded. Women and children made up more than half of the casualties.

The Effects of Modern War and Military Activities
(Michael J. Lawrence, Aaron J. Zolderdo, Daniel P. Struthers, Steven J. Cooke and Holly L.J. Stemberger / Carleton University)

War is an ever-present force that has the potential to alter the biosphere. Here we review the potential consequences of modern war and military activities on ecosystem structure and function. We focus on the effects of direct conflict, nuclear weapons, military training, and military produced contaminants. Overall, the aforementioned activities were found to have overwhelmingly negative effects on ecosystem structure and function.

Mass Murder: Made in America
(Nima Elbagir, Salma Abdelaziz, and Laura Smith-Spark / CNN)

Last month, a CNN investigation found remnants of a US-made bomb at the scene of an airstrike that left dozens of schoolboys dead. Now, an independent Yemen-based human rights group called Mwatana has given CNN exclusive access to a trove of documents that show fragments of US-manufactured bombs at the scene of a string of other incidents since 2015, when the civil war began. In each of these cases, civilians were either killed or put at risk.

ACTION ALERT: Pompeo's Push for Arms to Saudis: More Bombs for Yemen and Profits for Raytheon
(Win Without War & Lee Fang and Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

Commentary: You've probably never heard of Charles Faulkner but he's the reason Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied to Congress last week to keep US weapons flowing into Yemen. Before being appointed as Donald Trump's Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Faulkner worked as a lobbyist for Raytheon, the massive arms maker. Raytheon happens to have a $2 billion arms sale to the Saudis and UAE pending in Congress. Corruption doesn't get much more black and white than that.

Pentagon Races to Empty Its Coffers by Month's End
(Frank Konkel / Defense One)

The federal government is primed to spend as much as $300 billion in the final quarter of fiscal 2018 as agencies rush to obligate money appropriated by Congress before Sept. 30. Because any unspent funds must be returned to the Treasury Department, the Pentagon is on a spending spree to burn through as much money as possible. But to spend all the money appropriated, they may have to obligate well over $200 billion more in the final quarter of fiscal 2018, which ends in two weeks.

Pompeo Lied to Congress About Yemen To Protect Arms Sales
(Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)

Mike Pompeo's certification earlier this month that the Saudi coalition was working to reduce harm to civilians in Yemen was an obvious sham. According to The Wall Street Journal, Pompeo made the decision to lie for the Saudis and Emiratis because he feared it would hurt arms sales. The US should not be in the business of arming governments that we know will use them to commit war crimes, and that certainly applies to the Saudis and the UAE as long as the war on Yemen continues.

US-Russia Nuclear Arms Racing: Still Crazy After All These Years
(Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs / TruthDig)

President Vladimir Putin's major address on March 1 to Russia's Federal Assembly was candid about the economic and social challenges facing Russians. What attracted attention in the United States, however, was a detailed description, complete with video animations, of an array of new nuclear weapons delivery systems, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile and an underwater drone. The Pentagon's proposals manifest a commitment to an increasing and long-term reliance on nuclear arms. The review also lowers the threshold for use of nuclear weapons.

How the Top 5 US Arms Makers Fuel Global Conflict
(Valerie Vande Panne / Common Dream)

Most Americans want peace -- in the world, in their country, and in their own homes and communities. So why is it then that so many Americans work for private, for-profit companies profiting from war? And why are so many Americans invested financially in the merchants of death profiting from war and manufactured terror around the globe?

Accessory to War: Neil Degrasse Tyson Defends the Military-Industrial Complex and Trump's Space Force Proposal
(Marcelo Gleiser / National Public Radio & The Tonight Show & Joe Setyon / Reason)

The book's message rings like a wakeup call, even if an uncomfortable one for the pacifists out there. War makes the world go 'round. It heats up the economy, as governments flush private military industries with lucrative contracts. It heats up scientific research, as governmental. Knowledge flows both ways, from the university laboratory to the military and back. Everyone benefits from the unspoken alliance. The great fuel has been the Cold War and the consequent race to conquer space.

The Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
(Mairead Maguire / AntiWar.com)

Commentary by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Mired Maguire: "All armies must have an enemy to deem them necessary. An enemy must be created, and the people must be convinced that there is need for action to safeguard the freedom of their country. We must ask the question: Is this leading to more arms, a bigger NATO? Missile compounds are being erected in Romania, Poland and other ex-Soviet countries, while military games are set up in Scandinavia close to the Russian border."

Americans Would Limit Aid to Nuclear Israel
(Grant Smith / AntiWar.com )

Most Americans would place limitations on US aid to Israel under laws triggered by its nuclear weapons program. When told the CIA believed Israel has nuclear weapons, 54.8% of Americans agreed that Arms Export Control Act limitations to the non-signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) should apply. According to formerly top-secret and secret Central Intelligence Agency files, the US secretly conspired in the 1960s to divert weapons-grade uranium from a Pennsylvania-based government contractor into Israel's nuclear weapons program.

Raytheon, Lockheed and General Dynamics: Complicit in Yemen War Crimes
(Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com & Alex Ward / VOX)

For more than three years, Raytheon, a major US defense contractor, has been aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen, manufacturing the world's worst humanitarian crises and profiting upon the bodies of Yemeni children torn apart by their bombs. Largely hidden from the public, billions of dollars have been made by American arms manufactures in the US backed war in Yemen. Also involved in making the bomb that killed 44 schoolchildren on a bus in Yemen -- Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

US-backed Saudi Warplanes Attack Yemen Bus Station: 20 Civilians Killed
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Leith Aboufadel / Al Masdar News)

US lawmakers' patience with the Saudi coalition is wearing thin as the civilian death toll increases. Outrage increased last month after the coalition struck a school bus and killed 40 children, prompting major Congressional moves to limit involvement in the war. But Secretary of State Pompeo has overruled Congress, certifying Washington's continued refueling of coalition aircraft in the Yemen civil war.

US Support for the Bombing of Yemen To Continue, For Now
(Kevin Martin / AntiWar.com & Jonathan Landay / Reuters)

The humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen is considered the world's worst at this moment, with well over 10,000 people having been killed (an estimated 20 percent are children) and 15 million of the total Yemeni population of 23 million considered "food insecure." Earlier this year, the US Senate filed to stop US in-air refueling of Saudi jets and other logistical, intelligence and targeting support that allows the continued bombing of civilians in Yemen -- killing schoolchildren with bombs made by US-based Lockheed.

Raytheon's War Crimes in Yemen
(Marcelo Guadiana / AntiWar.com)

Largely hidden from the public, billions of dollars have been made by American arms manufactures in the US backed war in Yemen. For more than three years, Raytheon, a major US defense contractor, has been aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen, manufacturing the world's worst humanitarian crises and profiting upon the bodies of Yemeni children torn apart by their bombs.

ACTION ALERT: Betsy DeVos Plans to Let Schools Buy Guns With Federal Funds
(Madhuri Sathish / Bustle & Equality PAC & We Are Progressives.org)

In the months after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 people, conservatives and gun rights advocates suggested that teachers should be allowed to keep firearms in their classrooms. School district leaders in Parkland ultimately voted against arming teachers, but in a letter issued on Friday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she will allow schools to buy guns using federal grants.

Washington Quietly Increases Lethal Weapons to Ukraine
(Ted Galen Carpenter / The American Conservative)

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis acknowledges that US instructors are training Ukrainian military units at a base in western Ukraine. Washington also has approved two arms sales to Kiev's ground forces in the past nine months. The first $41.5 million transaction in December 2017 was limited to small arms -- including the Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories. A transaction in April 2018 was more serious and included 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles.

How Do Weapons Makers Sleep At Night?
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org & Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies / CODEPINK)

A new report by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas Davies focuses on the five largest US arms manufacturers -- Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics -- and their dealings with three repressive nations: Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt, all of which have used US-made weapons from the companies listed above to kill, injure, and traumatize huge numbers of innocent people, committing war crimes both in their own countries and in countries beyond their borders.

The US Has Spent $1.5 Trillion On War Since September 11 Attacks
(Amanda Macias / CNBC & Nabih Bulos / The Los Angeles Times)

US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost taxpayers more than $1.5 trillion since Sept. 11, 2001. US military operations -- for Operation Freedom's Sentinel (Afghanistan), Operation Inherent Resolve (Syria and Iraq), and Operation Noble Eagle {for homeland security in the US and Canada) -- account for $185.5 billion of that. Currently there are around 14,000 Americans in Afghanistan and 70,000 US Special Operations forces have been deployed to 133 nations on missions Americans are not allowed to know about.

US Resists as North Korea Presses for Nuke-free Peace
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & Associated Press)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and suspension of future long-range missile tests, while expressing faith in Donald Trump's increasingly embattled efforts to settle a nuclear impasse. Kim reportedly expressed frustration with skepticism about his nuclear disarmament intentions and demanded that his "goodwill measures" be met in kind.

Growing Calls for US to Stop Fueling Saudi Atrocities in Yemen
(Jake Johnson / Common Dreams & Jon Queally / Common Dreams & ulia Conley / Common Dreams & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)

After the US-backed Saudi-led coalition issued a statement on Saturday calling its deadly bombing of a Yemeni school bus "unjustified" and claiming it was the result of mere "mistakes," human rights groups and progressive lawmakers ramped up calls for the US to immediately halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which has been viciously bombing Yemen for years. Meanwhile, munitions experts confirmed that a Lockheed Martin-produced bomb was behind the deaths the children in the bus attack.

ACTION ALERT: Spain Cancels Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia Amid Yemen Concerns
(Fritz Parra / Associated Press & Amy Frame / Win Without War)

On September 4, Spain cancelled the sale of 400 laser-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia amid fears that the weapons could be used in the Riyadh-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen. The deal was originally signed in 2015 under a conservative government. The new Spanish center-left administration plans to return the 9.2 million euros (10.6 million dollars) already paid by the Saudis. The US should follow Spain's example and cancel further arms sales to the Saudis.

US-backed Saudi-UAE Coalition Admits Yemen School Bus Attack 'Unjustified'
(Al Jazeera)

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have admitted that the bombing of a school bus in Yemen -- which killed 51 people, including 40 children -- was "unjustified." On the day of the attack, a coalition spokesperson insisted the air raid hit a "legitimate military target" that included "operators and planners." Saudi investigators now promise that those behind the mass-slaughter should be held accountable. Lockheed (which made the bomb) and the US (which provided it) also should be held accountable.

Lockheed's F-35 Boondoggle: A $1.7 Trillion Tale of Corruption, Coverup and Collusion
(Gina Harkins / DODBuzz @ Military.com & Dan Grazier / Project on Government Oversight)

Desperate to keep the program on schedule, the Pentagon is downplaying F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flaws that could risk pilots' lives. The F-35s the Pentagon has purchased (and continuities to buy) have hundreds of design flaws. The GAO estimates the DoD will end up spending another $1.4 billion (at least) to correct these flaws. Lockheed holds an exclusive contract to maintain the flawed fleet. With 2,443 F-35s, US taxpayers can expect to be paying Lockheed $12.2 billion a year to keep the aircraft flying.

How Repairing a Single F-22 Took Six Years and 11,000 Replacement Parts
(Oriana Pawlyk / Military.com)

One of the Air Force's oldest F-22 is set to resume flying again after six years of costly repairs. Boeing, Lockheed and the Air Force worked 27 months to overhaul the plane to get it back into flying status. This required 25,000 man-hours of labor and almost 11,000 individual fixes or parts. Air Force officials did not disclose the total cost to repair the aircraft. Unit cost for a single F-22 was around $150 million in 2009 but some estimates put the per-plane cost at closer to $250 million in current-day dollars. ","

ACTION ALERT: Social and Ecological Imperatives of War Abolition & WBW's 2018 #NoWar Conference: Sept. 21-22
(Greta Zarro / World BEYOND War )

World BEYOND War is a decentralized, global grassroots network of volunteers, activists, and allied organizations advocating for the abolition of the very institution of war and its replacement with a culture of peace. Our work follows a two-pronged approach of peace education and nonviolent direct action organizing campaigns. More than 75,000 people from 173 countries have signed our declaration of peace, pledging to work nonviolently for a world beyond war. Join us in Toronto on September 21-22.

New Bill Offers Aid to Vets Injured During 1966 Clean-up of Nuclear Bomb Accident
(Leo Shane III / Military Times & Dave Collins / The Associated Press)

Veterans exposed to radioactive debris more than five decades ago haven't made much progress in the courts to have their illnesses recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs, so now they're hoping Congress can intervene. A bill sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal would force VA to offer care to vets involved the 1966 cleanup of a calamitous nuclear-bomb accident in Palomares, Spain,that may have exposed more than 1,600 American service members to deadly levels of radiation.

US Drone Policy Goes from Bad to Worse: The Stimson Center Report for 2018
(Laurie Calhoun / The Libertarian Institute)

Every two years, the Stimson Center Task Force on US Drone Policy issues recommendations to Washington on the use of weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles -- i.e. "drones." The drone program rests on the premeditated, intentional, extrajudicial assassination of persons (usually Muslim males) suspected of possibly plotting possible future terrorist attacks -- or simply being potentially capable of doing so. Now Trump is rolling back the few existing "restraints" on the use of "assassination drones."

War and Nature: SEJ 17th Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment
(Society of Environmental Journalists)

Pro Publica's series "Bombs In Our Backyards" did exactly what it set out to do, to expose the menace lurking in the nation's neighbourhoods -- the US military, which ironically, is charged with defending the nation. In a sweeping series, journalist Abrahm Lustgarten revealed the military as the biggest polluter not only in the United States, but surely on the planet.

California Passes Trio of Gun Control Bills
(Amanda Michelle Gomez / ThinkProgress)

California could soon join nine other states that have enacted strict bans on firearms for domestic abusers. The Democratic-controlled legislature sent the domestic violence bill, as well as two other measures -- a lifetime ban on people placed on involuntary psychiatric holds twice in one year and new standard for residents to obtain a concealed weapon permit (eight hours of training and pass a live-fire shooting test) -- to Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) desk for consideration.

Study: US Police Militarization Leads to More Violence, Targets Black People

A new study of more than 9,000 US law enforcement agencies has revealed that militarizing police units has a reverse effect on communities, triggering higher levels of violence, distrust towards law enforcement, and discrimination. Unlike local police officers, SWAT teams receive advanced combat training and therefore have a higher commitment to both military equipment and training.

US Bombs Are Killing Children in Yemen. Does Anybody Care?
(Moustafa Bayoumi / The Guardian)

This is not a column about Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen or Robert Mueller. On the contrary, this is a column about the things we are not paying attention to -- and why we should. On 9 August, the US-backed Saudi-led coalition dropped a bomb on a school bus and killed 44 children. Two weeks later, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed yet another 26 children and four women. Under US law (the Arms Export Control Act), future US arms sales to the Saudis should be halted.

Standoff over Syria: US and Russia Trade Chemical Weapons Warnings
(Bloomberg & Japan Times)

The US and Russia exchanged warnings about a possible chemical attack in Syria and a Western military intervention in response, on the eve of what may be one of the decisive campaigns in the Middle Eastern country's civil war. Tensions between the nuclear powers flared after National Security Adviser John Bolton told his Russian counterpart that the US is making preparations to attack Syria if it believes President Assad attempts to use chemical weapons in the battle recapture the province of Idlib. The US is ready to respond forcefully, Bolton said during a five-hour meeting in Geneva on Thursday, according to four people familiar with the discussions.

Leaked Document Reveals: Putin Lobbied Trump on Arms Control
(Bryan Bender / Politico)

According to a Russian document obtained by Politico, during their Helsinki meeting, Vladimir Putin invited Donald Trump to join in discussions to control nuclear arms and prohibit weapons in space. Widespread agreement exists that the US should seize the opportunity to promote the Cold War legacy of arms treaties with Russia. But the Center for Security Policy -- a conservative group headed by Frank Gaffney, an ally of Trump national security adviser John Bolton -- calls Putin's offer in Helsinki "a trap."

Wildfires Exploding WWII Bombs
(James Hetherington / Newsweek & George Winston / War History Online & Adam Higginbotham / The Smithsonian Magazine)

Record heat waves and widespread droughts have left their scars this summer -- from massive wildfires across Siberia to devastating blazes in Greece that left more than 85 people dead. In Germany, firefighters are now encountering a new challenge: WWII-era ammunition being set off by the flames. More than 70 years after being dropped in Europe, the ordnance is still inflicting harm and mayhem.

Space: The Next Battlefield?
(Alice Slater / The Hill & Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters & Mia Gandenberger / Reaching Critical Will & Lawrence J. Korb / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists & Tom Z. Collina and Zack Brown / DefenseOne)

The Trump administration has called for the creation of a new military command, the US Space Force, emphasizing President Donald Trump's urging that "It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space: we must have American dominance in space." The rationale for militarizing the heavens is that Russia and China "have been working to bring new weapons of war into space itself." In fact, Russia and China have been arguing for years for a UN treaty to prevent stationing weapons in outer space.

US Stepping Up Armed Drone Operations in Niger
(Ibrahim Ahmed / VOA News & VICE News)

The US Air Force is months away from completing the construction of an air base in Niger for armed drones that will target militant groups operating in the region. To date, the Air Force has spent approximately $86.5 million on the construction project at Nigerien Air Base 201. The total estimated construction cost, including FY19 planned projects, is $98.5million. Critics warn: "This trend raises some concerns about foreign powers taking roots in the Sahel to pursue national interests that are not always clear."

Russia Warns: US Preparing "False Flag" Chemical Attack as Pretext to Attack Syria
(RT News & Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge & The Saker & Sputnik)

The US, UK and France are preparing new airstrikes on Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that militants are poised to stage a chemical weapons attack to frame Damascus and provide a pretext for strikes. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov warned that eight canisters of chlorine have been delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur to stage the plot. Meanwhile, Trump advisor John Bolton has ominously threatened that any chemical attack would be met with force.

WWIII Fears: US "Test-drops" Nuclear Bomb; Russia Threatens Use of Nuclear Weapons in Syria
(Kris Osborn / The National Interest & Warrior Maven & Matt Drake / The Express)

Russia has warned it may deploy nuclear weapons to Syria in response to the US policy of imposing sanctions over Moscow crossing "red lines", a senior Russian lawmaker has warned. Meanwhile, a USAF B-2 Stealth bomber has test-dropped an upgraded B61-12 nuclear bomb. The Pentagon claims this more "usable" weapon "changes the strategic landscape with regard to nuclear weapons mission possibilities."

US and Russia Continue Plans for a World-ending Nuclear War
(Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge & Anna Nemtsova / The Daily Beast & Nikolay Shevchenko / Russia Beyond & Anton Valagin / Rossiyaskaya Gazeta)

FEMA has significantly updated its nuclear disaster plans. The new scenario has been described as "truly terrifying." The new plan includes preparedness for a scenario involving large-scale thermonuclear detonations -- 100 kiloton to 1,000 kiloton detonations -- "over the 60 largest US cities." In Russia, 40 million people recently participated nuclear-war "defense" drills and massive bunkers have been built below Moscow to shelter millions of civilians in the event of a nuclear attack.

Saudi-led Coalition to "Investigate" Its Own War Crimes: Sen. Warren Demands Answers from Pentagon
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

In the aftermath of a horrific bombing that killed dozens of children aboard a school bus in Yemen, the US urged the US-backed, Saudi- and UAE-led coalition to examine and account for the loss of civilian lives. But as calls for an investigation mount, a new report from Human Rights Watch finds "fundamental problems" with the way the coalition investigates allegations of civilian harm. Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding answers about the US role in aiding the Saudi and UAE bombing campaign in Yemen.

US Army Brass Warns Against Overuse of Drones, But 'Pandora's Box' Already Open
(Sputnik International)

War abolition activist Leah Bolger warns that weaponized drones allow wars to be fought without human combatants actually facing each other, and that's not a good thing. In drone warfare, "we don't really know who we're killing. We don't know what the damage is. We don't know who those people are, or all the 'collateral damage,' as they use that euphemism." EAW offers a selection of videos that reveal the potential threat posed by militarized drones -- from hand-grenade quadcopters to the Pentagon's Predator drones.

US Ignored Call from China and Russia to Sign Treaty to Ban Space War
(Matthew Loffhagen / Outer Places & Joe Pappalardo / Popular Mechanics)

Russian and Chinese diplomats have been lambasting America for refusing to sign the aptly titled "Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space" (PAROS) treaty. Instead, the US is moving forward with tests of all kinds of terrifying weapons, most notably hypersonic rockets. Basically, anything that's ever turned up in a Star Wars movie is fair game in the modern era of very real space war. It's no wonder the Doomsday Clock just ticked forward to two minutes before Nuclear Midnight.

Top-secret War Plan Revealed: US Sought Total Nuclear Annihilation of China and Soviet Union
(The National Security Archive / George Washington University)

Declassified documents obtained by the George Washington University-based National Security Archive reveal that US nuclear war plans during the Johnson administration included the option of a retaliatory strike against nuclear, conventional military, and urban-industrial targets with the goal of destroying the Soviet Union as "a major industrial power" and destroying it as a "viable" society.

How the US Helped Massacre Yemeni Schoolchildren
(Belen Fernandez / Jacobin)

Commentary: Anyone familiar with the United States' track record will be aware that protecting innocents is never really the name of the game. CNN reported that the munition responsible for the school bus massacre in Yemen was a 500-pound "laser-guided MK 82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin," a pillar of the US military-industrial complex. The bomb's provenance is not enormously surprising given the $110 billion US-Saudi defense deal to which Donald Trump gave birth last year in Riyadh.

What Happens if a Navy Aircraft Carrier Is Sunk? Why Do US Navy Ships Keep Crashing?
(Henry Holst / The National Interest & Justin Bachman / Bloomberg)

Any weapon that has a remote chance of hitting a carrier throws a wrench in a plan that may be costing US taxpayers around half a trillion dollars. The sinking of a US aircraft carrier would likely be the defining moment where the era of "perceived" US global military dominance would come to an end. Such an event -- greatly magnified by a 24-hour global news cycle -- would alter the entire globe's political and strategic balance.

'Fat Leonard' Scandal Grows with Indictment of Three More Retired Navy Officials
(Craig Whitlock / The Washington Post & Stars & Stripes)

The worst corruption scandal in Navy history reached new heights Friday as federal prosecutors announced bribery and fraud charges against three retired sailors, including an officer who allegedly took part in a wild two-day party with prostitutes in Tokyo that cost $75,000. A grand jury in San Diego indicted retired Capt. David Haas, 50, of Kailua, Hawaii, on charges that he took $145,000 in bribes from Leonard Glenn Francis, a Singapore-based defense contractor known as "Fat Leonard" in Navy circles.

Are Congress and the White House Reaching Breaking Point on Yemen?
(Eric Eikenberry / Lobe Log)

After a Saudi-led strike killed 40 children in Yemen, a Pentagon spokesperson shrugged: "We may never know if the munition [used] was one that the US sold to them." General Joseph Votel professed the same know-nothingness when he told the Senate that CENTCOM cannot say whether US fuel and US munitions are responsible for airstrikes that are killing civilians. There are growing signs of escalating tension between Congress and the administration over US support for war crimes in Yemen.

Long-buried WWII Bombs Discovered in France, Poland, England, and Hong Kong!
(Agence France-Presse & The New York Times et al.)

A French fishing trawler netted a World War II bomb containing nearly a ton of explosives off a stretch of the Normandy coast where the June 1944 D-Day landings that led to the liberation of occupied France took place. In Germany, a 1,100-pound WWII-era bomb was found one mile from downtown Berlin. In June, a WWII-era bomb was discovered at a US military base in Stuttgart. In February, a WWII bomb was found in the Thames. In May, people were evacuated when a WWII bomb was unearthed in Hong Kong.

The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
(Karl Grossman / Popular Resistance & Bruce Gagnon / Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space)

By removing a single word from legislation governing the military, Congress has laid the groundwork for a major shift in US nuclear defense doctrine and a costly effort to field space-based weaponry. But Washington's obsession over dominating the world from space did not begin with Donald Trump. The Pentagon began planning for a military base on the moon in 1959. In 2006, at a time of historic debt, NASA announced its intention to establish a permanent base on the moon by 2024.

Congress Rushes to Spend Billions on Space Weapons -- Even if They Don't Work
(Tom Z. Collina and Zack Brown / Defense One)

Before the GOP-controlled Congress spends billions of your tax dollars on new, highly controversial weapons in space, you might think it would seek the opinion of the Defense Department. But no. Strange as it may seem, Republicans are rushing ahead with space-based missile interceptors over the objections of the White House and before a Pentagon review on the subject has been completed. The irony is that even a bare-bones Space Force would be ridiculously costly and more likely to foster war than prevent it.

UK Reporter Robert Fisk Reveals Al Qaeda Is Using US Missiles
(Tyler Durden / Zero Hedge)

Veteran Middle East war correspondent Robert Fisk recently published a bombshell report that reveals how US weapons manufactured by American arms manufacturers are winding up in the hands of Al Qaeda fighters inside Syria. Fisk has literally been showing up at arms factories and questioning arms dealers -- including officials at the Saudi Embassy in London -- asking: "Why are your weapons in the hands of terrorists?" The answer is simple: capitalist economics and the profit motive.

US Supplied Lockheed Martin Bomb that Killed 44 Children in Yemen
(AntiWar.com & CNN)

A week after Saudi Arabia attacked a school bus full of children in northern Yemen, killing at least 42 of them, munitions experts are confirming that the bomb itself which hit the bus was provided to the Saudis by the US. The bomb was identified as a US-made MK-82, a 500-pound bomb made by Lockheed Martin and sold to the Saudis during one of the many US arms deals reached in recent years to supply the Saudi war in Yemen.

US, Trump, Raytheon Complicit in Child Slaughter in Yemen
(Katy Kelly / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Helene Cooper / The New York Times)

Why is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spending $200 million per day to bomb Yemen? Many believe the goal is to seize control over "a gold mine" of oil reserves, natural gas, minerals, and a strategic location. The US has provided the Saudis with 6,700 Raytheon missiles -- like the one used in the mass slaughter of 40 Yemeni children in a school bus. Donald Trump claims the right to ignore Congressional requirements that he address Saudi war crimes committed with US funds and bombs.

The US and Napalm: The Burning of Cities; The Incineration of Civilians
(Robert Barsocchini / AntiWar.com & Robert M. Neer / Napalm: An American Biography)

Fire-weapons have been used from ancient times. Napalm-like weapons were used by and against the Romans and Greeks. One term used for them was "wildfire"; another was "Greek fire", as incendiaries were widely used by the Greeks. In Vietnam, images of children horrifically burnt or incinerated by napalm triggered public opposition to the weapon and corporations (particularly Dow Chemical) that produced it. The flaming gel became regarded as a "worldwide synonym for American brutality."

67 Years After America's Atomic Holocaust, Japan's Survivors Still Suffer
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org)

Americans need to acknowledge the holocaust their leaders unleashed on Japan's civilian population. "Some walked or crawled. Some made it to hospitals where others could hear their exposed bones clacking on the floor like high heels. The dead sounded metallic when thrown into trashcans and trucks, sometimes with their children crying and moaning for them nearby. The black rain fell for days, raining death and horror. Those who drank water died instantly. Those who thirsted dared not drink."

ACTION ALERT: Yemeni Children Matter but Does Raytheon Care?
(CODE PINK & David Swanson.org & Common Dreams & George Galloway & CNN)

We've been given a rare opportunity. While the US military has slaughtered innocents by the hundreds of thousands in the Middle East over the past couple of decades, almost never have US television viewers seen images of the victims, in particular images of them alive just moments before death rained down on them. Now we have video footage of dozens of little boys on a bus less than an hour before US-made Raytheon bombs murdered many of them, wounded others, and traumatized survivors.

Trump's "Space Force" No Match for Meteor that Crashed Near US Base in July
(Ellen Mitchell / The Hill & News.com.au)

Defense Secretary James Mattis, who originally opposed plans for a military "space force" now states that he "absolutely" supports the creation of a new space branch for the military. But the proposal for an expanded US military designed to "dominate" the Earth would have been helpless against a meteor-strike like the 2.1 kiloton impact that nearly hit a US military base in Greenland in July. Maybe that explains why the Pentagon has made no mention of the near-miss.

The Secret Agreement that Requires the US to Keep Lying About Israel's Nukes
(Grant Smith / AntiWar.com)

Why does the US give away the lion's share of the foreign aid to a country long known to have a disqualifying secret nuclear weapons program? The last four US presidents have signed a secret "gag order" preventing mention of Israel's nuclear weapons or the US role in creating them. The letter is said to be central for Israel's leader Benjamin Netanyahu because the nuclear arsenal fuels his "sense of impunity, sense of Israel being so powerful, that it can dictate its own terms in the region and beyond."

How Trump and Three Other US Presidents Protected Israel's Worst-Kept Secret: Its Nuclear Arsenal
(Adam Entous / The New Yorker)

When a delegation of senior Israeli officials visited the Trump White House on February 13, 2017, they wanted to discuss several critical issues. Topping the list was a secret letter concerning a subject the Israelis had promised the Americans never to discuss publicly -- Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal. The very existence of the letters have been a closely held secret -- unknown even to incoming presidents. The letter pledges that no future US nuclear arms reduction treaty will address Israel's secret nuclear arsenal.

ACTION ALERT: Today the Saudis Dropped US Bombs on a School Bus Filled with Children!
(CODEPINK & Associated Press & Win Without War & The Hill)

Wounded children, their clothes and schoolbags covered with blood, lay on hospital stretchers. The International Committee of the Red Cross said the hospital in Saada received the bodies of 29 children, all under 15 years old. It also received 48 wounded people, including 30 children. The bombs that killed these children were made in the USA. Their blood is on our hands.

NATO Nuclear Sharing: Handing Out Nuclear Bombs to Our Allies
(Tim Street / Oxford Research Group & Center for Security Studies Blog Network)

This primer explains the role US-owned B61 tactical nuclear weapons play in Europe as part of NATO's nuclear sharing arrangements. The US currently deploys some 180 'tactical' nuclear weapons (B61 gravity bombs) across six bases in five European NATO member states -- Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Turkey. The fragility of Turkey-NATO relations, have raised questions about the costs, benefits, and security of NATO's nuclear sharing programs.

Millions Flow to Pentagon's Banned Contractors Via a Back Door
(Sam Skolnik / Bloomberg Government)

Some of the world's largest companies have benefited from a little-known law that lets the Defense Department override decisions barring contractors accused or convicted of bribery, fraud, theft, and other crimes from doing business with the government. Companies receiving waivers included some accused or convicted of major fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, ethical bidding violations, and in the case of fuel-seller BP, an overall "lack of business integrity."

The Real Reason NATO Exists: It Is a Goldmine for the Military Industrial Complex
(Brian Cloughley / AntiWar.com & NATOWatch)

Donald Trump has ordered members of NATO's military alliance to double spending on weapons, but his reasons have nothing to do with any defense. NATO's members already spend 12 times more on military preparedness than Russia. Russia is a pretext for a spending spree designed to benefit the global weapons industry. Meanwhile, if Trump reduced NATO spending to 2 percent of the US GDP, this could generate a $159 billion peace to meet US health, housing, and infrastructure needs.

ACTION ALERT: Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Global Actions to Abolish Nuclear Arms
(Abolition 2000 & The Global Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & The Basel Peace Office)

The risk of a nuclear war by accident, miscalculation or intent has risen due to unstable leaders and unresolved tensions. August 6 and 9 are the 73rd anniversaries of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. According to the 'Doomsday Clock' the world is just '2 Minutes to Midnight', the closest we have been to nuclear war since the height of the Cold War. Global gatherings will remember the holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please raise your voice and make a difference by abolishing nuclear weapons.

ACTION ALERT: The Appeal of the Hibakusha, Japan's A-bomb Survivors
(Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations)

The Hibakusha Appeal is a signature campaign calling for an international treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons. The average age of the Hibakusha is now over 80 years old, yet the threat of a global nuclear war seems to be growing larger each day. The horrors of "Hell on Earth" that the Hibakusha have experienced should never be repeated again. Signatures will be collected until 2020, or until such a treaty is realized.

UN 'Running Out of Cash' and Facing Urgent Cuts: Retiring Just One Nuclear Missile Could Save the UN's Mission
(The Guardian & The Basel Peace Office & Union of Concerned Scientists)

The UN is facing an unprecedented shortage of funding for its core budget. 112 out of 193 member states have paid their share; the US, Argentina, Syria, Venezuela and Belarus have not. If the US retired just one Trident missile, the money saved could cover the UN deficit. Better yet, if all the nuclear armed States abandoned plans to upgrade their nuclear weapons, the nearly $100 billion saved could be re-directed into job creation, climate protection, education, health, peace, diplomacy and sustainable security.

Daniel Ellsberg Unmasks the Existential Danger of the Nuclear Doomsday Machine
(Paul W. Rea / Environmentalists Against War)

Researcher, writer, and activist Daniel Ellsberg is internationally recognized for blowing the whistle on the outrageous violence in Vietnam. But late in 2017, Ellsberg delivered another disturbing expose -- one that reveals the persistent and growing danger of nuclear weapons. "The Doomsday Machine" emerges from Ellsberg's insider knowledge that atomic weapons on hair-trigger alert for over 60 years ca still -- in less than a half hour, by intent, mistake or a simple error -- bring an end to nearly all life on Earth.

US Secret Wars in Africa Rage on Despite Talk of Downsizing
(Nick Turse /The Intercept)

Last October, four US soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger. Since then, talk of US special operations in Africa has centered on missions being curtailed and troop levels cut. Analysts have already stepped forward to question or criticize the proposed cuts. According to figures provided by US Special Operations Command, 16.5 percent of commandos overseas are deployed in Africa. More US commandos are deployed to Africa than any other region of the world except the Middle East.

Weaponized Keynesianism in Washington
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & William Hartung / TomDispatch )

Commentary: The notion that the Pentagon can play a primary role in boosting employment to any significant degree is largely a myth that serves the needs of the military-industrial complex, not S workers or Donald Trump's base. Until the political gridlock in Washington that prevents large-scale new civilian investments of just about any sort is broken, however, the Pentagon will continue to seem like the only game in town. And we will all pay a price for those skewed priorities, in both blood and treasure.

New War Budget Bans Troop Drawdowns: 10 Senators, 68 Reps Vote "No" on NDAA
(Yonhap News Agency & Office of Rep. Mark DeSaulnier & GovTrack.us)

Congress has passed a defense authorization bill that restricts any drawdown of 28,500 US troops currently stationed in South Korea. The legislation specifically notes that any reduction of forces as "a non-negotiable item as it relates to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization" of North Korea." The budget bill would give an additional $717 billion to the Pentagon. Some politicians are demanding an audit of Pentagon waste (Current estimate: at least $125 billion) before approving a new budget.

The Impacts of Militarism on Climate Change
(Florian Polsterer / University of Luxembourg & the Global Campus Open Knowledge Repository )

The Military-Industrial-Media and Entertainment Complex, is possibly the world's biggest producer of greenhouse gases and ecological degradation. Regardless of whether it is during war or peacetime, the world's armed forces consume enormous amounts of fossil fuels and produce immense quantities of toxic waste. According to the Treadmill of Destruction Theory, war is waged mainly to secure the natural resources needed to fight wars -- thereby creating a self-perpetuating cycle of destruction.

Final Defense Bill Would Limit US Support to Saudi Campaign in Yemen
(Rebecca Kheel / The Hill)

The final version of this year's defense policy bill -- the National Defense Authorization Act -- would put conditions on the US refueling of Saudi Arabian and Emirati planes bombing Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015. The US has supported the Saudis with billions of dollars in arms sales, intelligence sharing and logistics like air refueling. But Capitol Hill has grown increasingly frustrated as the civilian death toll rises, mostly caused by Saudi airstrikes.

Pentagon Moves to Make It Easier to Buy and Use US Weapons to Kill Civilians
(AntiWar.com & Defense News & The Intercept)

The Pentagon is considering lowering a transportation fee for foreign buyers of American defense goods as part of a broader push to lower the cost and hurdles for foreign military sales. At the same time, arms control experts are raising concerns about a possible loophole in the Trump administration's new arms export policy, arguing that it gives the administration further cover to sell weapons to some of the world's worst human rights violators.

Lobbyists Rejoice as US Arms Sales Soar as Trump Tells NATO Nations to Double Their Spending on Weapons
(RT News)

The US has sold more weapons to its foreign allies in the first six months of the year than in the whole of 2017 much to the delight of military industrial complex lobbying groups. But, as the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas notes, increased weapons spending championed by Donald Trump at the NATO summit will not make the world safer. What is needed, instead, is "respect for international order."

War No Longer Works: Except for Military Profiteering
(Tom Streithorst / The American Conservative & George D. O'Neill, Jr. / The American Conservative)

Commentary: The US spends more on its military than all its enemies put together yet it still can't win wars. Failed adventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have drained America's power and diminished its prestige. The bloated Pentagon budget only makes us weaker. And here's the weird bit: nobody seems to care. War in America today is nothing but a combination of show business and fiscal stimulus. No wonder we can't win. It is time for the US to stop its wasteful wars with Russia as a constructive partner.

Trump's Space Force: Military Profiteering's Final Frontier
(Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive & Karl Grossman / CounterPunch)

Donald Trump has announced a new mission into the realm of martial excess -- a "sixth military branch" to be known as the Space Force. Trump's plan will enrich the aerospace industry by spreading the global battlefield to a new dimension. If Trump gets his way on formation of a Space Force, the heavens would become a war zone filled with armed, nuclear-powered satellites carrying hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons. Inevitably, there would be military conflict in space.

7 Americans Among Those Arrested for Invading and Occupying a US Nuke Base in Germany
(Atom Bomb-free Buchel & Pressenza.com & International Peace Bureau)

On July 15, 2018, 18 people from the US (7), Germany (6), The Netherlands (4) and England (1) cut through fences to reclaim German Air Force Base Buchel, which hosts about 20 US nuclear bombs. The activists cut through razor wire and some other fences and several made it to the runway. Three activists walked to a nuclear weapons bunker, and climbed up to the top where they went undetected for an hour.

US Politicians Attack US-Russia Detente because The War Economy Needs an "Enemy"
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Eric Beech / Reuters & Patrick J. Buchanan / AntiWar.com)

Trump has long expressed interest in improving ties with Russia, and this summit was actually one of his first real opportunities at doing so. Russian President Putin revealed in an interview that he had promised Donald Trump that Russia was prepared to extend the New START nuclear treaty, which is set to expire in 2021. Yet it will be difficult for this progress to have any permanence with pro-war politicians in both parties (many beholden to the profiteering of Cold War militarism) so united in undermining it.

Trump and Putin Have a Chance to Revive Promise to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
(The Institute for Public Accuracy & Michael T. Klare / The Nation & Reuters & The National Security Archive)

Russia offered to end the arms race and begin to abolish nuclear weapons 30 years ago. The US ignored the offer. Ronald Reagan was reportedly sympathetic to Mikhail Gorbachev's call for an end to the costly and dangerous nuclear arms race but hard-liners within the administration secretly intervened and sabotaged what might have been a historic opportunity to turn the world away from military conflicts and towards a new era of peace and diplomacy.

It's Time to Cut the Pentagon's Weapons Contractors Loose
(National Priorities Project & Fox News & Political Economy Research Institute)

The average American taxpayer will have paid $14,520 in federal income taxes for 2017. And one of the biggest items on your tax receipt is the US military. Almost half of the military budget -- and 11 cents out of every tax dollar you pay -- goes to corporations whose military contracts brought in more than $300 billion in 2017. Lockheed Martin gets more federal funding in a year than your whole state probably does -- more than the US spends on K-12 education; way more than the government spends to cure cancer.

US Airstrike Kills at Least 28 Civilians inside Syria
(AntiWar.com & Deutsche Welle)

US and coalition planes in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor attacked a village along the Iraqi border and killed scores of innocent civilians. The airstrike in an area of eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State killed at least 28 civilians who were sheltering in an ice factory. Syrian state media blamed the US-led coalition for carrying out the strike.

Fanning the Flames -- The Environmental Impact of Gaza's Incendiary Kites
(Doug Weir / Conflict and Environment Observatory)

The 8th July marked 100 days since the first homemade incendiary kites were launched over Israel from Gaza. It also saw Israel promising punitive measures against Gaza in retaliation. As tensions continue to escalate, this blogs looks at the impact of Palestinian incendiary kites on the environment.

On the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Proliferation Treaty: An Exercise in Bad Faith
(Alice Slater / World BEYOND War)

On July 1, the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will turn 50 years old. In that agreement, five nuclear weapons states -- the US, Russia, UK, France, and China -- promised, a half a century ago, to make "good faith efforts" to give up their nuclear weapons, while non-nuclear weapons states promised not to acquire them. Every country in the world agreed to join the treaty except for India, Pakistan, and Israel. Despite the passage of 50 years, there are still about 15,000 nuclear weapons on our planet.

South Korean Villagers Tell the Pentagon: 'No Nukes, No THAAD'
(AntiWar.com & Jeongmin Kim / Reuters)

For the past 680 days, hundred of residents from the small farming village of Soseong-ri have been taking shifts around the clock to try to block US vehicles traveling to the site of a proposed US anti-missile launch site. They have a simple message for Washington: "No Nukes; No THAAD." With peace progress being made with North Korea, there is a feeling that THAAD (which President Moon never authorized to deploy in the first place) is no longer needed.

Italy's Populist Coalition Divests from Pentagon and Lockheed; Cancels F-35 Order
(Reuters & US News and World Report)

Italy will not buy more Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and is considering whether to stick to the order to which it is already committed, Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta said. Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement has always been critical of NATO member Italy's order for 90 of the planes, saying the money could be better spent inside Italy to boost social welfare and help stimulate the sluggish economy.

Warships Sailing on Dying Oceans
(Sophie M. Lavoie / NB Media Coop)

Tamara Lorincz asked a Fredericton audience if it would be happy to take leave of the planet while sailing on a warship in a lifeless ocean. "Federal budgets are "moral documents" and our priorities are not on the environment. What about environmental and human security? Do we want to spend 'the precious reserves' we have on military spending? The environment is essential to our sustained survival and there is a need for peaceful alternatives."

US Bombs Are Killing Civilians in Yemen and Making New Enemies for America
(Jane Ferguson / PBS News Hour)

War rains down from the sky in Yemen, where an aerial bombing campaign by Saudi-led and American-backed coalition hammers much of the north. The US military supports the campaign against the Houthi rebels with logistics and intelligence, and sells the Saudis many of the bombs it drops on that country. Special correspondent Jane Ferguson smuggled herself across front lines to report this series.

Germany: Protest Demands Closure of Ramstein US Airbase
(EBLNews & Stars & Stripes & Sputnik News & RT Deutsch)

Thousands of anti-war protesters and peace activists attempted to block the entrance to the Pentagon's Ramstein Airbase near the German city of Kaiserslautern on Saturday. One US protestor explained the base is "absolutely necessary for the US drone wars that under German law are considered illegal." Another American taking part in the nonviolent protests added: "The drone killing that the US is doing is totally barbaric and immoral, and we need to stop it."

Protests and Activism on the 50th Anniversary of the Non-Proliferation Treaty
(Alice Slater / Pressenza & Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Common Dreams)

On July 1, the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will turn 50 years old. In that agreement, five nuclear weapons states -- the US, Russia, UK, France, and China -- promised, a half a century ago, to make "good faith efforts" to give up their nuclear weapons, while non-nuclear weapons states promised not to acquire them. Every country in the world agreed to join the treaty except for India, Pakistan, and Israel which then went on to develop their own nuclear arsenals.

Trump's Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes And No One Is Talking About It
(Lee Camp / TruthDig & Whitney Webb / Mint Press)

Commentary: Over 8 years, George W. Bush's military dropped 70,000 bombs on five countries -- and another three nations the US was not even "at war" with. In Trump's first year, he has dropped 44,096 bombs -- 80 times more than Bush. We are a rogue nation with a rogue military and an unaccountable ruling elite. The government and military you and I support are murdering people every 12 minutes. In response to this crime against humanity, there's nothing but silence.

Failure to Launch: Trump's Call for a Space Force Unrealistic and Dangerous
(Philip Giraldi / The UNZ Review)

Commentary: Instead of arming outer space, Washington should be working with other countries that have capabilities in that region to demilitarize exploration and both commercial and government exploitation. Everyone has an interest in not allowing outer space to become the next site for an arms race, though admittedly working with other countries does not appear to be something that the Trump Administration enters into lightly. Or at all.

Trump's Proposed New Space Force Must Fly over Many Hurdles
(Tom Roeder / The Gazette)

Donald Trump may have ordered the Pentagon to clear the way for a new space force last week, but experts caution that the military is a long way from reaching that final frontier. Even if Congress, which has been resistant to similar proposals in the past, signs off on creating the new service, details as numerous as stars in the Milky Way must be worked out. And fundamental questions remain -- including whether the new force is even needed.

DOD to Outsource Drone Killing to Corporate America
(Joseph Trevithick / The Drive)

The US Navy has awarded General Atomics a contract worth more than $39.5 million to fly its own MQ-9 Reaper drones to keep watch over a US Marine task force in Afghanistan, a possible plan The War Zone was first to report on in January 2018. The deal comes as the Marines are sending personnel to train with the US Air Force on operating these same drones as the former service moves ahead in developing its own large, multi-purpose unmanned aircraft.

New Contractors Selected For Expanded Nuclear Weapons Production
(Nuclear Watch New Mexico)

On June 8, 2018, the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration announced its choice for the new management and operating contract for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The new contractor, Triad National Security, LLC, is a limited liability company consisting of the Battelle Memorial Institute, the University of California, and Texas A&M University. All three are non-profits.

Kings Bay Plowshares: US Indicted for Global Nuclear Terror
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

On April 4, 2018, the Kings Bay Plowshares Seven, three women and four men, all Catholics, carried out a nonviolent, symbolic action, pouring blood on the world's largest nuclear submarine base and indicting the US for the crime of holding the world hostage to the terrorist threat of nuclear war. The US crime that began in 1945 has reached new intensity with Donald Trump's years of casual rhetoric threatening nuclear holocaust on targets from ISIS to North Korea.

Report Says Over 1 Billion Small Arms in World -- Nearly Half in the US
(Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press)

There are over 1 billion firearms in the world today, including 857 million in civilian hands -- with American men and women the dominant owners, according to a study released Monday. The Small Arms Survey says 393 million of the civilian-held firearms, 46 percent, are in the United States, which is "more than those held by civilians in the other top 25 countries combined."

New Contractors For Expanded Nuclear Weapons Production
(Nuclear Watch New Mexico)

The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration recently announced its choice for the new $2.5 billion management and operating contract for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The new contractor, Triad National Security, LLC, is a limited liability company consisting of the Battelle Memorial Institute, the University of California and Texas A&M University. All three are non-profits -- two are supposed "institutes of higher learning." Make that "institutes of higher earning."

Pentagon Openly Refuses to End Korean Military Exercises
(Jamie McIntyre / The Washington Examiner)

The Pentagon is openly refusing to end war rehearsals in Korea despite Trump's announcement. The US military is making plans to restructure, scale down, and reschedule military training with South Korea, maintaining that training would continue -- just without the high-profile "in-your-face" exercises with aggressive code names like "Max Thunder" and "Key Resolve." We need to end all "war games" in the region and begin withdrawal of all US troops stationed in South Korea.

Recent US and Russia Accused of Killing Civilians in Syria
(Brett Wilkins / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera)

Amnesty International reports that US and coalition warplanes have pounded areas of Syria's Deir Ezzor and al-Hasaka -- provinces controlled by Islamic State militants -- reportedly killing around 100 civilians, including more than 30 children. Local media reported the victims included children as young as five months old. Meanwhile, air attacks believed to have been carried out by Russia on a Syrian village killed at least 44 people, inflicting the highest death toll in a single attack on the region this year.

Even Though Google Cancelled Pentagon Maven, Drone Deal Concerns Continue
(Marco Margaritoff / The Drive & the Institute for Public Accuracy & Yasha Levine / Surveillance Valley)

Google will officially not renew its contract with a Pentagon drone project after it expires, according to Bloomberg, following protests by the tech company's staff and the ensuing publicity. But does that mean an end to Pentagon experiments with drones and artificial intelligence. Apparently no. Now is the time for scientists, engineers and employees to stand up and refuse to work of these anti-human projects designed to project force, power, and control by spying on and murdering "designated targets."

Google and Other Companies Must Endorse Ban on Killer Robots and Military Contracts
(Campaign to Stop Killer Robots)

Google and its parent company Alphabet are starting to address some ethical concerns raised by the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, but, as yet, have not taken a position on the unchecked use of autonomy and AI in weapon systems. These and other technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle, should publicly endorse the call to ban fully autonomous weapons and commit to never help develop these weapons.

Academics Protest Google's Role in Drone Murders
(Andre Damon / World Socialist Web Site)

Three prominent technology scholars published an open letter Monday, which has now received over 900 signatures, condemning Google's collaboration with the Pentagon's illegal "targeted killing" program. The academics published their letter in support of over 3,100 Google employees who issued their own open letter last month protesting the company's participation in a Pentagon program called Project Maven.

Google and Other Companies Must Endorse Ban on Killer Robots and Military Contracts
(Campaign to Stop Killer Robots)

Google and its parent company Alphabet are starting to address some ethical concerns raised by the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, but, as yet, have not taken a position on the unchecked use of autonomy and AI in weapon systems. These and other technology companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle, should publicly endorse the call to ban fully autonomous weapons and commit to never help develop these weapons.

Will Pentagon's Billion-dollar Bombers Go the Way of the Dodo?
(William J. Astore and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)

Did you know the US Air Force is working on a new stealth bomber? Don't blame yourself if you didn't, since the project is so secret that most members of Congress aren't privy to the details. (Talk about stealthy!) Known as the B-21 Raider, it's designed to carry thermonuclear weapons as well as conventional missiles and bombs. A $100 billion boon for Northrop Grumman, the plane's primary contractor, the procurement of 200 B-21s is likely to prove a bust for the American taxpayer.

Team Bolton: Do These Guys Prefer War With North Korea?
(Doug Bandow / The American Conservative)

Commentary: "When Lord Acton coined the phrase "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," he might have had America in mind. Never mind US leaders' professed good intentions: possession of extraordinary military power continues to lead otherwise sensible people to pursue dangerous, even monstrous policies. So it is with North Korea."

Largest Theft in History: Pentagon Lost $21 Trillion in the Name of "National Security"
(RT News)

The first-ever audit of the Pentagon (which is taking 2,400 auditors to do the job) is trying to determine what happened to $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments. Evidence suggests the Pentagon has misplaced more money than the GDP of the whole of the United Kingdom! In the latest instance of negligent bookkeeping at the Pentagon, its Defense Logistics Agency has failed to account for more than $800mn intended for construction projects and has spent more than $5.6 trillion on wars since 9/11.

US Defense Stocks Skyrocket Thanks to America's Adventures in the Middle East

Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon stocks have enjoyed the fruits of the Arab Spring. Since 2011, the shares of US defense contractors have soared by as much as 700 percent. Lockheed Martin, the maker of fighter jets including the trillion-dollar F-35, has enjoyed a five-fold increase in market cap, with company shares soaring from $69 in 2011 to the current $351. Producer of Tomahawk missiles, Raytheon, has also grown more by than 500 percent from $40.76 to $227 per share.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to Block Bomb Sales to War Criminals in Yemen
(Win Without War & Alex Emmons / The Intercept & Al Jazeera)

The heartbreaking humanitarian crisis in Yemen fueled by our tax dollars is taking a horrific turn for the worse. Already, the Saudi-led coalition has driven 8 million Yemenis to the brink of starvation and let loose the worst cholera epidemic in history -- all with direct US support. Instead of demanding Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain stop this brutal offensive and negotiate peace, Trump wants to sell them $2 billion in more bombs for Yemen.

France Promotes Israeli-made Rifles Used in Gaza Massacres
(David Cronin / The Electronic Intifada)

The maker of rifles used during Israel's recent massacres in Gaza will soon exhibit its products at an arms fair sponsored by the French government. Amnesty International's investigations have identified the Tavor as likely to have been one of the main guns fired by Israeli snipers attacking Palestinian demonstrators over the past two months. As the manufacturer of that rifle, Israel Weapon Industries ought to be blacklisted by every country which professes concern for human rights.

Dan Ellsberg on What Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Don't Know About Their Own Standoff
(George Perkovich / The Atlantic & Defense One)

It's getting harder to see how Trump and Kim can make the mutual accommodations necessary for diplomacy to succeed. In fact, beneath the surface, the current situation resembles the prelude to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, which historical research continues to show was much more dangerous than anyone knew at the time. The question is, will the military hold the president back from his impulsiveness? The fear is, they can't hold him back. Who has ever told this president "You can't do this"?

A Multinational Peace Vigil in Japan Brings Hope for Peace in Korea
(Joseph Essertier / World BEYOND War)

On May 26, 2018, a multinational group of Japanese, Korean and American activists gathered at the Hope Square next to the Fountain of Hope in Nagoya City, for a candlelight vigil in support of the peace process underway in Korea. People in Japan are jumping on the "peace train" headed for an end to the Korean War.

Parading the Pro-war Myth: The Illusion of War Without Casualties
(Nicolas J.S. Davies / Consortium News and Mint Press News)

Commentary: The latest broadcast of the widely watched Academy Awards ceremony was interrupted by a special presentation devoted to films about war-- "American Sniper," "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty." To pretend to a worldwide audience in 2018 that the US war machine is "fighting for freedom" in the countries it attacks or invades was an absurdity that could only add insult to injury for millions of survivors of US coups, invasions, bombing campaigns and hostile military occupations all over the world.

The Butterfly Effect: How One Small Action Could Trigger a Nuclear War; US Missile Crews on LSD
(Eric Ortiz/ TruthDig & Robert Burns / The Associated Press & Military.com)

Two young artists from Greece, Spiros Nobilakis and Eugenia Koumaki, created a graphic novel comic to show the interconnectedness of our world and how one small action can have disastrous consequences -- including an out-of-control nuclear war. Case in point: Service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles were caught using LSD and other mind-altering drugs. The activity -- at Warren Air Force Base, a highly secure military base in Wyoming -- went undetected for months.

ACTION ALERT: Protest BlackRock's Investments in Washington's Global War Machine
(Mehreen Kasana / Independent Media Institute & Chelsia Rose Marcius and Rich Shapiro / New York Daily News & CODEPINK)

According to the progressive anti-war and women-led Code Pink, it's time for BlackRock -- the world's most powerful private equity giant -- to cease making a "killing on killing." It must be held accountable for its massive investments in the manufacturing of deadly weapons both within the United States and around the world. Code Pink's Divest from the War Machine campaign notes that the weapons BlackRock invests in are killing innocent civilians "in places like Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq."

Houses Passes $717 Billion Military Spending Bill; Pentagon Speeds Up Arms Exports
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Patrick Tucker / Defense One)

In a 351-66 vote, the House of Representatives passed their version of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, a military spending bill that would pour $717 billion over the next fiscal year into operations to support the military, its wars, and nuclear arms. The NDAA would assure that the US remains by far the world's largest exporter of arms -- with Saudi Arabia a top customer. Another beneficiary: Ukraine, whose Russia-friendly government was toppled by a US-backed, rightwing coup.

Probe Says MH17 Downed by Russian Missile: Russia Refutes Claim
(Mike Corder / Associated Press & RT News & Xinhua News)

The missile used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 aboard, belonged to a Russia-based military unit, an international team of investigators said Thursday. Moscow has rejected any involvement in the crash of flight MH17 after the Netherlands and Australia declared Russia "responsible" for the deployment of a BUK missile system that downed the jet in 2014. Russia was not allowed to take part in the investigation of the controversial crash.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Cancels Summit with Kim. Tell Congress It's Time to Step In
(Win Without War & CNN & Agence France-Presse & The Telegraph & Fox)

The sinkhole that is Donald Trump's foreign policy got even bigger this morning when he abruptly cancelled his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, scrapping plans for what would have been a historic diplomatic summit to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. We can't let that happen. We need to make it clear that Congress and the American people remain fully committed to diplomacy, not war, with North Korea.

The 1994 "Agreed Framework": How US-North Korea Diplomacy Promised Peace, Stability and Denuclearization
(The Arms Control Association & The Washington Post & The Guardian & The Conversation )

In 1994, Bill Clinton and North Korea's Kim Jong-Il secured a "Agreed Framework" that put an end to the North's nuclear weapons program in exchange for US financial aid and assistance with energy technology. By 2000, North Korea was on the verge of agreeing to a historic document that would have denuclearized the Korean Peninsula. If Al Gore had been declared winner of the 2000 presidential election, that might have happened. Instead, George W. Bush's hawks took control and scrapped the agreement.

ACTION ALERT: First-person Shooter Games, the US Military, and Serial Killers: Outlaw Violence Porn:
(Pat Elder / World BEYOND War)

This is distressing "must read" story reveals a common thread among America's mass-killers: they tend to be socially awkward young men transfixed by violent videogames -- the same games the Pentagon employs to encourage young boys to become armed "warriors." Is anyone organizing to censor and outlaw "violence porn," the way society has done for sexual pornography? Our military should not be allowed to rely on these "games" to cultivate the "best murderers" for recruitment into real-time killing.

Nuclear Weapon States' Plot to Scuttle the Landmark UN Conference
(Alyn Ware / InDepthNews)

Commentary: May 14, 2018 was supposed to see the opening at the United Nations of a three-day High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, scheduled to discuss "effective nuclear disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including, in particular, on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons." But right at the moment when such a conference is needed the most, it has surprisingly been postponed to an uncertain future date.

Pentagon Running Out of Bombs to Drop on Other Countries
(Aaron Mehta / Defense News)

The Pentagon plans to invest more than $20 billion in munitions in its next budget. But whether the industrial base will be there to support such massive buys in the future is up in the air -- at a time when America is expending munitions at increasingly intense rates. Adding to the challenge, many key US weapons suppliers are foreign-owned -- the US no longer has the domestic capability to produce certain vital parts and materials -- setting up the risk that a conflict with China could rely on Chinese-made parts.

Israeli Snipers Kill Unarmed, Defenseless People: Isn't That Murder?
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: From an Israeli perspective, Palestinians committed original sin by merely existing. From a Palestinian perspective, Israelis committed original sin by merely existing. They are both right, in a narrow sense that is useless for moving forward. Neither has any moral authority in a wider perspective. But where does one go to find any wider perspective?

ACTION ALERT: Support for Nuclear Ban Treaty Growing in the US and Around the World
(NuclearBan.US & The International Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons (ICAN))

This Treaty, which prohibits the development, testing, production, deployment, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, was adopted by 122 countries at the UN on 7 July 2017. The US and other nuclear weapon possessor states boycotted the negotiations and have been pressuring other countries not to sign the Treaty. Activists in the US want cities, states, businesses, universities, faith communities, and individuals to defy the US and join the rest of the world to ban nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

155 Nations Call for Global Denuclearization: US and 34 Other Nations Refuse
(International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

155 states -- four-fifths of all UN member and observers states -- have rejected any role for nuclear weapons in their military postures. Nuclear-free security strategies are the norm, not the exception. The five nuclear-weapons states parties to the NPT (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States) are sabotaging the Treaty. They are not taking action to move towards nuclear disarmament, as agreed to under their Treaty obligations.

Unless Strict Laws Are Passed, "Killer Drones" Will Eventually Appear in US Skies
(Ted Rall / Ted Rall.com & The Progressive Populist)

We have succumbed, in recent years, to technological passivity, the assumption that there's nothing we can (or should) do about what an older generation used to call "progress." But that's not true. War goes on, yet most of the world's nations came together to ban landmines and chemical weapons. Drones should be banned too: military drones as well as recreational ones. In 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the feds have the right to launch military drone strikes against American citizens on US soil.

ACTION ALERT: In 2018 the Number of US School Children Gunned Down Has Been Twice as High as Number of US Soldiers Killed in Combat
(The Washington Post & Vox News & Vox News & Credo Action)

The school shooting near Houston on Friday bolstered a stunning statistic: More people have been killed at schools this year than have been killed while serving in the military. America's firearm deaths total more than 32,000 each year. The number of American soldiers killed in all of 2017: 34. A new petition The petition -- directed to Republicans in Congress -- reads: "Put your constituents before the National Rifle Association. Take immediate action to pass gun control legislation."

Israel's Attacks on Protesters Leave Gaza's Hospitals on Brink of Collapse
(Halla al-Safadi / Middle East Eye)

The scenes at the emergency entrances at Gaza's hospitals are not for the faint-hearted. Wailing ambulances rush into hospital emergency gates and bloody casualties who were given quick first aid treatment are pulled out of the vehicles, each person hoping to be saved and not fall victim to Gaza's poorly equipped hospitals. Many of the surviving protestors will end up suffering infections and losing limbs.

Major Trump Blunder Threatens US-North Korea Summit
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Phil Stewart / Reuters & CNBC)

The Max Thunder US aerial exercises in South Korea were cited on Tuesday as North Korea's reason for cancelling talks with the South, and led to warnings about the US summit. Most of the world was relatively surprised that the major exercises had happened at all. Meanwhile, North Korea has a message for US President Donald Trump ahead of next month's summit: Don't listen to your new hard-line national security adviser, John Bolton.

ACTION ALERT: Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract
(Kate Conger / Gizmodo & Win Without War)

It's been nearly three months since many Google employees -- and the public -- learned about the company's decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, Google employees are resigning in protest over the company's continued involvement in Maven. They are insisting that Google shouldn't be involved in military work at all.

Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract
(Kate Conger / Gizmodo)

It's been nearly three months since many Google employees -- and the public -- learned about the company's decision to provide artificial intelligence to a controversial military pilot program known as Project Maven, which aims to speed up analysis of drone footage by automatically classifying images of objects and people. Now, Google employees are resigning in protest over the company's continued involvement in Maven. They are insisting that Google shouldn't be involved in military work at all.

Washington Prepares to Sell Saudis More Weapons After US Bombs Used to Attack a Wedding Party in Yemen
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept & Aric Toler / Bellingcat.com)

Last month, warplanes belonging to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen repeatedly bombed a wedding party in the northern part of the country, killing more than 20 people, including the bride, and injuring dozens of others. The bomb responsible for the massacre contained a serial number tying it to the US-based weapons manufacturer Raytheon. Congress should finally make clear that the US government is no longer willing to reward Saudi abuses with more arms, nor risk US complicity in war crimes.

Israel Nudges Trump Towards War With Iran
(Robert W. Merry / The American Conservative)

Commentary: If you want to know what's really going on in the Middle East, don't watch Donald Trump, instead watch Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader is promoting the impression that Iran has initiated a series of threats along Israel's boarders. This is nonsense. It was Israel, not Iran, that initiated military action in the ongoing tensions between the two countries -- by repeatedly breaching international law by sending jets and missiles to attack targets inside Syria's borders.

Gina Haspel's Legacy: Waterboarding, Up-Close-and-Personal
(Jessica Schulberg and Igor Bobic / The Huffington Post & Fatima Boudchar / The New York Times & Jessica Schulberg / The Huffington Post)

Recalling his experience with waterboarding, a former Army interrogator testified: "You've got water in your lungs, your brain is on fire, your nasal cavity is on fire, your throat is completely swollen up." Appearing at her confirmation hearing in Washington, former CIA torture administrator Gina Haspel pledged not to revive the spy agency's interrogation operation -- but she wouldn't condemn the CIA's past use of torture. This was no comfort to her victims.

Say Goodbye to the Iran Deal and Hello to a "Polynuclear" Middle East<
(Ezra Friedman / The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

Commentary: A recent simulation conducted by the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies and the RAND Corporation confirm that a US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal will likely lead to increased instability. If the current trajectory of events continues, it will likely result in the proliferation of nuclear technology and programs in the region that could very easily lead the world down a road of no return -- to a polynuclear Middle East.

Israel Attacks Syria: Attack Called Biggest Strike in Decades
(Associated Press & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Haaretz )

While Israeli officials continue to insist they don't "seek escalation" in Syria, they have been precipitously escalating the conflict along the border -- repeatedly violating Syrian airspace with fighter jets and bombs attacks that have killed scores of people on the ground. After Syria responded by launching 20 missiles , Israel carried out strikes against dozens of Syrian targets in an attack called Israel's most extensive attack on Syria in decades. The Israeli military has warned Syria not to respond to its attacks.

Ending Wars, Not 'Winning' Them, Should Be America's Goal
(William J. Astore / AntiWar.com & Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)

Commentary: You can't win wars that should never have been fought. The US should never have fought the Iraq and Afghan wars, nor should we have fought the Vietnam War. The challenge is not about reforming the US military so that it can win wars. Americans must reform our culture and our government so that we can avoid wars, even as we end the ones we're in. For constant warfare is the enemy of democracy and the scourge of freedom.

A Soldier's Ten Commonsense Suggestions for Making Peace, Not War
(William J. Astore / TomDispatch )

The Defense Department (or more correctly, the "War Department") hasn't won a victory since the end of WWII in 1945. Yet today, America is waging (and losing) a war on terror in 76 countries and renewing preparations for a struggle against peer competitors Russia and China. With more than a quarter-million US troops stationed at more than 800 bases in 172, the lack of clear victories since then seems to faze no one in Washington. If the US is not winning wars, why does it still need to fight them?

The Origins of Washington's Permanent War Economy
(Thomas K. Duncan and Christopher J. Coyne / The Independent Review)

The military-industrial complex that Dwight D. Eisenhower (1961) warned of has become a vast network of expanded political power, enlarged profits, and increased state authority. National security, in terms of dollars, mentality, and interests, has bled into nearly every aspect of American life, into nearly every federal department, into domestic and international humanitarian efforts, and even into domestic policing. So, how did this permanent war economy emerge?

A Contest of Competing Timelines: Tehran Says Israel's Netanyahu Lied
(BBC & Al-Akhbar English)

Iran has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "liar" after he accused [Iran] of deceiving the world about its nuclear intentions. Mr. Netanyahu produced what he said were copies of Iranian files detailing a project to build nuclear weapons, which was reportedly mothballed 15 years ago. Iran said it had never sought to build a bomb when it signed an international deal to curb nuclear activity in 2015.

Denuclearization Means the US, Too
(Jeffrey D. Sachs / Project Syndicate)

There are two types of foreign policy: one based on the principle "might makes right," and one based on the international rule of law. The United States wants to have it both ways. This approach is doomed to fail. As Jesus declared, "all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." Rather than perishing, it's time to hold all countries -- including the US -- accountable to the international rules of nuclear non-proliferation.

Arms Trade War: Turkey Threatens US -- For Not Providing Turkey with Weapons
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tuvan Gumrukcu / Reuters / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is warning that Turkey is prepared to retaliate against the United States if Congress goes through with a plan to halt the sales of US weapons to Turkey. Turkey has been openly threatening to attack US forces within Syria for backing the Kurdish YPG. The US is also irked that Turkey recently bought a Russian S-400 air defense system, choosing it over more expensive US-made options.

Military Aircraft Crashes: A Growing Threat to Civilians Around the World
(Dahr Jamail / Truthout)

The US military maintains bases in at least 80 countries around the world. The military "doesn't give a damn" about the damage it does, both at home and abroad, but that this isn't big news. They've got a huge fraction of the population sucked into the nearly religious belief that the military is important to their safety . . . it isn't. It's for wrecking other countries and other cultures. Its core competency is death and destruction in the name of Wall Street."

11% of Every US Tax Dollar Goes to War Contractors

Almost half of the military budget -- and 11 cents out of every tax dollar -- goes to corporations. Military contracts pulled in more than $300 billion in 2017. The average taxpayer contributes twice as much to military contractors in 2017 ($1,600) as the amount paid to care for all military vets, from WW II to kids just returning from Syria and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, new research finds federal spending on domestic programs creates far more American jobs and yields more broad-based benefits than military spending.

In the Steps of Rev. King and Dan Berrigan: Peace Activists Jailed for Targeting Militarism
(World Beyond War & Art Laffin / Pax Christi USA )

On April 4, the 50 anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., seven peace activists entered the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. Carrying hammers and bottles of their own blood, they sought to enact and embody the prophet Isaiah's command to: "Beat swords into plowshares." For upholding the Constitution (through its requirement to respect treaties) and international law (through the UN Charter and Nuremberg Principles) they are now imprisoned and awaiting trial on May 10.

Why Trump's Boasts About the Korea Summit Are Premature
(Robin Wright /The New Yorker & Reader Supported News)

Commentary: An agreement between North Korea and the US will need to include a detailed roadmap for a way forward, including each side's concessions. Seoul will likely press Washington to mirror the optimism and vision we saw at Panmunjom. It remains unclear if the Trump Administration will go along with symbolism or focus on specifics and substance.

Artificial Intelligence Would Raise the Risks Nuclear War
(Patrick Tucker / Defense One & Edward Geist and Andrew J. Lohn / RAND Corp)

A new RAND report says ideas like mutually assured destruction and minimal deterrence strategy offer a lot less assurance in the age of intelligent software. Advances in AI have provoked a new kind of arms race among nuclear powers. This technology could challenge the basic rules of nuclear deterrence and lead to catastrophic miscalculations.

Top 100 Reasons Not to Bomb Iran
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org & World BEYOND War & RootsAction)

Commentary: (1.) There are over 80 million men, women, and children in Iran. Bombing them would be mass-murder. (2.) If the US government and its allies bomb Libya and Iran when their governments choose not to have nuclear weapons, you can forget about North Korea and the rest of the world choosing not to have nuclear weapons. (3.) The longer the world has nuclear weapons, and the more countries that have them, the greater the likelihood of nuclear war. And 97 more reasons.

Why Can't the Pentagon Win Its Wars?
(Arnold Isaacs and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)

The world's self-proclaimed "leading military power" has spent 16 years in Afghanistan and has still not managed to declare "victory." If Americans are right in ceaselessly telling themselves that theirs is the most powerful country the world has ever seen and that their military is the "greatest fighting force ever," as President Trump calls it, should it have been this hard and taken this long to find a way -- if they really have -- to defeat enemies whose war-making resources are a tiny fraction of ours?

Netanyahu Pushes "Fake News" to Give Trump an Excuse for War
(AntiWar.com & New York Magazine & Moon of Alabama.org & The Jerusalem Post & Reuters)

On April 30, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a presentation intended to give Donald Trump a justification for killing the successful nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu's "evidence,"came from 2003 and was well-known. The International Atomic Energy Agency promptly dismissed Israeli allegations of a "secret" Iranian nuclear program. The UN watchdog says there are "no credible indications" of any Iranian nuclear weapons activities after 2009. Note: the folders Netanyahu presented were all empty.

Scaremongering Netanyahu Strikes Again: More Lies and Provocations
(Scott Ritter / The American Conservative)

The timing of Netanyahu's presentation -- two weeks before Trump is to announce his decision about the fate of the Iran Nuclear Deal is suspect. Trump has been searching for a way to blame US the treaty-breaking on Iran; the timing of Netanyahu's presentation appears geared toward helping push Trump toward a decision to withdraw from a working agreement. Legally speaking, however, the Israeli argument -- along with the information used by Netanyahu in his presentation -- does not hold water.

US, UK, French Attack On Syria Was a "Naked Criminal Act of Military Aggression"
(Rich Scheck / State of the Nation & Paul Craig Roberts / Information Clearing House)

The Trump/May/Macron attack on Syria constituted a naked act of aggression in violation of the Nuremberg prohibitions making them prospective war criminals. The UN was created to avoid the scourge of war and yet has proven inept in stopping them. World federalists and others are calling for a new political system with laws that are solid and enforceable on all nations, leaders and individuals.

Did Donald Trump Just Save the F-15 (and Bail Out Boeing)?
(Dave Majumdar / The National Interest & Mark Thompson / The Project on Government Oversight)

The Trump Administration has proven to be a boon for Boeing's fighter programs. In previous years, both the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15 Eagle production lines were expected to shut down as Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter moved to dominate the fighter market domestically and globally. Meanwhile, the Pentagon's F-22s and F-35s have design problems that cause pilots to pass out from lack of oxygen, leading the planes to crash -- aka to experience a "Controlled Flight Into Terrain."

Days before North-South Summit: South Korean Police Attack Vigilers Protesting US Missile Base; Trump Tells South to Pay $1.8 Billion in Costs
(Zoom In Korea)

It has been nearly one year since the US and the South Korean Defense Ministry resorted to brute force against the residents who were peacefully blocking the road to the THAAD missile deployment site. On April 23, 2018, South Korean police forced 200 residents of Soseong-ri and anti-THAAD activists to disperse from their peaceful protest to make way for additional construction material and equipment to further construction of the widely unpopular THAAD missile base.

No Evidence of Chemical Weapons at Sites Bombed by US; President Carter Suggests Attack on Syria "Borders on War Crime"
(Sputnik News)

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed that there were no chemical weapons at the Barzeh research center in Damascus -- despite the US claims that it bombed the complex because it was used to produce "chemical weapons." Russian officials questioned the logic of bombing facilities believed to house toxic agents. If toxic agents had been stored at the sites the US targeted, tens of thousands of civilians would have died from toxins released by the missile explosions.

Trump's Missiles Not So "Smart"? Russian Press Conference Reveals Remains of Intercepted US Weapons
(SouthFront.org & TASS)

On April 25, 2018, the Russian Defense Ministry held a press conference showing US President Donald Trump's "smart" missiles intercepted in Syria. Russia revealed wreckage of the intercepted missiles and showed at least one unexploded Tomahawk cruise missile. In addition to scores of parts from damaged incoming weapons, two relatively intact, unexploded missiles were put on display at the press event. Russia claims that, of the 105 missiles launched by the US and its allies, 66 missiles were intercepted.

Trump's Blank Check for War and the Debate on a New AUMF
(Marjorie Cohn / Truthout & Consortium News & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

On April 23, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reviewed a bill that would virtually give President Donald J. Trump a blank check to wage war anywhere in the world any time he pleases. The new bill, should it pass, would effectively make the transfer of the war power from Congress to the president complete. It is hard to imagine a worse time in American history for this to happen. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators has introduced a new, more restrictive, Authorization for Use of Military Force.

House Lawmakers Close Pentagon Budget Hearing to Taxpayers
(Caroline Houck / Defense One & Mike Stone and Rachit Vats / Reuters)

For the first time in at least eight years, House appropriators will grill the Pentagon's top civilian and uniformed leader about their $686.1 billion 2019 budget request not in a public hearing but -- behind closed doors. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has stopped accepting deliveries of Lockheed's controversial F-35 over a dispute about who will cover the $119 million costs for fixing a production error involving the costly, over-due, over-budget, under-performing aircraft.

Nuclear-Weapon States Leading 'A New Qualitative Arms Race'
(Izumi Nakamitsu / InDepth News)

Following are extensive excerpts from a statement by Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs to presented to the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference being held in Geneva from April 23 to May 4, 2018.

War and Slavery: The Roots of America's Gun Culture
(Isaac Chotiner / Slate)

The ubiquity of guns in America is unique in modern Western society, with consequences that are felt every day via gun violence, mass shootings, and increasingly militarized policing. But in her new book, Empire of Guns, Priya Satia takes a historical look at the role of guns in Britain's economic development, tracing how gunrunning became important to the British economy and how guns, in turn, ended up playing a crucial role in the global perpetuation of human slavery.

How the NRA Sells Guns in America Today
(Elliott Woods / The New Republic)

The NRA will tell you that minorities and women are fast-growing markets. But the demographics of gun ownership remain lopsided: gun owners are disproportionately old, Republican, male, white, rural, less educated, and not wealthy and, when it comes to the hard-core activist element of the NRA, the scales tip decidedly in the direction of the demographic markers that describe Donald Trump's core supporters and the audiences for Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

ACLU Warns Senate Against Giving Trump Blank Check to Declare War
(Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez / Democracy Now!)

Congress is considering rewriting the presidential war powers granted after the 9/11 attacks. On September 14th, 2001, three days after the World Trade Center attack, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed the Senate 98 to 0, and 420 to 1 in the House. Since then, it's been used by Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump to justify at least 37 military operations in 14 countries -- many of which were entirely unrelated to 9/11. A second AUMF was passed in 2002 ahead of the Iraq invasion.

Trump Approves Selling Killer Drones to Other Countries
(Mark Karlin / Buzzflash @ Truthout)

Amnesty International is so concerned about the accelerating drone strikes under Trump that it has issued a plea to the four European nations supporting the US drone program to break ties with Washington's remote assassination program. Trump has shown little regard for the collateral deaths of innocent bystanders and family members of targeted individuals. Trump has repeatedly told the Pentagon and drone program operators that, when targeting terrorists, "You have to take out their families."

Cluster Bombs Are Back -- and America and Russia Can't Get Enough
(Michael Peck /The National Interest)

Cluster weapons -- those mini-bombs that have maimed and killed many civilians -- are back. Russia has just unveiled a "stealth cluster bomb" and the Trump administration has scrapped plans to eliminate cluster weapons by 2019 -- despite 103 nations signing an international treaty to ban such weapons. So far, 120 nations have joined the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions and 103 have actually ratified it. Unfortunately, the two biggest arms exporters in the world -- America and Russia -- have yet to join.

The Skripal Case: Another Dodgy British Dossier
(Gareth Porter / Consortium News)

The British government shared a dossier containing sensitive intelligence to convince allies and EU member states to support its accusation of Russian culpability in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in England on March 4. But like the infamous 2003 "dodgy dossier" prepared at the direction of PM Tony Blair to justify British involvement in the US invasion of Iraq, the dossier on the Salisbury poisoning turns out to have been based on politically-motivated speculation rather than actual intelligence.

