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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.


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 the national posture on unnecessary military spending. It would help abolish the dogma that its necessary to support military spending -- when it's in your district.

Trident: This 100-Billion-Pound Armageddon Weapon Won't Make Us One Jot Safer
(Simon Jenkins / The Guardian )

How many Trident submarines does Britain need? Medieval schoolmen sharpened their brains by counting angels on pinheads. British policymakers sharpen theirs by counting warheads on missiles. The consensus among the three main parties on Trident merely illustrates that the defence lobby scares politicians stupid.

Let's Be Honest About Israel's Nukes
(Victor Gilinsky and Henry D. Sorolski / New York Time Op-Ed Contributors)

Commentary: "If Washington wants negotiations over weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East to work -- or even just to avoid making America appear ridiculous -- Mr. Obama should begin by being candid. He cannot expect the countries participating in a conference to take America seriously if the White House continues to pretend that we don't know whether Israel has nuclear weapons or, for that matter, whether Egypt and Israel have chemical or biological ones."

Kerry Signs Arms Treaty, Senators Threaten to Block It
(Fox News & Amnesty International & The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Secretary of State John Kerry on signed a controversial UN treaty on arms regulation, calling the global treaty a "significant step" in addressing illegal gun sale -- and riling US lawmakers who vow the Senate will not ratify the agreement. What impact the treaty will have in curbing the estimated $60 billion global arms trade remains to be seen.

Syria's Chemical Weapons Compliance Better than US
(AntiWar.com & The Associated Press & The Washington Times)

As the Obama administration presses the United Nations this week to rid Syria of its chemical weapons, it faces the stark reality that the United States has failed to meet a 2012 deadline to destroy its remaining arsenal and has never pressured its closest Middle East ally, Israel, to sign the treaty banning such weapons. The US still possesses some 3,000 metric tons of chemical weapons.

If We Don't Slash Our Nukes, "a Major City Is Going to Be Destroyed"
(Michael Mechanic & Eric Schlosser / Mother Jones)

While we still worry in the abstract about nuclear weapons in the hand of North Korea and Pakistan, it's easy to forget that the US maintains thousands of these ungodly devices on hair-trigger alert -- at this very moment. Even if we never drop or launch another nuke on purpose, author Eric Schlosser observes, these weapons are "the most dangerous machines ever invented. And like every machine, sometimes they go wrong."

Eliminating Nuclear Weapons Is Just as Important as Eliminating Chemical Weapons
(Lawrence Wittner / History News Network & AntiWar.com )

The apparent employment of chemical weapons in Syria should remind us that, while weapons of mass destruction exist, there is a serious danger that they will be used. At present, more than 17,000 nuclear warheads remain in the possession of nine nations (the US, Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea). More than 90 percent of that inventory consists of US and Russian warheads.

How a Regional Nuclear War Can Spur Climate Change, Famines Around the World
(Robert Kazel / Waging Peace )

Scientists have long know that a "nuclear winter" triggered by a global nuclear war could theoretically cause major climate change and create famines across the entire globe. But it is now clear that the exchange of a hundred atomic bombs by could cause long-term, global effects that would put not just one region, but the entire planet at peril. The lesson is clear -- and horrific: There is no such thing as a strictly "regional" nuclear conflict.

US Turns a Blind Eye to Israel's Chemical Weapons and Refusal to Sign the Chemical Weapons Convention
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Jerusalem Post & Barak Ravid / Haaretz)

Syria's ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention brings the number of "rogue nations" on the planet who aren't participants down to six. Bashar al-Assad's offer to identify and destroy his chemical weapons arsenal has brought some uncomfortable new attention to the one "outlier" chemical-weapons-armed nation that is a neighbor to Syria -- Israel. Israel's Foreign Ministry insists they won't ratify the CWC until everyone in the world signs a peace treaty with them.

DARPA Plans to Flood the Sea With Drones, Carrying More Drones
(Allen McDuffee / Danger Room @ Wired Magazine )

DARPA, the Pentagon's research agency, has recently revealed its plans to boost the Navy's response to threats in international waters by developing submerged unmanned platforms that can be deployed at a moment's notice. The Hydra system is intended to be delivered in international waters by ships, submarines or aircraft with the integrative capability of communicating with manned and unmanned platforms for air, surface, and water operations.

Study: Gun Ownership Linked to Increase in Firearm Homicides
(Michael Pizzi / Al Jazeera America )

A new Boston University study published in the American Journal of Public Health has found a "robust" relationship between rates of gun ownership and rates pf firearm homicide. The research, which covers more than 30 years of data, challenges the National Rifle Association's assertion that more registered guns equal fewer firearm-related deaths.

US Can't Prove Assad Used Chemical Weapons: Pentagon Documents Confirm Rebels Used Sarin Gas
(Guy Taylor / The Washington Times & WND.com )

US intelligence has yet to uncover evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad directly ordered the chemical attacks last month on civilians in a suburb of Damascus. A classified Pentagon report obtained by WND confirms that sarin was seized from the US-backed Jabhat al-Nusra Front. Some of the sarin (from al-Qaida in Iraq) made its way into Turkey where it was seized. Some could have been used in a deadly rebel attack last March 19 on civilians and soldiers in Aleppo.

10 Chemical Weapons Attacks Washington Doesn't Want You to Talk About
(Wesley Messamore / PolicyMic & Information Clearing House)

Washington doesn't merely lack the legal authority for a military intervention in Syria. It lacks the moral authority. We're talking about a government with a history of using chemical weapons against innocent people far more prolific and deadly than the mere accusations Assad faces from a trigger-happy Western military-industrial complex, bent on stifling further investigation before striking.

What the US Media Is Not Telling You about Chemical Warfare in Syria
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet / Special to Environmentalists Against War)

Horrendous civilian casualties were sustained in an August 21 incident that devastated a suburb of Damascus. The US was prepared to attack Syrian targets before UN inspectors could assess what chemical weapons -- if any -- were used. Meanwhile, UN investigators have confirmed that the US-backed rebels have killed civilians and soldiers using sarin and other chemical weapons -- possibly supplied by Saudi Arabia.

A Short History of Chemical Warfare
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet )

As of February 2013, Albania, India, Iraq, Libya, Russia, and the US still admitted to possessing chemical weapons stockpiles. Under the Chemical Weapons Convention, signatory nations are required to destroy their remaining stockpiles. Russia and the US, with the world's largest inventories of chemical and biological weapons, have still not eliminated their stockpiles.

Revealed: UK Government Let British Company Export Nerve Gas Chemicals to Syria
(Cahal Milmo & Andy McSmith & Nikhil Kumar / The Independent)

The British Government was accused of "breathtaking laxity" in its arms controls lafter it emerged that officials in David Cameron's administration authorized the export to Syria of two chemicals used to manufacture nerve agents. The UK's Business Secretary will be required to explain why a British company was granted export licences for the chemicals at the same time Syria's civil war was raging and their were fears that the regime could use chemical weapons on its own people.

'Surgical Strikes' Are an Orwellian Dream
(Kelley B. Vlahos / AntiWar.com )

Commentary: Imagine that you live in the nation's capitol, by the Pentagon or minutes away near the Marine Corps headquarters in Quantico or the parkway from the National Security Agency in in Maryland. Now imagine you hear a radio or TV report warning that one of those places might be bombed as punishment for something your president did. This punitive measure is to be meted out against "military assets," and guess what -- You live right down the street from one.

How the US Armed Saddam Hussein with Chemical Weapons
(Norm Dixon / Green Left Weekly )

On August 18, 2002, the New York Times ran the headline: "Officers say US aided Iraq despite the use of gas". "Senior military officers" revealed that, in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan covertly provided "critical" support to Iraq. Not only did Washington turn a blind-eye to the Hussein's repeated use of chemical weapons against Iran and Iraq's Kurdish minority, but the US helped Iraq develop its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs.

US Hypocrisy on Use of Illegal Weapons
(Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams )

Hypocrisy and the legacy of globL death lingers as US claims it has a moral authority to rain cruise missiles on Syria. The US slams Syria for possessing "chemical weapons" at the same time Washington stands recognized as a serial user of chemical and radioactive weapons widely condemned as illegal and immoral by the global community.

Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack
(Dale Gavlak and Yahya Ababneh / Mint Press News & the Associated Press)

As the machinery for a US-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week's chemical weapons attack, the US and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit. Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.

US Selling Cluster Bombs Worth $641 Million to Saudi Arabia
(Carey L. Biron / Inter Press Service )

Arms control advocates are decrying a new US Department of Defense announcement that it will be building and selling 1,300 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, worth some 641 million dollars. The munitions at the heart of the sale are technically legal under recently strengthened US regulations aimed at reducing impact on civilian safety, but activists contend that battlefield evidence suggests the weapons actually exceed those regulations.

Second Air Force Nuke Unit Fails Safety and Security Inspection
(Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Barbara Starr / CNN)

An Air Force nuclear missile unit failed a safety and security inspection this week over a number of "tactical level errors." Despite the miserable failure, officials say that the wing will main certified to conduct nuclear operations. The wing, one of three in charge of the Minuteman III nuclear ICBMs, is the second to fail an inspection over the past three months.

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki
(Rachel Kent / Friends Committee on National Legislation)

August 6 marks the 68th anniversary of the first use of a nuclear weapon. Tens of thousands of people in Japan and around the world will commemorate this attack with prayers, vigils and other events. In Hiroshima, people will remember those who died and pray for peace at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. In the US, Americans are invited to join vigils and remembrances while contacting representatives to call for peace and nuclear disarmament.

US Expands Global Drone Warfare
(Thomas Gaist / World Socialist Web Site )

In what the Washington Post describes as the "next phase of drone warfare," the Obama administration is set to "extend the Pentagon's robust surveillance networks far beyond traditional, declared combat zones." According to the Post, Washington is set to deploy the drone fleet to new areas across the globe, where it will be used to monitor drug runners, pirates and "other targets that worry US officials."

ACTION ALERT: Scrap the F-35 -- 'The Jet that Ate the Pentagon'
(Stephen Miles / Credo Action & Winslow Wheeler / Foreign Policy)

If enough of us speak up to our elected officials and let them know that we want them to end the F-35 program instead of gutting social security and medicare, they'll know that letting that this insane weapons program continue will prove politically costly. Rather than throwing good money after bad, Congress should not spend another penny on the troubled F-35.

Was US Reporter's Mysterious Death the Result of a 'Car-Hacking'?
(The Cleveland Challenger )

Some friends and fans of Rollng Stone reporter Michael Hastings believe the mysterious car crash that killed Hastings -- the reporter who whose revelations brought an end to the career of a powerful military leader -- could have been an assasination. Scientists have proven that cyber attacks against modern, computerized cars make them easy targets to hack, control and use against a driver.

Kill Wasteful Missile Defense Efforts
(Ivan Eland / AntiWar.com )

In the 30 years, since President Ronald Reagan created his expensive pie-in-the-sky Strategic Defense Initiative, the US has spent $250 billion trying to shoot down fast intercontinental ballistic missiles, such as those that might someday be fielded by Iran and North Korea. Despite huge costs and poor performance, this corporate boondoggle has not been terminated -- despite three decades of failure.

US Navy Makes History by Landing Unmanned Drone on Aircraft Carrier
(Spencer Ackerman and Raya Jalabi / The Guardian)

The US Navy has made aviation history by successfully landing a highly autonomous drone on an aircraft carrier at sea. The batwing-shaped X-47B executed one of the hardest maneuvers in aviation, catching the arrested-landing gear on the deck of the USS George HW Bush off the mid-Atlantic coast, the Navy announced Wednesday. Never before has a robot performed a feat executable only by the navy's top pilots.

Trayvon Martin Might Be Alive If the Law Required Gun Insurance
(Andrew Meyer / The Washington Spectator )

During George Zimmerman's trial, one rarely heard the death of Trayvon Martin linked to the issue of firearm safety. There is little doubt that if Zimmerman had not been armed, Martin would be alive. To what degree are firearms dangerous in and of themselves? The NRA has blocked the government from publishing statistics on gun deaths and injury. But an answer might be found in Kansas.

Obama: Honor Trayvon Martin by Battling Gun Violence
(Hasani Gittens and Elizabeth Chuck / NBC News )

President Obama called on the nation to honor Trayvon Martin a day after George Zimmerman was acquitted of his murder by asking citizens to do "all we can to stem the tide of gun violence." His comments came as family members of Zimmerman and Martin, as well as pundits, celebrities, and court observers had strong reactions to the "not guilty" verdict,

The Rise of Military Robots
(Kit Eaton / Fast Company)

A century of sci-fi movie predictions have just been realized in the 6-foot-tall, robust android called Atlas. From Robocop to Terminator to Saturn 3, robots have had some bad press in sci-fi movies -- particularly when given guns and assigned military roles. But that's all fiction. Here are some prototypes of actual military bots that are really scary.

Invisible Threat: The Looming Shadow of BioWar
(Al Jazeera)

Whether it is the infection of water supplies in Nigeria, milk tanks in Minnesota, fenugreek seeds in Egypt, the world must learn how to deal with this new form of bio-terror, a global threat that cannot be ignored. "Invisible Threat" examines the history of humans developing and using bio weapons -- primarily the Japanese, the Americans, the Soviets, the British and the Canadians.

ACTION ALERT: Cut Pentagon's Spending for B61 Nuclear Bomb
(Ploughshares & Peace Action West & Friends Committee on National Legislation)

The US is about to buy a B61 nuclear bomb that costs more than its weight in gold -- to fulfill a Cold War mission that no longer exists. On June 27, the Senate's Armed Services Subcommittee cut the B61’s budget by over 30%. Unfortunately, the House Appropriations Committee gave the B61 a $23 million increase. Rep. Quigley has offered an amendment to cut these extra funds. Let Congress know your concerns.

ACTION ALERT: Global Nuclear Abolition Week
(The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons )

From July 6-13 July 2013, Nuclear Abolition Week kicks off with activities across the world for a ban on nuclear weapons. This global week of action is intended to raise awareness of the unacceptable harm caused by nuclear weapons, and the urgent need for a ban treaty.

Israel Seeks $5 Billion Loan from US Banks to Buy Arms from US Corporations
(United Press International)

Israel is reported to be seeking US loan guarantees of $5 billion to finance the purchase of the advanced weapons systems the US administration has offered the Jewish state under a $10 billion packages for its Middle East allies.

Pentagon Plans $554 Million Purchase of Unusable Russian Copters for Afghanistan
(Associated Press & Reuters)

The Pentagon is spending more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to buy Russian-made helicopters and other aircraft for an Afghan aviation unit that lacks the troops and expertise to operate and maintain the equipment, a government watchdog warned.

Obama Backs First-Strike Nuclear War as US Policy
(Francis A. Boyle / Information Clearing House )

Analysis: The Obama recently raised the hopes of the nuclear disarmament community by calling on Russia to accept a mutual one-third reduction of each country's atomic arsenal. At the same time, however, a leading international military scholar argues that Washington's latest nuclear war policy has rejected "deterrence" as an option.

The Drone Ranger: Obama's Dirty Wars
(Greg Palast for Vice Magazine )

Every Tuesday, President Obama personally checks off the names of people he wants killed. George Bush, a bit more squeamish than Obama, never did that; but Mr. Obama felt those decisions were the president's responsibility: he want[s] to keep his own finger on the trigger," according to one report. A tidy, scheduled man, the President only picks his victims once a week, now called "Terror Tuesday."

ACTION ALERT: The 5 Nuclear Powers Should Attend the Nuclear Disarmament Summit
(Petition by Aaron T. / Avaaz.org & Global Zero)

Establishing a nuclear-weapon-free world requires international cooperation. As the first-ever world summit on nuclear disarmament, the 26 September High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament could be the beginning of the end of the nuclear threat. But the nuclear-weapons states -- China, France, Russia, UK, and USA -- have already this year collectively decided not to attend.

US-Backed Rebels (Not Syria) Used Nerve Gas; Plotted to Arm Drones with Sarin
(RT News & Gearoid O Colmain / Global Research )

Authorities in Iraq have uncovered a plot by US-backed al-Qaeda rebels in Syria to use unmanned drones to deliver chemical weapons. A defense ministry spokesman said five men had been arrested after military intelligence monitored them for three months. The plotters had three workshops for manufacturing sarin and mustard gas. Remote-controlled toy planes were also seized at the workshops. The rebels reportedly had plans to smuggle sarin-armed drones to Europe and North America.

Forget Iran, Israel Has 80 Nuclear Weapons -- With More Than 17,000 Controlled by Other Countries
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Gavriel Fiske / The Times of Israel & Richard Norton-Taylor / The Guardian)

At the start of 2013, eight states -- the US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel -- possessed approximately 4,400 operational nuclear weapons, with nearly 2,000 kept in a state of high operational alert. If all warheads are counted, these states possess approximately 17,265 nuclear weapons. According to the Stockholm Institute, all five legally recognized nuclear states 'appear determined to retain nuclear arsenals indefinitely.'

UK Pulls Man's Citizenship So US Drones Can Kill Him
(Chris Woods and Alice K Ross / The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

The parents of a British citizen killed by a US drone strike after being stripped of his citizenship have spoken out for the first time -- to say they will never forgive the British Government for his death. Mohamed Sakr was born and raised in London before he was targeted and killed in 2012 in Somalia. Now his Egyptian-born parents Gamal and Eman Sakr, who have lived in Britain for 35 years, have accused UK ministers of betraying this country's democratic values.

US-Backed Rebels (Not Syria) Used Nerve Gas; Plotted to Arm Drones with Sarin
(RT News & Gearoid O Colmain / Global Research )

Authorities in Iraq have uncovered a plot by US-backed al-Qaeda rebels in Syria to use unmanned drones to deliver chemical weapons. A defense ministry spokesman said five men had been arrested after military intelligence monitored them for three months. The plotters had three workshops for manufacturing sarin and mustard gas. Remote-controlled toy planes were also seized at the workshops. The rebels reportedly had plans to smuggle sarin-armed drones to Europe and North America.

UN Expert Calls for Halt in Military Robot Development
(Nick Cumming-Bruce / The New York Times )

A United Nations expert has called for a global moratorium on the testing, production and use of armed robots that can select and kill targets without human command. "War without reflection is mechanical slaughter," said Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. "A decision to allow machines to be deployed to kill human beings worldwide -- whatever weapons they use -- deserves a collective pause."

'The Point of No Return': Should Robots Be Able to Decide to Kill You On Their Own?
(John Knefel / Rolling Stone )

A UN report has called for a global moratorium on developing highly sophisticated robots that can select and kill targets without a human being directly issuing a command. These machines, known as Lethal Autonomous Robots (LARs), may sound like science fiction -- but experts increasingly believe some version of them could be created in the near future.

ACTION ALERT: Consensus Killer Robots Must Be Addressed
(Stop Killer Robots.org )

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots welcomes the UN Special Rapporteur's report and urges all to endorse and implement its recommendations, including the call for an immediate moratorium on robotics weapons systems that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further intervention by a human. This would be a first step towards a comprehensive international ban on these fully autonomous weapons.

Are Washington, Moscow, and Beijing Using the Global Arms Trade to Create a New Cold War?
(Tom Englehardt & Michael T. Klare / Tom Dispatch)

Did Washington just give Israel the green light for a future attack on Iran via an arms deal? Did Russia just signal its further support for Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime via an arms deal? Are the Russians, the Chinese, and the Americans all heightening regional tensions in Asia via arms deals? Is it possible that we're witnessing the beginnings of a new Cold War in two key regions of the planet -- and that the harbingers of this unnerving development are arms deals?

Russia Calls For Multilateral Nuclear Weapons Cuts
(RIA Novosti )

Russia is not willing to negotiate further bilateral nuclear cuts with the US until other nuclear powers join the process, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. "We cannot endlessly negotiate with the US the reduction and limitation of nuclear arms while some other countries are strengthening their nuclear and missile capabilities. Making nuclear disarmament a multilateral process is becoming a priority."

Japan, India to Discuss Military Plane Sales
(Agence France-Presse & Arab News )

Japan is close to signing an agreement to supply amphibious planes to India, a report said yesterday, in what would be the first sale of hardware used by the military since a weapons export ban was imposed. The sale would be the first of a finished product made by Japan's homegrown defense industry since rules were imposed restricting the export of weapons systems. It would also mark a strengthening of the Japanese-Indian alliance against China.

Throwing Money at Nukes
(Editorial / The New York Times )

The US has about 180 B61 gravity nuclear bombs based in Europe, deployed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey to protect NATO allies from the once-feared Soviet advantage in conventional arms. But the cold war is long over and no American military commander can conceive of their ever being used. Even so, President Obama has put $537 million in his 2014 budget proposal to upgrade these bombs.

The F-22 and F-35: America's Costly Military Boondoggles
(Ilana Freedman / GerardDirect.com & Reva Patwardhan / Orange County Register)

Congress has spent $40 billion on a 'state of the art' fighter plane that was designed-by-committee and can't fly. Defense spending analyst Winslow Wheeler concluded from the flight evaluation reports that the F-35A "is flawed beyond redemption." Costs for another failed fighter, the F-22, bring the tab of squandered tax dollars to $120 billion.

ACTION ALERT: Block the $10 Billion B61 Nuclear Bomb
(Peace Action West & the Federation of Atomic Scientists)

The federal government is about to spend $10 billion on 400 bombs that even military commanders say have "no military value." Take action below to urge your representative to oppose the B61 bomb Life Extension Program and stop plans to build an atomic bomb that costs more than its weight in gold.

Israel, Iran, and the Threat of a Nuclear Holocaust
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / Tom Dispatch)

"Has a weapon ever been invented, no matter how terrible, and not used? The crossbow, the dreadnought, poison gas, the tank, the landmine, chemical weapons, napalm, the B-29, the drone: all had their day and for some that day remains now. Even the most terrible weapon of all, the atomic bomb, that city-buster, that potential civilization-destroyer, was used as soon as it was available."

Land-Based US 'Doomsday' Missiles Pose Threat of Nuclear Apocalypse
(David Krieger and Daniel Ellsberg / Waging Peace & The Christian Science Monitor)

If President Obama is truly concerned about nuclear safety, he should seriously consider doing away with the 450 inter-continental ballistic missiles deployed and ready to fire at Russia on a moment's notice. In the event of a warning of a Russian nuclear attack, there would be an incentive to launch all 450 of these Minuteman missiles. Their very deployment has the potential to launch World War III and precipitate human extinction -- as a result of a false alarm.

When the US Endorsed Saddam Hussein's Use of Chemical Weapons
(David Morrsion / David Morrison.org )

At this time when President Obama has declared the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime to be a "red line," with dire consequences, it is appropriate to recall a time when the US endorsed the use of chemical weapons and took the lead in blocking Security Council condemnation of their use. We are, of course, talking about Iraq's use of chemical weapons in its 1980-88 war against Iran and US support for Iraq in that aggression in order to prevent an Iranian victory.

Internal US Report: Navy's $37 Billion Ship Project 'Can't Meet Mission'
(Tony Capaccio / Bloomberg)

US Navy leaders were warned last year that a $37 billion program to build Littoral Combat Ships can't meet its promised mission because the vessels are too lightly manned and armed, according to a confidential report. The 36-page report obtained by Bloomberg News is at odds with assurances from Navy leaders that their project is on course to deliver a small, speedy and adaptable ship intended to patrol waters close to shore.

General Orders Extra Review of Nuke Crew Failings
(Robert Burns / Associated Press )

The general who commands the nation's nuclear forces said Thursday he has ordered further review of failings discovered among Air Force officers who operate nuclear missiles. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that a March inspection of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot gave the missile crews the equivalent of a "D" grade in missile operations, leading to the removal from duty of an unprecedented 17 officers.

Pentagon Tests Prototype of 3,000 MPH Super Weapon
(W.J. Hennigan / The Los Angeles Times)

A lightning-quick experimental aircraft made history when it sped more than 3,000 mph above the Pacific Ocean in a test flight, reigniting decades-long efforts to develop a vehicle that could travel faster than a speeding bullet. The unmanned X-51A WaveRider, which resembles a shark-nosed missile, was launched midair Wednesday off the coast near Point Mugu. It sped westward for 240 seconds, reaching Mach 5.1, or more than five times the speed of sound.

Drones Are Deadly and Dangerous -- and Not Just to Terrorists
(Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson / Al Jazeera)

Commentary: Although it's far removed from the public conscience, we ought to pay more attention at just what drone use portends. Drone use is appallingly misunderstood by the US government. Democrats believe they are regaining national security clout while not putting boots on the ground; Republicans believe drones are turning the tide by killing terrorists. They are both badly mistaken. The results are terrifyingly negative and counter-productive.

Report: US Used Chemical Weapons (DU) In Assaults on Iraq Cities
(International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

To mark the 10th anniversary of the 2003 invasion, a new report has highlighted continuing uncertainties over the impact and legacy of the use of 400 tons of depleted uranium (DU) weapons in Iraq. The report reveals the extent of DU's use in civilian areas for the first time. Instead of limiting targets to armored vehicles, the US used the weapons against a wide range of targets, with attacks often taking place within civilian areas, leaving residents at risk from contamination.

Chemical Weapons Hypocrisy: WMD for We But Not For Thee
(Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com )

The French, British and Israeli governments have all accused Syria's regime of using chemical weapons in its ongoing struggle with foreign-backed rebels. And US president Barack Obama, while carefully avoiding a direct accusation, has publicly mused that proof of the charge would be a "game-changer." But the allegation rings hollow ... or at least hypocritical. The fact is, each of these countries have routinely and repeatedly resorted to the use of chemical weapons.

The Profligate Nuclear Pentagon: Billions for A-bombs Exempt from Sequestration
(Steve Breyman / AntiWar.com )

American taxpayers don't get their money's worth from their ever-growing annual investment in the Pentagon. It's a bottomless pit that makes a hydrofracked well look like a pothole. Congress does not require nuclear weapons spending to be collected in a single budget document or account. And, believe it or not, there is no 'industry standard,' no consensus on the definition of what constitutes spending on nuclear weapons. Guess range between $18 to $52 billion per year.

America's War Games
(People and Power / Al Jazeera )

Lockheed Martin builds submarines, launches ballistic missiles, and runs the nuclear weapons laboratories; General Dynamics builds nuclear subs; and Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin are all hoping to build the next nuclear bomber. The administration's Asia-Pacific "pivot" is a way to bolster defense spending in the face of pressure for cuts. "We need a threat.Al-Qaeda has sort of run out of strength and we have to have a new threat to justify continued spending."

DHS Shoots to Stockpile of 1 Billion Rounds; Fires More Bullets than US Army
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Fox News)

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security is using roughly 1,000 rounds of ammunition more per person than the US Army, as he and other lawmakers sharply questioned DHS officials on their "massive" bullet buys. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the full Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he suspects rounds are being stockpiled, and then either "disposed of," passed to non-federal agencies, or shot "indiscriminately."

White House Ducks Drone Hearings, Draws Senators' Scorn
(Ben Wolfgang / The Washington Times )

The White House drew scorn from both sides of the aisle after it refused to send a witness to the first Senate hearing on drone warfare and targeted killings. By ducking the panel, the Obama administration only fueled questions about its drone program, its legal rationale for global strikes against terrorists and if, and under what circumstances, it believes American citizens could be put in the cross hairs.

Obama Accused of Nuclear U-turn as Weapons Plan Emerges
(Julian Borger, diplomatic editor / The Guardian )

Barack Obama has been accused of reneging on his disarmament pledges after it emerged the administration was planning to spend billions on upgrading nuclear bombs stored in Europe to make the weapons more reliable and accurate. Under the plan, nearly 200 B61 gravity bombs stockpiled in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey would be given new tail fins that would turn them into guided weapons that could be delivered by stealth F35 fighter-bombers.

Bombs Astray! How Nuclear Bombs Killed John Wayne
(Larry Getlen / The New York Post)

When John Wayne played Genghis Khan in the 1956 film, "The Conquerer," he became a victim of the Pentagon's nuclear testing. The film's Utah location was downwind from the Nevada site where, just one year earlier, the US Army conducted "one of the dirtiest atmospheric detonations of all time." More than 90 of the film's 220 cast and crewmembers, eventually developed cancers which eventually killed Wayne, Agnes Moorehead, Susan Hayward and director Dick Powell.

Pentagon Plans for Nuclear-powered Drones and Anti-aircraft Lasers
(Nick Fielding / The Guardian & Agence France Presse )

Citing increased efficiency and lower costs, the Pentagon has revealed technology designed to increase the flying time of unmanned drones 'from days to months' – by powering robot aircraft (and weapons systems) using nuclear-powered propulsion. Not to be out-done, the US Navy has mounted a powerful laser gun on a ship heading to the Persian Gulf. For $1 "per round," the DOD calls the weapon a bargain. Potential targets: Iranian drones and naval forces in speedboats.

ACTION ALERT: Halt Plan to Spend $10 Billion to 'Refurbish' Nuclear Bombs
(Katie Heald / Peace Action West & Noah Shachtman / DangerRoom, WIRED Magazine)

As rumors fly that President Obama is preparing to cut Social Security benefits and increase the cost of Medicare to "balance" the federal budget, the Pentagon is about to embark on a $10 billion program to "refurbish" 400 B61 nuclear bombs -- weapons that even top military commanders admit have "no military value."

What Rules Should Govern US Drone Attacks?
(Kenneth Roth / The New York Review of Books )

As bits and pieces of the Obama administration's legal justifications for its drone attacks trickle out, what is most striking is their deliberate ambiguity. The recent Justice Department "White Paper," for example, is meant to give the impression that, at least for US citizen targets, the program has been carefully reviewed by lawyers, but it seems written to maximize the program's latitude.

US Boycotts Global Summit on Nuclear War
(Tim Wright / Truthout Op-Ed)

A quiet revolution took place in Oslo earlier this month. More than 120 governments, UN agencies, and NGOs gathered to debate the problem of nuclear weapons through a humanitarian lens. Never before in the 68 years of the Atomic Age has there been such a concerted push by states to outlaw these weapons completely. The five major nuclear powers -- the US, Russia, Britain, France and China -- issued a joint statement declaring that they would boycott the conference.

US Navy Funding Giant Jellyfish Robot
(Scott Neuman / National Public Radio & Matthew Humphries / Geek.com)

The Pentagon has been busy building drones in the shape of various animals, including hummingbirds and dogs. Now, taxpayer-dollars are being spent to build a robot jellyfish. Cyro, which measures 5 feet 7 inches in diameter and weighs 170 pounds, moves through the water effortlessly. The faux jellyfish could be released into the world's oceans to conduct covert surveillance.

US Boycotts Global Summit on Nuclear War
(Tim Wright / Truthout Op-Ed)

A quiet revolution took place in Oslo earlier this month. More than 120 governments, UN agencies, and NGOs gathered to debate the problem of nuclear weapons through a humanitarian lens. Never before in the 68 years of the Atomic Age has there been such a concerted push by states to outlaw these weapons completely. The five major nuclear powers -- the US, Russia, Britain, France and China -- issued a joint statement declaring that they would boycott the conference.

Obama's Nuke Double Standards
(Nat Parry / Consortium News )

The US continues to demonstrate double, triple and quadruple standards in its policies toward nuclear proliferation and disarmament. President Obama warns that "all options are on the table" regarding a possible attack against Iran, though there's no credible evidence that it's building a nuclear bomb. By contrast, Israel maintains an undeclared nuclear arsenal and the US has thousands of nukes with no specific plans to get rid of them.

President Obama: The Drones Don't Work, They Just Make It Worse
(Rafia Zakaria / Amnesty International)

White House officials are keen to change the impression that President Obama is a champion of secret assassinations using armed drones on shaky legal grounds. A major speech is expected soon in which the president will define a new direction in counter-terrorism policy. Such a speech can be seen as provoked by the questions raised in Senator Paul’s filibuster regarding the possibility of the President ordering drone strikes on US citizens.

ACTION ALERT: For Nuclear Security Beyond Seoul, Eradicate Land-Based 'Doomsday' Missiles
(Democracy in Action & David Krieger and Daniel Ellsberg / Waging Peace)

With the US and South Korea engaged in a risky game of provocation with nuclear-armed North Korea, President Obama has the opportunity in his second term to put the world squarely on track to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons. Please take a moment to send President Obama a message today asking him to take three actions that will make the US and the world safer:

More Pentagon Provocation: US Nuclear-equipped Vessels to Remain Near South Korea
(Jeong Yong-soo and Kim Hee-jin / Mesh Nation )

After two Korea-US joint military drills end, US vessels equipped with nuclear weapons will stay in South Korean waters to guarantee the US "nuclear umbrella" in case North Korea attacks. According to a high-ranking South Korean official: "If North Korea makes a nuclear attack, retaliation can come from US nuclear weapons stationed in Okinawa or Guam. But considering the time that might take, we need to have a nuclear weapon near the Korean Peninsula."

Iran, North Korea and Syria Block UN Arms Treaty
(Al Jazeera)

Iran, North Korea and Syria have blocked adoption of a UN treaty to regulate the $70 billion-dollar global arms trade which required agreement by all 193 UN members. Iran's UN Ambassador said the draft treaty has major loopholes and ignores the "legitimate demand'' to prohibit arms transfers to those who commit aggression. "How can we reduce human suffering by turning a blind eye to aggression that costs the lives of hundreds of thousands?" he asked.

Why UN Arms Negotiations Must Include Talk of Ending Corporate Secrecy
(Al Jazeera)

Analysis: "There is a need to fix the system that enables illegal arms dealers and other felons to evade law enforcement. Addressing anonymous shell companies and hidden company ownership will be essential to successfully stemming the flow of illegal weapons around the world and protecting the innocent civilians who suffer from their proliferation."

F-35's Ability to Evade Budget Cuts Illustrates Challenge of Paring Defense Spending
(Rajiv Chandrasekaran / The Washington Post )

The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin, the giant contractor hired to design and build the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, have constructed a budgetary force field around the nearly $400 billion program. Although it is the costliest weapons system in US history and the costliest item in the 2013 Pentagon budget, the F-35 will face only a glancing blow from the sequester this year -- even though the program is years behind schedule and 70 percent over its initial price tag.

Thoughts on Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weapons
(Karl Grossman / Enformable & Sam Osborn / USC Annenberg & The Big Picture/ Russia Today)

With the second anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, with North Korea having threatened a "pre-emptive nuclear attack" against the United States and a US senator saying this would result in "suicide" for North Korea, with Iran suspected of moving to build nuclear weapons, with the continuing spread of nuclear technology globally, the future looks precarious as to humankind and the atom. Can humanity at this rate make it through the 21st Century?

Drone Warfare Is Neither Cheap, Nor Surgical, Nor Decisive
(William Astore / TomDispatch & AlterNet)

Today's unmanned Predator and Reaper drones,have been celebrated for offering the promise of victory through quick, clean, and selective destruction. Drones, so the story goes, assure the US military of command of the high ground and pave the royal road to a speedy and decisive triumph over helpless enemies below. Yet despite -- or perhaps because of -- these attacks, our global war against "terrorism" appears no closer to ending.

US Is Bolstering Missile Defense to Deter North Korea
(Thom Shanker and David E. Sanger and Martin Fackler / The New York Times)

The Pentagon will spend $1 billion to deploy additional ballistic missile interceptors along the Pacific Coast to counter the growing reach of North Korea's weapons, a decision accelerated by Pyongyang's recent belligerence and indications that Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, is resisting China's efforts to restrain him. The new deployments will increase the number of ground-based interceptors in California and Alaska to 44 from 30 by 2017.

UN to Debate Global Arms Treaty: Will US Block Progress Once Again?
(Al Jazeera)

Diplomats from around the world are to gather at the United Nations for talks on an international arms trade treaty, in an effort to stop the sale of illegal conventional arms.Similar talks held last July failed, mainly due to the objections of the United States and Russia, the world's two largest arms exporters.

Robot Warriors: Lethal Machines Coming of Age
(Jonathan Marcus / BBC News )

The era of drone wars is upon us and the era of robot wars could be fast approaching. Already there are unmanned aircraft like the X-47B that can fly a mission by itself with no involvement of a ground-based "pilot". Missile systems like the Patriot can identify and engage targets automatically. And from here it is not such a jump to a fully-fledged armed robot warrior, a development with huge implications for the way we conceive of war-fighting.

The Gun Industry's Deadly Addiction
(Tim Dickinson / The Rolling Stone Magazine )

For gunmakers, the political fight over assault rifles and high-capacity pistols is about more than just profits -- it's about the militarization of the marketplace: a desperate bid by gunmakers to prop up a decaying business. The market for traditional hunting guns has fallen off a cliff. To adapt, the gun industry has embraced a business strategy that requires it to place the weapons of war favored by deranged killers into the homes and holsters of as many Americans as possible.

Balance the Budget: Cut the Pentagon's Disastrous $1.5 Trillion F-35 Fighter Jet Program
(Russia Today & Business Insider & The Washington Times & National Public Radio)

The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program at a total estimated cost between $400 billion and $1.5 trillion. A leaked report now shows that the F-35A "is flawed beyond redemption" and "would be defeated in aerial combat because of its current shortcomings" including "out-of-cockpit visibility" problems limiting a pilot's ability to see aerial threats surrounding him.