Combating Militarism on Earth Day
(Steve Fake / Just World Educational)

On April 19, as a prelude to Earth Day, Just World Educational hosted a live Facebook discussion on its Earth Day Appeal, "To Save the Earth, Curb Militarism!" The Live discussion featured Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation and National Co-convener of United for Peace and Justice, and Gar Smith, the director of Environmentalists Against War, a member of the coordinating council at World Beyond War, and editor of The War and Environment Reader.

UN Still Won't Let Chemical Weapons Inspectors Visit Douma
(AntiWar.com & RT News & Sputnik News & TASS & The Daily Star)

Two weeks after tan alleged chemical attack in Douma, chemical inspectors are still waiting for UN permission to enter Douma. In the meantime, there still is no public proof that the April 7 strike took place and -- following on-the-ground reports by Robert Fisk -- growing doubt that it actually happened. Residents within Douma have also expressed doubts about the strike. Speculation is growing that the delays are designed to prevent discovery that the chemical attack never took place.

Arming the World: Inside Trump's 'Buy American' Drive to Expand Weapons Exports
(Matt Spetalnick and Mike Stone / Reurers & William D. Hartung / The Nation)

For 25 of the past 26 years, the US has been the leading arms dealer on the planet. Its major weapons-producers -- including Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin -- regularly pour the latest in high-tech arms and munitions into the world's most explosive regions. In January, acting on behalf of Boeing, Donald Trump personally helped close a massive arms deal, calling from the White House to press a Gulf monarch in Kuwait to agree to a $10 billion fighter jet deal that had been stalled for more than a year.

Trump's Arms Policy: Presidential Pimping for Pentagon's Profiteers
(Democracy Now!)

A new investigative report reveals how the Trump administration plans to make the US an even larger weapons exporter by loosening restrictions on the sale of equipment ranging from fighter jets and drones to warships and artillery. The new initiative will provide guidelines that could allow more countries to be granted faster deal approvals, and will call on Cabinet officials to help close deals between foreign governments and US defense contractors.

Robert Fisk Reports from Douma: Scant Evidence of Alleged Syria Gas Attack
(AntiWar.com & Robert Fisk / The Independent)

"I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened," a doctor in Douma told British reporter Robert FkisL "People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a 'White Helmet', shouted 'Gas!' and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia -- not gas poisoning."

World War II Bomb Forces Evacuation of 26,000 Residents in Germany
(Deutsche Welle )

More than 26,000 people were forced to flee their homes as bomb disposal experts worked to dismantle a massive WWII British bomb in the small German city of Paderborn. The 1.8-ton bomb was discovered in a garden just 80 centimeters below the surface. In some German towns, a average of a half-dozen WWII bombs are still being unearthed -- every year.

US Says No Missiles Intercepted: But Videos and Reports from Damascus Suggest Otherwise
(The Military Times & AntiWar.com & The News & The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)

"A perfectly executed strike," Trump tweeted after the Pentagon boasted all of its 105 missiles hit their Syrian targets. But reports from Russian and Syria media suggest 65-71 of the Tomahawk cruise missiles were destroyed by Syria's anti-missile defenses. Amateur videos from Damascus appear to show a number of incoming US missiles intercepted in mid-air. At nearly $2 million-per-missile, Congress might want to investigate how effective these General Dynamics/Raytheon missiles really were.

Who Is the Real Culprit Behind the Chemical Attacks in Syria?
(Muhammad Sahimi / AntiWar.com & Ian Wilkie / Newsweek)

A review of credible reports by objective experts and journalists reveals that, prior to 2014, when Syria gave up its arsenal of chemical weapons, it was more likely that anti-Assad terrorist groups used chemical weapons in the war. Rebel forces have repeatedly been identified as the agents behind chemical attacks. And, in February, Secretary of Defense James Mattis admitted that the US still has "no evidence" that the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent Sarin against its own people in 2017.

Criticism of Illegal US Attack on Syria Comes from Britain, Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia

After questioning the joint US, UK and French airstrikes against Syria, British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said his country needs a war powers act to limit government's control over military interventions. Several Latin American governments, including those in Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela -- as well as regional leaders and presidents -- condemned the the US, France and Britain for ignoring "the most elementary principles and norms of International Law."

ACTION ALERT: Don't Give Trump a Blank Check to Wage Worldwide War
(The American Civil Liberties Union & Jon Queally / Common Dreams)

If you're concerned about President Trump's reckless threats and unlawful firing of missiles in Syria, just imagine what he would do if Congress hands him a license to go to war wherever he wants and against anyone he thinks is an enemy, anywhere in the world. That's exactly what Senator Bob Corker wants to do. A new Authorization for Use of Military Force would grant Trump an unconstitutional blank check for worldwide war.

A Round-up of US Attack Reports: Russia Claims 70% of US Missiles Were Intercepted
(The Washington Post & Sputnik News & Al-Masdar News & TASS & RT News & The Daily Star)

Russia's Defense Ministry said Washington's missiles did little damage. Of 103 US cruise missiles fired, Russia claims 71 were shot down by Syria's Soviet-made air-defense systems. The intercepted missiles included all 12 of those targeting the Al-Dumayr military airfield. The Defense Ministry claims it has "plenty of evidence" that the alleged April 7 chlorine attack was a provocation staged by pro-Western forces. Syria is asking the UN Security Council to denounce Washington's "naked aggression."

US, UK, France Attack Syria's Civilian Capital in Violation of International Law
(Al Jazeera )

Donald Trump has ordered US military air attacks against targets in Syria, in collaboration with the UK and France. The pre-dawn attacks early on Saturday come in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in the former rebel stronghold of Douma last weekend. Syrian state TV said air defenses responded to the attack by shooting down several missiles and called the "tripartite aggression . . . a flagrant violation of international law."

Trump v. Syria: Taking the World to the Brink
(Rick Sterling / Consortium News)

Not content with the destruction of Iraq and Libya based on false claims, Western hawks are now pressing for a direct US attack on Syria. But why is violence being threatened before there is a serious, independent investigation of the chemical incident? If the accusations against Syria are true, why not let it be investigated, especially now that the area was liberated on Monday and safe access can be provided?

A Mediastorm of Unproven Accusations Threatens to Trigger WWIII
(Phil Giraldi / The Unz Review & Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & Tucker Carlson / Fox News & Ron Paul / The Liberty Report)

Donald Trump turns out to be a pretty good liar, even if he frequently has no idea what he's talking about. But, when it comes to lying about poison plots, the prize has to go to the British. From dodgy allegations of Novichok poisoning in the UK to unconfirmed accusations of chemical attacks in Syria, due process and due diligence has been replaced by partisan warhawks frantically trying to stampede the public by waving false flags.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Has No Authority to Broaden War in Syria
(Max Greenwood / The Hill & Roots Action)

Sen. Bernie Sanders has reminded the country that DonaldTrump "has no legal authority" to deepen US military involvement in Syria, and that it is ultimately up to Congress to make that decision. Defend the Constitution: Block Trump's reckless march toward war. Email your House Member and Senators: Demand that Congress immediately cutting off funds for expanding Trump's reckless actions. Alleged Syrian crimes should be investigated and prosecuted, not used as excuses for larger crimes.

Risky Business: The Role of Arms Sales in US Foreign Policy -- Part 2
(A. Trevor Thrall and Caroline Dorminey / The Cato Institute)

Though arms sales are of marginal value to national security and the pursuit of national interests, their negative consequences are often severe. Arms sales can spawn unwanted outcomes on three levels: blowback against the US and entanglement in conflicts; regional consequences in the buyer's neighborhood, such as the dispersion of weapons and increased instability; and consequences for the buyer itself, such as increased levels of corruption, human rights abuses, and civil conflict.

Russia, Trump's Critics, Trump's Alt-Right Backers, All Calling Alleged Syrian Gas Attack a Staged "False Flag" Event
(Prison Planet & Newsweek & Haaretz )

Russia's EU ambassador has called a chemical attack in Syria a "staged event." Trump's Alt-right supporters have called it a false flag operation -- designed to keep US troops in Syria. Chemical weapons experts Hans Blix, Scott Ritter, Gareth Porter and Theodore Postol all question the "official" US narrative that Assad employed deadly gas. Even Defense Secretary James Mattis now admits the US had "no evidence" Assad used chemical weapons in 2017. But Trump still attacked Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles.

Questions Arise after Red Crescent Says No Evidence of Chemical Attack in Syria's Douma
(AntiWar.com & RT News)

Questions surrounding a reported chemical weapons attack have begun to arise after the Syrian Red Crescent issued a statement dismissing the allegations of a weekend attack in the city of Douma. The statement insisted their medical personnel in the city had found no evidence any such attack took place. Russian medics who also examined patients in Douma also reported that none showed signs of chemical poisoning. Meanwhile the White Helmets have claimed scores killed and over 500 wounded by exposure.

Calls for Investigations after Conflicting Stories Arise around Alleged Syrian Gas Attack
(The Syrian Arab News Agency & Reuters & South China Morning Post)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an international and impartial investigation in the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma city emphasizing that the seriousness of the new allegations requires "thorough investigation using impartial, independent, and professional expertise." Meanwhile, in the UN Security Council, the US and Russia vetoed competing drafts calling for an investigation into whether the alleged chemical weapons attack actually occurred and, if so, who was responsible.

China Warns against Military Action in Syria As Threat of US Strikes Puts Everyone on High Alert
(Associated Press & Agence France-Presse & Reuters & South China Morning Post)

With Saturday's suspected poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma and Monday's air strike by US ally Israel on a base where several Iranians were killed have escalated tensions in the already volatile Middle East. Beijing has called for calm in Syria as government forces and their Russian allies remain on alert amid fears of a US strike after an alleged chemical weapons attack. The danger is that further unwarranted military escalation could lead to a wider war between the US and Russia.

Wars 'R' Us: Rethinking Weapons Exports
(Kristin Christman / Times-Union)

How do we treat opponents? In strong democracies, we engage them in cooperative dialogue. In weaker democracies, we exclude and overpower them. If we're undemocratic, we might kill them. So why has the United States, democracy's alleged leader, become the world's largest weapons exporter?

The Chemical Attack in Syria: No Doubt It's a War Crime: But Is It Also a
(Al Jazeera & Associated Press & RT News)

A chemical attack in Douma produced symptoms of a chlorine attack. Russia's military has rejected claims that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons in an attack on the rebel-held town. A Russian general said "a number of Western countries" are trying to prevent the resumption of an operation to remove Army of Islam fighters from Douma and "to this end they are using the West's pet theme of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces."

Timeline of Syrian Chemical Weapons Activity, 2012-2018
(The Arms Control Association)

In July 2012, Syria acknowledged that it possesses chemical weapons, including mustard gas, blister agents, and nerve agents such as sarin and VX. On October 31, 2013, however, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed that Syria had destroyed or rendered inoperable, all of its declared facilities for mixing and producing chemical weapons. Below is a timeline of significant events related to Syria's chemical weapons program from July 2012 to the present.

ACTION ALERT: Should the Army Subsidize High-school Soldiering?
(The Economist & Ilana Novick / AlterNet)

When 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was arrested for a mass-shooting at his former school, he was wearing a polo shirt emblazoned with the JROTC crest. In 2016, Cruz's unit received $10,827 from the NRA. Pat Elder is the director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, a group that fights militarism in education. Recently, Elder taught his usual GED class at Great Hills High School in Maryland and woke the next morning to the news that his building had been the site of the latest US school shooting.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Weapons Investors: "Stop Gun Violence"
(Sen. Elizabeth Warren / CREDO Action & The Brady Campaign & The Nation)

Big Wall Street investors have been profiting off of gun violence in America for far too long. Nine major Wall Street institutions, including heavy hitters like the massive wealth management fund BlackRock, are massive shareholders in the most prominent weapons makers. "Stop profiting from the gun violence epidemic and instead use your power as major shareholders in Smith & Wesson; Sturm, Ruger & Company; and Vista Outdoors to pressure these companies to take concrete steps against gun violence."

Why the Google Protest of War Work Is Wonderful
(David Swanson /David Swanson.org)

Commentary: "The fact that 3,100 Google employees signed a letter opposing Google doing work for the US military is wonderful for what it reveals. It does not reveal that any significant number of people exist who can name every current US war or who want them ended or who believe that war should be banned or who know that it long since has been or who recognize the normalization of militarism as the gravest danger the world faces. But it sure is an amazing and stunning step in that direction."

Russia Warns Against US Military Exercises Aimed at North Korea
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Julian Ryall / Deutsche Welle )

Russia's Foreign Ministry has called on the United States to immediately halt all military activity on the Korean Peninsula. Russia officials say the spring joint operations (always a source of tension on the peninsula) are "not helping" in ongoing efforts to try to reduce military tensions in the region. North Korea has remained unusually silent as US-South Korea military drills begin. Does the North's softer tone indicate it is ready to enter negotiations over its nuclear weapons?

The Space Race the Pentagon Doesn't Want
(Mark Thompson / Center for Defense Information)

The Pentagon and its allies on Capitol Hill are intent on pumping money into space weapons to keep an American edge up there. Unfortunately, it's a quest as fruitless as preserving the US nuclear monopoly following World War II. (That lasted four years). Nonetheless, Donald Trump impetuously re-launched the notion of Space Wars back into orbit March 13 when he suggested the creation of a Space Force armed with "space-based lasers."

Why Is the Pentagon Using Taxpayer Money to Train Young Americans to Shoot Deadly Weapons of War?
(Greta Zarro / Common Dreams)

The culture of war is pervasive in our society, through military-funded Hollywood films and video games, the militarization of the police, and JROTC and ROTC programs in our schools. Perhaps what's key above all, however, is that JROTC, and US militarism as a whole, is embedded in our sociocultural framework as Americans. So much so that to question it is to cast doubt on one's patriotic allegiance to this nation.

Russia Demands an Independent Investigation of UK Chemical Poisoning Attack
(Agence France-Presse & The Guardian)

Russia has attempted to discredit Britain's reputation at the UN after a series of blunders by the British Foreign Office led to accusations that the UK overstated its case that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Scribal. Although the carefully crafted international alliance backing the UK has survived Russian pressure, ministers were forced to backtrack from the foreign secretary's claim that the UK's chemical weapons watchdogs had proof Russia was behind the attack. They didn't.

Google Workers and Scholars Refuse to Work on Pentagon's War Projects
(Google Employees / The New York Times & Julia Conley / Common Dreams & Researchers for Peace)

Commentary: In a public letter to Google's CEO, the firms workers declared: "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war. Therefore we ask that ... Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology." Meantime, more than 50 artificial intelligence experts from nearly 30 countries have announced a boycott of a South Korean university whose new defense partnership could lead to the development of "killer robots."

Australia Is Making a Killing Off Killing by Selling to Saudis
(The Juice Media & Michael Brull / The New Matilda)

As the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen spirals out of control -- in part a consequence of Australia's support for a Saudi-led siege on the country -- it is worth cataloguing the government's lies about why it won't disclose military exports to Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, the "Australian" Government has just released an ad that explains its plan to become one of world's top exporters of arms -- and it's surprisingly honest and informative.

ACTION ALERT: A Call to Congress: Divest from Guns and War
(CODEPINK & Sen. Elizabeth Warren / CREDO Action & The Brady Campaign & The Nation)

As we enter the Spring season, we need to tell Congress it's time for them to do their part and commit to "No Money for Weapons Manufacturers and the NRA." Congress is home for Spring break, so grab your gear and show up at a town hall or public hearing in your community.

Burlington Vermont Votes to Block F-35 Fighter Jets
(The Burlington Peace and Justice Center)

Burlington's City Council voted 9-3 to block USAF plans to base F-35 fighter jets at Burlington's International Airport. The vote came three weeks after the voters approved a citizen initiative to cancel the planned F-35 basing. Noise from the F-35 can damage hearing, children's cognitive abilities, and trigger heart attacks in adults. Nearly 3,000 local homes would become unlivable do to the increased noise. Meanwhile, the F-35 drains $1.4 trillion from health care, education, affordable housing, and infrastructure.

Revealing the Pentagon's Unaddressed Burn Pit Perils
(Perry Chiaramonte / Fox News Investigative Unit Exclusive)

Fox News has discovered pits as large as football fields existed next to a number of military bases during the Iraq War; makeshift junkyards, many ignited by jet fuel, left to smolder 24 hours a day. More than 130,000 vets have reported exposure; Will Carr reports from Los Angeles.

Palestinian Reality Tour Stuns Americans: Palestine Signs Nuclear Abolition Pact
(Phillip Weiss / Mondoweiss & The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

On a March night in Brooklyn, two activists from the International Solidarity Movement described their work in Palestine to 70 people crowded into the Commons Cafe. Their tour will continue to many other venues across Canada and the US. The plain-speaking tour is noteworthy because it conveys, in the most unrhetorical manner, some small portion of the immense trauma that Palestinians are experiencing. Yet, despite its troubles, Palestine recently became the 6th state to ratify the UN Atomic Weapons Ban.

US Drones Continue Killing Yemen's Children in US-backed Saudi War
(Shuaib Almosawa and Maryam Saleh / The Intercept)

On March 5, 13-year-old Amer Ali al-Saqra Huraidan and his cousin were on their way home from visiting relatives in al-Hudhi, a small town in the eastern Yemeni province of Hadramout. As they drove along a desert highway around 4 p.m. local time, a US drone circled overhead. Somewhere thousands of miles away, the drone operator launched a strike.

Trump's FEMA Fumbles its Mission as US Banks Fund Climate Change
(Democratic Climate Action / Democratic Governors Association & Rainforest Action Network)

Under the thumb of Donald Trump, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's new strategic plan to handle natural weather disasters completely omits any mention of climate change. Meanwhile, in an annual joint-report on banking support for fossil fuels, BankTrack, Honor the Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, and the Sierra Club demand that banks end financing for extreme fossil fuels and all expansion of the fossil fuel industry.

The Neocons Are Back -- With a Big War Budget and Big War Plans
(Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity & Patrick J. Buchanan / AntiWar.com)

Commentary: "Trump signed the omnibus spending bill for 2018. The $1.3 trillion bill was so monstrous that it would have made the biggest spender in the Obama Administration blush. This is why I often say: forget about needing a third political party -- we need a second political party! Trump is admitting that to fuel the warfare state and enrich the military-industrial complex, it was necessary to dump endless tax dollars into the welfare state."

The New Breed: Voices from the March for Our Lives
(Alison Letterman & Emma Gonzales et al.)

Commentary: Tears rain down her face but she doesn't stop shouting she doesn't apologize she keeps calling them out, all of them all of us who didn't do enough to stop this thing. And: young voices from the Washington, DC March for Our Lives.

Why the Shooting Will Continue and How to Address Gun Violence
(Margaret Kimberley / Black Agenda Report & Bruce Lesnick / Socialist Action)

There is nothing worse in America than the act of shooting white people. Ever since the latest attack at a Florida high school there has been talk of little else. The school shooting enveloped every other issue and was used to vilify Russia, the FBI, Bernie Sanders and the National Rifle Association all at once. America has a unique history with firearms. The settler colonial state enshrined gun ownership into the constitution because of a determination to maintain chattel slavery and the violent enforcement, which had to go with it.

The Saudi-Trump War on Yemen
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Medea Benjamin / Voices for Creative Nonviolence & UNAC)

Three years ago this month, the then 29-year-old Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia (now its crown prince) launched a ruinous war on Yemen. When the Saudis tried to spread their intolerant form of Wahhabism among Zaydi Shiites, it produced a backlash in the form of the Houthi resistance. But don't get sucked into the media hype surrounding Mohammad bin Salman's US tour -- he is really a brutal bully responsible for bombing and starving Yemeni civilians and he's also gunning for a war with Iran.

Facebook Has Been Weaponized and We're All Targets: Including Emma Gonzales
(Douglas Rushkoff / The Los Angeles Times & Virginia Heffernan / The Los Angeles Times & Tanya Edwards /Yahoo Lifestyle & Chas Danner / New York Magazine)

A powerful tool of human connection and social action has been transformed by profit-seeking opportunists and social engineering clients into a tool for monitoring -- and manipulating -- individual behavior and crowd responses. We now know that Facebook has been used to foment political violence in order to influence foreign elections and has been used to inflame partisan anger inside the US. In a recent case, NRA supporters have circulated a faked video designed to show an anti-gun activist tearing the Constitution.

The Smoking Gun Behind Gun Violence in the US
(Op-ed / Anakbayan-USA)

Commentary: The Philippines are currently under assault by armed "anti-drug" attacks orchestrated by the government. Members of the Anakbayan movement are all-too-familiar with state-sponsored gun violence. They write: "By exposing the smoking gun behind gun violence in the US, we hope to contribute not only to the youth and student movement for justice, but, more importantly, to the mass movement to disarm imperialism and the violence it unleashes on exploited and oppressed peoples all over the world."

US Militarists Double Down As the American Empire Declines
(Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance Newsletter)

US empire is in decline. Reports of the end of the US being the unitary power in world affairs are common. China surpassed the US as the world economic leader, according to Purchasing Power Parity Gross National Product, and Russia has announced new weapons that can overcome the US' defense systems. In response, The US plans to do more of what has been causing the decline -- more money for weapons and war, more aggression abroad and more internal surveillance at home.

Insiders Admit Trump's Defense Budget Is
(Lawrence J. Korb / Center for American Progress)

As part of the recent deal to keep the government open, Congress agreed to increase the FY 2018 defense budget to $700 billion -- an increase of $108 billion, or 18 percent, above the proposed 2017 budget -- and the FY 2019 budget to $716 billion. This means that since Trump took office, the defense budget will have grown by $133 billion, or 23 percent. But current and former generals insist the Pentagon is not suffering from a lack of funds and that such claims are "overblown."

Why America Needs War: From Bush to Trump
(Dr. Jacques R. Pauwels / Indy Media Belgium and Global Research )

Commentary: The Pentagon is always ready to pay huge sums without asking difficult questions. As had been the case during the Second World War, it was again primarily the large corporations who were allowed to fill the orders. A "peace dividend" was of no interest whatsoever to the nation's wealthy elite, because the provision of social services by the state does not yield profits for entrepreneurs and corporations, and certainly not the lofty kind of profits generated by military state expenditures.

Saudi War Criminals Win $3.5 Billion Discount From Trump's Pentagon
(Anthony Capaccio / Bloomberg)

Donald Trump hails the Saudis as a "big purchaser" of American arms. A $3.5 billion discount they won from the Pentagon last year in buying an anti-missile system for $15 billion shows they're also adept at tapping into the Pentagon's generosity. Trump didn't mention the discount granted last April on the THAAD system from Lockheed Martin Corp. It came in the form of two waivers from a US law requiring foreign purchasers of American weapons to pay part of the Defense Department's costs in developing them.

15 Years after the "Shock and Awe" Bombing of Baghdad
(Gar Smith / Earth Island Journal & AlterNet & Maureen Dowd / The New York Times)

As bad as the attack on Baghdad was, it was supposed to be much worse. According to documents discovered and cited in the following story (which was published only days before the US invasion), the original missile attack was supposed to have been 20 times more destructive and deadly. Someone apparently decided not to follow the original "Shock and Awe" game-plan. I don't have proof, but I like to think that the following article had something to do with the outcome.

Congress OKs $1.3 Trillion Budget; Declares War on Taxpayers
(Lisa Mascaro and Alan Fram / Associated Press & Bruce Leonard / Freedom Magazine & Jack Moore / Newsweek)

Congress gave final approval Friday to a giant $1.3 trillion spending bill that ends the budget battles for now, but only after late obstacles skirted close to another shutdown as conservatives objected to big outlays on Democratic priorities at a time when Republicans control the House, Senate and White House. The Pentagon was the big winner with a with $700 billion slice of the pork.

US Support for Yemen War to Continue: Thanks to 10 Democrats
(Alex Ward / Vox.com & The Hill )

A bipartisan effort to end US involvement in a bloody, three-year war in Yemen failed in a close Senate vote on Tuesday afternoon. The vote demonstrated growing pushback on Donald Trump's coziness with Riyadh, which is leading the war effort in Yemen. That same day, the president met with Saudi Strongman Mohammed Bin Salman, calling the Crown Prince a ""very great friend? and expressing the hope that Bin Salman would prove "a big purchaser of [US military] equipment and lots of other things."

Trump Hopes Saudis Will Buy "Finest Weapons" to Kill Yemen Civilians: US Mercenaries Hired to Torture Prince bin Salman's Victims
(Al Jazeera & Juan Cole / Informed Consent & Ryan Parry and Josh Boswell / The Dailymail.com)

Greeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his first visit to the White House, Donald Trump discussed a 2017 deal for $200 billion worth of Saudi investments with the US, including large purchases of US military equipment. Trump said the military sales -- and, by implication, the continuation of the US-backed humanitarian disaster in Yemen -- would contribute to the creation of 40,000 American jobs. Meanwhile, US mercenaries have already been hired to run Saudi Arabia's torture chambers.

Why Are Schools Still Accepting NRA Money?
(Sophie Kasakove / The Nation)

While the NRA's financial investment in youth shooting programs has surged in recent years, the organization has long emphasized young shooters in its programming. But it wasn't until the early '80s -- coinciding with the NRA's radicalization -- that the NRA adopted an official mandate to "introduce as many of our nation's youth as possible to the legitimate use of firearms." Today, the website boasts that more than one million youth participates.

Trump and Putin Square Off over New Nuclear Arms Race
(Andrew Lichterman / TruthDig & Western States Legal Foundation)

The Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review proposes two new capabilities, both aimed at Russia: (1) a low-yield warhead deployed on submarine-launched missiles, and (2) a sea-based, nuclear-armed cruise missile. It also endorses existing plans to sustain and upgrade existing nuclear forces and infrastructure at a cost of more than a trillion dollars over the next 30 years -- marking the costly and dangerous emergence of a renewed nuclear arms race with Russia.

Some Democrats Are Still Pro-war and Pro-Nukes
(Harvey Wasserman / The Progressive)

Just when you thought the pro-Democrat "Blue Wave" ignited by Donald Trump might bring real change (including a revolution in green power) some Democrats are rallying around the suicidal, obsolete technologies of atomic power and weapons.

Government Places Army Surplus Pistols on Sale to Arm the Public
(Pat Elder / World Beyond War)

When Congress approved the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in mid-November, it authorized the sale of surplus Army pistols to the public. 8,000 .45 caliber M1911 pistols will be available for sale in 2018 and 10,000 in 2019. After that, the remaining stock of 100,000 military surplus handguns may become available for purchase.

Mikhail Gorbachev on the Growing Risk of Nuclear War
(Mikhail Gorbachev / TIME Magazine)

In 1985, negotiations between the USSR and the United States opened the way to ending the nuclear arms race. We reached agreement with one of the most hawkish US presidents, Ronald Reagan, to radically reduce the arsenals. Today, those achievements are in jeopardy. More and more, defense planning looks like preparation for real war amid continued militarization of politics, thinking and rhetoric.

GOP and Military Join Forces to Block Vote to Ban Yemen War
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Zaid Jilani / The Intercept)

Expectations are that the Senate War Powers vote on the Yemen War, SJ Res 54, will come up for debate and a vote next week. That may not happen if the Republican leadership gets its way, however, as many are opposed to the bill, and are trying to stall a vote.

World War III Is Approaching: We Need a New Anti-war Movement -- One that Includes Soldiers
(Paul Craig Roberts / The Institute for Political Economy & Prof. Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)

Commentary: When will the Russians notice that literally everyone in the Trump regime is issuing threats to Russia -- Mattis, Tillerson, Nikki Haley, the UK PM and Foreign Secretary. Yet the Russians still speak about how much they want to get along with their "partners" the West. We are at a dangerous crossroads. The threat of World War III is real, yet there is no anti-war movement in sight. In the US, Canada and the EU, the peace movement is defunct, ignorant of the broader implications of nuclear war.

ACTION March Against Gun Violence; Fight Bullets with Billboards
(Emma Gonzalez / March for Our Lives & MoveOn.org Civic Action)

Commentary: We survived the shooting at our school, but too many of our classmates did not. And since then, Members of Congress have done NOTHING to ensure that gun violence like this never happens again. That's why we're marching to demand that the lives of every student and every American become a priority, and we want you there by our side.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress to End the US-Backed War in Yemen
(Mokhtar Alkhanshali / MoveOn.org & Mokha Foundation )

For three years, the US has been providing military support to a Saudi-led war in Yemen that has has only escalated and led to one of the worst humanitarian situations in the world. Over 42,000 people have been harmed, and over 18 million people in Yemen require humanitarian aid. But there is hope. Senators Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy are calling on Congress to exert its constitutional authority and end this inhumane destruction of millions of lives for geopolitical games. A vote is imminent.

ACTION ALERT: Pressure Builds for Clean-up of Military Pollution of Lake Wisconsin
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger)

On behalf of concerned residents, US Senator Tammy Baldwin has requested and recently received an update on the Army's pending cleanup of mercury-contaminated sediments at Gruber's Grove Bay on Lake Wisconsin. The contamination was caused by the direct discharge of industrial wastewater from the Badger Army Ammunition Plant during active production years.

The Lobbying War for War in Yemen: Cashing in by Turning Kids into Corpses
(Ben Freeman / AntiWar.com & Reuters )

Since the war in Yemen began -- and despite the UN confirming that more than 10,000 civilian lives have been lost in the conflict -- the Saudi government and their lobbyists in D.C. have been working hard to keep Yemen off policymakers' radars and keeping US weapons flowing into Saudi Arabia in record numbers. In 2017, Saudi Arabia spent more than $16 million on lobbying. On May 20, 2017, Trump approved a $110 billion arms sale to Riyadh. Five days later a Saudi coalition strike killed 24 civilians at a Yemen market.

NRA Pays Students to Learn to Shoot Guns at School
(Agnel Philip / The Arizona Republic)

The NRA Foundation provided more than $200,000 in grants to 15 Arizona high school clubs between 2010 and 2016, giving equipment and money often used for competitive shooting teams.The gun-rights group has come under intense scrutiny and criticism in the wake of the February shooting at a Parkland, Fla. high school, in which an NRA-financed, JROTC-trained gunman killed 17 students. Many of the NRAs corporate partners have since severed ties to the NRA's gun-lobby leadership.

When We Make Guns the King: A Warning about Arming Teachers
(Leah D. Schade / EcoPreacher)

Commentary: Will the NRA-backed plan to arm school teachers truly protect students? Or will it be like pouring gasoline on an already out-of-control fire? The answer seemed to come almost immediately when -- the very next day -- a teacher in a Georgia high school barricaded himself in a classroom and fired his gun, sending terrified students into lock-down. The decision indicates a a troubling ideological acceptance of "the myth of redemptive violence" -- devotion to violence for the sake of curbing violence.

A US Army Vet's "Modest Proposals" to Address Gun Violence
(Ralph E. Stone / Eclectic Rant & The Berkeley Daily Planet)

Commentary: As the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Tardy v. Hogan, certain kinds of rifles, including assault rifles, are "weapons of war," and are not covered under the Second Amendment for the purpose of self-defense. They have no use in hunting and are unnecessarily powerful as home defense weapons. Let's face it, an AR-15 is not for hunting, it's for killing. Common sense should tell us It is time to ban such weapons.

As Trump Threats Stir Global Arms Race, New Report Details the Nuclear War Profiteers
(Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams & Maaike Beenes / International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons)

Who benefits from Donald Trump's threats of nuclear war? According to the latest annual report from "Don't Bank on the Bomb," no fewer than 329 financial institutions in 24 countries invested $525 billion in the top 20 companies involved in the production, maintenance, and modernization of nuclear weapons from January 2014 through October 2017. The top three nuclear weapons producers, by investments -- Boeing, Honeywell International, and Lockheed Martin-- are all based in the US.

Who Has the Power to Destroy Life on Earth? Only Nine Countries
(Don't Bank on the Bomb: 2018 Report)

Nuclear weapons are indiscriminate, inhumane and immoral -- and they are prohibited by international treaty. Still, from January 2014 through October 2017, researchers found 329 banks, insurance companies, pension funds and asset managers from 24 countries that had invested significantly in the top 20 nuclear weapon producers. Of these, 204 were based in North America, 70 were based in Europe, 52 were based in Asia- Pacific, 3 in the Middle East. None were based in Africa or Latin America.

Congress Keeps Funding a War Machine as Vermont Stands Up to the F-35 Fighter Jet
(Medea Benjamin and Elliot Swain / Alternet & Jess Aloe / The Burlington Free Press)

Why did Senate Democrats agree to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion? Because both Democrats and Republicans are on the war-makers' dole. Inevitably, more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets and to bribe local and federal politicians. But people in Burlington are free to vote against a proposal to base noisy F-35 jets near their homes.

Drain the Swamp: The Pentagon Robbed Taxpayers of $16 Billion
(Mandy Smithberger / The Project on Government Oversight & Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz / The Washington Post)

Under the law, when a foreign government buys US weapon systems through the Department of Defense those governments are required to reimburse the Department for research, development and other one-time costs for those systems. A recent audit by the Government Accountability Office found the department has waived $16 billion it could have recovered for taxpayers on $250 billion worth of weapons sold under the Foreign Military Sales program from 2012 to 2017.

It's Never Been about the Second Amendment: It's About Corporate Profits
(Leonard C. Goodman / In These Times )

A familiar pattern has emerged after mass shootings. Lawmakers offer thoughts and prayers and then quietly shoot down any restrictions on gun sales, citing their fealty to the Second Amendment. Our bought-and-paid-for politicians only hold the Constitution sacred when it aligns with corporate interests. There is a chance that this time will be different, thanks to the teenagers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who are fighting back against lawmakers who protect industry profits over lives.

The University of Nuclear Bombs
(Will Parrish / The East Bay Express)

The University of California's two shadow campuses at Los Alamos and Livermore have competed with one another, as they were designed to do, to produce and to promote the most efficient means of ending life on Earth when used. But it's good for the short-term profits of powerful US corporations. At least 96 percent of the National Nuclear Security Administration's 2017 budget went to contractors such as the UC-Bechtel consortiums, Lockheed Martin, and other military-industrial corporations.

Former Defense Secretary William Perry on Trump and the Nuclear Threat
(Robert Scheer / Truthdig)

The following interview with William Perry, the United States Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1997 under President Bill Clinton, was first published on Truthdig in September 2017. We are reposting Perry's warning about the rising danger of nuclear war in response to Donald Trump's call for the modernization of US nuclear forces and Vladimir Putin's response in his speech this week showing Russia's new nuclear weapons arsenal.

ACTION ALERT: North Korea Offers Talks; Trump Prepares an Illegal Military Attack
(Win Without War & The New York Times)

The US military is secretly rehearsing for a bloody war with North Korea. Top military brass gathered in Hawaii to draw up plans for attacking the Korean mainland expect that 10,000 American soldiers could be wounded in just the few days of the armed US attack. The human costs of this war would be awful beyond imagining. We have a major chance to turn this growing murmur of worry into a massive outcry for common-sense diplomacy. Don't allow Trump's war games to become a devastating reality.

The Victims of War: US Ordered to Pay $245 Million in Reparations for Victims of Iraq-Iran War
(Press TV & World Beyond War )

In August 2017, the Iranian Judiciary issued a ordered the US government pay around $245 million in damage to victims of chemical attacks carried out by Saddam Hussein's troops during the 1980 to 1988 imposed war on Iran. Veterans for Peace/Oregon activist Leah Bolger discusses US military concerns for the mental health of returned soldiers. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has lambasted Croatian officials for refusing to accept the court's rulings on the 1990s Bosnia war.

ACTION ALERT: Follow the Gun Money. The Tyranny of the Gun Culture
(Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund & Chris Hedges / TruthDig)

Guns buttress the myth of a rugged individualism that atomizes Americans, disdains organization and obliterates community, compounding powerlessness. Gun ownership in the United States, largely criminalized for poor people of color, is a potent tool of oppression. It does not protect us from tyranny. It is an instrument of tyranny.

ACTION ALERT: To Save the Earth, Curb Militarism! An Appeal for Earth Day, 2018
(CODEPINK, Environmentalists Against War, Just World Educational, Traprock Center for Peace & Justice, and World Beyond War)

Our five organizations, CODEPINK, Environmentalists Against War, Just World Educational, Traprock Center for Peace & Justice, and World Beyond War, invite citizens and organizations around the US to express support for the statement that follows.

Long before Trump's "Big Lie" Tactics, The Pentagon Saw Climate Change as a Real Threat
(Johanna Peace / Inside Climate News)

In 2009, long before the rise of Donald Trump, a spate of Pentagon reports and intelligence studies made headlines for their common conclusion: Climate change is a real threat to national security. In response, the Pentagon set a goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2015. (An earlier 2007 executive order by President Bush required federal agencies to reduce their energy intensity.) The administration's internal aim was to produce 25 percent of the military's electricity from renewables by 2025.

Foreign Minister Tells UN the US Is Training Europe to Use Nuclear Weapons against Russia
(Holly Ellyatt / CNBC & The Moscow Times)

While attending the UN Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the US was training Europe's armed forces to use tactical nuclear weapons against Russia. NATO and the US denied the accusation. Lavrov also charged that the US had decided to keep a significant number of rockets in breach of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Russia has also long-objected to the deployment of a US-commanded NATO missile defense system along Russia's border in eastern Europe.

Is War Ever Justifiable? The Video Debate: Round 1
(David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Pete Kilner / US Army (Ret))

A contest of ideas and the contenders: David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org. Swanson's books include War Is A Lie and War Is Never Just. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Pete Kilner is a writer and military ethicist who served more than 28 years in the Army as an infantryman and professor at the US Military Academy. He deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of West Point.

Is War Ever Justifiable? The Video Debate: Round 2
(David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Pete Kilner / US Army (Ret))

To build a movement powerful enough to influence the US oligarchy, we do need this debate, we do need a clearer understanding that no war can ever be justified, and therefore that dumping over a trillion dollars a year into preparing for a possible just war has to stop. After all, 3 percent of that money could end starvation on Earth, 1 percent could end the lack of clean water, a bigger chunk could give us a chance against climate change (rather than serving as the leading cause of climate change).

Normalizing Nukes in the Age of President Strangelove
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Rajan Menon / TomDispatch)

In the Trump era, the Pentagon is calling for new, more "useable" nuclear weapons. Why? To give the commander-in-chief more "flexibility" in conducting "small" and "limited" nuclear attacks -- on declared "enemies" that have not attacked the US, on countries that threaten Washington's allies, on countries that commit "aggression" in the form of cyber-attacks. Hack the US and expect thermonuclear "fire and fury." This new game plan for nuclear war is a "road to hell paved with the worst intentions imaginable."

AR-15's Are Not Designed for Self-Defense: They Are Murder Weapons
(Dr. Ernest E. Moore / NBC News & Sarah Zhang / Wired Magazine & Rebecca Corral / KCBS)

The Parkland shooter's AR-15 was designed to kill as efficiently as possible. It was made for the military, to allow members of the armed forces to better dispatch multiple enemies in short order. It has no other purpose. Given that, there is no reason that these weapons should be broadly available to the civilian population.

NRA Fallout: Weapons Lobby Targeted by Growing Commercial Boycott
(MoveOn.org & USA TODAY & Fox Business)

Last week, in less than three days, 16 major corporations broke their ties to the NRA. United Airlines. Delta. Enterprise Rent-a-Car. MetLife Insurance. North American Van Lines. Simplisafe Home Security. They all said "enough" and canceled their deals with the NRA. Some Republican governors and members of Congress are finally standing up to the NRA as well, with new supporters coming out in favor of everything from an assault weapons ban to universal background checks and raising the age limit on gun purchases.

Gun Violence Has Dropped Dramatically in Three States With Very Different Gun Laws
(Mike Males / YES! Magazine)

This week, 17 teachers, students, and visitors died in a Florida high school, in a country where mass shootings have been devastatingly routine. This was followed by another day of despairing, angry furor over guns, schools, and shootings that replayed the same reactions from dozens of past shootings. To have an honest, nonpartisan discussion about gun violence, we must look at what happened in New York, California, and Texas.

JROTC, Military Indoctrination and the Training of Mass Killers
(Pat Elder / The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy & World Beyond War)

It's time to connect the dots between military indoctrination and firearms instruction on the one hand, and the propensity for training mass killers -- whether their crimes are committed as soldiers in atrocities overseas or in US high schools. Nikolas Cruz, the south Florida shooter, was enrolled in the Army's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program as a 9th grader at Stoneman Douglas High School. It was the Army that taught Cruz to shoot lethal weapons at a young and impressionable age.

The US Military Attempts a Political Coup in Vermont to Win Support for F-35 Jet
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Reuters)

There was a time when pretty much every American understood that the US Constitution provides for civilian control of the military. And there was a time when Americans understood that uniformed military were not to engage in civilian politics. Civilian control of the military is bedrock American constitutionalism. But American militarism has started to spin way out of control in Vermont, where Maj. Gen. Steven Cray he has jumped into the political arena to lobby for the troubled F-35 jet -- in violation of Army Regulations.

Florida School-shooter's Gun Training Provided by the Pentagon and the NRA
(Amy Goodman and Pat Elder / Democracy Now!)

The gunman who fired on students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was a former member of the school's Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Nikolas Cruz took part in a four-person JROTC marksmanship team at the school which received $10,000 in funding from the NRA to promote a program that introduces gun possession to children as young as 13. It's "a win-win proposition for [the NRA] and for the sellers of weaponry," says Pat Elder.

Britain's House of Lords Debates Nuclear Risks and Abolition
(The Basel Peace Office & Alyn Ware / In Depth News & Abolition 2000)

From May 14-16, the United Nations General Assembly will hold its first ever High-level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament. This conference has become even more important in light of increased nuclear risks, which led the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on January 25 to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes to Midnight.

The Death of Syria: "A Monstrous Campaign of Annihilation"
(Rawya Rageh, Alia Malek, Wendy Pearlman and Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)

There truly are no words to describe the extent of the horrors that we're seeing in Syria -- the malnutrition, the deprivation, the massacres. So many external players sort of robbed people of their dreams and their hopes and their ability to bring about the basic reforms and democracy they were asking for. No one in Syria was asking for this kind of civil infighting. And this just shows you the lengths to which the Syrian government and its supporters were willing to go just to maintain the rule of one man in power.

The American Warlord: Trump Plans Major Boost to Already Record US Arms Sales
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Samuel Stebbins / 24/7 Wall St.com)

The United States is already the world's leading exporter of weapons, by far. This fact is driving record profits for well-positioned US arms-makers on record sales to every country on even sort-of good terms with the US. With the US government increasingly gauging its export success on weapons sales, "enough" simply isn't an option. Now Donald Trump is finalizing a policy guidance to boosts to sales of US-made weapons above and beyond what's already been sent abroad.

Gun Violence as State-Sponsored Domestic Terrorism
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / The Network of Spiritual Progressives & Henry A. Giroux /Tikkun Magazine)

There are 300 million guns in the United States and, since the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School of 20 young children and 6 teachers a decade ago, 11,000 more children have died of gun violence. There is no defense for putting the policies of the NRA ahead of the lives of children. Today, in Washington and many US states, criminal acts often pass for legislative policies.

Anti-Drone Billboards Pop Up in Syracuse; Encounter Censorship Elsewhere
(David Swanson / World Beyond War)

World Beyond War has been raising funds for and renting billboards in opposition to war. We've run into censorship from numerous billboard companies but persevered, and more billboards are on their way. We're currently putting these two new billboards in Syracuse, New York, where drone pilots participate in US wars from Hancock Air Base.

The Environmental Consequences of the Use of Armed Drones
(Doug Weir and Elizabeth Minor / Reaching Critical Will & Toxic Remnants of War)

To date, debate over the implications of the growing use of armed drones has focused on human rights, on the expansion of the use of force into new contexts, and on the imbalances created by the newfound ability to project violence at a distance. Largely missing from the debate over the use of drones are concerns about the environmental and derived humanitarian impacts of drone operations. For starters, the use of these explosive weapons has the capacity to generate toxic remnants.

ACTION ALERT: Standing Up to the NRA: A Domestic Terrorist Organization
(Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Common Defense & The Us Campaign)

Dallas is home to this year's NRA annual convention but a city council member and the mayor pro tem are urging the NRA to take its convention elsewhere. Huge protests are planned if the NRA goes forth with the convention, which would include the selling of ammunition and assault weapons. For years, the NRA has fed violent, paranoid rhetoric to their millions of members along with apocalyptic, terrorizing propaganda videos, openly threatening peaceful protesters with menacing violence.

ACTION ALERT: Guns Amok: If Congress Won't Act, Perhaps the Banks Will
(Ultraviolet & NewsMax & William Cummings and Bart Jansen / USA TODAY)

Kids are being murdered and Congress has done nothing to stop the sale of these assault weapons -- they are more worried about losing their campaign contributions than people's lives. Now we're calling on Visa, Mastercard, and other credit card companies to stop allowing people to buy assault weapons with their credit cards.

Playing by the Rules? Nuclear Powers Could Learn from Olympic Athletes and Fans
(Marilyn Langlois / TRANSCEND Media Service)

Commentary: "The US, the only nation to ever use nuclear weapons, subjecting the people of Japan to unspeakable horrors, is quick to assume a holier-than-thou attitude when proclaiming who else is allowed and who is not allowed to develop, possess, and upgrade these killing machines. The world's stockpile of nukes could destroy humanity many times over."

ACTION ALERT: The GOP the NRA and Mass Murder: The Proven Solution in Gun Control
(Robert Reich & Dan Rathert & YES! Magazine & VoteVets)

This week, 17 teachers, students, and visitors died in a Florida high school, in a country where mass shootings have been devastatingly routine. Background checks and gun control have proven effective at reducing gun suicides and domestic shootings (both very worthwhile goals), but not the gun homicides or mass shootings such remedies are invoked to redress. But the last 25 years have seen massive declines in gun homicides in New York, California, and Texas -- all states with strict gun-control laws.

In Florida, It's Easier to Buy a Gun than to Vote
(Ruth Milka / NationofChange & Heather Dockray and Andrea Romano / Mashable.com)

The United States, which has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, makes it surprisingly easy to buy an assault weapon. In Florida, it's harder to get birth control and purchase over the counter medications, such as Sudafed, than it is to buy a gun.

ACTION ALERT: Student-Shooting Survivors Give Voice to Their Outrage
(Julie Turkewitz, Matt Stevens and Jason M. Bailey / The New York Times & Emma Gonzalez)

Commentary: "If the President wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the NRA? . . . . I already know. $30 million. And divided by the number of gunshot victims in the US in the one and one-half months in 2018 alone, that comes out to being $5,800. Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump?"

ACTION ALERT: There Are Many Bills in Congress To Reduce Gun Violence -- And The GOP Has Blocked Them All
(Senator Elizabeth Warren & CREDO Action )

Democrats have bills to ban assault weapons but the Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House. Even when kids die every day in deliberate shootings, accidental shootings, drive-by shootings, and random shootings, the Republicans have blocked even the tiniest gun reform laws to protect our children and communities.

Pentagon Gets Billions as Older Defense Industry Workers Lose Jobs and Benefits
(Stephen Miles / Inkstick Media & Peter Whoriskey / The Week)

The Pentagon's budget is $700 billion for this 2018 and $716 billion for 2019. Senate Chair John McCain declared that without these funds "our military would not be able to defend the nation." (Give the military $620 billion and they're helpless but give them 8% more and everything will be ok?) Meanwhile, McDonnell-Douglas, a major defense contractor, has set enacted cost-saving measures that involve shutting plants to deny pensions to aging members of its workforce -- forcing many workers into bankruptcy.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the School Shootings: Ban Sales of Military Weapons
(LegitAction Team & Brave New Films & The Huffington Post & Kucinich.com & MomsRising)

The recent shooting in Parkland, Florida is an example of the deadly consequences that can arise when the American people overwhelmingly ask for a policy (like gun safety reforms) that Congress ignores at the behest of a few campaign donors (like the NRA and gun manufacturers). Rich and powerful gun interests are undermining our democratic legitimacy: our lives and our freedoms are at risk. Raise your voice to challenge the Gun Lobby.

Trump Quietly Kills Gun-control Law!
(Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Dave Lindorff / This Can't Be Happening)

In a very hush manner, Donald Trump signed a bill into law on Tuesday that rolled back an Obama-era regulation that put restrictions on gun purchases for people with mental illnesses. Why do we permit people to buy semi-automatic assault rifles?Something is clearly sick in America. The latest shooting, in Broward County, Florida, did not take place in some crowded, poor, violence-plagued, urban school, but rather in an upscale suburban community -- at a top-performing high school.

It's Time to Deal With Trumputin's Second Amendment Idiocy
(Harvey "Sluggo" Wasserman / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: The first thing to remember about gun violence is that it is A BUSINESS. There is an entire corporate infrastructure that makes BIG MONEY on these murders. Whoever makes and sells the automatic weapons and the bullets that do these slaughters makes a profit on them. Yesterday's shooting, like tomorrow's, puts money in their bank account. They will be enriched by the next mass slaughter and the one after that and the one after that.

Las Vegas Autopsies Reveal The True Brutality Of Mass Shootings
(Nick Wing and Matt Ferner / Huffington Post)

Media coverage often serves to sanitize the graphic, uncomfortable reality of these tragedies. Maybe we don't deserve the privilege of that comfort. In the wake of the Las Vegas mass-shooting in October 2017, reports from the Clark County coroner's office offer a raw account of the power of civilian weaponry. With bullets traveling at 3,000-feet-per-second, the damage these high-powered rifles can inflict on human bodies is extreme -- even when the gunman appears to have no particular firearms expertise.

1,607 More Mass Shootings Since Sandy Hook: Washington Offers 'Thoughts and Prayers'
(German Lopez, Ryan Mark and Soo Oh on / VOX & The Gun Violence Archive & The New York Times)

In December 2012, a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 20 children, six adults, and himself. Since then, there have been at least 1,607 mass shootings, with at least 1,846 people killed and 6,459 wounded.

JROTC, Military Indoctrination and the Training of Mass Killers
(Pat Elder / The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy)

Nikolas Cruz, the south Florida shooter, was enrolled in the Army's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program as a 9th grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Army taught Cruz to shoot lethal weapons at a very young and impressionable age.

US Wasting Billions on Nuclear Bombs that Serve No Purpose and Are a Security Liability
(Julian Borger / The Guardian)

The US is to spend billions of dollars upgrading 150 nuclear bombs positioned in Europe, although the weapons may be useless as a deterrent and a potentially catastrophic security liability, according to a new report by arms experts. A third of the B61 bombs in Europe under joint US and NATO control are thought to be kept at Incirlik base in Turkey, 70 miles from the Syrian border, which has been the subject of serious concerns.

The Pope's Message on Nuclear Abolition
(Pope Francis / The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development)

Commentary: "International relations cannot be held captive to military force, mutual intimidation, and the parading of stockpiles of arms. Weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security. They cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family, which must rather be inspired by an ethics of solidarity."

New Defense Strategy: War With Great Nations and A New Arms Race
(Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance)

At a time when US empire is fading (something the Pentagon recognizes) and with the US is falling behind China economically, the War Party in Washington has revealed a new National Defense Strategy that focuses on conflicts with great powers and calls for a new arms race, including an escalation of nuclear weapons development. The US military is spread across the world with troops in several dangerous conflict areas that could develop into an all-out wars with China or Russia.

The Pentagon's Costly F-35 Fiasco Continues In 2018
(William Thomas / Will Thomas Online)

The F-35 Joint Strike Failure is still flapping around the boneyard, unable to fly very much except for photo-ops. At least $8 billion of the Pentagon's budget for 2015 was devoted to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Already on track to be the most expensive weapon system in history, in 2018, the F-35 is becoming a black hole in the Pentagon budget.

Trump Vows Major Expansion of US Nuclear Arsenal
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Stephen M. Walt / Foreign Policy & Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)

Talking up his new budget priorities, President Trump announced plans to conduct a massive expansion of the US nuclear weapons arsenal, with an eye toward building a number "far, far in excess of anybody else" -- once again overlooking the fact that the US already has the strongest nuclear arsenal on the planet. The Pentagon also wants to develop a new generation of smaller "usable" nuclear weapons to allow more flexible targeting abilities -- which would actually make nuclear war more likely.

Why a Peace Treaty Is the First Step in Seeking a Denuclearized North Korea
(Cesar Jaramillo / Open Canada.org)

Despite all eyes on the showing of unity between the Koreas at the Pyeongchang Games this month, North Korea's nuclear program remains the elephant in the Olympic-sized room. But a key issue remains to be addressed: declaring a formal end to the Korean War. A peace treaty for the Korean peninsula may be the only realistic framework to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea.

Washington Eager to Waste $1.4 Trillion on War; NATO Allies, Not So Much
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Claudia Grisales / Stars and Stripes & Max Greenwood / The Hill)

The latest brief government shutdown in the US on Friday resulted in a new budget deal that cements a huge 2018 budget by promising a huge military spending increase for 2019 -- in excess of $1.4 trillion in promised military spending over the next two years. But this is just the baseline increase agreed to. The final bill is expected to be higher than anyone requested in the first place. Meanwhile, most NATO member states have yet to make plans to meet the military spending target insisted upon by the US.

One Drone Enters Israeli Airspace; Israeli Bombs Syria in 'Largest Attack Since 1982'
(Reuters & Muraselon: Syrian News & Al Jazeera)

Anti-aircraft fire downed one of eight Israeli warplanes returning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria in one of the most serious confrontations yet between Israel and Syrian forces based across the border. Israel claimed the airstrikes inside Syria were in retaliation for a drone that entered Israeli airspace and was shot down. But Israel has a history of violating Syrian airspace -- at least a half-dozen times since 2014 -- to attack targets that included the outskirts of Damascus, Syria's capital.

"Iranian" Drone that Entered Israeli Airspace Called an "American Knock-off"; Moscow Accuses US of Covert Drone Attack
(Judah Ari Gross / Times of Israel & Vladimir Isachenkov / The Associated Press)

The Iranian drone shot down by the Israeli Air Force early Saturday morning appears to have been a relatively new stealth model whose design was stolen from an American unmanned aerial vehicle that was captured by Iran in 2011, according to aviation analysts.

Trump's Nuclear Posture Review Revives Nightmares of Dr. Strangelove
(Derek Royden / NationofChange)

On February 2, the Pentagon officially released the Trump Administration's Nuclear Posture Review, the first such review since 2010. Like most such documents, there's a lot of repetition over its 100 pages but, overall, it makes for terrifying rather than boring, reading. In true Trumpian fashion, nuclear arms are sold throughout the review as a cost-efficient, even cheap, means to maintain American strategic dominance in every corner of the world.

As Congress Feeds the Merchants of Death, the People Must Divest
(Medea Benjamin / NationofChange )

In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion. Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. If neither major political party will stand up to this status quo, what can be done? One answer might be found in the recent push to divest from fossil fuel -- from Norway to New York City.

Trump's Nuclear Posture Review: Back to Armageddon
(Michael T. Klare / The Nation)

While Donald Trump's proposed expansion of the nuclear stockpile will channel hundreds of billions of dollars into the coffers of US military contractors (consistently among Trump's major cheerleaders), there is much more to all this than prestige and profits. Trump, and his associates in the White House, reject the measured and conservative outlook that governed Obama's nuclear policy and instead profess a stance that is both darker and far more combative.

New Defense Strategy: Instead of 'War on Terror' a 'War with Great Nations' -- and the Democrats Who Voted for Trump's New Arms Race
(Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Popular Resistance & Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange)

Trump's new National Defense Strategy pivots away from the 'War or Terror' to focus on conflicts with "Great Power" and a new arms race -- complete with an escalation of nuclear weapons development. The US' is spread across the world with troops fighting simultaneously in conflicts on several continents -- any one of which could become an all-out war with China or Russia. Who benefits? Weapons manufacturers, defense contractors, lobbyists, and other beneficiaries of the military-industrial complex

ACTION ALERT: Divest from the War Machine -- A Week of Resistance
(CODEPINK / Divest from the War Machine)

This Tuesday's State of the Union address emphasized war, violence, and weapons. As we watch our country invest more of our money in weapons and war, we can take action and send a message to companies like Lockheed Martin that we will not invest in their acts of war.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear Doctrine Called a "Roadmap to Nuclear War"
(The Basel Peace Office, Abolition 2000, Sen. Edward J Markey et al.)

The Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review has been criticized as a "roadmap to nuclear war" that calls for developing new low-yield "tactical" nuclear weapons and increases the role of nuclear weapons in US military planning by lowering the bar on the threats that could trigger a nuclear war. It backs a modernization of the existing nuclear arsenal that would increase the nuclear weapons budget by $60 billion per year.

ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign
(Food and Water Watch)

For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.

Donald Trump Loves the F-35 but the People of Vermont Do Not
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Tyler Rogoway / The Drive)

Corrupt practices are driving the Burlington City Council in a headlong campaign to force a neighboring city to host a weapon of mass destruction -- the F-35, a nuclear capable fighter-bomber. In development since 1992 (at a cost of $400 billion and counting), the trouble-plagued F-35 was first flown in 2000 and is still not reliably deployable in 2018. The F-35 can't shoot straight and has more than 200 other deficiencies. Donald Trump sees no problems: he actual (and falsely) believes the F-35 is "invisible."

America's Response to School Shootings; Teachers Are Being Trained to Shoot Their Students
(Joel Gunter / BBC News & Patricia J. Williams / The Nation)

Two schoolchildren died on Tuesday and 14 others suffered bullet wounds when a classmate opened fire outside a school in Benton, Kentucky. It was the third shooting incident at a school in 48 hours and the 11th in the three weeks since the start of the year. In lieu of any serious discussion about gun control, there has been instead a proliferation of laws and bills that would arm teachers, and train them to be able to kill -- to kill their own armed students, if necessary.

ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign
(Food and Water Watch)

For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.

ACTION ALERT: Join the "Off Fossil Fuels" Campaign
(Food and Water Watch)

For five years, Food & Water Watch has worked to ban fracking because it presents unacceptable risks to our water supply. Now, we're taking on dirty energy for another reason: climate chaos. The goal: to move the US from fossil fuels to 100% renewables by 2035. Over 400 organizations have signed onto a letter urging support for this "visionary legislation," including 350.org, Friends of the Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Progressive Democrats of America, Our Revolution, National Nurses United and more.

Trump's State of the Union: Lies, Damn Lies, and Nuclear Posture Reviews
(David Swanson / World Beyond War)

Commentary: Trump's State of the Union gave several justifications for building more weapons -- aka a "safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent." There is, of course, nothing safe or secure about producing, maintaining, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. Nor is there evidence that they have ever deterred anything that the United States wanted deterred. We should all contemplate for a moment what the US objectives are that can be achieved by nuclear weapons "if deterrence fails."

Reality Check: Where Are the World's Nuclear Weapons?
(Reality Check Team / BBC News)

The Pentagon has outlined how it wants to revamp the US nuclear arsenal, and develop new low-yield bombs. Reality Check looks into where the world's nuclear weapons are located and who owns them.

ACTION ALERT: New Trump Nuclear Policy Veers into Dangerous Territory
(Martin Fleck / Physicians for Social Responsibility)

The Huffington Post has leaked a draft of the Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review. The NPR, which officially defines the role of US nuclear weapons, dangerously increases reliance on nuclear weapons rather than pursuing diplomacy to prevent conflict and move towards arms reductions. Help PSR hold our government accountable in calling this reckless policy unacceptable.

Nuclear War: A Thousand Buttons
(Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)

When President Donald Trump bragged that his nuclear "button" was bigger and more efficient than North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's "button," he was perpetuating the myth that the leaders of nuclear-armed nations control their weapons. But you do not have to be Trump, Kim, Vladimir Putin, Theresa May, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi, Mamnoon Hussain, or Benjamin Netanyahu to push that "button." There are thousands of buttons and thousands of people who can initiate a nuclear war.

Facing Up to US Nukes: In 2017, Activists Occupied a US Nuclear Bunker inside Germany
(John LaForge / CounterPunch)

First-person account: "The fairy tale that nuclear weapons provide state security is a fiction believed by millions. On July 17, five of us proved that state guarantees of 'highly secure' nuclear weapon facilities are just as fictitious. After nightfall, an international group of five peace activists got deep inside the Buchel Air Base and, for the first time in a 21-year long series of protests against its deployment of US nuclear bombs, we occupied the top of one of the large bunkers potentially used for storing nuclear weapons."

Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms
(David E. Sanger and William J. Broad / The New York Times)

For decades, American presidents have threatened "first use" of nuclear weapons against enemies in only very narrow and limited circumstances. Now, a newly drafted US nuclear strategy that has been sent to the Oval Office for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure -- including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

ACTION ALERT: US Bombers in Guam Seen Readying For Tactical Nuclear Strike on North Kore
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Lockie / Business Insider)

With all other signs of tensions on the Korean Peninsula on the decline, the US is stepping up its deployment of nuclear-capable bombers and general firepower to the airbase at Guam. This is further fueling speculation that the US is preparing itself for the long-speculated sneak attack on North Korea, and that such a sneak attack could involve B-61 gravity bombs as part of a tactical nuclear strike.

Is Trump Plotting a "Bloody Nose" Attack against North Korea: If So, It Would Be a War Crime
(Michael Schmitt and Ryan Goodman / Just Security)

As tensions de-escalate on the Korean Peninsula, the international legal debate over the so-called "Bloody Nose Strategy," which involves "a limited military strike against North Korean sites without igniting an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula" has moved in the other direction. Our best assessment is that it would amount to a violation of the prohibition on the use of force set forth in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter and customary international law. It would also likely fit the definition of a crime of aggression.

Atomic 'Doomsday Clock' Now One Minute Closer to Nuclear Midnight
(Doyle Rice / USA TODAY)

"Because of the extraordinary danger of the current moment, the Science and Security Board today moves the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to catastrophe," said Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. "This is the closest the Clock has ever been to Doomsday, and as close as it was in 1953, at the height of the Cold War."

ACTION ALERT: Legislation to Prevent Trump from Starting Nuclear War Introduced as 'Doomsday Clock' Nears Midnight
(Basel Peace Office & Hon. Edward J. Markey / US Senate)

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists today moved the hands of the symbolic Doomsday Clock to 2 Minutes to Midnight, indicating that the world is the closest to possible nuclear Armageddon since the height of the Cold War. Now 22 Senators say US commitment to the elimination of nuclear weapons -- not the creation of new, more "usable" weapons -- should be core components of Nuclear Posture Review.

Pentagon and Military Industrial Complex Only Winners In Endless, Losing, $11 Trillion War on Terror'
(Andrew J. Bacevich / The American Conservative)

No nation in recorded history has ever deployed its troops to more places than has the United States since 2001. We have rained US bombs and missiles on dozens of countries. We've killed an astonishing number of people. And what have Americans gotten in return for the $11 trillion (give or take) expended over the past 16-plus years of continuous war? In Washington, the question goes not only unanswered but unasked.

Questioning Washington's Foreign Bases: An Imperial Occupation that Encircles the World
(Ann Garrison / Counterpunch)

Last year, a divided Congress approved a military spending bill of $700 billion, more than either the President or the Pentagon had requested. Hundreds of billions will go to maintain and arm nearly 1,000 overseas US military bases and US troops in more than 175 foreign countries. The US is the largest, most lethal military power in human history -- with seven geographic commands spanning the globe. The annual cost of these bases -- approximately $156 billion -- diverts funds that could improve lives inside the USA.

Trump's 'Mini-Nukes' Would Increase -- Not Diminish -- the Likelihood of Nuclear World War
(Gar Smith / Truthout )

The Pentagon claims a new line of "fashionable, well-tailored mini-nukes" would provide the military with "more options" and "greater flexibility." Instead of facing the terrifying specter of engaging in all-out nuclear war with 400-kiloton thermonuclear planet-killers, mini-nukes would free Washington's military planners to whack at its enemies with smaller, more "palatable" blasts of atomic threat that would obliterate practically anything within a mile of Ground Zero. Or, they could trigger a thermonuclear world war.

A Troubling Series of False Nuclear Missile Alarms: From Hawaii, Japan, and the Pentagon
(Lucy Steigerwald / Foundation for Economic Education & The Associated Press & Alex Ward / VOX News)

On January 13, residents of Hawaii were terrified by a text message that said a missile was heading their way, and they should "seek shelter immediately." On January 17, the Japan Broadcasting Corp. issued an erroneous alert about a North Korean missile fired at Japan. On January 15, the Pentagon tweeted false report claiming that the US maintains "secret silos" for its nuclear warheads and has "B-1 bombers that can drop them from the air." Should the survival of humanity hinge on bureaucratic protocols?

Trump Is Turning the State Department Into a Global Weapons Dealer
(Haley Pedersen and Jodie Evans / AlterNet)

In the Trump administration, the State Department -- an agency originally created to promote peace -- is now fomenting war. hrough a plan dubbed "Buy American," the administration is calling for US attaches and diplomats to play a larger role in the sale of US weapons, effectively solidifying their role as lobbyists for the arms industry rather than agents of diplomacy -- essentially forcing the State Department to undermine its role of fostering peaceful global relations and, instead, fomenting militarism and instability.

Report: White Right-wing Extremists Are a Greater Domestic Threat than Islamic Extremists
(Christopher Mathias / The Huffington Post)

According to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, white supremacists in the United States killed more than twice as many people in 2017 as they did the year before, and were responsible for far more murders than domestic Islamic extremists, helping make 2017 the fifth deadliest year on record for extremist violence in America. Of the 34 people killed, 18 were murdered by white supremacists, marking a 157 percent increase over the 7 people killed by white supremacists in 2016.

The Island Paradise Where The US Tests Missiles to 'Neutralize' The North Korean Threat
(Jon Letman / The Daily Beast)

The recent Korean Olympic peace pause is a good sign -- a welcome step back from the brink and a hopeful step down the path of diplomacy. But in the meantime, in Hawaii, the US is developing and deploying weapons meant to block Kim Jong Un's missiles. Hawaii's Pacific Missile Range Facility is the launch site for testing the Pentagon's Advanced Hypersonic Weapon -- a massive nuclear-strike missile capable of hitting anywhere in the world in under an hour.

War. What Is It Good For? Lockheed, Northrop, General Dynamics, Boeing. Ab$olutley
(William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & Nation of Change)

As Donald Trump might put it, major weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin cashed in "bigly" in his first year in office. They raked in tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts, while posting sharp stock price increases and healthy profits driven by the continuation and expansion of Washington's post-9/11 wars. But last year's bonanza is likely to be no more than a down payment on even better days to come for the military-industrial complex.

Pentagon Study Declares American Empire Is 'Collapsing'
(Nafeez Ahmed / www.medium.com)

An extraordinary new Pentagon study concludes that the US-backed global order established after World War 2 is "fraying" and may even be "collapsing," threatening US "primacy" in world affairs. The Pentagon's vision of what comes next hardly inspires confidence. The plan to protect US power calls for more surveillance, propaganda and military expansion. What is really driving the end of the American Empire? What is the real solution?

Under Trump's Presidency, Civilian Deaths in Iraq and Syria Have Soared More than 200%
(Alex Hopkins / AirWars)

Sold as the "most precise campaign in history" by US officials, the urban battlefields in Iraq and Syria laid waste by bombs, artillery and improvised explosives told another story. Non-combatant deaths from US air and artillery strikes rose by more than 200 percent compared to 2016, with between 3,923 and 6,102 civilians estimated killed. Roughly 65% of all civilian deaths from Coalition actions since 2014 occurred over the last 12 months. This unprecedented death toll coincided with the start of the Trump presidency.

Nuclear War and Extreme Weather Lead List of Top 2018 Threats
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & USA Today & The World Economic Forum)

The World Economic Forum's 13th annual Global Risks Perception Survey reveals that the risk of wars -- both limited and major -- are both increasing substantially. The report predicts that 2018 could see a 79% increase in the risk of state-on-state military conflict. The risk of political and economic confrontations between major powers, including outright military conflicts, has risen sharply. Top risks for 2018 include threats from extreme weather, economic inequalities, cyber attacks, and nuclear weapons.

ACTION ALERT / VIDEOS: Uncovering and Opposing the Pentagon's Global Empire of Bases
(No Foreign Bases Coalition & World Beyond War & Popular Resistance)

Unknown to most Americans, the Pentagon operates a vast, global empire of military bases that circles the planet. This hidden empire consists of nearly 562,000 facilities worth more than $585 billion located on more than 4,800 sites in 42 nations and covering over 24.9 million acres -- equal in size to the entire state of Kentucky. The US cannot be a moral or ethical country until it faces up to the realities of US empire and the destruction it causes around the world.

Trump to Cut Red Tape on Overseas Sales of US Weapons
(Carlo Muboz / The Washington Times & The White House)

The Trump administration is taking aim at another US industry it says it being held back by overregulation and government red tape, moving to reduce federal rules and restrictions governing overseas sales of weapons and armament, in a bid to accelerate American arms deals to a growing international clientele eager to field the latest generation of US-made weaponry. US diplomats and military attaches will be tasked with talking up and promoting the sales of US military-industrial products abroad.

A Model for US Activists: British Protesters Challenge UK Arms Sales to Saudis
(Campaign Against the Arms Trade)

Saudi Arabia is the UK's biggest arms customer and most shameful relationship. One of the world's most authoritarian regimes, its repression at home and aggression abroad is propped up and supported by UK arms sales. The UK's military support for the Saudi regime makes us complicit in its wrongs. The UK must end all arms sales and military support to Saudi Arabia.

UN Sanctions Iran but Not US for Yemen Weapons
(Cesar Chelala / CommonDreams & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse)

While the US actively supplies weapons that kill civilians in Yemen, Iran has been accused of failing to halt the transfer of "component." Health facilities in Yemen continue to be hit by Saudi bombs and health and humanitarian workers are increasingly targeted. In a scene out of Guernica, one survivor described a Saudi airstrike killed at least 63 civilians: "It was like something out of Judgment Day. Corpses and heads scattered, engulfed by fire and ashes."

Trump Secretly Readies Nuke Bombers as Talks Begin in Korea
(Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)

During the bilateral talks between North and South Korea, the US Air Force deployed three nuclear-capable B-2 Spirit bombers to Guam, along with some 200 airmen. The troubling fact is that, while the US never formally objected to the Korean peace talks, there were reports that Trump was considering a "limited" sneak attack against North Korea. Deployment of B-2s during the Winter Olympics -- and shortly after Trump tweeted that his "Nuclear Button" was bigger -- was seen as inflammatory.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear Policy: More Nukes, Including Smaller,
(Ashley Feinberg / The Huffington Post & International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Win Without War)

On the order of President Trump, the US Department of Defense is currently concluding a sweeping review of the United States' nuclear policy -- a "nuclear posture review" -- expected to be released at the end of this month. But already now, the text has leaked and shows that the Trump administration will loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons and develop more "usable" nuclear warheads.

Police 'Gun-buys' Don't Work When the Police Turn Around and Offer the Guns for Sale
(Martha Bellisle / Associated Press)

After the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to release tracking information on guns associated with crimes, the Associated Press created a database of almost 6,000 firearms sold by law enforcement since 2010 and found more than a dozen firearms sold by police in Washington state since 2010 ended up as weapons seized in the commission of new crimes.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Twitter to Revoke Donald Trump's Twitter Account
(CREDO Mobile & Jack Moore / GQ Magazine)

Donald Trump has used Twitter to demean religions, other countries, immigrants, and world leaders. Now he is using Twitter to threaten a nuclear crisis. Ordinarily an online comment like that would send the CIA and FBI scrambling into action to track down and immobilized the "terrorist threat." It's time to demand that Twitter revoke Donald Trump's Twitter account for violations of the terms of service and institute safeguards to prevent a single tweet from sparking armed conflict.

The CDC Promotes Trump's Threat of a Nuclear War
(Brett Molina / USA TODAY & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge.com)

As tensions between North Korea and the US rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want Americans to be prepared in case of a "nuclear event." The CDC's traditional role involves preventative intervention -- hygiene and vaccinations. Teaching the public "how to survive a nuclear detonation" is like teaching the public how to survive an influenza epidemic -- after stepping aside and allowing it to happen. If the CDC took nuclear war as seriously as the flu, it would be working on ways to prevent war.

$406 Billion for Trouble-plagued F-35 Jet but Healthcare "Too Costly" -- as Jets Endanger Childrens' Health
(Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Reuters & James Marc Leas / Truthout)

Members of Congress say the US is "too broke" to increase spending on programs that intend to improve education and healthcare, but $27 billion more could go to F-35 jet program. Meanwhile, the health of children in a working-class neighborhood of Vermont is suffering from exposure to the roar of jet fighters overhead. This jet noise is set to sharply increase in two years when the Air Force plans to replace the F-16s with four-times-louder F-35 fighter bombers.

The Pentagon's Kadema Air Base Called "World's Most Dangerous Airport"
(The Peace Report / Veterans for Peace & Jon Mitchell / The Japan Times)

The Kadema Air Base on Okinawa Island is the largest US Air Force installation in Asia. Equipped with vast runways and thousands of hangars, homes and workshops, the base and adjoining arsenal cover 46 square kilometers. Over the years, accidents and neglect have polluted local land and water with hazardous chemicals -- including arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, asbestos and dioxin -- while US officials hid this information, putting at risk the health of US service members and 184,000 civilians living nearby.

Honduran Election Fraud Follows Decades of Corruption Funded By US Drug War
(Danielle Marie Mackey / The Intercept)

Olancho is gorgeous, with elevated cloud forests flush with orchids and fresh water that tumbles down majestic cliffs, spilling into lowland rainforests or emerald rolling pastures and valleys. But a sinister history lies below the surface and reveals itself only indirectly. A satellite image of a preserved rainforest that traverses the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve reveals a cemetery of hacked trees. The extent of the carnage was almost certainly too big and had happened too fast to be funded by anything other than drugs.

Ellsberg's The Doomsday Machine: The Madness of America's Nuclear Weapons
(William J. Astore / AntiWar.com)

Daniel Ellsberg's new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, is a shattering portrayal of the genocidal nature of US nuclear planning during the Cold War -- and that threat of worldwide genocide (or omnicide, a word Ellsberg uses to describe the death of nearly everything from a nuclear exchange that would generate disastrous cooling due to nuclear winter) persists to this day.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Is Honored With a Nobel Peace Prize
(Alice Slater / The Nation & Beatrice Fihn / ICAN & Setsuko Thurlow / ICAN)

It has been just 10 years since ICAN first launched its astonishing campaign to ban nuclear weapons, just as chemical and biological weapons have been banned as well as land mines and cluster bombs. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now closed a legal gap in the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that only requires "good faith efforts for nuclear disarmament" by the then-five existing nuclear weapons states -- the United States, Russia, UK, France, China.

US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 136 Civilians in 11 Days
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)

Saudi Arabia's airstrikes against targets across northern Yemen have continued since the early 2015 invasion, and civilians have borne the brunt of the strikes. Escalating attacks suggest a disturbing trend, with the UN High Commission for Human Rights expressing deep concern. Not only are the civilian death tolls mounting, but the nature of the strikes has been increasingly troubling. Recent strikes have hit a hospital, a prison, a TV station, and a carload of women returning from a wedding.

US Weapons Industry Bombs the World for Profits but the Pentagon Is Not a Sacred Cow
(teleSUR & The Editorial Board of the New York Times)

In 2016, global arms producers saw $375 billion in profits, with the US weapons industry claiming more than half the global sales. Meanwhile, back in the US, the Pentagon continues to waste about one in five of the dollars it receives. Health care, Social Security, Medicare and other social programs are all on the chopping block as Republicans race to write tax bill that benefits large corporations (including arms makers) but the Pentagon remains a sacred cow, destined to receive yet more taxpayer dollars.

The Brutal Origins of Gun Rights
(Patrick Blanchfield / New Republic)

In her brilliant and devastating new book, Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment, writer and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz argues that America's obsession with guns has roots in a long, bloody legacy of racist vigilantism, militarism, and white nationalism. What the Second Amendment guarantees is instead something else: "the violent appropriation of Native land by white settlers . . . as an individual right."

The US Is a Country Addicted to War:
(Tom Englehardt and Andrew J. Bacevich / TomDispatch)

The Pentagon's Predator drones -- ferocious assassins, capable of crossing borders without a blink and without respect for national sovereignty -- terrorize civilians while proving to be remarkable recruitment tools for terror groups. George W. Bush told us that US weapons would spread freedom and democracy. Instead, our wars have sown disorder and instability, creating failed states across the Greater Middle East and Africa. We now see more, not fewer, jihadist groups, while terror acts are soaring globally.

Bombs in Our Backyard: Investigating One of America's Greatest Polluters
(Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica)

The Pentagon has poisoned millions of acres and left Americans to guess at the threat to their health. Its oversight of thousands of toxic sites has been marked by defiance and delay. Now ProPublica has published data on 40,000 hazardous sites across the country polluted by US military operations. Journalists and activists can use the data to find local stories.

ACTION ALERT: A Peoples' Peace Treaty for the US and North Korea
(World Beyond War & NationofChange)

Mainstream US media depicts North Korean Kim Jong-Un as crazy and his country as an insane asylum, but there is logic in their fear of "regime change"-- a fear that only negotiations can address. Alarmed by the threat of a nuclear war, concerned US peace groups have come together to present a People's Peace Treaty to Washington and Pyongyang.