ACTION ALERT: Senate Vote on Gun Violence TODAY

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on multiple measures to reduce gun violence, including a ban on military-style assault weapons -- like the gun used in Newtown. These are the first major Senate votes on gun violence prevention since the Newtown elementary school tragedy. If the bills pass the Senate Judiciary Committee, Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to push for a full Senate vote. Please contact members of the committee using the link below.

What Would Happen if Israel Bombed Iran's Nuclear Plants?
(The Guardian & BBC Channel 4)

What would happen if Israel bombed Iran's nuclear plants? A war simulation by an Israeli thinktank last month set out to discover the answer, a new documentary reveals.

The Human Cost of Military Strikes against Iran's Nuclear Facilities
(Khosrow B. Semnani / The Hinckley Institute of Politics & Omid for Iran)

If only 1 to 5 percent of the population is exposed to significant radiation levels, 2,400 to 12,000 people could suffer from severe health effects such as those witnessed in the aftermath of Chernobyl. Moreover, the damage would extend beyond Iran. An attack on the Bushehr nuclear power plant would pose a grave environmental and economic threat to civilians in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Nuclear Missile Program's Future in Doubt, Retired General Warns
(Trevor Brown / Wyoming Tribune-Eagle & Stars and Strips)

A former top military commander warned local business leaders that F.E. Warren Air Force Base and the rest of the country's nuclear ballistic missile program is being threatened by budget and political forces. "There is a growing political and cultural influence of nuclear abolitionists ... along with power political agendas that are driving forcefully for further and immediate reductions in our strategic nuclear forces," he said.

ACTION ALERT: The World's Biggest Gun Show: No Background Checks Needed
(Michelle Ringuette / Amnesty International )

On March 18 - 28, 2013, world leaders will have a Final Conference to negotiate the first-ever treaty to will prevent weapons from ending up in the hands of tyrants and child soldiers. The Obama Administration bears heavy responsibility to lead efforts in establishing a strong, human rights-orientated treaty -- during the negotiation. Tell Obama the world needs a Robust Arms Trade Treaty NOW. Take action! Learn More.

A Practical Solution to Gun Violence: Regulate Bullets
(Brooks Mencher / Insight, San Francisco Chronicle )

We all know the old cliche: Guns don't kill people.... They don't, because guns are only half the equation. Bullets kill people. Is there something immoral in a background check for ammunition purchases, something un-American in establishing a system of tracking bullets? Why do we live in an America with fewer restrictions than the world's battlefields?

Senator: US Drones Have Killed 4,700
(John Glaser / AntiWar.com & Rachel Maddow & Michael Isikoff / NBC News)

Micah Zenko, at his CFR blog, caught an obscure statement Sen. Lindsey Graham made during a speech at a Rotary Club in Easley, South Carolina. Graham issued the boilerplate defense of the drone war and then added: "We've killed 4,700. Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we're at war." His estimate of the death toll of suspected terrorists and militants by US nonbattlefield targeted killings is higher than any other reported.

Dumb and Dumber: The 'Free Press' Helps White House Hide Secret CIA Drone Base from the American People
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Al Jazeera)

For more than a year, the editors at the nation's major newspapers had done their patriotic duty, urged on by the CIA and the White House, and kept from the public the news that Washington was using a secret drone base in Africa to conduct targeted assassinations. Never mind, that the project was so outright loony, given our history, that they should have felt the obligation to publish it instantly with screaming front-page headlines and a lead editorial demanding an explanation.

Somalia: Arms Race vs Arms Embargo?
(Inside Story / Al Jazeera )

As the US pushes for an end to the arms embargo on Somalia, a United Nations monitoring team reports that a growing number of arms is being smuggled to al-Qaeda-linked fighters in the Horn of Africa. Al Jazeera examines how the unrest in the Horn of Africa is being exacerbated and who stands to gain from it.

Pyongyang Nuclear Test Detected
(Evan Ramstad / Wall Street Journal Online )

North Korea appeared to have exploded a nuclear device Tuesday, its third experimental detonation in a long effort to build weapons of mass destruction that the US and other countries consider a serious threat. An "artificial earthquake" was detected at 11:57 a.m., according to authorities in South Korea who attributed the seismic activity to the northeastern area of North Korea where Pyongyang previously detonated nuclear devices in October 2006 and May 2009.

Gunning for Business: The US and the Gun Debate
(Counting the Cost / Al Jazeera )

The gun control debate is nothing new. And, sadly, it finds new life every time there is an unnecessary death caused by someone with a gun. Al Jazeera's Counting the Costs reporters follow the money trail in the gun control debate inside the US -- where there are 90 guns for every 100 people -- and examine the influence of "gun money" at a political and corporate level.

The Politics of Gun Control
(Inside Story Americas / Al Jazeera )

Mass shootings in primary schools, universities, movie theatres, and places of worship -- the US has seen them all. They are often followed by heartfelt statements by politicians on Capitol Hill and by the president, with little action. But the killing of six and seven year olds in Newtown Connecticut last month led to a different response. For the first time President Barack Obama has put forth a plan he believes could decrease gun violence.

Probing Obama's Drone Wars
(Inside Story Americas / Al Jazeera )

As the UN launches an investigation into drone strikes, Al Jazeera examines the implications of targeted killings by the US. Meanwhile, Iranian State TV has aired video footage that it says was extracted from CIA drone it captured inside Islamic republic's airspace. (See video below.)

Boeing Readies Bunker-Buster Bomb: Washington's WMD
(Bloomberg & WIRED Magazine & Business Insider )

Just as the US returns its attention to concealed weapons of mass destruction programs in Syria and (possibly) Iran, the Air Force is saying its mega-weapon for blowing up hidden factories of death is finally ready. Crews for US Air Force B-2 stealth bombers have been trained to drop the Pentagon's 30,000-pound "bunker-buster" bomb, making it ready for combat, according to the commander of the service's long-range strike command.

Barack Obama, Drone Ranger
(Bill Moyers and Michael Winship / Bill Moyers.com)

Commentary: Since Barack Obama took office, aerial drone assaults have killed three US citizens, raising additional arguments as to whether the president has the right to order the death of Americans suspected of terrorism without due process of law. Just last week, as reports came of more deaths by drone -- including three attacks in Yemen, with 13 dead -- the United Nations announced an investigation into the legality of drones and their deadly toll on the innocent.

First City in US Passes Resolution Against Drones
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime & Natasha Lennard / Salon.com)

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Monday, February 4th, the City Council of Charlottesville, Va., passed what is believed to be the first anti-drone resolution in the country. The largely symbolic legislation aims to inspire further safeguarding of privacy as domestic drones proliferate.

What Fuels America's Love for Guns?
(Adam Winkler / Inside Story Americas & Kristen Saloomey / Al Jazeera)

Guns, Culture and Crime in the US -- in a special three-part series, Inside Story Americas takes the debate on gun control to the American people. Are they as divided as their politicians? There are nearly 300 million firearms in the US -- which is almost as many guns as there are people. It is, in fact, the most heavily armed country per capita in the world. We examine the history of gun ownership in a country where there are almost as many guns as there are people.

Atomic Bomb's Legacy Linked to Cancer Cluster in St. Louis
(Leisa Zigman / KSDK I-Team News )

Radioactive secrets beneath the waters of a north St. Louis County creek may be linked to a staggering number of cancers, illnesses and birth defects. In four square miles, there are three reported cases of conjoined twins and cancer rates that are statistically impossible. In the 1940s, thousands of tons of uranium were used to make the first atomic bombs, generating enormous amounts of radioactive waste that the government quietly ordered buried in uncovered barrels that are now leaking.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Washington: Terminate Development of Autonomous Killer Robots
(Human Rights Watch)

Fully autonomous weapons, also known as "killer robots," would be able to select and engage targets without human intervention. Fully autonomous weapons do not exist yet, but they are being developed by several countries and precursors to fully autonomous weapons have already been deployed by high-tech militaries. Some experts predict that fully autonomous weapons could be operational in 20 to 30 years.

Drones Are a Local Issue
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime & Lynn Feinerman / Tikkun Magazine)

In the absence of state or federal laws, localities around the United States are proceeding to put unmanned aerial vehicles in our skies as they see fit. The federal government has authorized the flight of 30,000 drones, and the use of drones up to 400 feet by police departments, at least 300 of which already have surveillance drones in operation.

US Military Could Redefine Global-Strike Weapons
(Elaine M. Grossman / Global Security Newswire )

The US military is weighing a redefinition of what constitutes a "prompt global strike" weapon, and the result could be to expand the kinds of conventional arms available to hit targets on short notice virtually anywhere around the world, according to defense sources. With dollars increasingly short, military chiefs lately are battling over getting a piece of the budget pie. That has made the global-strike mission an attractive catch that senior brass are vying to control.

Expert: Terrorists May Start Using Drones

A UN expert who launched a probe of drone attacks to decide if using the attack aircraft against al-Qaida amounts to a war crime because it also kills civilians also says he is concerned that combat drones -- currently largely used by the United States -- could fall into the hands of terrorist groups.

Civilian Drones in US Could Possibly Be Hijacked for Use in Attacks
(Mark Karlin / Buzzflash at TruthOut )

The Federal Aviation Administration is planning on authorizing drone use that might result in 30,000 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles cruising through US airspace in the next decade. But such drones present a chilling possibility beyond the already invasive loss of privacy and crowding of the skies: using a non-encrypted GPS system, the drones can possibly be hijacked and used for destructive purposes, potentially as bomb delivery vehicles by domestic or foreign terrorists.

Teachers Financing Guns: Investing in the Gun Industry's Gameplan
(Darwin BondGraham / East Bay Express & Jeremy Gordon / The Daily Californian )

After Adam Lanza slaughtered twenty first graders and six adults last month in Newtown, Connecticut, teachers' unions across the nation emerged as some of the most vocal advocates for stricter gun control laws. But not long after the mass shooting, it also was revealed that the California teachers' retirement system likely helped finance the production of the assault weapon that Lanza used at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

North Korea 'Plans to Conduct Nuclear Test'
(Al Jazeera )

North Korea has said it planned to carry out a third nuclear test and more rocket launches aimed at its "arch-enemy" the US, two days after the UN condemned its rocket launch. "We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States," North Korea's National Defense Commission said on Thursday.

Y'all Want Guns on Campus?
(Christine Pelisek / The Daily Beast )

Just one week after a Texas state senator filed legislation to allow concealed handguns on the state's college campuses, a scuffle between two men at Lone Star College left three people injured and the two shooters in custody. Senate Bill 182 would allow students, faculty, and staff with a concealed handgun license to carry firearms for personal protection on college campuses.

'Bug Splat': Think Tank and Rep. Ellison Call for Drone Reform
(Tom Hayden / The Peace and Justice Resource Center & The Nation)

The Council on Foreign Relations issued a report this week calling for fundamental reforms in US drone policies, surfacing sharp differences in official circles in response to widespread questioning and protest. Critics find it objectionable that the Pentagon and CIA use the term "bug splat" to refer to their civilian collateral damage -- and the acronym MALE is employed to describe "medium altitude long-endurance" drone technologies of the future.

Pentagon Plans for Drones Beneath the Sea
(Jeremy Hsu / TechNewsDaily, LiveScience.com )

Hollywood films often show alien ships or giant monsters rising from the ocean depths to threaten humanity's existence. The US military envisions hiding robotic drones on the ocean floor so that they can rise to the occasion when needed. The idea ofsubmerging sneaky spy technologies comes from DARPA, which describs its Upward Falling Payloads program as an effort to hide underwater capsules that could be triggered remotely to float to the surface and release their payloads.

5 People Shot At 3 Different Gun Shows On 'Gun Appreciation Day'
(Adam Peck / ThinkProgress )

If the gun advocates behind this year's inaugural Gun Appreciation Day had hoped to use the day’s festivities to build support for their anti-regulation platform, they are going to have to wait another year. Emergency personnel had to be called to the scene of the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, North Carolina after a gun accidentally discharged and shot three people at the show’s safety check-in booth.

Air Force Eyes Return of Mobile Nuclear Missiles
(Bob Brewin / NextGov.com )

The Air Force has dusted off plans more than two decades old to place fixed nuclear missiles on rail cars or massive road vehicles to protect them from a surprise attack. The service also wants to explore alternatives to traditional missiles to carry nuclear warheads, which could include hypersonic aircraft capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in an hour.

Experts:Drones Basis for New Global Arms Race
(Jim Michaels / USA TODAY )

The number of countries with drones expanded to more than 75. The US is years ahead of the world in the technology of drones. Drones in enemy hands could be equipped with chemical or biological weapons

Pentagon: Navy's $670 Million Fighting Ship Is 'Not Survivable'
(Spencer Ackerman & David Axe / Danger Room, WIRED Magazine )

In less than two months, the Navy will send the first of its newest class of fighting ships on its first major deployment overseas. Problem is, according to the Pentagon's chief weapons tester, the Navy will be deploying the $760 million "USS Freedom" before knowing if the so-called Littoral Combat Ship can survive combat. And what the Navy does know about the ship isn't encouraging: Among other problems, its guns don't work right.

The Pentagon As a Global NRA
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & CommonDreams )

Here's a question: while the administration is pledging to try to curb the wholesale spread of ever more powerful weaponry at home, what is it doing about the same issue abroad where it has so much more power to pursue the agenda it prefers? No one ever mentions the domestic gun control debate in the same breath with the dominant role the US plays in what's called the global arms trade. And yet, the link between the two should be obvious enough.

Japan and China Step Up Drone Race as Tension Builds over Disputed Islands
(Jonathan Kaiman and Justin McCurry / The Guardian)

Drones have taken center stage in an escalating arms race between China and Japan as they struggle to assert their dominance over disputed islands in the East China Sea. China is rapidly expanding its nascent drone program, while Japan has begun preparations to purchase an advanced model from the US. Both sides claim the drones will be used for surveillance, but experts warn the possibility of future drone skirmishes in the region's airspace is "very high."

On the Internet, Murder is Just A Click Away
(Jon Lowy /The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence )

A crazed man needs a gun to make his homicidal fantasies come true but he is not the sort of man who will casually walk into the local sporting goods store and answer questions about what type of gun he needs and for what purpose. Even if he could pass a criminal background check, the last thing he wants to do is fill out federal forms and have his gun purchase recorded and accessible to law enforcement. So what's a killer to do? Go online.

Washington Hires Bechtel-Lockheed to Manage US Nuclear Bomb Program
(Nuclear Street News Team)

The National Nuclear Security Administration has awarded a consortium led by Bechtel National and Lockheed Martin Services a contract worth upwards of $709 million to take over management of nuclear weapons facilities that include Y-12 and Pantex.

Two Former US Officials Criticize Obama's Counter-Productive Drone War
(John Glaser / AntiWar.com )

Two former US officials, one military general and another top counter-terrorism advisor for President Obama, have publicly denounced the drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, saying they disproportionately kill civilians and generate anti-American sentiments that aid al-Qaeda recruitment efforts.

Two Former US Officials Criticize Obama's Counter-Productive Drone War
(John Glaser / AntiWar.com )

Two former US officials, one military general and another top counter-terrorism advisor for President Obama, have publicly denounced the drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, saying they disproportionately kill civilians and generate anti-American sentiments that aid al-Qaeda recruitment efforts.

The Pentagon's Budget Busting Fighter Jet
(Wired Magazine & Face the Facts & BBC)

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, meant to replace nearly every tactical warplane in the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, was already expected to cost $1 trillion dollars for development, production and maintenance over the next 50 years. Now that cost is expected to grow, owing to 13 different design flaws uncovered by a hush-hush panel of Pentagon experts. It could cost up to a billion dollars to fix the flaws on copies of the jet, which is already in production.

US tested 'Tsunami Bomb' off New Zealand Coast
(Jonathan Pearlman / The Telegraph & Meredith Bennett-Smith / The Huffington Post )

The US and New Zealand conducted secret tests of an underwater "tsunami bomb" designed to destroy coastal cities by using underwater blasts to trigger massive 33-foot-high tidal waves. The top secret plot to build this weapon of mass destruction, code-named "Project Seal", tested the doomsday device as a possible rival to the nuclear bomb. About 3,700 bombs were exploded during the tests.

How Walmart Helped Make the Newtown Shooter's AR-15 the Most Popular Assault Weapon in America
(George Zornick / The Nation )

Although it is not yet clear where the Bushmaster AR-15 used by Adam Lanza (and registered to his mother) was purchased, the model is familiar to many Walmart shoppers. It's on sale at about 1,700 Walmart stores nationwide, though the retail chain pulled the weapon from its website three days after the attack.

In Guns We Trust: Guns in US Are Like Religion
(Patty Culhane / Al Jazeera )

Commentary: "There are certain aspects to being an American that I sometimes struggle to explain to my international television audience. The entire issue of guns in this country has been particularly challenging. I do think for much of the world we are defined by the number of weapons we own and the images of violence that so often dominate our local newscasts."

Drones Instead of Troops Mean More Profits for the War Machine
(Alexander Cockburn / The Week )

The volunteer army is a mess. According to AP, the 154 suicides for active duty troops in the first 155 days of the year far outdistance the US forces killed in Afghanistan. The volunteer army also struggles with increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. The truth is, a draft is never going to happen. The military industrial complex needs the money -- that's why they're cutting back on troops and promoting the use of remotely piloted robotic killing machines.

Questions I Ask Myself about Connecticut School Shooting
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment)

Commentary: "I ask myself, 'Why?' Why do US cable news networks intensively cover these mass shootings, making it the only story for a day or two and prying into every detail of them, when they aren’t interested in preventing them from happening again through banning semi-automatic weapons? Between 1994 and 2004, federal law banned assault weapons. George W. Bush led the charge to let ban expire. Why doesn’t anyone blame Bush for these mass shootings?"

A Land Without Guns: How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths
(Max Fisher / The Atlantic )

Of the world's 23 "rich" countries, the US gun-related murder rate is almost 20 times that of the other 22. With almost one privately owned firearm per person, America's ownership rate is the highest in the world; tribal-conflict-torn Yemen is ranked second, with a rate about half of America's. While the US averages more than 12,000 firearm-related homicides a year, Japan rarely tops a half-dozen. How? In part by forbidding almost all forms of firearm ownership.

Banning All Guns is Necessary but NOT Sufficient
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun)

Commentary: "We need a fundamental transformation as well as banning guns. Otherwise, we will now revert to the normal debate between liberals wanting more gun control and conservatives saying that it's not guns that kill but people. Both are right. So here is what we need to do:"

US Agrees To Replenish Israeli Bullets and Bombs That Killed Palestinians
(AllVoices & Information Clearinghouse & Al-Akhbar & Reuters)

Israel, one of the largest recipients of US military aid, is set to receive shipments of new US munitions worth $647 million. During it's latest weeklong war, the Israel carried out more than a thousand attacks in the Gaza Strip against strongholds and ammunition centers of Hamas. The attacks destroyed homes and killed numerous civilians. Under the deal, the US is going to provide Israel with 10,000 new bombs including 3,450 one-ton bombs and 5,175 bunker-buster bombs.