How History's Deadliest Bombing Campaign Created Today's Crisis in Korea
(Ted Nace / CounterPunch)

As the world watches with mounting concern the growing tensions and bellicose rhetoric between the United States and North Korea, one of the most remarkable aspects of the situation is the absence of any public acknowledgement of the underlying reason for North Korean fears -- or, as termed by United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, "state of paranoia" -- namely, the horrific firebombing campaign waged by the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and the unprecedented death toll that resulted from that bombing.

The Dome: An Abandoned US Nuclear Waste Site Could Be Swamped by Rising Seas
(The Australian Broadcasting Corporation & Mark Willacy / ABC News)

The Runit Dome, an 18-inch-thick concrete dome in the oceans of the Republic of the Marshall Islands contains highly toxic waste from 67 US nuclear weapons tests conducted in the South Pacific from 1946-58. Now, the dome (intended to last for hundreds of years) is cracked and leaking and rising sea levels due to climate change threaten an even greater catastrophe.

US Sued for Dropping H-bombs on Spain
(Dave Collings / Associated Press & ABC News)

Veterans who say they responded to a 1966 accident involving US hydrogen bombs in Spain and then became ill from radiation exposure asked a federal appeals court on Monday to allow a class action lawsuit against the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

US and Russia Engaged in a Costly New Nuclear Arms Race
(The Sunflower / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Scot Paltrow / US News & World Report)

In 2010, the Obama administration negotiated the New START treaty with Russia, which limited both sides' deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550. Despite both countries being on track to meeting the limit by the 2018 deadline, experts and former officials warn the risk of nuclear conflict is far from eliminated. In fact, the stricter limitation on the number of weapons has only spurred both countries to initiate modernization programs to improve the efficiency, accuracy, and lethality of their weapons systems.

Who Profits from Nuclear Bombs?
(Don't Bank of the Bomb & Matthew Rocco / Fox Business)

These 20 companies, which are the focus of this report, are involved in the nuclear weapons programmes of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and India. The full "Don't Bank on Bombs" report examines which financial institutions around the world invest in these companies through shares, bonds and loans.

Meet the Private Corporations that Have Grown Rich Building A Nuclear Arsenal that Could Kill US All
(Richard Krushnic and Jonathan Alan King / TomDispatch & The Nation)

Many Americans are unaware that much of the responsibility for nuclear weapons development, production, and maintenance lies with the Department of Energy, which spends more on nuclear weapons than it does on developing sustainable energy sources. Key to the DOE's nuclear project are the federal laboratories where nuclear weapons are designed, built, and tested. Meanwhile, a small number of powerful companies are making billions working on weapons systems designed to end life on Earth.

"It's Not a Guns Issue. It's a Mental Health Issue." But What If It's Both?
(Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & The Berkeley Daily Planet)

After a mass shooting in a church left 26 people dead, Donald Trump quickly moved to deflect growing public concern by claiming: "This isn't a gun situation. This is a mental health problem at the highest level." Once again, the "crazy gunman" meme had been unleashed in the mediastream, shifting attention from the weapons to the individual and suggesting that the solution involved controlling individuals, not their arsenals. But what if owning multiple guns was, itself, a sign of mental illness?

ACTION ALERT: Block the NRA's Plan to Legalize Concealed Weapons Nationwide
(CREDO Action & Dana Liebelson / The Huffington Post & The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence & Timothy Johnson / Media Matters)

It would be laughable if it weren't so deadly. Here's how Republicans have finally moved beyond their thoughts and prayers for the victims of gun violence -- with a reckless, dangerous bill to undermine gun safety laws across the country. The right-wing Republican extremists in the House have passed an NRA dream bill -- The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act -- that would force every state in the US to abide by the weakest state gun laws in the entire country -- a "guns everywhere" vision for America.

Grassroots Anti-nuclear Citizens' Group to Accept Nobel Peace Prize on December 10
(The Sunflower / The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Kyodo News Service & Vallarta Daily )

Today there are 17,300 nuclear warheads in the hands of nine countries -- the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India , Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. On December 10, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and Hiroshima-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow will accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the global campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons. In November 2017, Mexico’s Senate approved the treaty. The treaty will go into effect when 50 countries have signed and ratified it.

Why is Defense Waste Taboo in the Tax Debate?
(Jon Basil Utley / The American Conservative)

For all the talk about the big Republican tax cut it's really only about $150 billion per year -- although proponents multiply it by 10 years, so that $1.5 trillion sounds like a lot. Arguments about how to pay for it may end up derailing or neutering it in the end. Which is ironic, since Trump wants to add $50 billion to the defense budget. But no one wants to talk about defense waste during these tax debates. Why is the Pentagon budget untouchable?

America's Military-Industrial Addiction
(JP Sottile / Consortium News & AntiWar.com)

The Military-Industrial Complex has loomed over America ever since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of its growing influence during his prescient farewell address on Jan. 17, 1961. This year, a robust collection of 208 defense companies spent $93,937,493 to deploy 728 "reported" lobbyists (apparently some go unreported) to feed this year's trumped-up, $700 billion defense-only budget. War, as the great Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler aptly put it, is little more than a money-making "racket."

16 Ways to Cut Defense Spending
(Jon Basil Utley / The American Conservative)

Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "the greatest threat to our national security is our debt." Former Congressmember Ron Paul says that only about half the defense budget is for defense, the other half is for militarism abroad. So here are 16 ways to cut its waste, fraud, and abuse of American taxpayers.

Why There Is No Peace On Earth: "War Is a Racket"
(David Stockman / Contra Corner & AntiWar.com)

The end of the cold war meant world peace was finally at hand, yet 26 years later there is still no peace because Imperial Washington confounds it. The fact is, the modern Warfare State has been the incubator of American imperialism since the Cold War, and is now proving itself utterly invulnerable to fiscal containment, even in the face of a $19 trillion national debt. The War Party entrenched in the nation's capital is dedicated to economic interests and ideological perversions that guarantee perpetual war -- and perpetual profits.

Saudis to Buy $7 Billion More in US Arms for Yemen War
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & Fortune & BBC World News)

With international complaints about war crimes mounting, and a vote on US involvement in Yemen having just been derailed by the Congressional leadership, another vote on Saudi weapons sales is likely forthcoming, following reports the Saudis have made deals for another $7 billion in US arms related to the devastating war in Yemen. The deals are with Raytheon and Boeing to provide "precision guided munitions."

US Military to Indefinitely Delay Ban on Outlawed Cluster Bombs
(Phil Stewart / Reuters)

The Pentagon will indefinitely delay a ban on the use of older types of cluster bombs due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, officials said, arguing that safety improvements in munitions technology failed to advance enough to replace older stockpiles. Disclosure of the new policy met sharp criticism from Congress and human rights groups.

A Pentagon Nuclear Dumpsite Is About to Be Swamped by Rising Sea Levels
(Joe McCarthy / Global Citizen)

The Enewetak Atoll is all but invisible on Google Maps. Halfway between Australia and Hawaii, the ribbon of land is home to a small indigenous population that has seen their way of life eroded by decisions far outside of their control. For more than half a century, the atoll, which is part of the Marshall Islands, has been contaminated by nuclear explosions and waste. The decades ahead could leave it submerged by rising seas.

More Guns on America's Streets as Army Prepares to Start Selling Weapons to US Citizens
(Jared Keller/ Task and Purpose)

The .45 ACP M1911A1 pistol has served the US armed forces for more than a century. Now, thanks to this year's $700 billion federal defense budget, "at least 80,000" of these deadly combat weapons sold to civilian gun owners. The Defense Authorization Act that Congress sent to Donald Trump's desk on Nov. 16 requires the Secretary of the Army to transfer a cache of small arms and ammo to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, including the M1911 and M1911A1 pistols, the M-1 Garand, and .22 rimfire rifles.

The Duty to Disobey a Nuclear Launch Order
(Marjorie Cohn / Truthout)

On November 19, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of the US Strategic Command, declared he would refuse to follow an illegal presidential order to launch a nuclear attack. "If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail," the general explained at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia. "You could go to jail for the rest of your life." In the military, there is a legal duty to obey a lawful order -- but also a legal duty to disobey an unlawful order.

ACTION ALERT: Divest Public Pension Funds from Weapons Dealers
(World Beyond War and RootsAction.org)

While governments buy weapons, market weapons to other governments, donate weapons to other governments, and bestow tax breaks on weapons dealers, there is another less-visible way in which public money sustains weapons dealing. Public pension and retirement funds are invested, directly and indirectly, in weapons companies. Teachers and other public servants whose interests ought to lie with promoting human needs have their retirement security tied up with maintaining or enlarging the war industry.

Stopping Trump's Slide Toward Nuclear War
(Andrew Lichterman / Western States Legal Foundation & Tikkun)

Donald Trump's first appearance at the United Nations was a watershed moment. In an address notable for its belligerence, he marked his place not only as a harbinger of the erosion of the post Cold-War international legal order, but as an active agent of its destruction. His threat to "totally destroy North Korea" and its people runs contrary to both the letter and spirit of United Nations Charter. Trump's threat to wage "preventive war" whenever US leaders deem it necessary was also an attack on the UN itself.

Pentagon to Shop at Amazon: A $53 Billion Gift Under the GOP Budget Bill
(David Dayen /The Intercept)

The House and Senate tax bill committees have approved a controversial "Amazon amendment" that would turn over federal procurement of off-the-shelf items, a $53 billion market, to e-commerce portals. The provision would guarantee billions of dollars in new revenue to Amazon. "It seems like Amazon wrote it," said Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, "It will accelerate the transfer of more and more government spending to Amazon."

Saudis to Buy $7 Billion More in US Arms for Yemen War
(AntiWar.com & Reuters and Fortune.com)

With international complaints about war crimes mounting, and a vote on US involvement in Yemen having just been derailed by the Congressional leadership, another vote is likely forthcoming, following reports the Saudis have been promised another $7 billion in US arms. Congressional votes on arms sales have historically been easy to pass, but weapons sold to the Saudis have left thousands of Yemeni civilians killed in the US-backed war amid growing concern that these arms sales constitute US culpability.

The US Is Stockpiling Nuclear Arms, and the Cost Is Astonishing
(Harry Blain / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)

Thanks to an October 31 report by the Congressional Budget Office, we now have a 30-year outline of both the kinds of destructive weaponry we are buying, and how much it is going to cost. There are good reasons to be worried. Total cost: $1.2 trillion. Enough money to fund five Environmental Protection Agencies. The "deterrence" value of such an investment isn't immediately clear. But the fiscal impacts will certainly further bankrupt the already debt-burdened US economy.

Too Dangerous: US Strategists Call for Eliminating the ICBM Nuclear Arsenal
(Scot J. Paltrow / Reuters)

Of all weapons in the US nuclear arsenal, the ICBM is the one most likely to cause accidental nuclear war, arms-control specialists say. It is for this reason that a growing number of former top Pentagon officials, military scholars and members of Congress are calling for the elimination of ICBMs. Former defense secretaries William Perry and Leon Pancetta are among those warning that, of all weapons in the US nuclear arsenal, the ICBM is the one most likely to cause accidental nuclear war.

The US Is Stockpiling Nuclear Arms, and the Cost Is Astonishing
(Harry Blain / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)

Thanks to an October 31 report by the Congressional Budget Office, we now have a 30-year outline of both the kinds of destructive weaponry we are buying, and how much it is going to cost. There are good reasons to be worried. Total cost: $1.2 trillion. Enough money to fund five Environmental Protection Agencies. The "deterrence" value of such an investment isn't immediately clear. But the fiscal impacts will certainly further bankrupt the debt-burdened US economy.

The United Nations Warns of the Rise of Robot Armies
(Jessica Corbett / Common Dreams & Kelsey Atherton / C4isrnet.com)

As the United Nations' first formal meeting about killer robots came to a close on November 17, 2017, tech experts and critics continued to warn about the military use of autonomous weapons and called for more urgent action to curb the threat they pose. While support builds for an outright ban of robotic weapons, powerful nations with large technology industries are resistant to imposing expansive limitations that would compromise their potential revenues.

Are US Leaders Planning to Make Nuclear Weapons "Usable"?
(Tom Engelhardt and Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)

Under existing nuclear doctrine, as imagined by the Obama administration back in 2010, this country was to use nuclear weapons only "in extreme circumstances" to defend the vital interests of the country or of its allies. However, for Donald Trump, a man who has already threatened to unleash on North Korea "fire and fury like the world has never seen," such an approach is proving far too restrictive.

ACTION ALERT: Keep Trump's Thumb off the Nuclear Button
(Win Without War & Jim McGovern / US House of Representatives & The Union of Concerned Scientists & Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

Preventing the US from triggering a nuclear apocalypse isn't just general common sense. It's also urgently-needed protection from a president with an itchy Twitter finger and the sole authority to launch nuclear war. Congressman Adam Smith has just introduced a one-sentence bill that gets right to the point: "It is the policy of the US to not use nuclear weapons first." Meanwhile Rep. Jim McGovern has introduced the "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act" to block Trump's ability to start a nuclear war.

Noam Chomsky: Trump Represents Severe Threats to "Organized Human Life"
(Lucien Crowder and Noam Chomsky / Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)

Noam Chomsky, a noted linguist and a pointed criticic of US foreign policy speaks with Bulletin of Atomic Scientist's senior editor Lucien Crowder about the Trump administration's policies on climate change, nuclear modernization, North Korea, and Iran -- and about an intensification of "the extremely severe threats that all of us face." According to Chomsky, the US, under Trump and the Republican Party, is racing toward disaster.

Nothing Patriotic or Conservative About Our Bloated Defense Budget
(Hon. John J. Duncan, Jr. / US House of Representatives)

Commentary: It seems that the Defense Department is just like every other gigantic bureaucracy. When it comes to money, the refrain is always "more, more, more." Defense Department appropriations have more than doubled since 2000. On November 14, the House passed what one Capitol Hill paper described as a "$700 billion compromise defense bill." It was $80 billion over the budget caps and many billions more than even President Trump had requested.

Massive Overkill: Brought to You by the Nuclear-industrial Complex
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)

Commentary: When it comes to the art of the deal, at least where arms sales are concerned, American presidents, their administrations, and the Pentagon have long been Trumpian in nature. In 2015, for instance, the US once again took the top spot in global weapons sales, $40 billion dollars of them, or a staggering 50.2% of the world market. Until recently, few of us woke up worrying about the threat of nuclear war. But give Donald Trump credit. When it comes to nukes, he's gotten our attention.

Top 10 Ways to Stop Trump Nuking Anybody
(David Swanson / David Swanson.org)

Commentary: On Tuesday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on whether Trump can just up and nuke people or not. The hand-picked witnesses, all former military, all said there was some chance that if Trump ordered a nuking, somebody might refuse to carry out the order. On what grounds? No witness or Senator ever mentioned the illegality of war under the UN Charter or the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Gere are some other possible approaches.

ACTION ALERT: Tweeting the Apocalypse. Trump's Flirtation with Nuclear War
(Will Fischer / Vote Vets & CREDO Action & Tom McKay / Gizmodo & Japan Times)

"If Donald Trump decides to initiate an attack on North Korea, even with a nuclear weapon, it's likely that no one -- not even Congress -- would be able to stop him." Scary? You bet. Hence this petition. But note: If we want to think about this rationally, no one -- not even the US Congress -- should have the ability to vote on authorizing a nuclear war. Impeach Trump; Abolish Nukes.

US Mass Shooters Are Disproportionately Veterans
(David Swanson /David Swanson.org)

Commentary: Are veterans of the US military disproportionately likely to be mass killers in the United States? Asking such a question is difficult, first because of concerns of profiling, discrimination, etc., and second, because it's hard to answer. It's important to answer because it's important for us to know whether military training is contributing to this epidemic of mass murders in this country.

The Evil that Guns Do
(Michael Winship / Moyers and Company)

The firearms lobby suggests that because morality can't be legislated, the evil of gun violence can only be controlled by . . . more guns. Don't be fooled by the rhetorical camouflage. The NRA still wants to steer clear of any Congressional debate that could change minds and lead to new gun control rules. To claim as a constitutional right the possession of firearms intended for warfare strains credulity. These are killing machines with no purpose other than to maim and destroy.

The Link between Mass Shootings and Domestic Violence
(Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Democracy Now! & David M. Perry /The Nation)

The mass murder in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was a horrific crime. It was also horrifically predictable, and emblematic of the systemic problem we have with guns and violence in the United States. Devin Patrick Kelley was the white, 26-year-old former active-duty member of the US Air Force who is believed to have killed 26 people and injured 20 on Sunday before killing himself. The massacre serves as yet another lethal example of the link between domestic violence and mass shootings.

Business as Usual at the Pentagon
(William J. Astore / Bracing Views & AntiWar.com)

The revolving door between major defense contractors and the Pentagon is spinning ever more rapidly as a growing tide of defense industry executives go to work in the Pentagon. Case in point: Trump's nominee for secretary of the Army is Mark Esper. Ester happens to be the chief lobbyist for Raytheon -- the country's fourth largest weapons contractor. Officials from Lockheed and Boeing have already been placed in top Pentagon posts where they will approve and dispense arms contracts.

Pentagon: Only Way to Destroy North Korea Nukes Is Ground Invasion -- With Millions Dead
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Yuliya Talmazan and Associated Press)

In response to a letter from two Democratic congress members asking about casualty assessments in a conflict with North Korea, the Pentagon replied the only way to locate and destroy with complete certainty all components of North Korea's nuclear weapons program is through a ground invasion. Pentagon planners conceded that such an act of aggression would "at the very least," cause "millions of deaths in just the first few days of fighting."

US Politics, Pork, and Profiteering Have Created a Second-rate Military
(Paul Craig Roberts / Institute for Political Economy & The Fiscal Times & Citizens Against Government Waste )

Commentary: The US military is now second class compared to the Russian military. The US Navy has been made obsolete by Russia's hypersonic maneuvering Zircon missile. The speed and trajectory changes of the Russian Sarmat ICBM has nullified Washington's ABM system. The enormously costly F-35 jet fighter is no match for Russian jets. US tanks are no match for Russian tanks. Russian troops are superior in their combat readiness and training. And nuclear Armageddon hangs over us like the sword of Damocles.

Trump Continues Threats & Provocations Against North Korea, Laying Groundwork for Nuclear War
(Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh / Democracy Now!)

Tensions between North Korea and the US have been building after a series of nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang and intense verbal exchanges between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Tensions continued to mount after US Defense Secretary James Mattis's week-long visit to Asia and ahead of Trump's 12-day visit later this week. Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats are pushing legislation that would prevent Trump from launching a preemptive strike against North Korea.

Trump Budget Undercuts US Commitment to Global Wildlife Conservation
(William H. Funk / Mongabay)

Trump plans to cut US biodiversity protection spending by more than 66 percent. This funding is critical to protecting species imperiled by the illegal wildlife trade, and enables US investigations of wildlife crimes, helping put traffickers in jail. These cuts couldn't come at a worse time. African elephants are currently being slaughtered for their ivory at the rate of eight percent of their total population per year. (The US is the second largest international market for trafficked wildlife, after China.)

Turkish Arms Rift Reveals Awkward Truth: NATO's Goal Is Weapons Sales, Not Defense
(AntiWar.com & Defense News & Bloomberg )

It's generally assumed that NATO member nations are going to import their weapons from NATO arms dealers, which pretty much always means the United States, with a few small deals for Britain and France. But, in looking to upgrade their air defense system, Turkey had a choice: to buy the advanced Russian S-400 systems, or more expensive, US-made alternatives. Turkey chose to buy Russian, and NATO isn't happy.

ACTION ALERT: US Gun Deaths and Domestic Violence
(Dr. Hans Keirstead / Daily Kos & Shannon Watts / Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America)

Commentary: Given the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we cannot lose sight of the fact that the number one predictor of whether someone is going to become a mass shooter isn't their race, ethnicity, or religion, it's whether they have a history of domestic violence or abusive behavior toward women. One in three American women will be in an abusive relationship at some point in her life. If her abuser has access to a gun, the chance that she will be murdered increases 500 percent.

More Bombs Wont Bring Peace: We Can't Kill Our War to Peace
(Washington Newsletter / Friends Committee on National Legislation)

When we blindly hand over our country's resources to the Pentagon while starving successful programs that care for our neighbors, the earth, and each other, we have lost sight of our priorities as a country. We also deprive our leaders and our country of the necessary tools to avoid war.

Who Profits from War? The World's Top 10 Weapons Companies
(The Peace Report & The Swedish International Peace Research Institute)

Sales of the world's 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies totalled $370.7 billion in 2015. While there has been a downturn in arms sales since 2011, the Top 100 arms sales for 2015 were 37 percent higher than those for 2002, when SIPRI first began reporting corporate arms sales. Companies headquartered in the US and Western Europe dominate the global arms trade with sales of $305.4 billion accounting for 82.4 percent of the Top 100 arms sales.

Trump's Nuclear Dreams: Nightmares Past and Present<
(Rebecca Gordon / Nation of Change)

Commentary: Preventing a nuclear war between the United States and North Korea may be the most pressing challenge facing the world right now. Our childish, ignorant, and incompetent president is shoving all of us -- especially the people of Asia -- ever nearer to catastrophe. While North Korea probably hasn't yet developed the missiles to deliver a nuclear warhead to the US mainland, it certainly has the capacity to reach closer targets, including South Korea and Japan.

Trump Wants to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One & Alastair Crooke / Consortium News)

US Air Force officials say they aren't planning to nuke anybody in particularly, but they are preparing to resume a 24-hour ready alert for nuclear bombers, the first time they've had such a role since 1991. Air Force chief Gen. David Goldfein is said to has been asking his advisers to think up new ways that the nuclear weapons "could be used for deterrence, or even combat." Goldfein stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way -- in anticipation that it might come.

THAAD Will Not Protect South Korea -- But It Will Enrich Lockheed Martin
(Julian Cho and Hyun Lee / Zoom in Korean & Korea Expose & Space Alert!)

On Mar. 18, 5,000 people from across South Korea gathered in the village to protest the controversial deployment of the US's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system. Picture two people holding guns to each others' heads. If one shoots first, the other will shoot back, and vice versa. The result is a perpetual standoff. But if one gunman renders the other unable to fire, nothing deters him from pulling the trigger of his own gun. This is the ultimate aim of missile defense -- to gain first strike advantage.

Congress Threatens to Withhold Arms from Baghdad
(Bryant Harris / Al-Monitor)

Congress is threatening to stop sending weapons to Baghdad after reports today that Iraqi forces and Iran-backed Shiite militias are shooting at US-friendly Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. US-backed Kurdish peshmerga fighters have accused the Iranian-backed, Shiite-dominated Popular Mobilization Units of using US-supplied Abrams tanks and Humvees in the offensive, sparking outrage among US lawmakers who have long worried about US equipment ending up in Iranian-friendly hands.

ACTION ALERT: Would Licensing and Insurance Reduce Gun Deaths? Not under the NRA's Plan for Murderers' Insurance
(Sybrina Fulton / Guns Down @ Color of Change.org)

Can tests and insurance stem the loss of lives caused by gun violence? Lockton Affinity, which created and sells NRA Carry Guard insurance, and Chubb Insurance, which underwrites the policies and takes a profit, are perpetuating fear of minorities and immigrants. By offering special protections to gun owners who shoot first and ask questions later, these insurance companies are promoting gun violence. Tell Chubb and Lockton to cut their ties with the NRA and Stop Selling Murder Insurance.

ACTION ALERT: UN to Vote in One Week on Nuclear Disarmament Summit!
(UNFold Zero)

The Non-Aligned Movement, representing 120 countries, has submitted a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly laying out the general mandate and dates for a special United Nations process to advance comprehensive nuclear disarmament to take place at the United Nations in New York from May 14-16, 2018. UNFOLD ZERO asks you to contact your government and urge them to support the resolution.

ACTION ALERT: End the Gun Industry's Immunity from Legal Prosecution
(CredoAction & Center for American Progress)

The mass shooting in Las Vegas was a tragic reminder that we are never going to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country without breaking the gun lobby's control of Congress. Fortunately, three Democrats have introduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would revoke the law that gives the gun industry legal immunity for negligence that leads to gun-related violence and death.

How the NRA and the Far-right Are Quietly Mobilizing To Kill Gun Safety Reform After Vegas
(Addy Baird / ThinkProgress)

In 2016, the NRA spent more than $3.1 million on lobbying, cementing its place as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country. During the 2016 campaign cycle, the NRA spent more than $830,000 on federal campaigns to line the halls of power with legislators who will do their bidding. Not everyone has taken the bait. Den. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill, along with more than two dozen Democratic co-sponsors, that would outlaw the bump stock modifications.

WTF-35? The Air Force Just Bought 100 Stealth Fighters That Can't Fight
(David Axe / The Daily Beast)

The US military has signaled that it might cancel essential upgrades for more than 100 early model F-35 stealth fighters. In that case, some 6 percent of the flying branch's planned 1,700-strong F-35 fleet would be unfit for combat, sticking US taxpayers with a $20 billion tab for fighters . . . that can't fight. Experts say the military never should have bought the planes the first place, as they rolled out of Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth factory.

October 1, 2017: America's Deadly Day
(San Francisco Chronicle & The Washington Post & The Guardian)

On Sunday, Oct. 1, 59 people were killed and more than 241 wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. But the Las Vegas shooting was just one of 139 gun-related incidents that threatened American lives that day. Gun Violence Archive figures show half of US' gun murders in 2015 were clustered in 127 cities. That violence was concentrated even further than simply the city level: census tract areas that contain just 1.5% of the country's population saw 26% of America's total gun homicides.

America Needs to Face the Facts about Gun Violence
(Becky O'Malley / Berkeley Daily Planet Editorial)

Commentary: After a gunman shot about 550 of his fellow Americans, killing more than 50, the president of the US announced that he was proud to be an American. Well, I'm sure as hell not. Yes, yes, he was praising the response of those who had the unenviable responsibility for mopping up after the catastrophe. But he was totally ignoring the abdication of responsibility by those who allow this kind of thing to happen more and more often in this benighted country. That would be all of us, Fellow Americans.

The Evil that Guns Do
(Michael Winship / Moyers and Company)

The firearms lobby suggests that because morality can't be legislated, the evil of gun violence can only be controlled by … more guns. Don't be fooled by the rhetorical camouflage. The NRA still wants to steer clear of any Congressional debate that could change minds and lead to new gun control rules. To claim as a constitutional right the possession of firearms intended for warfare strains credulity. These are killing machines with no purpose other than to maim and destroy.

The Masters of War: Who Are the World's Biggest Arms Companies?
(Al Jazeera News)

The US has approved a $15 billion deal to supply Saudi Arabia with the THAAD missile defense system. If Congress does not object within 30 days, the deal will result in a massive windfall for Lockheed Martin. According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade: "The arms business has a devastating impact on human rights and security and damages economic development. Large-scale military procurement and arms exports only reinforce a militaristic approach to international problems."

Did Trump Propose a 10-Fold Increase in US Nuclear Weapons?
(AntiWar.com & BBC News & Ron Paul Liberty Report)

According to a new report from NBC News, Donald Trump responded to a slide at a cabinet meeting showing that the number of US nuclear weapons has gone down since the late 1960s by demanding a nearly ten-fold increase in the US arsenal. Secretary of Defense James Mattis also said the report was "false," and claimed it was irresponsible for NBC to even report that the meeting happened.

Stop the Unconstitutional War in Yemen
(Ro Khanna, Mark Pocan and Walter Jones / The New York Times & Jason Ditz / The Daily Caller)

Imagine that the entire population of Washington State -- 7.3 million people -- were on the brink of starvation, with the port city of Seattle under a naval and aerial blockade, leaving it unable to receive and distribute countless tons of food and aid that sit waiting offshore. This nightmare scenario is akin to the obscene reality occurring in the Middle East's poorest country, Yemen, at the hands of the region's richest, Saudi Arabia with US military support that Congress has not authorized.

The Legacy of Columbus: A Violent Culture that Can't Face Reality
(Dave Lindorff / This Can't Be Happening)

Commentary: How are we to explain how a flood of immigrants, most fleeing from oppression in Europe, Asia, and South America ended up producing a nation so steeped in violence and the implements of destruction needed to produce that violence, that we as a people no longer even recoil at the horrors the US routinely commits, encourages, funds, ignores and covers up?

ACTION ALERT: We Need Real Gun Reform in this Congress
(Marc Ash / Reader Supported News & Courage Campaign Petition)

The current push in Congress to ban "bump stocks" is a purely cosmetic, politically motivated, and virtually meaningless exercise in face-saving by a Congress which has for decades put gun lobby interests ahead of public safety. It totally misses the bigger question of the presence of military weapons in a civil society. The reality is that no other nation on earth has as many firearms or firearm-related deaths per capita as we do. America stands alone in this disgrace, separate from all other nations.

Anti-nuclear Weapons Group ICAN Wins Nobel Peace Prize
(BBC World News)

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair, said it was due to the group's "groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty prohibition" on nuclear weapons. Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the group, told reporters that the prize had come as a surprise but that it was "a huge signal" that the group's work was "needed and appreciated".

By Threatening Iran Ban Agreement, Trump's 'Art of the Deal' in Question
(John Allen Gay / The American Conservative)

Every indication is that Donald Trump will decertify the Iran nuclear deal next week and announce a tough new approach to the Islamic Republic. Yet there's one big question: Why? More concretely, what does he hope to gain for the United States and how does he hope to gain it? If the president does have a reasoned basis for his opposition to the deal, he has not provided it.

What More Is There To Say on Gun Laws?
(BillMoyers / Moyers and Company)

Commentary: Over the years, we've done many, many stories on gun violence in America. We encourage you to watch and read our collection of stories, posts and videos. But mostly, we encourage you to call your congressional and state representatives and tell them that you're tired of the call for prayers, you're tired of the condolences -- you want action.

Gun Culture and the American Nightmare of Violence
(Henry Girouz / Truthout & Moyers & Company)

Focusing merely on mass shootings or the passing of gun legislation does not get to the root of the systemic forces that produced the United State's love affair with violence. A war culture now shapes every aspect of society as warlike values, a hypermasculinity and an aggressive militarism seep into every major institution in the United States, including schools, the corporate media and local police forces.

Prayers and Condolences Are Not Enough: Stop The Gun Madness in This Country
(Bill Berkowitz / The Smirking Chimp & Carolyn Lochhead / The San Francisco Chronicle)

No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun or handgun in Nevada. Is it really too early to contemplate legislation that might prevent more massacres such as this one, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history? At the same time, Congress could pass legislation as early as this week that would roll back decades-old restrictions on gun silencers, opening up the market for a device that critics say would make it difficult in a mass shooting to detect where gunfire is coming from.

Trump Sends His 'Warmest Condolences': White House Says It's Premature To Discuss Gun Violence
(The Huffington Post)

Following the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, President Donald Trump on Monday offered his sympathy to the victims, but made no mention of America's pervasive gun violence either in his tweets or his prepared statement from the White House. Trump read prepared remarks from the White House, called the shooting "an act of pure evil" and commended first responders and local officials. Not mentioned in statements from Trump and the White House: the issue of guns.

ACTION ALERT: Military Assault Weapons Do Not Belong on Our Streets
(The Care2 Petitions Team & The Huffington Post & CREDO Action)

In the US, it is perfectly legal to own a fully automatic weapon, including machine guns used by the military. While there are federal restrictions that limit the purchase of new military-style assault weapons, people who bought machine guns prior to 1986 just have to pay a fee and register their weapon. In 2006,there were over 390,000 automatic military-style assault weapons registered to private owners in the US -- that's one machine gun for every thousand people living in the US . . . that we know of.

Gun Silencers Make It Easier to Commit Crimes Quietly
(Peter AmblerTribune Content Agency)

Commentary: In the hands of criminals, gun silencers pose a serious threat to law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. Now Congress is trying to sneak a measure into an unrelated bill that would make it easier to obtain silencers. The Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, which will soon be voted on in the House, would roll back an 80-year-old law that regulates the sale of silencers.

Agent Orange and the Continuing Vietnam War
(Bill Fletcher, Jr. / Full Disclosure & BlackVoiceNews)

In a 2009 visit to Vietnam, I asked a retired colonel in the Vietnam People's Army about the notorious toxin "Agent Orange." I asked when the Vietnamese first realized the long-term dangers associated with the herbicide. His answer was as simple as it was heart-wrenching: "When the children were born." Despite the official assurances that the use of Agent Orange was both safe and humane, the truth was: it was chemical warfare. And it is not an exaggeration to suggest that it was genocidal.

Bombs in Our Backyard: How Military Outsourcing Turned Toxic
(Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica)

The military is one of the country's largest polluters, with an inventory of toxic sites on American soil that once topped 39,000. At many locations, the Pentagon has relied on contractors like US Technology to assist in cleaning and restoring land, removing waste, clearing unexploded bombs, and decontaminating buildings, streams and soil. One contractor, US Technology, won some 830 contracts -- worth more than $49 million -- to dispose of toxic wastes at Army, Air Force, Navy and logistics bases.

Ridding Vietnam of Unexploded Ordnance: The Essential Work of Project RENEW
(Chuck Searcy / Conversations on Vietnam Development & Peace in Our Times (Veterans for Peace))

For most Americans, the Vietnam War ended in 1975. But for too many Vietnamese, the war didn't end then. They continued to suffer death, injury, and lifetime disabilities from munitions that remained on the surface or just under the soil. These weapons posed a constant danger to unsuspecting residents throughout the country. In 2001, Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs reported that more than 100,000 Vietnamese had been killed or injured nationwide by bombs and mines.

The Basel Declaration on the Crime of Nuclear Weapons
(Abolition 2000)

A four-day international conference of doctors, lawyers, scientists and nuclear experts from 27 countries has produced a statement condemning nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. The Basel Declaration states "the risks and impacts of nuclear weapons, depleted uranium weapons and nuclear energy, which are both transnational and trans-generational, constitute a violation of human rights, a transgression of international humanitarian and environmental law, and a crime against future generations."

US Has Killed 2,617 Civilians in Syria: Trump's Airstrikes Kill 17 in Libya
(New China / Xinhua.net & AntiWar.com)

A total of 2,617 civilians have been killed in the US-led anti-terror operations in Syria since late 2014, a monitor group reported Saturday. The death toll includes 615 children and 443 women, said the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Meanwhile, for the first time since Donald Trump's inauguration, the US has carried out airstrikes inside Libya, bombing what they described as an ISIS camp within central Libya, southeast of Sirte. 17 people were killed, and the US claimed all were ISIS.

Under Trump, US Has Been Bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria at Record Pace
(AntiWar.com & Jennifer Wilson and Micah Zenko / Foreign Policy)

The candidate who once warned America about Hillary Clinton's hawkishness is turning into a war machine. US airstrikes in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan are all at multi-year highs. In the last 193 days of the Obama presidency, there were 21 lethal counterterrorism operations in these countries. Trump has quintupled that number, with at least 92 such operations in Yemen, seven in Somalia, and four in Pakistan.

The Corporate Beneficiaries of the Warfare-Welfare State
(Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & BitOfNews.com)

Commentary: Congress long ago abandoned another primary duty -- preventing presidents from launching military attacks without first obtaining a congressional declaration of war. The uncomfortable question raised by Congress's abrogation of these two key functions is whether a republican form of government is compatible with a welfare-warfare state.

Trump to Flood the World with Weapons While Don Jr. Lobbies for Silencers
(Mike Stone and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters & Chris Carr / Everytown for Gun Safety)

The Trump administration is preparing to make it easier for US gun makers to sell small arms, including assault rifles and ammunition, to foreign buyers. Aides to Donald Trump are completing a plan to shift oversight of international non-military firearms sales from the State Department to the Commerce Department. While the State Department is concerned about international threats to stability and maintains tight restrictions on weapons deals, the Commerce Department typically focuses more on markets and profits.

51 Countries (and Counting) Ratify UN Nuclear Weapons Ban
(AntiWar.com & World Beyond War & Susi Snyder / PAX & National Public Radio)

Nuclear weapons are terrifying. A blinding flash, a burning wind, the sound of a thousand thunderstorms, a cry for water too poisoned to drink, for help that isn't coming, only to end by begging for death. Those are the realities of nuclear weapons. We cannot allow these 15,000 doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children's future. Under the ban's language, it takes effect 90 days after the 50th nation ratifies it. Only the nuclear powers reject this ban.

$700 Billion for DOD and Trump Wants a Big Military Parade, Too
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com &Richard Lardner / Associated Press & )

In an 89-8 vote, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the National Defense Authorization Act, a $700 billion military spending bill. The bill still needs to be reconciled with the House version before it goes to the White House for signature. Meanwhile, Donald Trump wants to flaunt US military might in North Korea-style displays of force. Having added military vehicles to his inauguration, Trump now wants the US military to "come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue" with parades of weapons in DC and New York, as well.

In this Korean Crisis, Trump's Bullying Tactics Aren't Working and Never Will
(Michael Payne / Nation of Change)

Many experts in world affairs believe that if it were not for America's highly aggressive military agenda that has been aimed at North Korea for many decades, that that nation would never have initiated a nuclear development program. More and more psychiatrists and associated mental health experts are issuing warnings about Trump's mental state. What's going to happen if this president, in some fit of rage, loses control and gives the order to launch an attack, possibly a nuclear one, on North Korea?

The American Military: Deployed Everywhere and Winning Nowhere
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)

In 2007, the Government Accountability Office found that the Pentagon could not account for nearly 30% of the weapons it had distributed in Iraq since 2004 -- about 200,000 guns. Similar stories could be told about Afghanistan, another country where US weaponry has disappeared in remarkable quantities. Someday, historians will have to ask one question above all: Why, year after year, in the face of obvious and repetitive failure, was no one in Washington capable of imagining another course of action?

Have We Been Deceived Over Syrian Sarin Attack? How a Pesticide Caused Mass Casualties in Khan Sheikhoun
(Gareth Porter / Alternet & AntiWar.com)

The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria issued a report this September that reinforced the official narrative that the Syrian air force dropped a bomb containing nerve gas sarin on the insurgent-controlled town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syria on April 4. But a months-long investigation by AlterNet into the questions around the attack raise serious questions about whether a sarin bomb was the source of the deaths.

Most of the Proposed House Budget Goes for War
(World Beyond War & The Hill & National Priorities Project & USA TODAY)

By a vote of 211-198, the House passed a $1.2 trillion package of spending bills to fund wide swaths of the federal government, ranging from the Department of Homeland Security to the Environmental Protection Agency. Under the GOP budget, that's $696 billion for war and $523 billion everything else -- a 57% cut for war (up from 54% last year). It's closer to 64% of the budget if you include funds for nuclear weapons which are channeled through the Department of Energy.

Trump Hints at a 'Mini-Nuclear' War: Instead of Missiles, North Korea Launches a Party
(Brian Bender / Politico & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

The Trump administration is considering proposing smaller, more tactical nuclear weapons that would cause less damage than traditional thermonuclear bombs -- a move that would give military commanders more options but could also make the use of atomic arms more likely.

How 'Regime Change' Wars Led to the Korea Crisis
(Robert Perry / Consortium News)

The US-led aggressions against Iraq and Libya are two war crimes that keep on costing, with their grim examples of what happens to leaders who get rid of WMDs driving the scary showdown with North Korea

US Economic Sanctions Are an Act of War
(Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)

If any Third World nations targeted by US sanctions or embargoes were First World nations, there is little doubt that they would respond with a military counterattack against the United States. Few nations are going to permit another nation to intentionally target and kill their citizenry, either by bombs or sanctions.

Trump Sends Billions to Bahrain Dictators to Suppress Freedom
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mike Stone / Reuters & Amnesty International)

The US State Department has approved $3.8 billion in weapons sales to the tiny island nation of Bahrain. Congress held up a similar sale last year over Bahrain's many, many human rights problems. The $3.8 billion sale is almost entirely going to Lockheed Martin, who will be providing 19 F-16V fighter jets, along with substantial upgrades to the nation's existing fleet of F-16s. Raytheon will be selling 221 anti-tank missiles to go with it.

122 Nations -- Including North Korea -- Vote to Ban Nuclear Bombs
(Alice Slater /The Nation & In Depth News & Pressenza)

On July 7, 2017, a UN Conference mandated by the UN General Assembly negotiated a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, the only weapons of mass destruction yet to be banned. The US refused to sign, however, claiming a nuclear ban would cause "divisions at a time . . . of growing threats, including those from the DPRK's ongoing proliferation efforts." Ironically, North Korea is the only nuclear power to have voted for a treaty to ban atomic weapons.

ACTION ALERT: Tell US to Join Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Possession
(The Action Network / World Beyond War)

The majority of the world's nations are proceeding with a treaty banning the possession of nuclear weapons. We need to tell every nation to sign on, including the nuclear nations, and including the US. With Trump pushing the US Congress to start funding former president Obama's one trillion dollar nuclear weapons and infrastructure program before he even completes the traditional expected "nuclear posture review," there is not one champion in the Senate or the Congress for nuclear abolition!

Hundreds of South Korean Villagers Protest Installation of US THAAD Missiles
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

Public opposition to the deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense System missile defense system near a South Korean farming village has grown into major protests, with demonstrators coming out in force after the announcement the government was letting the US install four additional launchers. Some 38 people, including six police officers, were injured after thousands of police were sent to remove hundreds of protesters from a road leading to a former golf course where the THAAD was to be set up.

AG Sessions Says Militarize Police to Fight Hurricanes and Confront Non-existent Spike in Crime
(Laura Finley / Peace Voice and Justice.gov & echDirt.com)

On August 28, the Trump administration announced it would lift President Obama's ban on programs to equip local law enforcement and school police with surplus military gear -- including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and camouflage uniforms. Now Attorney Jeff Sessions has cited Hurricane Harvey and a bevy of questionable statistics to argue (unconvincingly) that cops need tanks and assault rifles to keep the peace and battle climate change.

Japan Polls Show Most People Oppose Shinzo Abe's Call for Pre-emptive Strike against North Korea
(Mari Yamaguchi / Associated Press)

Japan is debating whether to develop a limited pre-emptive strike capability and buy cruise missiles -- ideas that were anathema in the pacifist country before the North Korea missile threat. Japan's self-defense-only principle under the country's war-renouncing constitution prohibits its military from making a first strike. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has turned hesitant about discussing pre-emptive strikes, a position that is not popular among the majority of Japanese voters who favor Japan's pacifist policies.

The "Freeze to Freeze" Solution: US Peace Delegation Calls for Immediate Response To North Korea's Offer to Freeze Its Nuclear Program
(Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korean and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific)

A delegation composed of Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK, Reece Chenault of US Labor Against the War, Will Griffin of Veterans for Peace, and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has returned from the Korean Peninsula with a call for the US and South Korea to refrain from hosting provocative "military exercises" and THAAD missile-defense escalations. Instead, the US should respond to North Korea's invitation to cease its nuclear program in return for an end to US military provocations and sanctions.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Pentagon's THAAD Base in South Korea
(Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korean and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific)

As residents of South Korea, the United States and the world, we are united in our fervent desire for a peaceful, just resolution of the extremely dangerous conflict on the Korean peninsula. We urge President Trump and President Moon to begin diplomatic dialogue with North Korea by freezing the upcoming US/South Korean military exercises in exchange for a freeze of North Korea's nuclear and missile testing.

US Launches Missile Intercept Test; Calls for Bombing in the Waters Off Hawaii
(Missile Defense Agency News & William Cole / Honolulu Star-Advertiser & Jessica Else / The Garden Island)

The Missile Defense Agency and US Navy sailors aboard the USS John Paul Jones successfully conducted a missile defense flight test during a test off the coast of Hawaii. The US missile successfully intercept a medium-range ballistic missile using SM-6 guided missile. Meanwhile, the National Marine Fisheries Service has approved a five-year USAF plan for bombing practice at sea off Kauai. The munitions used are expected to increase impacts on whales and dolphins in the local waters.

ACTION ALERT: Endorse the Petition For Diplomatic Solution to US-Korea Clash
(Appeal of Abolition 2000 )

The escalating tensions and threat of military conflict over North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities make a diplomatic solution of vital importance and the highest priority. The increasing risk of war -- and possibly even the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation, accident, or intent -- is frightening. An international campaign is insisting that US legislators must call on President Trump to step back from the nuclear brink following his threats to unleash 'fire and fury' on North Korea.

ACTION ALERT: Help Move Your Government To Ratify the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty
(Abolition 2000)

Democracy broke out at the UN this summer when 122 nations working closely with Civil Society adopted a treaty to ban nuclear weapons on July 7, 2017 after three weeks of negotiations; mandated by the UN General Assembly. For the first time in history; nuclear weapons will be ruled unlawful and prohibited; just as the world has done for other weapons of mass destruction such as biological and chemical weapons.

Can the US and North Korea Move From Threats to Negotiations?
(Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com & Julian Borger / The Guardian)

The Trump administration and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have each made a series of moves that have appeared to take them ever closer to war. The US and the South Korean military war plan for the Korean Peninsula, OPLAN 5015, calls for surgical strikes on North Korea's nuclear and missiles sites and command-and-control facilities, as well as "decapitation" raids by Special Forces to take out senior North Korean leaders. But a closer review reveals that both sides are maneuvering for extended negotiations on a new framework for peace on the Korean peninsula. The Trump administration is well aware that it has no real military option against the North.

Jeff Sessions Reveals Deadly Misunderstanding
(Alan Pyke / ThinkProgress)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions struck a new blow in his war against police reform by backing Donald Trump's plan to increase local cops' access to military hardware designed for war zones. The long-predicted move will put grenade launchers and bayonets back on small-town police department shopping lists. In a speech riddled with falsehoods, Sessions' explanation of the thinking behind Trump's move was a bizarre and unsubstantiated claim that police reform is somehow harmful to public safety.

NRA's Video Message to 'Elites': 'We're Coming for You'
(Lisa Marie Pane / Associated Press)

Emboldened by the Trump White House, the NRA has begun a campaign against laws and liberal forces bent on undoing the progress it's made -- and the political powerhouse is resorting to language that some believe could incite violence. the NRA has put out a series of videos that announce a "shot across the bow," and say the gun-rights group is "coming for you" and that "elites . . . threaten our very survival," terms that suggest opponents are enemy combatants.

Trump Orders Police to Confront American People with Bayonets, Grenade Launchers, Tanks
(Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post)

Donald Trump has announced plans to sign an executive order repealing limits placed militarizing America's domestic police forces. Barack Obama installed these limits in 2015 in response to the August 2014 unrest in Ferguson, Mo., where St. Louis County Police officers atop armored vehicles pointed sniper rifles at peaceful demonstrators in broad daylight. A Justice Department report found that these highly militarized police actions "inflamed tensions" and violated constitutional rights.

Trump Administration Declares War on Bears -- Cubs Included
(Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)

It appears that the US Department of the Interior has decided to turn the National Parks into free-fire zones, the equivalent of taxpayer-funded game ranches similar to the one at which Dick Cheney once ventilated his friend's face. Under a new Trump administration bill, the National Park Service would be prevented from regulating the hunting of bears and wolves in Alaska wildlife preserves, including the practice of killing bear cubs in their dens.

Toxic Armories: National Guard Inaction Exposes Communities to Lead Poisoning
(Rob Davis / The Oregonian)

An award-winning four-part series reveals the disturbing extent of neighborhood lead pollution from National Guard sites across the US. An 18-month investigation has revealed that hundreds of armories were routinely contaminated by dangerous amounts of lead dust. In two Oregon armories, parents unwittingly let infants play on neurotoxin blanketed floors with lead levels 10 times higher than the federal safety standard. The Pentagon knew about the danger for nearly two decades but failed to address the problem.

North Korea Warns Provocative US Military Exercise Risks Nuclear War
(Oren Dorell / USA TODAY & Andrew Cockburn / TruthDig)

North Korea warned Sunday that the joint US-South Korean military exercises set to start Monday will be "adding fuel to the fire" of already heightened tensions with the United States and its allies. An editorial in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper described the annual military drill as "reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war" because "no one can guarantee that the exercise won't evolve into actual fighting."

ACTION ALERT: Don't Pay for War! Support H. R. 1947
(The Acton Network and World Beyond War)

People who oppose war, regardless of their religion or lack thereof, must have the right to direct their tax dollars to peaceful initiatives and not to war or preparations for war. We ask you to ensure that tax laws respect this right of conscientious objection. H.R. 1947, the "Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act of 2017," would legalize conscientious tax refusal. If a citizen believes "Thou Shalt Not Kill," he or she should be should be able to argue "Thou Shalt Not Pay" for war and preparations for war.

US Drone Strikes in the Philippines Would Be a Massive Mistake
(A. Trevor Thrall and Erik Goepner / The Cato Institute & The Washington Post )

The United States is on the verge of carrying out military operations in yet another country as part of the war on terrorism. The Philippines -- specifically the southern island of Mindanao -- may soon become the latest target of the world's busiest and most powerful military. But conducting drone strikes in the Philippines would be a serious mistake because it would further erode America's moral credibility by putting US firepower in the service of Rodrigo Duterte's thuggish regime.

A Memo to Donald Trump on the Nuclear Threat
(Elliott Negin / Catalyst Magazine, Union of Concerned Scientists)

Comments by the Trump administration seem to be encouraging a new arms race. We have a president who has made some deeply disturbing comments about nuclear weapons. During last year's presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump repeatedly said it was important to be "unpredictable" about whether the United States would use nuclear weapons. As a review of US nuclear weapons policy gets under way, UCS recommends several strategies to make us safer.

Who Will Put an End to Donald Trump's Warmongering?
(John Cassidy / The New Yorker)

In this mad Presidency, there have been many mad days, but Friday may have been the maddest yet. It began with Donald Trump Tweeting war threat. "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely." When a reporter asked for a comment to reassure Americans on edge after all the threatening talk, he replied: "Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump," referring to himself in the third person. He appeared to be thoroughly enjoying himself.

How War Pollutes the Potomac River
(David Swanson and Pat Elder / World Beyond War)

The Pentagon's impact on the river on whose bank it sits is not limited to the impact of global warming and rising oceans (fueled by the military's massive oil consumption). The Pentagon also directly poisons the Potomac River in more ways than almost anyone would imagine. A cruise down the Potomac from its source in the mountains of West Virginia to its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay encompasses six Superfund sites created by the Pentagon's reckless disregard for the Potomac's fragile watershed.

Fake News: Korea Can't Strike US Despite Corporate Media's Claims
(Paul Gottinger / Reader Supported News)

North Korea's missile tests on July 3 and July 28 were described as successful tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile that put much of the US in range of a strike. Hawkish "experts" immediately claimed the missile tests proved Pyongyang can now strike the US. The corporate media's hyping of the "threat" began pushing the country toward a catastrophic war as Americans were warned how to "prepare" for a nuclear strike -- by covering their heads during the blast and taking showers afterwards! But it was all fake news.

Is Trump's Ill-considered Threat to Nuke North Korea Just Another Diversion?
(Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)

Analysis: Donald Trump's outrageously irresponsible remarks threatening unspecified military action against North Korea belie a far more complex military and geopolitical reality. North Korea may be "isolated" politically and economically, but the Hermit Kingdom sits in a very crowded and strategically sensitive neighborhood -- sandwiched between two superpowers, China and Russia. A nuclear option is so implausible that it seems more likely that the implied threat is merely Trump's latest diversionary tactic.

ACTION ALERT: Don't Let Trump Start a Nuclear War
(Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan / Democracy Now! & Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia)

Donald Trump threatened nuclear war this week, just six months into his presidency. The US nuclear system was already dangerous, irresponsible, insane. It can only get worse with Trump holding his finger on the trigger. Words matter. This is how wars start. Richard Nixon was the last president to seriously threaten the use of nuclear weapons. The only reason he relented, he explained privately, was that he "feared the response of the global anti-war movement."

Take the Nukes Away From the Madman in the White House
(Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: I have always argued that we are hypocrites to say other countries can't have nuclear weapons but we can. People have always said we were not crazy enough to use them. (Um . . . Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) Even if you ignore those bombings, there now is a madman in the White House threatening fire and fury. Kim Jong-un may be a nut job (and the world is a more dangerous place with him in power) but the new problem is Donald Trump -- a nut job with a more dangerous military at his disposal.

ACTION ALERT: Call for Global Action Against Military Bases -- 7 October 2017
(NoDalMolin, CODE PINK & Hambastagi)

Determined activists around the world have been resisting occupation, militarism, and foreign military bases on their lands for decades. These struggles have been courageous and persistent. Let’s unite our resistance into one global action for peace and justice. This fall, during the first week of October, we invite your organization to plan an anti- militarism action in your community as part of the first annual global week of actions against military bases.

A-bomb Anniversary in Nagasaki Amid US-North Korea Tension
(Mari Yamaguchi / Associated Press)

Amid growing tension between Washington and North Korea, the mayor of Nagasaki said Wednesday that the fear of another nuclear bomb attack is growing at a ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of the US atomic bombing of his city. Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged nuclear states to abandon such weapons and criticized Japan's government for not taking part in the global effort toward a nuclear ban.

Trump Praises His Powerful Missiles, Mattis Threatens Destruction of North Korea's People, Lockheed Investors Rejoice as Profits Soar
(Doina Chiacu / Reuters & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Continuing months of war rhetoric, Defense Secretary James Mattis today warned North Korea risks a course of action that "would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people." He insisted North Korea needs to immediately "stand down." The US, of course, has constantly threatened their own preemptive strikes against North Korea for years now, and those threats have only grown. Meanwhile, these rumors of war are a big windfall for the Pentagon's No. 1 arms supplier, Lockheed Martin.

ACTION ALERT: Trump Threatens North Korea with "Fire and Fury"
(MoveOn.org & The New York Times)

On the anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Donald Trump apparently has threatened a "fire and fury" nuclear attack on North Korea. Trump is making us more unsafe with every unhinged comment, tweet, and threat. His rhetoric threatening North Korea is exacerbating a dangerous situation, putting everyone around the world in grave danger. While a nuclear North Korea is a real concern, the answer must be diplomacy first, not a rush to a potentially devastating nuclear war.

On 72nd A-bomb Anniversary, Hiroshima Highlights Japan's Refusal to Join UN Nuclear Bomb Ban
(Sophie Jackman / The Japan Times)

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui marked the 72nd anniversary of its atomic bombing by calling on the central government to support a treaty banning nuclear weapons. This year's ceremony at Peace Memorial Park near ground zero follows last month's adoption -- by 122 UN members -- of the world's first treaty to comprehensively ban nuclear weapons. But Shinzo Abe, Japan's pro-US leader, has joined forces with the world's nuclear weapon states and refused to participate in the UN treaty.

US Prepared to Launch 'Preventive War' Against North Korea
(Jason Le Miere / Newsweek)

The United States is preparing for all options to counter the growing threat from North Korea, including launching a "preventive war," national security adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview with MSNBC that aired Saturday. The comments come following North Korea carrying out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. "The president's been very clear about it," McMaster stated. "He said he's not gonna tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States."

Congress Pushes for Development of Nuclear Missiles Banned Under US/Russia Treaty
(Sputnik News )

The GOP is preparing several defense bills that would require the Pentagon to violate a 1987 Treaty with Russia that bans development of medium-range missiles. Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the treaty -- which was designed to limit the missile potential of the two superpowers -- might lead to a buildup of missiles on both sides, with Europe and the rest of the world risking getting caught in the crossfire.

Abolishing War: America's Foreign Bases Assure Private Profits, Not National Defense
(David Swanson / World Beyond War & Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)

The main purpose of the US "defense" establishment since World War Two has been to move as much money as possible from your pockets to the bank accounts of politically connected "defense" contractors. Foreign bases are an easy way to blow large amounts of money in precisely that way. Shutting down those foreign bases and bringing the troops home are essential first steps in creating an actual national defense.

Goodbye Nuclear Power; So Long, Oil and Gas
(Harvey Wasserman / Progressive.org & Kate Aronoff / Nation of Change)

Two of the last four commercial nuclear power plants under construction in the US -- at the V.C. Summer site in South Carolina -- have been cancelled. A decision on the remaining two in Georgia will be made in August. The US may soon be free of all new commercial reactor construction for the first time since the 1950s, marking the definitive death of the dream of "too cheap to meter" radioactive energy. Most teens now see the fossil fuels as bad for society while jobs with oil and gas companies are unappealing.

Biological Warfare: US and Saudis Use Cholera to Kill Yemenis
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

More than two years of bombing has largely destroyed Yemen's water and sewage systems, hospitals and clinics, leaving the population of about 25 million with almost no protection against the spread of cholera. The UN calls Yemen's cholera epidemic is "the largest ever recorded in any country in a single year." This may not be literal biological warfare, but it is certainly biological warfare by other means. This is biological warfare in reality, if not in law.

Urgent Warning: Washington Needs to Deescalate Military Threats Against North Korea
(Medea Benjamin / CODE PINK & Nation of Change & Sputnik News)

Why is North Korea paranoid? Perhaps because of Washington's actions. There are 83 US military bases on South Korean soil and US warships often patrol the coast. US-South Korean military exercises have been getting larger and more provocative, including dropping mock nuclear bombs on North Korea. The US has long held a "pre-emptive first strike" policy toward North Korea. This frightening threat of an unprovoked US nuclear attack gives North Korea good reason to want its own nuclear arsenal.

The National Rifle Association Gets Its Own TV Network!
(Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ TruthOut)

The National Rifle Association now has at its disposal is NRATV. While the fledging network may not yet be among the choices in your cable television package, or available through existing streaming services, given the power of the gun lobbying organization, NRATV may soon be coming to screen near you. NRATV's declared mission is to provide "The most comprehensive video coverage of Second Amendment issues, events and culture anywhere in the world."

Burning Raqqa: America's War Against Syria's Civilians
(Laura Gottesdiener & Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)

The US is now one of the deadliest warring parties in Syria. In May and June, the US-led coalition killed more civilians than the Assad regime, the Russians, or ISIS, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights. The US-led coalition has bombed or shelled: at least 12 schools, a health clinic, an obstetrics hospital, residential neighborhoods, bakeries, at least 15 mosques, cars carrying civilians to the hospital, a funeral, water tanks, at least 15 bridges, a refugee camp, and an Internet cafe in Raqqa.

The Drone War Is Not Sustainable: Traumatized "Pilots" Quitting in Droves
(Alex Edney-Browne, Lisa Ling / Los Angeles Times Op-Ed)

Drone pilots have been quitting the US Air Force in record numbers in recent years -- faster than new recruits can be selected and trained. They cite a combination of low-class status in the military, overwork and psychological trauma. Curiously, a widely publicized new memoir promoting America's covert drone war fails to mention what the Air Force euphemistically calls "outflow increases."

ACTION ALERT: No Pentagon Budget without an Audit!
(Michael C. Burgess and Grover Norquist / USA Today Op-ed & Karl W. Eikenberry / USA Today)

In 1990, Congress passed the Chief Financial Officers Act requiring every department and agency in the federal government to produce verifiable financial statements that can be fully audited. To date, each major agency has been able to complete this task except one -- the Department of Defense. In January 2015, the Defense Business Board issued a report on Pentagon operations that revealed at least $125 billion in administrative waste. This is unacceptable. It is time to audit the Pentagon.

"Missile Defense Will Protect You," Missile Builders Assure USA Today Readers
(Jim Naureckas / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting & "Jennifer Sinco Kelleher / Associated Press)

"US Missile Defense Plans to Zap North Korean Threats" was the headline of a USA Today story on July 17, 2017. Strikingly, the piece contains no sources at all substantiating the chilling claim that "North Korea may be only a year or so away" from having missiles that "can hit anywhere in the world with a nuclear warhead." The Aerospace Security Project, a pro-missile lobbying group, assures the public that spending $3 billion on their weapons will somehow provide security against a nuclear attack.

Rising Budget Stakes for Space Warfare
(Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News)

As a backdrop to the Russia-gate hysteria and the heightened fear of China is a budget war over how much US taxpayer money to pour into space warfare. There's a civil war being fought in our capital. It pits the Secretary of Defense and senior generals against a bipartisan band of militant legislators who accuse the Pentagon of standing pat while Russian and China work to achieve military superiority over the US in space. These macho posturing for new war-fighting capabilities in space are deeply destabilizing.

Open Burns, Ill Winds: Bombs in Our Backyard
(Abrahm Lustgarten / ProPublica & PBS News Hour)

More than 30 years ago, Congress banned US industries from disposing of hazardous waste in "open burns" because uncontrolled incineration created unacceptable health and environmental risks. Companies that had openly burned waste for generations were required to install incinerators, filters, and smokestacks to meet strict limits on emissions. The Pentagon and its contractors received a temporary reprieve to continue burning military waste. That exemption has remained in place ever since.

Trump Threatens Iran Nuke Agreement: Iran May Abandon Deal in Face of Major US Violation
(Mehr News Agency & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mohammad Zargham and Steve Holland / Reuters)

Less than 24 hours after formally certifying Iran's compliance with the P5+1 nuclear deal, the Trump Administration has announced a new round of sanctions against Iran, nominally for having a ballistic missile program. This bizarre disconnect between reality and policy was prefaced by the White House, which simultaneously confirmed Iran's compliance and threatened that Iran "won't go unpunished" for non-specific allegations.

US Deploys Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles in Baltics for First Time
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Andrius Sytas / Reuters)

Lithuania's Defense Ministry has made a surprise announcement today that the United States has deployed an unspecified number of Patriot missile batteries into Lithuania, nominally for a military drill that is ongoing for the next two weeks.

Pentagon Announces $9 Billion in New War Profits for Lockheed
(Mike Stone / Reuters & Oriana Pawlyk / DODBuzz)

In late June, Lockheed Martin Corp's Sikorsky Aircraft Corp subsidiary was awarded a US Army contract worth $3.8 billion for Black Hawk helicopters for sale to Saudi Arabia. In early July, the DoD awarded Lockheed a $4.49 billion "undefinitized" contract to continue producing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters even as it continues to negotiate a price for the jets.

A Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty -- Rx for Survival
(Robert Dodge / AntiWar.com)

Nuclear weapons have threatened humanity for 72 years, ultimately becoming the greatest eminent threat to our survival. This past Friday, July 7, nuclear weapons at long last joined the ranks of other weapons of mass destruction including biologic and chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions in being banned and declared illegal under international treaty law. The UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

North Korea Isn't the Only Rogue Nuclear State
(Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone)

North Korea's loony regime of Kim Jong-un conducted a successful missile launch test -- landing about 60 miles south of the Russian city of Vladivostok, according to some reports -- marking a frightening nuclear escalation that has heightened tensions across the planet. That this first serious confrontation in ages is happening now is ironic, given that a little-reported showdown about the use of nuclear power will soon take place in the UN.

US Airstrikes on ISIS Have Killed 4,000 Civilians in the Last Year
(Ash Gallagher / Yahoo News)

Airwars, an advocacy organization tracking airstrike casualties, says there have been at least four thousand civilian deaths from coalition strikes since last August in Iraq and Syria. But the US has only acknowledged causing around 400 fatalities based on its own investigations. Yet in Iraq specifically, American planes have carried out at least 68 percent of the total airstrikes.

122 Nations Set to Approve Nuclear Weapons Ban: US Boycotts Meeting
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Edith M. Lederer / The Associated Press)

After protracted international talks, an estimated 129 nations are set to sign a global ban on nuclear weapons -- the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in more than 20 years. Unfortunately, it won't involve any actual disarmament. Why? Because every single nuclear weapons-having nation on the planet (Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, and the US) has boycotted the effort, along with the entire NATO alliance -- except for the Netherlands.

122 Nations Create Treaty to Ban Nuclear Weapons
(David Swanson / World Beyond War & Action Network)

Analysis: On Friday the United Nations concluded the creation of the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty in over 20 years, and the first ever to ban all nuclear weapons. While 122 nations voted yes, the Netherlands voted no, Singapore abstained, and numerous nations didn't show up at all. But this treaty is a big step in the right direction. When 122 countries declare something illegal, it is illegal on Earth. That means investments in it are illegal. Complicity with it is illegal.

Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Approved in 122-1 Vote
(AntiWar.com & Ian Sample / The Guardian)

In a decisive 122-1 vote at the United Nations, a global ban on nuclear weapons was approved,a massively important step toward disarmament made somewhat less impactful by all the current nuclear-armed states boycotting the meetings. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia signed on the dotted line: The US did not. All of the countries that bear nuclear arms and many others that either come under their protection or host weapons on their soil boycotted the negotiations.

ACTION ALERT: Cease Fire Campaign -- Stop Burning Military Toxics
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger )

The history of CSWAB is an inspirational story of how ordinary people can create extraordinary good. Our challenge -- to assure that the Pentagon fulfills its commitment to the complete cleanup of toxins that have placed ecological and human health at risk -- has been no small task. Environmental cleanup of the 7,400-acre Badger Army Ammunition Plant will be the largest such project in the history of the state of Wisconsin; expected remediation costs have been estimated to be as high as $250 million.

US Nuclear Base Inspection Results Made Secret to Conceal Failures, Dangers
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Max Greenwood / The Hill & Associated Press)

Pass-Fail results of Pentagon inspections of US nuclear weapons facilities have historically been a matter of public record -- and one that has proven an ongoing embarrassment for revealing repeated substandard performance and disastrously bad security. These grades have now been declared off-limits. The Pentagon says this is to prevent adversaries from learning too much about nuclear weapons vulnerabilities. Critics say the blackout serves to hide Pentagon mistakes.

House Panel Votes to Finance Wars in Space
(Jared Serbu / Federal News Radio & AntiWar.com)

The House Armed Services Committee voted late Wednesday night to create a sixth branch of the US armed forces: the US Space Corps, which would absorb the Air Force's current space missions. With an eye toward fighting major future wars in space, the US Air Force today has announced a reshuffle of its senior leadership posts, including the establishment of the new Deputy Chief of Staff for Space Operations post.

The Return of Famine as a Weapon of War
(Alex de Waal / The London Review of Books)

In its primary use, the verb 'to starve' is transitive: it's something people do to one another, like torture or murder. Today's famines are all caused by political decisions, yet journalists still use the phrase 'man-made' as if such famines were unusual. In Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen -- four countries wracked mass starvation -- the main culprits are wars that result in the destruction of farms, livestock herds and markets, and 'explicit' decisions by the military to block humanitarian aid.

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger Probes the Nature of ISIS and its Atrocities in Syria
(Rosa Furneaux / The East Bay Express)

Analysis: The idea that people have of ISIS is that they're psychopaths. Which they are. But they were murderous psychopaths for a very rational reason. Why was ISIS was committing atrocities in public. What was the thinking? I suddenly realised, that's us. That's Europe. That's everybody. We've all done that -- used public violence to cow the population and send a message. The awful lynchings of black men in the south were done in the town square -- and everyone was there to see it.

North Korea Threatens "Nuclear Sword of Justice": Pope Warns World Is Facing Destruction
(Aletha Adu / The Express & Mike Head / World Socialist Web Site)

North Korea has chillingly threatened to attack the United States with a "nuclear sword," hinting a destructive war between the two nations is looming. This comes after repeated warnings from the White House that there is "absolutely" the chance of a "major, major conflict" with North Korea.

Pentagon Terrorism: US Airstrikes Killed 472 Syrian Civilians in Past Month
(Alexa Liautaud / VICE News & Airwars)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the period between May 23 and June 23 saw the highest civilian death toll in coalition raids for a single month since they began on September 23, 2014. The new deaths brought the overall civilian toll from the coalition's campaign to 1,953, including 456 children and 333 women.

House Republicans Call for $640 Military Spending Bill
(AntiWar.com & The Hill)

Faced with a massive military spending increase proposal from President Trump, and a Budget Committee which expected to well exceed even that, the House Armed Services Committee has decided to outdo everybody by advancing its own $640 billion base budget. The move sets up a potential showdown with the White House, which proposed a $603 billion defense budget. It also could be in conflict with Congress's budget, as the Budget Committee is eyeing a $621 billion defense budget.

America Will Regret Helping Saudi Arabia Bomb Yemen
(Medea Benjamin / The Guardian)

Selling weapons to Saudi Arabia has consequences. The Yemeni people who have been on the receiving end of US bombs dropped by Saudi pilots know all too well that the United States is complicit in their suffering. The intense anti-US sentiment in Yemen should be a wake-up call for Americans. Republican Sen. Rand Paul and Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy have been trying to halt the weapons sales but the Trump administration and the majority of US senators have failed to heed their call.

Lockheed Nears $37 Billion-plus Deal to Sell F-35 Jet to 11 Countries
(Mike Stone / Reuters )

Lockheed Martin Corp is in the final stages of negotiating a deal worth more than $37 billion to sell a record 440 F-35 fighter jets to a group of 11 nations including the United States -- the biggest deal yet for the stealthy F-35 jet, set to make its Paris Airshow debut this week. The sale represents a major shift in sales practices from annual purchases to more economic multi-year deals that lower the cost of each jet.

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill
(Lt. Col. Dave Grossman / Phi Kappa Phi National Forum)

Michael Carneal, the 14-year-old killer in the Paducah, Kentucky school shootings, had never fired a real pistol in his life. He stole a .22 pistol, fired a few practice shots, and took it to school. He fired eight shots at a high school prayer group, hitting eight kids, five of them head shots and the other three upper torso. Where does a 14-year-old boy who never fired a gun before get the skill and the will to kill? Video games and media violence.

US Criticized for Using White Phosphorous Weapons Against Syria
(Reuters & The New York Post)

Human Rights Watch expressed concern on Wednesday about the use of incendiary white phosphorous weapons by the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, saying it endangers civilians when used in populated areas. "No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians," said a spokesperson for Human Rights Watch.

The UN, Human Rights, and the Bombing of Civilians in Syria
(Paulo Sergio Pinheiro / The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic)

Personal Testimony to the UN by Mr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro: "This update marks the twentieth time that I have addressed this body concerning the unspeakable toll of violence being inflicted on the people of the Syrian Arab Republic. Thus, I have been reflecting upon six years of work that my colleagues on the Commission of Inquiry and I have done, and upon all the lost lives, hopes, and futures that our investigations have documented."

Senate Vote Fails to Block $100 Billion Saudi Arms Deal
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mallory Shelbourne / The Hill & Sen. Rand Paul / Fox News & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge)

The Senate has voted on the resolution introduced by Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) aiming to block portions of President Trump's $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Sen. Paul spoke extensively on the need to limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing the humanitarian calamity of the Saudi invasion of neighboring Yemen and the Saudi regime's "very troubled record" on human rights.

In 1943, America Killed Its Own Troops with Poison Gas
(Michael Peck / The National Interest)

What a perfect night for a weapon of mass destruction. It was December 2, 1943 as Nazi bomber crews began flying over the Italian port of Bari. One eye-witness wrote: "Although the raid only lasted 20 minutes, the results were spectacularly successful for the Germans. Not since Pearl Harbor had the Allies lost so many ships at one time. Hits on two ammunition ships resulted in explosions of major proportions, which shattered windows 7 miles away" and released clouds of chemical gas stored on one ship.

Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Negotiations -- Begun in March -- Set to Resume at UN on June 15
(Physicians for Social Responsibility)

At long last, negotiations have begun for a nuclear weapons ban treaty that will impose on nuclear weapons the same legal status as chemical and biological weapons: illegal under international law. As expected, the US and most of nuclear-armed countries voted "no" on the ban. Unless nuclear-armed states sign onto the ban treaty, it will not directly lead to elimination of nuclear arsenals. But history will view passage of the Ban Treaty as the beginning of the end of the nuclear weapons era.

Lockheed Sees $28 Billion From Saudi Arms Sales, Boeing Expects $50 Billion
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Paul Auskick / 247Walist.com)

The massive US arms deal with Saudi Arabia signed last month by President Trump is continuing to drive up arms makers' stock, though at present the exact dollar values for specific companies are a matter of some speculation. Lockheed Martin, long expected to be one of the big sellers, put their figure at $28 billion. Boeing offered their own estimates on Saudi contracts, saying they believe they're getting $50 billion.

Ottawa Demonstrators Disrupt Major Military Trade Show
(Ingrid Style & David Pugliese / Ottawa Citizen & Sophia Reuss / Rabble)

On May 31, 2017, 40 Canadian peace activists blocked the two main entrances to the annual two-day Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CANSEC) trade show. Traffic was backed up for more than an hour as protestors waved signs reading: "No to Trump's Military Demands." "Stop the Saudi Arms Deal." "Abolish Nuclear Weapons." Although police were called to the scene, there were only smiles -- there was no violence.

US Military Admits Failures to Monitor Over $1 Billion Worth of Arms Transfers to Iraq
(Amnesty International & Democracy Now!)

The US Army failed to keep tabs on more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment in Iraq and Kuwait according to a now declassified Department of Defense (DoD) audit, obtained by Amnesty International following Freedom of Information requests. The scathing report criticized "the US Army's flawed -- and potentially dangerous -- system for controlling millions of dollars' worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region."

The Saudi Deal Shows Just How Broken The US Arms Export Process Has Become
(A. Trevor Thrall / Defense One)

A system meant to keep weapons sales from undermining US national security has become a sham. The $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia was another sign that the American arms sales process is broken.

US Launches ICMB to Intercept Mock Warhead over Pacific
(ABC News & RT News & CNN)

The US has "successfully intercepted" an intercontinental ballistic missile during the first test of its ground-based intercept system. The test occurred days after the North Korean regime launched its ninth missile this year. The US launched its first ICBM in 1961. North Korea debuted its first ICBM in 2012. Pyongyang has not yet tested its KN-08 and KN-14 missiles.

Audit: US Army Lost Track of Over $1 Billion in Arms in Iraq in 2016
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)

In the ever-growing number of wars and interventions the US has gotten itself entangled in since 2001, the Pentagon has had a recurring problem -- sending billions of dollars worth of arms and vehicles into warzones and then quickly losing track of it. A new government audit on the transfers related to the Iraq has found that improper record-keeping and a total lack of accountability after the gear is dispatched has left more than $1 billion in military materiel unaccounted for.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Selling US Weapons to Human Rights Violators
(Tessa Levine / CREDO Action)

The United States is responsible for the production and sale of more deadly weapons and military tools than any other country in the world. US laws were written to forbid selling arms to countries that would use our weapons against their own people. Now, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has lifted all human rights preconditions on major sales of fighter jets and other lethal weapons. Congress has the power to stop the arms deals with the despotic regimes in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

It's Time to Ban the Bomb
(Alice Slater / World Beyond War & The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

This week, the "United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination" released the draft of a treaty that would ban and prohibit nuclear weapons -- just as the world has done for biological and chemical weapons. The Ban Treaty is to be negotiated at the UN from June 15 to July 7 as a follow-up to the March 2017 negotiations that were attended by members of civil society and representatives of more than 130 governments.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Washington to Stop Arming Terrorists
(Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & Alex Newman / The New American)

A bipartisan bill to prohibit US taxpayer-funded arming of terrorist groups and their associates is making progress in Congress. Recently a companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The legislation, originally sponsored in the House by Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hi), takes aim at lawless US government "regime change" schemes overseas that often involve providing money, weapons, training, and other support to savage terror organizations.

Trump Targets EPA for Cuts; Ignores Job-creating Renewables Revolution; Makes a $2 Trillion Math Mistake on Budget Plan
(Andy Rowell / Oil Change International & EcoWatch & Ryan Teague Beckwith / TIME Magazine & Lawrence H. Summers / The Washington Post & Max Ehrenfreund / The Washington Post)

Analysis: The Trump team prides itself on its business background but choses sto rely on ludicrous supply-side economics. Trump's new budget rests on "a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course" -- a mistake no serious businessperson would make; the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in nearly 40 years. How could the Treasury Secretary, the OMB director and the director of the National Economic Council allow such an elementary error?

Washington Has Plans to Nuke Russia and China
(Paul Craig Roberts / PaulCraig Roberts.org)

Commentary: Washington's demonization of Russia and President Putin, the incessant lies about Russian deeds and intentions, and the refusal of Washington to cooperate with Russia on any issue have convinced the Russian government that Washington is preparing the Western populations for an attack on Russia. It is obvious that China has come to the same conclusion.

Pentagon Places New Orders for Assassination Mini-Drones
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Patrick Tucker / Defense One)

It's no news that the Pentagon is open to using mini-drones on "kamikaze" missions to assassinate people on the president's "kill list" but it may come as a surprise to learn that the military "urgently" wants another 325 of the flying executioners. Now the military wants cheap kamikaze drones that troops could fire from handheld bazooka-like launchers.

GE & Blackstone Use Trump's Visit to Strike Saudi Deals; Congresswoman Condemns US/Saudi Arms Agreement
(Reuters & Agence France-Presse & AntiWar.com)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has condemned the Trump Administration's $460 billion arms deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia -- a country with a devastating record of human rights violations and a long history of providing support to terrorist organizations that threaten the American people. Meanwhile, GE used Trump's trip to sign $15 billion worth of deals with Saudi Arabia to increase oil production and finance medical health research.

What America's New Arms Deal with Saudi Arabia Says about the Trump Administration
(Alex Ward / Vox.com & Kareem Shaheen / The Guardian)

Donald Trump has announced a 10-year, $350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia which includes tanks, helicopters, ships, aircraft, and a missile-defense radar system. But the Saudis have used US weapons to wage a war in Yemen that has killed at least 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million since March 2015. Millions now are at risk of famine while Saudi warplanes -- equipped with US bombs and missiles -- have targeted hospitals, schools, roads, bridges, farms, livestock, and other civilian targets.

Trump's $110 Billion Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia May Be Illegal -- and Congress Can Block It
(Akbar Shahid Ahmed / Huffington Post & Al Jazeera)

The human rights arm of the American Bar Association has sent the Senate a legal analysis saying that President Donald Trump's plan for an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth more than $100 billion would be illegal because of the Saudis' bloody role in the ongoing conflict in Yemen, which has killed thousands of innocent civilians and now is about to plunge the nation into a devastating famine. It is illegal to sell US weapons to countries that use these weapons against civilian populations.

Trump's Foreign Agenda: $350 Billion to the Saudis to Bomb Yemen and a Call for an "Arab NATO"
(Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mythili Sampathkumar / The Independent)

Of all the countries Trump could have chosen for his first visit, he chose to visit Saudi Arabia -- the country whose government is largely responsible for causing a major man-made famine in one of the world's poorest countries and has implicated the US in numerous war crimes because of our government's assistance with their war effort. While Trump will be schmoozing with despots in Riyadh, millions of Yemenis will continue to be starved as a result of deliberate policy choices supported by Washington.

One Week of Gun Deaths in America
(David Waldman / Daily Kos & GunFAIL)

An average week in gun-happy America: five law enforcement officers were involved in gun accidents, three people accidentally shot family members, three people accidentally shot themselves but lied to the cops about it, three people accidentally fired guns they were cleaning or clearing, two people accidentally fired into their neighbors' homes, and two people were accidentally shot to death at their own birthday parties.

White House Close to Finalizing More Than $100 Billion in Arms Sales to Saudis
(AntiWar.com & Reuters)

US officials said the US was seeking to reach "billions" of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia as part of Trump's visit to Riyadh. Details are still emerging, but the plan is for this to set out a series of growing deals over the next decade that will involve more than $300 billion going to arms dealers, not just to arm the Saudis, but in extra aid to Israel to ensure their "qualitative military edge" over the Saudis. White House officials said the move would be good for the economy.

US Military Contractors Using Former Child Soldiers from Africa to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan
(Al Jazeera)

As the military trade grows and private military companies try to find the cheapest available soldiers around the world, who are the mercenaries? And what are the consequences of the privatization of war? Child Soldiers Reloaded looks at the changing nature of war, the business of warfare and the issues behind it. How private companies recruit former child soldiers for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

ACTION ALERT: Ask EPA to End Open Air Burns of Munitions
(Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger & Jennifer Mayerle / WCCO-TV)

Toxic pollutants are released when munitions are burned, detonated or incinerated in open-air burn-pits. These toxic emissions endanger public health by contaminating nearby air, groundwater and soils. Military personnel are often the most exposed to these toxic pollutants, mainly at overseas bases. Hundreds of US communities have felt the adverse effects of these toxic pollutants at home. It is time for the EPA to ban the open-burning and open-detonation of waste explosives.

In South Korea, Women Are Leading the Resistance to US-Backed Militarization
(Christine Ahn / The Nation & Foreign Policy In Focus)

Proponents of THAAD say that it's needed to intercept North Korean ballistic missiles. But MIT military analyst Theodore Postol says the system's ability to deter missiles is "insignificant." Rather, Postol explains, THAAD "will definitely be looked upon by China as a significant military provocation by the US" that could trigger military confrontations or war. South Korean women aren't buying the argument, either. Women residents from Seongju and Gimcheon, flanked by local Won Buddhists, have vowed to protest.

Lockheed Martin-Funded Experts Agree: South Korea Needs More Lockheed Martin Missiles
(Adam Johnson / Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR))

The Center for Strategic and International Studies is a think-tank that promotes missile defense spending by providing Official-Sounding Quotes to reporters. But CSIS is not an impartial news source. As FAIR reports, five of CSIS's ten major corporate donors ("$500,000 and up") are weapons manufacturers: Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Boeing, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, and Northrop Grumman. Three of it its top four government donors are the United States, Japan and Taiwan.

Ignoring the Costs of War
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & William D. Hartung / TomDispatch)

In this century of nonstop military conflict, the American public has never fully confronted the immense costs of the wars being waged in its name. The human costs -- including an estimated 370,000 deaths, more than half of them civilians, and the millions who have become refugees -- are surely the most devastating consequences of these conflicts. But the economic costs of our recent wars should not be ignored.

US Fires 2 Nuclear-capable Ballistic Missiles; Says 'Yes' to Nuke Tests, 'No' to a Nuke Ban Treaty
(John LaForge / PeaceVoice)

Twice in seven days, the US shot nuclear-capable long-range missiles 4,000 miles over the Pacific, while refusing to join UN negotiations aimed at securing a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley addressed the US boycott of the New York meeting, explaining that atomic weapons were needed by "those of us that are good, trying to keep peace and safety."

There's No Such Thing as 'Limited' Nuclear War
(Sen. Dianne Feinstein / The Washington Post)

Last month, it was revealed that a Pentagon advisory committee authored a report calling for the United States to invest in new nuclear weapons and consider resuming nuclear testing. The report even suggested researching less-powerful nuclear weapons that could be deployed without resorting to full-scale nuclear war. This is terrifying and deserves a swift, full-throated rebuke.

US Nuclear Escalations Endanger the World
(Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge & The Berkeley Daily Planet)

At a time of growing tensions between nuclear powers -- Russia and NATO in Europe, and the US, North Korea and China in Asia -- Washington has quietly upgraded its nuclear weapons arsenal to create, according to three leading American scientists, "exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike."

Hanover Prepares Mass Evacuation of 50,000 Following Discovery of 13 Buried WWII Bombs
(Al Jazeera)

German authorities in the town of Hanover are preparing the second-biggest mass evacuation in decades ahead of major bombs disposal operation. More than 50,000 people have been ordered to leave their homes to allow bomb squads to remove 13 WWII bombs uncovered at a construction site. Hanover was a frequent target of Allied bombing in the latter years of the war. On October 9, 1943, some 261,000 bombs were dropped on the city.

ACTION ALERT: No President Should Have Absolute Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
(The Union of Concerned Scientists)

Donald Trump -- like every president for decades -- has sole authority to launch a US nuclear attack. And no one -- literally no one -- has the authority to stop him. The saber rattling between the United States and North Korea is a stark reminder of why this is so outrageous and unacceptable. It's time to change this deeply flawed system.

US Dropping Bombs Quicker Than They Can Be Replaced
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Matt Novak / Gizmodo & Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One)

So many bombs have been dropped in massive air wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan that the US has nearly run out of bombs. Between August 2014 and May 2016, the US-led coalition had conducted 12,453 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since . More than 8,500 of the strikes occurred in Iraq and nearly 4,000 in Syria. US warplanes and drones conducted 9,495 of the strikes. More than 41,697 bombs were dropped in those strikes -- with the US "loaning" bombs to allies participating in the strikes.

Business Is Booming for Lockheed and Other US Bombmakers
(Marcus Weisgerber / Defense One)

In February 2016, the Pentagon announced it was starting to run low on the smart bombs used in its 9,000-plus airstrikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and Barack Obama asked Congress toe for $1.8 billion to buy 45,000 new bombs. With the bombing campaign costing about $11.2 million per day, Lockheed and other bombmakers back in the US were registering record profits and expanding its munition factories to meet rising demand -- from fighting ISIS to building new weapons for Great Power wars at sea.

Russia Calls Trump's Missile Deployments in Poland and Romania a Violation of Nuclear Treaty
(AntiWar.com & AAP & The Express)

Russia has accused the US of violating an existing arms treaty following the deployment of an $800 million ballistic missile system in Romania and plans for more in Poland. The US has long tried to dismiss this complaint by insisting that the missile defense system wasn't targeting Russia, long presenting it as aimed at Iran, despite being wholly outside of the range of even Iran's most advanced missiles.

The Shame of Killing Innocent People
(Kathy Kelly / AntiWar.com & Sen. Rand Paul / Rare.us)

According the the UN Human Rights Commission, "At least 3,200 civilians have been killed and 5,700 wounded since coalition military operations began [in Yemin] , 60 percent of them in coalition airstrikes." Between May and September, the US sold $7.8 billion worth of weapons to the Saudis. The US Congress could put an end to US complicity in the crimes against humanity being committed by military forces in Yemen. Congress could insist that the US stop supplying the Saudi led coalition with weapons.

Trump: Absolutely a Chance for "Major, Major War" With North Korea
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky / Democracy Now!)

The United States continues to send wildly conflicting signs on their intentions toward North Korea. Massive US "war games" in the region and Trump administration talk of military buildups around the Korean Peninsula have fueled concerns about the US attacking North Korea outright. Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman speaks with world-renowned linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky and asks Chomsky about one of the most serious threats to the survival of the human species -- nuclear war.

Instead of Threats of War, Trump Should Make an Artful Deal: Halt US War Exercises in Exchange for a Halt to the North's Weapons and Missile Testing
(Bruce Cumings / The Nation & John Delury / The Washington Post)

There is no way to hit North Korea without being hit back harder. There is no military means to "preempt" its capabilities. The prudent move would be to open direct talks with Pyongyang. Start by negotiating a freeze on the fissile-material production cycle, return of Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, and a moratorium on testing nuclear devices and long-range missiles. In return, the US should entertain Pyongyang's long-standing request for to halt its massive joint military exercises with South Korea.

Visit to Site of MOAB Bombing: "It Was More of a Dud"

The April 13 strike by US forces in eastern Afghanistan saw the first deployment of the MOAB, the Mother of All Bombs. The 22,000 lb pound bomb, the biggest non-nuclear weapon in the US arsenal, was supposed to send a "message" to other nations. Locals report that the MOAB did way less damage than you'd think. Green trees were still standing 100 meters from the center of the blast, with no sign of damage. Tunnels used by the ISIS fighters appeared all but untouched. Many victims were anti-ISIS fighters.

US Airstrike Kills Family of Eight Fleeing Syria Fighting
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Philip Issa / Associated Press<)

US officials have made much of Kurdish YPG forces attacking the town of Tabqa, which is at least somewhat under ISIS control. Locals are trying to flee the fighting, however, and that seems to be where the US is most involved, attacking and killing a family of eight outside of Tabqa as they tried to get away. The family, including five children aged 15 or under, were in a vehicle fleeing the town, and that the US attacked and destroyed the vehicle, killing all within. The Pentagon has yet to comment on the killings.

ACTiON ALERT: Tell Trump to Stop Threatening North Korea
(Roots Action & The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

Donald Trump claims he has no choice but to threaten North Korea with war -- a war that could prove disastrous for the entire world. From all appearances, Trump has no clue as to the choices available. When North Korea tests missiles it breaks no laws. The US tests missiles all the time and the US launches nuclear-capable ICBMs. North Korea has repeatedly offered to abandon its nuclear weapons program if the US and South Korea would halt military exercises and other provocations along the shared border.

Escalation Nation: US Fires Nuclear-capable ICBM Over Pacific Ocean
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Fox News)

The test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile would be cause for angry condemned by the US as a dangerous provocation tantamount to an act of war. Not today, however, because the missile in question was test-fired by the US itself. A Minuteman III nuclear-capable ICBM was launched from the US at a target 4,000 miles away in the South Pacific. This provocation appears designed to underscore Washington’s ability to wipe out much of the planet, amid growing concerns about aggressive US warfare.

Children of War: American Weapons Have Poisoned a Generation.
(Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative )

In 2010, seven years after the brutal US attack on Fallujah, "congenital malformations" were observed in 15 percent of all births. Heart defects were the most common, followed by neural tube defects, which cause irreversible and often fatal deformities such as anencephaly, in which the infant is born with parts of the brain and skull missing.

Trump v. Kim and the Growing Threat of Nuclear War
(Lawrence Wittner / AntiWar.com & The Guardian)

In recent weeks, the world have been treated to yet another display of the kind of nuclear insanity that has broken out periodically ever since 1945 and the dawn of the nuclear era. On April 11, Donald Trump, irked by North Korea's continued nuclear weapons and missile tests, tweeted that "North Korea is looking for trouble." North Korea's Kim Jong Un responded by announcing that, in the event of a US attack, his country would respond by launching a nuclear strike at US forces massed on his country's borders.

New Revelations Challenge Trump's Claims on Chemical Attack in Syria
(Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com)

The Trump administration is pushing the accusation that the Assad regime was the force that carried out the highly lethal chemical attack on April 4 but a leading analyst on military technology has concluded that the alleged device for a sarin attack could not have been delivered from the air but only from the ground, meaning that the chemical attack may not have been the result of the Syrian airstrike. A military intelligence officer has stated that the Pentagon allegedly knew in advance that the strike was coming.

Pro-Bomb Propaganda: Why Do So Many Americans Support Deadly Aerial Warfare?
(Robert Bateman / Esquire Magazine)

Some 90 years of domestic propaganda has changed the way Americans think about war. In most countries, war means armed people involved in up-close-and-personal violence, usually somewhere close to (or within) specific borders. The "military-industrial complex" has used its large public-relations budgets to promote the idea of the antiseptic use of weapons striking from the sky against distant enemies. The American public gobbles it up--just like other Madison Avenue and Hollywood products.

ACTION ALERT: Ground the Drones: Close Creech AFB April 23-29
(Codepink, Veterans For Peace, Nevada Desert Experience, et al.)

Now more than ever, we must resist US assassinations by drones! Within the very first days in the White House, Donald Trump signed off on several drone attacks in Yemen. Last weekend, more than 40 US airstrikes rained down on Yemen, many fired from drones. Trump has clearly embraced Obama's racist policies of extra-judicial killing on suspicion alone with innocent lives lost in the crossfire. Trump's Navy Seals Debacle in January killed 10 children, 6 women and others. Another reason WE MUST RESIST!

Russia Boasts It Can Wipe Out Entire US Navy With 'Electronic Bomb' as War Fears Grow
(Tom Michael / The Sun & The Daily News)

Russia has claimed it can disable the entire US Navy in one fell swoop using powerful electronic signal jamming. A news report from the country -- where the media is essentially controlled by the state -- said the technology could render planes, ships and missiles useless. On April 17, 2014, two Russian bombers armed with nothing more than s small-but-powerful electronic device knocked out all power and controls on the USS Donald Cook, leaving it dead in the Black Sea.

Karzai Calls Trump's Bomb a Human and Environmental "Atrocity"
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ellen Mitchell / The Hill)

While the current Afghan government tries to defend the US use of the MOAB "Mother of All Bombs" last week against the Nangarhar Province, former President Hamid Karzai was extremely critical of the action, calling it an "immense atrocity" against fellow human beings. Karzai called the bomb "a violation" of Afghanistan's "sovereignty," and "a disrespect to our soil and environment." Trump, meanwhile, called the operation "another successful event.

Why The Donald Should Cool It On North Korea
(David Stockman / AntiWar.com)

Commentary: The realized truth of modern history is crystal clear. Washington had no business intervening in a quarrel between two no-count wanna be dictators (Syngman Rhee and Kim il Sung) on the Korean peninsula in 1950, and surely has no business still stationing 29,000 US soldiers there 67 years latter. Yet the world is now much closer to the brink of nuclear war than at any time since the dark days of the early Cold War as Donald Trump succumbs to the Deep State's false narrative about the US and North Korea.

Has Donald Trump Ceded Foreign Policy to a Cabal of Generals?
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Bryan Bender / Politico)

In his less than three months in office, Donald Trump has escalated four wars, and all of his escalations have been failures. To be fair, Trump inherited all four wars from Barack Obama. Trump recently cited the use of a massive bomb in Afghanistan as an example of the "total authorization" he has given his military commanders. But this only deepens fears that Trump is allowing the military to dictate US military action abroad.

There Is No Military Solution To The North Korea Conundrum
(Justin Raimondo / Antiwar.com)

With North Korea launching ballistic missile tests with disturbing regularity, and US officials openly talking about the possibility of a preemptive strike against the Hermit Kingdom's nuclear facilities, the question of war on the Korean peninsula is now "on the table," as the national security wonks like to say. It should be taken off the table, pronto.

Trump, Russia, and NATO: Why Tiny Montenegro's Not Tiny Now
(Ted Snider / AntiWar.com)

Donald Trump has just approved Montenegro's accession into NATO. Montenegro is a tiny nation, and its inclusion doesn't significantly change the abilities of NATO, but it's inclusion is huge, and its meaning is significant and clear to Russia.

The World Is Getting a Taste of the Trump Doctrine
(Robert Dreyfuss / The Rolling Stone & The Center for Civilians in Conflict)

Trump's promise to "bomb the sh-t out of ISIS" is starting to become reality -- with little regard for innocents caught in the blasts. There has been a sudden jump in "collateral damage" from US airstrikes -- in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Afghanistan. Since taking office, it appears that Trump's fallen under the spell of Secretary of Defense Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis and General H.R. McMaster, giving them unprecedented power to utilize US armed might with little or no White House oversight.

How Trump's WMD Bomb Would Impact New York City
(Natasha Bertrand / Business Insider & CNN & Daniel Brown / Business Insider)

The US has deployed the largest nonnuclear bomb in its inventory on an ISIS target in a remote part of far northeast Afghanistan. The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast -- whose acronym has inspired the nickname "Mother of All Bombs" or "MOAB" -- weighs over 21,000 pounds. It had not been used in combat until now. The Pentagon said the strike "was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and US forces conducting clearing operations in the area."

US Attack on Syria an "International Crime" but Trump Suggests More Attacks to Come
(Deutsche Welle & Jeff Mason / Reuters)

The US has called its attack on an airbase in Syria "a strong signal" for the Assad regime. Legal experts, however, criticized the action. In a recent interview, international law expert Stefan Talmon explains why. Undeterred by critics or international law, Donald Trump insists he is open to authorizing additional strikes on Syria if its government uses chemical weapons or barrel bombs.

Trump Profits from Attack on Syria: He Owns Shares in Company that Built the 59 Tomahawk Missiles
(Tom Boggioni / Raw Story & Bill Palmer / The Palmer Report & Hunter Walker and Myles Udland / Business Insider)

While the world is dealing with both the implications and the fall-out from President Donald Trump's missile attack on a Syrian airfield on Thursday, the manufacturer of the Tomahawk missile used in the attack is seeing their stock surge which is good news for their investors -- including the Donald Trump. While the attack did little damage, investors -- sensing an increasing escalation in tensions and the possibility of a widening war -- pushed Raytheon stock up and, thereby, increasing Trump's wealth.

ACTION ALERT: Protest Trump's Illegal, Reckless Escalations
(Sen. Bernie Sanders / US Sentate & Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & The Campaign for Peace and Democracy)

As the most powerful nation on earth, the United States must work with the international community to bring peace and stability to Syria, where over 400,000 people have been killed and over 6 million displaced. The horror of Syria’s civil war is almost unimaginable. If there's anything we should've learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's that it's easier to get into a war than get out of one.

Don't Jump to Conclusions about the Gas Attack in Syria
(Vijay Prashad / AlterNet)

The US, Britain and France placed a resolution before the Security Council condemning the Syrian gas attack and asking for an investigation. There is no call for armed action because the Council was divided on who perpetuated the act. Meanwhile, the Americans recently admitted to a major atrocity in Mosul, where 200 civilians were killed. That attack did not seize the Security Council or bring forth fulminations from the Western press. Hypocrisy is central to the morals at the UN Security Council.

Trump Condemns Syria Chemical Attack: McCain Blames Trump
(BBC World News & Barbara Plett Usher / BBC World News)

Donald Trump has condemned the killing of dozens of civilians in northern Syria in an apparent chemical weapons attack by Syria's air force, calling it an "affront to humanity." Meanwhile, hawkish Republican Senator John McCain argues that the Trump administration's "hands-off" approach to Bashar al-Assad emboldened the Syrian President to carry out atrocities like the chemical attack for which he's being blamed.

How Trump Killed 9 Babies and Children in Yemen
(Al Jazeera & Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters)

Residents of Yakla, an impoverished Yemeni town that was targeted last month in the first US military raid in the country authorized by President Donald Trump, have said more than a dozen civilians were killed in the botched operation -- including women and nine children under the age of 12. One of those killed was Nora al-Awlaki, an eight-year-old American girl. Two weeks later, US-backed Saudi planes attacked a funeral near Yemen's capital, killing nine women and one child and injuring dozens.

Does It Matter Who Pulls the Trigger in the Drone Wars?
(Peter Van Buren / WeMeantWell & AntiWar.com)

Commentary: "We're allowing a mindset of "anything Trump does is wrong" coupled with lightening-speed historical revisionism for the Obama era to sustain the same mistakes in the war on terror that have fueled Islamic terrorism for the past 15 years. However, there may be a window of opportunity to turn the anti-Trump rhetoric into a review of the failed policies of the last decade and a half."

Trump Meets with Egyptian Dictator, Offers US Weapons -- Just Like Barack Obama
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

Commentary: The Trump administration has been criticized for hosting Egypt's hideous tyrant, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi -- previously shunned by the Obama White House. What many critics are ignoring is that is that the US supported, funded, and armed the Sisi tyranny for years under the Obama administration. In 2015, as Sisi's human rights abuses intensified, Obama personally phoned el-Sisi with the news that he was lifting a ban "on the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 tank kits."

NATO Makes Massive Move on Russia's Borders as US and Russia Threaten Nuclear War
( The Daily Star & Global Response & The Express)

NATO forces have been dispatched to Estonia, on the Russian border, in what the British Ministry of Defense is calling "the largest NATO deployment to Eastern Europe since the Cold War." Russia, in turn, has called NATO encroachments and deployment of US missiles on its borders a provocation that could be answered by a nuclear response. The Union of Concerned Scientists has warned US missile developments could trigger nuclear war with Russia.

Trump Expands Pentagon's War Powers, Rejects Diplomacy, Threatens Unilateral Attack on North Korea
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Eli Watkins / CNN)

On one hand, North Korea has violated UN Security Council resolutions banning its ballistic missile launches; on the other hand, South Korea, the US -- and now Japan -- insist on conducting super-large-scale military drills. It's a vicious cycle that could spiral out of control. Beijing has proposed a "double halt" approach that would see North Korea suspend its nuclear program, while the US and South Korea would call off joint military drills. The US has already dismissed the plan.

Russia Warns US Military Threats Risk Provoking Nuclear War
(Reveal News & The Daily Star & TASS & The Wall Street Journal)

Pentagon missiles in Europe and warships patrolling Russia's borders could lead to nuclear war, Vladimir Putin's military bosses have warned. America's anti-ballistic missile system (ABM) is provoking a "new arms race" that threatens to challenge Russia's ability to defend itself from a nuclear strike. Russia's military leaders warn the introduction of American ABMs along its border "lowers the threshold for use of nuclear weapons" and increases the risk of "sudden nuclear attack."

ACTION ALERT: How the Arms Industry Profits off the War on Terror
(Paul Holden / The Guardian & Petition / Nation of Change)

Analysis: "It is crucial to consider that the "war on terror" might have been a horrendous error: the attempt to impose a military solution on complicated political problems was simplified thinking with a false promise of total national safety . . . the militarisation of the response -- as seen in the massive expansion of military deployments, arms spending, and the license to do anything in pursuit of national security -- has worsened the problem of armed violence in the world." Meanwhile, the arms industry has prospered.

Trump's Troops Accused of Mass Civilian Slaughters in Iraq, Syria
(Loveday Morris and Liz Sly / The Washington Post)

A sharp rise in the number of civilians reported killed in US-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria is spreading panic, deepening mistrust and triggering accusations that the United States and its partners may be acting without sufficient regard for lives of noncombatants. The increase comes as local ground forces backed by air support from a US-led coalition close in on the Islamic State's two main urban bastions -- Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

ACTION ALERT: Revoke President's Unilateral "Right" to Launch a Nuclear War
(NBC News & Robert Weissman / Public Citizen)

Only one person on Earth can unilaterally launch America's nuclear arsenal. He doesn't need anyone's approval to trigger a global thermonuclear cataclysm; he doesn't even need a congressional declaration of war. He is the president of the United States. When it comes to nuclear war, there are no "checks and balances." This must change.

NATO Sends Unprecedented Weaponry to Estonia to Threaten Russia
(AlWaght News & Analysis & Defense News & RT News)

In an act unprecedented since the end of the Cold War, the US-led NATO military alliance has been deploying a massive array of weaponry along the Russian border. Scores of tanks, self-propelled artillery guns and other military hardware have been moved to Estonia from the Britain and Germany. NATO has justified the aggressive show-of-force as a response to hypothetical "Russian aggression."

Trump Team Wanted to Militarize the Inaugural Parade: Pentagon Balked
(Jessica Schulberg / The Huffington Post)

The Presidential Inaugural Committee was "seriously considering adding military vehicles to the Inaugural Parade," a Pentagon official wrote in an email dated Dec. 13, 2016. "Such support would be out of guidelines," another Pentagon official wrote. Critics noted the idea of sending tanks and missile launchers down Pennsylvania Avenue would evoke comparisons with the massive military parades in China and North Korea. They were also concerned that the heavy tanks could damage D.C. roads.

Radioactive Theft in Iraq Raises 'Dirty Bomb' Concerns in Crimea
(TASS & Sputnik News & Reuters & The Independent )

"For the first time in the Russian army's history" the Airborne Forces' three large units have been simultaneously alerted in the Crimea due to an "increased terrorist threat." The alert followed warnings that radioactive materials were detected aboard an Armenian aircraft en route to Bulgaria. The radioactive signature suggested the presence of Ir-192. In 2016, a case containing deadly Ir-192 was stolen from a base in Iraq, stoking fears that it could be used to make a dirty bomb.

Rare Atomic Bomb Test Footage Reveals Weapons Are Deadlier than Believed
(Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory & Peter Fimrite / The San Francisco Chronicle)

The US conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. Over the decades, around 10,000 of these films remained scattered across the country in high-security vaults, gathering dust and slowly decomposing. Greg Spriggs, a weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is hoping to preserve and share as many as 10,000 deteriorating films known to have been taken of the atmospheric blasts.

Rex Tillerson's Threatened 'Preemptive' US Attack on North Korea Would Be an International War Crime
(Mark Sumner / The Daily Kos & Tim Hume / Vice News)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut short his visit to South Korea because of "fatigue," according to Korean officials. Tillers declared "the policy of strategic patience has ended," and revealed that a pre-emptive military attack was "on the table." So far, history has shown that issuing threats to North Korea (or any other country) only provokes increased belligerence from the threatened nation. Sounding more like a general than a Secretary of State, Tillerson declared: "Talk is not going to change the situation."

Bill Gates Warns Terrorists Could Kill 30 Million within a Year using Bioweapons
(Harry Walker / The Express & James Rush / The Daily Mail)

Bill Gates has warned the Munich Security Conference that: "The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus, or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu." Meanwhile, China accuses US of a secret biological attack using a new strain of bird flu. The US has dismissed claims, saying there is 'absolutely no truth' to them.

Fierce, Critical Reactions to Trump's 'Cruel, Stupid Budget'
(Public Citizen & The Democratic National Committee & Seth Moulton for Congress & Kamala Harris / US Senate & The Washington Post)

Trump's appalling budget would destroy America to empower military, surveillance, incarceration, and pollution interests. It slashes $4.7 billion from the Agriculture Department -- hurting rural communities; cuts job-creating funding for infrastructure repair; guts spending to protect clean air and drinking water; defunds the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and suspends the Manufacturing Extension Partnership -- a program that helped create and retain more than 86,602 jobs last year.

Naval Exercises Add Trillions of Bits of Plastic to the World's Oceans
(Dahr Jamail / Truthout)

For the next two decades, the US Navy will inject hundreds of thousands of pounds of flares and billions of metal-coated glass fibers into ocean waters off Washington and Oregon. By 2037, the Navy will have left behind more than half a million pounds of flares and trillions of microfibers of chaff (a radar countermeasure dropped by aircraft) in the world's oceans. And a single, upcoming naval exercises will inject 20,000 tons of heavy metals and explosives into the seas.

House Passes $578 Billion Military Spending Bill
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Richard Lardner / Associated Press)

With massive majorities in both parties, Congress has voted in favor of a massive $578 billion military spending bill to cover the remainder of fiscal year 2017. The bill now moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. The exact meaning of the figures is a little difficult to understand because Congress had already passed a FY2017 military spending bill for $611 billion back in December. Adding to the war-pork: Donald Trump hopes to add another $30 billion and has promised an overall 9% spending hike in FY2018.

US Rejects China's Call to Halt Provocative War Exercise if N. Korea Halts Provocative Missile Tests
(AntiWar.com & Al-Jazeera & The Associated Press)

The US on Wednesday rejected China's proposal for a halt to joint US-South Korean military exercises if North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile activities. It called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un irrational and demanded "positive action" before the US can take his regime seriously. Meanwhile, the US military added to regional tensions by beginning to deploy its THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea. China opposes the THAAD system, which it sees as a provocative military threat to its security.

In Response to Trump, EU Considers Alliance-Wide Nuclear Weapons Program
(AntiWar.com & The New York Times )

Initially pushed by Eastern European members, particularly Poland, as another way to challenge Russia, the European Union is now seen warming to the idea of establishing its own alliance-wide nuclear weapons program placed under common European command. The plan is being sold as a response to the risk of Donald Trump dialing back Washington's military support for the EU.

Contamination at Largest US Air Force Base in Asia: Kadena, Okinawa
(Jon Mitchell / The Asia-Pacific Journal (Vol. 14, Issue 9, Number 1))

Located in the center of Okinawa Island, Kadena Air Base is the largest United States Air Force installation in Asia. Equipped with two 3.7-kilometer runways and thousands of hangars, homes and workshops, the base sprawls across 46 square kilometers of Okinawa's main island. Now, newly revealed documents have exposed a massive cover-up of accidents and neglect that have polluted local land and water with hazardous legacies of arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos and dioxin.

Annual Massive US-South Korea War Exercise Risks Provoking Response from North Korea
(Al Jazeera)

North Korea has warned of a "merciless" response if its territorial boundaries are violated during large-scale military drills involving US and South Korean forces. Pyongyang on Thursday reacted to the start of the annual war games with its typical fiery rhetoric, but recent missile and nuclear tests by the North give the usual threats an added weight.

Cover-up: Rogue British Missile 'Veered' Off-course, Threatened US Homeland

British Prime Minister Theresa May was revealed to have lied when she claimed to have known nothing about a June 2016 nuclear-capable Trident test that sent a British missile heading for the US. The British government described the operation as 'successful' -- because the submarine and crew returned to service -- but refused to say what happened to the missile. Ms. May refused -- four times -- to say if she had been aware of the event.

The Landmine Ban Treaty Turns 18
(The International Campaign to Ban Landmines)

Eighteen years ago today, the Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, entered into force, establishing a global norm against the use of anti-personnel landmines. Previously used far and wide as a weapon of choice in the 1980s and 1990s, the global community had come to realize the pernicious impact of landmines on civilians and their communities, long after the end of conflict.

Government Snipers: Useless, at Best; Dangerous, at Worst?
(BBC World News & The Straight Dope & Team Fortress.com)

Do Secret Service snipers really offer protection for public officials? With scores of snipers on every rooftop, how does a "good" sniper identify a "bad" sniper? A well-trained sniper would take care not to be seen. The sniper's presence would not be known until after the first shots were fired. It would be hard to detect the source of fire in an urban setting. It would be hard for a "good" sniper to be able to detect a "bad" sniper once the target has fled, let alone catch an escaping shooter in his crosshairs.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump from Launching a Nuclear First-stirke
(Petition from Credo Action & Will Worley / The Independent)

As Britain's Independent notes: 'It is a frightening reality that the US now has a Commander-in-Chief who was making sweeping statements about US nuclear policy over Twitter.' Donald Trump currently has unrestricted power to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at will. The passage of H.R. 669, the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act, would prevent him from starting a nuclear war.

Donald Trump's Big League Gun Hypocrisy
(The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)

The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the corporate gun lobby, a multibillion-dollar gun industry, and lapdog politicians who do their bidding. A politician's 10-second "thoughts and prayers" tweet . . . is not an adequate response to a mass shooting. In a recent legal victory, a federal appeals court struck down an NRA-backed Florida law that attempted to restrict doctors from talking to their patients about the dangers of guns.

Russia's New ICBMs Can 'Rip Apart' US Anti-missile Systems
(RT News )

Russia has unveiled the very first image of a new super-heavy thermonuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile, the RS-28 Sarmat. The Sarmat, designed to be fitted with a hypersonic glider warhead, is expected to go into production as early as 2018.

Report: US Secretly Used Nuclear Weapons in Syria
(Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & Foreign Policy Magazine & Doug Weir / The Ecologist)

The recent confirmation that the US used radioactive ammunition in two attacks in Syria in 2015 raises a number of troubling questions: Why was DU used; will it be used again; what will be done to address the health and environmental risks posed by radioactive contamination? DU is known to cause cancers and birth defects. Despite vowing not to use DU weapons in Syria, the US has now admitted that it has fired thousands of deadly rounds during airstrikes on oil trucks in Islamic State-controlled areas.

Troubling Questions Posed by US Use of Depleted Uranium in Syria
(Doug Weir / The Ecologist & the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

News that the US had used radioactive depleted uranium weapons to attack targets inside Syria first broke last October. But it was not clear at the time where the weapons had been used or what the US was shooting at. The news emerged shortly before the UN voted on a sixth DU resolution to control the use of these deadly weapons. The US was one of only four countries to vote against the text. On November 16 and 22, 1,490 DU rounds and 3,775 rounds, respectively, were used to destroy 399 fuel tankers

Hurdles Ahead for Trump's Massive Proposed Pentagon Increase
(Richard Lardner / Associated Press)

Analysis: Republicans control Congress so President Donald Trump's pledge to boost the Pentagon budget by tens of billions of dollars should be a sure bet. It's not. Trump faces skeptical Democrats whose support he'll need and resistance from fiscal conservatives opposed to repealing a 2011 law that set firm limits on military and domestic spending. Unless the president figures out a way to mollify the disparate camps, he'll have a tough time delivering on a signature campaign promise

Greenwashing Wars and the US Military
(Ann Wright / Consortium News)

In September 2016, a congress of major conservation groups soft-pedaled criticism of the US military and other war-makers despite the massive damage they inflict on humans, animals, plants, cultural sites and the environment. Retired Col. Ann Wright asks: "How can you conserve nature when you are bombing nature in wars of choice around the world, practicing military operations in areas that have endangered species . . . and bombing islands into wastelands?"

Trump Nominates Key War Contractors to Top Pentagon Positions
(Mandy Smithberger / The Project on Government Oversight)

Lockheed Martin is the top recipient of Pentagon contracting dollars, receiving $29.4 billion of taxpayer dollars in 2015 alone. Now, the company will have a lock on top Pentagon posts as well. Donald Trump has named a former consultant for a Lockheed subsidiary to be Air Force Secretary and a current Lockheed Vice President has been tapped as Trump's top contender to be the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Of course, filling top posts with former war contractors is not unique to the Trump administration.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Trump and Putin to "Drop Your Nukes"
(Nuclear Are Peace Foundation & WagingPeace.org)

Commentary: At a press conference today, President Donald Trump said, "I want to do the right thing for the American people, and to be honest, secondarily, I want to do the right thing for the world." Nuclear weapons put civilization and the human species at risk of annihilation, which is why we published an open letter to Presidents Trump and Putin calling on the two leaders to negotiate the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Report: First Atom Bomb Test Caused Generations of Cancer
(Russell Contreras / The Associated Press)

The world's first atomic bomb test caused generations of southern New Mexico families to suffer from cancer and economic hardship, according to surveys gathered by an advocacy group seeking compensation for descendants from the Tularosa area. The surveys released Friday detailed residents' stories from areas around the 1945 Trinity Test and argue that many Hispanic families later struggled to keep up with cancer-related illnesses.

Pentagon Spending: Up, Up, and Away!
(William J. Astore / AntiWar.com & Greg Corombos / WND Radio)

Show me your budget and I'll tell you what you value. The Trump administration clearly values military weapons and wars. The Pentagon is due to get a major boost under Trump who has ordered the Pentagon to draft a "supplemental" budget for 2017 that would $40 billions more on top of the $600 billion the Obama administration budgeted. In 2001, it was estimated that the Pentagon, which has never been audited, had wasted more than $2 trillion dollars over the years. And that was 16 years ago.

Left-Behind Explosives Taking Deadlier Toll on Afghan Children, UN Says
(Mujib Mashal / The New York Times)

On Monday, the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan reported that 2016 had been another year of record civilian casualties in the country, and it expressed particular concern about a 65 percent jump in the number of children killed or wounded by explosive remnants as fighting has spread to heavily populated civilian areas. In 2016, 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 others wounded -- a rise of 3 percent over the previous year, the UN report said.

Solomon Islanders Struggle with Lethal Legacy of World War II
(Julian Ryall / Deutsche Welle)

Seven decades after Japan and the United States fought over these South Pacific islands, local residents are unearthing bullets and bombs that still have the capacity to kill and maim. The haul to date, on one small patch of the island, includes a number of 155 mm artillery rounds that would have been fired from US howitzers. This August marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal, one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Pacific campaign.

Trump Orders 'Great Rebuilding' of Pentagon
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)

During his first post-inauguration visit to the Pentagon, Donald Trump today signed an executive order for what he described as the start of a "great rebuilding of the Armed Forces," seeking to increase the size of the US military -- which already spends roughly as much as the eight next largest militaries in the world -- with new warplanes, new ships, new resources, and in increase in the number of special forces.

Trump Is Now a War Criminal: Joins Bush and Obama in Ordering Drone Assassinations
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Now Donald Trump is a war criminal just like his predecessors. Over the inaugural weekend -- while the president was obsessing about the size of his crowd -- his government let loose two drone strikes against defenseless Yemen, reportedly killing an estimated 10 people. Three of these people were on a motorcycle hit by one drone, the other seven were in a vehicle hit by the other drone. The US is not formally at war with Yemen but strikes the country with drones whenever it feels like it.

Trump's Talk Helps Move Doomsday Clock 30 Seconds Closer To Midnight
(Matt Ferner / The Huffington Post)

On January 26, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that it had moved the Doomsday Clock's minute hand 30 seconds closer to midnight -- the hour symbolizing global catastrophe. Humankind is now just 2-and-a-half minutes from doomsday. The compounding factors prompting this grave adjustment (the closest the clock has been to midnight in a generation) include climate change, nuclear spending, political attacks on science and provocative statements from the new US administration.

Two US Senators Call for Law Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons
(Hon. Edward J. Markey / US Senate)

On January 24, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congressman Ted W. Lieu (CA-33) and introduced the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. This legislation would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. The crucial issue of nuclear "first use" is more urgent than ever now that President Donald Trump has the power to launch a nuclear war at a moment's notice.

Turkish Bombs Have Killed 350 Syrians: At Least 2,500 Others Wounded
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & SyriaHR)

In late August, Turkey invaded the Syrian border city of Jarabulus, an ISIS-held city along the Euphrates River. Turkey has made much of "liberating" large amounts of territory from ISIS, and "neutralizing" large numbers of ISIS fighters but, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey's invasion has left at least 352 civilians dead across northern Syria, and at least 2,500 others wounded.

Pentagon Reports ISIS Air War Costs Up to $11 Billion
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Oriana Pawlyk / DODBuzz)

Two and a half years in and with no end in sight, the cost of the US air war against ISIS continues to rise, with the Pentagon now saying the total cost is around $11 billion, a figure which only includes the direct costs of the military operation, and not the substantial additional costs associated with the conflict. 22% of the cost, or about $2.5 billion, was just the cost of the bombs the US dropped on Iraq and Syria in the course of the war.

US Drone Killing Machine Now on Autopilot
(Laurie Calhoun / AntiWar.com)

Much of the mess in the Middle East is due to the accelerated use of lethal drones in "signature strikes" to kill thousands of military-age men in seven different lands. Adding fuel to the fire, Obama oversaw the largest exportation of homicidal weapons to the Middle East ever undertaken by a single US president. Donald J. Trump became the new US president on January 21, 2017. On that same day, two drone strikes in Yemen killed a slew of people, three of whom were said to be "suspected Al Qaeda leaders".

For Leopards in Iran and Iraq, Land Mines Are a Surprising Refuge
(Peter Schwartzstein / National Geographic )

Few parts of the world look more hostile to big cats than the rugged wilderness that flanks the northern Iran-Iraq frontier. Laced with land mines and roamed by packs of dedicated poachers, it's an environment seemingly calculated to imperil even the most fleet-footed animal. Yet this is the place the world's largest leopard calls home. Because land mines keep people out of the Persian leopard's last habitats. This creates a conundrum since redefining the area would leave the cats more vulnerable.

Obama Report Covered Up Civilian Drone Deaths
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Gregory Korte / USA TODAY)

The Obama Administration made a habit of dramatically underreporting civilian deaths in its assorted military operations around the world, but the Obama White House took things to a whole new level in its last such document, claiming that only one civilian had been killed in US drone strikes "worldwide" in all of 2016.

Botched Nigerian Air Strike May Have Killed 236 Civilians
(Agence France-Presse)

As many as 236 people may have been killed in the botched Nigerian air strike against Boko Haram that hit a camp for civilians displaced by the unrest, a local official told AFP on Saturday. Doctors Without Borders said the death toll from Tuesday's strike on the town of Rann in the far northeast had risen to 90, although it claimed that could climb as high as 170. The bombed camp had been set up to help people fleeing Boko Haram Islamists in Borno State.

Daniel Ellsberg on Donald Trump and Nuclear Doomsday
(David Talbot / San Francisco Chronicle<)

The freak show that is American politics got even freakier last week. Mercury was definitely in retrograde, as Sean Hannity got up close and personal with Julian Assange, Sarah Palin hailed him as a national hero (and urged people to see Oliver Stone's "Snowden," and Donald Trump, who once called for the "death penalty or something" for Assange, suddenly embraced the WikiLeaks founder as a trusted source.

A Victim of Obama's First Drone Strike Calls Obama a 'Tyrant'
(Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)

Obama, now in the twilight of his presidency, wants to be remembered as a peacemaker, the man who denuclearized Iran peacefully, who opened Cuba and ended the last vestige of the Cold War, who replaced the "dumb wars" he campaigned against with the prudent, precise counter-terrorism of drone strikes. All Raheem Qureshi knows about Obama, he declared from Islamabad, "is what he has done to me and the people in Waziristan, and that is an act of tyranny."

WARSCAM: US Taxpayers Pay Millions to US Companies that Make Bombs that Make Millions of New US Enemies
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Paul Sonne / The Wall Street Journal & Seeking Alpha)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has bragged that the US is "hitting more targets than we've ever hit in a long time in Iraq, Syria, and in Afghanistan." That's bad news for the people in those countries the bombs are falling on, and bad news for the taxpayers, but it's great news for a handful of key US arms makers, who are seeing their sales soar on the orders that the military has placed to replace the dropped bombs and fired missiles.

Avoiding Accidental Nuclear War
(Jon Basil Utley/ The American Conservative & AntiWar.com)

Commentary: "A trillion-dollar-plus military and intelligence establishment has many, many ways to subsidize and promote its profitable and career-building agenda. As our new editor Robert Merry describes, most Americans don't support Washington's unending military interventions against ever-morphing enemies. Fifty-one percent think we are less safe today than we were before we started them. Only 11 percent think we are consequently safer."

Failing to Prevail on the Ground, the Pentagon Mulls Attacking ISIS from Space
(Jim Michaels / USA TODAY)

Military chiefs are prepared to give President-elect Donald Trump the options he wants to intensify the fight against the Islamic State, including the possibility of granting commanders greater leeway to use secret cyber-warfare and space weapons, the top Air Force leader said. "We've heard him loud and clear that he's going to be looking for options," Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff has declared.

A Problem of Overseas Bases: Turkey Tells US: "Help Us Invade Syria Or We'll Kick You Off Our Airbase at Incirlik"
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Next News Network)

While Pentagon officials yesterday were bragging about their military overflights over the ISIS city of al-Bab as "a show of force" meant to support the Turkish invasion, Turkish officials don't see it that way, and have threatened to expel US warplanes from Turkey's Inciirlik Air Base over the lack of significant help. In August 2015, 7,000 armed Turkish soldiers surrounded the Incirlikl airbase and holding US soldiers hostage while leading Turkish newspapers demanded the US turn over its 90 nuclear weapons "or else."

World War Three, By Mistake
(Eric Schlosser / The New Yorker)

George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized the US Nuclear Aresnal's launch-on-warning option. Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert. Launch-on-warning has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to destroy the planet in a matter of minutes.

Trump Inexplicably Calls for a New Nuclear Weapons Arms Race
(Dan Rather / Facebook & Madeline Conway / Politico)

Commentary: Nuclear weapons are not a game. They are not a toy for the petulant and ill-informed to boast about on off-handed tweets. Yet, in a series of impromptu statements about nuclear weapons, Donald Trump is threatening to upend longstanding US nonproliferation policy, even as his advisers contradict him and muddy his intentions.

Trump's Frightening "Nuclear Expansion" Tweet
(Rachael Revesz / The Independent)

One of the world's most famous scholars said he was "frightened" by Donald Trump's tweet on "strengthening and expanding" nuclear capabilities in the US. Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Mr. Trump's tweet was "one of the most frightening things I've seen recently". The statement could trigger a change in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Doomsday Clock, the globally recognised symbol of how close we are to destroying humanity -- to be updated in 2017.

Nuclear Nonsense: Trump, Putin Both Seek More Nukes
(Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com & The Washington Post)

The two largest nuclear powers on the planet, the United States and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to effectively end human civilization. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump both agree that's not nearly enough. US President-elect Donald Trump has called for the country to expand its nuclear weapons capabilities until the world "comes to its senses." It was not clear what prompted his comment.

Is Civilian Control of the Military in Jeopardy?
(Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative )

Our nation was founded on the healthy fear that unbalanced power in the hands of the military could eventually lead to dictatorship, that the military as an institution is not wired for democratic policymaking, governing, or statecraft. Its coding, rather, is to defend, deter, or kill. It is for that reason that some political scientists and former members of the military who spoke with TAC warn against an overreliance on recently retired "military men" at the top level of the new Trump administration.

US Drones a Flop in Ukraine: Quickly Hacked by Russians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Defence24.com & Phil Stewart / Reuters)

The range of military equipment the Obama Administration has provided to the Ukrainian military includes some 72 Raven RQ-11B micro-drones -- worth an estimated $9 million. But Ukrainian military officials say the drones have been a disappointment from the start, complaining that the eastern rebels have shown the ability to hijack the video feeds and even jam them more or less at will.

Trump Taps 'Dancing with the Stars' Contestant to Oversee Nuclear Weapons
(Jen Hayden / The Daily Kos)

During a 2011 Republican primary, former Texas Governor Rick Perry proclaimed that if he were president, he would eliminate three government agencies: the Department of Education, the Department of Commerce and . . . he couldn't remember the name of the other agency he wanted to eliminate. That forgettable agency was the Department of Energy, which Donald Trump has announced he'll nominate Rick Perry to lead.

Trump, Putin Both Seek More Nukes
(Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com & The Washington Post)

The two largest nuclear powers on the planet, the United States and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to effectively end human civilization. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump both agree that's not nearly enough.

McCain Slams $13 Billion in Pentagon Spending in Latest Waste Report
(Rebecca Kheel / The Hill)

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is blasting what he says is more than $13 billion of waste at the Pentagon, $12 billion of which was for 26 Littoral Combat Ships with "no proven combat capability." McCain stated: "As our Armed Forces confront the most diverse and complex array of national security challenges since the end of World War II under extraordinarily constrained fiscal resources, we simply cannot afford to waste our precious defense dollars on unnecessary or poorly performing programs."

Saudis Admit Using Banned UK Cluster Bombs in Yemen, Promise to Stop
(Rowena Mason and Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian)

British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon was forced to tell the Commons that internationally banned British-made cluster bombs had been dropped by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, prompting MPs and charities to say that the UK should stop supporting the Gulf state's military action. The UK is one of 120 countries to have signed the 2008 Ottawa convention on cluster munitions, banning their use or assistance with their use. Saudi Arabia is not a signatory to the treaty.

Pentagon Waste: The US Navy's $29 Billion Ship Still Can't Fight
(Mandy Smithberger and Pierre Sprey / The Project on Government Oversight)

The Navy's $29 billion Littoral Combat Ship program provides a step-by-step case study in acquisition failures and the costs and risks of unacceptable levels of concurrency. Its design requirements were poorly conceived, the manpower planning was wildly unrealistic, Navy leadership and program managers repeatedly circumvented acquisition rules -- increasing concurrency and cost risk -- and production was approved despite poor and rushed analysis.

Washington's Commandos Without Borders
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)

When Donald Trump enters the Oval Office, he will not only take possession of his own private air assassination corps (those CIA drones that take out terror suspects globally from a White House "kill list"), but also 70,000 "special ops" Green Berets, his own private, secret military. The firepower now available to a president to wage global assassination campaigns and make war just about anywhere on Earth, personally and privately, will now be inherited by a man to whom such powers are likely to have real appeal.

NDAA Would Allow US to Send Anti-Aircraft Weapons to Syrian Rebels
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ben Norton / AlterNet:)

It wasn't widely reported during the debate of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), nor indeed was it mentioned in either the House or Senate versions of the bill, but the NDAA has a provision within it that would allow the US to send shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to rebel factions in Syria. Provisions slipped into the latest defense bill could give anti-aircraft missiles to extremist groups.

China Seizes US Naval Drone in South China Sea
(Al Jazeera)

A Chinese Navy warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest from Washington. US officials demand return of the drone they say was testing salinity and temperature in international waters. Adding to the tension, Beijing is facing a new US president who has questioned long-standing US policy on Taiwan, called Beijing a currency manipulator and threatened Chinese imports with punitive tariffs.

Shocking Revelation: UN Armed Sudan Rebels who Massacred Civilians
(Jason Patinkin / The Washington Post)

The UN mission in South Sudan gave weapons to a top rebel general just weeks after civil war began three years ago, and his forces went on to carry out one of the war's worst atrocities, according to a Small Arms Survey Sudan report. in December 2013 UN officials in the town of Bentiu in northern Unity state handed dozens of weapons, as well as ammunition, to rebel general James Koang. Four months later, Koang's troops killed hundreds of civilians sheltering in a mosque and a hospital.

US Cuts Saudi Arms Sales Over Killing of Yemen's Civilians
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & BBC News)

The US has said it will limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid concerns over civilian casualties linked to air strikes in Yemen. Precision-guided weapons will no longer be delivered, a Pentagon official said. In October, more than 140 people were killed in a strike on a funeral in the country.

American Military Power in Asia and the Trump Factor
(Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Tim Shorrock / TomDispatch)

Despite the attention being given to America's roiling wars and conflicts in the Greater Middle East, crucial decisions about the global role of US military power may be made in a region where, as yet, there are no hot wars: Asia. Donald Trump will arrive in the Oval Office at a moment when Pentagon plans for a future US-Japan-South Korean triangular military alliance may have reached a crucial make-or-break moment. Whether those plans go forward could shape our world in crucial ways into the distant future.

US Urges Taiwan to Increase Military Spending Given China Threat
(David Brunnstrom / Reuters)

President-elect Donald Trump set off a diplomatic firestorm when he questioned why the US should be bound by the long-standing policy under which Washington recognizes Beijing rather than Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province. Meanwhile, days after Trump touched off a storm by questioning American policy over the island, a senior US defense official said military spending in Taiwan has not kept pace with the threat posed by China and should be increased.

Trump Questions Military Spending: An Encouraging Sign
(Thomas Knapp /AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Donald Trump has been all over the map on military issues throughout his campaign and post-campaign pronouncements. Still, Trump's December 12 tweet on Lockheed's F-35 contract is encouraging to those who'd like to see real "defense" spending cuts. Styling himself as a shrewd negotiator who can get the best deals, Trump hasn't been shy in criticizing the massive cost overruns in some of the Pentagon's juiciest contracts, setting the stage for potential acrimony with the influential military industry.

Trump Proposes Curbing Pentagon Corruption. Pentagon Fires Back
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Steve Holland and David Lawder / Reuters)

US President-elect Donald Trump has said he is considering imposing a lifetime ban on US military procurement officials going to work for defense contractors. Trump floated the idea of such a ban only three days after publicly rebuking Boeing Co over the cost of the next-generation Air Force One presidential aircraft. Pentagon officials are already criticizing the proposal, saying such lucrative jobs were a big reason why Pentagon officials took procurement jobs in the first place.

The Trump Administration's Plans for Wars in Space
(Karl Grossman / Nation of Change)

For decades various US administrations -- the Reagan administration with its "Star Wars" plan a leading example -- have expressed interest in placing weapons in space. But that has alternated with some administrations more-or-less opposed -- the Obama administration is a example. It is now highly likely that the Trump administration will move to deploy weapons in space. If this happens, it will be profoundly destabilizing, setting off an arms race and, also likely, leading to war in space.

Avoiding the Unthinkable in India and Pakistan: Nuclear War
(Conn Hallinan / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)

India and Pakistan have fought three wars over the disputed province of Kashmir in the past six decades and came within a hair's breadth of a nuclear exchange in 1999. Both countries now are on a crash program to produce more nuclear weapons. Between them they have enough explosive power to kill more than 20 million of their own people and throw the Northern Hemisphere into a nuclear winter, which would trigger a catastrophic collapse of agriculture worldwide.

ACTION ALERT: Rep: Lee Says "Audit the Pentagon!" Navy Refuses to Cut Costs
(Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David B. Larter / Navy Times)

It was recently discovered that the Pentagon tried to hide at least $125 billion dollars in wasted spending. The Department of Defense receives more than half of the country's entire discretionary budget -- $500 billion in taxpayer money per year -- but unlike other government agencies, the DOD is the only government agency that cannot be audited, and it has never produced a valid financial statement. Some have called this the "Golden Age of Pentagon Waste."

Pentagon's Suppressed Waste Report Only The Tip of Ihe Inefficient Machine
(William D. Hartung / The Hill)

The revelation this week by The Washington Post that the Pentagon buried a report that exposed $125 billion in waste in the administrative operations is just the latest indication that the Pentagon has been padding its budget with taxpayer dollars. This is not the first time the issue of the billions in unnecessary bloat in the Pentagon's budget has been raised. Reducing this entrenched bureaucracy should be a top priority for the new administration and the new Congress that take office in January.

The Pentagon's Risky US Nuclear Bomb Gets Green Light
(Len Ackland / The Reveal)

The most controversial nuclear bomb ever planned for the US arsenal -- some say the most dangerous, too -- has received the go-ahead from the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. The agency announced on Aug. 1 that the B61-12 -- the nation's first guided, or "smart" nuclear bomb. This announcement comes in the face of repeated warnings from civilian experts and former high-ranking military officers that the bomb could tempt use during a conflict because of its precision.

New Navy Ship Leaking Tax Dollars
(Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News)

The New Cold War with Russia provides a stronger budgetary lifeline for the Military-Industrial Complex than the War on Terror does while helping to quiet critics of wasteful spending. The world's mightiest navy is at risk of being sunk -- not by a superior enemy, but by its own inability to acquire ships that work at a price that even the richest military on the planet can afford.

Guess Who's Bombing Libya
(Arnaud Delalande / War Is Boring<)

Twice in November 2016, the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, or BRSC  --  a group with ties to Al Qaeda  --  published photos of United Arab Emirates Air Force AT-802 and Reaper-style drones in the sky over the Ganfouda area of Benghazi in eastern Libya. Evidence is mounting that the UAE is indiscriminately bombing militant strongholds in Libya. And civilians are caught in the crossfire.

The US Government Is Literally Arming the World, And Nobody's Even Talking About It
(William D. Hartung / TomDispatch & Mother Jones Magazine)

When US firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you'd expect to hear about it. Not so with the global arms trade. So here's a question that's puzzled me for years: Why do other major US exports -- from Hollywood movies to Midwestern grain shipments to Boeing airliners -- garner regular coverage while trends in weapons exports remain in relative obscurity? The US is behind more than half of all global arms deals in 2014. making us the greatest purveyor of weapons on Earth.

Why We Should Close America's Overseas Military Bases:
(John Glaser / TIME Magazine)

America's overseas military bases are largely taken for granted in today's foreign policy debates. The US maintains a veritable empire of military bases throughout the world -- about 800 of them in more than 70 countries. Many view our bases as a symbol of our status as the dominant world power. But America's forward-deployed military posture incurs substantial costs and disadvantages, exposing the US to vulnerabilities and unintended consequences.

House Passes Massive $611 Billion New Military Spending Bill -- Including $14-Billion Lockheed Boondoggle
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Hope Hodge Seck / Military.com & Kimberly Amadeo / The Balance)

The House of Representatives has passed a massive $611 new military spending bill. Though presented as the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, the bill is only a portion of what the US will ultimately spend on the military in fiscal 2017. Meanwhile, the Navy's littoral combat ship is costing taxpayers billions more than budgeted, failing survivability assessments, and may never live up to the original vision for the program. The cost to taxpayers for Lockheed's costly boondoggle -- $14 billion.

ACTION ALERT: Demilitarize Teachers' Pension Funds
(World Beyond War)

While governments buy weapons, market weapons to other governments, donate weapons to other governments, and bestow tax breaks on weapons dealers, there is another less-visible way in which public money sustains weapons dealing. Public pension and retirement funds are invested, directly and indirectly, in weapons companies. Teachers and other public servants whose interests ought to lie with promoting human needs have their retirement security tied up with maintaining or enlarging the war industry.

US Clusterbombs Used in Yemen Feed Anger against America
(Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post)

American-made cluster bombs -- banned by scores of countries but not the United States or Saudi Arabia – have killed and wounded thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen. So it comes as no surprise that the streets of this war-battered capital and decorated with anti-American murals and giant billboards proclaiming: "America is killing the Yemeni people. They are feeding on our blood."

US Admits It Has Used Radioactive Weapons in Syria
(International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons & Samuel Oakford / IRIN News)

The US has admits that it fired radioactive Depleted Uranium weapons on two occasions in Syria in November 2015, contrary to earlier claims. The Pentagon's justification for use was unclear after target analysis triggering calls for full disclosure and demands to extend harm-reduction measures. Russia took advantage of the news to distract attention from its own conduct in the conflict.

Mysterious 'Doomsday Plane' Appears over Denver Causing Alarm
(Mark Belcher / Denver7 TV News & Mark Slavo / Freedom Outpost & 911 Review)

A plane shrouded in mystery captured the attention of thousands of curious Denver residents on November 16. Nobody knew why a high-altitude plane circled the City of Denver for hours. Denver7 tracked IRON99 as it traveled from the West Coast to Oklahoma, where it eventually landed at Tinker Air Force Base, however it spent roughly an hour in Denver, circling in a racetrack-style holding pattern over the city. Now the Navy has some answers.

Putin Responds to NATO Expansion With More Missiles
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Maria Tsvetkova and Polina Devitt / Reuters & Yaron Steinbuch / The New York Post & Scott Campbell / The Mirror)

Moscow will deploy S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander systems in the exclave of Kaliningrad in retaliation for NATO deployments. Russia has previously said it periodically sends Iskanders to Kaliningrad, but until now it has said these were routine drills. Moscow has not linked the moves explicitly with what it says is a NATO military build-up on Russia's western borders.

National Bird: America's Symbol Is No Longer the Eagle
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet & Heather Linebaugh / The Guardian)

In her new film, director Sonia Kennebeck introduces us to three of the people behind the violence. Heather is an unlikely military vet who decided to escape her small-town fate by joining the Air Force. She now suffers from PTSD for her role in "helping to kill people by remote control." Lisa has traveled to Afghanistan to do humanitarian work in hopes of regaining her "humanity." Daniel's home was raided by 40 FBI and heavily armed federal police. He is now facing imprisonment for violating the1917 Espionage Act.

Chemical Dangers Mount in the Battle for Mosul
(Hamish de Bretton-Gordon / Al-Jazeera)

With ISIL's Iraq strongholds gone, so is most of the caliphate, no doubt with a final battle in Raqqa -- but the war hinges on Mosul. In this forthcoming apocalypse ISIL will fight with every means available, and this will include the use of their extensive chemical weapons capability. Built up over the past two years, ISIL has been making mustard agent and fashioning toxic industrial chemicals into improvised weapons.

New Film Raises Alarming Concerns about Military Drones
(Alex Needham / The Guardian & Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)

Using the testimony of three courageous whistleblowers who worked on the US drone programme, a new documentary called "National Bird" uncovers some disturbing truths about modern American warfare.

Obama's Drone War Has Been a 'Recruitment Tool' for ISIS
(Alice Ross / The Guardian & Ed Pilkington and Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian)

Drones -- the Pentagon's controversial unmanned aerial weapon system -- came of age under Barack Obama. Civilians have been killed (nearly 90 percent of people killed in US drone strikes are innocent civilians) and UN officials have warned the prolific use of drones to assassinate designated "targets" it will "weaken the rule of law." Butt the outgoing president's actions -- and the incoming president's lack of comment -- indicate that drone warfare won't be going away anytime soon.

Arms Sales Report: Obama a Bigger Warmonger than George W. Bush
(Marcus Weisgerber and Caroline Houck / Defense One)

The Obama administration has approved more than $278 billion in foreign arms sales in its eight years, more than double the total of the previous administration, according to figures released by the Pentagon. Most of the $278 billion in approved sales have gone to Saudi Arabia and other Mideast allies.

Donald Trump's Thoughts on War and Hydrogen Bombs
(Ronnie Dugger / Reader Supported News)

Steve Bannon, the Chief Executive Officer of Trump's presidential campaign, in a recorded strategy conference with Trump last December, said to him that he was postulating himself as "the war leader of this country." Trump told his top sidekick that his plan, if elected, was to form an alliance of his chosen nations to work together with the United States. "I will get the Russians," Trump said. "I will get Turkey and a couple of other countries, and they'll all work together, and they'll all get along."

US 'Can't Wait Any Longer' to Buy New Nukes Says Obama's War Chief
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tim Johnson / McClatchy News & Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

Ash Carter has ratcheted up Pentagon calls for massive spending increases, particularly to build a new arsenal of nuclear weapons. The plan likely to cost in excess of $1 trillion. Carter ignored the cost in his comments, insisting that having more of these world-ending weapons is "vital." The costly proposal, which calls for building new cruise missiles, ICBMs, nuclear subs, and long-range bombers, has been widely panned by critics as "wasteful," "unsustainable," "unaffordable," and "a fantasy."

NATO Preparing for War with Russia: Real Security Means Dismantling the Pentagon
(Zoe Efstathiou / The Daily Express & David Korten / YES! Magazine)

Analysis: NATO is said to be preparing a military force of up to 300,000 personnel, capable of being deployed within just two months, in response to growing tensions between the West and Russia. A military response to violence creates more violence. For real security, we need to stop climate change and work toward shared prosperity. We currently spend roughly $598 billion on defense, which is more than the next seven biggest military spenders combined.

Doomsday Nuke War Looming between US and Russia: 'The End of Life as We Know It'
(Henry Holloway / The Daily Star & Harry Kemble / The Daily Star)

Russia pushes back as NATO troops and weapons encroach on Russia's borders. Putin says US strategy to overwhelm Russia's nuclear deterrent creates a global imbalance that would allow a US "first-strike." Putin's response: a new missile that can't be stopped by US missiles. As tensions rise, a top British general warns a nuclear war between NATO and Russia would spell "the end of life as we know it." Russian missiles could decimate the US eastern seaboard in one fell swoop if World War 3 breaks out.

Whose Finger Will Be on the Pentagon's Nuclear Button?
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael T. Klare / TomDispatch)

At the present moment, nine countries possess nuclear weapons -- more than 15,000 of them. Most are staggeringly more destructive than that first bombs that devastated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With passions running high on both sides in this year's US presidential election -- and rising fears about Donald Trump's impulsive nature and Hillary Clinton's hawkish one -- it's hardly surprising that the "nuclear button" question has surfaced repeatedly throughout the campaign.

US Militias Preparing for Armed Response if Trump Loses November Election
(Justin Mitchell and Andy Sullivan / Reuters)

As the most divisive presidential election in recent memory nears its conclusion, some armed militia groups are preparing for the possibility of a stolen election on Nov. 8 and civil unrest in the days following a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton. In Georgia, camouflaged members of the Three Percent Security Force have mobilized for rifle practice, hand-to-hand combat training -- and an impromptu campaign rally for Donald Trump. In the works: plans for an armed march on Washington if Clinton wins.

An All-American Slaughter: US Kids with Guns
(Tom Englehardt / Tom Dispatch & Gary Younge / Tom Dispatch)

Every day, on average, seven kids and teens are shot dead in America. Election 2016 will undoubtedly prove consequential in many ways, but lowering that death count won't be one of them. To grapple with fatalities on that scale -- 2,500 dead children annually -- a candidate would need a thoroughgoing plan for dealing with America's gun culture that goes well beyond background checks.

US/South Korea Rehearse Military Plan to Invade North Korea
(International Business Times & Korea JoongAng Daily & Rachel O'Donoghue / The Daily Star)

The US and South Korea have carried out a surgical strikes drill, codenamed "Teak Knife", simulating targeted attacks on key North Korean sites. This is thought to be the first time the two allies are making the details about such exercises public. The events are thought to involve simulated attacks on Pyongyang's core facilities -- particularly its missile and nuclear installations -- using fixed-wing aircraft and special forces. How would the US feel if North Korea were to hold a similar invasion exercise in Mexico?

How David Petraeus and Vladimir Putin Are Risking a Syrian Armageddon
(Steve Weissman / Reader Supported News & International Peace Bureau)

Whatever one may think of Petraeus -- or of Putin -- the danger is all too real. Until now, the US and Russia have engaged in a proxy war. An American-imposed no-fly zone risks a direct military confrontation between two nuclear-armed powers. Neither side wants a nuclear war. But the more the US and Russia confront each other militarily, the greater the threat that Syria will become an Atomic Armageddon.

Attacks on Syrian Schools Constitute War Crime -- UNICEF
(Sky News & Al Jazeera & Journeyman Pictures & R&U Vid)

Airstrikes on a Syrian school that killed scores of children could be a "war crime", says the head of the UN children's agency. The strike in rebel-held Idlib province on Wednesday may have been the deadliest attack on a school since the beginning of the war five years ago. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the attack on a school in Syria's Idlib, denied Russian complicity and has called for an investigation into the bombing.

US Leads Fight Against Banning Nuclear Weapons: North Korea Votes to Eliminate Nuclear Arms
(Joe Cirincione / The Huffington Post)

Eight nations with nuclear arms (the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, and Israel) opposed or abstained from the resolution, while North Korea voted yes. However, with a vote of 123 for, 38 against and 16 abstaining, the First Assembly decided "to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination."

Budgeting the Good War, for 75 Years
(Robert Koehler / AntiWar.com)

Today we call it the status quo, or endless war, or we just don't bother to notice it. Indeed, now more than ever we don't notice it. It's barely part of the 2016 election, even though we're engaged in active conflict in half a dozen countries, toying with a relaunch of the Cold War with Russia and, of course, hemorrhaging, as always, more than half our annual discretionary budget on "defense." World War II has been going on for seven decades now and has no intention of ever stopping.

Do Not Resist: How America's Police Have Become an Occupying Military Force
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet)

"Do Not Resist," a powerful new documentary, presents a powerful warning about the growing reality of an US Police State. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Pentagon and the War Lobby found a new way to increase their powers and wealth -- by arming our domestic police with full-scale combat weaponry including assault rifles, drones, and armored personnel carriers. But here's the problem: When you adopt these weapons, you also adopt the killer mentality they are designed to serve.

Putin's Plea for Restraint as Hillary Clinton Calls for Launching a Nuclear Attack in "Self-defense"
(Diana Johnstone / Global Research & Prof Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned: "If it's Hillary, It's war." When Presidential candidate Clinton signals that she wants to achieve regime change in Russia, she does so knowing that she enjoys the support of most of the State Department and much of the Pentagon. And Congress is ready to go. Clinton is on record as stating that a pre-emptive nuclear first strike against America's enemies -- including Iran and Russia -- is "on the table." But how can a preemptive attack be seen as an act of "self-defense"?

Was a US Ship Attacked by a Missile off the Coast of Yemen . . . or Not?
(Sarah Lazare / AlterNet)

On October 8, a US-backed Saudi Arabia-led airstrike against a funeral hall in the Yemen, killed at least 140 people and wounding more than 500. The weapon used in the mass-killing was a US-made 500-pound laser-guided bomb. Obama administration officials have privately expressed alarm that Washington could be charged with war crimes. Meanwhile, a US Navy blockade has cut off food aid to Yemen, contributing to a humanitarian emergency that has affected at least half of the country's population.

Green Party and Turkish Officials Warns US, Russia on Brink of Nuclear WWIII
(Jon Lockett / The Sun & RT News & InfoWars)

Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky has a message for America: "Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it's war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere." Green Party candidate Jill Stein on why a Clinton presidency would risk WWIII and the significance of Russia's recent emergency mass evacuation drill involving moving 60 million citizens into shelters.

Command and Control: How a Socket Wrench and a Nuclear Missile Nearly Destroyed Arkansas
(Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)

Director Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and writer Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) have combined their proven story-telling prowess to create a film of unimaginable true-life horror that will have you gripping the seat upholstery at the local cinema. Based on an incident reported in depth in Schlosser's book, "Command and Control," Kenner's latest film recreates a nearly forgotten incident that demonstrates, in chilling detail, the folly of pretending nuclear weapons are subject to human "command" or "control."

Native Lives Matter: The Police Killings No One Is Talking About
(Stephanie Woodard / In These Times)

Native Americans are being killed by police at a higher rate than any other group in the country - but these deaths are rarely covered in the media. Now, native groups are organizing for justice in a growing Native Lives Matter movement.

Command and Control: How a Socket Wrench and a Nuclear Missile Nearly Destroyed Arkansas
(Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)

Director Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and writer Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation) have combined their proven story-telling prowess to create a film of unimaginable true-life horror that will have you gripping the seat upholstery at the local cinema. Based on an incident reported in depth in Schlosser's book, "Command and Control," Kenner's latest film recreates a nearly forgotten incident that demonstrates, in chilling detail, the folly of pretending nuclear weapons are subject to human "command" or "control."

Yemen's Nonexistent Missile Attack: US Retaliation Claim Now Seen as an Act of Aggression
(AntiWar.com & The Week & CNN & CommonDreams)

After once again attacking Houthi targets along the coast, in spite of any evidence that the Houthis fired the missiles at them, officials are now saying they're not even sure about the missiles, and are looking into the possibility that the USS Mason, which has claimed all the attacks, has a radar malfunction which is generating ghost signals. The Navy now says it also could have been a radar malfunction generating "ghost signals." In response to the US attack, Iran has sent ships to patrol off Yemen's coast.

The Budgetary Costs of Wars through 2016: $4.79 Trillion and Counting
(Neta C. Crawford / The Cost of War Project: Boston University)

Wars cost money before, during and after they occur -- as governments prepare for, wage, and recover from them by replacing equipment, caring for the wounded and repairing the infrastructure destroyed in the fighting. As of August 2016, the US had appropriated, spent, or taken on obligations to spend more than $3.6 trillion in current dollars on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria and on Homeland Security. The total US budgetary cost of these wars reaches $4.79 trillion.

Experts in Germany, France, Russia and US Warn the World Is Moving Closer to Nuclear War
(ZeroHedge & RT News)

Germany's Foreign Minister -- Frank-Walter Steinmeier -- wrote earlier this month that tension between the US and Russia is worse than during the Cold War. Former Defense Secretary William Perry has warned that "the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War." Earlier this month, Russia conducted a major civil defense training involving 40 million people nationwide. A total of 200,000 rescue professionals and 50,000 vehicles took part in the exercise, which lasted four days.

US/Saudi Wars Crimes Prompt Missile Attack on US Destroyer: Do Yemeni Lives Matter?
(NBC Evening News & Medea Benjamin / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

How much is the life of a Yemeni worth? Not much, according to the Saudi regime that has been bombing and starving the people of Yemen for since March 2015, or to the Saudi's western backers, particularly the US and UK, which have been supplying the Saudi regime with weapons, military training, logistical support and diplomatic cover for its dirty interventionist war. The latest outrage is the October 8 bombing of a funeral hall in Yemen's capital that killed more than 140 people and injured about 600 more.

US Foreign Policy: Killing People to Save Them
(Dr. Arshad M Khan / teleSURtv)

The 15th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan -- a war with no end in sight -- quietly passed by unnoticed by major US media. Meanwhile, we have seen the Middle East and large parts of North Africa on the receiving end of death, destruction and displacement over the last 15 years due to US "interventions" that have brought neither peace nor stability. These regions are on the receiving end of a swath of death, destruction and displacement on a scale unseen since the end of World War II.

The Dehumanization of US War Victims in Afghanistan Continues
(Emran Feroz / teleSURtv.net)

"You should be cursed with your bombs which lead to the suffering of the people of Kunduz and covered them with blood and dust," was the last sentence of Dr. Ehsan Osmani adressed to the Afghan government and its American backers. The anguished note was written one year ago on Dr. Osmani's Facebook feed. During the next few moments, Osmani was killed by one of the US bombs that was dropped on the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, an attack that killed at least 42 MSF staff and patients.

War Crime Evidence: US Bomb Fragments Found at Site of Saudi Funeral Massacre in Yemen
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept & BBC World News)

Fragments of what appear to be US-made bombs have been found at the scene of one of the most horrific civilian massacres of Saudi Arabia's 18-month air campaign in Yemen. Aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition on Saturday bombed a community hall in Sana'a, Yemen's capital city, where thousands of people had gathered for a funeral. The aircraft struck the hall four times, killing more than 140 people and wounding 525. One local health official described the aftermath as "a lake of blood."

The American-made Catastrophe in Yemen
(C. J. Werleman / Middle East Eye)

While US officials condemn Russian war crimes in Syria, the US-Saudi coalition in Yemen is committing the same -- but the media is silent. Where John Kerry condemned Russia's attack on the aid convoy, and was reported by most major media outlets, the US-led attack against civilians in Yemen went widely unnoticed.

Yemen: The Graveyard of the Obama Doctrine
(Samuel Oakford and Peter Salisbury / The Atlantic)

A year and a half into the Saudi kingdom's relentless war in Yemen, opponents of the new $1.15 billion US arms sale see it as an outright affirmation of Washington's involvement in a deadly, strategically incoherent war that the White House has kept largely quiet about. What's more, it is at odds with Obama's apparent distaste for regional proxy wars. Nonetheless, the US has delivered more than 40 million pounds of fuel to jet aircraft belonging to the oil-rich monarchy along with air refueling, tanks and bombs.

The Presidential Debates: What We Talk About When We Don't Want to Talk About Nuclear War
(Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Andrew J. Bacevich / TomDispatch)

Commentary: During the latter part of the much-hyped but excruciating-to-watch first presidential debate, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt posed a seemingly straightforward but cunningly devised question. His purpose was to test whether the candidates understood the essentials of a longstanding nuclear policy -- the insistence that every US president has the power to unilaterally launch a nuclear war -- and the modifications that Obama had contemplated making to it.

ACTION ALERT: Nuclear Stand-down -- No-First-Use
(Hon. Diane Russell / US House of Representatives & Dominic Tierney / The Atlantic Magazine)

Regardless who is in the Oval Office, the president's unchecked power to launch nuclear weapons is a problem. It's not one we've had to think about since the Cold War . . . until now. President Obama is considering a "No First Use" policy that would commit the US to only using a nuclear weapon in response to a nuclear attack. No First Use is the only sane policy. Without it, we invite one person's dangerous thinking or misperception to dictate the future of our civilization. This is a risk our world cannot afford.

Concerned Intelligence Professionals Call on Obama to Defuse Tensions with Russia
(Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity)

On October 1, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova issued a chilling warning: "If the US launches a direct aggression against Damascus and the Syrian Army," she said, it would mean "full-scale war" between Russian and the US. A group of ex-US intelligence officials has issued an urgent plea to President Obama, advising that he defuse growing tensions with Russia over Syria by reining in the demonization of Putin and asserting White House civilian control over the Pentagon.

Pentagon Outlines Preparations for Nuclear War with Russia
(Bill Van Auken / World Socialist Web Site & TASS)

The Obama administration has tried to portray Russia as responsible for igniting a new nuclear arms race but the nuclear saber rattling is being carried out by the US government. Russia's military budget is little more than one-tenth that of the US. The Pentagon plans to spend $348 billion to "rebuild" the so-called nuclear triad. Pentagon Chief Ashton Carter recently travelled to the Global Strike Command base in North Dakota and used the occasion to issue bellicose threats against Russia.

A Costly and Devastating War in Space May Be Closer Than Ever
(Lee Billings / Scientific American & Robert Beckhusen / War Is Boring & Vice.com)

The world's most worrisome military flashpoint is arguably not in the Strait of Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula, Iran, Israel, Kashmir or Ukraine. In fact, it cannot be located on any map of Earth, even though it is very easy to find. To see it, just look up into a clear sky, to the no-man's-land of Earth orbit, where a conflict is unfolding that is an arms race in all but name. Space has become the ultimate high ground, with the US as the undisputed "King of the Hill."

US Plan to Arm Al Qaeda with Missiles Could Put Russian Jets at Risk
(Tony Cartalucci / New East Outlook)

US officials have threatened Syria -- and its ally Russia -- that the collapse of shaky US-Russian ceasefire could lead "Gulf States" to arm militants with shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Calls to down Russian and Syrian aircraft over Syria are coming from the highest levels of policy and politics within Washington. US Senator John McCain has suggested the US "might do what we did in Afghanistan many years ago -- to give those guys the ability to shoot down those planes." Which could trigger WWIII.