Secret Spaceplane Blasts Off for Mystery Mission
(CBS News )

The military's 29-foot-long X-37B spacecraft -- a small, top-secret version of the space shuttle -- rocketed into orbit Tuesday for a repeat mystery mission, two years after making the first flight of its kind. The Air Force launched the unmanned spacecraft Tuesday hidden on top of an Atlas V rocket. As if on cue, clouds quickly swallowed up the rocket as it disappeared out over the ocean.

Toss Wasteful Defense Weapons Programs Off the Fiscal Cliff
(Rep. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives )

Many of us in the Congressional Progressive Caucus recognize that no serious plan to address the deficit can go forward without defense spending reforms on the table. The bloated Pentagon budget has increased a staggering 95 percent dating back to 2000. We continue to spend billions upon billions of dollars on a nuclear arsenal and Cold War-era weapons system designed to fight a phantom Soviet army.

ACTION ALERT: Nuclear Safety Oversight: Saving Dollars, Making Sense
(Alliance for Nuclear Accountability )

The House FY13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) makes several dramatic changes to our country's nuclear safety standards. These changes were hardly discussed and were made without the attention of most members. Now, the Senate has a responsibility to protect American lives and tax dollars by affirming the primacy of safety in America's nuclear enterprise through its FY13 NDAA.

The Pentagon's Budget Busting Bombs Could Cost Taxpayers $640 Billion
(Citizen's Watch / Tri-Valley CAREs & Ploughshares Fund Working Paper)

The US weapons labs are intent on developing new nuclear bombs by running them through increasingly ambitious "Life Extension Programs," or LEPs. This has an incalculable proliferation cost with a quantifiable budgetary price tag. (Costs for the B61 atomic bomb are just becoming public.) Meanwhile, the Ploughshares Fund projects current plans for nuclear weapons and related programs could cost taxpayers approximately $640 billion over the next decade.

The SAW: A Machine Gun that Can Fire 1,000 Bullets-per-Minute
(Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & The Military Analysis Network)

The M249 SAWS is a lightweight, gas-operated, magazine or disintegrating metallic link-belt fed, individually portable machine gun capable of delivering a large volume of effective fire. Automatic rifles allow rifle squads to take a light automatic weapon with them in the assault. In the defense, they add the firepower of 10 or 20 riflemen without the addition of manpower. Each squad has three automatic rifles.

Pentagon's Latest Projects: Undersea Drones and Robot Land Warriors

American military has begun work on developing unmanned submarine drones capable of navigating oceans to track underwater vessels of rival nations. Meanwhile, US officials and the designers of a new generation of humanoid and animal-like robots say they are only being built to provide emergency services during disasters. Pentagon officials have made no comments on any possible military applications.

After Obama Win, US Backs New UN Arms Treaty Talks
(Louis Charbonneau / Reuters)

Hours after President Barack Obama was re-elected, the US backed a UN committee's call to renew debate over a draft treaty to regulate the $70 billion global conventional arms trade. The US is the world's biggest arms trader, accounting for more than 40 percent of conventional arms transfers. Britain, France and Germany joined China and the US in support of the resolution. Russia cast the only abstention. The measure faces a General Assembly vote in late March 2013.

Beyond Bayonets and Battleships: Space Warfare and the Future of US Global Power
(Alfred W. McCoy / TomDispatch & Information Clearing House)

Commentary: "It's 2025 and an American "triple canopy" of advanced surveillance and armed drones fills the heavens from the lower- to the exo-atmosphere. A wonder of the modern age, it can deliver its weaponry anywhere on the planet with staggering speed, knock out an enemy's satellite communications system, or follow individuals biometrically for great distances."

ACTION ALERT: President Obama -- Stop Blocking Global Ban on Depleted Uranium Weapons
(Ban Depleted Uranium.org & International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

On November 5, 138 United Nations members supported a resolution calling for a precautionary approach to depleted uranium weapons. The United States (a producer and user of these weapons), together with the United Kingdom, France and Israel were the only four to vote against. They also sought to block similar resolutions in 2007, 2008 and 2010. The UN General Assembly will take up a final vote this December.

In a Time of Austerity, UK Plans to Spend $565 Million on New Nuclear Weapons
(Al Jazeera & The Guardian)

Two decades after the Soviet Union's collapse, the UK government this week took a big step towards replacing its current submarine-launched Trident missile system with a like-for-like successor that would take to the seas by 2028. In an era of austerity, the announcement that the British government plans to spend an extra $565 million for "improved nuclear weapons capacity" has left many baffled, shocked and outraged.

The Missile Crisis that Never Went Away
(teven Starr, David Krieger and Daniel Ellsberg / TruthDig)

Fifty years after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the US and Russian nuclear confrontation continues. Both nations still keep a total of approximately 800 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), armed with more than 1,700 strategic nuclear warheads at launch-ready status, able to be launched with only a few minutes warning.

UK Nuclear Deterrent Plan Triggers Divisions
(Simon Hooper / Al Jazeera)

The announcement the Great Britain plans to spend an extra $565 million for improved nuclear weapons capacity worries critics in an era of austerity. This money would be in addition $4.8 billion already committed to design work on a next-generation replacement for the Vanguard fleet of nuclear-tipped missiles. The missiles would have only one dubious, homicidal mission -- "the sole strategic purpose of flattening Moscow at the press of a button."

Boeing Equips Drone with EMP Ray Weapon
(Annalee Newitz / io9.com & Boeing Corp.)

Last week, defense company Boeing conducted the first successful test of a drone called the Counter-electronics High-powered Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) that can emit a powerful burst of microwaves and fry every piece of electronics in its path -- from personal computers and cameras to high-tech hospital equipment and flight control computers.

Japan's Right: Going Nuke?
(Conn Hallinan / Berkeley Daily Planet & Dispatches from the Edge)

Behind the current impasse among China, Japan and Taiwan over five tiny specks of land in the East China Sea is an influential rightwing movement in Japan that initiated the crisis in the first place, a crisis it is using it to undermine Japan's post-World War II peace constitution and, possibly, break the half-century taboo on building nuclear weapons.

US Accused of Supplying Al Qaeda Terrorists in Syria
(Global Research News & The New York Times )

Syria has sent letters to the UN Security Council and the General Secretary citing evidence on the involvement of foreign countries -- including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey -- in supporting and arming the terrorist groups in Syria. The US is not sending arms directly to the Syrian opposition. Instead, it is providing shipments of secondhand light weapons like rifles and grenades mainly through friendly governments in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

ACTION ALERT: 50 Years After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Time to Eliminate Land-Based Missiles
(Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & The Acronym Institute)

Fifty years ago, the Cuban Missile Crisis had the US and Soviet Union at the precipice of nuclear war. Now -- 50 years later -- the US still keeps 450 Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles on high alert. The missiles and the thermonuclear warheads that they deliver can reach nearly any place on Earth in 30 minutes or less, drastically raising the risk that -- in a time of crisis -- the missiles could be launched because of a false warning.

Cuban Missile Crisis: How the US Played Russian Roulette with Nuclear War
(Noam Chomsky / The Guardian )

President Kennedy is often lauded for managing the crisis. The reality is he took stunning risks to impose American hegemony. Now, secretly recorded audio tapes reveal how close the US came to unleashing a nuclear war that would have killed hundreds of millions. As one participant later reflected: "We were damned lucky we didn't blow up the world -- and no thanks to the political or military leadership of this country."

Nuclear Double Standards in the Middle East
(David Morrison / Special to EAW )

Analysis: "Iran is being subjected to ferocious economic sanctions, which are doing real damage to the Iranian economy and bringing misery to its poorest people. The sanctions are not UN sanctions. They haven't been mandated by the Security Council, and therefore UN member states are under no obligation to implement them. So, why are many states around the world implementing these sanctions? Answer: because the US is bullying them into doing so."

Obama Ignored Plea from Hiroshima Mayor; Ordered 100th US Nuclear Test
(National Nuclear Security Administration & Global Security Newswire & Mayors for Peace)

Seven weeks after the anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the Pentagon's Nevada National Security Site conducted the 100th experiment of the Joint Actinide Shock Physics Experimental Research Facility, prompting the mayor of Hiroshima to inform the White House: "Such actions are completely unacceptable, and on behalf of the members of Mayors for Peace, I once again vehemently protest. We urge you to stop betraying our expectations."

US Secret X-37B 'Space Plane' Opens the Door to Wars in Space
(Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space & Russia Today)

The prospect of Earth being ruled from space is no longer science fiction. The dream of the original Dr. Strangelove, Wernher von Braun (from Nazi rocket-scientist to NASA director) has survived every US administration since WW2 and is coming to life. Today the technology exists to weaponize space, a massive American industry thrives, and nations are maneuvering for advantage.

It's Us or the Nukes
(David Swanson / War Is a Lie & Information Clearing House )

President Jimmy Carter's National Security Advisor was about to wake him up in the middle of the night to inform the President that 220 Soviet nuclear missiles were headed our way, when he learned that someone had stuck a game tape into the computer by mistake. Three years later a Soviet Lieutenant Colonel acted out the same scene, with the computer glitch on his side this time. So tar, there have been more than 560 "close calls" that could have mistakenly triggered a nuclear war.

At UN Nuclear Conference, Syria Blast the US for Ignoring Israel's Nuclear Arsenal
(Reuters & The Jerusalem Post & Al Jazeera)

At major UN nuclear disarmament meeting, the Syrian ambassador turned the tables and charged "influential Western states" with implicitly condoning Israeli atomic arsenal -- "failure to subject them to any international control exposes clearly the extent of double standards used by those states." Meanwhile, Iran called on Israel (the only regional power that has failed to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty) should take steps to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.

Nonviolent Drone Protesters Convicted in Missouri
(Fox 4 TV & World Can't Wait & Kansas City Star)

A Federal Judge has found two anti-war protestors guilty of "trespassing" at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Ron Faust and Brian Terrell were among a group of anti-drone peace activist demonstrating at Whiteman AFB last April. The men were arrested when they approached the front gates of the base and tried to deliver a document outlining their concerns with the use of unmanned drones in the nation's war on terror.

Pentagon Builds $4 Million Robot Hummingbird
(Daily Mail Reporter )

The US war machine has begun to militarize nature itself -- building a growing menagerie of robots that look like -- and act like -- dolphins, snakes, caribou, and birds. Now, a pocket-sized spy drone disguised as a hummingbird has been unveiled by a major Pentagon contractor. The Nano Hummingbird measures just 16 centimetres and weighs less than an AA battery. The mini spy plane can fly up to 11 miles an hour and took five years to develop at a cost of $4 million.

Russia Says Preemptive Strike on NATO Missile System Is Possible
(Sergei L. Loiko / Los Angeles Times )

Here is another reason to oppose the Pentagon's insistence on building a controversial and provocative "missile defense project" in Europe: A top Russian military official says that if the US-led missile defense project in Europe continues as planned, Moscow would not rule out attacking it. To emphasized the point, Russian officials followed up by showing a computerized version of imaginary strikes by Russian nuclear missiles on imaginary targets on the US East Coast.

Nuclear Bombs to Stay in Germany as WWII US Bomb Destroys Munich Neighborhood
(The Local)

American nuclear weapons will not be removed from Germany, despite their departure being a long-term aim of the German government. Meanwhile, nuclear bombs aren't the only US weapons troubling Germany these days. The detonation of a WWII bomb in Munich's Schwabing district on Tuesday caused massive damage to surrounding buildings, leaving a huge, unanswered question about who would pay to fix it all, as well as a big hole in the ground.

Rise of the Machines: Will Drones Take Over our Skies? They Already Have!
(Mark Corcoran / Foreign Correspondent, ABC)

Look! Up in the sky. It's a bird, it's a plane. It's a floating TV station streaming live to the web. It's a prying lens snapping lucrative snaps of a celebrity party. It's the police chasing suspects. It's kids playing in the park. It's a government agency keeping an eye on things. It's all of the above.

Myanmar Developing Nuclear Weapon
(Weekly Blitz & Al Jazera & The Washington Post)

Myanmar's military junta has secretly gained nuclear power and soon the country will emerge as the third nuclear nation in South Asia. The issue of developing nuclear bomb by Myanmar came into media's focal point following broadcast of a documentary in Al Jazeera Television. Myanmar's plans were revealed by the Washington Post in 2010. So why is Iran's nuclear power program the subject of so much concern while Myanmar's nuclear weapons program receives little notice?

Middle East Nuclear Free Bid Moves to Finland -- Yet Another Lost Chance?
(Baher Kamal / Human Wrongs Watch )

The four-decade-long bid to liberate the Middle East from all weapons of mass destruction -- starting with nukes -- will move next year to Helsinki as Finland becomes host for an international conference on creating a Middle East nuclear-free zone. The decision coincides with an increasing wave of popular protests in key Arab countries against Israel -- the sole country in the Middle East to have a nucleararsenal -- estimated at 210 and 250 atomic warheads.

Colorado Court Approves Guns on Campus
(David Burnett / Students for Concealed Carry)

Students in Colorado can now legally carry guns into college classrooms. That's the decision from Colorado's Supreme Court, ruling in favor of Students for Concealed Carry (SCC), which brought suit against the University of Colorado, arguing that the college's prohibition on guns violated the state's concealed carry law, and that legislators intended for students to exercise their right to bear arms on campus when passing right-to-carry laws in 2002.

Colorado's 'Guns in the Classroom' Decision Trigger Debate
(Kirk Siegler / KUNC-FM & Mike Piccione / The Daily Caller & Terry Meng / Huffington Post)

The University of Colorado, Boulder, is now allowing students with concealed carry permits to carry handguns in almost all campus areas. The school has reluctantly complied with the state Supreme Court ruling in March that overturned a campus ban on all firearms. In Colorado, you must be 21 to be eligible for a concealed carry permit. But now, if students have one, they can bring their guns to class, the bookstore, the quad -- almost anywhere on the stately campus.

Jury Out: Do Advanced Conventional Weapons Make Nuclear War More Likely?
(Elaine M. Grossman / Global Security Newswire )

Nuclear weapons policy-makers and experts gathered recently at a nondescript conference center in Nebraska to grapple with a jolting, if somewhat arcane, paradox: Is it possible that futuristic conventional weapons could actually make a nuclear blast more likely?

The US, Hiroshima and The Science of Genocide
(Chris Hedges / TruthDig )

On August 6 and 9, 1945 the United States demonstrated that it was as morally bankrupt as the Nazi machine it had recently vanquished and the Soviet regime with which it was allied. Over Hiroshima, and three days later over Nagasaki, it exploded an atomic device that was the most efficient weapon of genocide in human history.

Japanese Remember Hiroshima Bombing
(Harry Fawcett / Al Jazeera)

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Japan to mark the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the US. An estimated 100,000 people were killed on the day of the bombing and about 40,000 more deaths were attributed to the bomb later in the year, including people killed in the explosion and later due to radiation and injuries.

In Hiroshima's Shadow
(Noam Chomsky / TruthOut & The New York Times Syndicate )

August 6, the anniversary of Hiroshima, should be a day of somber reflection, not only on the terrible events of that day in 1945, but also on what they revealed: that humans, in their dedicated quest to extend their capacities for destruction, had finally found a way to approach the ultimate limit. This year's memorials have special significance since they take place shortly before the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis.

Pentagon's 30,000-pound Bunker-buster 'Superbomb' Ready for Use
(Russia Today )

The biggest conventional bomb ever developed is ready to wreak destruction upon the enemies of the US. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said its record-breaking bunker-buster has become operational after years of testing.

US Scuttles Hopes for Global Arms Trade Treaty
(Al Jazeera)

Member states have failed to reach agreement on a new UN treaty to regulate the multibillion dollar global arms trade, with some diplomats and supporters blaming the US for triggering the unraveling of the month-long conference. Hopes had been raised that agreement could be reached on a revised treaty text that closed some major loopholes by Friday's deadline for action.However, the US announced that it needed more time to consider the proposed treaty.

Are We Going to Wait for Another Massacre?
(Rep. Carolyn McCarthy / Democracy Now!)

The alleged Aurora, Colorado shooter purchased more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition online as well as a high-capacity "drum magazine" large enough to hold 100 rounds and capable of firing 50 or 60 rounds per minute. Such a purchase would have been restricted under proposed legislation that has been stalled in Washington for more than a year. We speak to Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a leading advocate for gun control in Congress.

When Will the US get Real Gun Control?
( Joy Strickland / Mother Against Teen Violence )

In the coming weeks, Aurora, Colorado will receive all the attention a nation can muster. But eventually the spotlight will dim, and the long and difficult work of healing their lives and mending their community must begin. Ironically, the one of the largest mass shootings in recent US history occurred in a city named by Forbes Magazine in 2011 as the nation's ninth safest place to live.

Obama Joins Romney in Gun-Control Silence After Shootings
(John McCormick / Bloomberg News )

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have spoken little about gun control in their campaigns for the White House and showed no sign of shifting course after one of the deadliest shootings in recent US history. "It's not one of the issues that either candidate has shown much inclination to discuss," Don Kettl, dean of the school of public policy at the University of Maryland, said. "There are more downside risks than upside gains in talking about it."

Living Under the Gun: The NRA's Dark Gun Culture
(Bill Moyers Video Essay: )

Last week, the head of the NRA showed up at the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York and spoke out against what he called "Anti-freedom policies that disregard American citizens' right to self-defense." Now at least 12 are dead in Colorado, gunned down during a new Batman movie filled with make-believe violence. One of the guns used was an assault weapon that was banned in 1994. The NRA saw to it that the ban expired in 2004.

Does the US Need Stricter Gun Control Laws?
(Inside Story Americas / Al Jazeera )

"Not again!" -- that was the cry of many Americans when they turned on their morning news on Friday. At least 12 people were killed and dozens wounded when a man wearing a gas mask and body armour opened fire and tossed a tear gas cannister into a cinema auditorium in the town of Aurora in Colorado. As the US mourns the victims of its latest seemingly indiscriminate shooting spree, Al Jazeera discuss how the tragedy will affect the country's notoriously lax gun laws.

Attack of the Drones
(People and Power / Al Jazeera )

Washington's growing reliance on aerial drones to pursue its war on al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere is proving controversial -- as evidenced by the international reaction to recent drone missile attacks along the border with Pakistan. But the US is not alone in using drones. More than 40 countries are believed to be working with unmanned aircraft and even Iran claims to be developing its own version.