Mystery Sponsors of Weapons And Money To Syrian Mercenary : Qatar and Saudi Arabia
(Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge)

Background history: "One question that has so far remained unanswered, and a very sensitive one now that the US is on the verge of voting to arm the Syrian rebels, is who was arming said group of Al-Qaeda supported militants up until now. According to the Financial Times, "The tiny gas-rich state of Qatar has spent as much as $3 billion over the past two years supporting the rebellion in Syria . . . but is now being nudged aside by Saudi Arabia as the prime source of arms to rebels."

Lockheed and Boeing Want War: And They Are Prepared to Pay to See that It Happens
(Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News)

Behind the US media-political clamor for a new Cold War with Russia is a massive flood of hidden investments by the Military-Industrial Complex in "think tanks," propaganda campaigns, and political lobbying. US military contractors continue to prove that no force on earth can resist their lobbying prowess and political clout. Case in point: the $1 trillion the Air Force, Navy, and Marines plan to spend on 2,400 Lockheed-Martin F-35 jets - -a fighter bomber doesn't work properly and may never perform as advertised.

UN Suspends Aid Deliveries in Syria as Airstrikes Resume
(Syria Direct.org)

The Assad regime and Russia are responsible for more than 90 barrel bombs and missile strikes in the 24 hours after the Syrian army's General Command declared an end to the ceasefire, a Civil Defense spokesman told Syria Direct on Tuesday. "Since 7pm Monday night, more than 60 barrel bombs and naval mines have been dropped on Aleppo province," accompanied by an additional "30 airstrikes, including cluster bombs and incendiary weapons."

Police Violence in US is Worse Than Colin Kaepernick Says
(Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)

According a leading UK newspaper, US police have killed 790 people as of September 2016. Last year the total exceeded 1,200. While African Americans are killed in disproportionate numbers, Native Americans are the hardest hit proportionally, says The Guardian. Blacks are second, based on a per capita breakdown. The largest total numbers killed are whites (387). FBI Chief James Comey admits 'it's ridiculous' and 'unacceptable' that the FBI has less-detailed data on the number of civilians killed by cops.

Exposed: Senators Linked to Saudi Cash and Military Contractors
(Avid Asher-Schapiro and David Sirota / The International Business Times)

Since 2009, the Obama administration has signed 42 separate arms deals to Saudi Arabia, worth nearly $115 billion -- a sales boon for defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics. The Senate recently voted to block a bipartisan initiative to halt a $1.15 billion arms deal to the Saudis -- a deal that would benefit General Dynamics (GD). The top Senate recipients of GD donations -- Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Jack Reed (D-RI)-- all voted to approve the deal.

No War 2016 Summit in Washington, DC -- Real Security Without Terrorism
(World Beyond War, Code Pink, International Peace Bureau, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Jane Addams Peace Association, Veterans For Peace, United for Peace and Justice and many others)

The historic #NoWar2016 conference -- which is being convened at the American University in Washington, DC from September 23-25 -- is full to capacity, but you can still sign up here to be part of the protest at the Pentagon at 9 a.m. on September 26, 2016. Among those speaking at the three-day event are: Dennis Kucinich, Kathy Kelly, Harvey Wasserman, Medea Benjamin, David Swanson, Leah Bolger, Mel Duncan, Jodie Evans, Gar Alperovitz, Gareth Porter, John Kiriakou, and Jeremy Corbyn (by video)

US Admits Supplying Saudis With White Phosphorus Munitions
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)

The US has faced growing pressure in recent months over arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as their airstrikes in Yemen have caused massive numbers of civilian casualties. Faced with increasing evidence that Saudi Arabia appears to be using US-supplied white phosphorus munitions in its war in Yemen, US officials have admitted that the weapons were provided by the United States "in the past," but Washington refuses to say when, or how many weapons were provided.

Why Does the US Continue to Finance Saudis' Bombing of Hospitals and Schools? Because It's Good for the US War Economy!
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Zaid Jilani and Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

In a 71-27 vote, the US Senate voted to kill a bill that would've blocked the US from selling $1.15 billion worth of tanks to Saudi Arabia. The Obama administration announced the transfer last month, the same day the Saudi Arabian coalition bombed a potato chip factory. In the following week, the Saudi-led forces proceeded to bomb a children's school, the home of the school's principal, a Doctors Without Borders hospital, and the bridge used to carry humanitarian aid into the capital.

$38 Billion Weapons Deal for Israel Will Enrich US Arms Makers
(Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & AntiWar.com)

Over the next ten years, the US taxpayer will be forced to give Israel some $38 billion in military aid. Why is the US giving a rich and incredibly well-armed country like Israel, a record amount of US military aid? The real beneficiaries are not the American people, and not even Israeli citizens. The real beneficiaries are the top military officials and corporations that constitute the US military-industrial complex.

81% Oppose $38 Billion Arms Packager for Israel: Obama's Secret Deal Violates US and International Law
(Grant Smith / AntiWar.com)

In a recent survey, only 16.8 percent of those polled agreed with the plan to spend $38 billion on US military aid to Israel. While the actual agreement remains secret, it is a fact that conducting nuclear tests and possession nuclear weapons by non-NPT signatories are triggers for cutting off or imposing waivers on aid under the Symington and Glenn amendments to the Foreign Aid Act of 1961. In the top levels of government, it is common knowledge that Israel has at least 200 nuclear weapons.

Oliver Stone Takes Aim at Government Surveillance While the DOJ Plans to Vastly Expand Government Hacking
(Benjamin Lee / The Guardian & Senator Ron Wyden, Matt Blaze and Susan Landau / WIRED Magazine)

At the same time Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone talks about his Edward Snowden biopic at the Toronto film festival, the US Justice Department is planning a vast expansion of government hacking. Under a new set of rules, the FBI would have the authority to secretly use malware to hack into hundreds of thousands of computers that belong to innocent third parties -- and even crime victims. The unintended consequences could be staggering.

Who's Behind the War Lobby?
(Stephen Kinzer / The Boston Globe)

By trying to block a $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, a bipartisan group of US senators is challenging one of the key forces that shape US foreign policy -- the arms industry. Their campaign shines a light on the role that this industry plays in whipping up fears of danger in the world. The campaign to block the arms deal is being vigorously opposed by Big Arms lobbyists. Blocking this sale would be a rebellion against one of Washington's richest lobbies. A vote could come soon.

Five Reasons Why US-Israel Military Deal Stinks
(Marwan Bishara / Al-Jazeera)

Commentary: "Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of United States foreign assistance since World War II. And this week it received the largest US military aid package ever signed between two countries. This begs the question: why does Israel, whose per capita income is among the world's top 20, receive tens of billions of dollars in military support each decade?"

How Israel Stole the Bomb
(James DiEugenio / Consortium News)

When Israel launched a covert scheme to steal material and secrets to build a nuclear bomb, US officials looked the other way and obstructed investigations, as described in Roger Mattson's new book, "Stealing the Atom Bomb: How Denial and Deception Armed Israel." What Mattson reveals is no less than an atomic heist -- one that could have been prevented if men in high positions had done their duty.

US, Israel Agree on $38 Billion Military Aid Deal
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Times of Israel & Washington Post & Reuters)

Israel's Channel 2 has today reported that Israeli officials have accepted the most recent US military aid package, which will see them receiving some $38 billion over the next decade. The current aid package stands at $3 billion annually, and Israel has asked that the amount for the next 10-year deal be raised to $3.7 billion each year. A senior US administration official described the deal as "the largest single pledge of military assistance to any country in US history."

9/11, the Monstrous Lie, the Truth, and the Path Forward
(Former Congressmember Dennis Kucinich / Dennis Kucinich & Eric Margolis / UNZ Review)

Commentary: America has been trapped inside the heart of darkness, living a lie about a world full of enemies, which we have created. Only when we know the truth will we freed from endless war. ISIS is a military pipsqueak. North Korea only wants to be left alone to its misery. Washington, Paris, and London need the ISIS bogeyman just as they needed al-Qaida and the Soviet Union before, to justify budget-busting arms spending and keeping the population whipped up with bogus war fever.

What 80 Million Unexploded US Bombs Did to Laos
(Rebecca Wright / CNN)

Some 80 million unexploded bombs are scattered across the country -- the deadly legacy of what became known as America's "secret war" in Laos -- a CIA-led mission during the Vietnam War. In total, between 1964 and 1973, the US dropped more than two million tons of bombs -- one of the heaviest aerial bombardments in history. To this day, less than 1% of the bombs have been removed.

US Veterans Support Legal Fight for Victim of US Drone
(W.J. Hennigan / Los Angeles Times)

Three military veterans once involved in the US drone program have thrown their support behind a Yemeni man's legal fight to obtain details about why his family members were killed in a 2012 strike. The veterans' unusual decision to publicly endorse the lawsuit against President Obama and other US officials adds another twist to Faisal bin Ali Jaber's four-year quest for accountability in the deaths of his brother-in-law and nephew.

Urban Shield Police Training Draws Anti-Miitarization Protesters
(Peter Fimrite and Sarah Ravani / San Francisco Chronicle & Henry Austin / The Independent)

Protesters blocked the main gates of the Alameda County Fairgrounds in California to demonstrate their opposition to the Urban Shield police training and expo held over the weekend. Believed to be the largest tactical exercise in the nation, the multiday Urban Shield event provides first responders from throughout the country with training techniques and equipment to use in an array of emergency scenarios, including hostage situations, terrorist attacks and active-shooter incidents.

Senators to Force Vote on $1.15 Billion Saudi Arms Sale
(Jordain Carney / The Hill & Nikita Vladimirov / The Hill / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

A group of senators is planning to force a vote this month to block a $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced a joint resolution of disapproval on Thursday that, if passed, would undercut a planned sale of tanks and related equipment. Paul said in a statement that selling the military equipment to Saudi Arabia "is a recipe for disaster and an escalation of an ongoing arms race in the region."

Kim Jong-un's Growing Nuclear Arsenal Could Force US Back to Negotiating Table
(Julian Borger / The Guardian)

North Korea's fifth nuclear test confirms growing fears in the international community that the regime's nuclear aspirations reach much further than once assumed and Washington may have no option but to bargain with him.

Obama Offers Saudis Over $115 Billion in Arms Deals
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Yara Bayoumy / Reuters)

US President Barack Obama's administration has offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, other military equipment and training, the most of any US administration in the 71-year US-Saudi alliance. The Center for International Policy is revealing that over the course of his term in office, President Obama has offered Saudi Arabia over $115 billion in arms and other military equipment in 42 separate deals, by far the most of any US administration.

America's New Nuclear-Armed Missile Could Cost $85 Billion
(Anthony Capaccio / Bloomberg)

The US Air Force's program to develop and field a new intercontinental ballistic missile to replace the aging Minuteman III in the nuclear arsenal is now projected to cost at least $85 billion, about 36 percent more than a preliminary estimate by the service. It includes $22.6 billion for R&D, $61.5 billion for procurement and $718 million for related military construction. Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. are all competing to build the new ICBMs.

80 Million Unexploded US Bombs in Laos: Obama Pledges Bomb Removal Assistance
(BBC World News & Josh Lederman and Kathleen Hennessey / Associated Press)

Half a century ago, the United States turned Laos into history's most heavily bombed country, raining down some two million tons of ordnance in a covert, nine-year chapter of the Vietnam War. Declaring a "moral obligation" to heal the wounds of a secret war, President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged help to clear away the 80 million unexploded bombs the US dropped on Laos a generation ago -- more than 10 for every one of the country's 7 million people.

Russia Claims US Biological Research Not Entirely Peaceful
(RT News & USA Today & Associated Press & Northwest Public Radio)

America's staunch opposition to Russian efforts to create a monitoring mechanism for the execution of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) indicates that the US may be conducting militarized biological research. In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has suggested the US may be conducting biological research that is "not entirely peaceful."

The Most Critical -- and Most Ignored -- Debate: Rethinking a Nuclear "First Strike"
(Kingston Reif and Daryl G. Kimball / The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)

While the Obama administration has narrowed the circumstances under which the US would consider using nuclear weapons, Washington still retains the option to use nuclear weapons first to preempt a real or "suspected" nuclear attack or to counter the "possible" use of chemical or biological weapons. The circumstances that led US leaders to reserve the option to unilaterally start a nuclear war are long gone. It is time to adjust US nuclear declaratory policy.

The FMS: Washington's Wal-Mart of Weaponry
(Ambassador Tina Kaidanow and Vice Adm. Joseph Rixey / Defense News)

How the US markets death and destruction: "The US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system -- a mechanism by which the US government transfers defense articles and services to partner nations -- is a central element in our foreign policy toolkit. In addition to the superior quality of US defense articles and services, what sets this system apart is our 'Total Package Approach.' No other country offers partner nations the same comprehensive up-front planning and foresight."

ACTION ALERT: Amnesty International Condemns Obama's "Astonishing," Unprecedented Arms Deals with Repressive Saudi Regime
(Scott Paul / OXFAM America & Ben Norton / Salon)

Amnesty International has accused the US of "deadly hypocrisy" for its massive arms deals with Middle East governments that have carried out war crimes and other violations of international law. The repressive Saudi monarchy is using American bombs, aircraft and maintenance personnel to commit war crimes in Yemen. Put an end to Washington's complicity in the slaughter of civilians. Halt all military aid and weapons to the Saudi regime.

Syria and Iraq Are Incubators for Remote-Controlled Guns
(Robert Beckhusen / War Is Boring)

The Syrian civil war is producing a multitude of remotely-operated, custom-made killing machines -- sniper rifles and machine guns which a shooter can trigger remotely with the push of a button. Their adoption by rebel groups is an innovation arising from an intermingling of war, cheap personal computers, and cameras.

US Marines Are Testing a Machine-gun-toting Robot
(Stacy Liberatore / The Daily Mail)

Built for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition missions and armed with M24OB machinegun and four M2O3 grenade launchers, the MAARS weapons system also has 360-degree visual capability and lasers to find targets. The US Marines is currently testing this war machine.

ACTION ALERT: Nuclear Peace Action Appeal to Obama
(Jon Rainwater / Peace Action & Yonhap News & Inside Defense & Phoebe Wynn-Pope /The Daily Telegraph)

We are now in the final months of President Obama's Administration. This is the time presidents begin to look for actions to that will solidify their legacy. From our sources on the ground, we know that President Obama is deliberating his final actions in this regard on nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, a State Department nonproliferation official has recent dismissed UN panel's proposal to launch negotiations to ban nuclear weapons as "unrealistic." Action is needed.

Russian Bombs Creating a 'Humanitarian Crisis' in Syria
(Zena Tahhan / Al Jazeera & Peter Yeung / The Independent & Military World)

Residents and activists in Syrian city say supplies are scarce and aerial bombardment of civilian areas is unrelenting. Schools, hospitals and civilian homes have allegedly been targeted in the air strikes. Field hospitals, ambulance and civil defense personnel have been targeted in the last few days, especially with cluster bombs.

Who Would Win If the Pentagon Fought the Whole World?
(Logan Nye / We Are the Mighty.com & Scout.com)

How would the US hold up if it wound up going to war with the rest of the world? All at once? It's the big fight, the heavyweight championship -- the US against the world. The whole world. And not just traditional rivals. In this scenario, the US has to fight off its allies like the United Kingdom, France, and South Korea as well. So if it's the US against the world, who's going to win? In short, America would stomp them.

Assad's Choppers Accused of Dropping Napalm on Last Hospital in Darayya
(Hussam Eddin / Syria Direct)

On Tuesday, regime helicopters dropped four barrel bombs containing an unknown incendiary substance on the only hospital in the Damascus suburb of Darayya. These barrel bombs did not detonate and caused fires that burned uncontrollably for several hours. Residents of Darayya are referring to the substance reportedly delivered by Tuesday's barrel bomb attacks as "napalm," an incendiary liquid that sticks to skin and other surfaces, causing severe burns.

Pentagon Loses Hundreds of Thousands of Guns in Syria and Afghanistan
(C. J. Chivers / The New York Times)

The American arming of Syrian rebels, by both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department, has also been troubled by questions of accountability and outright theft in a war where the battlefield is thick with jihadists aligned with Al Qaeda or fighting under the banner of the Islamic State. In a recent audit, 110,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles and 80,000 pistols bought by the United States for Iraq's security forces could not be accounted for.

A Message from Setsuko Thurlow
(The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

Atomic bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow recalls: "The calendar never fails to bring me the special reminder each year of the unforgettable day, August 6, 1945, that changed my life and that of the entire world. As I attempt to ponder the meaning of my survival from that hell on Earth, I remember Einstein's words, "Splitting the atom has changed everything except our way of thinking, thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe".

Costly Nuclear Accident in New Mexico Covered Up
(Ralph Vartabedian / The Los Angeles Times)

When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in nearby communities and quickly reported the site was resuming operations. Early federal statements gave no hint that the blast that caused massive long-term damage to the dump -- a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program -- ranked among the costliest nuclear accidents in US history.

Pentagon Spending on Guns in 'War on Terror' Revealed
(Action on Armed Violence )

A team of British researchers spent almost a year analyzing every contract published by the Pentagon between September 11, 2001 and September 10, 2015. Posted on the DOD contract website and archived, these disclosures only should show contracts valued at $7 million or above. Even on the basis of this partial reporting, in the 14 years following the terror attacks of 9/11, the DoD has issued contracts that, if fulfilled, would reach over $40 billion on guns and ammo.

ACTION ALERT: Appeal to Congress. Stop the Saudi Arms Sale: Hospitals, Schools and Civilians Are Being Bombed
(Action Network & Wired for Change & Just Foreign Policy)

Despite previous promises to stop targeting civilian targets earlier this year, the Saudi-Ied, US-supported coalition continues to bomb civilians in Yemen with US-made weapons, killing more than 20 in just the last several days. The Obama administration has notified Congress of intent to sell $1.15 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia, including tanks which would replace tanks destroyed in Saudi Arabia's war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Russia Offers NATO an Olive Branch but There's No Profit in Peace for the Military Industrial Complex
(Danielle Ryan / RT News & Katharine Q. Seelye / The New York Times)

Russia has invited NATO's military experts to Moscow in September and offered a "positive program" for developing relations with the military alliance -- but is reconciliation really what NATO is interested in? Russia's move has been backed up with at least one concrete public proposal: safer flights over the Baltic. However, NATO's existence and the revival of the Cold War "would offer arms makers a new and hugely lucrative market" with billions of US tax dollars.

Oxfam: London 'In Denial' over Saudi Arms Sales as UK Bombs Kill Civilians in Yemen
(Al Jazeera News & Hamid Dabashi / Al Jazeera)

An international aid organisation has accused British politicians of being in "denial and disarray" over the selling of arms to Saudi Arabia for potential use in the war in Yemen. Oxfam said on Tuesday the UK was violating the International Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates the transfer of conventional arms to ensure there are no violations of international humanitarian law.

US Plans to Place More Modern Nuclear Bombs in Germany
(Deutsche Welle)

US President Barack Obama intended to make nuclear disarmament one of his government's goals but now the US intends to modernize its nuclear weapons stationed in Germany. Germany's air force is preparing to adapt some of its Tornado warplanes to carry more up-to-date US atom bombs in light of plans by Washington to modernize its nuclear arsenal in Germany.

Obama's Nuclear Test Moratorium Is Common Sense
(Daryl Kimball / The National Interest)

Twenty years ago, the United States took a leading role in negotiations to ban the practice of conducting nuclear-weapon test explosions, which enables states to prove new and more deadly nuclear-warhead designs. The result was the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which was opened for signature on September 24, 1996. A UN Security Council move against nuclear-weapons testing would serve American interests.

With One Word, Congress Looks to Change a Legacy of Nuclear Policy
(Karoun Demirjian / The Washinton Post)

Donald Trump has sparked a presidential debate about whether and how the US should use weapons from its nuclear arsenal. But behind the scenes, Republican lawmakers are quietly planning to ramp up development of atomic weapons in a move that could change long-standing US policy and rock global relationships. It all comes down to one word -- "limited."

Cuba's Fidel Castro Marks 90 with Fresh Call for World Peace
(Morning Star & Fidel Castro Ruz / Granma)

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro called for nuclear disarmament and world peace on his 90th birthday on August 13. In an open letter to the Cuban people published by Communist Party of Cuba newspaper, "Granma," Castro warned: "The human species today faces the greatest risk in its history" and faulted Barack Obama for failing to apologize for the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, adding that "no power has the right to kill millions of human beings."

ACTION ALERT: Gun Control Is Possible: Venezuela Acts to Reduce Gun Violence
(Frank Jack Daniel / Reuters & The Pen & The Peace Team)

Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world's most crime-ridden countries. With a critical presidential and congressional election coming up, it's time to take a stand on reasonable gun regulation: The Pen and the Peace Team provide an Action Page.

Army Fudges Its Accounts by Trillions as US Contractors Hunger for War with Russia
(Scot J. Paltrow / Reuters & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Lee Fang / The Intercept)

The United States Army's finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced. In 2015, the Army the Army lacked receipts or invoices for $6.5 trillion in spending. Still, if there's one thing military contractors agree on, it's that the US military budget is never big enough. Now it's Russia's turn to be the excuse, and contractors couldn't be happier.

Did US Transfer Nukes From Turkish Airbase to Romania? Romania Says 'No'
(Haaretz & Balkan Insight & Stimson.org)

The US has started transferring American nuclear weapons stationed at an airbase in southeastern Turkey, according to the independent Euractiv website. The reported move comes after a US-based think tank said the stockpile, consisting of 50 nuclear bombs, is at risk of being captured by "terrorists or other hostile forces." The move could save US taxpayers $3.7 billion over five years.

WW3 Scenarios Threaten as US and Russian Escalations Mount
(Morning News & What Does It Mean?)

Wherever they may be, Russia wants NATO to know that it is ready to meet the alliance with force, if necessary. With NATO moving more troops closer to Russia's borders, Russia has recently announced that it has amassed its own forces to counter NATO. According to Russia, the forces have been armed with the newest nuclear weapons and defense capabilities.

The Pro-Nuclear War Party
(David Swanson / World Beyond War)

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the following people would like the United States to begin a nuclear war:>Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. All three individuals reportedly reject the policy of "no first use" of atomic weapons and instead believe that the United States should declare that it reserves the policy option of beginning a nuclear war -- and killing most life on Earth.

What Is the Military Industrial Complex?
(Chris Coyne / AntiWar.com & Van Buren / AntiWar.com & Eric Schuler / AntiWar.com)

When government and private military contractors get too close, "People are shipped off to fight and die without making our nation any safer." Unfortunately as a result of the Military Industrial Complex, not all acts of war actually end up making our nation any safer. So, how much healthcare would $1.7 billion buy? Because that's how much money the United States just gave the Harris Corporation (the sole bidder) to provide radios for the near-useless Afghan Army.

The B61-12: Risky New Nuclear Bomb Gets Green Light
(Len Ackland and Burt Hubbard / The Weekly Reveal)

The most dangerous nuclear bomb ever planned for the US arsenal has received the go-ahead from the Department of Energy. The B61-12 -- at $11 billion for about 400 bombs the most expensive US nuclear bomb ever -- illustrates the extraordinary power of the "military industrial complex," aka the "nuclear enterprise." The bomb lies at the heart of an ongoing modernization of America's nuclear arms, projected to cost $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

Donald Trump Asks "Why Can't We Use Nuclear Weapons?"
(Robert Koehler / Peace Voice & AntiWar.com)

Commentary: Donald Trump "doesn’t know any more ... than Joe Sixpack does, so the questions he asks are Average American questions. In the process, he yanks the geopolitics of nuclear deterrence out of the clutches of the deep state and its secret priesthood. The last thing I want to see is Trump gaining admittance to this realm. But his banging at the door may serve a valuable purpose -- it brings certain realities into the consciousness of the American mainstream.

"America, Ask Why You Are Hated!" The July 28, 2016 US Manbij Massacre
(Ollie Richardson / StalkerZone & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian & Leith Fadel / Al-Masdar News)

The US-led coalition's presence in Syria is becoming more unwelcome as the days pass. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the massacre of civilians to simply go unnoticed. On July 28th, A US-led coalition airstrike on Ghandura village in northern Manbij resulted in the deaths of 45 civilians, including women and children. The bombing targeted a street market crowded with people. The following day, ISIS posted a video depicting the horrific aftermath of the airstrike.

Russia Hosts the 2016 International Army Olympics
(Al Jazeera & the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)

The International Army Games 2016 kicked off just outside Moscow earlier this month, with more than 3,000 military personnel from 20 different countries participating. The Games include 23 field, air and marine-based events and feature 121 teams from Russia and 19 other countries.

Lawsuit Aims to Contest US Aid to Clandestine Nuclear Power Israel
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mondoweiss & Britain Eakin / Courthouse News)

US aid to Israel violates a long-standing ban on giving foreign aid to clandestine nuclear powers. The US has given Israel an estimated $234 billion in foreign aid since Congress passed the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976. This, despite the fact that Israel is a known nuclear-armed state that has refused to become a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Port Chicago Vigil: 50 Years On
(Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War)

Fifty years ago, on August 6, 1966, I was arrested for stopping a napalm truck at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Here is a retelling of that tale.

Britain Boycotts Disarmament Talks While World Remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings
(International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Tomihisa Taue / Mayor of Nagasaki / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

As the world remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the UK continues to boycott disarmament talks that could prevent similar tragedies in the future. At UN talks this year, more than 100 governments laid the groundwork for a new global treaty to ban nuclear weapons. In a speech marking the 71st anniversary of his city's bombing, Nagasaki's Mayor plead: "Young people, for the sake of the future, will you face up to the past and thereby take a step forward?"

Trident in a Time Warp: Party Politics vs Defence Needs
(Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy (Part 1))

As Britain and Europe reeled from Brexit Theresa May rushed through the vote on Trident replacement. Was this strong leadership or our human security being sacrificed to expediency? The vote is likely to accelerate expenditure on redesigning and enhancing nuclear warheads, putting more taxpayers money into US arms manufacturers like Lockheed Martin, which makes the Trident missiles.

New UK Prime Minister Says She is "Prepared" to Kill Millions of Innocent Civilians with a Nuclear Weapon
(Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy (Part 2))

During the Trident debate on July 18, Britain's new Prime Minister Theresa May declared she was "personally prepared to authorise a nuclear strike that could kill 100,000 innocent men, women and children." The forty 100-kiloton nuclear warheads on Trident submarines have the firepower equal to 320 Hiroshimas. May's order would result in the killing of millions and would potentially unleash massive regional firestorms, years of "nuclear winter" and global famine.

Will Nagasaki Be the Last Use of Nuclear Weapons?
(Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy (Part 3))

At 11:02 on August 9, 1945 a single US plutonium bomb -- with less than one-fifth of the explosive power of an average warhead for Trident submarine -- lead to the deaths of more than half of Nagasaki's population of 240,000. On the anniversary of this bombing, survivors travel from Japan to Britain to stand vigil -- and face arrest -- at the gates of the Faslane nuclear base where the UK's fleet of US Trident subs (armed with US-supllied nuclear weapons) are stationed.

Hiroshima Memorial Statements
(Kim Won-soo, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs)

The bombing of Hiroshima shows that nuclear weapons do not discriminate between gender, age, religion, ideology or nationality. At this sober memorial, I ask all states to overcome their differences to galvanise global will for disarmament. Those States with nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to prevent another Hiroshima. They must honour their commitments and lead the way to dialogue [and] to find common ground through inclusive dialogue.

The Lesson of Nagasaki
(Michael Krepon / USA Today & The Arms Control Network)

Hiroshima gets all the attention, but Nagasaki teaches the more important lesson. The need to destroy Hiroshima will be forever debated, but the counterarguments were unpersuasive to President Harry Truman and Secretary of War Henry Stimson. The arguments in favor of the first explosive use of an atomic bomb do not apply to the second.

Pentagon Officials Openly Challenge Obama over Pre-emptive Nuclear War
(Russia Today & Agence France-Presse & DefenceTalk)

US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James has called Russia the greatest challenge to US national security, even when compared to Islamic State fighter and North Korea's nuclear ambitions. James also challenged her Commander-in-Chief by publicly stating that she would be "concerned" if President Obama were to declare a "no-first-use" policy for America's arsenal of nuclear weapons. James argued the potential for a nuclear pre-emptive strike raised some useful "ambiguity."

ACLU Prompts Release of US Drone Assassination Policy
(Kevin Bohn / CNN & American Civil Liberties Union)

The Obama administration has released a previously secret 18-page policy guidance document that lays out how potential drone targets may be chosen and approved and the President's role in the decision-making process. The policy document, known as the President Policy Guidance, says counterterrorism operations -- including lethal action against designated terrorist targets -- will be taken only when there is "a near certainty" that the target is properly identified.

A Letter to Barack Obama from Hiroshima Survivor Setsuko Thurlow
(Daniel Hogsta / International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Setsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima Survivor & Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy)

Japanese A-bomb survivors are growing old with their dreams of nuclear abolition unfulfilled. Following three International Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, 127 nations have pledged to rid the world of nuclear weapons -- but the US refused to even attend these meetings. Why, Mr. President, is the US government boycotting the UN disarmament negotiations, the most significant advance for nuclear disarmament in a generation?

A Call for a Nuclear-free World on "Hiroshima Day"
(Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi)

On the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Mayor Matsui Kazumi of Hiroshima delivered this year's Peace Declaration at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. "Today, we renew our determination, offer heartfelt consolation to the souls of the A-bomb victims, and pledge to do everything in our power, working with the A-bombed city of Nagasaki and millions around the world, to abolish nuclear weapons and build lasting world peace."

ACTION ALERT: Sign the Global Call for Atomic Disarmament
(Joseph Gerson / Peace and Planet & The 2016 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs)

Seventy-one years ago, the US used nuclear weapons against the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombs burned out the cities and claimed the lives of about 210,000 people by the end of the year. It was a hell on earth. Today, Japan's A-bomb survivors invite the world to join the International Signature Campaign in Support of the Appeal of the Atomic Bomb Survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Obama Offers $3.1 Billion in Military Aid to Israel
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept & Ed Adamczyk / UPI & David Welna / National Public Radio & Nick Thompson / CNN)

The US already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel -- more than any other country by far -- but a new agreement that President Obama is set to sign "significantly raises" that amount -- and guarantees that it will continue for another 10 years. In response to this massive windfall, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is angry that he is not getting even more. For some time, Netanyahu has reportedly been "holding out for as much as $5 billion a year."

Hiroshima Mayor's Appeal: "Please, everyone, shout loudly that we don't need nuclear weapons."
(Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi)

Today, the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Mayor Matsui Kazumi of Hiroshima delivered this year's Peace Declaration at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. Seventy-one years later, over 15,000 nuclear weapons remain, individually much more destructive than the one that inflicted Hiroshima's tragedy. "Is it not time to honor the spirit of Hiroshima and clear the path toward a world free from that "absolute evil," that ultimate inhumanity?"

ACTION ALERT: International Month of Action against Arms Fairs
(Against Arms Fairs & Campaign Against Arms Trade & Ewan Palmer / International Business Times)

From London to Paris, Wellington to Seoul, anti-war activists are taking action against arms fairs. Arms fairs are where the deals that fuel global conflict and repression begin. That means this is where we can act to stop wars. Saudi Arabia -- one of the world's biggest arms customers -- is guilty of mass executions, war crimes in Yemen, flogging of critics, and political suppression. Britain's High Court has ruled activists now can take the arming of Saudi Arabia to a Judicial Review!

US Nukes Almost Lost in Turkey Coup: It's Time To Negotiate A Nuclear Ban Treaty
(Susi Snyder / The Huffington Post & Julian Borger /The Guardian)

This weekend is the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and it's a good time to give a few thoughts to nuclear weapons. Most people don't think about them much, and the majority of countries have fully rejected them. The attempted coup in Turkey raises fresh questions about the wisdom of the US stationing the biggest stockpile of nuclear weapons in Europe at such a vulnerable site.

No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis: Ban Nuclear Weapons!
(Australian Doctor.com)

Notes on the aftermath of America's nuclear bombing of Hiroshima: "I saw nothing that wasn't burnt to a crisp. Streetcars were standing and inside were dozens of bodies, blackened beyond recognition. I saw fire reservoirs filled to the brim with dead bodies who looked as they had been boiled alive. In one reservoir I saw one man, horribly burned, crouching beside another man who was dead. I paused to rest."

Pressed by NATO, Vladimir Putin Reportedly Prepares for WW3
(Jennifer Ong / Morning News USA & Precious Valerie / Morning News)

Nothing spells danger more than what is happening between NATO and Russia. Despite denying accusations that they are both strengthening their forces against each other, the signs are evident for a new Cold War,. With NATO moving more troops closer to Russia's borders, Russia recently announced that it has begun amassing its own forces to counter NATO. According to Russia, its forces have been armed with the newest nuclear weapons and defense capabilities.

Air Force Seeks Proposals for Over $60 Billion in New Nukes
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Robert Burns / Associated Press & Brendan McGarry / DOD Buzz)

The US Air Force has issued a press release today seeking proposals from military contractors to provide the next generation of nuclear weapons, including both ICBMs and air-launched nuclear cruise missiles, a pair of contracts that will cost well in excess of $60 billion. the Air Force estimate was that the new ICBMs alone would cost $62.3 billion, more than even most major countries spend on their entire military in a given year.

ACTION ALERT: Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6-9
(Joseph Gerson / The International Peace Bureau Newsletter & William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: With the Hiroshima and Nagasaki commemorations approaching, let us consider these three questions: the meaning of Hiroshima, the growing great power tensions in the Asia-Pacific, and the problems with "deterrence." Meanwhile, in Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima in May, his sterile language and detached manner illustrated how far we are from facing the reality of our own government's profound crime in this deliberate atrocity.

Thousands Protest Outside US Base in Turkey
(Andrew Tilghman / Military Times & RT News & Infos.360)

Thousands of Turkish protesters filled the streets outside the US military base at Incirlik, Turkey, on Thursday, burning American flags and demanding that the government close the base. The US military maintains an arsenal of nuclear weapons at Incirlik. During the recent failed coup attempt, power was cut to Incirlik and the he base -- home to nearly 3,000 US troops -- was placed on high alert.

Wild Turkey With H-Bombs: Failed Coup Heightens Calls for Denuclearization
(John LaForge / AntiWar.com)

An explosive cocktail of political instability mixed with 90 US H-bombs raises the specter of accidental or suicidal nuclear detonation in or near Turkey. This risk was brought into sharp relief by the attempted military coup there in mid-July.

How Close Are We to Nuclear War?
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Former Clinton cabinet member William J. Perry sees a danger that this year's presidential wannabes have largely ignored. The last presidential candidate to address the threat of nuclear war was Congressman Dennis Kucinich -- in 2008. In Perry's recent book, "My Journey to the Nuclear Brink," he restates his long-felt concern that the detonation of just one nuclear weapon could produce a "nuclear catastrophe . . . that could destroy our way of life."

British Nuclear Sub Damaged in Collision with Tanker off Gibraltar
(Brian Reyes / Gibraltar Chronicle & Walter Russell Mead / The New York Times)

A British nuclear submarine sustained external damage to its conning tower after smashing into a commercial tanker while operating submerged in the waters off Gibraltar. This is only the latest in a chilling inventory of nuclear "near misses" that includes the US Air Force accidentally dropping a nuclear bomb in the backyard of a South Carolina family in the 1960s.

Congressman and Former Marine Says Assault Rifles Don't Belong on City Streets
(Seth Moulton / New York Daily News & Katie Mettler / The Washington Post & Jason Zengerle/ GQ Magazine)

Congressman and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton writes: I'm a Marine. I carried guns every day in Iraq, guns very similar to the ones used to perpetrate the Orlando murders and many other mass shootings in America. But there's a big difference between a US Marine with a rifle and a civilian with a gun.

Anti-nuclear Bus Ad Hits the Streets of Seattle
(Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action)

On June 23, and continuing for eight weeks, 14 Seattle Metro downtown buses are displaying an anti-nuclear advertisement. King County Metro was initially hesitant to run the ad, and questioned the accuracy of the statement of fact regarding the number of nuclear weapons at Bangor. Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, provided corroboration of the statement.

Dueling Plans for US Nuke Arsenal: 10 Senators Demand De-escalation
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Brendan McGarry / DODBuzz & US Senate)

In competing letters this month to the Obama administration, US lawmakers dueled over plans to upgrade the military's nuclear arsenal. A group of 10 Democratic senators urged the president to restrain spending on nuclear weapons and to adopt "a policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, and canceling launch-on-warning plans." A bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats -- including Hillary Clinton's VP nominee, Tim Kaine -- have called for increasing nuke funds.

US Airstrikes Will Continue -- Despite Mass Killing of Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)

The US will not pause airstrikes in Syria despite appeals from opposition activists after what appears to be the worst US-caused civilian casualty disaster of the war against the Islamic State. Syrian activists claim as many as 125 civilians were killed in a northern city hit by US-led effort airstrike. Despite calls from its own allies within Syria to immediately suspend their air campaign, US military officials vowed that US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria will continue unchanged.

More Proof That America's Drone War Doesn't Work
(Paul Pillar / The National Interest 7 Emily Manna / Georgetown Public Policy Review)

Most of the debate surrounding the United States drone program has focused on its legality and morality, while its effectiveness as a counterterrorism strategy has gone largely unquestioned. There is reason to believe that leadership decapitation is no longer an effective tactic to use against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. One principal finding: there was a statistically significant rise in terrorist attacks in a province after it became the target of US drone strikes.

The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
(Conn Hallinan / Foreign Policy In Focus and AntiWar.com)

It's been 71 years since atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and humanity's memory of those events has dimmed. But the world has little idea of what we face today. The bombs that obliterated those cities were tiny by today's standards. If the Hiroshima bomb represented approximately 27 freight cars filled with TNT, a one-megaton warhead would require a train 300 miles long. Each Russian RS-20V Voevoda intercontinental ballistic missile packs 10 megatons.

ACTION ALERT: Ban Cluster Bomb Transfers to Saudi Arabia -- And Everywhere Else
(Just Foreign Policy & No Clusterbombs.org & The Cluster Munition Coalition)

A White House decision to suspend cluster munition transfers to Saudi Arabia should be made permanent and extended to cover all such munitions. The White House suspended sales of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia following concerns over civilian harm from their use in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been conducting military operations since March 2015. Urge the US Senate to oppose the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Toxic and Deadly, the Human and Environmental Toll of Open Burning
(Daniel Ross / TruthOut)

Because the open burning of old munitions is highly toxic, it is banned in Canada and many European countries. But not in the US. Now, a decades-long effort to end the practice is moving ahead. In the meantime, bases across the US continue to dispose of tons of small arms cartridges, rockets, mortars, artillery shells and tactical missiles by burning them in the open, causing toxic clouds to blow over surrounding communities and contaminating the soil and groundwater.

Action Alert - Appeal for Solidarity with Okinawan Anti-Bases Movement - Takae
(Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee)

There is deep concern about potential consequences of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's election victory, including the abandonment of Japan's pacifist constitution, encouragement for the US' first-strike nuclear war-fighting doctrine, and support for the US move to build yet another military base in Okinawa -- a so-called helipad to serve as bases for Osprey warplanes -- that would devastate the rare, near-pristine mangrove forests in Takae.

Trump on Nuclear Weapons: "By Whatever Means Necessary" Part 1
(Ronnie Dugger / Reader Supported News)

Starting 32 years ago, Donald Trump has spoken publicly about nuclear weapons much more and much more alarmingly than Hillary Clinton. During the present presidential campaign, the candidates have almost totally avoided and ignored the only "issue" that rivals climate change in its threat to life on earth. In contrast, Trump has been sharring his attitudes and thoughts on the subject. He has been brooding about nuclear weapons during much of his adult life.

Trump on Nuclear Weapons: 'Right Now in This World' Part 2
(Ronnie Dugger / Reader Supported News)

The President is the dictator on the use of America's nuclear weapons -- he can fire nuclear missiles without Congressional authorization. What then, as Donald Trump becomes the GOP's presidential nominee, is the import of his declaration that Russian President Putin and he are "stablemates" and of Trump's one-time plan for the US and the USSR to join forces to constitute "the Big Two" in order to secure the world's monopoly on nuclear weapons?

During Turkey's Coup Attempt, the US Lost Control over 50 Hydrogen Bombs
(Bonnie Kristian / The National Interest & Eric Schlosser / The New Yorker & Alexandra Bell and Benjamin Loehrke / The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)

During the recent military coup attempt in Turkey, the US briefly lost access to the Incirlik Air Base and a critical underground storage facility containing around fifty American-made B-61 hydrogen bombs -- roughly a quarter of the nukes of NATO -- each one capable of producing a boom up to eleven times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The bombs simply sit at the base, underground, waiting to be used or misused.

Britain Votes to Retain Trident Missiles, Renews Commitment to Nuclear Weapons
(International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

On Monday 18 July, the British parliament voted in favour of building four new nuclear-powered submarines to carry US Trident missiles armed with modernized nuclear warheads for the next half century. The vote gives permission to the government to sign multi-billion pound contracts with the aim of ensuring that the UK will continue to possess and deploy an enormously dangerous arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.

Pentagon Declares Cyberwar on ISIS
(India Ashok / International Business Times)

The US military's first-of-its-kind cyberwar campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) is off to a slow start that has left Pentagon officials frustrated. The US Cyber Command was established to undermine ISIS's online activities, specifically concerning online recruitment and planned attacks. However, the unit is yet to develop malware and other tools to launch offensive attacks.

Nuclear Weapons Are The Most Consequential Threat America Faces
(President John F. Kennedy & Lee H. Hamilton / The Huffington Post)

Commentary: If you ask Americans to identify the greatest risk to our national security, most will probably point to terrorism. Others will cite climate change, illegal immigration, or potential conflict with China or Russia. From my point of view, however, the gravest threat to our security and well-being as a nation is the threat posed by nuclear weapons. A single nuclear detonation could kill tens of thousands. A nuclear conflict could bring an end to civilization.

Who Does THAAD Protect? South Koreans? No! US Bases? Yes!
(Oh Young-jin / Korea Times)

The destabilizing introduction of a THAAD anti-missile array in South Korea has been justified as necessary for the "defense" of the people of South Korea. In fact, it puts civilians at risk and mainly serves to protect US troops in the country. For the thousands of North Korean missiles that will rain down from the sky when, God forbid, the North invades, one THAAD unit is never enough. But if it is to protect one or two key US military installations, it would prove to be effective.

US Loses Control over Nuclear Weapons in Turkey
(Sputnik News & The Guardian & Boiling Frogs Post)

Turkish officials are preventing access to and from the air base until they complete "anti-coup" operations effectively leaving America's nuclear arsenal in the hands of the same Erdogan regime that just accused Washington of masterminding the coup. About 50 nuclear bombs are stored at Incirlik airbase, which was closed after Turkey claimed coup plotters used it as a base of operations.

Thousands Attend Trident Protests across Scotland
(Scottish Scrap Trident Coalition & BBC Online)

Parliament is due to vote on whether to go ahead with building replacements for the UK's Vanguard fleet of four submarines carrying Trident nuclear missiles. The subs are due to become obsolete by the end of the next decade. In advance of the vote, thousands of people gathered in 35 towns and cities across Scotland to make their opposition to Trident renewal known before the House of Commons votes on Monday.

ACTION ALERT: Congress Orders More Nuclear Triggers. Let's Ban Nuclear Weapons Instead
(Mark Oswald / Albuquerque Journal & Alice Slater / New Age Peace Foundation & International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

The National Nuclear Security Administration is under orders from Congress to produce as many as 80 new nuclear weapons triggers a year by around 2030, and Los Alamos National Laboratory is the only place in the country that is equipped to make them now.

It Was Not a Good Week for the NRA
(Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)

Commentary: The NRA likes to argue that people need to carry guns for "self-defense" but real-world experience shows that merely having a gun in your possession can get you killed. As PolitiFact noted in 2013: "More Americans have died from guns in the US since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history." The scale of US gun-deaths now routinely claims more lives than are lost in countries with active civil wars — including Pakistan and Sudan.

Nuclear Weapons: Progress but an Unfinished Agenda
(Friends Committee on National Legislation / Washington Newsletter)

Speaking in Japan at the memorial to those killed by US atomic bombs, President Obama reaffirmed a commitment to disarmament, declaring: "We must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them." As inspiring as those words are, the Obama administration has a mixed record on nuclear weapons. We are disappointed that this president, who won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize in part for his focus on nuclear issues, hasn't done more.

ACTION ALERT: Ask The Candidate about the Nuclear Threat
(Friends Committee on National Legislation / Washington Newsletter)

This year, violent extremists linked to the Islamic State spied on the home and office of a person involved with storing large quantities of dangerous nuclear material. The motive for the surveillance is unknown, but authorities speculate that the group might want the material to use in an attack. The country where this surveillance happened? Belgium, in the months before the deadly March 2016 bombings. It's time to make the nuclear threat a presidential campaign issue.

Britain's Nuclear Deterrent Isn't 'Independent'
(avid Morrison / Middle East Eye)

Conservative and Labour advocates for the retention of the Trident system invariably describe it as an 'independent' nuclear deterrent. At least eight (and perhaps nine) states in the world now possess functional nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. All of them, bar one, manufacture and maintain their own nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. All of them, bar one, have complete control over the use of their systems. The sole exception is Britain.

It Was Not a Good Week for the NRA
(Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)

Commentary: The NRA likes to argue that people need to carry guns for "self-defense" but real-world experience shows that merely having a gun in your possession can get you killed. As PolitiFact noted in 2013: "More Americans have died from guns in the US since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history." The scale of US gun-deaths now routinely claims more lives than are lost in countries with active civil wars — including Pakistan and Sudan.

World Calls for Nuclear Abolition: NATO Leader Calls for an "Increased Role" for Atomic Weapons
(Elizabeth Philipp and Kelsey Davenport / Arms Control Association & Sputnik News)

In a major report, the Arms Control Association concludes that the world has made significant progress on strengthening nonproliferation and nuclear security norms over the past three years but progress on reducing nuclear arsenals has slowed. At the same time, former US Commander of NATO Gen. Philip Breedlove has called for increasing reliance on nukes, arguing that international competition will increase the role of nuclear weapons in the near future.

US Orders Britain and Scotland to Keep Nukes
(Russia Today & BBC News)

Britain must maintain Trident nuclear submarines to deal with modern-day threats, a group of US generals says. British MPs will vote on Monday whether to renew the nuclear arsenal after Prime Minister Theresa May hastily ordered a ballot. The UK government does not intend to make alternative plans for the storage of the UK's nuclear weapons outside of Scotland, it has emerged.

UK Claims It Is 'Not Responsible' for Cleaning Up Radioactive Wastes It Left in Iraq
(Doug Weir / The Ecologist &Toxic Remnants of War Network)

The UK government has disclaimed any duty to decontaminate the toxic, radioactive ash left behind by its DU munitions - -- or even monitor the impacts on human health. The UK and the US position is that assessing harm, and the costly and technically challenging task of clearance, is the sole responsibility of the country they attacked - -- arguments they also used to make for removing landmines and cluster bombs.

Another Increase in US Military Spending and Another $40 Billion in US Arms Sales to Fuel Global Militarism
(Lawrence Wittner / AntiWar.com & Andrea Shalal / Reuters)

The US, armed with the latest in advanced weaponry, has more military might than any other nation in world history. China and Russia spend only a small fraction of what the US spends on the military. Yet, when Americans are given the facts about US military spending, a substantial majority of them favor reducing it. At the same time, the US is on track to approve nearly $40 billion in foreign military sales -- weapons deals that will generate huge profits for US weapons-makers.

15,000 Nuclear Weapons Pose a Threat to Humanity
(Mayor Frank Cownie / Mayors for Peace & The Nation)

We members of Mayors for Peace, an international organization of cities dedicated to eliminating nuclear weapons, are keenly aware that these devices were designed to wipe cities off the map. Cities around the world are utterly unprepared to respond to a catastrophe of that scale. Prevention is the only cure. Yet the presidential candidates have said little about how they would address the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons.

Gaza: Living and Dying with Drones
(Ann Wright / Consortium News)

Commentary: While US political leaders claim to uphold universal human rights, nearly all are selective in sympathizing with Israel in its lopsided war against the Palestinians as reflected in the 2014 slaughter in Gaza. Two years ago, on July 7, 2014, the Israeli government launched a horrific 51-day air, land and sea attack on the people of Gaza. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired missiles, rockets, artillery and tank shells relentlessly on 1.8 million Palestinians.

What Does Dallas's 'Bomb Robot' Mean for the Future of Policing?
(Simone McCarthy / The Christian Science Monitor )

The anti-police violence in Dallas started with human gunfire and ended with a robot bearing a bomb, marking the first time US law enforcement has used a robot to kill a suspect.

Ramstein: The Most Important US Air Force Base You've Never Heard Of
(Norman Solomon / The Nation)

The massive Ramstein Air Base hosts 57,000 US citizens and 7,500 "active duty Airmen." Nearly ignored by US media, Ramstein is the keystone for the Pentagon's drone warfare. It soaks up billions of taxpayer dollars and Washington's endless war propels an endless gravy train. Former NSA and CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden -- an outspoken advocate of the drone program -- received $240,125 last year as a boardmember of a company that manufactures drones.

Black Lives Still Must Matter, Even After Dallas
(Kai Wright / The Nation)

Commentary: "Nothing about the horrific events in Dallas last night changes the reality that brought hundreds of people out to march in the first place, any more than the assassination of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in 2014 changed the fact that Eric Garner's killing was a crime against humanity. It is still sadly necessary to remind the nation and our law enforcement that black lives matter."

Countries Where Cops Do Not Carry Guns Are Much Safer
(Rick Noack / The Washington Post)

It has been another week of devastating gun violence in the US 37-year-old Alton Sterling and 32-year-old Philando Castile were both fatally shot by police officers in separate incidents which sparked outrage across the nation. Gun control is a strategy that seems to work surprisingly well for other countries: In Britain, Ireland, Norway, Iceland and New Zealand, officers are unarmed when they are on patrol. Police are only equipped with firearms in special circumstances.

The Crippling Wounds of Mass-shooting 'Survivors'
(Timothy "Meteor Blades" Lange / The Daily Kos)

In our recollections of mass shootings, we remember the tally of the dead: Aurora -- 12; Sandy Hook -- 27; San Bernardino -- 14; Orlando -- 49; Fort Hood -- 13; Dallas -- 5. But, as frequently is the case, the number of wounded outnumbers the slain, just as is the case on the battlefield. For many of them, the nightmare didn't end when the shooter died or was captured. The impact of their wounds can continue for months or years or a lifetime.

ACTION ALERT: One Cheer for Obama's Executive Order on Drone Strikes
(Rachel Reid / Foreign Policy & CODEPINK)

Analysis: President Barack Obama finally released data on civilians killed in US counterterror operations in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen -- an important step toward ending the absurdity of undeclared drone wars. Yes, the White House low-balled its drone casualty numbers. But don't let that obscure the value of its important policy changes, which will save civilian lives.

For Obama's Secret Wars, the Record Suggests a Far Worse Reality
(Chris Woods / AntiWar.com)

Targeted killings or assassinations beyond the battlefield remain a highly charged subject. Most controversial of all is the number of civilians killed in US covert and clandestine drone strikes since 2002. United Nations data for Afghanistan indicates that one civilian was killed for every 11 international airstrikes in 2014.

The Code War: Alex Gibney's Disturbing Film Reveal the Dark Forces Behind the Stuxnet Computer Worm
(Reviewed by Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet)

Alex Gibney's new film, Zero Days, makes a convincing case that the US (in partnership with Israel) created the Student computer virus in a secret plot to destroy Iran's nuclear processing ability. The suspicion is that US hoped to forestall an impending Israeli air attack that could have spread fallout over the region -- and may well have triggered a major (perhaps cataclysmic) war.

The Staggering Myths about Gun Control
(Dennis A. Henigan / Salon)

Commentary: "The issue of guns in America causes people in other parts of the developed world to look at our country and shake their heads. They just don't get it. They don't understand why so many Americans have such passion for their guns. They don't understand why gun control is such a contentious issue. The gun lobby's disproportionate political power will never be overcome until these fallacies are destroyed."

The Ten Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
(David Krieger / Waging Peace)

The ten worst acts of the Nuclear Age described below have set the tone for our time. They have caused immense death and suffering; been tremendously expensive; have encouraged nuclear proliferation; have opened the door to nuclear terrorism, nuclear accidents and nuclear war; and are leading the world back into a second Cold War.

Russia Accused of War Crime: Dropping Phosphorus and Thermobaric Bombs on Residents of Allepo
(Daily Sabah & Yalibnan.com)

Footage of Russian warplanes targeting civilians in Syria's second largest city of Aleppo on June 8 shows the use white phosphorus -- an incendiary and toxic chemical banned by the international treaties. Its usage constitutes a war crime. Moscow is also dropping what appear to be fuel-air bombs, described by one arms expert as "a mini nuclear bomb" next to residential areas. Former British Army explosives expert Major Chris Hunter called it "a very, very irresponsible act."

Russia to Open New Naval Base in Black Sea to Counter NATO
(Nikolai Litovkin / Russia Beyond the Headlines)

The Russian Navy is to open a new base on the Black Sea coast hosting Varshavyanka class Project 636.6 diesel-electric submarines with Kalibr cruise missiles. According to a RBTH source in the military-industrial complex, the Black Sea Fleet's new base will host six Varshavyanka class Project 636.6 submarines. Initially, the new base on the Black Sea coast was being built because of disagreements in Russian-Ukrainian relations after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

US Conference of Mayors Unanimously Adopts Resolution Calling for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
(Mayors for Peace and 2020visioncampaign.org)

At the close of its 84rd Annual Meeting, the United States Conference of Mayors, for the 11th consecutive year, adopted a resolution in support of Mayors for Peace, warning that "the nuclear-armed countries are edging ever closer to direct military confrontation in conflict zones around the world," and calling on the next US President "to pursue new diplomatic initiatives to lower tensions with Russia and China and to dramatically reduce US and Russian nuclear stockpiles."

Navy Builds Underground Nuclear Weapons Base 20 Miles from Seattle
(Hans M. Kristensen / Federation of American Scientists & President Barack Obama)

The US Navy has quietly built a new $294 million underground nuclear weapons storage complex at the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC), a high-security base in Washington that stores and maintains the Trident II ballistic missiles and their nuclear warheads for the strategic submarine fleet operating in the Pacific Ocean.

If Australia Can Stop Mass Shootings Why Can't the US? Part One
(Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)

As the United States struggles to make sense of yet another mass shooting, we look at one country that fought to change the culture of gun violence and won. Just 12 days after a grisly mass shooting, Australia's government announced a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. Now, 20 years later, there has not been a single mass shooting in Australia, and overall gun violence has decreased by 50 percent.

If Australia Can Stop Mass Shootings Why Can't the US? Part Two
(Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)

As the United States struggles to make sense of yet another mass shooting, we look at one country that fought to change the culture of gun violence and won. Just 12 days after a grisly mass shooting, Australia's government announced a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. Now, 20 years later, there has not been a single mass shooting in Australia, and overall gun violence has decreased by 50 percent.

Russia Accused of War Crime: Dropping Phosphorus and Thermobaric Bombs on Residents of Allepo
(Daily Sabah & Yalibnan.com)

"It's really terrifying; night turns into clear day," says a resident of Allepo, Syria. "My city is totally stricken. There are hundreds of airstrikes with vacuum rockets, thermite and cluster bombs, barrel bombs and naval mines." Former British Army explosives expert Major Chris Hunter called it "a very, very irresponsible act . . . . It is a breach of the Geneva Convention to use these weapons off the battlefield. The effect on civilians is horrific."

NATO Summit 2016: Heritage Foundation Tells NATO to Send More Money to Corporate Arms Industry
(Daniel Kochis and Luke Coffey / The Heritage Foundation)

The July NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, offers an opportunity for the alliance to build on commitments of the 2014 summit, a Heritage Foundation report declares. "The US should reverse its own defense cuts and find creative ways to press its allies to invest more in defense." According to the hawkish Heritage Foundation, "NATO members are, at a minimum, treaty-obligated to spend adequately on defense."

ACTION ALERT: Top Scientists Call for Obama to Take Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert
(Lisbeth Gronlund / Union o f Concerned Scientists)

More than 90 prominent US scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and 90 National Academy of Sciences members, sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to take US land-based nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert and remove launch-on-warning options from US warplans.

Dangerous Crossroads in US-Russia Relations: Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Jeopardy
(Andrei Akulov / Global Research & Strategic Culture Foundation & )

Two key treaties -- the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty -- are still in force. However, their future is not assured. The 2010 New START (also known as the Prague Treaty) was an important achievement in preventing the collapse of arms control. But it expires in 2020 without any prospects for a new agreement coming into force.

UK's 'Operation Blue Peacock': A Nuclear Landmine 'Operated' by Live Chickens
(Jeremy Bender / Business Insider)

The development of Britain's seven-ton 'Blue Peacock' nuclear landmine showed a problem with it suffering from extreme cold weather. A possible solution to this problem was proposed: simply stuff the casing with chickens to provide sufficient heat to keep the explosive mechanism from failing.

Orlando Shooter Was a Corporate Security Mercenary
(Reuters & Benjamin D Katz and Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg.com)

G4S Plc's approach to the vetting of its security personnel is under scrutiny after it emerged that Florida nightclub killer Omar Mateen had been employed by the world's biggest guarding company for almost a decade. The man identified as the shooter who killed 50 people at a packed gay nightclub in Florida on Sunday had worked for G4S, the world's largest security services firm, since 2007 and carried a gun as part of his duties, the company said on Sunday.

Drug Ring Found Operating inside US Nuclear Missile Site
(Robert Burns / Associated Press)

Five more airmen are under investigation for illegal drug activity at a nuclear missile base in Wyoming, bringing the total to 19 and expanding the probe beyond the security forces group initially implicated. That investigation led to the discovery that dozens of missileers had been cheating on their proficiency tests at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, which also operates a fleet of 150 Minuteman 3 missiles.

The Cause of Washington's 'Endless Wars' -- Endless Profits
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Andrew Cockburn / TomDispatch)

When it comes to waging war, creating and maintaining an effective fighting force has become a secondary consideration, reflecting a relative disinterest -- remarkable to outsiders -- in the actual business of combat. The truth is, the real purpose of the weapons-making cartels that lobby Washington for expanding wars, is to service the goal of raking in billions of taxpayer dollars for the Pentagon and its industrial and political partners.

Navy Atomic Subs and US Marine Corps: Not Ready to Serve
(Richard Palmer / The Trumpet)

The USS Minnesota nuclear attack submarine is stuck in port as workers try to make it seaworthy. The $2.7 billion vessel is only three years old. After investing more than $6 billion, the US Navy has three new nuclear submarines that pose a known risk to their crews if deployed. Fox News reports that the vast majority of US strike fighter aircraft are not airworthy.

After Orlando, Clinton, Trump Call for Bombing ISIS; Ignore Links to a US Mercenary Corp
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept )

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump responded to the Orlando shooting with the same plan: bomb people. Both candidates called for escalating the US-led bombing campaign against ISIS -- which played no role in the attack. Little attention has been focused on the fact that the killer of 49 innocents in Orlando worked as a security guard for G4S -- a giant, often controversial global contracting corporation that provides mercenary forces, prison guards and security services.

Approaching Nuclear Midnight: The Steady Tick of the Doomsday Clock
(Tom Englehardt and Noam Chomsky / TomDispatch)

Professor, activist, critic and author Noam Chomsky turns to the single most vital question for humanity: Will we destroy ourselves? "Prospects for decent long-term survival are not high unless there is a significant change of course. A large share of the responsibility is in our hands -- the opportunities as well.... Nuclear weapons pose a constant danger of instant destruction, but at least we know in principle how to alleviate the threat, even to eliminate it."

ACTION ALERT: Act to Control Gun Violence in America
(Credo Mobile & ActionTaker)

Another horrific mass shooting happened yesterday, leaving at least 50 dead and 50 more wounded at an LGBT club in Orlando. As the death toll from the tragedy in Orlando continued to mount, Republican politicians were quick to offer their "prayers and condolences" to the families and friends of the victims. But "thoughts and prayers" are not enough. We need a real gun control legislation package that includes a ban on assault weapons.

ACTION ALERT: Hillary Clinton and the UASI Fueling Police Militarization
(The War Resisters League et al & Sarah Lazare / AlterNet)

Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton are teaming up with the NYPD to request high levels of funding for a federal "counter-terror" program that is directly bankrolling the militarization of police forces nationwide. To secure the funds, they are invoking the threat of terrorism and exploiting the climate of fear and incitement that has come to define the 2016 election cycle.

The Tragedy in Orlando Was Not Terrorism: It Was a "Hate Crime"
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment & The Reveal)

Analysis: For some people tracking the toll of gun violence in America, the work seems to have no clear end in sight. Mass killings happen roughly every two weeks in America The FBI counted 172 cases between 2006 and 2011. By law, if the alleged Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, had been a terrorist, he would have directed criticism to US government policy and issued demands. Shooting people at a nightclub has no obvious strategic goal.

Senate Amendment Would Block US Bomb Sales for Saudi War
(AntiWar.com & Defense News & Agence France-Presse)

A bipartisan amendment at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is seeking to halt all sales of bombs and other air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia until the Kingdom promises to take precautions to limit the number of civilians they kill. Sen. Chris Murphy (D- CT) noted that the US involvement in the Saudi War is damaging their credibility internationally, and says that "every single civilian death inside Yemen is attributable to the United States."

Calling Out Drone War as a War Crime
(Dennis J. Bernstein / Consortium News)

Night and day, US "pilots" sit in cushioned chairs near Las Vegas, commanding drones on the other side of the planet, tracking and killing people, what retired Colonel Ann Wright and other activists call a war crime. Col. Wright, who spent most of her adult life as a diplomat working in the US State Department, is now leading the charge against the US "drone war."

US Feeds a Global Plague of Handguns and Pistols: Small Arms Imports to Middle Eastern Countries Have Doubled
(Dave Bryan / Associated Press & KIM Won-soo, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs)

Small Arms Survey's latest report reveals annual sales of small arms and light weapons to Middle Eastern countries nearly doubled in dollar terms in 2013 over the year before, as conflicts heated up across the region. Weapons sales rose from $342 million in 2012 to $630 million in 2013. The US was both the biggest exporter and importer of weapons ranging from pistols and military firearms to hunting rifles, ammunition and anti-tank guns.

Small Arms and Femicide: Confronting a Vector of Violence against Women
(Reaching Critical Will & Women's International League for Peace and Freedom)

Small arms and light weapons are a key part of the global armed violence epidemic, resulting in about half a million deaths annually. The manufacture, trade, proliferation, possession, and use of small arms and light weapons facilitate gender-based violence, sexual violence, domestic violence, mass shootings, human trafficking, and armed conflict. They also are key factors in the perpetuation of violent masculinities and the militarisation of communities.

Revive Arms Control and Start with Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missiles
(Sico van der Meer and Christine Parthemore / War on the Rocks)

A global conversation is also beginning to emerge. In May, for example, officials from Sweden and Switzerland recommended to the UN Open-Ended Working Group on nuclear disarmament in Geneva "that States initiate or engage in a process to reduce risks associated with nuclear armed cruise missiles."

Calling Out Drone War as a War Crime
(Dennis J Bernstein / Consortium News & Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson / CounterPunch)

Night and day, US "pilots" sit in cushioned chairs near Las Vegas, commanding drones on the other side of the planet, tracking and killing people, what retired Col. Ann Wright and other activists call a war crime.

Monitoring International Airstrikes

Airwars is a journalist-led transparency project working around four strands. We monitor and assess reports of civilian casualties allegedly caused by Coalition and other international airstrikes. We analyze data from the campaigns to help make sense of the war. We archive military claims. And we publish news on our findings.

A First Look at America's New 'Supergun'
(Julian E. Barnes / Wall Street Journal)

The weapon is called a railgun and requires neither gunpowder nor explosive. It is powered by electromagnetic rails that accelerate a hardened projectile to staggering velocity -- a battlefield meteorite with the power to one day transform military strategy, say supporters, and keep the US ahead of advancing Russian and Chinese weaponry. "This is going to change the way we fight," said US Navy Adm. Mat Winter, the head of the Office of Naval Research.

America's Atomic Vets: 'We Were Used as Guinea Pigs -- Every One of Us.'
(Jennifer LaFleur / The Reveal: Center for Investigative Journalism)

The military had a long history of using war games to train troops. During the nuclear testing era, troops were exposed to detonations to see how they would react to a nuclear attack and whether equipment still would function. All of the atomic vets were sworn to secrecy. Until the secrecy was lifted decades later, they could not tell anyone about their experiences. Even if they became ill, they could not tell doctors they might have been exposed to radiation.

Victory! Obama Blocks Cluster Bomb Sale to Saudis
(Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & John Hudson / Foreign Policy & Stop Cluster Munitions.org)

"Frustrated by a growing death toll, the White House has quietly placed a hold on the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia as the Sunni ally continues its bloody war on Shiite rebels in Yemen . . . It's the first concrete step the United States has taken to demonstrate its unease with the Saudi bombing campaign that human rights activists say has killed and injured hundreds of Yemeni civilians, many of them children."

Obama's Hiroshima Speech Was Lovely, Frustrating, and Infuriating
(Lucy Steigerwald / AntiWar.com)

Commentary: As unforgivable as Obama has been on foreign policy in myriad ways there is something about him which almost looks like better than it could be. At least in certain lights. That is to say, Obama kills people, but he also occasionally appears to notice that the US has made foreign policy mistakes. Obama did what leaders do. Poetry made evading details easier -- "death fell from the sky" instead of, "the Enola Gay dropped a nuclear bomb."

The Republicans' Military Budget Could Make Every Homeless Person in America a Millionaire
(Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani / ThinkProgress)

The US spent more than $596 billion on the military in 2015, more than the next six countries in the world combined. Now House Republicans want to spend $602 billion on the Pentagon. With 564,708 homeless people in the US, ending homelessness would take less than 1 percent of next year's military expenditures. From 2016 to 2025, there will be a US funding gap of over $1.4 trillion for surface transportation, water, electricity, airports, and waterways and ports.

The "Nuclear Football" Goes to Japan
(Joe Cirincione / Defense One & Michael Dobbs / Smithsonian Magazine)

When President Obama visits Japan -- and the site of the first targeted nuclear detonation -- he will have the power of 22,000 Hiroshimas on public display in the suitcase his aide carries with him. This is the "nuclear football" that allows any US leader to launch 975 nuclear warheads within five to 12 minutes. Each warhead is 6-30 times more powerful than the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima. Within 30 minutes of launch, hundreds of millions of people would be killed.

Obama's Hiroshima Visit Is a Wake-up Call on the Risks of Nuclear Weapons
(Peter Maurer and Tadateru Konoe / The New Statesman)

We now know more than ever the dangers of an accidental or deliberate detonation of a nuclear weapon. Malfunctions, mishaps, false alarms and misinterpreted information have nearly led to the intentional or accidental detonation of nuclear weapons on numerous occasions since 1945. In the past two years alone, we have seen scores of "military incidents" involving nuclear weapon states and their allies. There can be no adequate response to a nuclear detonation.

Barack Obama's Abysmal Nuclear Disarmament Legacy: Among the Worst on Record
(Hans M. Kristensen / Federation of American Scientists & President Barack Obama)

Despite a chill in East-West relations, Russia has not increased its nuclear arsenal but continues to reduce it. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has cut the US atomic stockpile less than any other post-Cold War president -- the number of warheads dismantled in 2015 was a record low. Instead of spending $1 trillion to build new "modernized" nuclear weapons, Obama should cancel the program and pursue the global ban on nuclear war that he once promised in Prague.

World Scholars Call on Obama to Address Nuclear Weapons Ban at Hiroshima
(Joseph Gerson / Peace and Planet & Peace Action & Japan Times Editorial)

Given the potential dangers posed by the accidental use of nuclear arms and nuclear terrorism, all states should support the effort to ban nuclear weapons. In Hiroshima, President Obama should announce cancelation of his $1 trillion nuclear modernization plan and a reduction of the US nuclear arsenal. Obama and Russian President Putin should open talks to create the nuclear weapons-free world promised in Prague and required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

What Happened to the $6.5 Billion in US Military Aid to Egypt?
(Julian Pecquet / Al-Monitor)

The Obama administration has provided Cairo with $6.5 billion in military aid since 2011 but can't account for all of it, according to a new government report. The US provided $6.5 billion in military assistance to Cairo between 2011 and 2015 with the understanding that it would be closely monitored and would serve American interests. Instead, the Government Accountability Office asserts that the Obama administration has often failed to meet those requirements.

An Iraqi Doctor's Plea for the Children and People of Her Country
(Souad Al Azzawi / BRussels Tribunal & CounterCurrents & Global Research)

For two decades, the American occupation has violated children's rights on all levels -- health care, education, social security, family unity, separation of children through detention, imprisonment and exile. The US and the UK have been waging continuous wars to occupy this oil rich country, attacking civilians with conventional, non-conventional, and banned weapons -- such as cluster bombs, napalm bombs, white phosphorous and Depleted Uranium weapons.

The Importance of Distance in Modern Warfare
(John Govern / The Modern War Institute)

Remote weapon systems, or unmanned weapons and weaponized vehicles that are remotely controlled, represent a fundamental change in the nature of the battlefield. We are witnessing warfare change in ways that our tactics, operations, and strategy have not yet come to comprehend. As we continue to use and develop remote weapons systems, the nature of our battlefield will bear witness to a new kind of warfare.

Obama's Hiroshima Visit Can't Undo the Past. But It Can Change the Future
(Katrina vanden Heuvel / The Washington Post Op-ed & Paul Meyer for Open Canada & Ray Acheson /Reaching Critical Will)

As the White House announced that President Obama would visit Hiroshima, Japan, it immediately pledged that the he would not apologize for the US dropping atomic bombs on that city and Nagasaki during World War II. But the real reckoning in Hiroshima should be about the future of nuclear weapons. Unless the president acts and speaks forthrightly, his visit may mark the ashes of his own promise to move toward a world freed of the threat of nuclear annihilation.

ACTION ALERT: Urge President Obama to Take Action in Hiroshima
(The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & John Hall / The MailOnline)

It is an encouraging sign that President Obama will be the first sitting US President to visit Hiroshima. At the same time, Washington is planning to spend at least $1 trillion over the next 30 years to "modernize" its nuclear arsenal -- warheads, submarines, missiles, bombers, production facilities and command and control infrastructure. Actions speak louder than words. That's why we are petitioning President Obama not to come to Hiroshima empty-handed.

Climate Change and Nuclear War Threaten Human Survival
(Nermeen Shaikh, Amy Goodman and Robert Jay Lipton/ Democracy Now!)

After advocating against nuclear weapons for decades, the leading American psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton has recently focused on the global threat posed by climate change. Last year, he wrote a piece in The New York Times comparing the nuclear freeze movement of the 1980s to the climate justice movement of today. Lifton explores the parallels between the threats of nuclear weapons and global warming, and the growing public awareness to meet the challenges they pose.

Climate Change and Nuclear Proliferation Pose the Worst Threat Ever Faced by Humans
(Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky / Democracy Now!)

Experts warn the refugee crisis may also worsen due to the impacts of global warming with 2016 on pace to be by far the hottest year ever. Meanwhile, many fear a new nuclear arms race with the US, Russia and China building arsenals of smaller nuclear weapons. Today we speak with one of the world's preeminent intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His latest book is titled "Who Rules the World?"

Conference Ends with Growing Global Support for a Nuclear Weapons Ban
(Beatrice Fihn / International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons)

The new United Nations working group on nuclear disarmament has completed its second and most substantive session in Geneva. 100 governments met for over two weeks. Many more contributed support through a joint working paper from the Humanitarian Pledge group (now numbering 127 States). Of course, the US and other nuclear umbrella states were unhappy, but "this meeting was all about the ban. And it was clear that governments are ready to do this."

Keep Trump's (and Hillary's) Hands off the Nuclear Trigger
(John Buell /The Progressive Populist)

Would you want Donald Trump's fingers on the nuclear trigger? Well, the fact is: on at least 30 occasions since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, every US president has prepared and/or threatened to initiate a nuclear war. The take-away? No one should be trusted with the nuclear trigger: The most responsible course is disarmament.

Piercing the 'Diplo-Speak' to Explain the Latest Steps toward Nuclear Abolition
(Xanthe Hall / International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)

Over the last two weeks, the UN's Open-Ended Working Group on nuclear abolition meetings have been underway in Geneva. "Front-line" reporters need to avoid overdoing the acronyms and use plain speech, and avoid getting sucked into diplo-speak. Here are a few personal definitions to help readers understand what lies behind some of the frequently used code words in the many statements and in over 60 working papers submitted to the May session of the OEWG.

Obama Should Heed Hiroshima's Survivors
(Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan / Common Dreams)

Commentary: The White House announced this week that President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, the site of the world's first atomic-bomb attack. He will be the first sitting president to visit a city where 140,000 people were killed and another 100,000 seriously injured by a US atomic bomb dropped on Aug. 6, 1945. While Obama has called for nuclear abolition, he recently revealed a 30-year plan to modernize the entire US nuclear arsenal -- at a cost of $1 trillion.

US, Russia Trade Warnings Over North European Buildup
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mark Perry / Politico)

The Pentagon's top brass profess to be really worried about Russian leader Vladimir Putin. But a growing group of dissenters say they are intentionally overreacting to grab a bigger share of the defense budget. Putin has repeatedly complained that the US military buildup in Poland and the new US missile defense base in Romania, provides evidence that the Americans are attempting to start a new arms race by putting strategic weapons along Russia's frontier.

Army Chaplain Resigns over US Drone Wars and Nuclear Weapons
(Ann Wright / Consortium News)

The US reliance on drones to sustain perpetual war in the Mideast is meeting resistance from some of those assigned to carry out these tactics, US Army Reserve Chaplain Captain Christopher John Antal has resigned his post because he could not support "unaccountable killing" using armed drones to kill "anyone, anywhere on Earth, at any time, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials."

Inside the Obama Administration's Tug of War Over Nuclear Warheads
(Nuclear Threat Initiative)

In June 2009, US Vice President Joseph Biden blocked a Pentagon bid to revive a defunct program aimed at fielding modern nuclear warheads across the strategic arsenal after Defense Secretary Robert Gates raised the idea of reinstating the controversial Reliable Replacement Warhead effort during a secret meeting convened by the National Security Council. Biden argued the move would undercut nonproliferation goals. The issue remains unresolved.

European Nuclear Bases at Risk
(Hans M. Kristensen / The Federation of American Scientists)

Security upgrades underway at US Air Force bases in Europe indicate that nuclear weapons deployed in Europe have been stored under unsafe conditions for more than two decades. The decision to upgrade nuclear security perimeters at the two US bases strongly implies that security at the other four European host bases must now be characterized as inadequate.

CIA Vet: War on Terror a Costly Failure . . . As Intended
(Philip Giraldi / The American Conservative)

It's been almost a decade and a half since 9/11, but the foreign-policy establishment still cannot admit that continuous US intervention in the Middle East has been a failure -- unless your are part of the military-industrial complex. The US continues to repeat national security policy mistakes that promote rather than discourage terrorism. Why? Because hyping a "terror threat" that has been grossly inflated feeds powerful political and economic interests.

Small Arms, Big Violations: Why Isn't the Firearms Threat a Human Rights Issue?
(Daniel Mack / International Journal on Human Rights)

Firearms are the main vector of violent death and injury worldwide. The preponderance of small arms in the armed violence "epidemic" -- over a half million killed annually. Less than 14% of armed violence deaths worldwide were the result of wars. The number of homicides in Brazil in 2013 (over 56,000) was greater than the number of conflict deaths worldwide for every year between 2004 and 2009.

ACTION: A Week Against Gun Violence, Mary 1-8
(Women's International League for Peace and Freedom)

Small arms -- guns, rifles, etc. -- are a key part of the global armed violence epidemic, resulting in about half a million deaths annually. The manufacture, trade, proliferation, possession, and use of small arms facilitate gender-based violence, sexual violence, domestic violence, mass shootings, human trafficking, and armed conflict.

The Assassination Complex: A New Book Examine's Obama's Drone Wars
(Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald / Democracy Now!)

As the Obama administration prepares to release for the first time the number of people it believes it has killed in drone strikes in countries that lie outside of conventional war zones, we look at a new book out today that paints a very different picture of the US drone program. The book, "The Assassination Complex," examines leaked government documents provided by a whistleblower -- documents that undermine government claims that drone strikes are "precise."

Help the Air Force Name Its New Bomber
(Gar Smith / World Beyond War and EAW)

The Secretary of the Air Force has asked for help in naming the B-21 long-range strike bomber -- "A Bomber for the 21st Century" in her words. The contest was set to run through May 6 but was only open to members of the USAF, Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard, their dependents and retirees. According to the official rules, taxpayers were disqualified from participating. We decided to give taxpayers a chance to name the bomber. Here are the results!

Hiding the Costs of Armageddon: GOP Tries to Hide the Costs of US Nuclear Arsenal
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have lined up to quietly kill a cost estimate of the Pentagon's three-decade nuclear modernization program, which experts predict will exceed $1 trillion. With America's infrastructure -- roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, water supplies -- crumbling, the Pentagon is moving to refurbish its 1,900 deployed nuclear warheads and replace each leg of its nuclear triad -- its land, sea, and air-based delivery systems.