UN Meets on Global Treaty to Control Arms Sales
(Amnesty International )

We're at a crucial point in the arms trade treaty negotiations. These talks will determine if weapons and ammunition can be kept out of the hands of the world's worst human rights abusers. the NRA is spewing a string of misrepresentations and lies in hopes you'll take your eye off what is really important -- protecting countless human lives. Sadly, the US -- the world's biggest exporter of arms --is likely taking a position that would make the NRA proud. 


Navy Beginning To Implement Underwater Drones In Gulf
(CBS Washington, DC & Los Angeles Times Blog)

Amid concerns of Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz during a potential crisis, the US Navy is beginning to develop and release a set of underwater drones to find and destroy sea mines present in the Persian Gulf, according to US officials. The major workhorse of the Navy's drone fleet would be the "SeaFox," a four-foot, 88-pound unmanned, underwater surveillance vehicle that’s guided by a remote control.

Philippines Illegal-arms Trade Rampant
(Marga Ortigas / Al Jazeera)

Under the shade of their star-apple tree, 69-year-old Nic sat near 78-year-old Manuel, both huddled over workbenches busily handcrafting guns as they've done for over 25 years. Nic said he made his first weapon when he was only 10 to defend his family from thieves. "You can't not be armed here. You always need to protect yourself," he said.

Marketing Zombie Bullets and Bath Salts
(Russia Today )

A weapon against zombies is being sold across the US after a series of cannibal attacks shocked the country. The largest independent producer of bullets in the world says their Zombie Max ammunition is a response to the flesh-eating crimes. Hornady Manufacturing Company, has decided to cash in on current zombie terror.

The Military's Ultimate 'Zombie' Mind Control Weapons
(Russia Today )

A speech by the Russian Defense Minister promising to modernize his army caused a firestorm in the Western media -- which accused Russia of developing mind control weapons that turn people into zombies. The truth is more complex, but no less scary.

Drone Warfare Threatens to Turn Earth into a 'Terminator' Planet
(Tom Engelhardt & Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch )

In search of the perfect solution to impossible-to-win local and global wars, Washington has ensured that drones will proliferate everywhere. Assassination was once a complex, secret, shameful, difficult to arrange, and relatively rare act of state. Now, thanks to the path that Washington has blazed, more than 50 nations have drones, are making plans to develop them, or are planning to buy them.

More Deaths in Latest US Drone Strikes in Pakistan
(Al Jazeera & ATV News)

The third US drone strike in as many days in Pakistan has raised the three-day death toll in the aerial attacks to at least 33 dead--EAW. The latest strike, which officials said had killed 15 people, was the seventh in a span of less than two weeks. The White House claimed in May 2012 that US drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan were legal, in rare public comments on what's been considered for years as a covert operation.

Confirmed: US and Israel Secretly Attacked Iran in 2010
(Los Angeles Times & AntiWar.com )

In his first months in office, President Obama covertly ordered sophisticated attacks on the computers that ran Iran's nuclear facilities. In 2010, it was the US who launched Stuxnet, a seek-and-destroy cyber-missile so sophisticated that some briefly thought it might have an other-than-earthly origin, against Iran's nuclear infrastructure, according to a New York Times report. The virus was, in fact, created jointly by the US and Israel.

US and Israel Team behind Cyberwar Attack on Iran

The Washington Post recently portrayed the US as being forced to play "catch-up" in the world of Cyberwar. "Plan X, marks a new phase in the nation's fledgling military operations in cyberspace, which have focused more on protecting the Defense Department's own computer systems than on disrupting or destroying those of enemies." In fact, as the WSJ points out, the US has long been a leader (and an aggressive practitioner) in the emerging world of Cyberwar.

Secret 'Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will
(Jo Becker and Scott Shane / The New York Times )

This was the enemy, served up in the latest chart from the intelligence agencies: 15 Qaeda suspects in Yemen with Western ties. The mug shots and brief biographies resembled a high school yearbook layout. Several were Americans. Two were teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years. Barack. Obama, the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, then insisted on approving every name on the expanding "kill list."

Missile-Defense: Is it Working?
(Bruce Gagnon / Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space )

Commentary: "One of the biggest questions in the space technology world today is will "missile defense" (MD) really work? Recently we've seen articles making a case that it does not work and never will. I would suggest that depending on where you are standing, a strong case could be made that MD is working quite well. It's all a matter of perception and definition."

US Nuke Upgrade to Trigger New Arms Race with Russia?
(F. Brinley Bruton / MSNBC World News & European Leadership Network)

Plans to upgrade the estimated 180 American tactical nuclear weapons in Western Europe are expensive, dangerous and likely to trigger a dangerous reaction from Russia, according to a new report. "Modernization … will be a form of expensive nuclear escalation by default which can be expected to draw a hostile reaction from Moscow," said the study by the European Leadership Network (ELN) think tank.

The X-47B Drone Plane Can Carry 4,500 Pounds Of Weapons And Operate All On Its Own
(Business Insider & Los Angeles Times)

The Navy's new X-47B drone can be flown autonomously by onboard computers. Lawmakers acknowledge this raises ethical questions that must be addressed before the lethal aircraft are put into service. The prospect of heavily armed aircraft screaming through the skies without direct human control is unnerving to many.

Will Drones Overtake Top Guns In Tomorrow's Wars?
(Wang Xiaoxia / Worldcrunch)

As China, in a show of force, "leaks" pictures of its new J-22 fighter jet, one wonders if the future of tomorrow's skies will be ruled by stealth jets or rather by unmanned combat drones. An unmanned combat drone will be able to deal with the cruelty of war, whereas one can ask themselves if in an increasingly interdependent global economy, a human being can still allow war to occur? The answer is probably no, but who can guarantee this?

UK Steps Closer to Renewing Nuclear Firepower
(Mohammed Abbas and Rhys Jones / Reuters )

Britain has moved a step closer to renewing its Trident nuclear weapons system, awarding 350 million pounds worth of contracts to design a new generation of submarines. The ruling Conservative Party is pushing for Britain's nuclear capability to be maintained, but their Liberal Democrat junior partners in coalition government are pushing for alternatives, with some arguing that current capability -- the ability to obliterate Moscow -- is a hangover from the Cold War

ACTION ALERT: Get US / NATO Nuclear Weapons Out of Europe
(Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & The Acronym Institute)

After President Obama called for a nuclear-weapon-free world at the 2010 NATO summit -- and urged a reduction in reliance on nuclear weapons -- NATO members Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands called for US tactical nuclear weapons to be removed from Europe. The US refused. The Cold War ended over two decades ago, yet business as usual continues with more than 200 US nuclear bombs deployed in five European countries under a NATO nuclear sharing agreement.

Designer Flu: How Scientists Made a Killer Virus Airborne -- And Who Should Know
(Tina Hesman Saey / Science News (June 2nd, 2012; Vol.181 #11, p. 20) )

Last summer, scientists performed an experiment that could have been ripped from the script of a Hollywood thriller. Sealed off in high-tech laboratories in the Netherlands and Wisconsin, researchers transformed one of the world's most deadly viruses, transmissible by direct contact, into versions capable of spreading through the air.

Nano Drones, Ethical Algorithms: Inside Israel's Secret Plan for Its Future Air Force
(Amir Mizroch / DangerRoom, WIRED Magazine)

Nano drones that an infantryman can pull out of his pocket; helicopters piloted by robots who extract wounded soldiers from the battlefield; micro satellites on demand; large spy balloons in the upper reaches of the stratosphere; virtual training with a helmet from your office; algorithms that resolve pilots' ethical dilemmas (so they won't have to deal with those pesky war crimes tribunals); and farming out code to a network of high school kids.

Spy Balloons Become Part of the Afghanistan Landscape, Stirring Unease
(Graham Bowley / The New York Times )

Scores of massive, 117-foot-long surveillance balloons (called "aerostats" by the military), have become constant features in the skies over Kabul and Kandahar, and anywhere else US troops are concentrated. Shimmering more than 1,500 feet up and made visible as a single light blinking at night, the balloons, with infrared and color video cameras, are central players in the American military's shift toward using technology for surveillance and intelligence.

Drones in US Flight Paths: What Could Go Wrong?
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime )

On March 9th the Federal Aviation Administration requested comments from the public on drone test sites. There are plans to create 63 bases in the US to accommodate 30,000 drones planned for domestic deployment. It takes 168 people to keep a Predator drone in the air for 24 hours, plus 19 analysts to process the videos created by a drone. And to make matters worse, they tend to crash. They even "go rogue," lose contact with their "pilots" and fly off on their own.

Confessions of a Drone
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime )

Commentary: "They told me I could fly faster without a pilot onboard, and that I had no fear. I didn't know what fear was, but I took it to be something truly horrible. I was glad I didn't have any of it. When I was sent from a base to a target and then immediately told to blow it up, I would do so and return, no problem."

Gulf States Bale out US Arms Industry
(United Press International )

The Persian Gulf arms race is accelerating amid the smoldering confrontation between Iran and the United States, with gulf monarchies re-examining their defense programs even though they've spent far in excess of $100 billion on arms since 2006. In 2010, the last year for which data are available, the Saudis spent $45 billion on defense, a 79 percent increase over 2005. The emirates spent more than $16 billion, a 113 percent jump from 2006.

Anger over Sweden's 'Secret' Saudi Arms Plant
(Al Jazeera)

Citing hundreds of classified documents and interviews with key players, Swedish Radio reports that Sweden has been secretly helping Saudi Arabia plan the construction of "Project Simoon" -- an arms factory that would produce anti-tank missiles. "Planning of a weapons factory for a government in a dictatorship such as Saudi Arabia is quite unique," the radio station stated. Government officials have denied the charges.

The Nuclear Double Standard on Israel is the Main Obstacle to Peace
(John Glaser / AntiWar.com )

While widely recognized in antiwar circles and on the left, the issue of a nuclear weapons double standard in the Middle East is one of the least appreciated when it comes to the Iran nuclear debate. While Iran is a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has publicly pledged its opposition to nuclear weapons development, Israel has done none of the above and has built an arsenal of between 200-600 nuclear warheads -- the only atomic arsenal in the Middle East.

US Military's New Weapon: the Slimeball
(Marc Abrahams / The Guardian)

The Air Force has figured out how to produce an officially "non-lethal" armament called The Slimeball -- "a two-part weapon system consisting of a floating sticky foam barrier that will resist attempts to remove it, and a submerged gel barrier." The Guardian reports the Slimeball's gooey power could be used against Somali pirates, against the Iranian navy in the Strait of Hormuz or against China's underground submarine base on Hainan Island.

White House Weighs Nuclear Arms Cuts, but Will Wait for More Talks with Russia
(Craig Whitlock and Walter Pincus / The Washington Post )

The Obama administration is contemplating further cuts to the nation’s nuclear arsenal, but any decision about potential reductions is unlikely until Russia and the United States can resume negotiations after both countries hold presidential elections this year. Administration officials declined to comment on specific options under consideration, saying they were classified.

FY 2013 Defense Budget and Nuclear Weapons Spending
(Tri-Valley CAREs & Defense News)

The President's budget requests $7.577 billion for nuclear weapons activities, an increase of more than $363 million. The only good news: The budget zeroes out the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility, slated for construction at the Los Alamos Lab in New Mexico. This facility, intended to enable a four-fold increase in the production of new plutonium bomb cores, was never needed for maintenance of existing weapons in the U.S. arsenal.

What Will the Feb. 13 Budget Release Say about US Nuclear Weapons?
(Tri-Valley CAREs)

The overriding issue for the Monday, February 13 budget release is: "Will the Obama Administration continue to increase funding for unnecessary nuclear programs in light of current fiscal constraints?" While a Nuclear Facility intended to increase US capacity to produce plutonium bomb cores four-fold, is rumored to take a major budget hit in the FY13 request, "other ill-conceived nuclear weapons projects are rumored to move 'full steam ahead.'"

Admiral Noel Gayler's Call for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
(Akio Matsumura.com & Admiral Noel Gayler)

Admiral Noel Gayler, a World War II Navy pilot who served as the sixth director of the National Security Agency, and as Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Command in the 1970s, died on July 14, 2011 at the age of 96. He was one of several retired, high-ranking US military officers who have called for the abolition of nuclear weapons from Planet Earth. Please read Admiral Gayler's classic essay: "A Proposal for Achieving Zero Nuclear Weapons."

Iran Nuclear Inspections 'Constructive': Israel Continues to Refuse IAEA Inspections
(Deutsche Presse-Agentur & Al Jazeera)

The three-day inspection visit of the International Atomic Energy Agency team with Iran was 'constructive,' the Fars news agency reports. Negotiations between the two sides were held in 'a positive and constructive atmosphere' and the two sides have agreed to hold further meetings in the future. Meanwhile, the Middle East's biggest nuclear power, Israel, refuses to allow IAEA inspections of its existing nuclear weapons arsenal and has refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

US Pays Boeing Millions for New 'Super Bomb' to Attack Iran
(AntiWar.com & The Wall Street Journal & Business Week )

The Pentagon has decided that its largest conventional bomb -- the 15-ton Massive Ordnance Penetrator -- needs to be made more powerful to destroy Iran's underground nuclear enrichment facilities. Boeing has received $330 million to build 20 MOPs and now the White House wants to give Boeing another $82 million to create an even deadlier bomb.

Questions Persist as to US Arms Treaty Compliance
(Janet Phelan / Activist Post )

Questions concerning US compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention at the UN conference in Geneva have arisen after the original law was amended by the USA PATRIOT Act. The critical amendment literally removes US agents from liability for violating legal prohibitions for possessing and transporting biological weapons. The implications are serious and deserve careful scrutiny.

Ethics of Drone Strikes Questioned
(Scott Heidler / Al Jazeera & Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)

The use of drones in modern warfare, where the person pulling the trigger spots their target on a video screen and is not even on the battlefield, has led some to question the ethics behind using such weapons. The business of drones is projected to be a $7 billion industry next year. While this is not much in the $1.6 trillion big picture of total US military spending, the world's biggest arms makers see drones as a growth industry. In harsh economic times, drones make sense.

Iran Warns Further US Drone Invasions Will Trigger 'Frightful' Response Targeting US Bases Worldwide
(PressTV & Xinhua News)

A senior Iranian lawmaker has warned that the next time the US violates Iran's air sovereignty it would receive a "frightful" response. Deputy Chair of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Esmail Kowsari warned that future violations of Iran's sovereignty "will target every US military base anywhere in the world." Kowsari further noted the silence of the international community on the blatant US violation of Iran's territorial integrity highlighted a double standard was being applied.

Iran Warns Further US Drone Invasions Will Trigger 'Frightful' Response Targeting US Bases Worldwide
(PressTV & Xinhua News)

A senior Iranian lawmaker has warned that the next time the US violates Iran's air sovereignty it would receive a "frightful" response. Deputy Chair of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Esmail Kowsari warned that future violations of Iran's sovereignty "will target every US military base anywhere in the world." Kowsari further noted the silence of the international community on the blatant US violation of Iran's territorial integrity highlighted a double standard was being applied.

Drones: A Deeply Unsettling Future
(Trevor Timm / Al Jazeera )

The rapid expansion of a drone arms race has emerged both domestically and abroad, leaving everyone vulnerable. The US, of course, leads the world in drone use for both surveillance and combat missions. Attacks are carried out in Pakistan every four days on average. Many times, the US isn't even sure exactly who they are killing. And now there is growing concern over "lost" drones, free-lance drone systems, and cyber-hacking that can take control of armed military drones.

TV Crew Under Fire for Cannonball Attack on California Suburb
(Demian Bulwa and Henry K. Lee / San Francisco Chronicle )

One of the zany experiments staged by the "Mythbusters" television show nearly turned into a suburban tragedy when a cannonball fired at a private shooting range missed its target, tore through a cinder-block wall, skipped off a hillside, flew some 700 yards east, bounced off a sidewalk, ripped through the front door of a house, raced up the stairs, blasted through a bedroom wall, crossed a six-lane road, bounced off a nearby roof and slammed into a parked beige Toyota Sienna minivan.

US Plan to Nuke Lybia: Were Nuclear 'Bunker-busters' Used in Iraq, Afghanistan?
(Press TV & Prof. Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)

A war on Libya involving nuclear bombs has been on the Pentagon's drawing board since in 1997. The US military contends that "mini-nukes" are "humanitarian bombs" that are "harmless to the surrounding civilian population because the explosion is underground." Now reports have surfaced that US B61-11 'bunker-buster' bomb (a bon fide thermonuclear WMD), was secretly used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Scientists Create Bio-weapon that Could 'Potentially Wipe Out Civilization'
(The Daily Mail)

A group of scientists is pushing to publish research about how they created a man-made flu virus that could potentially wipe out civilisation. The deadly virus is a genetically tweaked version of the H5N1 bird flu strain, but is far more infectious and could pass easily between millions of people at a time. The research has caused a storm of controversy and divided scientists, with some saying it should never have been carried out.

Pentagon's New Weapons: Flying Robot Grenades
(Katie Drummond / DangerRoom, Wired & Spencer Ackerman / DangerRoom, Wired)

The military's already got grenades that do plenty more than detonate: They can spray rubber pellets, obliterate underwater opponents and even, uh, be catapulted from the air in a tiny robocopter. But the next generation of grenade? Oh, no biggie, it'll just navigate through the sky on-command, spy on our enemies... and then blow them all up. Or you could use the Switchblade, a teeny-tiny killer drone that fits in a backback and fire at a single foe.

Banned Neuro-toxic Nerve Gas 'Poisons' Tahrir Protesters
(Russia Today)

A banned chemical agent has reportedly been used by the Egyptian military as the brutal crackdown against tens of thousands of protesters has clouded prospects of a democratic transfer in the country. ­Rashes, epileptic-type convulsions, temporary blindness and coughing up blood are among the symptoms being reported by Egyptian protesters who have fallen victim to CR gas -- a potentially lethal form of neuro-toxic nerve gas reportedly being deployed by security forces.

US Bid to Destroy Cluster Bomb Ban Fails
( Anti-War.com & The Guardian & Reuters & Human TV)

President Obama's effort to effective emasculate the international ban on cluster bombs failed today, when at least 50 nations including Britain filed objections. Human rights campaigners had been condemning the US effort, saying that it would be a major backtrack from the formal ban. The US version would have simply "regulated" the manufacture of cluster munitions without banning them and was supposed by Russia, China and Israel, all of whom still have such weapons in their arsenals.