World's Doctors Say: 'Ban Nuclear Weapons': It's a Matter of Human Health
(IPPNW & Pressenza)

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical groups in 64 countries -- and the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its efforts to educate US and Soviet leaders about the consequences of nuclear war -- has called on world leaders to "assert the need for a new [anti-nuclear weapons] treaty that . . . explicitly prohibit[s] . . . nuclear weapons, based on their unacceptable [health] consequences."

Global Nuclear Weapons Ban Talks Open in Geneva
(Mia Gandenberger / Reaching Critical Will & Silene Theobald / ICAN France)

On May 2, 2016, the open-ended working group (OEWG) began a two-week meeting in Geneva to undertake nuclear disarmament negotiations. (An earlier session was held in February.) During the May meetings, it is imperative that states focus on discussing elements for a treaty banning nuclear weapons and making concrete recommendations to the General Assembly in relation to moving forward with negotiations on such a treaty.

In Gun-crazed America, Armed Toddlers Proving Deadlier than Terrorists
(Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post)

Since April 20, 2016, there have been at least seven instances in which a 1-, 2-, or 3-year-old shot themselves or somebody else in the United States. In 2015, toddlers were finding guns and shooting people at a rate of about one a week. In 2015, at least 265 people were accidentally shot by kids and, in the past five years, at least six Americans have been shot by dogs. Guns are now killing as many people as cars.

Hiroshima Mayor Appeals for Nuclear Ban at UN Summit in Geneva
(NHK & Jake Adelstein / The Los Angeles Times)

The mayor of Hiroshima Kazumi Matsui has appealed for a legal framework to ban nuclear weapons as a United Nations' working group on the issue begins a meeting in Geneva. The UN working group will hold its second round of talks from Monday to May 13. Hiroshima bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow said that the world is tired of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty and other existing frameworks, which have failed to bring about the abolition of nuclear arms.

US and Russian Forces Engage in Mutual Provocations in the Arctic and the Baltic Sea
(The London Mirror)

Was this a warning shot? This chilling footage shows a Russian nuclear submarine launching a cruise missile from underwater to destroy a coastal training target. It is the latest show of strength from Russia's military after a number of close passes by fighter jets near US planes and ships. A Russian pilot provoked fury at the Pentagon by performing a barrel roll just 25 feet from a US ship in the Baltic and a Russian jet flew just 50 feet from a US spy plane last week.

Inside the Devastation of America's Drone Wars
(Tom Engelhardt TomDispatch & Pratap Chatterjee / TomDispatch)

In attempts to take out 41 men, US drones killed an estimated 1,147 Pakistani civilians (while many of the 41 targeted figures survived). This isn't a war ON terror, but a war OF terror. In addition to those they kill, Washington's drones also wound (both physically and psychologically) their own operators as well as the people who live under their constant surveillance -- real victims with all-too-real damage, on opposite sides of the globe.

ACTION ALERT: Take Malik Jalal Off Obama's Kill List
(Malik Jalal / 38 Degrees & Democracy Now!)

Malik Jalal has been targeted by drones four times. Dozens of other innocent people have died in the strikes. His family members are terrified that he will be next. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has revealed as many as 12 civilians were killed in December when a US drone targeted vehicles that were part of a wedding procession going towards the groom's village outside the central Yemeni city of Rad'a. It is useless for the US to deny this: there is a video.

US Pivot to Asia Poised to Enter Nuclear Phase
(Peter Lee / The Unz Review)

Commentary: The US rejection of tactical nuclear weapons in Asia, however, is a matter of situational analysis, not principle or service scruples. The US maintains a reported stash of 200 air-delivered tactical nuclear weapons with its NATO allies in Europe because otherwise NATO would consider itself at a fatal disadvantage against the larger Russian forces, which also have tactical nuclear weapons.

War and Environmental Collapse
(David Swanson / Excerpt From "War Is A Lie" (Just World Books, 2016))

Our planet will not survive nuclear war. It also may not survive "conventional" war, of the sorts the US government now wages. Intense damage has been done by wars and by the preparation for wars. War's environmental impact falls into four areas: "production and testing of nuclear weapons, aerial and naval bombardment of terrain, dispersal and persistence of land mines and buried ordnance, and use or storage of military despoliants, toxins, and waste." We must end war.

US Borrows Deadly 'Warning Shot' Airstrikes from Israel
(Agence France-Presse & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Before blowing up a jihadist cash hoard in Iraq, the US military warned bystanders of an impending strike by using a Hellfire missile to deliver the wartime equivalent of a door-knock. It was the first time the Pentagon has conducted a "knock operation" in Iraq and Syria, and the inspiration came from watching the Israel Defense Forces pioneer the controversial tactic in Gaza. The US strike managed to kill a woman, some children and several other non-combatants.

ACTION ALERT: It's Time to Ban Killer Robots
(Rasha Abdul Rahim / Amnesty International & Ray Acheson / Reaching Critical Will)

In April, the third Convention on Conventional Weapons met to address growing alarm over the use of drones and the development of autonomous robot killing machines. The idea of machines killing humans on the basis of algorithms is cynically abhorrent. While the US insists that its drones provide "enhanced situational awareness," independent reviews reveal that, during one five-month stretch, "90% of people killed by US drone strikes were unintended targets."

Rep. Barbara Lee Recognizes Vietnam Peace Movement in House Resolution
(Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & World Beyond War )

Rep. Barbara Lee has introduced a House Resolution (H.Res.695) recognizing the Vietnam anti-war movement as, "one of the largest and most prolonged efforts to achieve peace and justice in recent generations and was critical to bringing an end to the war." Rep. John Conyers became a co-sponsor as an effort begins to seek endorsements from other congressional representatives.

Barack Obama Urged To Rule Out Trading US Cluster Bombs for Saudi Favor
(Adam Withnall / The Independent)

Barack Obama has been urged to use his visit to Saudi Arabia to rule out selling controversial cluster bombs to the kingdom amid mounting evidence they have been used against civilians in Yemen. The US President's visit came amid increasing tension between the two allies over America's ever-closer relationship with Iran, as well as the potential release of documents purportedly linking Saudi officials to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Washington's Nuclear Weapons Stored in Europe
(Hans M. Kristensen / The Federation of American Scientists)

Security upgrades underway at US Air Force bases in Europe indicate that nuclear weapons deployed in Europe have been stored under unsafe conditions for more than two decades. An internal US Air Force investigation has determined that "most sites" currently used for deploying nuclear weapons in Europe do not meet Department of Defense security requirements. A blue-ribbon USAF panel concluded that "each site presents unique security challenges."

The Hiroshima Declaration Hoping to Add Momentum to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Movement
(Ayako Mie / The Japan Times & The Group of Seven)

The Group of Seven foreign ministers concluded a historic two-day meeting in Hiroshima on Monday that saw them discuss the goal of global nuclear disarmament in the first city destroyed by an atomic bomb. The meeting was a victory for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were A-bombed just days apart toward the end of the war in August 1945. The US and other major nuclear powers, still remain opposed to the call for nuclear disarmament.

Keep Kazakhstan Nuke-Free
(Alice Slater / New Age Peace Foundation & President Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan)

"Under the IAEA auspices,"President Nazarbayev writes, "Kazakhstan is to host the Low-Enriched Uranium Bank on its territory, which will allow countries to develop civilian nuclear energy." The anti-war movement must condemn the "inextricable link" between nuclear weapons and nuclear power -- and should oppose this new misguided global measure to make Kazakhstan the locus for producing toxic radioactive enriched uranium for "peaceful" nukes.

ACTION ALERT: Who Sells Cluster Bombs?
(Code Pink)

On April 18, peace activists from across New England will gather in front of Textron Industries headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, to call on the company to stop selling cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia that it is using to kill civilians in Yemen. Another petition: "We, the undersigned, call on President Obama to meet with Saudi human rights activists during his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia."

Not the First Time the USS Donald Cook Has Engaged Russian Jets
(Voltaire Network & Veterans Today)

In 2014, the State Department acknowledged that the crew of the USS Donald Cook was gravely demoralized after their vessel was overflown by a Russian Sukhoi-24 fighter jet in the Black Sea. The Su-24 carried no bombs or missiles -- only an electronic warfare device that reportedly disabled the ship's advance electronics, leaving it dead in the water. In 2015, a Russian jet disabled all radar, control circuits, and information systems on the US destroyer Ross.

Israel Introduces New Terror Weapon: Armed Micro-drones
(Sputnik News & Arie Egozi / Flight Global)

Inexpensive flying grenades are bringing drone technology to a ground-war setting. Israel's "attack and suicide drones" will allow a soldier to follow a target via onboard camera and then remotely drop a lethal grenade on the subject. Meanwhile, another Israeli company plans to profit from creating a "Drone Dome" to protect privileged communities from intrusion by " UAVs classified as malicious."

Killer Robots and 'Meaningful Human Control'
(Human Rights Watch)

According to experts in artificial intelligence, fully autonomous weapons, which would select and engage targets without meaningful human control, could be developed for use within years, not decades. In light of this troubling development, Human Rights Watch and the International Human Rights Clinic is calling on all states to adopt a prohibition on the development, production, and use of all fully autonomous weapons.

Afghan Families Seek Probe of US Drone Attack that Killed 17 Civilians
(Shereena Qazi / Al Jazeera & Emran Feroz / Al Jazeera)

Relatives and tribal elders in southeastern Afghanistan are demanding an investigation into the killing of 17 people by US drones this week, claiming that the air strikes hit civilians, not members of armed groups. Bahadur Noorullah Khan, a clerk working in the district office, was one of the 17 people killed in the raids. He left behind a wife and two children. "Who is going to feed them?" Khan's wife asked.

Obama Admits US Drone Attacks Routinely Kill Innocent Civilians
(Nicole Gaouette / CNN & The New York Times & The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

President Barack Obama has said there is "no doubt" that innocent civilians have been killed in drone strikes worldwide. The Obama administration has continuously expanded the drone program over two presidential terms, drawing heavy criticism for the extent of civilian deaths -- also known as "collateral damage."

USAF Won't Reveal How Much Its New Bomber Really Costs
(Scott Amey / The Project On Government Oversight)

The recently announced Long Range Strike Bomber is moving forward with no one in Congress knowing its actual price tag. Despite requests by the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Air Force has decided against releasing the final contract value to taxpayers. It stands by its decision to only release estimates. The B-21 contract, which was awarded to Northrop Grumman in October 2015, now is estimated to cost taxpayers as much as $58 billion.

US Drones and Bombs Kills136 Civilians -- From Afghanistan to Yemen
(AntiWar.com & The New York Times & The Defense Security Cooperation Agency)

In Afghanistan, a series of US drone strikes has killed at least 17 civilians. The US is often late to acknowledge civilian deaths. A US Brig. Gen. insisted there was "no evidence" that any of the slain were civilians. On March 15, Saudi warplanes attacked a crowded marketplace in the Yemeni Shi'ite town of Mastaba, killing 119 civilians. The attack was among the deadliest Saudi strikes on Yemen's civilians since the war began. More than 3,000 civilian bystanders have been killed.

Goal of Obama's Nuclear Summit: To Keep Nuclear Terror in the Hands of the West
(Toronto Star & The Next News Network & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News)

An international summit was held last week to address the threat of nuclear material falling into the wrong hands. But is it possible for nukes ever to be the right hands? The US has slammed North Korea with sanctions for test-firing missiles in response to massive joint US/South Korean military exercises aimed at toppling the regime in the North. Almost no attention has been paid to the fact that the US has test-fired nuclear-capable ICBMs at least 15 times since January 2011.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Your City to Divest from Nuclear War
(Susi Snyder / ICANW & The Future of Life Institution & Max Tegmark / Huffington Post)

The US is hoarding more than 7,000 nuclear missiles. A long history of near-misses underscores the risk of an accidental nuclear war that could trigger a nuclear winter, killing most people on Earth. Yet rather than retire its excess nukes, the US plans to spend $4 million-per-hour for the next 30 years making them more lethal. On April 2, Cambridge, Massachusetts unanimously voted to divest its $1 billion pension fund from nuclear weapons production.

Obama: US Has Killed Innocent Civilians; Warns Drones with 'Dirty Bombs' Could Threaten US Cities
(Robert Hutton / Bloomberg & Nicole Gaouette / CNN & )

During his Nuclear Summit in New York, President Obama admited US drones kill innocent civilians, he then showed a fake propaganda newscast depicting an imaginary plot in which anti-US fanatics use drones and "dirty bombs" to spread radioactive material through US cities. No mention was made of the US use of radioactive weapons in Iraq or how these "dirty bomb" attacks contaminated entire cities and destroyed thousands of lives with radioactive poisons.

Irradiated Iraq: The Nuclear Nightmare We Left Behind
(Barbara Koeppel / The Washington Spectator)

We invaded Iraq to destroy its non-existent weapons of mass destruction. To do it, we fired these new weapons, causing radioactive casualties. In the 1991 Desert Storm campaign, the US military fired weapons containing depleted uranium. Within two years, grotesque birth defects began to spiral. Babies with two heads. Or missing eyes, hands, and legs. Or stomachs and brains inside out.

CIA Leaves Bomb on Schoolbus. Was It an Accident? CIA and FBI Share a History of Planting Deadly Bombs
(RT News & The Washington Post & Charles Pierce / Esquire & The New York Times & Dan Rather / CBS)

The CIA left "explosive training material" under the hood of a Loudoun County school bus after a training exercise last week. The bus was used to ferry elementary and high school students to and from school with the explosives still sitting in the engine compartment -- a troubling incident given the CIA's history of using car bombs to assassinate foreign "targets" and the FBI's role in the deadly 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that killed six and injured 1,000.

Nuclear Checkmate? Russia's New ICBM Cannot Be Intercepted
(Sputnik News )

Unlike other missiles, Russia's new RS-26 ICBM travels along a continuously changing trajectory, making it impossible to shoot down. Military expert conclude the US missile defense system would be "absolutely useless" against the RS-26. Russia claims the new ICBM was developed in response to Washington's plans to deploy a global missile defense system along Russia's borders.

Obama Stokes Fears of Nuclear Drones and 'Dirty Bombs'
(Japan Times & Bloomberg )

The image of terrorists flying drones to spread radioactive material over a civilian area was part of a nightmare scenario Barack Obama urged world leaders to consider as they debated better ways of controlling nuclear material. With the aid of propaganda tools -- including apocalyptic fake newscasts -- Obama asked a group of 50 heads of state and foreign ministers to imagine that a terrorist group had bought nuclear isotopes through brokers on the so-called Dark Web.

ACTION ALERT: Protest Pentagon Waste, including $86 Million Spent on a Plane that Is 'Inoperable'
(Peace & Planet.org & Christopher Woody / Reuters)

The Pentagon plans to spend $66,000 per minute to build the new generation of lnuclear weapons and their delivery systems. This is more than most people make in a year. Think what that money could buy in your community and for your family. The Pentagon has spent $86 million on a counternarcotics plane for Afghanistan that has never carried out a mission and now sits idle in Delaware. Join the Global Day of Action on Military Spending -- April 16-18, 2016.

ACTION ALERT: STOP the Use of Killer Drones
(The World Can't Wait)

"Reform" is in the air. What we need is visible opposition to US war for empire from people living in this country. Millions of Americans reproach their government for failure to secure access to basic necessities -- housing, education and healthcare -- for a purposeful life. Fundamental dynamics of the capitalist economic system have created a desperate situation for growing numbers of the dispossessed, across the globe.

Drone Killings Are War Crimes
(Daniele Archibugi / Open Democracy)

The threat that terrorists pose to US interests and security did not create killing drones: rather the technical feasibility of killing drones has generated imagined terrorist threats. It is nearly fifteen years since the United States, followed by a few of its closest allies such as the United Kingdom and Israel, used unmanned flying vehicles, better known as drones, for targeted killings.

US Nuclear Security Summit Shadowed by Rising Terrorism
(Thalif Deen / International Press Service News & Alice Slater / RT News)

When some of the world's major nuclear powers meet in Washington DC next Friday, they will be shadowed by the rising terrorist attacks– largely in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Anti-nuclear critic Alice Slater explains the real threats that are not being discusses, one of the largest being the fact that nuclear power plants are "sitting ducks" for terrorist attacks. And US nuclear missiles remain on hair-trigger alert, despite a long history of errors and "close calls."

Los Alamos: Secret Colony, Hidden Truths
( Casey Sanchez / The Santa Fe New Mexican)

Book Review: After 32 years of working at Los Alamos National Laboratory -- and daring to speak out as a whistleblower -- Chuck Montano was fired. Montano has now self-published a tell-all book in hopes of convincing a congressional subcommittee to reopen its February 2003 investigation into why LANL terminated the contracts of two independent investigators in November 2002. And there was the matter of that unsolved murder.

The Case Against Bombing ISIS
(Greg Shupak / Jacobin Magazine)

When ISIS claimed responsibility for the horrendous attacks in Brussels, President Obama said the US "can and will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world." More bombing was on the way. The anti-ISIS campaign is just the latest phase of US imperialism in the Middle East. To date, US-led airstrikes against ISIS have killed at least 1,044 civilians in Iraq and Syria. Even "collateral damage" cannot rationalize such deaths.

US/South Korea Exercise to "Decapitate" North Korea Prompts Threat of Nuclear Retaliation
(Yonhap News & Korea Times & Associated Press)

North Korea warned Saturday that its military is ready to attack Seoul's presidential palace unless South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologizes for "treason" and publicly executes officials responsible for what Pyongyang says are plans to attack its leadership. On Saturday, the DPRK posted a video titled "Last Chance," depicting a nuclear missile crashing into the streets near Washington's Lincoln Memorial before an explosion wipes out the city.

As Nuclear Summit Nears, It's the GOP, Not the President, That Is Promoting Nuclear Arms Control
(Alan J. Kuperman / The New York Times & Yonhap News)

Next week President Obama will welcome world leaders to Washington for his fourth Nuclear Security Summit, a biennial event to prevent terrorists from acquiring atomic bombs. One might expect the president to seize the opportunity to announce a major nonproliferation initiative, then brace for resistance from congressional Republicans skeptical of arms control. But reality is exactly the opposite. It is the Republican-controlled Congress that is pushing an ambitious arms control project. President Obama is the one resisting.

Blackwater Founder Erik Prince in the Hot Seat
(Matthew Cole, Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)

Erik Prince, founder of the now-defunct mercenary firm Blackwater and current chairman of Frontier Services Group, is under investigation by the US Department of Justice and other federal agencies for attempting to broker military services to foreign governments and possible money laundering, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the case.

A 'Legal Gap'? Nuclear Weapons Under International Law
(Gro Nystuen and Kjolv Egeland / Arms Control Today)

Over the past five years, the international community has devoted attention to the humanitarian, environmental, and developmental consequences of nuclear weapons detonations. More than 120 states have now formally endorsed the "Humanitarian Pledge" calling on states -- nuclear-armed states, in particular -- and other stakeholders to "fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons."

ACTION ALERT: Killer Drone Advocates Now Have a Movie to Love
(David Swanson / World Beyond War & Roots Action)

If the recent spate of anti-drone movies and plays was making you feel warm thoughts about US culture, you'll want to avoid seeing "Eye in the Sky." This is what "Zero Dark Thirty" was for torture lies. This is what "The Interview" was for hatred of North Korea. The director of "Eye in the Sky," Gavin Hood, openly brags about having had military advisors on this film, just as those films had their government advisors. And it shows.

The Mystery of the Pentagon's Missing-in-the-Mail Hellfire Missiles
(Willamette Week & CNBC News & CounterPunch)

The news traveling across wire services on March 13 was bizarre and alarming: Bomb-sniffing dogs had found two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles traveling as cargo on a Serbian passenger jet. Destined for Portland, Maine, they instead were directed to Portland, Oregon. The story of the miss-mailed missiles mirrored another tale: A US Hellfire missile, that apparently fell into the hands of the Cuban government in 2014, was recently returned to the US on January 7, 2016.

The Bidding War: Millions for Minions in Afghanistan
(Matthieu Aikins / The New Yorker)

America's war in Afghanistan, which is now in its fifteenth year, presents a mystery: how could so much money, power, and good will have achieved so little? Congress has appropriated almost eight hundred billion dollars for military operations in Afghanistan; a hundred and thirteen billion has gone to reconstruction, more than was spent on the Marshall Plan, in postwar Europe.

Pentagon Admits It Has Deployed Military Spy Drones Over the US
(Gregg Zoroya / USA Today)

A report by a Pentagon Inspector General, made public under a Freedom of Information Act request, has revealed that the Pentagon has deployed drones to spy over US territory for non-military missions over the past decades -- nearly 20 times between 2006 and 2015. The Pentagon insists the flights have been rare and lawful, according to a new report.

Nuclear Weapons Proliferation -- Made in the USA
(John LaForge / World Beyond War)

The US is the world's principal nuclear weapons proliferator, openly flouting provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Article I of the treaty forbids signers from transferring nuclear weapons to other states. Article II bans signers from receiving nuclear weapons from others. The US has deployed between 184-200 thermonuclear B61 bombs in five European countries -- Belgium, The Netherlands, Italy, Turkey and Germany.

Norway Calls for Nuclear Abolition; Marshall Islands Condemn India's Nuclear Missile Launch
(Norwegian People's Aid & Rick Wayman / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

A majority of Norway's Parliament has confirmed that they want a global ban on nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, in The Netherlands the Republic of the Marshall Islands presented final oral arguments in its nuclear disarmament case against India. Responding to India's test-launch of a K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile -- on the same day hearings began on the nuclear disarmament case -- the Marshallese argued India's action amounted to "contempt of court."

ACTION ALERT: Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and The NRA
(Brave New Films & Robert Greenwald /The Huffington Post)

"Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and The NRA" tells the stories of how guns, and the billions made off of them, affect the lives of everyday Americans. The film exposes how the powerful gun companies and the NRA are resisting legislation for the sake of profit Our new petition asks Congress to support a key piece of legislation called the "Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act" (H.R. 4399) which would repeal the gun industry's immunity from being sued.

ACTION ALERT: Stop US Arms to Brutal Regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt
(Amnesty International USA & Chris Toensing / Foreign Policy In Focus)

Thousands of civilians have been killed and injured by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition since the conflict began in Yemen and where do the Saudis get their bombs? One major source is the Pentagon and the US arms industry. Meanwhile, the military government in Egypt is cracking down hard on its restive citizenry -- harder than any time in memory. And the US -- which sends the country over a $1 billion a year in security aid -- is looking the other way.

Hundreds of Children Killed: US Media Accomplice in Drone Murders
(Emran Feroz / TeleSUR & The Drone Memorial)

Commentary: Since 2001, the United States has been killing people with weaponized drones, most times not knowing the identities of the victims. The victims of drone strikes are nameless and invisible, despite the fact that most of them are civilians -- in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. The victims are completely dehumanized and described as "terrorists," "suspected militants" or any other similar euphemism. Most of the victims have been civilians.

NYPD Law Trumps First Amendment; Cops Use 'Sound Cannon on Peaceful Protesters
(John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News & TeleSUR)

New York Police Department commissioner Bill Bratton is asking state lawmakers to pass a law that would make resisting arrest a felony, which in turn would allow city policemen to lock up almost anybody who looks at them cross-eyed. Meanwhile, the NYPD's police have drawn criticism for using sound cannons to disperse crowds through volumes that can top 120 decibels, louder than a sandblaster or power saw.

Marshall Islands Challenges Nuclear Weapons at the International Court of Justice
(Rick Wayman and Jackie Cabasso / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

Why Are the Marshall Islands Taking India and Pakistan to Court Over Nuclear Weapons? The tiny Pacific island state is trying to hold nuclear weapons states accountable to their disarmament commitments. It was an historic day at the International Court of Justice, as oral arguments in the first-ever contentious cases on nuclear disarmament began on March 7 at The Hague.

UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Face Inquiry and High Court Legal Action
(Patrick Wintour and Alice Ross / The Guardian)

British sales of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen will be the subject of a full-scale inquiry by a cross-party committee, while the government is also facing a high court challenge to examine whether its actions break UK and EU arms export laws. The inquiry by the powerful committee on arms exports controls is going to look at arms sales to Saudi Arabia and their use by the Saudi air force in Yemen, where there is growing concern about civilian deaths.

"Accidental" and "Nuclear War" Don't Belong in the Same Sentence
(The Union of Concerned Scientists)

There's been a lot of tough talk on the presidential campaign trail recently but no serious discussion about the most dangerous challenge we face as a nation -- nuclear weapons. The US and Russia each currently maintain nearly 1,000 nuclear missiles on hair-trigger alert, ready to be fired in minutes. Over the years there have been numerous close calls that nearly led to a nuclear disaster. How do presidential candidates intend to reduce these risks?

Pentagon: Drone Strike in Somalia Kills More than 150
(AntiWar.com & The Washington Post & BBC World News)

US drones launched a massive attack against an al-Shabaab training camp 120 miles north of the Somali capital city of Mogadishu, according to the Pentagon. Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis claims over 150 militants were slain in the attack. Officials say that they were watching the camp "for several weeks" prior to the attack, and the Pentagon claimed they posed “an imminent threat to US forces.” It’s not clear where those US forces are that were "at risk."

Historic Case: On March 7, Marshall Islanders Call on World Court to Enforce Global Nuclear Disarmament
(Rick Wayman and Sandy Jones / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Jackie Cabasso / International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons)

On March 7, 2016, the International Court of Justice, the world's highest court, will begin hearings in The Hague, on the preliminary objections raised by the United Kingdom, India and Pakistan in the nuclear disarmament cases brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands. These unprecedented lawsuits aim to hold the nine nuclear-armed states accountable for violating international law by failing to respect their nuclear disarmament obligations under the 1968 NPT.

North Korea Responds to Planned US Joint-Military Exercise with Threat of a Nuclear Response
(Choe Sang-Hun / The New York Times & Choe Sang-Hun / The New York Times)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has urged his military to have its nuclear warheads deployed and ready to be fired at any moment. North Korea escalated its bellicose threats as the United States and South Korea prepare to begin massive joint-military exercises that Kim sees as a provocation aimed at overthrowing his regime. If the US and South Korea proceed with the military exercise, Kim has vowed to turn South Korea, the US and its Pacific bases into a "sea of fire."

Bernie Sanders Loves The Pentagon's $1 Trillion War Machine
(Tim Mak / The Daily Beast & Patrick Martin / World Socialist Web Site)

Bernie Sanders has made his opposition to Hillary Clinton's hawkishness a cornerstone of his campaign but, four months into the campaign, Sanders makes little or no reference to foreign and military policy in his stump speech nor has he offered the slightest hint of what he would do as commander in chief and foreign policy isn't addressed on his campaign website. And he's backed a $1.2 trillion fighter considered by many to be one of the Pentagon's bigger boondoggles.

Trident Rally is Britain's Biggest Anti-nuclear March in a Generation
(Mark Townsend / The Guardian & Natalie Bennett / The Huffington Post)

Thousands of protesters assembled in central London for Britain's biggest anti-nuclear weapons rally in a generation. Campaigners gathered from across the world: some said they had travelled from Australia to protest against the renewal of Trident. Others had come from the west coast of Scotland, where Britain's nuclear deterrent submarines are based.

British Planes Loaded with A-bomb Materials Flown to US; UK's Trident Subs Called 'an Accident Waiting to Happen'
(Rob Edwards / The Guardian & Libby Brooks / The Guardian<)

Britain's Ministry of Defence has admitted that planes loaded with tritium, plutonium and enriched uranium -- ingredients for atomic warheads -- were flown between the UK and the US 23 times in the last five years. Two emergency exercises codenamed Astral Bend envisaged planes carrying nuclear materials crashing. In 2015, a Royal Navy whistleblower was jailed after his 18-page report warned the Trident -- the UK's flagship nuclear sub -- was a "disaster waiting to happen."

UK Parliament Committee Calls for Halt to Saudi Arms Sales
(Felicity Arbuthnot / Dissident Voice & Patrick Wintour / The Guardian & Sharona Schwartz / The Blaze)

Britain has come under renewed pressure to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia after the UN Secretary General accused the Saudis of indiscriminate bombing in Yemen. In a woefully belated but welcome initiative, Parliament's International Development Committee -- the influential body that oversees the Department for International Development -- has called for a suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Now the Saudis are hinting they may try to acquire nuclear weapons.

The Trident: An Icon of Militarism
(Nadia Mitchell / Veterans for Peace & Caroline Lucas, Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood / The Guardian)

On February 27, thousands of protesters -- including Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of Britain's Labour Party -- gathered in London for a huge anti-nuclear march and rally. The rally called for the elimination of the country's nuclear-submarine program, calling the Navy's Trident submarine "an outdated weapon system from a bygone age." Protestors cited 13 occasions from across the world when nuclear weapons were nearly launched by accident.

ACTION ALERT: Hillary Clinton's F-15s -- A 'Christmas Gift' to the Saudis and US Arms Makers
(Code Pink & Lee Fang / The Intercept)

New emails reveal that, on Christmas Eve 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her aides celebrated an arms deal that sent a "Christmas present" of US F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have used those jets to conduct bombing raids that have killed 2,800 Yemeni civilians -- a level of slaughter that international human rights groups have called war crimes. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin, Boeing rally around Saudi Arabia, waving off humanitarian concerns.

US Promotes Conflict, Starts Wars and Leads World in Arms Sales
(The International Business Times)

The nonprofit the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says five countries account for nearly three-fourths of all major weapons sales from 2011 to 2015, with the US and Russia growing their share of sales to nearly 60 percent. Rising demand from emerging Asian economies coupled by a virtual arms race in the Middle East led by Saudi Arabia has spurred a 14 percent jump in the sale of weapons systems, from fighter jets to missile defense modules.

ACTION ALERT: Shut Down Creech: Ground the Pentagon's Killer Drones
(Veterans for Peace, CODEPINK: Women For Peace, et al)

In 2005, Creech Air Force Base secretly became the first US base in the country to carry out illegal, remotely controlled assassinations using the MQ-1 Predator drones, and in 2006, the more advanced Reaper drones were added to its arsenal. The majority of those killed by drones are civilians. Creech AFB is where the killer drone program started -- it is where we shall end it. Support the Mass Mobilization to Stop the Drone Wars from March 27 - April 2, 2016.

US Priorities: 5,000 Tons of Ammo to NATO; $1 Trillion for New Nukes
(RT News & Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

Washington has dispatched more than 5,000 tons of ammunition to Germany -- the largest amount in 10 years -- to "enable the NATO alliance." Some of the ammo will be used in the Anakonda 2016 military exercise, with more than 25,000 participants from the US and 23 European nations. Meanwhile, the US plans to spend $1 trillion on new nuclear bombs, cruise missiles, ICBMs, nuclear submarines, long-range bombers over the next three decades.

US Navy's New Zombie Drone: An Autonomous Sea-going Killer
(Voice of America News & Fox News)

It's 131 feet long and can prowl the world's ocean for months at a time -- all by itself without a human on board. The robot drone -- aka an Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel, or ACTUV -- is the largest unmanned surface vehicle ever built. This new vessel will patrol the world's oceans hunting and tracking enemy submarines -- and it will execute deadly missions without a single human aboard. So who is held accountable when people die?

How US Armsmaker BAE Profits from the Deaths of Yemeni Civilians
(James Cusick / The Independent and Alistair Dawber / The Independent)

The UN says Saudi-led raids on Yemen's schools, medical facilities, mosques and markets have violated international humanitarian laws. Human Rights Watch says it has evidence of internationally banned, US-supplied cluster bombs being used at least five times, including during an attack in December 2015 that injured civilians. At the same time, Saudi Arabia's bombing of civilian targets in Yemen is helping to increase the sales of fighter aircraft made by BAE Systems.

'Dirty Bomb' Feared after Radioactive Material Stolen from US Company in Iraq
(Ahmed Rasheed, Aref Mohammed and Stephen Kalin / Reuters)

Iraq is searching for "highly dangerous" radioactive material stolen last year, according to an environment ministry document and seven security, environmental and provincial officials who fear it could be used as a weapon if acquired by Islamic State. The material, stored in a protective case the size of a laptop computer, went missing in November from a storage facility near the southern city of Basra belonging to US oilfield services company Weatherford WFT.N.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Your UN Ambassador
(The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN))

There are 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Nine states possess nuclear weapons. Five additional NATO states have nuclear weapons on their territory. A single one could create a humanitarian catastrophe. Nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction that have not yet been ruled illegal under international law. For the first time in history we can do something about it! It's time to make things right and ban nuclear weapons for good. Support the ban campaign.

The Mystery of Khost: Did US Drone Kill 14 at Afghan Funeral?
(The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

Using the UN's figures, the civilian death rate from US airstrikes in Afghanistan is now at its highest rate since 2008. This has raised concerns that military targeting is becoming less accurate, or that there might have been an unannounced change in the rules of engagement. Bureau research shows that, on average, a civilian was killed every fourth drone or jet strike in 2015 -- up from one in 11 attacks the year before and the first time the casualty rate has risen since 2011.

US-Backed Rebels Fight Each Other in Syria as Besieged Civilians Starve to Death
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Holly Williams / CBS Evening News)

The recent Syrian military offensive in Aleppo Province has the US keen to throw even more aid at rebel factions, including some Islamist-leaning groups. Hassan Haj Ali, the commander of the Falcons of Mount Zawiya Brigade, confirmed that his forces have been the recipients of US arms recently.

Ten Nations Now Armed with Drones as US Pulls Plug on One Costly Drone Program
(Clay Dillow / Fortune & David Axe / The Daily Beast)

The list of countries possessing armed drones includes the US, the UK, China, Israel, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, and South Africa. Hamas and Hezbollah also make the list. At the same time, the Pentagon -- after spending billions on an armed drone that could take off from an aircraft carrier -- now says it doesn't want that kind of flying robot after all. "We don't have enough money to do everything we want to do," a Defense official ruefully announced.

Stuxnet Revelations: Israel Screwed up US Cyberattack on Iran's Reactors
(Ashley Carman / The Verge & The Jerusalem Post)

In the early days of the Obama administration, thousands of American military and intelligence officers worked to develop a plan codenamed Nitro Zeus. It was designed to destroy large sectors of Iran's civilian infrastructure, including its power grid, phone lines, and air defenses. According to a new film, the plan -- which cost tens of millions of dollars and involved placing electronic implants in Iran's computer networks -- was undone by rash Israeli intelligence moves.

Global Nuclear Ban Talks Start on February 22: US/China/Russia/UK/China Sign Joint Letter Refusing to Attend
(Beatrice Fihn / International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons)

A new UN working group on nuclear disarmament will begin next week in Geneva, Switzerland and new legal measures and norms are on the agenda. 123 states have endorsed the humanitarian pledge and committed to "fill the legal gap" for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. All nine nuclear-armed nations have refused to attend. The US, China and Russia jointly signed a letter that called the approach of giving greater control to nuclear-free nations "divisive."

A New Movement to Ban Nuclear Weapons
(International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons)

This hour-long podcast, produced by ICAN in January 2016, describes the ongoing threat of nuclear weapons and the growing international movement to ban them through a new global treaty. The presentation includes the words and testimony of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope Francis, Jody Williams, Martin Sheen, Eric Schlosser, Ban Ki-moon and dozens of activists and world leaders who share the quest for a nuclear-free future.

Obama's Budget: $16 Billion for New Nuclear Weapons While 16 Million US Children Live in Poverty
(Aaron Mehta / Defense News & Kingston Reif / Arms Control Association )

Under President Obama, the US is on track to spend about $1 trillion on atomic weapons over the next 30 years, invitng a dangerous arms race with Russia, China and others. Starting in 2021, between 2021 and 2035, it's about $18 billion a year to reconstitute and recapitalize our strategic nuclear deterrent," one Pentagon spokesperson said. "If that comes out of our conventional forces that will be very, very, very problematic for us."

No to Obama's Nuclear Cruise Missile, Yes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
(William Lambers / The Huffington Post & The Arms Control Council)

President Obama's proposal for a nuclear armed cruise missile must be stopped. The US does not need to spend more money on nukes to encourage a new arms race. Spending on nukes robs other programs essential to the wellbeing of our nation -- education, medicine, and food for the poor. We need to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban to ban all nuclear tests. It's unbelievable that the US Senate has refused to approve this 20-year-old treaty.

Let's End the Peril of a Nuclear Winter
(Alan Robock and Owen Brian Toon / Op-Ed, The New York Times)

Even with the reduced US and Russian nuclear arsenals agreed to in 2010, the world still risks destruction. Smoke from incinerated cities would create a "nuclear winter," plunging global temperatures below freezing year 'round. Crops would die and most of humanity would perish. But it is not just superpowers that threaten the planet. A "small" nuclear war between any two countries using 100 Hiroshima-size atom bombs, could easily destroy most life on Earth.

In Nuclear Diplomacy, Double Standards Abound
(Tim Wright / New Matilda)

Among those condemning North Korea's January 2016 nuclear test and subsequent rocket launch were the leaders of nations that already possess atomic weapons. Nations that, over 50 years, mastered the art of mass destruction by exploding atomic and hydrogen bombs off Pacific atolls and in Australia's outback. The US, Russia and China continue to conduct sub-critical tests to enhance their nuclear forces and launch nuclear-capable ICBMs of their own without apology.

Lawrence Livermore National Lab's 2017 Budget Request: $1 Billion-plus for More Nuclear Bombs
(Marylia Kelley / TriValleyCAREs)

The White House's Fiscal Year 2017 Federal Budget proposal was released this week. Tri-Valley CAREs, a California-based watchdog organization, has released its latest annual pie chart of the US Department of Energy Budget Request for the Lawrence Livermore National Lab (located east of San Francisco). Nuclear Weapons Activities comprise 86% of the request while science is less than 3%. "We have A LOT of work to do. We must change our government's priorities."

Washington's 20-year-long Refusal to Ratify the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Puts the World at Risk
(Rachel Oswald / The Roll Call & Thalif Deen / InterPress Service & Michael Coleman /Albuquerque Journal)

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty -- which would make it illegal to detonate a nuclear device -- was opened for signature 20 years ago but has yet to become law because the US Senate has refused to ratify the accord. The international community is growing increasingly impatient for the Senate to ratify a key nonproliferation pact amid warnings that hopes for a global ban on nuclear weapons testing may falter if momentum toward the accord's entry into force is not seen in the next five years or so.

Arms Racing Redux?
(Michael Krepon / Arms Control Wonk)

Back in the 1960s, '70s and '80's arms racing was the norm. The "action-reaction" phenomenon ruled. If one superpower unveiled a new weapon system or improved hard-target-kill capabilities, the other superpower was sure to follow. The offense-defense competition made everything worse. Is arms racing now picking up speed again? A careful look suggests change as well as familiar behaviors but nuclear arms have indisputably staged a comeback.

US, Russia Should Resume Dialogue on Nuclear Arms Reductions
(Sputnik News & Andrea Shalal / Reuters)

Retired Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. James Cartwright, says Russia and the US should resume talks on reducing their nuclear arsenals. Russia has accused the US of violating Nuclear Arms Treaty. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the Pentagon plans to spend more than $13 billion to build new atom-powered submarines to carry nuclear missiles.

Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe Is Greater Today Than During the Cold War; Nuke Subs Still Running on Windows XP
(William J.Perry / The Huffington Post & Kyle Mizokami / Popular Mechanics )

A Former US Defense Chief says: "I believe that we are now on the verge of a new nuclear arms race, and that we are drifting back to a Cold War mentality. Moreover, I believe that the risk of a nuclear catastrophe today is greater than it was during the Cold War -- and yet our public is blissfully unaware of the new nuclear dangers they face. US and UK nuclear submarines are still being run on Windows XP, an obsolete operating system.

Japan Should Lead UN Talks to Establish Nuclear Ban
(Editorial / The Asahi Shimbun)

The Japanese government has decided to join a new working group on nuclear disarmament that the United Nations will set up later this month. Non-nuclear weapon states are deepening their recognition in recent years of the dangerous and inhumane nature of nuclear arms. A momentum is picking up for a ban on nuclear weapons under international law.

Q: Who Runs the Pentagon? A: Not the Secretary of Defense
(Andrew J. Bacevich / The Nation)

Today, nearly 15 years after it began, it continues with no end in sight. The inability of "the greatest fighting force the world has ever known" to bring that enterprise to a successful close would seem to require an explanation. Secretary Carter offers none. Nor does he even hazard a guess as to when, how, or at what cost the final victory will be gained. Instead, he gives such questions the widest possible berth. Indeed, he ignores them.

Mixed Messages: Russia Bans 5 US Officials over Torture; Russian Nuclear Exercise Targeted Sweden
(RT News & The Local)

The Russian Foreign Ministry has imposed a travel ban on five former law-enforcement officials from the US citing their role in the "legalization and use of torture and indefinite detentions." In other news, a NATO report claims that a 2013 training mission by the Russian military involved a simulated attack against Sweden that included the theoretical use of nuclear weapons.

Declassified: US Nuclear Weapons Accidents at Sea
(Hans M. Kristensen / The Federation of American Scientists)

Declassified documents show that during much of the 1970s and the 1980s the US deployed about a quarter of its entire nuclear weapons stockpile at sea -- at one point, 6,191 atomic weapons were afloat. Because warships sometimes collide, catch fire, or even sink, it was only a matter of time before the nuclear weapons they carried were threatened, damaged, or lost. One USN nuclear accidents that occurred in 1981 remains classified to this very day.

MPs Call on UK to Stop Arming Saudis; Protesters Disrupt Warmongers' Dinner
(RT News)

A group of MPs have called on the British government to immediately suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and have demanded an independent inquiry into charges of war crimes in Yemen. Meanwhile, anti-arms trade campaigners decrying the Saudi campaign in Yemen were physically removed from London's Park Lane Hilton Hotel, Monday, as they attempted to disrupt an annual dinner held at the site for arms dealers and politicians.

Why Does the Pentagon Need an Iron Man Suit? Why Can't America Win its Wars?
(Anna Mulrine / Christian Science Monitor)

The Pentagon isn't afraid to spend money on technology. But recent requests by Special Operations generals have an imminently practical element and speak to the evolving nature of American war fighting. It's easy to blame presidents for a lack of strategy, but a growing number of officials are saying that the fault lies with a lack of vision in the Pentagon.

Report on the World Nuclear Victims Forum
(Manfred Mohr / International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the World Nuclear Victims Forum Executive Committee organized a World Nuclear Victims Forum on the impacts of nuclear warfare. Prof Manfred Mohr from ICBUW Germany reports on the international gathering, which was held in Hiroshima in November 2015.

MPs Call on UK to Stop Arming Saudis; Protesters Disrupt Warmongers' Dinner
(RT News)

A group of MPs have called on the British government to immediately suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and have demanded an independent inquiry into charges of war crimes in Yemen. Meanwhile, anti-arms trade campaigners decrying the Saudi campaign in Yemen were physically removed from London's Park Lane Hilton Hotel, Monday, as they attempted to disrupt an annual dinner held at the site for arms dealers and politicians.

"The Most Toxic War in History" - 25 Years Later
(Doug Weir / SustainableSecurity.org & International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm, the combat phase of the Gulf War. A quarter of a century on from the first widespread use of depleted uranium munitions, have lessons been learned about the need to protect civilians, military personnel and the environment from conflict pollution and the toxic remnants of war?

ACTION ALERT: Open Air Burning of Munitions is Obsolete and Dangerous
(Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger)

The US Army reports that its retired stockpile of conventional (non-nuclear/non-biological/non-chemical) ammunition -- and more than 300,000 missiles and components -- grew from 557,000 tons in 2009 and could exceed 1.1 million tons by FY 2025 representing a $2.8 million clean-up liability. A national coalition of 29 organizations is supporting Louisiana residents in their fight to end open-air burning of a stockpile of hazardous explosive waste in the town of Colfax.

Toward a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: One Billion Citizens' Appeal
(Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation & Foreign Press Center Japan & Hajimu Takeda / Asahi Shimbun)

We are deeply concerned that, even a quarter of a century since the Cold War's end, nearly 16,000 nuclear warheads still exist in today's world, which is filled with violence and countless seeds of conflict. Declassified documents reveal that the risks of inadvertent nuclear weapons use from accident or miscalculation are quite high. It is urgent for nuclear-weapon states and those under the nuclear 'umbrella' to conduct earnest dialogues to plan for their security without reliance on the concept of nuclear deterrence.

Can Meetings Set for Geneva and New York Prevent Nuclear War and Restore National Prosperity?
(Dr. Ira Helfand / TEDTalks & Greg Mello / The Los Alamos Study Group)

Commentary and Analysis: As the first session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament begins, some nuclear weapon states -- the US in particular -- will promise the moon to prevent negotiations that could lead to any effective disarmament measure. Empty promises flavored with delicious idealism are a specialty of this US administration. "A world free of nuclear weapons" is one of these empty and dangerous platitudes.

Gun Control Is Also Needed at the Pentagon
(Norman Solomon / Al Jazeera America)

Commentary: "I don't question President Obama's sincerity when he sheds public tears over the victims of gun violence. I do wish, however, that he would enlarge his field of compassionate vision to include those directly suffering from what Martin Luther King Jr. called 'the madness of militarism' -- in this case, US militarism. In 2016, no institution is more in need of gun control than the Pentagon."

Russian Claims: US Building Biowar Labs Near Border; Deadly Virus Traced to US Lab in Ukraine
( & DNI News)

Russia recently charged the Pentagon with expanding a network of biological weapons laboratories in Europe -- including inside Georgia and Ukraine, two countries on the Russian border. The US state department denied the claim outlined in the new Russian foreign policy strategy document. On January 12, 2016 it was reported that more than 20 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and over 200 soldiers hospitalized following exposure to a deadly virus allegedely traced to a US lab in the city of Kharkov.

As Iran Revives Hopes of Nuclear Abolition, Washington Hits Tehran with New Sanctions
(Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press & Gareth Porter / TruthDig)

The head of the UN nuclear test ban treaty organization says arch-enemies Iran and Israel are "the closest" of the eight holdout nations to ratifying the treaty. Yet, the day after all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran were lifted following Iran's compliance with the historic nuclear agreement, the White House imposed new sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities -- a provocative action demanded by domestic politics and alliances with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Bush Administration behind India's Secret H-bomb Program: India Seizes Farmlands to Build 'Top-secret Nuclear City'
(Russ Wellen / Foreign Policy in Focus & Adrian Levy / Adrian Levy / The Center for Public Integrity & Foreign Policy)

The aftershocks of the Bush administration just keep rolling in, this time in India. While the Obama administration celebrates a treaty to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Washington quietly abets India's quest to build a hydrogen bomb. Tribal lands have been seized by the India government to make room for a top-secret 'atomic city' where centrifuges will spin uranium into fuel for H-bombs, provoking security concerns from Pakistan and China.

'Doomsday Clock' Stands Near Midnight as Obama Plans $1 Trillion Expansion of Nuclear Weapons
(Stephen Kinzer / The Boston Globe & International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

President Obama has proposed a frighteningly wrongheaded plan to "modernize" our nuclear arsenal at a cost of about $1 trillion over the next 30 years. Obama plans to buy 1,000 new missiles with adjustable nuclear capacity, 100 new long-range bombers, and a new fleet of nuclear-armed submarines. Former Defense Secretary William Perry warns that if the plan becomes real, disputes among nations will be "more likely to erupt in nuclear conflict than during the Cold War."

Pentagon Orders $900 Million for New Chemical Weapons; Russia Alarmed
(Sputnik News & Bill Gertz / Washington Free Beacon)

The US Army has awarded 17 companies, including major corporations, $900 million in contracts for biological and chemical war projects. Russia recently charged the Pentagon with expanding a network of biological weapons laboratories in Europe, a charge the State Department denies. Meanwhile, the US government has confirmed that it employed racial testing of chemical weapons during WWII to see how non-whites reacted compared to "normal" white soldiers.

ACTION ALERT: Monsanto Supplied Outlawed WMD Used in Israel's Attack on Gaza Civilians -- A War Crime
(ANON HQ & Blacklisted News & Sputnik News & SumOfUs)

Agribusiness giant Monsanto -- best known for their genetically modified soybeans and "probably carcinogenic" herbicide -- has supplied the Pentagon with white phosphorous used in incendiary weapons. And some of that was used by Israel in its 2008 attack on Gaza. Meanwhile, Monsanto has accused the California EPA of being an "unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable and foreign body" for labeling it's glyphosate herbicide as "carcinogenic."

Alarm Sounded as 40 Countries Are Found to be Working on Killer Robots
(Kirsty Styles / The Next Web & Bloomberg News & )

Despite calls for a ban made by people like Tesla's Elon Musk last year, Sir Roger Carr, the chairman of British weapons manufacturer BAE, said that 40 countries are currently working on this deadly, autonomous technology, including the United States. The US is the leader in this field, despite the fact that it is the only country in the world that has banned their use -- but only for a decade, starting in 2012.

ISIS' Major Weapons Supplier -- The Pentagon?
(Max J. Rosenthal / Mother Jones & Kunal Anand /India Times)

The US has supplied huge quantities of weapons and military hardware to the Iraqi government -- and a large chunk has landed in the hands of ISIS fighters and members of Iranian-backed Shiite militias responsible for massacring civilians. Everything from M-16s and bullets to Humvees and tanks have been lost. But neither US nor Iraqi officials can say how much US-supplied materiel has been diverted to militant groups.

As War Risks Rise, Can Nuclear Subs Be 'Hacked'?
(Kyle Mizokami / Popular Mechanics and The Guardian & Former US Defense Secretary William J. Perry)

Britain's four Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines provide the UK's entire nuclear deterrent. Each nuclear-powered submarine has up to eight Trident II missiles and a total of 40 nuclear warheads. That's enough firepower to devastate entire countries. The four submarines have just one critical flaw: They all run Windows XP. As a result, Microsoft has warned, these nuclear submarines could be vulnerable to viruses, malware, and cyberattacks.

Arms Race Redux? The Obama Administration Is Planning to Spend $1 Trillion Nuclear Weapons
(Michael Krepon / Arms Control Network & The Economist)

Commentary: Is arms racing now picking up speed again? We still use the terminology of arms racing out of habit, just as we talk about arms control when we now mean arms reduction. A careful look suggests change as well as familiar behaviors. Nuclear arms have indisputably staged a comeback with four of the NPT Nuclear-Weapons States (NWS) are undertaking or are planning to undertake expensive strategic modernization programs.

Grandmother Photographs Drone Protest in Syracuse, Is Sentenced to Six Months in Jail
(Gail Ablow and John Light / BillMoyers.com)

Fifty-nine-year-old Mary Anne Grady Flores will serve six months for photographing a protest of an airfield in upstate New York where drone pilots are trained and from where missions are carried out. Flores was arrested after the commander of the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard -- which pilots drones on lethal missions around the world -- requested a court order of protection against a group of mostly gray-haired demonstrators whom he had never met.

How the UK Arms the World's Dictators
(Member of Parliament Diane Abbott / The New Statesman & Rowena Mason / The Guardian)

Commentary: A Member of Parliament claims Britain's arms trade is undermining the humanitarian efforts of its Department of International Development. "Saudi Arabia, which buys at least a third of our arms exports, has been bombing Yemen for nine months now. The results have been, in the words of the UN's Yemen envoy Johannes van der Klauwe, 'a humanitarian catastrophe.'"

US To Launch A New Nuclear Arms Race: But Why Build Costly New Bombers When Drones Are Cheaper?
(Gordon Adams Richard Sokolsky / Defense One & T. X. Hammes / Defense One.com)

Despite his anti-nuclear words, the president is about to cave to the nuclear arms priesthood. The US is on the cusp of launching an unnecessary, expensive, and dangerous modernization of its nuclear forces. It is neither necessary nor affordable to invest in a new strategic bombers when the current fleet can operate effectively for another 20 years. Rather than spending money for legacy systems, we need to plan how to gradually phase them out over the next decades

Crashing Drones and Killer Robots Should be Banned 'Before It Is Too Late'
(Heather Saul / The Independent & Colin Lecher / The Verge)

'Killer robots' would "jeopardise basic human rights" and should be preemptively banned "before it is too late", Human Rights Watch has warned. Now, according to a new investigation from The Washington Post, the Air Force had its worst year for drone crashes ever in 2015, costing taxpayers $2 million as the Pentagon's Reaper drone has suddenly been plagued by mysterious crashes.

Has the NRA Targeted the President for Assassination?
(Gar Smith)

Commentary: The NRA's response to the President's emotional January 5 plea for increased background checks on gun sales was to be expected. But the statement posted on the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action website later that same day raises serious concerns about how far the NRA is willing to go to protect the country's lucrative gun industry.

Pro-gun Advocate Shot Dead by Friend: The 'Self-Defense' Argument
(Ben Hayden / Daily Kos & YouTube)

Charles Carter and Vincent Smith were right-wing extremists planning a "Paul Revere 2016 Final March to Restore America" -- a cross-country caravan to "remove the corrupt leadership that has taken over our beloved country and ousted her God and constitution."The tour was cancelled after Smith shot and killed Carter during a drunken confrontation. Plus: A collection of videos document how guns can both endanger and protect gun-owners.

Will More Guns Keep Us Safe? Two Sides of the Gun Debate
(Susan Miller / USA TODAY & Colion Noir / NRA & Molly Hennessy-Fiske / Los Angeles Times)

The bullet-pocked summer and fall of 2015 are gut punchers. President Obama has announced expanded background checks on unlicensed dealers. People might buy a gun for protection, but it more often causes harm. The number of times people with a gun have taken down a mass shooter is "extraordinarily low." Meanwhile, in the world of gun owners, Colion Noir, an articulate African American NRA advocate, has become an Internet sensation and his popularity is growing.

How Many Bombs Did the United States Drop in 2015?
(Micah Zenko / Council on Foreign Relations & Sorcha Faal / What Does It Mean)

In 2014, the CIA estimated the size of the Islamic State to be between 20,000 and 31,000 fighters. Pentagon officials claim that at least 25,000 Islamic State fighters have been killed by US bombs. 23,144 bombs were dropped on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia in 2015. Following the Pentagons announcement that 6 innocent civilians have died, Russian diplomats lauded President Barack Obama for developing what can only be described as a "miracle bomb."

Can Technology Disrupt Gun Violence?
(Joe Garofoli / The San Francisco Chronicle)

With a gridlocked Congress unlikely to advance any sort of firearm control measures, President Obama is again touting technology as a bipartisan way to make guns less deadly. "If we can set it up so you can't unlock your phone unless you've got the right fingerprint," Obama said in calling for high-tech help, "why can't we do the same thing for our guns?" But gun violence has so far proved difficult to disrupt.

Two Powerful Messages to Save the Earth: One Message Comes from a Gorilla Named Koko
(Daniele Santi / TEDxCrocetta & David Wilkes / The Daily Mail)

In a powerful TED talk, Daniele Santi, who works for Senzatomica, Italy's largest anti-nuclear movement explains how "social and even personal disarmament" is an necessary first step to accomplish the abolition of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Koko, a 44-year-old gorilla who has been learning sign language since she was one recently delivered a 60-second New Year's message revealing she loved flowers and animals and called upon humans to stop killing the Earth.

ACTION ALERT: New Documentary on Guns and NRA!
(Brave New Films)

The documentary film, scheduled to be released in March, depicts the National Rifle Association, as a profit-making mega-business operating with complete immunity, and it's complete with wrenching real-life stories of families affected. The Greenwald film could be seen by thousands, even millions, of Democratic voters, raising their intensity to historic levels. It will be a powerful tool at house parties everywhere.

UN Chief: Saudi Use of US-made Cluster Bombs in Yemen Could Be a War Crime
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Human Rights Watch & Louis Charbonneau / Reuters & Ben Norton / Salon.com)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has issued a statement warning that the Saudi Arabian coalition's intense airstrikes against residential areas, and apparent indiscriminate use of US-made cluster bombs against populated areas in the capital city of Sanaa could amount to a war crime. Images have surfaced of US-made cluster bombs used against densely populated neighborhood buildings and a kindergarten.

Taking On the Nuclear Goliath
(Robert Koehler / AntiWar.com)

We must stand together for the right of people everywhere to live free from the fear of nuclear war. As the only nuclear power to have used an atomic weapon, the US has a moral responsibility to act. In Prague in April 2009, President Obama pledged "to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Instead, Obama is financing a modernization of the US nuclear arms cache at an estimated future cost of more than a trillion dollars.

Obama Issues Emotional Call to End Gun Violence: NRA Fires Back with a Disturbing Photo
(President Barack Obama & The National Rifle Association)

President Obama delivered a deeply personal and emotional appeal to the country to help curb gun violence on Tuesday at the White House. For Obama, who is often criticized for his overly clinical approach to heated issues, his tone -- sad and mad in relatively equal measure -- was remarkable. In response, the NRA posted a dismissive rebuttal accompanied by a photo that appeared to be chosen to suggest the president should be targeted for assassination.

Three Days Before Saudis Executed Pro-Democracy Protesters, US Arms Deal Made Millions for Boeing and Raytheon
(Paul Gottinger / Reader Supported News)

Just days before Saudi Arabia performed a mass execution of 47 people, including four pro-democracy protesters, the US approved tens of millions in military contracts to the Saudi government. The contracts include $24 million to Raytheon for equipment relating to Patriot missiles, $12 million to Advanced Electronics for electronics updates to F-15 fighter jets, and tens of millions to Boeing for implementation of a laser guided, air-to-ground weapons system.

The US Remains the World's Leading War Economy -- Building, Selling and Using Weapons to Profit from Conflict
(World Beyond War & The New York Times & The Congressional Research Service)

Following an effective grassroots campaign, Congress has resumed reporting on foreign weapons sales -- after a three-year gap. The latest survey shows the US remains the world's top exporter of deadly weapons. The US exports roughly half the weapons shipped around the world while its European allies are responsible for another 25%. Well over half of weapons shipped to the Middle East come from the US. The US also is the major weapons source for ISIS.

The Permanent War State
(Binoy Kampmark / CounterPunch)

Money is raining down on the US military complex in the $1.15 trillion spending bill that was unveiled on Wednesday by various leaders of Congress. A good $572.7 billion is set aside for Pentagon expenditures. The Omnibus spending bill contains a few sneaky provisions. All in all, this forms a standard tactic: a volume of 2000 pages, in which various provisions can be slipped in and importantly, not debated with any degree of thoroughness, let alone awareness.

Drones in 2015: Operators Charge US Drones 'Recruit' Enemies
(Ed Pilkington and Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian & Charles Pierson / CounterPunch)

Four former US service members who participated in the Pentagon's drone assassination programs have issued an emotional plea to rethink an airstrike strategy that has 'fueled feelings of hatred' toward the US. So far, eight US citizens have been killed in US drone strikes. The Obama Administration has easing restrictions on the sale of US-made drones. Purchasers must promise to use the drones only in accordance with international law -- just like the US does.

Guns Don't Kill People: Americans with Guns Kill People
(Michael Moore / The Hollywood Reporter)

The 'Where to Invade Next' filmmaker argues that even if the US banned guns, its lack of a social safety net would still turn many toward violence: "We just need to modify [the NRA's slogan] to, 'Guns don't kill people -- Americans kill people.' There is no question that fewer guns will result in fewer gun deaths. This has been proven in every country that has decided to decrease or remove guns from civilian ownership.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress: Resume Reporting on Weapons Sales
(World Beyond War & Roots Action & Congressional Research Service)

The United States sells a great deal of weapons but the Congressional Research Service is no longer documenting the country's biggest and most deadly business -- in 2011, the CRS stopped reporting on global arms sales. In 2011, the US accounted for 79% of the weapons shipments to the Middle East, 79% to poor nations around the world, and 77% of the value of total agreements to ship weapons to other countries. It's time to renew CRS' oversight of US arms sales.

The Permanent War State: 50% of New US Budget Goes for War
(Binoy Kampmark / CounterPunch)

Money is raining down on the US military complex in the $1.15 trillion Congressional spending bill which sets aside a good $572.7 billion -- nearly half of the total budget -- for Pentagon expenditures. The permanent state of war the US finds itself is not merely set to get deeper at the operational level; it is set to be further legalised, at least in the eyes of Congress, in a surreptitious way.

US Military Pollution and Climate Change
(Caroline Bridgman-Rees / US Peace Council )

US military pollution is the worst in the world. Its assault on the climate hastens global disaster, threatens human lives everywhere, and wastes precious natural resources for future generations. The US federal government, Pentagon, Congress and NATO are responsible for this pollution, as are political and corporate leaders, military industrialists, contractors, engineers, and scientists. All of them justify violent methods of national security for profit and power.

Russian Rockets Kill 600 in One Strike; Putin "Hopeful" No Nukes Will Be Needed to Defeat ISIS
(RT News)

Vladimir Putin has praised the Russian cruise missiles fired against terrorists in Syria from the sea. He expressed hope that these weapons would not have to be armed with nuclear warheads. In November 2015, Russia launched cruise missiles against Islamic State positions in Syria from both the Mediterranean and Caspian seas. One of these missiles reportedly killed more than 600 "terrorists" in the Deir Ex-Zor Province.

$10 Billion for 'Modernization' as Obama Moves to Start a New Nuclear Arms Race
(Lindsay Wise / McClatchy News Service & Julian Borger / The Guardian)

US plans to build a precision-guided nuclear bomb already are raising hackles in Russia. The B61 bomb, 180 of which are stockpiled in Europe, is getting an upgrade that will make it more "usable" in the eyes of some in the American military. The total cost of refurbishing the bombs could exceed $10 billion. Former US military officials warn this escalation is "a grave mistake."

Report Reveals 140,874 US Nuclear Workers Sick, Dying or Dead
(Brittany Peterson / McClatchy & Lindsay Wise, Frank Matt and Samantha Ehlinger / McClatchy)

Will modernization of nation's old nuclear weapons overlook risks of past? US hopes to save money by cutting medical benefits for nuclear workers. The US government has compensated over 52,000 nuclear workers illnesses related to radiation exposure, but the process is complicated. Deaths resulting from exposure while working at the plants and the compensation process for survivors begs the question: How much is a life worth?

Nuclear Weapons and Suicide Bombing: Nuclear-free Pleas from Paris and Australia
(Alan Robock / The Huffington Post & Tim Wright / ICAN and Senator Lisa Singh)

France's 300 nuclear weapons were useless to protect them from the horrendous suicide bomb attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2016. And if France ever uses those weapons to attack another country's cities and industrial areas, France itself will become a suicide bomber. Today nine countries together possess more than 15,000 nuclear weapons. And most of those weapons are many times more efficient, effective and powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

Join NATO, Borrow 'The Bomb': US Introducing New Nuclear Weapons inside Europe!
(The Guardian)

Poland's Deputy Defense Minister says Poland is discussing whether to join other European countries in hosting US-made nuclear arms to "strengthen defenses." Among NATO's 28 members there are three nuclear powers -- the US, France and Britain -- but only the US has provided weapons to allies for nuclear sharing. Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey have "hosted" nuclear weapons as part of the program.

Former Drone Pilots Denounce 'Morally Outrageous' Program
(Jake Heller / NBC News)

Former Air Force airmen are speaking out against America's use of drone warfare, calling the military drone program "morally outrageous" and "one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world." In interviews with NBC News, three former servicemen -- who together have 15 years of military drone experience -- decried the civilian cost of drone strikes and called on President Obama to "turn this around" before he leaves office.

US Bombs Kill 36 Civilians in Syrian: Why the Air War on ISIS Will Fail
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Patrick Cockburn / CounterPunch)

US warplanes attacked the Syrian village of al-Khan today, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, killing at least 36 people, all of them civilians. Over a dozen other civilians are missing. Britain has now joined a US-led campaign to weaken and defeat ISIS. But the British contribution will not make much difference because there are already far more aircraft available than there are identifiable targets to attack.

End the Gun Epidemic in America: Model Gun Laws on Abortion Laws
(The New York Times Editorial Board & The Daily Kos)

Commentary: "It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war." Meanwhile, in Missouri, Democratic State Rep. Stacey Newman has proposed a bill that would "require anyone buying a gun to follow the restrictions required of women seeking abortions, including a 72-hour waiting period."

If We Don't Stop It, the Nuclear Arms Race Is Going to Go Hypersonic
(Yousaf Butt / The Huffington Post)

A new type of high-speed arms race is heating up between the US, Russia and China -- and it's threatening to go nuclear. Washington had always intended for the new "hypersonic boost-glide" weapons to remain purely conventional, but Russia and China seem to be pursuing nuclear variants. If the hypersonic arms race heads in a nuclear direction, Washington may be pressured to follow.

Mass Shootings Deserve the Same Urgency as Terrorism
(Ali Gharib / Al Jazeera America)

After a shooting in Oregon in October that left nine victims dead, President Barack Obama said, “This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.” But he actually understated the frequency of such attacks. As of this writing, more than 350 mass shootings have taken place in 2015 -- more than one a day.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Domestic Terrorists; Ban Assault Weapons & The Terrorists Among Us
(Moms Rising & PeaceTeam.net & William Saletan / Slate)

It's become an all too familiar story, radical fundamentalist terrorists with access to high-powered military assault weapons murdering as many innocent civilians as they can. What is the justification for ownership of such weapons? The lunatic fringe says they need this firepower to resist government tyranny. But we're being tyrannized right now, by political extremists who think the slaughter of innocents is an acceptable political tactic -- the very definition of terrorism.

Former Drone Operators Traumatized by Assassinations: US Court Upholds Targeted Killings
(Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept & Alex Dobuzinskis / Reuters)

According to former drone pilots, US drone operators (frequently using alcohol and drugs) are inflicting heavy civilian casualties and have developed an institutional culture callous to the death of children and other innocents,. According to these whistleblowers, drone operators routinely refer to children as "fun-size terrorists" and liken killing them to "cutting the grass before it grows too long."

Police-caused Taser Deaths on the Rise in US
(Cheryl W. Thompson and Mark Berman / The Washington Post)

Tasers are in the arsenals of more than 17,000 US law enforcement agencies and they are used more than 900 times a day. The manufacturer, Taser International (which made more than $164 million on taser sales in 2014) claims the weapons have prevented death or serious injury more than 135,000 times between 2000 and 2014. But an independent survey reveals police using tasers have killed at least 48 people in the US since January -- about one death a week.

Record Number Of Drone Pilots Quit Jobs, Citing Mental Health Issues
(Andrew Buncombe / The Independent )

In an unprecedented insight into the inner workings of a CIA-controlled program that is as secretive as it is controversial, former drone operators share their concerns that innocent civilians are routinely killed and chalked up as "enemy combatants." The take-away: America's drone program is unregulated, counter-effective and carried out by stressed men who often abuse drugs and alcohol, according to the very people who spent years remotely flying these missions.

ACTION ALERT: Don't Bank on the Bomb (Does Your Bank Invest in Atomic Bombs?)

A startling investigation by the Netherlands-based PAX anti-war group reveals that 382 well-known banks, insurance companies and pension funds have invested $493 billion in nuclear weapons production since January 2012. Based on evidence revealed in the report, activists worldwide are calling on financial institutions to stop investing in the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. Governments should also move to ban nuclear weapons once and for all.

ACTION ALERT Gun Owners Against the NRA!
(MoveOn.org & Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post)

We've developed a breakthrough strategy to destroy the National Rifle Association's credibility in Washington: gun owners committed to fighting for gun control. The truth is that only a tiny minority of gun owners actually belong to the NRA -- and most of them don't even agree with it. MoveOn has launched Gun Owners for Gun Control, which now has 32,260 members. Next week, we're bringing 15 of them to Washington to meet with the White House and Congress.

The Risk of 'Nuclear Exercises': In 1983, a NATO Nuclear Exercise Nearly Triggered a Nuclear War
(Sam Roberts / The New York Times)

In 1983, newly released documents reveal, a US/NATO nuclear training exercise code named Able Archer nearly provoked a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Neither superpower intended to go nuclear, but the risk of a mistaken miscalculation pushed an unknowing world to the brink of oblivion. While the Cuban missile crisis led JFK to sign the nuclear test ban, the 1983 incident led Reagan to Reykjavik -- and almost lead to the goal of nuclear abolition.

Missile Test Terrorism Over LA as Obama Pushes for $348 Billion in New Nuclear Weapons
(Dan Sanchez / Medium.com & AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

As Cold War tensions between Washington and Moscow continue to ratchet up, the Pentagon staged an unannounced ICBM light show over the country's most densely populated region. A Pentagon spokesperson explained: "It's important that we test these missiles for our national security." But statements by War Department chief Ash Carter suggest it may have been part of a campaign to justify giving $348 billion to a few powerful firms that make nuclear weapons.

ISIS Releases Video Showing Downing of Russian Plane
(IndiaTV & Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Adam Withnall /The Independent & Patrick Cockburn /The Independent)

On November 8, ISIS' parent organization, based out of Syria, issued a new video celebrating last weekend's downing of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula, crediting their Sinai affiliate with the attack, bragging of "healing souls by killing Russians." The seven-minute video praised the militant group's branch in Sinai for "bringing down a Russian airplane." ISIS has released three statements on the crash -- but not previously from its central branches in Syria or Iraq.

US Evokes Threat of Nuclear War with Secret Missile Launch over California
(AntiWar.com & The Los Angeles Times & KABC-TV & RT News)

Mysterious lights in the sky off the California coast, sighted from Los Angeles all the way to the San Francisco Bay, and as far inland as Utah, set off a flurry of confused speculation about UFOs or a comet which took over social media over much of the weekend. Most of the media focussed on the "mystery" and avoided mentioning the reality -- the "test launch" of a sub-based Trident II missile is the Pentagon's message that the US is prepared to start a nuclear war.

Confronting Washington's Trident-Armed Nuclear Submarines
(Terry Messman / Street Spirit)

The path of nonviolence is a lifelong journey that leads in unexpected directions to far-distant destinations. One of the most meaningful milestones on Shelley Douglass's path of nonviolence came on Ash Wednesday, February 16, 1983, when she joined two other Ground Zero protestors and walked down the railroad tracks into the Bangor naval base -- the same tracks used to transport nuclear warheads and missile motors into the naval base.

Police Unions Defend Violence, Threaten Free Speech
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

Two of the biggest police unions in the country are now on record in opposition to free speech. They are on record against constitutionally protected free speech that opposes the epidemic of police violence across America (more than 900 killed by police so far in 2015). The current round of police union intimidation started October 24, after filmmaker Quentin Tarantino spoke to the "Rise Up October" protest, a "Call for a Major National Manifestation Against Police Terror."

US Is Not Honoring its NPT Promise for Nuclear Disarmament
(Alice Slater Interviewed by Kourosh Ziabari / Fars News Agency)

On the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, peace activists were widely debating the need for a global nuclear disarmament. "It's clear that the US is not honoring its promise in the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty to make good faith efforts for nuclear disarmament," said Alice Slater, the New York director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Slater notes the US has never acknowledged its "immoral" use of nuclear weapons during the World War II in Japan.

Happy Birthday, UN! Don't Forget Your First Resolution -- to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons!
(UNFOLD ZERO & The United Nations)

On the 70th anniversary of the UN's birth, let us recall the words of UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon: "The only absolute guarantee that they are never used again is through their total elimination." In 2013, the Islamic Republish of Iran calling for the worldwide abolition of Nuclear Weapons. The resolution had the support of the Non-Aligned Movement. The resolution passed with 129 countries supporting it. The US and other nuclear powers did not endorse the resolution.

The Stealth Expansion of a Secret US Drone Base in Africa
(Nick Turse / The Intercept)

Viewed from high above, Chabelley Airfield is little more than a gray smudge in a tan wasteland. Drop lower and its incongruous features start coming into focus. In the sun-bleached badlands of the tiny impoverished nation of Djibouti -- where unemployment hovers at a staggering 60 percent and the per capita gross domestic product is about $3,100 -- sits a hive of high-priced, high-tech American hardware.

Leaks Show Obama Misled Public on Drones
(Arjun Sethi / Al Jazeera America)

In May 2013, President Obama defended US drone strikes, claiming that targets were limited to terrorists who posed a "continuing, imminent threat to US persons," that strikes were executed only when there was "near certainty that noncombatants will not be injured or killed" and "capture is not feasible at the time of the operation." New documents leaked to The Intercept show that his claims were at best misleading and at worst false.

The Drone Papers: Manhunting in the Hindu Kush
(Ryan Devereaux / The Intercept)

From 2011 to 2013, the most elite forces in the US military, supported by the CIA and other elements of the intelligence community, set out to destroy the Taliban and al Qaeda forces that remained hidden among the soaring peaks and plunging valleys of the Hindu Kush, along Afghanistan's northeastern border with Pakistan. The goal was to pinpoint members of violent organizations, then draw up plans to eliminate those targets from the battlefield, either by capturing or killing them.

Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys? From Uncle Sam
(Dan Sanchez / Medium.com)

Upon seeing ISIS fighters running around the poverty-stricken Middle East armed with TOW anti-tank missiles, up-armored Humvees, M1A1 Abrams tanks, and fleets of gun-mounted Toyota pick-up trucks, any perceptive person must also assume that a wealthy patron lurked in the background. Where do they get those wonderful Toyotas? The ultimate source of virtually all of the jihadists' gear are the deep pockets of the United States government and its client states.

Small Arms Raise Threat to Human Rights and Security in Yemen
(Ahmed Al-Kolebi / Dar Al-Salam Organisation)

The Dar Al-Salam Organization is working hard to prevent gun deaths and injuries and to spread the culture of peace and tolerance in the Yemen, aiming to combat the violence by running programs which focus on conflict resolution, and countering violent extremism through engagement of tribal and religious leaders.

Tamir Rice, Eric Garner Among Officer-Caused Homicides Missing in FBI Data for 2014
(Aaron Morrison / International Business Times)

Several police killings of African-Americans, which sparked nationwide protests, are missing from federal tallies because local police departments have refused to provide the data to government officials. The missing cases include the police-involved deaths of Eric Garner in New York, as well as Tamir Rice and John Crawford in Ohio. Only 224 of 18,000 US law enforcement agencies reported fatal shootings by their officers to the FBI.

Whistleblower's Leak of 'Drone Papers' Triggers Call for Investigation of Civilian Killings
(Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept & Democracy Now!)

Following publication of a cache of secret documents on the US military's drone assassination program, civil rights organizations are calling for an immediate congressional inquiry. The leaks undermine government claims that the drone strikes have been precise. In Afghanistan, strikes on 35 targets killed at least 219 other people. Among other revelations: unknown male victims were to be labeled as "enemies killed in action" unless evidence later proved otherwise.

The Inherent Criminality of Air Power
(Joseph R. Stromberg / Future of Freedom Foundation)

Commentary: Constant American bombing of much of the world ought to raise questions about the morality (if any) of air power, even if few Americans bother to confront them. In 1932, Italy, Germany, Russia, and the United States called on the World Disarmament Conference in Geneva to ban aerial bombing worldwide. Britain blocked the proposal, reserving its right to bomb its colonies (to collect taxes in Iraq, for example, and to keep order on the Northwestern Frontier).

The Drone Papers: Secret Papers Expose the Inner Workings of Obama's Assassination Program
(Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)

Drones are a tool not a policy. The policy is assassination. While every president since Gerald Ford has upheld an executive order banning assassinations by US personnel, Congress has avoided legislating the issue or even defining the word "assassination." This has allowed proponents of the drone wars to rebrand assassinations with more palatable characterizations, such as the term du jour, "targeted killings."

Updating the NRA Scorecard: 294 Mass Shootings in 274 Days
(The Washington Post & The Gun Violence Archive & The New York Times)

President Obama, visibly shaken, did little to try to hide the anger and frustration that have deepened as he returns again and again to the White House lectern in the wake of a deadly mass shooting. The President admitted that he was unable to do anything to prevent such tragedies by himself and took a swipe at the NRA, the powerful gun lobby that has blocked most federal efforts to limit gun use and has push through state laws making gun use and carrying far easier.

How America's Drone War in Yemen Strengthens al-Qaeda
(Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic & Orin Kerr / The Washington Post)

Some people in Yemen who once opposed attacks on foreign countries like the United States are becoming more willing to give terrorists like al-Qaeda space to operate. America's drone war is largely responsible for that shift. The US must "stop pursuing policies bound to enrage and embitter Yemenis who might otherwise be neutral," an expert on the country argues.

Raytheon's $2.7 Billion Boondoggle Blimp: A 'Zombie' Program that 'Can't Be Killed'
(David Willman / San Antonio Standard-Times)

Seventeen years after its birth, JLENS is a stark example of what defense specialists call a "zombie" program: costly, ineffectual and seemingly impossible to kill. In videos and news releases, Raytheon Co., the Pentagon's lead contractor for JLENS, has asserted that the system is "proven," "capable," "performing well right now" and "ready to deploy today."

ACTION ALERT: September 26 Is Nuclear Abolition Day
(Daniella Varano / ICAN & Peace and the Planet)

"There is urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons." -- Pope Francis

September 26: Stanislov Petrov Day: The Man Who Prevented a Nuclear Holocaust
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet & David Wright / The Union of Concerned Scientists)

September 26 should be recognized globally as Petrov Day. If it hadn't been for Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov, in 1983 nuclear war would have erupted and billions of people would have been killed. Russian radar has incorrect reported incoming US ballistic missiles and it was Petrov's duty to unleash a retaliatory attack. Petrov ignored his training and refused to launch the missiles. A movie about this incident -- "The Man Who Saved the World" -- is now showing in select theaters.

Obama's Nuclear Escalation Prompts Retaliation Threat from Putin
(DeutscheWelle & Jason Ditz/AntiWar.com & Masha Tsvetkova / The Independent)

Upgrades of six US air bases set to stock modernized B61 nuclear bombs are continuing in Turkey and Europe. Moscow has reacted by saying it would take countermeasures if the US placed new nuclear weapons in Germany. President Putin's spokesman said the American plans are "another very serious step towards exacerbating tensions on the European continent."

ACTION ALERT: No US Weapons for Israel
(Code Pink & World Beyond War)

We just avoided a potential war with Iran. The US should use this diplomatic momentum to push for a nuclear-free Middle East (Israel is the only country in the region that actually has nuclear weapons) and a solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. Instead, the Obama administration plans to reward Israel with a $45 billion weapons package including "massive ordnance penetrators" that could be used to attack Iran. If Israel bombs Iran, the US could be dragged into another war.

WWII Chemical Weapons Still Seeking Their Prey
(Nils Niitra / Postimees)

Though chemical weapons were never employed in WW2, on European soil, they were massively produced. Once war was over, the allies tried to figure out what to do with the chemical weapons of Hitler's Germany. Some 170,000 tons of chemical weapons were drowned in the North Sea's Skagerrak Strait -- whole ships stuffed full of chemical weapons. 50,000 tons of chemical weapons (containing 15,000 tons of hazardous active substances) were sunk into the Baltic Sea.

Victory! US Navy to Limit Sonar Training to Reduce Harm to Whales, Dolphins
(The Associated Press & Pierce Brosnan / NRDC)

In a historic move, the US Navy has agreed to limit its use of sonar and other training that inadvertently harms whales, dolphins and other marine mammals off Hawaii and California. The settlement was reached with a number of environmental groups. A centerpiece of the agreement signed by a federal judge in Honolulu includes limits or bans on the use of mid-frequency active sonar and explosives in specified areas around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

A Nuclear-Weapons-Free Middle East: It's Time for Israel to Disarm
(Alex Kane / Al Jazeera America & Mustafa Kibaroglu / The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)

It's September in New York: the start of a diplomatic marathon at the United Nations that will no doubt bring renewed attention to Israel's nuclear weapons stockpile. Each year since 1974, the UN General Assembly has passed a resolution calling for the Middle East to become a nuclear-weapons-free-zone. The American policy of shielding Israel's nuclear weapons continues to be the main obstacle to nuclear disarmament in the region.

Saudi Airstrikes and US Cluster Bombs Taking Heavy Toll on Yemeni Civilians
(AntiWar.com & Kareem Fahim / The New York Times)

What began as a US-backed Saudi-led aerial campaign against the Houthis (the rebel movement that forced Yemen's government from power) has become so broad and vicious that critics accuse the coalition of collectively punishing people living in areas under Houthi control. More than a thousand civilians have died in airstrikes that human rights groups have characterized as "war crimes" -- and involve US-made cluster munitions and 1,000-pound bombs.

NYT Gives a False Pass to US on Cluster Bomb Sales
(Jim Naureckas / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)

In a report on the use of cluster bombs (outlawed by 117 countries) the New York Times recently reported that, while the US has yet joined the treaty it has abided by its provisions. Not true, FAIR critics pointed out. Human Rights Watch has reported US cluster-bombs made in Massachusetts have been used to kill civilians in Yemen. The Times has apologized for the error and entered a correction. The US government, however, has not changed its policies.

Ellsberg Defends Israeli Whistleblower Jailed For Mentioning Israel's Nuclear Arsenal on TV Interview
(DPA & Haaretz & Russia Today)

Israeli nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu -- jailed for 18 years for revealing Israel's secret nuclear bomb program -- has again been arrested after discussing the risk of nuclear war during an interview on Israel's Channel 2 news. Calling Vanunu a "preeminent prophet of the nuclear era," US Pentagon whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg stressed that Israel must recognize, for its own good, what Vanunu did was right and come clean about the existence of its nuclear weapons.

Mordechai Vanunu Calls Israel's Nuclear Program 'A Danger to the World' on Primetime TV
(Jerusalem Post & The Times of Israel)

In remarkable departure from decades of 'nuclear ambiguity,' man convicted of treason for leaking details of Israel's nuclear arsenal is allowed to warn of the 'danger' posed by 'Dimona powder keg.'

US Guilty of Violating Global Cluster Bomb Treaty
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept & Robert Parry / Consortium News)

Cluster bombs were used in five countries this year: Syria, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine and Sudan. The US is one of 117 countries that have signed a treaty banning these weapons of mass destruction. But the US is not in compliance. The US does not occasionally violate some of these provisions. It continually violates all of them, systematically and as a matter of policy. Obama used cluster bombs against Yemeni civilians, and then forced the imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist who reported it.

Gun Adrenaline: The Psychological Argument against 'Open Carry'
(Alan Yuhas / The Guardian)

When police officers put on their badges and blues, do they somehow change inside? A large body of psychological research on the ‘weapons effect' may help explain the often violent interactions between police and the policed. The evidence is persuasive: simply seeing a weapon -- whether a sword, hand grenade, tank or gun -- makes people more aggressive.

Pushing the Edge on Nuclear War
(William R. Polk / Consortium News)

Official Washington's neocons and liberal hawks are ratcheting up tensions again over Ukraine with the goal of humiliating and even destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia -- and there's no modern-day JFK to tamp down the enthusiasm, an existential risk that troubles ex-US diplomat William R. Polk.

The Iran Deal and the Threat of a US-Russia Conflict
(Alice Slater / The Nation & John Hallam / People for Nuclear Disarmament)

The US should agree to a proposal made by Russia and China to negotiate a space weapons ban instead of continuing to block all discussions of a UN draft treaty they tabled in Geneva in 2008. We should dismantle NATO, a destabilizing Cold War relic. Owing to NATO's activities along the Russian border, tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis has brought both parties one step closer to the precipice of nuclear brinksmanship, the point at which nuclear risk skyrockets.

Inside the Most Expensive Nuclear Bomb Ever Made
(Len Ackland and Burt Hubbard / Mother Jones & Reveal)

Engineers at the US nuclear weapons lab in New Mexico have spent the past few years designing and testing the B61-12, a high-tech addition to our nation's atomic arsenal. Unlike the free-fall gravity bombs it will replace, the B61-12 is a guided nuclear bomb. America's new 12-foot nuclear bomb looks more like a trim missile than a weapon of mass destruction.

Scrap the F-35 Jet; Use the $1.1 Trillion for Free Universal Child Care
(C. Robert Gibson / Al Jazeera America)

The cost of childcare is bankrupting America's parents. But providing free, universal childcare for all parents is easily affordable by simply cutting a small handful of military programs. By scrapping the F-35 program, the US government would have another $1.1 trillion to spend, which could fund almost six years of free, universal childcare across the United States.

German Diplomat: G. W. Bush Considered Dropping Nuclear Bomb on Afghanistan
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Der Spiegel & RT News)

A nuclear strike against Afghanistan was on the table in Washington in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, a senior German diplomat told Der Spiegel magazine. According to Michael Steiner, the current German ambassador to India (who served as foreign and security policy aide to then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder at the time of the 9/11 attacks), "The papers were written" and the nuclear option was under consideration.

Japan Has Enough Plutonium for 6,000 Nuclear Bombs
(Xinhua News Agency & Global Post)

When Japan marked the 70th anniversary of Nagasaki's obliteration by a plutonium bomb on Aug. 9, its own cache of weapons-usable plutonium was more than 47 metric tons, enough to make nearly 6,000 warheads. Stockpiling plutonium in Japan remains hazardous given seismic instability in the country and the risk of theft by terrorists.

New Pentagon EMF Weapon Can Destroy Electronic Communications, Black Out Entire Cities
(Brandon Lewis / Military Embedded Systems & Motley Fool)

Boeing has announced that it successfully tested a weaponized drone that can focus an electromagnetic pulse capable of disabling electronics across large areas or targeting specific buildings. The Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) was tested by a Boeing Phantom Works/US Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate team. It successfully "fried" targeted computers, TVs, lighting and personal electronic devices.

Israel's Defense Minister Vows to Kill Children and Resort to What the US Did in 'Hiroshima and Nagasaki'
(Asa Winstanley / Electronic Intifada & Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson / Mondoweiss)

Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon has vowed that Israel would attack entire civilian neighborhoods during any future assault on Gaza or Lebanon. "We are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family," Yaalon declared. Even more frightening, Yaalon said that "in certain cases" when "we feel like we don't have the answer by surgical operations" Israel might take "certain steps" such as the Americans did in "Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000."

Daniel Ellsberg Arrested at Lawrence Livermore Lab on 70th Anniversary of Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima
(Jane Ayers / Reader Supported News )

Former Pentagon strategist Daniel Ellsberg has been arrested for than 50 times for nonviolent actions protesting nuclear weapons -- at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapon Production Facility, the Nevada Test Site, Livermore Nuclear Weapons Design Facility, the Nevada Test Site, and the Vandenberg Missile Test Site. "The possibility of human extinction as a result of [US] or Russian nuclear weapons that are on alert facing each other right now still exists, and still reflects American policy under our current president."

A Secret 1969 Agreement Forbids the US from Speaking about Israel's Nuclear Threat
(Jonathan S. Landay / McClatchy News Service)

There's one major issue that President Barack Obama, his supporters and his critics assiduously have avoided as they battle over the deal designed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons: Israel's own nuclear arsenal. Israel has as many as 100 nuclear warheads and systems to deliver them but US officials cannot mention them under a 1969 agreement. Iranian nukes would challenge Israel's unique Middle East position.

Pentagon Plans To Increase Use Of Drones By 50%
(Sky News US & Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press)

The Pentagon plans to increase its use of drones by around 50% in response to "escalating aggression from Russia and China." Pentagon sources were unclear as to how drones would be deployed against China and Russia. The Pentagon also hinted it might hire civilians to conduct drone "assassination missions" -- at least a small contractor contribution in order to reach the total of 90 combat air patrols per day. A report earlier this month revealed 57 US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria had killed 459 civilians.

The Real Nuclear Danger Isn't Iran or North Korea, It's the US and Russia
(Joe Cirincione / Al Jazeera America)

Analysis: The most dangerous nuclear threats are not North Korea or Iran but the US and Russia -- the ones with nearly all of the weapons. There are almost 16,000 nuclear weapons still in the world today, and the US and Russia possess 94 percent of them. Worse, 1,800 of these Russian and American weapons sit atop missiles on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch on a few minutes notice.

Hiroshima: How Bombing Civilians became Thinkable
(Michael Pizzi and Jyoti Thottam / Al Jazeera America)

In the 70 years since Hiroshima, scholars have sought to explain why states bomb civilians with apparent impunity. On Aug. 6, 1945, the day the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and incinerated 140,000 people, President Harry Truman warned: If the Japanese "do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth." While the scale of immediate destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- certainly had "never been seen," the mass-bombing of civilians was nothing new.

Pentagon Considers Nuclear War: Calls Obama 'Too Timid'
(Nancy A. Youssef / The Daily Beast)

The Pentagon appears to be spoiling for a war with Russia, despite what the Commander-in-Chief may think. Pentagon brass have taken to calling Russia an "existential threat" to the US. But Russia is just one of myriad threats, White House officials say -- calling it a top threat is a step down a slippery slope toward the risk of conflict. The talk from the Pentagon about arming the Ukrainians, so they can resist Putin? The White House is having none of it because such provocation risks a nuclear war.

Nagasaki: A Poem and a Humanitarian Pledge
(Lawrence Downes / The New York Times & The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

The horror of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts, 70 years ago this month, is receding in human memory. With distance comes the peril of ignorance and indifference. Here is a jolting antidote -- a poem worth eight minutes of your day. And the Humanitarian Pledge against nuclear war presented at the international conferences in Oslo, Nayarit and Vienna.

The Bombs Beneath Us: Unexploded Ordnance Linger Long after Wars Are Over
(Sarah Kaplan and Nick Kirkpatrick / The Washington Post)

In the small farming towns of France and Belgium, undetonated World War I explosives that turn up during each year's spring planting and autumn plowing are known as the "iron harvest." More than a billion shells were fired during the conflict and as many as a third never exploded. In 1996, the French Interior Ministry estimated that 12 million shells still slumber in the soil near Verdun alone. So many explosives linger from century-old battles that residents often see their discovery as utterly banal.

Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers
(The Future of Life Institute)

Artificial Intelligence has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms. Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group. We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity.

UK Soldiers Disguised as ISIS in Syria; Controlling US Drones from Nevada
(RT News )

Special Forces soldiers from Britain's most shadowy military unit are dressing as Islamic State militants and traveling deep into the badlands of Syria to track and destroy enemy assets. Despite a Parliamentary ban, Royal Navy pilots have been engaging in combat missions flown from US aircraft carriers operating in the Persian Gulf. And it was recently revealed that UK drone crews had been routinely operating under US command from Creech air base in Nevada.

Hunting in South Africa Is Big Business
(Al Jazeera America & The Associated Press)

The leading cause of the deaths of Africa's lions appears to be a plague of white Americans packing lots of cash, ego and weaponry. Zimbabwe has accused a Pennsylvania doctor of illegally killing a lion in April, as it seeks to extradite a Minnesota dentist who killed a well-known lion named Cecil in July. With a drop in numbers for endangered wildlife, conservationists are calling for laws regulating hunting to be tightened.

On the A-Bomb's 70th Anniversary, Obama Wants to Spend a Trillion Dollars On New Nuclear Weapons
(Elliott Negin / The Huffington Post)

News organizations love anniversary stories, and if for some reason you haven't heard, it's the 70th anniversary of when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. Despite all this coverage, however, I didn't notice any stories that bothered to mention the fact that the Obama administration wants the US government to spend as much as $1 trillion over the next three decades on a new generation of nuclear warheads, bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Why Do We Lament A-Bombs and Not Fire-Bombs?
(Eric Margolis / The UNZ Review)

We are now in the midst of the annual debate over the atomic bombing of Japan. Seventy years ago, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing or injuring some 140,000 people. A few days later, a second weapon was dropped on Nagasaki, causing 80,000 casualties. Most of the dead were civilians. Lost to memory: the March 9, 1945, mass raid code-named "Meetinghouse," where 346 US B-29 bombers showered Tokyo with bombs and incendiary devices made from jellied gasoline.

Thanks to Reliance on "Signature" Drone Strikes, US Military Doesn't Know Who It's Killing
(Adam Hudson / Truthout)

In a signature strike, a drone targets an area the US believes is filled with militant activity -- but does not not know exactly who they are killing. While signature strikes have been happening for a while, they signify a serious shift in US war-making. While this approach may seem "cleaner" and more precise than previous tactics, this kind of "high-tech militarism" inflicts serious human suffering and perpetuates the US permanent-war machine.

Who Profits from Nuclear Weapons? The Corporate Battle to Control the Profits of Doomsday
(Arnie Alpert / American Friends Service Committee & Patrick Malone and R. Jeffrey Smith / Center for Public Integrity & TIME Magazine)

With the Obama administration planning to spend upwards of a trillion dollars on new nuclear weapons (some of which are designed for first-strike attacks), big corporations stand to make billions of dollars from a new generation of nuclear weapons and the missiles, bombers, and submarines that would deliver them to their targets. Now, an investigation into the Sandia corporation's plot to seize nuclear war contracts peels back part of the veil surrounding a defense contractor's "capture strategy."

Federal Data Shows Guns Are Rarely Used for Self-Defense
(The Violence Policy Center & Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post)

The five states with the highest per capita gun death rates in 2011 were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana. Each of these states has extremely lax gun violence prevention laws as well as a higher rate of gun ownership. The state with the lowest gun death rate in the nation was Rhode Island, followed by Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Each of these states has strong gun violence prevention laws and has a lower rate of gun ownership.

Calls to End 'Absolute Evil' of Nuclear Weapons
(Kirk Spitzer / USA TODAY )

Japan marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as its mayor renewed calls for global leaders to rid the world of nuclear weapons, calling them "the absolute evil and ultimate inhumanity." Tens of thousands of people stood for a minute of silence at a ceremony at 8:15 a.m. in Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park near the epicenter of the 1945 attack. "President Obama and other policymakers, please come to the A-bombed cities, hear the (surviving victims) with your own ears.

Mikhail Gorbachev: US Military an 'Insurmountable Obstacle to a Nuclear-Free World'
(Interview Conducted by Joachim Mohr and Matthias Schepp / Der Spiegel)

The alternative is clear: Either we move toward a nuclear-free world or we have to accept that nuclear weapons will continue to spread, step by step, across the globe. And can we really imagine a world without nuclear weapons if a single country amasses so many conventional weapons that its military budget nearly tops that of all other countries combined?

A Peace Declaration from The City of Hiroshima
(Matsui Kazumi, Mayor of the City of Hiroshima & Akira Kawasaki / Peace Boat.org)

In our town, we had the warmth of family life, the deep human bonds of community, festivals heralding each season, traditional culture and buildings passed down through history, as well as riversides where children played. At 8:15 a.m., August 6, 1945, all of that was destroyed by a single atomic bomb. Below the mushroom cloud, a charred mother and child embraced, countless corpses floated in rivers, and buildings burned to the ground. Tens of thousands were burned in those flames.

Remarks by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal
(President Barack Obama / The White House)

Fifty-two years ago, President Kennedy, at the height of the Cold War, addressed this same university on the subject of peace. The Berlin Wall had just been built. The Soviet Union had tested the most powerful weapons ever developed. China was on the verge of acquiring a nuclear bomb. Less than 20 years after the end of World War II, the prospect of nuclear war was all too real. With all of the threats that we face today, it's hard to appreciate how much more dangerous the world was at that time.

ACTION ALERT: Hiroshima & Nagasaki: Moving Forward and Reducing Risk
(Union of Concerned Scientists )

The United States and Russia both have more than 4,500 nuclear weapons, most much more destructive than those dropped on Japan. What's worse is that more than a thousand of these weapons remain on 'hair-trigger alert,' increasing the risk of an accidental nuclear missile launch or a deliberate launch in response to a false warning. It's time for the president to take our land-based missiles off hair-trigger alert.

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki
(Vanessa Griffen / The Fiji Times & Loreta Castro / The Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Seventy years ago, on August 6 and 9th 1945, the world's first atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The uranium bomb detonated over Hiroshima razed around 70 percent of all buildings and caused an estimated 140,000 deaths by the end of 1945. The plutonium bomb used on Nagasaki three days later, levelled 6.7 km of the city and killed 74,000 people by the end of 1945.

The Catastrophic Effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings Still Being Felt Today
(Human Wrongs Watch & ICAN)

The two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in August 1945 killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of people, and their effects are still being felt today. The uranium bomb detonated over Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 had an explosive yield equal to 15,000 tones of TNT. It razed and burnt around 70 percent of all buildings and caused an estimated 140,000 deaths by the end of 1945, along with increased rates of cancer and chronic disease among the survivors.

America's Hiroshima and Nagasaki --70 Years Later
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Christian Appy / TomDispatch)

Commentary: So many decades later, it's hard to remember the kind of nuclear thinking top American officials engaged in during the Cold War. In secret National Security Council documents of the early 1950s, for instance, the country's top strategists descended willingly into the charnel house of futuristic history, imagining life on this planet as an eternal potential holocaust.

It's Time to Ban the Bomb
(Hans Blix / Project Syndicate & A Video by Kathleen Sullivan and Amber Cooper-Davies)

The nuclear agreement between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, and the EU, comes at a historically propitious moment. Seventy years ago next month, the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki opened the darkest chapter in the long history of humanity's wartime horrors. Fire, bullets, and bayonets were now joined by nuclear radiation -- a silent, invisible killer like gas and biological agents.

US Military Sees More Use of Laser, Microwave Weapons
(Andrea Shalal / Reuters )

The US military has made strides in developing lasers, microwaves and other directed-energy weapons, and could soon use them more widely, top armed forces officials and US lawmakers told an industry conference. The officials described weapons that are in various stages of development and testing by the US Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army, but said more work was needed to scale up the technology for larger weapons, develop tactics for their use, and ensure sufficient funding.

Identifying the Companies Involved in Pentagon Drone Operations
(Crofton Black and Abigail Fielding-Smith / The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

The Bureau's investigation of private sector involvement in the Pentagon's drones targeting operations took six months of painstaking research aided by a specially designed programming tool and a purpose-built database. Our four years of award-winning work monitoring US drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen had alerted us to the possible use of private contractors in this area.

Israel, Not Iran, Started Middle East Nuclear Arms Race
(Bruce Riedel / Columnist for Al-Monitor )

Commentary: The debate about the P5+1 agreement with Iran on its nuclear program has already produced a storm of angry rhetoric and a tsunami of opinion pieces. But one issue is notably absent from the debate: the fact that Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal and sophisticated delivery systems that are decades ahead of anything Iran could develop in the foreseeable future.

Meet 'The Plane that Ate the Pentagon': The $1 Trillion F-35
(Al Jazeera America and Reuters)

The US military has just given a thumbs up to "the most expensive weapons program in all of human history" -- declaring an initial squadron of 10 controversial Lockheed Martin Corp F-35B fighter jets "ready for combat." Although the official price tag for the program is $391 billion, recent reports have estimated that the total cost to the Pentagon will be closer to $1.4 trillion.

The F-35 and the Black Hole of Defense Spending: Why Military High-Tech Leads to Big Graft
(Scott Beauchamp / Al Jazeera America)

The Pentagon's continued overreliance on technology in this post-Cold war era has become counterproductive for two reasons. First, the technology that we have put our reliance on has its limits. Not every battle or crisis can be resolved with superior technology. Second, even the most advanced microchips can fail. The revolving door between private corporations and public employees must end.

The B61-12: Obama Pledged to Reduce Nuclear Arsenal, Then Came This Weapon
(Len Ackland and Burt Hubbard / Reveal @ The Center for Investigative Reporting)

With the United States' new B61-12 nuclear bomb, the military can change the explosive power of the each detonation -- from an equivalent force of 50,000 tons of TNT down to 300 tons. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II, detonated at about 2,000 feet, was the equivalent of 15,000 tons. Search for a location below and click the various yields to simulate a surface explosion of the B61-12.

Senator Lindsey Graham's Pro-War Super PAC Bankrolled by Defense Contractors
(Lee Fang / The Intercept & Fredreka Schouten and Mary Troyan / USA TODAY)

As Lindsay Graham tours the early primary states, he tells voters "My goal is to make sure the next president of the US, the next generation of war fighters, have the capability and capacity to do the job required to keep us free." But Graham's "Security is Strength," Super PAC relies on $500,000 from billionaire Ron Perelman who owns AM General, the manufacturer of Humvees and other military products. In December 2014, AM General won a $245.6 million contract with the Army.

World's Leading Scientists and Innovators Warn: Stop Killer Robots!
(Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian & Editorial / The Guardian)

Drone wars signal a future in which weapons may think for themselves. The world may have to take responsibility for computerized conflict if action is not taken soon to halt the development of autonomous weapons. Now, more than 20,000 experts and leading robotics researchers have signed an open letter warning of military and social catastrophe that could result from an artificial intelligence arms race.

Autonomous Weapons: An Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers
(The Future of Life Institute)

Autonomous weapons select and engage targets without human intervention. Artificial Intelligence technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is -- practically if not legally -- feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms. We believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity.

US to 'Boost' Military Aid to Israel after Iran Nuclear Deal
(RT News )

The US has offered to increase military aid to Israel by another $1.5 billion per year to ease tensions over the nuclear deal with Iran, media has reported. The proposed increase would see Israel getting an additional squadron of F-35 fighter jets, funding for research and development of missile defense systems, and ammunition to replenish the stocks used in last year's bombing of Gaza.

Senator: Compensate Residents Near Site of Atomic Bomb Test
(Russell Contreras / The Associated Press)

People who lived near the site of the first atomic bomb test in the New Mexico desert and later developed cancer and other health problems need to be compensated, a US senator said Thursday. The federal government neglected residents of the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa near the Trinity Site, where the weapon was detonated on July 16, 1945, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said in a speech on the Senate floor on the 70th anniversary of the test.

The F-35 and the Black Hole of Defense Spending
(Matt McCaffrey / Mises Institute)

Commentary: The F-35 Lightning II [demonstrates] . . . that the only thing defense spending actually defends are the profits of defense contractors. Yet no matter how egregious the waste of taxpayer money, people still seem to think that if the Pentagon isn't supplied with a steady stream of increasingly high-tech, expensive toys, any day now the communists will be parachuting into rural America.

ACTION ALERT: Ban Killer Robots
(Pax for Peace)

Killer robots are fully autonomous weapons which autonomously select their target and decide whether or not to attack without any meaningful human intervention. PAX is co-founder and Dutch coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. This campaign aims to establish a ban on the development, production and deployment of fully autonomous weapons via research, political lobbying and public campaigns.

How the Pentagon's Secret Plan to Poison San Francisco's Fog Turned Deadly
(Kevin Loria / Business Insider)

San Francisco's fog is famous, especially in the summer, when weather conditions combine to create the characteristic cooling blanket that sits over the Bay Area. But one fact many may not know about San Francisco's fog is that in 1950, the US military conducted a test to see whether it could be used to help spread a biological weapon in a "simulated germ-warfare attack." This was just the start of many such tests around the country that would go on in secret for years.

A Pentagon Storage Dome in the Pacific Houses Tons of Radioactive Waste -- And It's Leaking
(Coleen Jose, Kim Wall and Jan Hendrik Hinzel / The Guardian)

The Runit Dome in the Marshall Islands is a hulking legacy of years of US nuclear testing. Now locals and scientists are warning that rising sea levels caused by climate change could cause 111,000 cubic yards of debris to spill into the ocean.

12 Reasons America Doesn't Win Its Wars
(Jon Basil Utley / The American Conservative)

America doesn't "win" its wars, because winning a war is secondary to other goals in our war making. Winning or losing has little immediate consequence for the United States, because the wars we start, Wars of Choice, are not of vital national interest; losing doesn't mean getting invaded or our cities being destroyed. The following are some of the interests Washington has in not winning -- reasons for our unending wars.

12 Reasons America Doesn't Win Its Wars
(Jon Basil Utley / The American Conservative)

America doesn't "win" its wars, because winning a war is secondary to other goals in our war making. Winning or losing has little immediate consequence for the United States, because the wars we start, Wars of Choice, are not of vital national interest; losing doesn't mean getting invaded or our cities being destroyed. The following are some of the interests Washington has in not winning -- reasons for our unending wars.

Army Apologizes to Troops Exposed to US-Designed Chemical Weapons in Iraq
(Andrew Emett / NationofChange)

After it was reported that more than 600 service members suffered from chemical exposure in Iraq, the undersecretary of the Army issued an apology this week. The scandal goes deeper with its lack of proper medical treatment for these service members.

US Finally Grants Health Care to Air Force Vets Exposed to Agent Orange
(Hope Yen / Associated Press)

Ending years of wait, the government has agreed to provide disability benefits to as many as 2,100 Air Force reservists and active-duty forces exposed to Agent Orange residue on airplanes used in the Vietnam War. The Agent Orange-related caseload already makes up 1 out of 6 disability checks issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The expected cost over 10 years is $47.5 million, with separate health care coverage adding to the price tag.

Obama Calls for ‘Urgency' on Guns in SF Speech to Mayors
(Carla Marinucci and John Wildermuth / San Francisco Chronicle)

Just days after a devastating church massacre in South Carolina, President Obama on Friday urged hundreds of US mayors to show "a sense of urgency" on common-sense gun legislation, saying defiantly, "I am not resigned" to Congress' refusal to act, even after a litany of mass shootings. "I refuse to act like this is the new normal ... or that it is simply sufficient to grieve," Obama said in a speech before the US Conference of Mayors at the San Francisco Hilton near Union Square.

12 Reasons America Doesn't Win Its Wars
(Jon Basil Utley / The American Conservative)

America doesn't "win" its wars, because winning a war is secondary to other goals in our war making. Winning or losing has little immediate consequence for the United States, because the wars we start, Wars of Choice, are not of vital national interest; losing doesn't mean getting invaded or our cities being destroyed. The following are some of the interests Washington has in not winning -- reasons for our unending wars.

Army Apologizes to Troops Exposed to US-Designed Chemical Weapons in Iraq
(Andrew Emett / NationofChange)

After it was reported that more than 600 service members suffered from chemical exposure in Iraq, the undersecretary of the Army issued an apology this week. The scandal goes deeper with its lack of proper medical treatment for these service members.

UK Sailor on Trident-Armed Nuclear Sub Reveals 'Disaster Waiting to Happen'
(David Polden / Peace News & Royal Navy Able Seaman William McNeilly / Via WikiLeaks)

On May 18, William McNeilly, 25, a seaman who had served on patrol on the British Trident submarine HMS Victorious from January to April this year, handed himself in to police after publishing online an 18-page expose of safety and security flaws on Britain's Trident submarine fleet. McNeilly said that the faults on Victorious were so severe as to question the UK's ability to successfully launch a Trident nuclear weapon strike (which may, of course, be seen as a good thing).

AMA Calls for Nuclear Ban as 16,000-plus Nuclear Weapons Threaten Global Survival
(American Medical Association & John Scales Avery, Ph.D. & Danish Pugwash Group /TRANSCEND Media Service)

There are 16,300 nuclear weapons in the world today, of which 15,300 are in the hands of Russia and the United States. Several thousand of these weapons are on hair-trigger alert, meaning that whoever is in charge of them has only a few minutes to decide whether the signal indicating an attack is real, or an error. The most important single step in reducing the danger of a disaster would be to take all weapons off hair-trigger alert.

ACTION ALERT: Take US Nukes of Hair-trigger Alert
(Sean Meyer / Union of Concerned Scientists & David Wright / UCS)

Presidential Candidate Senator Marco Rubio is seeking to prohibit the president or the military from taking US nuclear missiles off their dangerous "hair-trigger" alert status.

 Hair-trigger alert is an unnecessary Cold War-era holdover that could lead to a devastating accidental or mistaken nuclear war. Today, an estimated 1,800 massively destructive US and Russian missiles are deployed in launch-ready status -- poised to be fired in minutes nd able to hit targets around the world in 30 minutes.


Nuclear Arsenals Decline as Nuclear 'Modernisation' Rises
(Thalif Deen / InterPress Service)

The world's stockpile of nuclear weapons, held by nine states, just got a little smaller. But modernisation continues to rise rapidly, warns the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in its annual 2015 Yearbook. The US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea are armed with approximately 15,850 nuclear weapons. 4,300 are deployed with operational forces. Roughly 1,800 of these weapons are being kept in a state of high operational alert.

Pentagon's New "Law of War Manual" Claims Depleted Uranium Weapons Are OK
(International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons)

In a self-serving review, the users of radioactive depleted uranium weapons have concluded that DU shells are legal and acceptable. Overall the Pentagon's latest "Law of War Manual "finds that the use of DU weapons is lawful -- even after consideration of the legal requirement on the need to avoid superfluous injury (to troops) and to avoid weapons that are inherently indiscriminate -- and any damage is balanced by the military advantage claimed from their use.

The Saudis Are Ready To Go Nuclear
(Con Coughlin / The Telegraph)

Since its creation 85 years ago, Saudi Arabia has gained a reputation as a country that tries to avoid confrontation with its neighbours at all costs. During the long war between Iran and Iraq during the 1980s the Saudis sought to preserve their neutrality. But this year has seen Saudi Arabia's brutal airway intervention in Yemen with Saudi planes and troops involved in a bitter conflict with Iranian-backed rebels. And now the Saudis have openly signaled their interest in acquiring nuclear arms.

US Threatens Nuclear Escalation: US Atomic Missiles to Return to UK?
(Christopher Hope / The Telegraph & RT News)

Nuclear missiles could be sited again on British soil in new 'Cold War' with Russia Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says there are 'worrying signs' about the increased activity of Russian forces and the UK would consider the pros and cons of taking US intermediate-range weapons.

No Progress on Nuclear Weapons Control - As Planned
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

In a world where six of the world's nine nuclear-armed states are already directly or indirectly engaged in armed conflict, even the best case scenario is a disaster. The nuclear-armed US and Russia are facing off over Ukraine. The nuclear-armed US, UK, France, and Israel are supporting Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen, with nuclear-armed Pakistan weighing its options. The only nuclear-armed states engaged in relative peace are China, India, and North Korea.

Was a Nuclear Weapon Used in Yemen?
(Gordon Duff, Jeff Smith, Ian Greenhalgh and Nahed al Husaini / Veterans Today & Almanar)

This week two F16s were shot down over Yemen. When the wreckage was examined, both were found to be of types never supplied to an Arab nation, not Saudi Arabia, not anyone. The only "buyer" in the region for that type of plane is Israel. A video received from Yemen, believed to be taken May 20, 2015, captures an explosion that, when analyzed by nuclear weapons experts, was judged -- by a very high probability -- to have been caused by a neutron bomb delivered by the Israeli aircraft.

Human Rights Watch: Saudis Still Using Cluster Bombs against Yemen
(Press TV)

Human Rights Watch says evidence shows Saudi Arabia has been pounding neighboring Yemen with internationally banned cluster bombs, warning that such attacks are "harming civilians," including women and children. In a report released on Sunday after a visit by HRW officials to Yemen's northern province of Sa'ada, the New York-based rights organization said the cluster bombs have targeted civilians and residential areas. The report said three types of cluster bombs have been used in the attacks.

Obama Administration Sabotages Nuclear Nonproliferation Conference
(Joseph Gerson / Truthout | Op-Ed)

Commentary: So much for President Obama's commitment to a nuclear-weapons-free world. With its decision on May 22 to block the adoption of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Review Conference's consensus statement, the Obama administration gave the human species another hefty push toward nuclear catastrophe . . . . The US failure to bring Israel to the table led a growing number of the world's nations to question whether US commitments are worth the paper they are written on.

Senior NATO Official: 'We'll Probably Be at War This Summer: If We're Lucky, It Won't Be Nuclear'
(Reuters & RT News & Sputnik News & Prison Planet)

NATO has launched its biggest-ever military exercise on Russia's doorstep. American B-52 nuclear bombers and fighter jets from the US and eight European nations have begun an Arctic training exercise with 4,000 troops near Russia's border. Britain has sent its biggest warship for NATO drills in the Baltic, off the Russian coast. In response, Russian missile units are taking part in snap combat readiness exercises along with 12,000 military personnel, up to 250 aircraft and 700 pieces of military hardware.

Israel Thanks Obama for Sabotaging Nuclear Nonproliferation Deal
(Sarah Lazare / Common Dreams & Thalif Deen / IPS News)

The US sabotage of an international agreement aimed at eradicating nuclear weapons stockpiles has been met mostly with alarm and frustration around the world -- but gratitude from one key US ally: Israel. The US, Britain and France have destroyed the latest hopes for a nuclear weapons ban as the US plans to spend a $1 trillion over the next 30 years building two new bomb factories plus submarines, airplanes, and missiles to deliver a new generation of "improved" nuclear weapons.

Nuclear Summit Ends with 107 Countries Opposed to US Insistence on Atomic Weapons
(The National Catholic Reporter & International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War & Austrian Ambassador Alexander Kmentt & Beatrice Fihn /ICAN)

A month-long nuclear arms control conference ended in discord May 22nd at the United Nations in New York, but it might likely be remembered as the global gathering at which the majority of the world's nations unequivocally rejected nuclear weapons. At a diplomatic level, the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference will likely be viewed as a failure; at a global consensus level, it could likely be seen as new moment of clarity and humanitarian resolve.

Japan Devastated by US Failure to Secure Nuke Ban Treaty
(Kyodo News Service & Mainichi & Associated Press)

Japan's A-bomb survivors were devastated as the US blocked a global document aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons. The final document of a landmark treaty review conference had called on the UN secretary-general to convene a Middle East conference to set an agenda on banning nuclear weapons in the volatile region. Washington objected to a provision that called for Israel to meet with its neighbors with the goal of establishing a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Middle East.

Non-Proliferation Summit Ends with 106 Nations Endorsing Nuclear Weapons Ban: US and UK Opposed
(The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Beatrice Fihn / ICAN)

As the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference ended, more than 100 governments had committed to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons by endorsing a "Humanitarian Pledge." While the US and UK blocked progress on a Middle East Nuke-free Zone, the final draft document was deeply flawed. It contained no meaningful disarmament agreements and it rolled back previous progress. Most delegations admitted that the text fell dramatically short of making credible progress.

US Derails Month-long Nuclear Ban Treaty Summit to Appease Israel
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Louis Charbonneau / Reuters)

Four weeks of UN efforts to get together a conference on a nuclear weapons ban in the Middle East ended in failure today, with the US spurning the deal on the conference, citing Israel. Though the US initially backed the nuclear-free Middle East effort, they later realized Israel is the only nation in the region with such arms, and has since criticized the effort as unfair. There was no progress on the nuclear-free proposal as Israel won’t even publicly affirm the existence of its nuclear arsenal.

Saudi Arabia Seeking Nuclear Weapons from Pakistan, US Sources Say
(Middle East Eye)

Longstanding military ties between the two countries is coming to fruition over Saudi Arabia's alleged purchase of nuclear weaponry from Pakistan. "For the Saudis the moment has come," an anonymous former US defense official told the UK's Sunday Times. The House of Saud has made the strategic decision to "Go nuclear."

Nuclear War Is/Is Not Likely Over Ukraine?
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

"We don't think the Ukrainian conflict is a nuclear crisis." That comment is a recent example of State Department diplo-speak -- an attempt to engage in nuclear saber-rattling by denying there's any need to rattle any of the roughly 10,000 nuclear sabers that already threaten us all. The truth is, the two most heavily nuclear-armed countries (with about 95% of the global nuclear stockpile) are in a confrontation over Ukraine that shows no significant signs of compromise or de-escalation.

Nuclear Powers Unmoved as 91 Nations Call for Nuke Ban at NPT Meeting
(International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons & The Japan Times & Lourdes Verges / FundiPau)

The Austrian Pledge was designed to fill the legal gap in nuclear disarmament laws to make nuclear weapons illegal and prohibited -- just as the world has done for biological and chemical weapons. On Friday, May 15, the latest NPT draft text came out. Thanks to the push-back from nuclear weapons states, this draft was much weaker, many of the strong paragraphs on the humanitarian impact were gone, and the joint statement and the Austrian pledge were significantly weaker.

Military Push for Emergency Robots Worries Skeptics about Lethal Uses
(Christian Davenport / The Washington Post)

In April 2015, the Pentagon will host a $3.5 million competition that will pit robot against robot in an obstacle course designed to test their physical agility and even their awareness and cognition. The competition comes at a time when weapons are advancing quickly, with lasers that can shoot small planes out of the sky and drones that can land on aircraft carriers. But some fear that the technological advancements in weapons systems are outpacing the policies that should guide their use.

Vietnam Goes Shopping for US Military Hardware
(John Boudreau / Bloomberg News)

Squeezed by slower US military spending, weapons firms are looking to Southeast Asia for new markets, capitalizing on their concerns about China's outlays on planes, ships and submarines. An April 22 roadshow, organized by the US embassy, follows Washington's easing of curbs on sales of nonlethal defense systems to Vietnam last October. More than a dozen defense companies, including Boeing Co., BAE Systems Plc, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Honeywell International Inc. were on hand.

Nuclear Proliferation Is Still Greatest Existential Threat We Face
(Former CIA Covert Operations Officer Valerie Plame Wilson / The Huffington Post)

Twenty-six years after the end of the Cold War, the world still has more than 15,000 nuclear weapons. Whatever other issues people care about -- poverty, the environment, inequality and so many others -- if we don't get this one right, and soon, nothing else will matter. We are at a crossroads on this issue and the decisions we make over the next 10 years will set us on a course either toward the elimination of all nuclear weapons or toward expanding arsenals and proliferation.

US State Department Approves $3 Billion Arms Deal with Japan
(Franz-Stefan Gady / The Diplomat)

On May 5, the US State Department approved a possible $3 billion sale of 17 V-22 Osprey military transport aircraft and associated equipment to Japan. The Ospreys have caused controversy in the country after a number of crashes of the tilt-rotor chopper -- in the US and at US bases around the world. (Congress now has to approve the concept of the sale.)

Drone Warfare: Counting the Cost of US Drones
(Jack Serle / The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

There have now been 515 US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia since 2002, killing at least 2,887 people. Of those, the Bureau has been able to determine where 2,353 came from. They include Moroccans, Kenyans and Syrians -- drawn from 34 countries in all. The accidental killing of American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giorgio Lo Porto by the CIA in January now means at least 38 Westerners have been killed by covert US drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

The Toll To Date: 38 Westerners Killed by US Drone Strikes
(Chris Woods and Jack Serle / The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

In an unprecedented announcement today President Barack Obama admitted that two al Qaeda hostages, an American and an Italian, were killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in January. He also said two other US citizens were killed in a subsequent strike later in the same month. These were not the only Westerners killed by the US in its covert drone war in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Obama's Unaccountable Drone War
(Philip Giraldi / The American Conservative)

Following the recent killing of two foreign captives (one a US citizen) in an errant drone strike in Pakistan, a former CIA officer concludes: "There is considerable evidence that the White House has sought to conceal the scale of ongoing military action worldwide and the fact that it has avoided transparency about the drone program suggests that it has much to answer for."

Will the NPT Sink or Swim? Why Egypt Walked Out on the Nuclear Treaty Summit
(John Loretz / International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War & Rebecca Johnson / OpenDemocracy)

The NPT member states have to choose between two irreconcilable narratives, and the success of the 2015 Review Conference depends upon their making the right choice. On April 29th Egypt's diplomats walked out of the NPT Conference in protest at the lack of progress in establishing a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, thereby putting the NPT regime on notice.

The Horror of Syria's Barrel Bombs
(Al Jazeera America)

yrian government forces are targeting civilians in barrel bomb attacks in Aleppo that have forced hospitals and schools to move underground, rights group Amnesty International says in a new report that describes the bombings as "crimes against humanity." The report, "Death everywhere: War crimes and human rights abuses in Aleppo" details war crimes and other abuses being committed in the city by government forces and armed opposition groups on a daily basis.

World Meets to Prevent Nuclear War: US Media Could Care Less
(Reaching Critical Will and Article 3 & Minister Counselor Maritza Chan / The Nation of Costa Rica)

Other weapons of mass destruction -- including biological and chemical weapons -- are prohibited and subject to elimination processes through international legal instruments. It is past time that nuclear weapons are put on the same legal footing. But, 45 years after the founding of the NPT, the annual expenditure on nuclear weapons is estimated at $105 billion while the budget for the UN Office for Disarmament is only $10 million. It is clear where the priorities of the UN's nuclear-armed nations lie.

US Caught Providing Illegal Cluster Bombs Saudis Use to Kill Civilians in Yemen
(Ahmed Al-Kolebi / Dar Al-Salam Organization & Human Rights Watch)

Credible evidence indicates that the Saudi-led coalition used banned cluster munitions supplied by the United States in airstrikes against Houthi forces in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Cluster munitions pose long-term dangers to civilians and are prohibited by a 2008 treaty adopted by 116 countries, though not Saudi Arabia, Yemen, or the United States.

US Airstrike in Syria Kills 53 Civilians, 6 Children
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment & TeleSur TV)

A US air strike on Friday inadvertently hit a village of non-combatants, killing members of six families and raising new questions about Washington’s approach to fighting Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) in Syria. US air strikes in Syria are estimated to have killed 2000 Daesh fighters, out of an estimated 25,000 in Syria and Iraq. However, thousands more volunteers are said to have join up after hearing that the US was targeting Daesh. Despite months of bombing raids, Daesh has lost no territory in Syria.

Drone Operators, Not American Snipers, Rack Up the Biggest Body Count
(Shane Smith / AntiWar.com)

For all the macho posturing of the late Chris Kyle, gunned down at a shooting range by a PTSD-afflicted veteran, his prolific killing has nothing on the death and destruction rained from above by those who carry out US drone strikes in the Middle East. For all intents and purposes, former drone operator Brandon Bryant has Kyle beat by a long shot. According to Bryant, over 1,600 deaths were dealt by him through the technological terror that patrolled the skies of the Middle East.

The Case against Predator Drones
(Bruce Fein / The Washington Times / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

Commentary: Something is rotten in President Barack Obama's classified, programmatic use of predator drones to target suspected international terrorists for death anywhere on the planet. The program is secret, lawless, and unaccountable to Congress, the Supreme Court, and the American people. And the targeting intelligence is suspect.

Vote No On Armageddon: How Christian Creationists Embrace the Destruction of Creation
(Bob Burnett / The Berkeley Daily Planet)

A recent Bloomberg poll noted a disturbing political fact: Republicans are willing to support Israel even when its objectives diverge from those of the US. It's important to understand why Republican fundamentalist Christians stand with Israel and oppose a nuclear-arms agreement with Iran. These dispensationalist Christians seek to increase the probability of war between Israel and its neighbors because this will hasten the End Times -- i.e., they are praying for Armageddon.

Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Meeting Marks 70th Anniversary of World's First Atomic Crimes
(ICAN & Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue / Mayors for Peace)

On April 27, 190 governments began gathering in New York City for the start of the 2015 NPT Review Conference. This four-week international conference is one of the major governmental meetings on nuclear weapons this year, and a big chance to demand that the call to ban nuclear weapons be heard. The NPT requires its members to "pursue negotiations in good faith" on nuclear disarmament. It is time for the NPT's signatories -- including the US -- to initiate disarmament negotiations.

The Top Global War-makers: Trends in World Military Expenditure
(The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)

Global military expenditure in 2014 was an estimated $1.8 trillion. The volume of US exports of major weapons rose by 23 percent between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014. The US's share of international arms exports was 31 percent in 2010-2014, compared with 27 percent for Russia. The US has long seen arms exports as a major foreign policy and security tool, but in recent years exports are increasingly needed to help the US arms industry maintain production levels at a time of decreasing US military spending.

The Pentagon Is Buying the Wrong Ship, And It's Costing Taxpayers Billions
(David Axe / Reuters)

The US will spend $585 billion on its armed forces in 2015 -- the biggest military budget in the world. That doesn't include the tens of billions spent on veterans or nuclear-weapons (which fall under the Department of Energy). The Navy's Littoral Combat Ship was supposed to cost a little over $200 million, but the actual price is more than twice that. The F-35 stealth fighter, at $400 billion, is history's most expensive weapons program. The Army's Future Combat System vehicles, were cancelled after the DOD spent $20 billion on development.

The Forgotten Power of the Vietnam Protest Movement, 1965-1975
(Tom Hayden / Tom Hayden.com)

The era of protest against Vietnam -- 1965-1975 -- was unique as the emergence of a nationwide peace movement on a scale not seen before in US history. There were previous war resisters, for example, the Society of Friends, the opponents of the Mexican and the Indian wars, the invasions of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, and opponents of World War I. But no peace movement was as large, long-lasting, intense, and threatening to the status quo as the protests against the Vietnam War.

Ex-US, Russian Brass: 'De-alert' Nukes or Risk Disaster
(Bryan Bender / Politico)

Nearly 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Washington and Moscow still have nearly 2,000 atomic bombs ready to fly at a moment's notice. That so-called 'hair-trigger' alert is now sparking concerns that deepening distrust between the former foes significantly raises the risk of a nuclear disaster. Today, the former commander of US nuclear forces will join ex-Russian officers and other security leaders in an appeal for the US and Russia to take steps to "de-alert" their nuclear arsenals.

The Rise of Robotic Killing Machines
(Brooks Mencher / Insight: San Francisco Chronicle)

They're called lethal autonomous weapons and their military mission would be to seek out, identify and kill a human target independent of human control. Human decision would not be in the loop; the only button a military commander would push would be the "on" button. In military terms, it's called "fire and forget." A UN panel of experts has called for a moratorium on the battlefield use of thinking, man-killing robots. Meanwhile, artificially intelligent weapons loom above us like a thunderhead.

ACTION ALERT: UCS Calls for Obama to Take Nuclear Missiles Off 'Hair-trigger' Alert
(Ken Kimmell, Elliott Negin and Eric Schlosser / Union of Concerned Scientists)

Today, decades after the end of the Cold War, some 450 nuclear-tipped remain pointed at Russia and armed for a "hair-trigger" launch. This defense posture, which allows missiles to be launched within minutes, carries significant risk,because it allows nuclear weapons to be fired as a result of a rushed decision and/or an erroneous warning data. We already have come close to a nuclear war on several occasions. Now it the time to remove this threat as a first step toward eliminating all nuclear weapons.

Obama Accused of 'Double Standard' in US Drone Assassination Program
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Spencer Kimball / Deutsche Welle)

President Obama accepted blame for the deaths of two hostages killed in a Pakistan raid but the families of innocent civilians killed in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen have not received the same consideration. The families of the two slain aid workers are already criticizing Washington for its "inconsistent" response to the hostage-taking and are likely to see the pledge of money as an attempt to buy their silence. Also killed: Adam Gadahn, a California resident who became a spokesperson for Al Qaeda.

Will the US Get Serious Now About Eliminating Its Own Nukes?
(Jacqueline Cabasso, Joseph Gerson and Kevin Martin / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)

Nearly all the world's countries will be at the upcoming UN Non-Proliferation Treaty conference. The goal of the conference, which runs from April 27 through May 22, is the global elimination of nuclear weapons -- as required by the treaty's Article VI. One goal, establishing a Middle East Nuclear-Free Zone would, however, raise awkward questions about disarming Israel, the Middle East's only nuclear power. Meanwhile, the US and Russia are brandishing their nuclear swords over Ukraine.

ACTION ALERT: For Your Consideration: Principles of a Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons
(Beatrice Fihn / International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons)

The conferences on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons have provided stark and irrefutable evidence that nuclear weapons cause death and displacement on a catastrophic scale, with profound and potentially irreversible damage to health and the environment, to socioeconomic development, and to the social order. No state or international body could adequately address the immediate humanitarian emergency or long-term consequences caused by nuclear weapon detonations.

Wave Good-bye to Nukes -- April 26-27, 2015
(Global Wave 2015 & The World Peace Council)

Governments will meet at the United Nations for four weeks in April-May to review the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Civil society is calling on governments to end the threat of nuclear weapons by negotiating for their complete elimination -- as required by the NPT. The Global Wave will involve a simple public action in cities around the world over 24 hours before the NPT Review Conference. Proceeding westward through each time zone, humanity will 'Wave Goodbye to Nuclear Weapons.'

NATO and the Looming Threat of Nuclear War
(Noam Chomsky / RT News & Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)

How dangerous is the current confrontation between Russia and the West? Noam Chomsky fears NATO expansion and US quest for hegemony has created an unstable global situation where a single misstep could result in a nuclear war. Prof. Chossudovsksy warns: While a WW III scenario implying the preemptive use of nuclear weapons has been on the Pentagon drawing board for more than ten years, military planners are now involved in more concrete attack plans directed against Russia.

How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program
(Avner Cohen and William Burr / Politico)

For decades, the world has known that the massive Israeli facility near Dimona, in the Negev Desert, was the key to its secret nuclear project. Yet, for decades, the world -- and Israel -- knew that Israel had once misleadingly referred to it as a "textile factory." Now, an exclusive look inside newly declassified documents shows how Israel blocked US efforts to uncover its secret nuclear reactor.

The Unreal Secrecy About Drone Killings
(Jameel Jaffer / Just Security & ACLU Center for Democracy)

Last year, after concluding that many passages "no longer merited secrecy," the Second Circuit published a redacted version of the Justice Department's July 2010 Office of Legal Council memo that approved the "targeted killing" of Anwar al-Aulaqi. The court's view was that US officials had already disclosed much of the information they were trying to withhold. But one should never underestimate the government's willingness to deny the undeniable.

If We Can't Hold Police Accountable, What Will Happen With RoboCops?
(Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ Truthout & Jonathan Strickland / How Stuff Works.com)

Police departments across the country, already involved in a hyper-militarized frenzy, may soon have another disquieting option at their fingertips -- RoboCops. According to The Free Thought Project, "By 2016, there will likely be a 6-foot tall police robot patrolling the streets and handing out parking tickets." The Telebot has been field-tested and is undergoing final tune up. The Telebot has a "menacing look" and was designed to "intimidate and display a sense of authority."

ACTION ALERT: Say No to Nukes: April 26, Global Wave 2015
(Peace and Planet & Jacqueline Cabasso, Joseph Gerson and Kevin Martin / Truthout )

On April 26/27, people around the world will wave goodbye to nuclear weapons. Will you be among them? Join this international action to raise public awareness and urge governments to agree to a diplomatic process to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. Anyone can wave goodbye to nuclear weapons.

Britain's Nuclear Deterrent Isn't "Independent"
(David Morrison / DavidMorrison.com)

At least eight countries now possess nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. All of them, bar one, build and maintain their own nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. China, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, the US -- and perhaps North Korea have an "independent deterrent." The exception is Britain. Unlike other nuclear states, Britain is dependent on the US to supply the Trident missiles that carry Britain's weapons. Tridents are made by Lockheed Martin.

ACTION ALERT Global Action for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on April 24-26
(Peace and Planet & Jacqueline Cabasso, Joseph Gerson and Kevin Martin / Truthout )

With plans to spend more than $1 trillion over the next three decades to "modernize" its entire nuclear weapons establishment, the US military budget represents well over one-third of global military spending. This annual expenditure of over half a trillion dollars would go a long way to address and reverse global climate change and provide food security for the millions of US children living in poverty.

Manhunters Inc. -- Hunting Humans by Remote Control
(Gregoire Chamayou / TomDispatch)

Contrary to Carl von Clausewitz's classical definition, the fundamental structure of modern warfare is no longer that of a duel, with two fighters facing each other. Today, the paradigm is quite different: that of a hunter advancing on a prey that flees or hides from the pursuer. The rules of the game are not the same.

California TV Commercial Asks Drone Pilots to 'Stop Killing'
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime & The Monthly Drone Report)

This may be a first: a television ad campaign in a US state capitol appealing to someone to stop murdering human beings who have, in most cases, already been born. A new 15-second television ad, a variation on one that's aired in Las Vegas near Creech Air Force Base, is debuting this week in Sacramento, Calif. Take a look.

New Pentagon Chief's Budget 'Wish List' Is More of the Same: Billions for Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman
(Andrea Shalal / Reuters )

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday sent Congress the military's annual "wish lists," including 12 Boeing Co F/A-18 fighter jets and 14 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, but said he would not back any of the requests unless lawmakers passed a larger overall defense budget. The fiscal 2016 Pentagon budget remains uncertain given that the request already exceeds congressional budget caps by $34 billion.

US Resumes Banned Military, Financial Aid to Egypt's Brutal Dictatorship
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

The US suspended military aid to Egypt in 2013, after a bloody military coup toppled a democratic government and killed or jailed thousands of protestors and political opponents. Now, citing 'national security,' the White House is sending Cairo's coup leaders 12 F-16 fighter jets, 20 missiles and up to 125 tank kits. Another $1.3 billion in military assistance is in the pipeline, making Egypt the second-largest recipient of US foreign military financing worldwide. The US war industry could not be happier.

1987 Document: Israel Secretly Working "To Make Hydrogen Bombs"
(The Jerusalem Post)

Israel has never publicly acknowledged having nuclear weapons but the US recently released documents from 1987 that reported Israel was pursuing technologies that "will enable them to make hydrogen bombs." While Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Israel is not. While Tehran has allowed ourside inspections of its nuclear facilities, Israel has refused to allow any foreign inspectors to enter its nuclear weapons plant at Dimona.

Nuclear Double Standard: No Sanctions Threat as Saudis Claim Right to Build an Atomic Bomb
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alexandra Jaffe / CNN)

While US officials continue to obsess over Iran's civilian nuclear program, despite the nation repeatedly ruling out ever creating nuclear arms from it, the Saudi Ambassador to the US insists his nation will never make a similar pledge. At a time when the US is pressure Iran -- a nation that keeps disavowing militarization of its nuclear capabilities -- to avoid nuclear proliferation, Saudi Arabia's talk of its intentions to consider building its own nuclear arsenal, ought to be cause for concern.

Army Apologizes to Troops Exposed to US-Designed Chemical Weapons in Iraq
(Andrew Emett / Nation of Change)

After it was reported that more than 600 service members suffered from chemical exposure in Iraq, the undersecretary of the Army issued an apology this week. The scandal goes deeper with its lack of proper medical treatment for these service members.

Pentagon Coverup: Soldiers Dying from Exposure to Chemicals in Iraq
(Barbara Koeppel / The Washington Spectator and Newsweek )

During the first Gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 US troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Pentagon and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today. A quarter of a century later, the exposed troops are dying of brain cancer at two to three times the rate of those who were farther away. Others have lung cancer or debilitating chronic diseases.

Glock Lawsuit: Gun Biz Run Like the Mob
(Brandy Zadrozny / The Daily Beast)

International gunmaker Gaston Glock allegedly hired a team to root out embezzlement -- then turned on them when they found his own dirty dealings. According to a pending lawsuit, Glock was laundering money through a network of sham international companies from Hong Kong to Aruba.

Maybe Tehran Should Ask about Obama's $673 Million Nuclear Bomb Factory
(Lawrence S. Wittner / The History News Network & Jane Stoever / Sierra Club Missouri)

Should the US be building more nuclear bombs? Residents of Kansas City, Missouri don't appear to think so. They are opposed to the construction of a massive, 1.5 million-square-foot nuclear weapons plant in their community. The cost of building the Obama Administration's new bomb factory -- which will provide 85 percent of the components of America's nuclear weapons -- is estimated to run $673 million. But why does the US, which already has 8,500 nuclear weapons, needed more of them?

ACLU Sues for Records of US Drone Killings
(Ken Dilanian / Associate Press & World Can't Wait)

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the federal government, seeking to force a response to its request for documents about drone missile strikes against terror suspects. The complaint, filed in New York's southern district, says the Justice and Defense Departments and the CIA have failed to respond to the ACLU's year-old request for records relating to drone strikes under the Freedom of Information Act.

French Submarine, Equipped with Russian Defenses, 'Sinks' Entire US Aircraft Carrier Group During Wargames
(Sputnik International & Veterans Today)

The Pentagon conducted naval exercises to test the newly upgraded USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier that had undergone a four-year, $2.6 billion overhaul. The exercise didn't turn out as expected. A French submarine, equipped with the latest electronic warfare measures -- reportedly supplied by Russia -- was able to "sink" the nearly defenseless vessel, along with "most of its carrier escort."

The NRA's Stranglehold Threatens the Whole World
(Scott Beauchamp / Al Jazeera America)

There are more international laws governing the trade of bananas than governing guns. Governments simply don't know when guns are being sold, where they're going or how they're going to be used. And the National Rifle Association is engaged in a global lobbying effort to preserve the status quo. The organization's resistance to international arms control reveals its true mission: corporate lobbying.

The A-10 Warthog & Nuclear Warfare: Raising Depleted Uranium's Threshold of Acceptability
(Doug Weir / Ban Depleted Uranium.org)

The apparent U-turn by the Pentagon over DU use by aircraft in Operation Inherent Resolve has been cautiously welcomed by campaigners, but is it a sign of a wider policy shift? Is the threshold of acceptability for the use of DU in operations rising in response to international pressure over the controversial munitions and what part has the A-10 played in this?

The World Need a Legally-Binding Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
(Ray Acheson / Inter Press Service & Josh Butler / Inter Press Service)

Five years after the adoption of the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Action Plan in 2010, compliance with commitments related to nuclear disarmament lags far behind those related to non-proliferation or the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Meanwhile, a lawsuit by the Marshall Islands accusing the United States of failing to begin negotiations for nuclear disarmament has been thrown out of an American court.

ACTION ALERT: Don't Export US Killer Drones
(CREDO and Daily Kos/ Petition & Martin Matishak / The Hill)

The Obama administration has announced that, for the first time, it would permit the export of armed drones to allies. The announcement came two weeks after Jordan's King Abdullah visited the US and supposedly asked Washington to supply drones to help fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But the use of armed drones raises profound moral and constitutional questions. Over the years, US drone strikes have killed thousands of civilians including hundreds of children.

Nuclear 'Incidents' Soar as Doomsday Clock Nears Midnight
(RT & Human Wrongs Watch & World Socialist Web Site)

The number of "nuclear safety events" at Britain's submarine base and warhead depot at the Clyde has drastically soared according to official records that showed 105 incidents in 2013-2014, compared to just 68 in the previous period. Almost all of the incidents involved the reactors on Trident and other nuclear subs. Meanwhile, the US-Russian agreement to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear missiles and launchers remains unfulfilled and events in Ukraine carry the potential for a nuclear confrontation.

Another Embarrassment for Lockheed Martin's Over-priced, Over-hyped F-35 Jet Fighter
(Jeremy Bender / Business Insider)

Over-budget and behind schedule, Lockheed Martin's trillion-dollar F-35 fighter jet was recently criticized as "overrated" by the US Navy's most senior naval officer. The F-35 has been criticized by pilots who doubt the safety of the aircraft in combat. Now comes word that the F-35 is unable to carry the military's latest. advanced munitions. Why? "Due to a design oversight, the internal weapon's bay of the F-35B is too small to carry the required load of the new Small Diameter Bomb II."

The Front Page Rule: The Lethal Sting of the Drones
(Kathy Kelly / Telesur TV)

Commentary: "You can't surrender to a drone. Enemy soldiers, and people merely suspected of being, or intending to become, enemy soldiers, are killed at home gardening, or eating dinner with their families. . . . [drone operators] assist the US in killing many more civilians each year than Al Quaeda and ISIS can collectively dream of doing, in the course of advancing US interests over a whole world region US drones render into one large battlefield."

Ban Nuclear Weapons: Endorse the Austrian Pledge
(International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

The landmark Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, hosted by Austria from 8 to 9 December 2014, concluded with an extraordinary pledge "to fill the legal gap" for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. Nations must now commence negotiations on a treaty banning these weapons completely. Nearly 40 nations have signed the Austrian Pledge. The nuclear-armed states -- the US, UK, China, France, India, Israel, Pakistan -- have not.

Nuclear Weapons: Ending a Threat to Humanity
(Peter Maurer / International Committee of the Red Cross )

Seven decades after the US nuclear bombing of two Japanese cities, 1,800 nuclear warheads remain on "high alert" status, ready to be launched within minutes. Calls since the end of the Cold War to reverse such policies have unfortunately gone unheeded. The 70th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons is the moment to signal that the era of nuclear weapons is coming to an end and that the threat of these weapons will be forever banished.

Iran Claims 2 UK Planes Shot Down While Dropping Weapons to ISIS Fighters
(FARS News Agency & Citizens for Legitimate Government)

Iraq's army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province. "The Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL," according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. The Iraqi parliament has asked London for an explanation.

NATO Calls for Missile Defense; US Plans for Space Dominance
(Peter Fedynsky / Voice of America & Denis Delestrac / Pax Americana)

In 2010, NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen said that while NATO must work toward nuclear disarmament, it must also have missile defense against "irrational countries and players with nuclear weapons." The US -- a country with nuclear weapons -- now controls an array of orbiting satellite surveillance and missile weaponry that the Pentagon believes is capable of enforcing a global Pax American -- from space.

ACTION ALERT: Peace & Planet Mobilization For a Nuclear-free, Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World
(International Planning Group / Peace and Planet.org)

On January 22, 2015, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of its Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight, citing the twin interconnected threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change. It's 3 minutes to midnight! Join us in the streets and meeting halls in New York and in your own capitals and cities worldwide in late April and early May, 2015 during the NPT 5-year Review Conference.

NATO Calls for Missile Defense; US Plans for Space Dominance
(Peter Fedynsky / Voice of America & Denis Delestrac / Pax Americana)

In 2010, NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen said that while NATO must work toward nuclear disarmament, it must also have missile defense against "irrational countries and players with nuclear weapons." The US -- a country with nuclear weapons -- now controls an array of orbiting satellite surveillance and missile weaponry that the Pentagon believes is capable of enforcing a global Pax American -- from space.

27 Years of Illegal Miliary Aid: US Knew Israel Had the Bomb in 1987
(Grant Smith / AntiWar.com)

A detailed 1987 government report's confirmation of Israel's advanced nuclear weapons program should have immediately triggered a cutoff in all US aid to Israel under the Symington and Glenn Amendments to the US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Although 100 copies of the tightly controlled report were apparently published, none seem to have made their way into the office of the President in time to cut off any of the $82 billion in aid subsequently delivered to Israel.

US Air Force Introduces Stealth Drone to Blast Russian Air Defenses
(Armed Forces Update)

New US Air Force UAV is made to kill Russian's-400 air defense. The Avenger is a developmental unmanned combat air vehicle built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the United States military. Unlike the previous MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B) drones, the Avenger is powered by a turbofan engine, and its design includes stealth features such as internal weapons storage, and an S-shaped exhaust for reduced heat and radar signature.

The US Media and the 13-Year-Old Yemeni Boy Burned to Death Last Month by a US Drone
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

On January 26, the New York Times claimed that "a CIA drone strike in Yemen . . . killed three suspected Qaeda fighters on Monday." One victim was Mohammed Toiman al-Jahmi, a teenager whose father and brother were previously killed in US drone strikes. The Times reported that boy "was a member of the terrorist group" but, few months before he was killed, the Yemeni teen told the London Guardian that "he lived in constant fear of the 'death machines' in the sky."

Pakistan Wants 'Battlefield' Nukes to Use against Indian Troops
(Zachary Keck / The National Interest)

Pakistan is developing tactical nuclear weapons for use on the battlefield against India, US intelligence has revealed. Unlike strategic nuclear weapons used to target enemy cities, tactical nukes are low-yield, short-range missiles designed for use against opposing troops on the battlefield. To be effective, Pakistan's tactical nuclear weapons would have to be ready for use on short notice by battlefield commanders, raising the danger of a rogue general sparking a nuclear Armageddon.

Burning Victims to Death: Still a Common US Practice
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

The most immediate consequence of drone strikes is, of course, death and injury to those targeted or near a strike. The missiles fired from drones kill or injure in several ways, including through incineration. Hellfire missiles fired from drones often incinerate the victims' bodies, and leave them in pieces and unidentifiable. US napalm strikes burned Vietnamese civilians alive during the 1960s; In Iraq, a "rain of fire fell on the city" of Fallujah when US forces unleashed a barrage of white phosphorus.

Pentagon Loses Track of Weaponry Sent to Yemen in Recent Years
(Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)

Chaos in Yemen has left the US military unable to monitor the vast arsenal it has spent years providing to its Yemeni counterpart. The rebels are said to control the Yemeni military's arms depots and bases, giving them effective control of US-provided and other heavy weaponry, including tanks and artillery. The unrest has "limited our ability to conduct routine end-use monitoring checks and inspections we would normally perform", a US defense official told the Guardian.

Guns in Schools: Gun Control Debate Heats Up in the States
(Naureen Khan / Al Jazeera America)

A December report by two gun control advocacy groups, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, counted 99 school shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre, including shootings at college campuses. In 23 of those incidents there was at least one fatality. According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that compiles data on gun violence, there were 12,569 gun deaths in the United States in 2014.

Bill Would Allow Texas Teachers To Shoot Students in Self-defense or to Protect Property
(Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo & Lauren McGaughy / The Houston Chronicle & The Daily Kos)

Legislation filed last week in Texas would allow teachers to use deadly force in order to protect school property. The Teacher's Protection Act by Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, would allow educators to use force or deadly force if they feel they need to protect themselves against a student or anyone else on school grounds. Teachers would be able to use deadly force against students and would be safe from prosecution under the proposed legislation.

Dramatic Increase in Mass Shootings Mirrored by Rise in Violence in PG-13 Movies
(Al Jazeera America & Kate Kilpatrick / Al Jazeera America)

According to the FBI, the number of shootings in which a gunman wounds or kills multiple people has increased dramatically in recent years, with the majority of attacks in the last decade occurring at a business or school. At the same time, according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, today's PG-13 movies are even more violent than R-rated ones. Violence in Hollywood films has doubled since 1950 while gun violence in PG-13 movies has more than tripled since 1985.

Toddler Maimed by SWAT Flash Grenade Sparks Georgia Bills on 'No-Knock' Warrants
(Liz Fields / Vice.com)

Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh was sleeping the sound slumber of a 19-month-old in the early hours of May 28, when a Georgia SWAT team burst in unannounced through his relative's front door and tossed a flash bang grenade into his playpen that blasted off most of his nose, collapsed his left lung, and tore his face and body down to muscle and bone. Police staged a no-knock raid after an informant's tip that a meth dealer lived at the home, but the officers raided the wrong house.

The Marshall Islands Versus the World's Nuclear Weapons States
(Peter Weiss / The Nation)

The Marshall Islands, a chain of South Pacific islands, were seized by the Pentagon and used as a testing ground for US nuclear weapons. Now the Republic of the Marshall Islands is taking the case for disarmament to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Last April, RMI sued all nine nuclear-weapons states -- the US, UK, Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea -- accusing them of failing to negotiate in good faith to eliminate these horrific weapons.

Doomsday Clock Set at 3 Minutes to Midnight
(Megan Gannon / LiveScience & Centre Delas & ICAN)

Humanity's failure to reduce global nuclear arsenals as well as climate change prompted the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to advance their warning about our proximity to a potentially civilization-ending catastrophe.

Drones and the New Ethics of War
(Neve Gordon / Common Dreams)

Drones, as Gregoire Chamayou argues in his new book, "A Theory of the Drone," have a uniquely seductive power, one that attracts militaries, politicians and citizens alike. If Guantanamo was the icon of President George W. Bush's anti-terror policy, drones have become the emblem of the Obama presidency.

As Risk of Nuclear War Grows, So Does US Spending on Nuclear Weapons
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Ploughshares Fund & Kingston Reif / Arms Control Association )

The president who once vowed to rid the world of nuclear weapons now presides over a budget that directs $348 billion over the next 10 years just on maintaining Washington's existing arsenal of nuclear weapons. In total the US is set to spend as much as $661 billion on atomic weapons and related programs.

Afghanistan, Iraq Direct War Spending To Date: $1.7 Trillion (and Counting)
(Veronique de Rugy / Reason)

Commentary: "Here we go again. On Tuesday, the president asked Congress to let him go back to war in the Middle East. It will be a different kind of war, he claims. Well, maybe. One thing is sure, however. It will be expensive. War always is and it always is more expensive than originally projected. It doesn't take a crystal ball for me to know that. All it takes is a look at the direct cost of our most recent engagement in the Middle East. To date, the direct cost of both wars is close to $1.7 trillion."

ACTION ALERT: US (and UK, France and Israel) Refuse to Sign UN Resolution of Use of Radioactive Weapons
(Ben Griffin / Change.org & The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

Last few days of Change.org petition calling on UK and US to take responsibility over the cleanup of radioactive weapons damage in Iraq. Please sign and share. UK veteran Ben Griffiths and CADU will be handing this petition to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London tomorrow. This is your last chance to sign and share.

Is the US Military Faced with Impossible Missions?
(NewsHour / Public Broadcasting Network)

Journalist James Fallows says it's time to examine why the best funded, best trained and most professional military in the world hasn't achieved lasting victory in the post-9/11 era. He joins chief foreign correspondent Margaret Warner to discuss his provocative critique in The Atlantic magazine, and how the public should be more connected to American armed conflict.

The Tragedy of the American Military
(James Fallows / The Atlantic)

Analysis: According to James Fallows, "The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can't win."

Pro-Gun Group's Replay of the
(Emily Greenhouse / Bloomberg & CBS Local News)

After the attack on Charlie Hebdo last week in Paris, a Texas-based group called The Truth About Guns found itself wondering about an armed counter-response: "Could any or all of the victims have survived if they had guns?" Truth About Guns staged a re-enactment but, alas, in none of the simulations were the volunteers able to take out both shooters. In all but one scenario, the volunteers all died. Not exactly reassuring about arming civilians as a security measure.

GunFAIL LXXXII: Three Months of Ludicrous and Tragic Gun Deaths and Injuries in the US -- October-December 2014
(David Waldman / GunFAIL & The Daily Kos)

39 of our 100 GunFAIL incidents involve people accidentally shooting themselves. In our last post, there were 41. This time, there were 17 fatalities. Last time, 15. This time, 22 kids accidentally shot. (Including the youngest in some time, but not the youngest of the year, a 9 month old shot and killed by his father while cleaning a still-loaded gun. ) Last time, 20. The exact circumstances, though, are often varied and unpredictable.

New US Stealth Jet Can't Fire Its Gun Until 2019
(Dave Majumdar / The Daily Beast)

America's $400 billion Joint Strike Fighter, or F-35, is slated to join fighter squadrons next year -- but missing software will render its 25mm cannon useless. Despite billions of taxpayer dollars doled out to manufacturer Lockheed-Martin, the Pentagon's newest stealth jet won't be able to fire its gun during operational missions until 2019 -- three to four years after it becomes operational.

2015 Budget: Billions for War and Nuclear Bombs; Cuts to Education, Nutrition, Housing, Transportation, the Environment
(The National Priorities Project)

For 53 years in a row, Congress has rubber-stamped a Pentagon spending bill crafted behind closed doors so as to be subject to as little public scrutiny as possible. The 2015 budget provides $521.3 billion in military spending (with nearly $18 billion for nuclear weapons) and another $63.7 billion for foreign wars. Budget cuts went to: education initiatives, renewable energy, public housing, transportation (especially rail), school lunch programs, financial regulation and campaign finance reform.

WikiLeaks Reveals 2009 CIA Report Admitted Drone Strikes Are Counterproductive
(TeleSUR & Reader Supported News & Yazan al-Saadi / Al Akhbar)

Controversial US drone strikes may be helping rather than hindering the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a leaked 2009 CIA document released by Wikileaks. Independent estimates suggest US forces have conducted more than 1,000 drone strikes over Afghanistan since invading the country over a decade ago. Human rights groups say hundreds of civilians have been killed or maimed by drones, and that the strikes are widely unpopular on the ground.

People With Mental Illnesses Are Scapegoated as Cause of Mass Shootings
(Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ TruthOut)

With every new mass shooting in this country resulting in casualties, people with mental illness are singled out for blame. While access to the United States' mental health care system is woefully lacking, the proliferation of guns and the ease with which anyone can get them -- a central cause of mass shootings -- is typically swept under the rug.

World Summit in Vienna Calls for an End to Nuclear Weapons
(John Loretz / IPPNW & Akira Kawasaki / Peace Boat & Takashi Okuma / Asahi Shinbum & Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The third global conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons closed its two days of discussions in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday. Nearly 160 countries took part. Non-nuclear countries called for continued efforts toward formulating a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons but the nuclear powers, Britain and the United States (attending the meeting for the first time) opposed the proposals to abolish the world's aging nuclear arsenals. Read some of the major statements below:

Inventing Threats for Corporate Profits: US Sending 100 Tanks to Eastern Europe
(Bruce Fein / The Washington Times & Douglas Ernst /The Washington Times & Richard Sisk / Military.com)

The Pentagon continually invents national security threats to protect its budget. The department can be expected to demand funds to fight unknown unknowns to keep military spending from falling. The DOD's budget when the Cold War ended approximated $500 billion in 2011 US dollars. But the promised "peace dividend" was transient and tiny. Today, the department's budget in 2011 US dollars exceeds $600 billion -- far greater than when the Soviet Union was at its military peak.

"The Courage to Ban Nuclear Weapons": ICAN Civil Society Forum Opens in Vienna
(John Loretz / Peace and Health Blog: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)

More than 600 civil society campaigners from around the world filled Austria's Hall of Sciences for the first day of the ICAN Civil Society Forum in Vienna. "The courage to ban nuclear weapons," is both the theme of the two-day campaign gathering, and also the message that campaigners intend to bring to the third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Risk of Nuclear War Rising: Russia Launches 3 ICBMs; US Launches 3 ICBMs
(Ian Johnston / The Independent & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & SputnikNews)

Urgent action is needed to minimise the risk of a nuclear war, more than 120 senior military, political and diplomatic figures from across the world have warned. Ahead of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, the experts wrote that the danger of such a conflict was "underestimated or insufficiently understood" by world leaders.

Dr. Strangelove's Advice to US and Russian Nuclear Planners
(Walter C. Clemens, Jr. / The Diplomat)

The folly of continuing a Nuclear Strike posture of launch-on-warning is underscored by a recent Pentagon report detailing the shortfalls of America's strategic missile forces. Crews have one wrench to affix warheads for 450 intercontinental missiles, aging blast doors for sixty year-old silos do not seal shut, submarines lack spare parts. Poor morale, boredom, drugs and alcoholism are also issues. Hopes that ABM systems could fend off Armageddon have been a chimera since the 1960s.

Report Says US Drones Kill 28 Unidentified Victims for Every 1 Target
(Democracy Now! & Lee Fang / The Nation)

While the Obama administration has claimed its drone strikes are precise, the group Reprieve found that US drone strikes kill 28 unidentified people for every intended target. The CIA killer drones programme is the death penalty without trial, and the new face of state lawlessness in the name of counter-terrorism. Reprieve is assisting victims' families to seek legal accountability for drone attacks, with the goal of exposing the programme to scrutiny and restoring the rule of law.

Child Landmine Victims Rise, Afghanistan and Colombia Rank Worst
(Anastasia Moloney / Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Afghanistan has the world's highest number of children killed or wounded by landmines and other explosive remnants of war, followed by Colombia. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition reports the number of recorded casualties of mines and other explosive remnants of war has decreased to the lowest level since 1999, but child victims have risen. In 2013, children made up almost half of the 2,403 civilian landmine casualties worldwide.