US Weapons Buildup Threatens Nuclear Arms Reductions
(David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times)

The US plans to place 24 interceptor missiles in Romania and a sophisticated radar system in Turkey. Russia believes the system could be used against its intercontinental ballistic missiles and has demanded written assurance from Washington that this would not be the case. The US has said it will not agree to any restrictions on its missile-defense plans. In response, Russia says it will deploy missiles and could withdraw from the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty.

Israel in Hot Seat at Middle East Nuclear Ban Conference
(Deutsche Presse-Agentur & Associated Press & The Dawn)

The focus of an IAEA meeting on a nuclear weapon-free Middle East was not on Iran -- which was the only country in the region that did not participate -- but on Israel. 'Israeli nuclear capabilities pose a grave and continuous threat to others in the region,' said Syrian Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh. Arab countries represented at the international conference urged Israel to give up its nuclear arms as a precondition for a nuclear weapons ban in the Middle East.

US Pushing UN to Lift Ban on Cluster Bombs, Say Campaigners
(Richard Norton-Taylor / The Guardian )

Washington is reportedly urging London to support its move to legalize use of cluster-bombs -- a weapon of mass destruction that largely maims and kills civilians, notably children, long after they have been dropped. The bombs were banned in 2008 but the US refused to sign the treaty and now is pressing for a protocol to be added to the UN convention on certain conventional weapons that would provide legal cover for the renewed use of cluster-bombs.

Pentagon Successfully Tests Hypersonic Flying Bomb
(Agence France-Presse & Al Jazeera)

The Pentagon has successfully tested a "flying bomb" that will give military planners the ability to strike targets anywhere in the world in less than a hour. The "Advanced Hypersonic Weapon" can travel at speeds that could exceed Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound) giving the Pentagon the unrivaled ability to strike targets anywhere on Earth within minutes. The question remains: why on Earth does the Pentagon need such a threatening and provocative weapon?

US Suppling Weapons to Gas and Kill Egypt's Democray Protestorsy
( The Guardian & The Daily News Egypt & Democracy Now! & HyperVocal)

The teargas used by interior ministry troops in Cairo's Tahrir Square is supplied by a US company. Demonstrators say cartridges retrieved from the scene are branded with the name and address of Combined Systems Inc. from Pennsylvania. The gas was having a devastating effect on its victims, with everyone left choking, some coughing up blood, and hundreds forced to seek medical treatment. Protesters have also retrieved 12mm rubber bullet cartridges made in the US and in Italy.

US to Stockpile Cluster Bombs in Australia?
(NAJ Taylor / Al Jazeera)

The creation of a US military base inside the territory of Australia will allow the Pentagon to make use of certain "loopholes" to avoid compliance with the International Convention that bans the use of cluster bombs, a weapon of mass destruction. Best estimates are that the US holds a quarter of the world's four billion cluster munitions in stockpiles across both its territory and overseas bases. The US last deployed cluster munitions during the Iraq War in 2003. (The US has refused to sign the ban)

Pentagon Orders 30,000-Pound Superbomb for B-2 Bomber
(John Glaser / Anti-War.com & Business Week)

The Pentagon has created a controversial new "superbomb." Boeing's 20.5-foot-long Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb -- six times bigger than current bunker-buster weapons -- is armed with 5, 300 pounds of explosives. The MOP was built to be delivered by a B-2 stealth bomber. The B-2 has bombed targets in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The perceived need to hit Iran's alleged underground nuclear facilities undoubtedly drives the Pentagon's procurement of such bombs.

ACTION ALERT: How Risky is US Nuclear Strategy?
(Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

How risky is our current nuclear strategy? Surprisingly, no one knows! If you agree that gaping hole in our national security needs to be plugged, join a former Director of the National Security Agency and other prominent individuals in asking Congress to authorize an objective study of the risk. Sign-on petition is available online.

How the 'Iran Threat' Is Being Used to Spur Weapons Profits
(Al Jazeera & The Montreal Gazette & The Dubai Airshow)

Aviation professionals are hoping that this week's Dubai Air Show will help kick start the struggling industry. Plagued by high oil prices and declining demand, airlines across the globe are finding it hard to stay afloat. Meanwhile, heightened worry about Iran's nuclear intent could spur defence orders at the show. Arms makers from the United States, Europe and Russia will be displaying their latest weapons.

UK Backs Bid to Overturn Ban on Cluster Bombs
(Jerome Taylor / The Independent & Chris Atkins / The Independent)

Britain is backing a US-led plan to torpedo the global ban on cluster bombs, in what MPs and arms campaigners fear is an attempt to legitimise the use of weapons that are widely deemed to be inherently indiscriminate. The UK is one of 111 countries that have signed up to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, is on target to destroy its own stockpile, and has ordered the US to remove its stored cluster bombs from British soil. But now the US wants to overturn the ban at next week's summit in Geneva.

US Navy's New WMD: The Electromagnetic Rail-Gun
(Fox News & Centum Engineering )

A theoretical dream for decades, the railgun is unlike any other weapon used in warfare. And though still in testing, it's quite real, as the US Navy proved in a record-setting test. Rather than relying on a explosion to fire a projectile, it uses an electomagnetic current to accelerate a non-explosive bullet at several times the speed of sound. The conductive projectile zips along a set of electrically charged parallel rails and out of the barrel at speeds up to Mach 7.

Fighting in the Fifth Dimension
(Al Jazeera World)

Innovations in technology are changing the tactics of modern-day conflict, turning the cyberworld into a new frontline for war. It has been called the 'fifth dimension of warfare'. Along with land, sea, air and space, tomorrow's battlelines are now being drawn in cyberspace. At the same time, the internet has empowered citizen cyberactivism, allowing people to share information and mobilise support to take direct action -- both online and on the streets.

Amid Rumors of Planned Attack on Iran, Israel Test-fires a Ballistic Missile that Could Hit the US
(Dan Williams / Reuters & Al Jazeera)

Israel has test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of the "direct and heavy threat" posed by Iran's nuclear program as Israel's media speculated that Netanyahu was working to secure cabinet consensus for an unprovoked attack on Iran. The new the Jericho III missile gives Israel the power to deliver a nuclear strike anywhere within the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia -- and in most parts of North America.

Nuclear Powers Plan Weapons Spending Spree, Report Finds
(Richard Norton-Taylor / The Guardian )

Despite government budget pressures and international rhetoric about disarmament, evidence points to a new and dangerous "era of nuclear weapons." The US is planning to spend $700 billion on nuclear weapons over the next decade. A further $92 billion will be spent on new nuclear warheads and the US also plans to build 12 nuclear ballistic missile submarines, air-launched nuclear cruise missiles and bombs.

Biggest US Nuclear Bomb Dismantled -- While the US Continues to Build More Bombs
(Associated Press & Mike Shuster / National Public Radio & The Guardian)

The last of the nation's biggest nuclear bombs, a Cold War relic 600 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, has been dismantled -- a milestone in Barack Obama's mission to rid the world of nuclear weapons. However, the same facilities that dismantle nuclear warheads currently give priority to refurbishing existing US warheads. The US is actually building more nuclear weapons than it is dismantling. That didn't use to be the case, but it is now.

America's Secret Empire of Drone Bases: Its Full Extent Revealed for the First Time
(Nick Turse / AlterNet and TomDispatch )

Despite frequent news reports on the drone assassination campaign launched in support of America's ever-widening undeclared wars and a spate of stories on drone bases in Africa and the Middle East, most of these facilities have remained unnoted, uncounted, and remarkably anonymous -- until now.

The Next Arms Race: Killer Drones
(Charles Davis / Information ClearingHouse & Scott Shane / The New York Times)

In Pakistan, according to American officials, strikes from Predators and Reapers operated by the CIA have killed more than 2,000 militants; the number of civilian casualties is hotly debated. At the Zhuhai air show in southeastern China last November, Chinese companies startled some Americans by unveiling 25 different models of remotely controlled aircraft and showing video animation of a missile-armed drone taking out a US aircraft carrier. "Is this the world we want to live in?"

As the Drone Flies...
(Ralph Nader / CommonDreams )

The Pentagon has about 7,000 aerial drones. Ten years ago there were less than 50. A new generation of Terminator-style robot aircraft are being designed to "hunt, identify and fire at [the] enemy -- all on its own." This new form of "lethal autonomy" is not covered by existing international humanitarian law or the traditional rules of engagement. Some 40 countries are reported to be working to acquire drone technology. Some of these drones may be used against the US.

Concerns Continue to Mount on US Bioweapons Violations
(Janet C. Phelan, Contributing Writer / Activist Post )

Biological weapons pose a significant threat to all human life on our beautiful, besieged planet. The US is guilty of multiple violations of the international bioweapons treaty, the BWC. This article, which summarizes the violations. The BWC will be meeting in December in Geneva. ACTION: See the Alert on Google's apparent censorship of the ActivistPost Website.

For US Air Force, the Cost of Operating Unmanned Aircraft Becoming 'Unsustainable'
(National Defense Industrial Association)

The fastest-growing occupation in the US Air Force -- warzone surveillance -- soon may be reaching its peak as the Pentagon looks for ways to cut costs. The Air Force's 50 "combat air patrols" over warzones include 48 Predator and Reaper orbits and two orbits of the high-altitude Global Hawk. "In a declining budget environment, we are going to have to be careful" about programs that may not be needed, said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley.

'The Scream': Israel Blasts Protesters With Sonic Gun
(Adam Rawnsley / DangerRoom: Wired Magazine )

'The Scream' is part of a new "less-than-lethal" counter-demonstration effort led by Israel's IDF's. A related tool, the "Thunder Generator" is a sonic blaster so loud you could actually die from it. The machine uses liquefied petroleum gas to make loud explosions -- up to 100 per minute -- like a repeating flashbang grenade. It works up to 50 meters away, but stand within 10 meters and Thunder's makers warn it can permanently injure or even kill you.

Obama Sold Israel Bunker-Buster Bombs
(Eli Lake / The Daily Beast & Newsweek )

While publicly pressuring Israel to make deeper concessions to the Palestinians, President Obama has secretly authorized significant new aid to the Israeli military that includes the sale of 55 deep-penetrating bombs known as bunker busters. The GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators -- potentially useful in any future military strike against Iranian nuclear sites -- were secretly delivered to Israel in 2009, just several months after Obama took office.

US Assembling Secret Drone Bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Officials Say
(Craig Whitlock and Greg Miller / The Washington Post )

The Obama administration is assembling a constellation of secret drone bases for counterterrorism operations in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of a newly aggressive campaign to attack al-Qaeda affiliates in Somalia and Yemen, US officials said. As part of the rapid expansion of the undeclared drone wars, the CIA is building a secret airstrip in the Arabian Peninsula so it can deploy armed drones over Yemen.

Deadly Fighting Rages through Yemen: Protesters Hit with 'Exploding Bullets' from Israel
(Al Jazeera & European Phoenix)

Saleh’s brutal government has massacred Yemeni protesters using hi-tech Israel weapons which were purchased to the regime by Saudi Arabia. According to a senior military expert, Saleh’s regime was provided with Israeli destructive weapons by the Saudi regime. These hi-tech weapons use two-staged gas bullets, which explode inside the target after piercing it, and thus make a deep cut in the body.

Cluster Bomb Criminals Bounced from World's Largest Arms Fair
(Nick Hopkins / The Guardian )

The world's largest arms fair has thrown out two exhibitors after they were found to be promoting cluster munitions that have been banned by the UK and condemned by more than 100 other countries. The action was taken after Caroline Lucas, the Green party leader, discovered that Pakistani arms manufacturers were actively promoting "banned cluster bombs" at their pavilions.

Mossad's Miracle Weapon: Stuxnet Virus Opens New Era of Cyber War
(Holger Stark / Der Spiegel)

The Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence agency, attacked the Iranian nuclear program with a highly sophisticated computer virus called Stuxnet. The first digital weapon of geopolitical importance, it could change the way wars are fought -- and it will not be the last attack of its kind.

High Costs, Malfunctions Plague F-22 Raptor Fighter Jets
(W.J. Hennigan / Los Angeles Times )

Lockheed Martin's new fleet of 158 F-22 planes -- costing $412 million each -- has never entered combat and has been grounded since May 3 because of a government safety investigation. The probe follows more than a dozen incidents in which oxygen was cut off to pilots, a problem suspected of contributing to at least one fatal accident. Air Force officials say the F-22 is worth its price tag because it is the Pentagon's "most advanced fighter aircraft."

ACTION ALERT: $6 Billion for Bechtel Nuclear Bomb Plant
(Subhankar Banerjee / Truth-out )

When we have more than 45 million people living below the poverty line in the US and public services are being cut drastically, should the federal government be handing out $6 billion to build a new plutonium facility whose primary beneficiary would be Bechtel? It is not a New Mexico issue, it is a national and international issue.

British Drone, Controlled by 'Pilots' in Nevada, Kills Civilians in Afghanistan
(Sky News & Twisted Sifter)

Four Afghan civilians have been killed and two more wounded when an RAF drone targeting insurgent leaders fired on two trucks in Helmand Province. Its pilots were thousands of miles away at an American air force base in Nevada when they were instructed to fire in the Now Zad district of north Helmand. But while killing the insurgent commander and an associate, they also struck Afghan civilians who were inside the vehicles.

Washington to Spend $2.6 Billion on 168 Robo-Copters
(Nathan Hodge / Wall Street Journal)

Remote-control helicopters, like Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout, can spy on targets and mark them for attack. These "robo-copters" are expanding the US military's offensive capabilities on a range of battlefields without exposing Americans to greater casualties. Details of special operations are closely held secrets, but the Navy disclosed that the aircraft are being used in Afghanistan and two are operating off the Horn of Africa to fight Somali pirates.

Pakistan Demands Halt to US Drone Strikes
(The New York Times & Business Week )

The United States and Pakistan are veering toward a deep clash, with Pakistan's parliament demanding a permanent halt to all drone strikes just as the most senior American official since the killing of Osama bin Laden is to arrive with a stern message that the country has only months to show it is truly committed to rooting out al Qaeda and associated groups.

ACTION ALERT: Feed Hungry Kids? Or Build Nuclear Bomb Plants?
(Peace Action West & Tri-Valley CAREs)

Republican Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) is threatening to take $500 million worth of food away from poor children because "we can't afford it." But Congress manages to find billions to spend on nuclear weapons every single year. I want to change those priorities, don't you?

White Phosphorous; Civilian Deaths: Israel Accused of War Crimes
(Saleh Naami / Al Ahram & Nicole Johnston / Al Jazeera / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

Ihab Keheal, head of the justice department's medical examiner's office in the Gaza Strip, has stated that examinations conducted by his office have unveiled evidence indicating that the Israeli army used white phosphorous and other internationally prohibited weapons in its latest operation in Gaza. The families of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli air attacks are calling for justice.

Gaddafi Forces 'Cluster Bombing Misurata'
(Al Jazeera & Human Rights Watch)

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have been accused by a human rights campaign group of using cluster bombs, which are banned by more than 100 countries. Human Rights Watch reported on Friday that Libya's military are firing cluster munitions into residential areas as it battles rebels for control of the western city of Misurata.

US Navy Uses 'Death Ray' Laser to Destroy Boats and Parked Cars
(Spencer Ackerman / Danger Room, WIRED Magazine)

In a test off the California coast, the Navy's experimental Maritime Laser Demonstrator, a solid-state 15-kilowatt laser, was able to ignite the engines on an targeted vessel in a matter of seconds, setting the boat on fire. "This is an important data point," one admiral said, "but I still want the Megawatt death ray." The Navy's Free Electron Laser weapon would be able to penetrate debris in the sea air and cut through 2,000 feet of steel per second.

Pakistan's Nukes and the US Connection
(Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)

Since India has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it cannot buy fuel from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group. But in 2006, the Bush Administration announced a special 1,2,3 Agreement that allowed India to circumvent the NPT and divert its domestic uranium supplies to its nuclear weapons program. In response, Pakistan ramped up its nuclear weapons program and may soon pass Britain as the fifth largest nuclear weapons nation in the world.

Cut Nuclear Weapons Spending and Save $1.15 Billion
(Dr. Robert Civiak / Tri-Valley CAREs)

On February 14, 2011, the Department of Energy released its budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the semi-independent agency that maintains the US nuclear weapons complex and stockpile. President Obama has requested $7.63 billion for the nuclear weapons programs for FY 2012 -- a 20 percent increase over FY 2010. Now, an independent watchdog investigation identifies $1.15 billion in unneeded spending under the proposed budget.

Audit of Pentagon Spending Finds $70 Billion in Waste
(Christopher Drew / The New York Times)

More than half of the Pentagon's big weapons systems still cost more than they should, with management failures adding at least $70 billion to the projected costs over the last two years. The Government Accountability Office, a Congressional watchdog, said the biggest program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, accounted for $28 billion of that increase.

Depleted Uranium: a Strange Way to Protect Libyan Civilians
(David Wilson / Global Research & Stop the War Coalition )

In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US B-2s dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive.

Depleted Uranium: A Strange Way to Protect Libyan Civilians
(David Wilson / Global Research & Stop the War Coalition )

In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US B-2s dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive.

Nuclear Weapons Are Illegal under International Humanitarian Law
(Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy & The Simons Foundation)

The Vancouver Declaration, a legal analysis drawn up by the Simons Foundation and the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) affirms that nuclear weapons are incompatible with international humanitarian law, the law stating what is universally prohibited in warfare. The Declaration has been signed by a host of eminent experts in international law and diplomacy.

Watchdog Group Sues Energy Dept. over California Bioweapons Plant
(Tri-Valley CARES)

Today, Tri-Valley CAREs of Livermore, California filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging a US District Court of Northern California ruling allowing the Department of Energy to continue operating a controversial bio-warfare agent facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory without proper environmental review. The facility contains live anthrax, plague, Q fever and dozens of other exotic, potentially lethal pathogens.

Bringing 'Mini-Drones' and 'Green Design' to the Business of War
(Defense Industry Daily)

Aerovironment -- best known for building the human-powered Gossamer Condor and the giant, solar-powered Pathfinder -- is now building robotic aircraft like the Army's RQ-11 Raven and the US Marines' RQ-14 Dragon Eye/Swift. The firm's hydrogen-powered Global Observer can fly week-long spying missions while new hummingbird-sized "mini-drones" could open new spying opportunities for the Pentagon and domestic police.

Gates Cancels One Jet Engine; Insists on $670 Billion Pentagon Budget
(Jim Garamone / American Forces Press Service & Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates / DoD News Briefing)

"It is my judgment that the DoD needs an appropriation of at least $540 billion for fiscal year 2011, for the US military to properly carry out its missions, maintain readiness and prepare for the future. If forced to operate under a full-year continuing resolution, the department would only receive about $526 billion -- a cut of $23 billion. The damage done across our military from that reduction would be magnified as it comes halfway through the fiscal year."

How Reagan Brought the World to the Brink of Nuclear Destruction
(Tad Daley / AlterNet)

As Ronald Reagan was lionized this month to commemorate the centennial of his birth, it ought to be recalled that Reagan's presidency brought America and the world to the brink of infinite peril. President Reagan's nuclear buildup and nuclear saber-rattling so increased the temperatures inside the pressure cooker of the Cold War that it seemed likely to blow its lid at any moment.

America's Legacy of Mutagenic War
(Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War)

A series of disturbing reports from Iraq and Vietnam (backed up by a horrific collection of videos) have exposed a hidden legacy of war -- weapons that continue to create victims years after the conflict ends. Washington's Mutagenic Weapons -- technologies that poison cell tissue and ransack the human DNA far into the future -- have targeted babies and children as the latest form of war's "collateral damage."

US Lags in Disposal of Weapons-Grade Plutonium
(Celia Sampol / DC Bureau)

In 1996, as part of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), the US and Russia committed to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons plutonium to reduce the threat that this material could be stolen or diverted. But the facility built to handle the wastes -- a multi-billion dollar Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) program, under construction at the Savannah River Site -- has proven to be "too slow, too expensive, too risky."

Mubarak's Police and Troops Armed with Weapons from Pentagon and US Corporations
(Amy Goodman, William Hartung, Samer Shehata / Democracy Now!)

The United States has given billion dollars of military aid to Egypt over the last decades. Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Electric have provided tanks, missiles, engines and more to the Hosni Mubarak regime. Following the massive popular uprising, US foreign aid continues to flow to Egypt, although the Obama administration has placed the program under review.

Cow Most Sacred: Why Military Spending Remains Untouchable
(Andrew Bacevich / TomDispatch )

In defense circles, “cutting” the Pentagon budget has once again become a topic of conversation. Americans should not confuse that talk with reality. Any cuts exacted will at most reduce the rate of growth. The essential facts remain: US military outlays today equal that of every other nation on the planet combined, a situation without precedent in modern history.

US Plans to Develop Nuclear Bomber Would Enrich US Weapons Industry
(Bill Sweetman / Aviation Week & Megan Scully / National Journal)

While Defense Secretary Robert Gates has put the US Marine Corps' troubled F-35B Joint Strike Fighter on "probation," he has endorsed the US Air Force's call to build its long-coveted nuclear bomber -- a potential violation of globnal arms control agreements. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are all expected to vie for the lucrative program to design and build a multibillion-dollar, "optionally manned" -- i.e., robotic and remote-controlled -- nuclear bomber.

Illegal WMD Nerve Gas Goes Missing: US Chemical Weapons Plant Locked Down
(Associated Press & New York Daily News)

The Army says Dugway Proving Ground, where military weapons are tested, was locked down for hours because a "small" [but lethal] amount of a nerve agent was unaccounted for. The military said in a statement Thursday the amount missing was less than one fourth of a teaspoon of VX nerve agent, which affects the body's ability to carry messages through the nerves.

From Asia to Arabia, US Arms Sales Trade Global Stability for War Profiteers' Profits
(United Press International)

South Korea and the US have been in talks to revise a bilateral pact that could allow for Seoul's bid to make missiles capable of landing anywhere in North Korea. (Some 28,500 US troops remain in South Korea, 58 years after the end of the Korean War.) Meanwhile, Middle East arms sales (mainly to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Israel) are expected to grow by 14 percent over the next five years.

Poll Shoots Holes in NRA Myth: Most Americans, Including Gun-owners, Want More Regulation on Sales
(Mayors Against Illegal Guns & Scott Baker / OpEd News)

One of the biggest and most dangerous myths in American politics has just been busted. The media insists that Americans are "hopelessly divided" on the issue of guns. But when you get outside the echo chamber and talk to ordinary people, the consensus on guns is clear. A new poll finds that 86% of Americans and 81% of gun owners want all gun buyers to pass a background check.

The Business of War: Inside the SOFEX 2010 Arms Bazaar
(Shane Smith and The Vice Guide to Everything / MTV)

A team of intrepid reporters penetrate SOFEX, one of the world's largest weapons bazaars. SOFEX 2010 featured 12,000 participants, 319 Exhibiting Companies, 34 International Pavilions, 380 International Delegates, 101 International Delegations headed by Ministers of Defence, Chiefs of Staff and Special Operations Commanders -- and an estimated $100 million worth of arms deals signed at the event.

Attack of the Drones
( Owen Bowcott and Paul Lewis / The Guardian)

UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Philip Alston has warned that US drone killings may violate international law. The US is, at an alarming rate, moving into robotic warfare, a mission creep that could lead us into perpetual war. The International Committee for Robot Arms Control has called for a ban on the further development of armed robots and on the use of armed drones for "targeted killings."

The West's Game: Nuclear Hypocrisy
(Andrew Kishner / Idealist.ws)

At the same time Washington was railing against North Korea for preparing to test a nuclear device, the US was quietly preparing to detonate a "subcritical" nuclear explosion in the Nevada desert. The US has conducted 24 of these explosions since August of 2006 -- nearly 6 a year. Two more detonations may happen this month. But you won't find out about it from the Pentagon or the US news media.

National Guard and Cops toFly Remote-Controlled Drones over USA
(Knight Ridder/Tribune & USA Today & Associated Press & USA Today)

The Air Force Air National Guard will begin flying MQ-9 Reaper drones over the Adirondacks starting next June. The remote-controlled drones -- the same weapons used to kill people in Afghanistan -- can be guided both by line-of-sight and by satellite. The colonel in charge of the program insists the Defense Department "prohibits target surveillance of US citizens by intelligence systems,"

US Prepares to Introduce New Generation of Robot Drone Killers
(United Press International & The Washington Post)

The Pentagon plans to introduce new "Point and Toss" mini-drones as part of its Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System program. While described as a "non-line-of-sight" weapon, the Pentagon claims the mini-drones pose "a very low risk of collateral damage." Meanwhile, the US Air Force is developing a new drone -- the "Gorgon Stare" -- that can "see everything" using nine cameras that can send up to 65 different images.

Navy Experimental Rail Gun Was 'Star Wars' Weapon
(Michael E. Ruane / Washington Post)

Inside a cavernous building at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va., a gigantic pulse of electricity hurled a 20-pound slug of aluminum out the barrel of an experimental gun at seven times the speed of sound. The demonstration Friday was the latest test of the Navy's electromagnetic rail gun -- a futuristic weapon that is right out of the latest video war game and could one day change the face of naval warfare.

Navy's Trident Nuclear Warheads Hit the Highway, Bound for Texas
(Ed Friedrich / The Kitsap Sun)

Up to 60 percent (1,800) of the nation's W76 nuclear warheads are due to be "modernized." Hundreds of nuclear warheads are secretly being trucked between Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Washington State and facilities in the Texas Panhandle to "have their lives extended." The 100-kiloton W76 warheads are being driven over US highways in special, unmarked tractor trailers -- by drivers who are sometimes drunk.

Robot Soldiers and Exoskeletons: Coming to a Battlefield Near You
(Noel McKeegan / Gizmag & )

Lockheed Martin's HULC Robotic Exoskeleton will enable soldiers to carry hundreds of pounds of equipment and weapons while running as far as 12 miles at speeds of up to 10 mph. Raytheon's "wearable robot" enables its wearer to easily lift 200 pounds and punch through three inches of wood. The US Army is currently testing a robot combat medic that can rescue wounded soldiers by remote control.

Critics Slam Obama Administration for 'Hiding' Massive Saudi Arms Deal
(Matthew Mosk / ABC News )

The Obama administration has quietly forged ahead with its proposal to sell $60 billion worth of fighter jets and attack helicopters to Saudi Arabia unhampered by Congress, despite questions raised in legislative inquiries and in an internal congressional report about the wisdom of the deal.

ACTION ALERT: Don't Let McConnell & Kyl Stop START
(Democracy in Action & Peter Baker / The New York Times)

The START Treaty would force both the US and Russia to reduce nuclear arsenals and resume the mutual inspections that lapsed last year -- for the first time since the Cold War. The new START Treaty is the centerpiece of one of Mr. Obama's signature goals: putting the world on a path toward eventually eliminating nuclear arms. GOP leaders hope to block the treaty to destroy the president's global standing.

ACTION ALERT: Biden: Critical Opportunity to Reduce Nuclear Threat Is at Risk
(BBC World News)

Vice-President Joseph Biden has warned the US that failure to ratify a new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia will "endanger our national security." Get up to speed on the debate over nuclear arms reduction and the new START treaty by reading the following background articles. And then get involved by contacting your representatives.

President Appoints 'Top Cop' to Control Flow of Illegal Guns
( Mayors Against Illegal Guns & The Crime Report & The White House)

Thousands of supporters joined over 500 Mayors from across the country in calling on President Obama to nominate a top cop on illegal guns. And yesterday, President Obama answered our call, nominating a Andrew Traver as the newest Director to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives -- a position that has been vacant for four years.

Star Wars: Towards a Global 21st Century US-NATO "Strategic Defense Initiative"
(Rick Rozoff / Stop NATO)

Later this month, the leaders of 28 NATO nations will celebrate an agreement on the formation of a missile shield to cover the entire European continent, in so many words ostensibly to protect Luxembourg and Iceland from Iranian and North Korean missiles. What in fact they will be ratifying is the dangerous escalation of a global, 21st century Strategic Defense Initiative. Star Wars.

The Myth of Missile Defense as a Deterrent
(Yousaf Butt / Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

The new US Nuclear Posture Review asserts that missile defense can compensate for the deterrent capability that will supposedly be lost due to reductions in the US nuclear stockpile. This, however, is a dangerous and destabilizing strategy. Missile defense is a bust technically, and it encourages the proliferation of both nuclear and conventional weaponry instead of preventing such an increase from taking place.

Emirates Boost US Arms Purchases
(United Press International)

The US Department of Defense plans to sell the United Arab Emirates $122 billion worth of weapons over the next decade, including 60 Boeing AH-64D Apache strike helicopters worth $5 billion -- even as Washington turns up the heat on the Persian Gulf state to curb trade with Iran. Lawmakers have 30 days to approve or reject the sale, although no significant opposition is expected.

US Resisting Call to Reduce NATO's Nuclear Arsenal
(Agence France-Presse)

On November 19-20 NATO leaders will meet in Lisbon to plan the future of the 61-year-old alliance. NATO leaders are unlikely to agree to reduce the defense organization's tactical nuclear stockpiles. The nuclear arsenal remains a source of friction with Russia and within NATO -- Germany, Poland and Sweden's call for a greater NATO commitment to nuclear disarmament is being resisted by France and the US.

Pentagon's Cyber Command Seeks Authority to Expand its Battlefield
(Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post)

The Pentagon's new Cyber Command is seeking authority to carry out computer network attacks around the globe to protect US interests, drawing objections from administration lawyers uncertain about the legality of offensive operations.

ACTION ALERT: Tell President Obama It's Time to De-Alert All Nuclear Weapons
(Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

The US and Russia maintain about 1,000 nuclear weapons each on hair-trigger alert, ready to fire within moments of an order. This Cold War posture is outdated and extremely dangerous. Please take a moment write the president and ask him to take a bold step forward by working with Russian President Medvedev to de-alert US and Russian nuclear arsenals and declare a policy of No First Use.

Obama to Pour Billions of Dollars of Weapons into Middle East Tinderbox
(Al Jazeera & Tony Capaccio / Bloomberg)

The US plans to sell up to $60 billion worth of military aircraft to Saudi Arabia. The largest sale of weapons in US history includes 84 Boeing F-15 fighter jets, 70 Boeing Apache attack helicopters and 36 AH-6M Little Birds (lightweight helicopters often used in special operations). Under the deal, Saudi Arabia also has the option to buy 72 Black Hawk helicopters.

US Military Scales Back On Wonder Weapons
(Spencer Ackerman / WIRED Magazine & Greg Grant / DefenseTech)

First Gates' Pentagon came for the fifth-generation F-22 stealth fighter jet. Then it cut the "Flying Lightsaber" anti-missile laser plane. Now it's talking about saving $100 billion over five years. The message to defense contractors and the military: Don't bother trying to sell us on out-there, futuristic weapons.

The Elephant in the Room: Israel's Nuclear Weapons
(David Morrison / Sadaka: The Ireland Palestinian Alliance)

Nearly 30 years ago, on June 19, 1981, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 487, which demanded that Israel open its secret nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Authority. The resolution was passed following Israel's bombing of an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. The resolution passed unanimously, with even the US voting for it. Israel continues to ignore the resolution.

Interview with a Lebanese Arms Dealer
(Rami al-Amine / New TV & Mosaic World)

In its investigation into the weapons trade, Lebanon's New TV reporters met with a secretive arms dealer and looked into the conditions of the Tariq al-Jdideh region. "Behind this door, we will receive answers to numerous questions related to weapons and armament. Answers provided by a weapons dealer whose market is active these days."

Pakistani Websites Accuse CIA of Causing Pakistan Flooding
(The Daily Bell & Pakalert Press)

Though hardly any of it seems to resonate with the American mainstream press, the rest of the globe is alive with conspiracy theories about American military power, 9/11, HAARP and other maleficent and perhaps mythical US schemes for global domination -- full spectrum dominance as the Pentagon has called it.

Concerns Grow as Nations Prepare for 'Cyber-Warfare'
(Thom Shanker / The New York Times & Michael Stevens / Security Week & )

The new commander of the military's cyberwarfare operations is advocating the creation of a separate, secure computer network to protect critical industries and the nation's power grid against attacks mounted over the Internet. Meanwhile an essay by Undersecretary of Defense William J. Lynn citing a "cyberwar" attack has been challenged by experts who claim it appears to be a hoax.

Cyberwar Attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities: 'Finger Points to Israel'
(Mark Clayton / The Christian Science Monitor & Al Jazeera & Dan Williams / Reuters)

Malicious software discovered on systems around world could have been designed to target Bushehr reactor, experts say. The Stuxnet cyber-worm attack has been centered on Iran. Experts offer dueling theories as to the cyberweapon's target: Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant or the nuclear fuel centrifuge facility at Natanz? The attack appears to be the work of another nation or a powerful group.

The Myth of Missile Defense as a Deterrent
(Yousaf Butt / The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)

The new US Nuclear Posture Review asserts that missile defense can compensate for the deterrent capability that will supposedly be lost due to reductions in the US nuclear stockpile. This, however, is a dangerous and destabilizing strategy. Missile defense is a bust technically, and it encourages the proliferation of both nuclear and conventional weaponry instead of preventing such an increase from taking place.

NATO's Nuclear Decision
(Daryl G. Kimball / Arms Control Today)

The Cold War is long over, but there are nearly 200 US tactical nuclear bombs on NATO military bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Russia, with an even larger stockpile of tactical nuclear bombs, refuses to enter into talks, citing the US deployments in Europe. Nuclear bombs serve no meaningful military role for the defense of NATO or Russia. It is time for a change.

New Developments in Military Automation
(Jody Ray Bennett / ISN Security Watch)

As thousands of US soldiers leave the Iraqi battlefield, the US military is ramping up efforts to increase the use of unmanned and automated Terminator-technologies. In addition to robot drones that can fly, spy and kill, the Pentagon has tested a remote-controlled robot helicopter and Lockheed has built a device that allows road vehicles to be operated via satellite by remote controllers.

The Cost of Weapons: Defense Spending in a Time of Austerity
(The Economist)

At this summer's Farnborough air show, outside London, America's most advanced fighter, the F-22 Raptor, announced its power with a thunderous roar. But the fighter is an endangered species. The weapon that US field commanders clamor for these days is the Predator, an unmanned drone able to stay aloft for a day.

Space Warfare: Preparing the "Battlespace" for a New Imperial Adventure
(Tom Burghardt / Global Research)

General Lance W. Lord, then-commander of the Air Force Space Command told an Air Force conference that "space superiority ... is our destiny... Space superiority is our day-to-day mission. Space supremacy is our vision for the future." And with no public debate whatsoever, new weapons programs spawned in the bowels of the Pentagon's black budget parallel universe are on coming on-line.

Leaking Sarin Rocket Discovered at US Military Depot
(Global Security Newswire / Nuclear Threat Initiative)

The US claimed Iraq had stockpiles of WMD rockets armed with Sarin nerve-gas. The claim turned out to be false. Now the Army reports that a leaking Sarin nerve agent-filled rocket had been discovered -- inside the US, during inspections of chemical weapons storage structures at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky.

US Weapons Sale to Saudi Arabia Said to Reach $60 Billion
(Tony Capaccio / Bloomberg.com & Teymoor Nabili / Al Jazeera)

A proposed US weapons sale to Saudi Arabia of Boeing Co. F-15 fighter jets also includes as many as 132 Boeing Apache attack helicopters and United Technologies Corp. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters that bring the total value of the package to around $60 billion, according to a government official familiar with the plan. But why is Saudi Arabia splurgin on these weapons?

Chinese Missile Could Shift Pacific Power Balance
(Eric Talmadge / Associated Press )

The USS George Washington supercarrier recently deployed off North Korea in a high-profile show of US sea power but China has developed a "game-changing" weapon -- a powerful carrier-killing missile called the Dong Feng 21D that could be launched from land with enough accuracy to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 900 miles.

Global Cluster Bomb Ban Enters into Force -- Without US
(Voice of America & Fire Dog Lake)

A landmark treaty banning cluster bombs became binding international law Sunday. The treaty now has been signed by 107 nations, and 37 of those have ratified the document, including Britain, France, Germany and Japan. However, major cluster bomb-producing nations, including China, the United States, Israel and Russia do not support the accord, arguing the munitions have legitimate military uses.

Document Reveals Military Was Concerned About Gulf War Vets' Exposure to Depleted Uranium
( Mike Ludwig / Truthout)

For years, the government has denied that depleted uranium, a radioactive waste added to munitions used in the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars, poisoned Iraqi civilians and veterans. But a little-known 1993 Pentagon document written by then-Brigadier Gen. Eric Shinseki, shows that the Pentagon was so concerned about DU contamination that it ordered testing for all personnel exposed to the toxic substance.

How US-made Weapons Fuel Mexico's Drug War
(Nick Miroff and William Booth / Washington Post)

Grenades made in the United States and sent to Central America during the Cold War have resurfaced as terrifying new weapons in almost weekly attacks by Mexican drug cartels. US grenades are being diverted from dusty old armories and sold to criminal mafias, who are using them to destabilize the Mexican government and terrorize civilians, according to US and Mexican law enforcement officials.

US Plans to Increase Nuclear Spending
(Paul Richter / Los Angeles Times)

Even as it touts US efforts to sharply reduce its number of nuclear warheads, the Obama administration plans to increase spending on the aging nuclear weapons infrastructure to levels reminiscent of the Cold War, a new budget document shows.