Obama's Ambivalence on Miltarized Cops: Words Don't Match Policies
(Nedra Pickler / Associated Press & Paul Lewis / The Guardian & Trevor Timm / The Guardian)

President Barack Obama asked federal agencies for recommendations to ensure the US isn't building a "militarized culture" within police departments and he promoted the use of body cameras for armed police. However, Obama has resisted calls to cancel or significantly curtail federal programs that transfer billions of dollars of military equipment to local police -- including high-powered combat rifles, grenade launchers and armoured vehicles previously used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

How the Pentagon's Skynet Would Automate War
(Nafeez Ahmed / Motherboard: Vice)

Pentagon officials are worried that the US military is losing its edge compared to competitors like China, and are willing to explore almost anything to stay on top -- including creating watered-down versions of the Terminator. The Department of Defense anticipates the dawn of a bold new era of automated war within just 15 years. By then, they believe, wars could be fought entirely using intelligent, autonomous robotic systems armed with advanced weapons.

Washington's Launches 500th Drone Strike: 3,674 'Suspects' Killed Worldwide
( Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jeff Bachman / The Hill)

A US drone destroyed a house in North Waziristan today, killing six and wounding three others. None of the slain were identified. Since 1980, the US has engaged in aggressive military action in at least 13 countries in the Greater Middle East. Every president in the past 34 years has invaded, occupied, bombed, or gone to war in at least one country in the region. The number of invasions, occupations, bombings, drone assassination campaigns, and cruise missile attacks easily runs into the dozens.

Babysitting the Bomb: Meet the Missileers Who Watch Over America's Nuclear Arsenal
(Reid Cherlin / The New York Times)

One hundred and fifty nuclear missiles live in the ground in the high plains outside Cheyenne, Wyoming. Buried directly beneath the Missile Alert Facility is the cramped capsule where officers called "missileers" keep watch over the weapons. It has been a taxing day as the missiles assail their handlers with alarms indicating an elevated internal temperature reading, an onboard guidance malfunction, a communications link breakdown -- just some of the ailments that can distress a Reagan-era warhead.

US and Russia Prepare to Revive Nuclear Arms Race
(RT News & Lawrence Wittner / AntiWar.com)

An agreement has been reached to ensure that Iran honors its commitment under the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to forgo developing nuclear weapons. But what about the NPT's Article VI, which commits nuclear-armed nations to "cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date" and "general and complete disarmament"? Some, 44 years after the NPT went into force, the US and other nuclear powers continue to pursue their nuclear weapons buildups, with no end in sight.

US and Russia Prepare to Revive Nuclear Arms Race
(RT News & Lawrence Wittner / AntiWar.com)

An agreement has been reached to ensure that Iran honors its commitment under the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to forgo developing nuclear weapons. But what about the NPT's Article VI, which commits nuclear-armed nations to "cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date" and "general and complete disarmament"? Some, 44 years after the NPT went into force, the US and other nuclear powers continue to pursue their nuclear weapons buildups, with no end in sight.

Canada's Leading Robot Company Calls for Halt to Development of 'Killer Robots'
(Ryan Gariepy / Clearpath Robotics & The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots & The International Committee for Robot Arms Control )

The Canadian Robotics company has issued a statement pledging not to manufacture autonomous weapons systems -- i.e., "killer robots." Clearpath Robotics believes that the development of killer robots is "unwise, unethical, and should be banned on an international scale." The company urged other robotics firms to follow suit: "Those who might see business opportunities in this technology [should] seek other ways to apply their skills and resources for the betterment of humankind."

US Nuclear Missile Mismanagement Results in $10 Billon Bonus!
(The New York Times & The Washington Times & 60 Minutes)

Two separate Pentagon studies have concluded that the Pentagon's nuclear "Doomsday Machine" is plagued by "systemic problems across the nuclear enterprise." Nearly 450 of these giant Minuteman-3s are tucked away in underground silos, ready to launch on the president's command. Instead of dismantling these apocalyptic weapons (as required by international treaty), the president has called for a $1 trillion, 30-year expansion. And now, Chuck Hegel has called for $10 billion to correct current failures.

When Bombs Fall, Profits Rise. Obama's Wars Steer Billions to Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics
(Agence France-Presse)

President Barack Obama has asked for an additional $3.2 billion to pay for the war against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The funds will help cover the cost of replacing bombs in the weeks-long US-led air campaign against IS jihadists.

Weapons Directed by Robots Raise Ethical Questions
(The New York Times)

US arms-makers are taking the first steps toward developing robotic war machines that rely on software, not human instruction, to decide what to target and whom to kill. The speed at which these weapons operate will make them increasingly difficult for humans to control -- or to defend against. Some scientists fear these weapons could one day could make war more thinkable -- and even more likely.

Armageddon Investors Exposed: Global List of Banks & Pension Funds Invested in Nuclear Weapons
(PAX & International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons)

Since January 2011, 411 financial institutions -- including banks, insurance companies, pension funds and asset managers from 30 countries -- have invested $402 billion in nuclear weapons production and preparations for nuclear war. This comprehensive report identifies the 28 companies involved in maintaining and modernizing nuclear arsenals in France, India, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States.

US Troops in Iraq Exposed to Chemical Weapons CIA Supplied to Saddam Hussein
(C. J. Chivers / The New York Times & William Lowther / The Daily Mail)

Since 2003, more than 600 US soldiers reported being exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq but the Pentagon failed to recognize the scope of the exposures or offer adequate tracking and treatment. This previously untold chapter of the occupation became public after The New York Times revealed that -- although troops find noactive weapons of mass destruction -- they did encounter degraded chemical weapons from the 1980s: weapons provided to Saddam Hussein by the CIA.

Two Nuclear Commanders Fired, Another Disciplined
(Robert Burns / Associated Press)

The Air Force on Monday fired two more nuclear commanders and disciplined a third, fresh evidence of leadership lapses in a nuclear missile corps that has suffered a rash of recent setbacks, including the firing last year of its top commander. It is unusual for disciplinary action to be taken against senior officers at two of the Air Force's three nuclear missile bases on the same day. Officials said the timing was a coincidence. It extends a pattern of leadership failures in the ICBM force over the past year.

ACTION ALERT: UN Called to Ban Depleted Uranium as the US Deploys DU-ready Aircraft in Middle East.
(The World Can't Wait & David Swanson / Al Jazeera & Roots Action & The Center for Constitutional Rights & Carol Dudek / The World Can't Wait)

Because antiwar activists and medical humanitarians are pushing the issue, the United Nations will be discussing the US use of depleted uranium in weapons, particularly in Iraq, even as the US military makes plans to use them again in the new campaign of bombings. This month, the US has deployed a type of aircraft to the Middle East responsible for more Depleted Uranium contamination than any other platform. Twelve 'A-10's have arrived in the region along with 300 US airmen.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the Democrats to 'Ban the Bomb!'
(William J. Broad and David E. Sanger / The New York Times & Alice Slater / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

A recent report by the Federation of American Scientists details how President Obama -- who has repeatedly called for "a world without nuclear weapons" -- now plans a massive and costly increase in the Pentagon's nuclear arsenal. History shows that Mr. Obama has reduced the size of the nation's atomic stockpile far less than did any of his three immediate predecessors, including Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Anti-nuclear campaigners are calling for letters to be sent to the White House

America's Drones Are Still Killing Scores of Innocents
(Rep. Alan Grayson & Robert Greenwald / Brave New Films & AlterNet)

Mamana Bibi was a 67-year-old Pakistani grandmother and midwife, killed by a US drone strike on October 24, 2012. One year ago, the family of Mamana Bibi came to Washington,, D.C., to share their sad story with Members of Congress. Only five Members of Congress came to hear this family's testimony. Only five listened to the real impact of one of America's most ruthless, extrajudicial, error-laden and enemy-producing war policies.

Obama Agrees to Spend $1 Trillion on Scandal-plagued US Nuclear Arsenal
(Gayane Chichakyan / RT News & Charles Hoskinson / The Washington Examiner)

The Pentagon's fiscal 2015 budget calls for dramatic increases in spending on a new manned bomber for the Air Force and a nuclear ballistic missile submarine for the Navy. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the program would cost $355 billion by 2023, but that's just a start. Deploying a new three-legged nuclear force is expected to cost $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

Evidence: Pentagon and US Interests Behind Ebola Experiments in West Africa
(Paul Craig Roberts / Information Clearinghouse & Professor Francis A. Boyle & Dr. Cyril Broderick)

Could Ebola Have Escaped From US Bio-warfare Labs? American law professor Francis A. Boyle -- who was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 -- reveals that the US Pentagon -- along with US corporations and academic research units -- have been using West Africa as an "offshore asset" in order to circumvent the Convention on Biological Weapons and do bio-warfare work with lethal weapons -- including the Ebola virus.

Should a Robot Decide When to Kill? The Ethics of War Machines
(Adrianne Jeffries / The Verge)

“DARPA’s trying to put a face on it, saying ‘this isn’t about killer robots or killer soldiers, this is about disaster response,’ but everybody knows what the real interest is,” he says. “If you could have robots go into urban combat situations instead of humans, then your soldiers wouldn’t get killed. That’s the dream. That’s ultimately why DARPA is funding this stuff.”

The US Air-power Lobby, Botched Bombing Missions, and Deaths from 'Friedly Fire'
(Andrew Cockburn / Harpers Blog)

President Obama's war against the Islamic State will represent, by a rough count, the eighth time the US air-power lobby has promised to crush a foe without setting boot or foot on the ground. Yet from World War II to Yemen, the record is clear: such promises have invariably been proven empty and worthless. Such realities, however, are of little concern to the lobby, which measures success in terms of budgets and contracts. The choice of weapons will be dictated by Pentagon politics, not the requirements of the battlefield.

US 'Hid Iraq Chemical Weapons Incidents' from Poisoned Troops
(BBC News & Associated Press & C. J. Chivers / The New York Times)

The American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war's outset, then it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find. From 2004 to 2011, American and Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and at times were wounded by, chemical weapons that were hidden or abandoned years earlier.

Hanford's Nuclear Workers Dying from Radiation Poisoning
(Lori Jane Gliha & Serene Fang / Al Jazeera America)

Former nuclear workers at Hanford hope to receive compensation from the life-threatening illnesses they're suffering as a result of exposure to Hanford's toxic chemicals. Thousands of people in Washington State have applied for medical benefits after working at the contaminated weapons site. About 49 percent of the 26,025 Hanford-related claims have been approved with payouts totaling $723 million as of Oct. 5. But the government wouldn't reveal the average number of times a claimant is denied before being approved.

Are You Ready For Nuclear War?
(Paul Craig Roberts / Paul Craig Roberts.org & Steven Starr / Paul Craig Robert.org)

Washington thinks nuclear war can be won and is planning for a first strike on Russia -- and perhaps China -- to prevent any challenge to Washington's world hegemony. Implementation of the plan is already underway., US strategic nuclear doctrine has changed from a retaliatory role to an offensive first strike role. US anti-ballistic missile bases have been established in Poland and other bases are planned. When Obama's Star Wars system completed, Russia will be ringed with US missile bases.

US Planning 'First Strike' Nuclear Attack on Russia or China
(Richard Cottrell, Rick Rozoff and Bruce Gagnon / RT News & Global Research)

The US Space Command practicing engaging in a first-strike attack. The idea is to hit China or Russia first with a first strike, and then when they try to fire their nuclear retaliatory capability, the so-called missile "defense" systems would be used to pick off any retaliatory strike, giving the US the a "successful" first strike attack. It has nothing at all to do with defense; it's all about full spectrum dominance. Today the US is controlled by just six mainstream media, all totally suborned to the White House. The result is an Orwellian silence on perhaps the most dangerous issue today.

'Swarm' of Robot Boats Designed to Protect US Navy's Ships Against Enemy Vessels
(John Nassivera / HNGN.com & Brad Lendon / CNN)

The US Navy is currently working on a new tool for protecting its ships, which is a "swarm" of robotic boats. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) conducted tests in August on "drone" boats designed to swarm ships that are a threat to the Navy's vessels. These robot boats provide the potential for the US and other countries to defend themselves and attack enemies with robotic technology that operates underwater, on land, or in the air.

Killer Robots + Ancient Rules of War = Trouble
(WNYC Radio)

Can replacing human soldiers with robot warriors save lives and make war more humane? We try to find out in this episode. But as we learn, the laws of war are not written in computer code. Modern warfare is not ready for killer robots that "decide" without human input.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Militarizing Our Cities
(Elizabeth Beavers / Friends Committee on National Legislation & Molly K. Hooper / The Hill)

As the US begins yet another war overseas, the consequences are reverberating in towns across the country. But new legislation in the House and the Senate could stop the weapons of war from reaching small towns in the United States. From Ferguson, Missouri to Boise, Idaho to Calhoun County, Alabama, cities and counties are getting military grade equipment, free of charge, straight from the Pentagon through the 1033 program.

Did Washington Fake an 'ISIS Terror Threat' to Spur a Financial Windfall for US Arms Makers?
(Ted Snider / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & W.J. Hennigan / The Los Angeles Times)

The claim has recently been made that the Obama administration concocted not only the imminent attacks on US soil by the al-Qaeda cell The Khorasan Group, but also invented the group itself, in order to make a case for self-defense and justify the bombing of Syria. Meanwhile, arms dealers are salivating at the profits they are likely to make as the war continues to escalate.The big winner early in the war is Raytheon, who netted a big new Tomahawk cruise missile contract

Congress Pushes Nuclear Expansion Despite Accidents at Weapons Lab
(Caty Enders / The Guardian )

On February 14, a 52-gallon drum containing radioactive waste from nuclear weapons production exploded at a storage facility near Carlsbad, New Mexico, exposing 22 workers to radioactivity and leading to the closure of the facility. The closing of the facility has caused a backup of radioactive materials at a time when Congress and the Department of Defense are gearing up to dramatically increase production of nuclear weapons cores -- to numbers not seen since the Cold War.

US to Destroy Land Mine Arsenal, Except on Korean Peninsula
(Al Jazeera America & Associated Press)

The United States pledged Tuesday to destroy its land mine supply in Washington's latest move to make good on a 15-year-old promise to abide by a international treaty banning these weapons. Washington's announcement contains a qualification, however. The US has refused to address the threat of US land minds on the Korean peninsula.

The First International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
(United Nations & International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. It was the subject of the General Assembly's first resolution in 1946. It has been on the General Assembly's agenda along with general and complete disarmament ever since 1959. Yet today, some 17,000 nuclear weapons remain. As of 2014, not one nuclear weapon has been physically destroyed pursuant to a treaty, bilateral or multilateral, and no nuclear disarmament negotiations are underway.

US Ramping Up Major Renewal in Nuclear Arms
(William J. Broad and David E. Sanger / The New York Times)

A president who campaigned for "a nuclear-free world" and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy is now presiding over plans to expand a new generation of weapon carriers over the next three decades at s cost of up to a trillion dollars. Instead of reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons -- as required by international treaties -- the Obama administration is engaging in an extensive atomic rebuilding while getting only modest arms reductions in return.

New War Raises Concerns over US Use of Radiological Weapons in Iraq
(John Keyser / The Hill & The Center for Constitutional Rights & The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

As the US launches new attacks in the Middle East, detailsabout the military's use of DU in weaponry and its long-term effects remains more urgent as ever. According to a report by PAX, Iraq has suffered the largest use of DU munitions of all areas of conflict -- conservatively estimated to be at least 440 metric tons while the UN estimates are five times that amount. Iraqi civilians exposed to DU have suffered high rates of cancer and birth defects and US veterans report unexplained illnesses.

War Spending Enriches US Corporations; Saves Israel's Economy
(Tory Newmyer / Fortune Magazine & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

The war on ISIS already has a winner: the Defense Industry. US arms makers must love ISIS and the promise of another costly, endless war. Makers of munitions and unmanned aircraft -- General Atomics, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics -- top the list of beneficiaries. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted military spending must be increased by “many billions” annually, arguing that deficit spending on wars has proper up Israel's economy.

Obama's Strategy: Bomb US-Trained Forces Armed with US Weapons
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

With US arms sent to Syria and US vehicles stolen from Mosul the bulk of the ISIS arsenal, the Obama Administration now believes that the solution to the ISIS problem would be to throw even more arms at Syrian rebels, and even more vehicles to Iraq, doubling down on that problem.

The Hypocrisy of Israel's Nukes
(Paul R. Pillar / Consortium News)

For decades, the US and Israel have played a game of not admitting what everyone knows -- that Israel possesses a secret nuclear arsenal. But this policy of dissembling has made the two countries look hypocritical when they press Iran on its nuclear program, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hagel Assures Arms Dealers: US Must Maintain Military Dominance
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Lolita C. Baldor / The Associated Press & Reuters)

Speaking at the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sought to assure arms dealers of continued US spending on advanced military technology. Hagel claimed that both Russia and China are closing the "technological gap," and that some of their new designs appear meant to "counter traditional US advantages." Hagel also told members of the NATO summit that the US goal is to always maintain the most powerful military force on earth.

NATO Raising 10,000 Anti-Russian Troops Despite Putin's Pointed Reminder that Russia Is a 'Nuclear Power'
(RT News & Colin Freeman / The Telegraph )

NATO is reportedly working to create a 10,000-man expeditionary force composed of troops from seven member states to confront Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Russia, meanwhile, continues to insist that it does not have troops inside of Ukraine. In a frightening development, under growing pressure from economic sanctions and an encroaching NATO presence on its own borders, Vladimir Putin has raised the spectre of nuclear war with the West.

Independent Weapons Testing Comes Under Fire, Again
(Ethan Rosenkranz / Project On Government Oversight)

In 1983, Congress mandated that operational testing of combat weapons be protected from the pressures and influence of the Pentagon's procurement bureaucracy -- the most significant and useful reform to military procurement policy over the past 40 years. The defense industry, through its numerous allies in Congress, is still fighting desperately to stymie the law's intent -- to guarantee that the costly weapons the government buys actually perform as advertised.

High-powered Weapons Go Missing as Pentagon's Arming of Local Police Goes Awry
(Jim Avila, Daniel Rivero and Serena Marshall / ABC World News & Daniel Rivero / Fusion)

Thanks to the Pentagon's program of handing over free military weapons to the nation's police, local cop -- often untrained in military tactics -- have are now commanding American boulevards from atop armored personnel carriers and patrolling America's streets armed with assault rifles previously used by Marines and Special Forces. Now an added problem: The local cops can't account for missing weapons. Many of them have apparently been stolen and sold for small fortunes.

Pentagon's Superfast Rocket Fails but Could Still Change How We Wage War
(David Alexander and Andrea Shalal / Reuters & Wilson Dizard / Al Jazeera America)

A hypersonic weapon being developed by the US military was destroyed four seconds after its launch from a test range in Alaska. The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon is designed to fly up to 10 times the speed of sound and attack targets anywhere in the world in under an hour. If the tests eventually succeed, the technology could upset weaponry development among major powers.

Pentagon's New Military Robots Will Decide Who Lives, Who Dies
(UN High Commissioner on Human Rights & World Military Tech)

Lethal autonomous robots (LARs) can operate without human intervention. While drones are operated by humans, these new weapons systems, not currently deployed, can make decisions about targets on their own. Drawing attention to the global treaty to ban landmines, the Special Rapporteur poses the question: is it inherently wrong to let autonomous machines decide who and when to kill? "This is an overriding consideration: if the answer is negative, no other consideration can justify the deployment of LARs."

Sale of Hellfire Missiles Makes US Complicit in Israel's War Crimes
(Sudarsan Raghavan and Ruth Eglash / The Washington Post)

An Israeli missile attack that killed 10 civilians sheltering in a UN school here early this month prompted a call for restraint from the US government over what the State Department described as a "disgraceful" act. Yet what Israel used in that August 3 strike, according to the UN, was a US-made Hellfire missile. While Spain and Britain have announced plans to review their exports of arms to Israel, US officials have said in recent days that a new transfer of Hellfires will not be delayed.

Senate Committee to Probe Pentagon's Arming of City Police
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Mastio and Kelsey Rupp / USA Today & Kristina Wong / The Hill)

Images of camouflaged US police wielding military-grade equipment and armored vehicles cracking down on public protests on the streets of Missouri, have become a enduring image that finally has brought attention to the growing militarization of US civilian police. Mounting concern has finally caught the notice of Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Sen. Carl Levin who says the Pentagon's policy of arming police will be reviewed before the next military spending bill is passed.

The Militarization of the Police on Display
(Jamelle Bouie / Slate)

In his book "The Rise of the Warrior Cop," journalist Radley Balko notes that since the 1960s, "law-enforcement agencies across the US, at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment -- from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers -- American police forces have often adopted a mindset previously reserved for the battlefield."

ACTION ALERT: Amnesty Int. to Washington: 'Stop Arming Israel'
(The Journal.ei & Amnesty USA & Edith Garwood / Amnesty USA)

The US, as the largest foreign supplier of weapons, munitions, police equipment to Israel, bears a particular responsibility for the use of the weapons it provides. Amnesty International is calling for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides and urges Washington to suspend transfers of munitions, weapons, crowd control devices, and military training to Israel -- until Israel stops violating human rights across the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The Cost of Teaching an Old Nuclear Weapon New Tricks
(Jon Letman / Truthout)

Despite President Obama's 2009 speech in Prague in which he stated "clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons," the US plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on nuclear "life extension programs" and weapons upgrades -- including "modernization" of the B61 gravity bomb.

Hiroshima Marks Anniversary of Atomic Bombing
(Channel News Asia & Eric Sutphin / Ploughshares & Reid Dennis / Ploughshares)

Tens of thousands were to gather for peace ceremonies in Hiroshima on August 6, marking the 69th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the city, as anti-nuclear sentiment runs high in Japan. An American B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, in one of the final chapters of World War II. It had killed an estimated 140,000 by December that year. Three days later, the port city of Nagasaki was also bombed, killing an estimated 70,000 people.

Nonviolent Activists Blockade German Base with 20 US B-61 Nuclear Bombers
(Xanthe Hall / IPPNW Deutschland & No Nukes / The Netherlands & Cordula Meyer and Alexander Szandar / Der Spiegel)

In Germany, as in the Netherlands, an air force base hosts 20 American B-61 bombers equipped with nuclear weapons. The German government has requested that they be removed but they are still at Büchel. President Obama has ordered $1 billion worth of new "modernized" nuclear weapons for deployment in Europe. On the anniversary of the US atomic bombings of two Japanese cities, nonviolent protesters in Germany have blocked all the gates at the facility.

More War + More Death = More Millions for Lockheed Martin
(Doug Cameron and Dion Nissenbaum / The Wall Street Journal)

The US government has approved plans to send an additional 5,000 Hellfire missiles to Iraq to help the embattled Baghdad government tackle the threat posed by Sunni militants, the Pentagon announced. The $700 million deal for the missiles, made by Lockheed Martin Corp. comes amid other signs that Washington is tackling a backlog of approvals for weapons sales to Iraq -- one of the largest defense-export markets for war-profiteering US contractors.

43% of Afghan Military's Weapons Unaccounted For
(Jason Ditz / Anti-War.com & The Special Inspector General of Afghanistan Reconstruction & Perry Chiaramonte / Fox News)

The Special Inspector General of Afghanistan Reconstruction has issued another damning report on the enormous waste and lack of oversight in Afghanistan, this time focusing on 474,823 guns provided to the Afghan military by the Pentagon. The report also identifies potentially billions of dollars wasted -- on planes the local government doesn't need or can't use; on weapons that disappear as soon as they're handed over; and on the construction of brand-new buildings that are basically firetraps.

Human Rights Watch Says Kiev Killing Civilians with Illegal Weapons
(RT News)

The Ukrainian army is using indiscriminate Grad missiles to attack densely populated areas in Donetsk, which violates international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch alleged. It also blamed militia for taking cover in those areas. Ukrainian troops have on many occasions used incendiary weapons and cluster bombs against militia-held cities, acts that are banned under the international law regulating warfare, the Russian military said.

Israel Using Flechette Shells in Gaza; Hospital Attacked
(Harriet Sherwood / The Guardian & Peter Beaumont, Harriet Sherwood and Matthew Weaver / The Guardian & PressTV & Haaretz)

Human rights group accuse the Israel military of using shells that spray out thousands of tiny and potentially lethal darts. Palestinian officials say four killed in hospital as Israel launches fresh air strikes after bloodiest day.

Pentagon's Plan to Cut Costs: Budget for Armageddon
(Ben Watson / Defense One)

Forget terrorism. The Pentagon's best path to deal with the smaller budget imposed by sequestration may just lie in preparing for nuclear war with Russia and China. According to a new study, US defense leaders should focus more on a "great power conflict" reflective of a newly aggressive Russia and rapidly modernizing China. Stop investing in unlikely-to-be used ships, aircraft and soldiers; instead, fund the expansion of nuclear-armed bombers, submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late
(Noah Habeeb / Foreign Policy in Focus & AntiWar.com)

In January 1961 a B-52 bomber broke up over North Carolina, dropping two nuclear bombs on rural Goldsboro County. "By the slightest margin of chance," recently released documents reveal, "literally the failure of two wires to cross, a nuclear explosion was averted." In 1995, Russian radars mistook a Norwegian weather rocket for a US ballistic missile. Russian military officers called for nuclear retaliation. Fortunately, President Boris Yeltsin held back. Despite the proven dangers, we still spend billion on thousands of nuclear weapons kept on hair-trigger alert.

Pentagon Building Global Terror Weapon: Death at Mach Five
(C. Todd Lopez / US Army News Service & Kyle Mizokami / The Daily Beast)

At the same time Washington tries to convince the American public that the ISIS insurgents in Iraq pose a "security threat" to the US "homeland," the Pentagon continues to build an expensive "super-weapon of mass destruction" that poses an unmatched global terrorist threat -- the ability to hit a target anywhere in the world while traveling at five times the speed of sound, or about 3,600 mph.

US Takes a Small Step to Reduce Outlawed Land Mines
(Hayes Brown / ThinkProgress & Rick Gladstone / The New York Times)

The US has announced that it will no longer produce new anti-personnel land mines, letting its current stockpile of 10-13 million weapons "dwindle." The US will also consider recognizing the 15-year-old global treaty that bans the use of the weapons that have killed an estimated 20,000 people (mostly civilians) annually. In the meantime, one arms control expert notes: "The US is reserving the right to use its 10 million antipersonnel mines anywhere in the world until the mines expire."

War Zone on Main Street: How the Defense Lobby Profits by Arming America's Cops
(Sadhbh Walshe / The Guardian)

We're winding down conflicts abroad, but America's militarized police forces have access to a veritable firearms sale funneling from Washington on down to the local station house. We're living in the age of the "warrior cop" and, as one victim of police violence observes: "The police are already pretty brutal. The last thing they need is [a] big piece of military equipment to make them think they're soldiers."

$250 Million Up in Smoke: F-35 Burns on Runway During Testing
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

Troubles never seem to end for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Not yet fully operational, the nuclear-capable fighter-bomber recently had different test versions either leak oil in flight or burst into flames on takeoff. The F-35 is the world's most expensive weapons system -- $400 billion and counting. The estimated lifetime cost of this military-industrial project is $1.5 trillion. The F-35 is already close to a decade behind schedule and its cost is already more than twice the original estimate.

The Pentagon's New 'Iron-Man' Suit and other Weapons of the Near-Future
(CNN Breaking News & Tanya Lewis / LiveScience)

The military's has been working on an 'Iron Man' battle suit that would protect its wearer from bullets, assist in lifting heavy loads and provide the wearer information about the surrounding environment using cameras, sensors and advanced displays. A prototype of the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS, will be available later this month, and a more complete version should be ready between 2016 and 2018, according to Battelle Labs. Other fearsome new weapons also are in the works.

US Atomic Weapons in Iraq Blamed for Cancers, Birth Defects
(RT News )

The US military's use of depleted uranium in Iraq has led to a sharp increase in Leukemia and birth defects in the city of Najaf -- and panicked residents are fearing for their health. Cancer is now "more common than the flu." In cities like Basra and Fallujah, where American and British forces used depleted uranium munitions at the start of the war, it is estimated that over half of all babies conceived after the start of the war were born with heart defects.

When Drones Fall from the Sky
(Craig Whitlock / The Washington Post)

More than 400 large US military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation. Since the outbreak of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, military drones have malfunctioned in myriad ways, plummeting from the sky because of mechanical breakdowns, human error, bad weather and other reasons

Big Oil and Big Guns: Not So Strange Bedfellows
(Jamie Tarabay / Al Jazeera America)

Questions are starting to arise over why oil and gas companies are heavily donating money to gun groups that have seemingly opposing political aims. These are the first two articles in a three-part series investigating the complex relationship between the oil and gas industries, major gun groups and the hunting community.

A Boon To The Boondogglers: Forty Billion Fcking Dollars
(Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine )

Commentary: The $40 billion Ground-based Midcourse Defense system was supposed to protect Americans against a chilling new threat from "rogue states." But a decade after it was declared operational the fact is the GMD doesn't work and likely never will. It was promoted as a means to protect us from a missile attack from North Korea or Iran -- nations that have no missiles capable of getting halfway here.

Obama Sends Five Nuclear Bombers -- including Two B-2 Stealths
(Sky News & The Aviationist & What Does It Mean)

The US Air Force has flown two B-2 Stealth Bombers to Britain as it bolsters its military presence in Europe. Call-signed Death11 and Death12, the aircraft join three B-52 Stratofortress bombers currently on deployment at RAF Fairford. Overseas deployments of stealth bombers are quite unusual. The B-2s and the three B-52 Stratofortress bombers currently deployed in Britain have all been equipped with subsonic AGM-86 air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM) equipped with W80 nuclear warheads.

America's 'Contingency Plan' to Attack Iran with Nuclear Weapons
(Sherwood Ross / Global Research)

US plans to attack Iran with a mix of nuclear and conventional weapons have been in readiness since June, 2005, according to Michel Chossudovsky, a distinguished authority on international affairs. According to Chossudovsky's book, "Towards a World War III Scenario," the Pentagon's chilling preparations for a criminal nuclear attack are "confirmed by military documents as well as official statements, both the US and Israel contemplate the use of nuclear weapons directed against Iran."

Declassified Report: Nuclear Bomb Nearly Detonated After Falling on North Carolina
(Dan Lamothe and Walter Russell Mead / Sydney Morning Herald & The Washington Post & The New York Times)

Recently declassified reports reveal details behind the Goldsboro accident of 1961, in which the US narrowly avoided nuclear catastrophe. A B-52 bomber broke up over North Carolina and one of the two bombs on board was in the "armed" setting when it hit the ground near Goldsboro, North Carolina, according to a newly declassified report published by the National Security Archive. If the switch had not been damaged by the impact of the crash, the weapon could have detonated.

Report: Ukraine Military 'Dropped Incendiary Bombs' on Slavyansk
(RT News)

Residents of Slavyansk and its suburbs were awoken overnight on Thursday by what they say were incendiary bombs that were dropped on their city by Kiev’s military. Witnesses and local media reports suggested that the bombs might be phosphorous. Much of the village of Semyonovka, located in the Slavyansk suburbs, was set ablaze. Local residents told RT that the ground didn't stop burning for some time.

Why Should Anyone Trust a Government That Kills, Maims, Tortures, Lies, Spies, Cheats, and Treats Its Citizens Like Criminals?
(John W. Whitehead / The Rutherford Institute)

Why does the Department of Agriculture need .40 caliber semiautomatic submachine guns and 320,000 rounds of hollow point bullets? Why does the USPS need "assorted small arms ammunition"? Why did the DHS purchase "1.6 billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition, along with 7,000 fully-automatic 5.56x45mm NATO 'personal defense weapons'"? Why has the Department of Education, IRS, the Social Security Administration, and NOAA been purchasing ammo and weapons in bulk?

The Human Impacts of the US Drone War in Yemen
(Michael Shank / The National Review & US News & World Report)

Commentary: "As Washington debates the legal merits of killing American citizens in Yemen via drones, a bigger debate must be addressed: the merits of our Yemen policy generally. Yemenis' opinion of us was already low under President George W. Bush, but it has reached a new low under President Barack Obama. Building a nation after an Arab Spring-like revolution isn't easy, especially when corruption is rampant, the population is starving and the country is running out of water."

ACTION: Obama on Mass Shootings: 'America Should Be Ashamed'
(Olivier Knox / Yahoo News)

By turns angry and anguished, President Barack Obama declared on Tuesday that his "biggest frustration" since taking office has been America’s failure to take even modest steps to curb mass shootings so frequent that they threaten to become routine. "The country has to do some soul-searching about this," Obama said gravely in a town-hall question-and-answer session. . . . This is becoming the norm. And we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me."

US Sends Nuclear-capable Stealth Bombers to Europe<
(RT News & The Air Force Times)

The US Air Force has sent more of its bombers to Europe, deploying two B-2 stealth aircraft as part of a military exercise. On Sunday they joined three B-52 StratoFortress bombers already deployed in Britain. All the visiting American aircraft are stationed at RAF Fairford, a British air base west of London. The US has been sending additional troops to Europe lately in a gesture meant to "reassure its NATO partners" -- apparently that the US is ready to risk nuclear war over Eastern Ukraine.

The Isla Vista Shootings: Reactions from Gun Control Advocates, an ER Doctor and the NRA
(The Brady Campaign & The New York Times & Timothy Johnson / MediaMatters)

Real solutions exist that are supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans -- solutions that would prevent many of the 90 gun deaths that happen in our nation every day. And yet, the corporate gun lobby relentlessly blocks progress toward every commonsense solution. The NRA's defense? "The blame needs to be placed on the politicians in California who time and time again their answer to these issues are more and more gun control laws."

Can the F-35 -- the US Military's New Jet Fighter -- Be Hacked?
(David Martin / Sixty Minutes & Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. / Breaking Defense)

A computer named ALIS is the brain of the US military's controversial new F-35 jet fighter. Is she vulnerable to cyber attack? The F-35 is the Pentagon's newest warplane and its most expensive weapons system ever. The helmet of the F-35 is part of a complex, computer-driven system that will give US fighter pilots a whole new level of capabilities when the plane enters the American fleet in the coming years. But ALIS has a potential problem -- security.

Israel Agrees to Spend Half of Iron Dome Funds in US
(Tony Capaccio / Bloomberg)

Taxpayers give dollars to Washington. Washington gives dollars to the Pentagon. The Pentagon gives the dollars to Israel. Israel shares the money with US War Profiteers. US War Profiteers give dollars to politicians in Washington. Washington gives dollars to the Pentagon and on it goes....

Wastes of War: Russia's Forgotten Chemical Weapons
(David Hoffman / Washington Post Foreign Service)

In a verdant pine forest, sprinkled with birch trees, the lush growth suddenly disappears. Underbrush gives way to a black ulcer on the earth where nothing grows. This hole in the middle of a Russian forest is a chemical weapons graveyard. Buried here are vintage WW II bombs, filled with a mix of a blistering poison gas and a sulfur mustard gas. These abandoned bombs are a symbol of Russia's chemical weapons nightmare: It has more chemical bombs than any country, it cannot get rid of them, and it can't even find them all.

Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025
(Excerpted from a US Air Force Report)

In 2025, US aerospace forces can "own the weather" by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications. Such a capability offers the war fighter tools to shape the battlespace in ways never before possible. . . . A high-risk, high-reward endeavor, weather-modification offers a dilemma not unlike the splitting of the atom.

Wastes of War: Russia's Forgotten Chemical Weapons
(David Hoffman / Washington Post Foreign Service)

In a verdant pine forest, sprinkled with birch trees, the lush growth suddenly disappears. Underbrush gives way to a black ulcer on the earth where nothing grows. This hole in the middle of a Russian forest is a chemical weapons graveyard. Buried here are vintage WW II bombs, filled with a mix of a blistering poison gas and a sulfur mustard gas. These abandoned bombs are a symbol of Russia's chemical weapons nightmare: It has more chemical bombs than any country, it cannot get rid of them, and it can't even find them all.

Pope Blasts Mideast Arms Dealers: Congress Approves Another $500 Million in Military Aid for Israel
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & Huffington Post)

Pope Francis denounced arms dealers as he began his three-day trip to the Middle East with an emotional meeting with refugees from Syria and Iraq who have fled to Jordan. Francis deviated from his prepared remarks to make a strong plea for peace, praying for God to "convert those who seek war, those who make and sell weapons!" At the same time, the House of Representatives added another $600 million in military air to Israel, this time for missile defense subsidies.

USDA Goes Shopping for Submachine Guns and 1.6 Billion Rounds of Ammunition
(Robert Bridge / RT News )

What do the National Weather Service, Social Security Administration and now, the US Department of Agriculture, all have in common? These government agencies are all hoarding weapons and ammunition for no good reason. Just this year, the USDA has purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition (including 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets). The USDA explains the ammo is to be used to "respond to domestic emergencies."

Police and Boy Scouts Training for 'War' Against Returning Veterans
(Paul Joseph Watson / Global Research & Jennifer Steinhauer / The New York Times)

Government-financed militarization of domestic police departments is partly to due to the fear of returning veterans who are now seen as a "homegrown terror threat." In April 2009, a Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment listed returning vets as likely domestic terrorists. A month later, the New York Times reported on a new DHS program that is devoted to training Boy Scout Explorers to shoot and kill "disgruntled Iraq war veterans" in terrorist drills.

US to Demilitarize 78,000 Depleted Uranium Tank Rounds
(International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

The US Army has awarded a $12 million contract to defense contractor General Dynamics for the demilitarization and disposal of 78,000 ageing DU tank rounds as new rounds are added to its war reserves.

US Disarmament Official Discusses Hiroshima Visit with White House
(Yoshiaki Kasuga / Asahi Shimbun)

US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller recently visited the Hiroshima memorial, which commemorates Washington's two nuclear war crimes against the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Goettemoller declared that President Obama had a message for the people of Japan -- i.e., that he would be "honored" to visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki at some point in the future.

Nuclear Non-proliferation in a Time Warp
(Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy)

The five countries that already possess nuclear weapons argue that it's permissible to carry on with active modernisation and deployment operations, as well as doctrines of "deterrence" that involve nuclear targeting and sharing bombs as part of military alliances with "non-nuclear" weapon states. In the absence of disarmament, is it any wonder that nuclear weapons look desirable to some leaders?

Nuclear States Continue to Resist Global Calls for Disarmament

(Ray Acheson / Editorial: Reaching Critical Will of WILPF)

After two weeks of discussion [from April 28 to May 9, 2014], the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) PrepCom closed without adopting the Chair's draft recommendations to the Review Conference. The logic of prohibiting nuclear weapons as a means to facilitate their elimination is hard to dismiss. Against the background of growing frustration with protracted deadlock and the continued refusal by the nuclear-armed states to meet their obligations under international law.

UN Committee to Debate the Legality of Killer Robots'
(International Business Times & Campaign to Stop Killer Robots / Ottawa Citizen & United Nations Office at Geneva)

Fully autonomous "killer robot" weapons do not "exist" yet, but the US and other countries along with high-tech military research labs are already developing the technology. Some experts predict that the killer robots will be fully operational in the next 20 years -- that is, if the controversial "Terminator" technology is not blocked by public and NGO protests set to be heard in the upcoming CCW meetings beginning on May 13 in Geneva.

Losing Humanity: The Case against Killer Robots
(Human Rights Watch)

According to international law, states should evaluate new or modified weapons to ensure they do not violate the provisions of international humanitarian law (the Laws of War). Given military plans to move toward increasing autonomy for weaponized "killer" robots, states should now undertake a formal assessment of the impacts of proposed fully autonomous weapons and technology that could lead to them-- even if not yet weaponized.

Iraqi Army Commits War Crime with Use of Barrel Bombs in Fallujah
(Al Jazeera America)

In an attempt to drive out anti-government fighters, the Iraqi army has reportedly been dropping barrel bombs on the city of Fallujah, "targeting mosques, houses and markets" and killing civilians, according to hospital sources and witnesses. The use of barrel bombs in civilian areas is banned under international conventions, given their indiscriminate nature. Human Rights Watch finds barrel bomb attacks have continued even after a recent UN resolution condemning their use.

ACTION ALERT: Drone-gate: US Air Force Using CIA for Cover in Drone Killings
(Just Foreign Policy & The Guardian & Chris Woods / The Guardian)

"The lie is that it's always been the Air Force that has flown those missions. The CIA might be the customer but the air force has always flown it. A CIA label is just an excuse to not have to give up any information. That is all it has ever been."

'David Against Nuclear Goliaths': Nation Wages Legal Fight 'for All Humanity'
(Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams)

In an unprecedented action, the Pacific nation (and former US nuclear testing site) of the Marshall Islands has filed lawsuits "on behalf of all humanity" at the International Court of Justice against the US and 8 other nations for their "flagrant denial of human justice" by failing to work towards nuclear disarmament. The nations cited are the US, Russia, the UK, France and China (all parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty) as well as Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea.

Marshall Islands Sue Nuclear Powers for Failure to Disarm
(The Associated Press & Nuclear Zero)

The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands -- the site for dozens of Pentagon nuclear tests after World War II -- is taking on the US and the world's eight other nuclear-armed nations with an unprecedented lawsuit demanding that they meet their obligations toward disarmament, and accusing them of "flagrant violations" of international law.

ACTION ALERT: April Marks 'National Days of Action to Stop US Drone Wars'
(World Can't Wait & KnowDrones)

The US military is killing and terrorizing people right now in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia with missiles fired from drones which may circle villages for weeks, piloted from distant bases, many in the US by military operators and CIA contractors. Vast surveillance by the NSA of billions of people has been used to kill drone targets. Domestic drone surveillance by police and the FBI not only threatens privacy but endangers peoples' rights to associate, assemble and speak out. 


Pentagon's New Weapons: Space Lasers to Control Lightning; Hidden Pods that Could Release Drones at Sea
(RT News & TG Daily)

Pentagon-sponsored researchers have made the reach of an intensive laser beam longer by an order of magnitude. Researchers say their discovery can be used to seed rain and trigger lightning, but the potential scope of applications is much larger -- starting rain on request and control lightning bolts. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is building Upward Falling Payloads (UFP) -- unmanned pods that can be placed on the sea floor where they could launch drones by remote command.

Navy Preparing to Install Star Wars 'Death Ray' aboard US Ship
(RT News & LiveLeak & Voice of Russia & CBS News & The Associated Press)

The United States Navy is looking to make its highly-touted laser technology a reality this summer, when it deploys its first laser weapon on a warship. When it's tested on the USS Ponce, the powerful Laser Cannon can be controlled by a lone sailor. The US Navy's Laser Weapon System will be deployed this summer. The sophisticated weapon is designed to target slow-moving threats like drones and speed boats.

Yemen: 68 Killed by US Drones; Judge Orders Release of Awlaki Assassination Memo
(AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse & The New York Times)

A barrage of US drone strikes across Yemen's south and east entered its third day and shows no signs of slowing down. With so many of the attacks targeting remote villages in the hills of Yemen's rural interior, the death toll is difficult to ascertain, but at least 68 are believed to be dead over the past three days -- including civilians. Meanwhile, a federal judge in New York has ordered the Department of Justice to release its rationale for the drone assassination of US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

Did Israel Steal Bomb-grade Uranium from the United States?
(Victor Gilinsky/Roger J. Mattson / Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)

Last month the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), the nation's highest classification authority, released a number of top-level government memoranda that shed additional light on the so-called NUMEC affair, "the story that won't go away-the possibility that in the 1960s, Israel stole bomb-grade uranium from a US nuclear fuel-processing plant."

A War-in-Space Race between China and the US?
(Al Jazeera and Reuters & Hannah Osborne / International Business Times)

Advances in high-tech weaponry are raising real fears of a space arms race. China plans to increase its military capabilities in space in reaction to US and other world powers developing astronomical weapons. In a move that conjured up thoughts of Star Trek-like weaponry, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged his air force to beef up its air and space defense capability. State media described the move as a response to the increasing militarization of space by the US and other world powers.

Nuclear Weapons Must Be Eradicated For All Our Sakes
(Archbishop Desmond Tutu / The Guardian )

Nuclear weapons do not discriminate; nor should our leaders. The nuclear powers must apply the same standard to themselves as to others: zero nuclear weapons. Whereas the international community has imposed blanket bans on other weapons with horrendous effects -- from biological and chemical agents to landmines and cluster munitions -- it has not yet done so for the very worst weapons of all. Nuclear weapons are still seen as legitimate in the hands of some. This must change.

Death From Above: How American Drone Strikes Are Devastating Yemen
(Vivian Salama / Rolling Stone)

The people of Yemen can hear destruction before it arrives. The air buzzes with the sound of US drones -- a constant reminder: a robot plane, acting on secret intelligence, may calculate that the man across from you at the coffee shop, or someone you've shared a passing word with on the street, is an Al Qaeda operative. This intelligence may be not be accurate, but it doesn't matter when the buzzing above sharpens into the death-herald of an incoming missile.

European Parliament Urges Progress on Depleted Uranium Munitions
(Doug Weir / International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

The European Parliament has long supported a global moratorium on the use of depleted uranium weapons. With a fifth United Nations General Assembly resolution on the topic approaching this Autumn, the parliament is growing increasingly vocal.

Obama's A-Bomb Budget
(Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War)

Returning from a two-day Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague, President Barack Obama claimed to have achieved a "fundamental shift" in the global campaign to rein-in the nuclear threat. And what was this prized accomplishment? Had the United States and the world's other nuclear powers agreed to accelerate the languishing nuclear disarmament process? Not really. The president's new FY2015 budget calls for increased nuclear spending and production of a new nuclear bomb.

US Army Attacks National Guard over Apache Helicopters
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Douglas Ernst / The Washington Times)

The National Guard is loudly complaining about orders to hand over its fleet of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the Army, saying the move is dramatically impacting readiness. The plan, which the Army says will save $12 billion through 2017, involves replacing the Army's OH-58 Kiowas with the National Guard's Apaches. The Guard is to be given UH-60 Black Hawks to replace them.

What If Ukraine Still Had Nuclear Weapons?
(John Loretz and Gunnar Westberg / International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)

The claim that deterrence works and that, therefore, Ukraine would be more secure with nuclear weapons is unsupportable on its face. The only way in which the conflict between Ukraine and Russia would be different had Ukraine kept possession of the nuclear weapons on its soil after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is that two nuclear-armed states would now be testing each other's willingness to do the unthinkable in the midst of political crisis.

Noam Chomsky: 'Eliminate All Nuclear Weapons'
(Jane Ayers / Reader Supported News)

Professor Noam Chomsky recently delivered the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's 13th Annual Frank K. Kelly Lecture on Humanity's Future. In his lecture Chomsky pointed out: "It is hard to contest the conclusion of the last commander of the Strategic Air Command, General Lee Butler, that we have so far survived the nuclear age by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion."

The Dimming Prospects for Human Survival
(Noam Chomsky / AlterNet.org)

Security is a high priority for government planners: security, that is, for state power and its primary constituency, concentrated private power -- all of which entails that official policy must be protected from public scrutiny. In these terms, government actions fall in place as quite rational, including the rationality of collective suicide. Even instant destruction by nuclear weapons has never ranked high among the concerns of state authorities.

India's Arms Imports Triplicate Those of Second and Third Largest Weapons Importers -- China and Pakistan
(Human Wrongs Watch)

India's arms imports are now almost 3 times as high as those of the second and third largest arms importers -- China and Pakistan -- according to new data on international arms transfers published on 17 March 2014 by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Overall, the volume of international transfers of major conventional weapons grew by 14 percent between 2004-08 and 2009-13.

ACTION ALERT: President A-Boma Wants to Cut Disarmament Funds to Pay for New Atom Bombs
(Katie Heald / Peace Action West & Jay Coghlan / Nuclear Watch)

In his FY-2015 budget, the president is asking for a seven percent increase in funds to build new nuclear weapons. In order to pay for this, he is cutting funds that are supposed to pay for dismantling existing nuclear weapons. Congress is stepping up to challenge these misguided priorities head on. If the Senate's SANE Act and the House's REIN-IN Act pass, they will free $100 billion over the next 10 years to spend on health, education and other social programs.

The Nuclear Summit and US Hypocrisy: Critics Slam Expansion of US Arsenal
(Sarah Lazare / Common Dreams & Kate Hudson / Al Jazeera America & Tariq Rauf / The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute & Amanda Waldron / Ploughshares)

Obama first announced the idea for a Global Summit on Nuclear Security in a 2009 speech, in which he declared, "I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." Today, Obama's plans for the next decade include spending $214 billion to modernize nuclear delivery vehicles, warheads and production facilities. That sounds like serious re-armament, wholly at odds with NPT's global goal of nuclear abolition.

ACTION ALERT: President A-Boma Wants to Cut Disarmament Funds to Pay for New Atom Bombs
(Katie Heald / Peace Action West & Jay Coghlan / Nuclear Watch)

In his FY-2015 budget, the president is asking for a seven percent increase in funds to build new nuclear weapons. In order to pay for this, he is cutting funds that are supposed to pay for dismantling existing nuclear weapons. Congress is stepping up to challenge these misguided priorities head on. If the Senate's SANE Act and the House's REIN-IN Act pass, they will free $100 billion over the next 10 years to spend on health, education and other social programs.

Deadly Legacy of US Foreign Policy: Libyan Weapons Flooding Regional Conflicts
(Associated Press )

At the heart of the Libyan capital, the open-air Fish Market was once a place where residents went to buy everything from meat and seafood to clothes and pets. Now it's Tripoli's biggest arms market, with tables displaying pistols and assault rifles. Ask a vendor, and he can pull out bigger machine guns to sell for thousands of dollars. Libya, where hundreds of militias hold sway and the central government is virtually powerless, is awash in millions of weapons with no control over their trafficking.

Pentagon Boosting Its Push for Underwater Drones<
(Ray Locker / USA TODAY )

The Pentagon is proposing dramatic increases in spending for underwater pods to store drone submarines and a variety of other seaborne drones and surveillance technology, another example of the military's shift toward the Pacific, newly released budget documents show. Plans include ncluding doubling to $29.9 million its planned spending on the Hydra program, an underwater "truck" that carries armed, unmanned subs and aerial drones and almost $19 million for non-lethal spy drones.

How Australia -- and the US -- Undermined a Global Nuclear Disarmament Bid
(iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand & The New Zealand Herald & Sydney Morning Herald & The Dominion Post )

Newly released documents reveal how Australia's newly elected Tony Abbott Government applied secret diplomatic pressure to undermine a New Zealand-led push towards nuclear disarmament -- a 125-nation joint statement at the United Nations highlighting the humanitarian consequences of using nuclear weapons. Australia refused after taking exception to the statement's wording that it was in the interests of humanity that nuclear weapons were never used again "under any circumstances".

Behind the US-Australia Plot against Nuclear Disarmament
(Editorial / The Age & The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

More almost 70 years after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear disarmament still remains a distant goal. One does not have to look far to find the reason for Australia's attitude. It is explained in a previously secret memo: Disarmament, the memo read, ''runs against our security interests.'' For which, read: "Supporting a nuclear weapons ban would have a detrimental effect on our relationship with the US, particularly our reliance on US nuclear deterrence."

UN Report Calls for Independent Investigations of Drone Attacks
(Ewen MacAskill and Owen Bowcott / The Guardian)

A report by the United Nations Human Rights Council has called for independent investigations to be carried out into drone attacks after a series of strikes that result in unexpected civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan. The report noted a threefold increase in recorded civilian casualties from drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2013 and concluded that states have an obligation to launch inquiries into cases in which civilians become caught up.

The End of Drone War?
(Philip Giraldi / The American Conservative & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Drones are increasingly a political liability, as they have been responsible for numerous civilian casualties -- one reason why Islamabad has reduced its cooperation with the US and even Afghanistan has proven unwilling to continue to support their use. A growing percentage of Predator attacks have been "signature" lifestyle strikes against loosely profiled targets, which produce high levels of civilian casualties. Analysts are suggesting ending the use of lethal drones would be desirable.

US Drone Kills Five Govt. Soldiers in Afghanistan; Four Killed in Yemen
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & CNN News Service)

The Pentagon has confirmed launching a drone strike in the Logar Province that killed several allies in a case of mistaken identity. The strike killed five Afghan National Army soldiers, and wounded eight others. In Yemen, another US drone strike, the fourth since Monday morning, destroyed a vehicle in the Jawf Province and killed at least four people. The increase in US strikes in Yemen comes amid growing disquiet about the growing number of innocent and unidentified victims.

When It Comes to Nuclear Proliferation, Obama Proves Worse than Reagan
(Steve Breyman / AntiWar.com )

President Obama's FY 2015 budget asks for considerably more money (in constant dollars) for nuclear weapons maintenance, design and production than Reagan spent in 1985 -- the historical peak of spending on nukes. Obama's figure: $8.6 billion, not counting administrative costs. Meanwhile, Obama's State Department has refused to present the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to the Senate for ratification.

Living Under Drones: The Aftermaths of Drone Attacks
(The Stanford Law School )

In the United States, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer by enabling “targeted killing” of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts. This narrative is false. Following nine months of intensive research, this report presents evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of current US drone strike policies.

How the Pentagon Is Waging a War on the Earth
(Barry Sanders / The Huffington Post)

As we contemplate America in the opening years of the twenty-first century, we might reconsider George Washington's farewell warning that "overgrown military establishments ... under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." Today, our own military has wrapped its arms of death around life itself and it will not let go. Unless we all garner the strength to confront the military, it will continue to work its evil.

The Military's Addiction To Oil
(Barry Sanders / The Huffington Post)

Military vehicles have no respect for Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, or fuel standards of any kind. After all, we are at war; fuel economy is a luxury. Indeed, the military refers to fuel consumption in terms of "gallons per mile," "gallons per minute," and "barrels per hour." One quickly realizes that military "assets," as the Pentagon likes to call its rolling arsenal, operate in a world all their own, free of restraints of any kind -- both in the fuel they consume and the pollutants they exhaust.

US Navy Ready to Deploy New Laser Gun
(The Associated Press & Al Jazeera America)

Some of the Navy's futuristic weapons sound like something out of "Star Wars," with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds. The Navy plans to deploy its first laser on a ship later this year, and it intends to test an electromagnetic rail gun prototype aboard a vessel within two years. "It fundamentally changes the way we fight," said Capt. Mike Ziv.

Obama's Arms Sales Policy: Promotion or Restraint?
(William D. Hartung / AntiWar.com)

The US is the world's leading arms trafficking nation, with $60 billion in arms transfer agreements last year alone. In 2011, US companies and the government controlled over three-quarters of the global weapons trade. The Obama administration regularly touts the role of US officials in promoting arms sales. On Jan. 15, the administration issued the first policy directive on conventional arms sales since the mid-1990s. It extends the administration's explicit commitment to promote arms sales.

ACTION ALERT: A Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in Mexico -- February 13-14, 2014
(John Scales Avery / Waging Peace )

On February 13 and 14, 2014, the government of Mexico will host a conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. The global peace movement must think carefully about how best to use the opportunities offered by the Mexico conference and by other recent breakthroughs in the struggle to eliminate the danger of a catastrophic thermonuclear war. Sign the petition urging President Obama to honor his commitment to abolish nuclear weapons and participate in the conference.

Enhanced Military Capabilities of US Nuclear Bomb Make Atomic War More Likely
(Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Hans M. Kristensen / Federation of Atomic Scientists)

More than 2-1/2 years ago, the Federation of American Scientists claimed that the planned Life Extension Program for the B61 nuclear bomb would provide new military capabilities to attack targets with greater accuracy and less fallout. In January, former US Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, confirmed that the B61-12 would indeed have new military capabilities. Critics claim that "the increased accuracy and lower yield options could make the B61-12 more attractive to use."

National Cancer Institute to Study Health Effects of First US Nuclear Tes
(New Age Peace Foundation & The Santa Fe New Mexican)

Nearly 70 years after the first detonation of a nuclear weapon, the National Cancer Institute is set to begin what could be a years-long study of the health effects of the 1945 Trinity Site atomic test on New Mexico residents. The study was prompted by the alarming conclusion of a 10-year study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found radiation levels at homes near the Los Alamos National Laboratory were almost 10,000 times higher than the accepted "safe" levels.

F-35 Plagued with Even More Problems
(Andrea Shalal-Esa / Reuters)

A new US Defense Department report warns that ongoing software, maintenance and reliability problems with Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 stealth fighter could delay the Marine Corps' plans to start using its F-35 jets by mid-2015. The latest report by the Pentagon's chief weapons tester, Michael Gilmore, provides a detailed critique of the F-35's technical challenges, and focuses heavily on what it calls the "unacceptable" performance of the plane's software.

US Violates International Law: Tests New Nuclear Bomb

The US has successfully tested an updated version of a B-61 atomic bomb in defiance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which calls for nuclear disarmament. Nearly seventy years after melting down Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US is planning to spend over $1 trillion on its nuclear arsenal over the next 30 years, a new report says. Have all these dollars made us safer? No. China's new H-6K bomber can launch nuclear attacks against US military bases in the Western Pacific.

The Jet that Ate the Pentagon: How Defense Corporations and Congress Team Up to Rob You Blind
(Angela Keaton / Brave New Films & John Glaser / AntiWar.com)

According to the Project on Government Oversight, "The US is going to spend $1.5 trillion on the F-35, and it still isn't meeting its goals. While military officials in the Pentagon are insisting on cutting superfluous weapons programs that are wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, Congress refuses to cut because the defense corporations that line their campaign pockets want the money to keep coming in.

Gun Violence: As American as Apple Pie
(Jack Levin / Al Jazeera America)

There's been no reduction in the number of US school shootings despite added security since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School which left 20 children and six educators dead. There have been at least 11 school shootings this academic year alone, in addition to other cases of gun violence in school parking lots and elsewhere on campus when classes were not in session. Criminologist Jack Levin attributes gun violence to 'eclipse of community' and culture of violence in the US.

Millions Lost as Drones Crash in Afghanistan, California and Pacific: Pentagon Mum
(RT News & Tim Hornyak / CNET)

In the course of a single month, at least three US drones have crashed around the world, costing taxpayers millions. In the US, Customs and Border Protection has grounded an entire fleet of drones after the crash of an unmanned aircraft valued at $12 million. Earlier in January, a drone crashed into a US battleship, causing $30 million in damages. And, in Afghanistan, a video has surfaced of villagers stoning the remains of a downed US drone that apparently crashed inside Afghanistan.

Escalation Nation: Four 'Missile Defense' Sites Chosen for Study
(Bruce Gagnon / Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space)

The Department of Defense, directed by Congress, is undertaking the completion of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for four potential additional 'Ground-based Mid-Course Missile Defense' (GMD) sites in the continental United States -- in Ohio, Michigan, New York and Maine.. (The other current GMD site is located at Fort Greeley in Alaska.) These site would be used to intercept Russian missiles after the US launched an aggressive, "pre-emptive" nuclear strike on Russia.

The Endless Arms Race: Despite Promises, New Nuclear Weapons Are On the Way
(Lawrence Wittner / AntiWar.com )

An agreement has been reached to ensure that Iran honors its commitment under the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to forgo developing nuclear weapons. But what about the other key part of the NPT, Article VI, which commits nuclear-armed nations to reverse the nuclear arms race and agree to "complete disarmament"? Some 44 years after the NPT went into force, the US has announced plans to spend $1 trillion over the next 30 years to "modernize" its nuclear arsenal.

The Endless Arms Race: Despite Promises, New Nuclear Weapons Are On the Way
(Lawrence Wittner / AntiWar.com )

Today, 44 years after the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) went into force, the US and other nuclear powers continue to pursue their nuclear weapons buildups, with no end in sight. On January 8, 2014, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced an ambitious plan to upgrade US nuclear weapons along with new submarines, missiles and bombers to deliver them. Implementing the plans would cost $355 billion over the next decade and $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

January 21, 1968 Anniversary: B-52 Crashes in Greenland Carrying 4 Hydrogen Bombs
(The Aviationist & BBC News)

"On this day in history, Jan. 21, 1968, a B-52G Stratofortress belonging to the 380th Strategic Bomb Wing from Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, crashed in in Greenland in what is remembered as the second 'Broken Arrow' incident. The accident happened when the plane caught fire and the crew bailed out before the plane crashed through the ice. Forty-six years later, one of the thermonuclear weapons is still missing."

The New Arms Race: China Matches US Threat of Hypersonic Bombers
(RT News & Tim Hornyak / CNET)

China confirmed conducting a test flight of a new hypersonic missile delivery vehicle capable of delivering nuclear warheads with record-breaking speeds. The move is purely scientific and not targeted at any country, said the Defense Ministry.
 In 2011, the US Army successfully tested a hypersonic aircraft that can travel 3,800 mph -- five times the speed of sound -- and deliver a bomb anywhere on Earth in under an hour.
 Russia and India have also designed hypersonic bombers.

Nuclear Security: US Falls to 11th Place amid Charges of Drug Abuse, Misconduct, and Low Morale
(William J. Broad / The New York Times & The Associated Press )

A report on the security of nuclear materials finds steady improvement in seven countries over the last two years. Abandoning uranium and plutonium that could be turned into weapons has lowered the number of nations able to make atomic bombs to 25 from 32. However, while Canada, Belgium and Japan increased nuclear security, the US has fallen to 11th place, tied with Britain. Meanwhile, the US nuclear force has been tarnished by low morale, drug abuse and courts-martials.

Hagel Says US Needs Modern Nuclear Deterrent Despite High Price-tag
(David Alexander / Reuters )

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday the United States would continue to support a strong nuclear deterrent and, even as it braces for a nuclear forces overhaul that analysts say could cost $1 trillion over 30 years. The US defense chief said upgrading US nuclear warheads and the submarines, bombers and missiles that deliver them, would by costly, but he stated the country "has always been willing to make that investment and I think it will continue to make it."

Lasers Could Prove Crucial To Navy Survival In The Western Pacific
(Loren Thompson / Forbes )

The Navy's surface warships can't simply abandon the Western Pacific as Chinese anti-ship missiles proliferate. Some senior officials, including apparently the Chief of Naval Operations, think lasers might be the answer. Lasers are tightly focused beams of electromagnetic energy that hit targets at the speed of light, while costing only a few dollars per engagement. The Navy has proven it can hit fast-moving targets with them even in turbulent weather and high seas.

Record Gun Sales in 2013: DHS Weapons Buyer Supports Race War
(Katie Pavlich / Townhall.com )

The FBI has released new statistics showing 2013 gun sales hit a new record. The total number of background checks conducted for gun sales last year add up to 21,093,273, beating the previous 2012 record of 19,592,303. Meanwhile, Washington needs to do some background checks of its on employee charged with purchasing ammunition and weapons also hosts waronthehorizon.com -- "a website dedicated to advocating the murder of white people."

US Nuclear Missiles Are a Force in Much Distress
(Robert Burns / The Associated Press )

The hundreds of nuclear missiles that have stood war-ready for decades in underground silos across America, are a force in distress, if not in decline. They are still a fearsome superpower symbol -- primed to unleash nuclear hell on a moment's notice -- but the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, is dwindling, their future defense role is in doubt, and missteps and leadership lapses have raised questions about how the force is managed.

US Drone Kills 15 Members of Wedding Party in Yemen
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)

When a US drone strike tears through some vehicle, building, or picnic in Yemen, the Yemeni government is quick to label all of the victims "suspected al-Qaeda fighters," and today was no different. That claim was stretched beyond all credibility, however, when witnesses came forward saying today's strike, on the outskirts of Qaifa, actually hit a wedding party.

Air Force's Secret New Stealth Spy Drone Is Already Flying
(James Eng NBC News & Amy Butler and Bill Sweetman / Aviation Week)

A large, classified unmanned aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman is now flying. Defense and intelligence officials say the secret unmanned aerial system (dubbed the RQ-180), was designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. missions. Neither the Air Force nor Northrop Grumman would speak about the classified airplane. The costly RQ-180 is scheduled to enter production for the US Air Force and could be operational by 2015

Nuclear Famine: Report: How a Small, Limited, Regional Nuclear War Would Kill 2 Billion People
(Ira Helfand, MD / International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Physicians for Social Responsibility)

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility have co-published a new report that concludes more than two billion people -- a quarter of the world's population -- would be at risk of starvation in the event of a limited, regional nuclear exchange, such as one that could occur between India and Pakistan. A nuclear war using only a fraction of existing arsenals would produce massive casualties on a global scale.

No Debate: Steamrolling the Military's $607 Billion Budget
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jeremy Herb / The Hill )

The annual military funding bills are a time to throw hundreds of billions of dollars at assorted wars, but they're also time for amendments, with Congress pushing controversial measures and reform efforts into the bill. Not this year. With Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin insisting that there's simply no time to follow the regular order, and saying the committees have agreed to simply push it through without any chance for amendments or even much debate.

Inside America's Repository of Pain, 100,000 Weapons of War
(James Gordon Meek / ABC News)

Just outside the nation's capital, amid the suburban sprawl of sports bars and fast food franchises, sits a nondescript building that contains the legacy of two wars. It's the FBI's repository of pain. Inside the brightly-lit and highly secure warehouse, the Bureau has neatly stockpiled a "bomb library" of 100,000 remnants of improvised explosive devices, called IEDs, recovered by the US military from battlegrounds mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Whose Sarin?
(Seymour M. Hersh / London Review of Books )

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country's civil war with access to sarin.

The Ill-considered Debate about Drones
(Musa al-Gharbi / Al Jazeera America )

Commentary: The United States has been relying on unmanned systems since the Vietnam War, although their use and capabilities have increased exponentially under the Obama administration. The fact is, however, the US is rapidly losing its technological monopoly on drones, while its geopolitical adversaries are advancing at breakneck speed.

Syria Destroys Last of Its Chemical Weapons: US Still Not Complying with International Law
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Xinhua News & Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed a major milestone in the Syrian chemical disarmament program, confirming the destruction of all chemical munitions in the country. The biggest chemical weapon arsenals that must be destroyed are in Russia and the US. The Convention requires member countries to destroy their chemical weapons within 10 years after the CWC entered into force -- by 2007. The US has still not complied with the treaty.

The Real Nuclear Option: Israel Has Atomic Weapons and May Have Plans to Use Them
(Micah Zenko / Foreign Policy )

It is a forbidden topic: The fact that Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons. It is unlikely that Israel could wipe Iran off the face of the Earth, but it could certainly kill millions of Iranians, given that 70 percent of Iran's 80 million people live in dense urban areas. In a grim article in the May 2013 issue of Conflict and Health, researchers estimated that five Israeli 100-kiloton bombs would kill 43 percent of the 8.3 million people living in Tehran.

Drones: The Face of War Today
(Friends Committee on National Legislation Washington Newsletter)

The new face of US warfare is an armed drone. Drones scan the skies in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, ready to assassinate those on US government kill lists. The Obama administration's expanded use of drones has led FCNL and some members of Congress to question these killings and the lack of accountability and transparency around them and to look closely at what they illustrate about the changing nature of warfare in the 21st century.

Study: Air Force Nuclear Weapons Teams Suffering from 'Low Morale' and 'Burnout'
(Robert Burns / Associated Press National Security Writer )

Key members of the Air Force's nuclear missile force are feeling "burnout" from what they see as exhausting, unrewarding and stressful work, according to an unpublished study obtained by The Associated Press. The finding by researchers for RAND Corp. adds to indications that trouble inside the nuclear missile force runs deeper and wider than officials have acknowledged.

Pakistan's Imran Khan to Block NATO Supplies After Drone Strike
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Augustine Anthony & Faseeh Mangi / Bloomberg News & The News)

NATO is about to lose access to its main supply line into Afghanistan as Imran Khan, the leader of the party that runs the Province through which the supplies travel, has vowed to block shipments in retaliation for US drone strikes. Khan first threatened a blockade after a US drone killed Hakimullah Mehsud, hours before he was to open peace talks. The day of Khan's deadline for ending all drone attack, US drones struck a religious school, killing eight people.

ACTION ALERT: Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List'
(Sarah Lazare / Common Dreams & Alex Pasternack / Vice.com & Alison Fu / The Daily Californian)

Activists from across the globe kicked off the largest-ever anti-drone summit Friday with a boisterous White House rally then march to the headquarters of one of the most notorious weapons manufacturers in the world. "After ten years of using drones it is about time that American citizens demand accountability from our government," said organizer Medea Benjamin of Code Pink.

Army Scrapping 4 US Chemical Weapons Incinerators
(Associated Press )

The Pentagon spent $10.2 billion over three decades burning tons of deadly nerve gas and other chemical weapons stored in four states -- some of the agents so deadly even a few drops can kill. Now, with all those chemicals up in smoke and communities freed of a threat, the Army is in the middle of another, $1.3 billion project: Demolishing the incinerators that destroyed the toxic materials.

Armed Drones Becoming the Norm? At the Crossroads of Robotic Warfare
(Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese / Truthout )

We are at a critical crossroads in this new era of robotic warfare. In the global war on terror, remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles, make it possible to strike almost anywhere from the comfort of a base close to home. The use of drones has been escalating under the Obama Administration and now includes attacks in countries with which the US is not officially at war. Drones are expected to be used widely in the US beginning as early as 2015.

Senior Air Force Official Warns of 'Glut' of Drones
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Craig Whitlock / The Washington Post )

The Air Force is grappling with how to manage a potential glut of drones and may eventually scale back the number of combat missions flown with unmanned aircraft by more than 25 percent. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has been making headlines questioning the conventional wisdom of military leaders. Gen. Welsh expressed concern that the huge purchases are creating a “glut” of attack drones at the same time the expanded use of drones will make less and less sense.

The Elephants in the Room: Israel's Weapons of Mass Destruction
(David Morrison / David Morrison.org )

Now that Syria has become a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Israel is one of only 6 "rogue" states -- Angola, Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, North Korea and South Sudan. In fact, Israel is the only Middle East state that isn't a party to any of the three "weapons of mass destruction" treaties-- i.e., the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention. It has an arsenal of nuclear weapons and it probably CBWs as well.

The War Against Gun Control: How the NRA Plots to Take Out the ATF
(Dan Freedman / Hearst Newspapers and the SF Chronicle )

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is under siege, a hostage in the long war over guns and their place in America's social fabric. It is the federal agency that National Rifle Association loves to hate. The ATF, charged with keeping track of the nation's 300 million guns, has an annual budget of $1 billion -- a pittance compared with the $8 billion showered on the FBI. The ATF has also been the bain of the country's tobacco and alcohol industries.

ACTION ALERT: Mobilize against US Killer Drones
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime & Alexa O'Brien / The Guardian)

Imagine you awake to the sound of a machine noisily buzzing over your house, and another machine nearby in the sky, and another. These machines and others like them have been around for months. The machines are unmanned drones armed with missiles. Every once in a while they blow up a house or a car or a couple of kids playing soccer or a grandmother walking to the store, sometimes a McDonald's or a shopping center. Imagine that you've learned to live with this.

November 6: Global Protests Against Depleted Uranium
(BBC News & The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

Anti-war campaigners staged a "mass walk-on" at Scotland's Dundrennan artillery range to protest the test firing of depleted uranium (DU) weapons into the Solway Firth. It was only one part of an international day of action organized to publicize concerns about the serious health issues -- ranging from cancer to stillbirths and mutant babies -- resulting from the use of such weapons in war zones.

November 6: Global Protests Against Depleted Uranium
(BBC News & The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

Anti-war campaigners staged a "mass walk-on" at Scotland's Dundrennan artillery range to protest the test firing of depleted uranium (DU) weapons into the Solway Firth. It was only one part of an international day of action organized to publicize concerns about the serious health issues -- ranging from cancer to stillbirths and mutant babies -- resulting from the use of such weapons in war zones.

The Troubling Legacy of Atomic Weapons and Nuclear Power
(Lisbeth Gronlund / The Union of Concerned Scientists & Lindsay Abrams / Salon.com)

The Cold War ended more than 20 years ago, but the US still maintains some 4,500 nuclear weapons -- each able to destroy much of a large city. Hundreds of these weapons are kept on hair-trigger alert. Meanwhile, thanks to America's dependence on nuclear power, some 70,000 metric tons of spent fuel are being temporarily stashed at power plants across the country. Illinois is America's biggest nuclear dump, storing 13 percent of this toxic and potentially deadly radioactive waste.

Arms Companies Gripe About Sequester as Profits Soar
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jeremy Herb / The Hill)

More more than a decade America's wartime economy marked annual records in military spending. The arms lobby warned that sequestration threatened spending cuts that could send the whole economic system crashing down. The gloomy predictions never panned out, however, and the major contractors continue to enjoy massive, rising profits at the same time millions of Americans families face cuts in federal aid for health, food, safety and education programs.

US Dismisses UN Criticism, Insists Remote Drone Killings Are 'Just'
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alexandra Olson / AP & Michelle Nichols / Reuters)

The UN conference on drone strikes opened today in New York with calls from UN experts to see more transparency around the use of drones for extraterritorial executions by nations, and condemnations by several nations of the unlawful use of the attacks en masse by the US. The Obama Administration was quick to dismiss any complaints, insisting the killings of several thousand people worldwide without any legal oversight by CIA drones was "legal and just."

US Channels $7 Billion into Massive 'Super-destroyer'
(Fox News & The Associated Press & The Daily Mail)

The Navy once envisioned building more than 20 of these super-destroyers but the costs grew so high that senior Navy officials tried to kill the program. Instead, it was truncated to just three ships. According to US media reports, the Zumwalt will cost "more than $3.5 billion" -- about three times that of current destroyers. The British media, however, claims the new super-destroyer will ultimately cost $7 billion.

The Navy Stealth Battleship Strike Force May Not be Seaworthy
(David Axe / War is Boring)

The Navy's newest warships are hard to detect on radar, heavily armed with super-accurate guns and missiles … and giganti -- 600-feet long and displacing 15,000 tons, these Zumwalt-class destroyers are actually as big as some World War I battleships. But even a $7-billion stealth battleship has weaknesses. if a big wave hits from behind the vessel is prone to tumble and could capsize. The Zumwalts' most dangerous enemy could prove to be the sea itself.

UN Warns US 'Assassination Drones' Violate International Law
(Owen Bowcott / The Guardian)

A UN report says the CIA's use of unmanned drone attacks has led to numerous civilian deaths and casualties and says US protocols regarding the use of remote-controlled assassinations are 'hurdle to transparency.' A related report by the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions says drone strikes harm global security.

How the World Health Organization Covered Up Iraq's Nuclear Nightmare
(Dr. Nafeez Ahmed / The Guardian & The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons & Neel Mani / The Huffington Post)

In September, the World Health Organization published a long-awaited report documenting the prevalence of congenital birth defects in Iraq, which many experts believe is linked to the US use of depleted uranium munitions. But the WHO's conclusions contrasted dramatically from the findings from Iraq's Ministry of Health officials who cited "damning evidence" that birth defects were actually much higher than WHO admitted.

US Launches Nuclear-Capable Missiles; Israel Has Built 80 Nuclear Bombs
(The New Age Peace Foundation & Haider Rizvi / The Pakistan Daily Times & Batsheva Sobelman / The New York Times)

While US media and politicians fixate on Iran's non-existence nuclear weapons, little attention is paid to real nuclear threats. On September 22 and 26, the US conducted tests of the Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile which is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to any target on Earth. Meanwhile, Israel has 80 nuclear warheads and maintains the potential to double that number, according to US experts.

Washington, Nuke Industry, to Provide Controversial Nuclear Technology to Vietnam, Saudi Arabia
(Elaine M. Grossman / Global Security Newswire )

While the US threatens Iran over a non-existent nuclear weapons program, Washington is prepared to supply atomic technology to Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. Vietnam has refused to promise it won't use the support to build a weapon. Saudi officials have repeatedly expressed interest in possessing nuclear weapons. The nuclear lobby, meanwhile, insists that State Department negotiators should not demand a "weapons-free" pledge because doing so "might harm US business interests."

While Syria Disarms, US and Israel Maintain Illegal Stockpiles of Chemical Weapons
(Common Dreams & Haaretz & BBC World News )

As the Obama administration threatens a military attack on Syria unless the government follows international 'norms' on chemical weapons, the US violates those very norms by storing tons of chemical weapons at in Kentucky and Colorado, in violation of promises to the international community. Meanwhile, a secret CIA report indicates Israel amassed a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons decades ago. Israel has not ratified the Chemical Weapons Treaty.

US Failing International Treaty as Chemical Weapons Stockpile Plagues Panama
(Jacob Chamberlain / Common Dreams & Tim Johnson / McClatchy News)

As the US continues to hold the threat of war over the Syria if its leaders don't destroy its chemical weapons, a recent report highlights the hypocrisy of Washington's threat. The truth is, the US has left one of its own chemical weapons stockpiles sitting on an island off the coast of Panama for over 60 years. Despite years of requests from Panama's leaders to abide by international law and disable unexploded chemical weapons left on the island of San Jose, the US has yet to make a firm commitment.

The Soul of Our Nation: War
(Bruce Gagnon / Common Dreams )

Commentary: "This is how it works. The US has been providing Egypt with nearly $2 billion a year in 'aid' since 1979. Most of this is military aid. That 'aid' is used to buy weapons from US corporations. So, in reality, most of US foreign aid becomes a welfare program for the military/industrial complex. US communities have become addicted to war spending and military production. The #1 industrial export product of our nation is weapons."

ACTION ALERT: Oct. 7 Vote to Block the $1.5-Trillion F-35 Taxpayer Rip-off
(Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & The Daily Kos)

If the Burlington City Council votes to block basing F-35 warplanes in Burlington, that won't kill the $1.5 trillion taxpayer ripoff, but it will set a crucial precedent. It will prove that the F-35 is politically vulnerable. It will mark a historic defeat of pork-barrel military Keynesianism. It would help change t