The 65th Anniversary of the Nuclear Age
(David Krieger / New Age Peace Foundation)

July 16, 1945 marked the beginning of the Nuclear Age. On that day, the United States conducted the first explosive test of an atomic device. The test was code-named Trinity and took place at the Alamogordo Test Range in New Mexico's Jornada del Muerto (Journey of Death") Desert. The bomb itself was code-named "The Gadget."

Pentagon Unveils Phantom Eye: A Hydrogen-powered Spy Plane
(Victoria Gill Science Reporter / BBC )

Boeing has unveiled its unmanned hydrogen-powered spy plane, which can fly non-stop for up to four days. The high-altitude plane, called Phantom Eye, will remain aloft at 65,000 feet. Boeing says the aircraft could eventually carry out "persistent intelligence and surveillance." It is a product of the company's secretive Phantom Works research and development arm.

Documents Reveal Obama’s Shocking Retreat on Nuke Reductions
(Tri-Valley CARES)

The Fiscal Year 2011 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (colloquially known as the "Green Book"), obtained recently by Tri-Valley CAREs, reveals that the US Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration's internal plans are significantly at variance with the agency's public pronouncements and US disarmament goals. "What the plan reveals about the National Ignition Facility (NIF) is shocking."

US Congress Gives Obama Okay to Fund Israel Rocket Defense
(Natasha Mozgovaya / Haaretz & Turkish Weekly)

By a 410-4 margin, Congress voted to give Israel $205 million to build the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system. This is in addition to the $3 billion in military aid the US provides Israel each year. When Isreal's State Controller criticized the project, Isreal's military defended Iron Dome, saying that the shortcomings listed in the report stemmed from the "bold ambition" of developers.

US Congress Gives Obama Okay to Fund Israel Rocket Defense

By a 410-4 margin, Congress voted to give Israel $205 million to build the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system. This is in addition to the $3 billion in military aid the US provides Israel each year. When Isreal's State Controller criticized the project, Isreal's military defended Iron Dome, saying that the shortcomings listed in the report stemmed from the "bold ambition" of developers.

Atomic Energy Agency Turns its Attention to Israel
(Alan Fisher / Al Jazeera)

For the first time in 19 years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the world's "nuclear watchdog" will discuss "Israel's nuclear capability." The item has been forced onto the agenda by the 18 nation Arab block, elevating Israel to the same status as Iran and Syria.

Burma's Nuclear Weapons Intent 'Clear and Disturbing'
(Richard Norton-Taylor / The Guardian)

Fresh claims that Burma is trying to acquire the know-how and material to build a nuclear weapon, based on information provided by a former army officer, are published today, renewing concern about the extent of the junta's military ambitions.

UN Official Calls on US to Halt Illegal Killings by Drone Aircraft
(The Voice of America)

The special investigator on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions criticizes, what he calls illegal targeted killings and calls on the US to halt CIA drone killings because drones increasingly are being used in circums that violate international law. While more than 40 states already have drone technology, Alston cites the United States as the dominant user of drones to kill.

Hackable Drones, Crumbling Empire
(Tom Burghardt / Global Research)

The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from US Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor US military operations." Another surveillance drone deployed both in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ScanEagle manufactured by Boeing subsidiary Insitu, is plagued by similar problems.

UN Nuclear Summit Teeters on Brink
(Michael Adler / Agence France-Presse & Robert Grenier / Agence France-Presse)

A month-long UN nuclear conference took up a new draft final document in its final 24 hours in a last-ditch bid to resolve a stalemate that has blocked moves on the Non-Proliferation Treaty for a decade. The drama over the nuclear deal signed by Brazil, Turkey and Iran demonstrates one thing above all: The bankruptcy of the current non-proliferation regime dominated by the nuclear weapons states.

Britain Reveals Nuclear Arsenal: 225 Warheads
(The Associated Press & Richard Norton-Taylor / The Guardian)

Britain disclosed Wednesday that it has a stockpile of 225 nuclear warheads, its first public accounting of its total nuclear arsenal. The announcement, made without fanfare in the House of Commons, followed the Obama administration's recent disclosure that the United States has 5,113 nuclear warheads in its arsenal and "several thousand" more retired warheads.

Evidence: Israel Offered Nuclear Weapons to South Africa's Apartheid Regime
(Chris McGreal / The Guardian)

The London Guardian has published the first hard evidence of Israel's secret nuclear weapons program. Secret South African documents from 1975 reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads "in three sizes" to the apartheid regime -- thus providing the first official documentary evidence of Israel's nuclear weapons industry and it's role in attempting to profit from nuclear proliferation.

Army's Secret Cold War Germ Lab Is For Sale
(Frank Eltman / The Associated Press)

It has been the subject of novels, a reference in movies and the topic of speculation ever since it became an animal disease lab in the infancy of the Cold War. Now, the public is being asked for its input on what should become of the mysterious island off Long Island's north fork. The government is moving its research operations to a new lab in Kansas and putting up a "For Sale" sign at Plum Island.

Projectile Dysfunction: Iron Dome, Israel, Trident and the Media
(Media Lens -- Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media)

Last week, the BBC reported Barack Obama's request for $200 million in aid to assist Israel's construction of a short-range rocket defense system. The funding will be in addition to the $3 billion in military aid the US annually sends to Israel. Obama did not recognise the threat to Palestinians posed by Israeli forces and expressed no "unshakeable commitment" to Palestinian security.

Obama Expands Modernization of Nuclear Arsenal
(Peter Baker / The New York Times)

President Obama promised Thursday to spend $80 billion over 10 years to maintain and modernize the nation's nuclear arsenal, a commitment that could help win Republican support for his new arms control treaty with Russia.

You Call That a Disarmament Budget?
(MaryAnne Coyle with Jim Haber / Nevada Desert Experience)

President Obama’s proposed 2011 budget for the DOE requests a 14 percent increase over 2010 for National Nuclear Safety Administration's Weapons Activities -- the largest amount ever submitted in the Nuclear Age.

War is Peace - Obama Expands Nuclear Power & Weapons for ... Disarmament?
(Dee / Slingshot Magazine)

Commentary: Obama made his way into office at the hands of corporate financiers who are heavy hitters in the nuclear power industry. David Axelrod, Obama's chief political strategist, had a previous position with nuclear energy firm Exelon. Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was instrumental creating Exelon, which went on to become the nation's most valuable nuclear utility based on market value.

The New US Nuclear Posture
(David Krieger / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)

In April 2009, President Obama went to Prague and told the world that the United States seeks "the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons." A year later, his administration is moving forward toward this goal. In both tone and substance the new Nuclear Posture Review is far more positive and hopeful than that of the George W. Bush administration.

ACTION ALERT: Why Is It Legal for Terrorists to Buy Guns in US?
(Mayors Against Illegal Guns & The Washington Post)

Under current federal law, the FBI can stop suspects on the terrorist watch list from boarding an airplane, but they cannot stop them from buying guns or explosives. Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg described this "a serious and dangerous breach of national security." America's mayors are circulating a petition to restrict weapons sales to terror suspects.

Obama, Nuclear Weapons and the Future of the Planet
( Helen Caldicott / The Huffington Post)

In the 1980's 80% of Americans wanted to see an end to the nuclear arms race. The US establishment treated this grassroots movement almost as an aberration. Isn't it strange, that it was only last year, when the former nuclear champions Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, Bill Perry and Sam Nunn called for the abolition of nuclear weapons that the establishment "woke up" and started to take this notion seriously?

Get Ready to Ruble: Air Force Mystery Spaceship Launched
(Tariq Malik / Space.com & Leonard David / Space.com & Tom Chao / Space.com)

The United States Air Force's novel robotic X-37B space plane is tucked inside the bulbous nose cone of an unmanned rocket and poised for an evening blastoff from Florida tonight on a mission shrouded in secrecy. And Space.com reviews the Air Force's Top Ten Space Weapons.

50 Facts About US Nuclear Weapons
(The Brookings Institution)

The US Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project was completed in August 1998 and resulted in the book Atomic Audit:The Costs and Consequences of US Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 edited by Stephen I. Schwartz. These project pages should be considered historical.

Official Hails Effect of Unmanned Aircraft on Warfare
(John J. Kruzel / American Forces Press Service)

Perhaps no other weapon platform has more significantly transformed the way the US military wages war in recent years than unmanned aerial aircraft. Since 2006, operations have grown from about 165,000 hours to more than 550,000 hours annually. But the government of Pakistan has complained to the US government, asking them to stop the dangerous flights because they were killing civilians and violating Pakistan’s sovereignty.

F-35 Fighter Fleet's Price May Be Double Forecast
(Jim Wolf / Reuters)

The estimated total cost of Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter jets being bought by the Pentagon may be nearly twice as high as originally forecast. The bill for 2,443 F-35s is currently estimated at $278 billion to $329 billion, up from the $197 billion projected when the development program began in October 2001, taking into account inflation, a one-page Pentagon F-35 "unit cost" report said.

Five Questions the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Ask
(William Astore and Tom Englehart / Tom Dispatch)

Commentary: When it comes to our nation’s military affairs, ignorance is not bliss. What’s remarkable then, given the permanent state of war in which we find ourselves, is how many Americans seem content not to know. A cloud of secrecy and “black budgets” combine to obscure military's "investment investment portfolio." which ranges from global strategy to war goals to weapons procurement.

Final Destination Iran? US Preparing to Attack Iran?
(Rob Edwards / The Sunday Herald)

Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. The shipment includes 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures. Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities.

Enhancing Nuclear Weapons Research to Support Disarmament?
(Robert Civiak / Tri-Valley CAREs (Communities Against a Radioactive Environment))

On February 1, 2010, President Obama sent to Congress his first comprehensive budget. The Budget requests a whopping 13 percent increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration and a 14 percent increase in NNSA’s Nuclear Weapons Activities. On March 15, a team of nuclear watch-dogs will be in Washington to present a "Radioactive Report Card" on President Obama and his Administration.

The Rise of the Drones: Fewer Pilots in Future as Air Force Turns to Robots
(Austin Wright / National Defense Magazine)

The Air Force is now training more pilots to fly unmanned aircraft than traditional aircraft. The service’s UAV fleet has swelled by 300 percent over the past two years. Observers wonder if this is just a temporary blip or a permanent shift in the capabilities and priorities of the Air Force. The answer is simple says USAF Secretary Michael Donley: "There is no going back to the old days."

US Weapons Research is Raising a Stink
(David Hamling / The Guardian)

The US Army's XM1063 projectile is designed to be a 'non-lethal' weapon -- that delivers clouds of incapacitating gases -- but is it peaceful or hovering on the brink of illegality? The XM1063 will use a 155m howitzer to deliver its non-lethal payload. The weapon is already being tested in Iraq.

Obama Vows To Reduce Nuclear Arms
(BBC News)

WASHINGTON (March 5, 2010) -- US President Barack Obama has pledged to cut the number and role of nuclear weapons in America's national security strategy. Mr Obama, marking the 40th anniversary of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, said a policy review would go "beyond outdated Cold War thinking."

America's Global Weapons Monopoly: Don't Call It "The Global Arms Trade"
(Frida Berrigan / TomDispatch.com)

In 2008, according to a Congressional Research Service report, $55.2 billion in weapons deals were concluded worldwide. Of that total, the US was responsible for $37.8 billion in weapons sales agreements, or 68.4% of the total "trade." It doesn't take a PhD in economics to recognize that, when one nation accounts for nearly 70% of weapons sales, the term "global arms trade" doesn't quite cut it. The real word is "monopoly."

Obama's New Budget Increases Funding for Nuclear Weapons
(Jay Coghlan / The Watch Blog – Nuclear Watch New Mexico)

In the new budget request for 2011 the Obama Administration proposes to freeze discretionary domestic spending for programs such as education, nutrition, air traffic control and national parks for three years while dramatically increasing funding for new US nuclear weapons production facilities. Meanwhile the proposed budget for dismantling warheads retired from the stockpile is down by 40%.

Despite Non-Proliferation Pledge, Obama Budget Request Seeks Additional $7B for Nuclear Arsenal
(Jay Coghlan & Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)

As part of a record $3.8 trillion budget proposal, the Obama administration is asking Congress to increase spending on the US nuclear arsenal by more than $7 billion over the next five years. Obama is seeking the extra money despite a pledge to cut the US arsenal and seek a nuclear weapons-free world.

US Nuclear Weapons Withdrawn From the United Kingdom
(Hans M. Kristensen / Federation of Atomic Scientists)

Withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from three European bases since 2001 means that two-thirds of the arsenal is now on the southern flank. The removal of nuclear weapons from three bases in two NATO countries in less than a decade (which has not been officially announced) undercuts the argument for continuing deployment in other European countries.

USAF Report: 'Most' Nuclear Weapon Sites In Europe Do Not Meet US Security Requirements
(Hans Kristensen / Federation of Atomic Scientists)

An internal US Air Force investigation has determined that “most sites” currently used for deploying nuclear weapons in Europe do not meet Pentagon security requirements. The investigation followed an incident in 2007 when the Air Force lost track of six nuclear warheads for 36 hours as they were flow across the US without the knowledge of the military personnel in charge of safeguarding the weapons.

Israel Drones 'Could Target Iran'
(Al Jazeera)

Israel's air force has unveiled a fleet of Heron TP unmanned aircraft that its says are able to reach the Gulf, putting Iran within range. The drones, which have a wingspan the size of a Boeing 737 passenger jet, can fly at least 20 consecutive hours and be used for surveillance or launching a missile attack.

Environmentalists Oppose Army's Plan to Blow Up Old Chemical Weapons
(Jeffrey McMurray / Associated Press & Tina Redlup / BioPrep Watch )

Under the gun to destroy the US chemical weapons stockpiles -- and now all but certain to miss their deadline -- Army officials have a plan to hasten the process: Blow some of them up.

Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal ‘Synthetic Organisms’
(Katie Drummond / Wired Magazine )

The Pentagon’s mad science arm may have come up with its most radical project yet. DARPA is looking to re-write the laws of evolution to the military’s advantage, creating “synthetic organisms” that can live forever — or can be killed with the flick of a molecular switch.

The Land Mines Obama Wont Touch
(Bill Moyers & Michael Winship / Bill Moyers Journal (PBS))

Many people are troubled that Barack Obama flew to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize so soon after escalating the war in Afghanistan. The United States has not actively used land mines since the first Gulf War in 1991, but we still possess some 10-15 million of them, making us the third largest stockpiler in the world. Since 1987, 156 other nations have signed it, including every country in NATO. The US has refused to sign this agreement.

The Nuclear Double-Standard and Global Disarmament
(Riz Khan / Al Jazeera)

How does the disclosure of Iran's second nuclear site affect global efforts for nuclear disarmament? Israel says it "expects the international community to take substantive and prompt steps to halt Iran's military nuclear program." But what about Israel's nuclear arsenal? Interviews with Richard Burt, former chief US negotiator in the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks and journalist Gideon Spiro.

START 'Cheating' Russia Violating Treaty, Developing Missile
(Bill Gertz / The Washington Times)

Republicans in the Senate are gearing up to battle the Obama administration over the high-priority plan to finish a new arms-control treaty with Russia before the end of the year. The current Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which is set to expire Dec. 5. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and No. 2 Republican Senate leader, has accused Russia leaders of cheating by converting one of their existing missiles, the Topol-M, to a new multiple-warhead variant.

Attack of the Drones: The Death of the F-22 Fighter Plane
(Fred Kaplan / Newsweek)

or more than 60 years, the Air Force has trumpeted itself as the service of glamour, its pilots ruling the skies, soaring, diving, bombing, and strafing from far above-yet still commanding the clash of armies on the ground. But all that is changing in ways that few outsiders understand. This is the real story behind a passionate political struggle this past summer over a major weapons system, the F-22 Raptor.

'Non-Lethal Weapons: An Instrument of Social Control
(Tom Burghardt / Global Research)

So-called non-lethal weapons have been around for decades and range from pepper spray to the Taser. Their use by military and police agencies are designed to ensure compliance from hostile "natives." With ever-more devilish tools being devised by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program, the migration of this weaponry from the military to civilian law enforcement agencies will continue at its current breakneck pace.

Tactical Nuclear Battle
(Bill Gertz / The Washington Times)

Obama administration national-security officials are gearing up to battle Congress over $65 million that a House subcommittee cut from the fiscal 2010 budget and that had been slated toward upgrading the oldest tactical nuclear bomb in the U.S. arsenal.

Study Reveals Gun Shows Main Source of Guns Used In Crime
(The Violence Prevention Research Program / UC Davis & CBS Broadcasting / Gun Shows Main Source of Guns Used In Crime)

Gun shows are surrounded by controversy. On the one hand, they are important economic, social and cultural events with clear benefits for those who attend. On the other, they provide the most visible manifestation of a largely unregulated form of commerce in guns and, partly for that reason, are an important source of guns used in criminal violence.

Biological Warfare and the National Security State
(Tom Burghardt / Global Research)

Commentary: "The history of bioweapons research in the United States is a history of illicit and illegal human experiments. From the Cold War to the War on Terror, successive American administrations have turned a blind eye on dubious research rightly characterized as having "a little of the Buchenwald touch." The phrase is relevant today as the United States pours billions of dollars into work on some of the most dangerous pathogens known to exist in nature."

US Building a Six-ton Weapon of Mass Destruction
(Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge & Global Security)

One ominous development in the ongoing tension between the United States and Iran is the stepped up production of the Boeing-designed Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), a 30,000-pound behemoth packing a 5,300-pound warhead and capable of taking out targets 200 feet below ground. The MOP is six times larger than the US 5,000-pound bunker buster. The MOP program is funded by the euphemistically titled "Defense Threat Reduction Agency."

Bombing Irans Nuclear Facilities Could Cause a Middle East Chernobyl
(Professor Najmedin Meshkati / University of Southern California)

In 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown occurred, forever changing our impressions of the effects of radiation on the environment. Fallout of radiation from Chernobyl severely contaminated 125,000 km2, affecting the agriculture and food supplies of much of Northern Europe. Pine trees were the first type of trees to die from radiation poisoning from Chernobyl. Rodent populations and sensitive plants were eliminated almost immediately. Radiation was carried around the world.

August 13 Airpower Summary: A-10s Deter Enemy Action
(US Air Force News Service)

The American media shields the public from images of US bombing attacks. Meanwhile, the US Air Force details the deadly daily list of attacks in unemotional, clinical detail. But the videos of jets and bombers in action reveals the incredible and devastating power that can be unleashed by the USAF's airborne arsenal.

The Wild Weapons of DARPA
(Nick Turse / Tom Dispatch.com)

Nick Turse's 2004 article on Pentagon plans to weaponize the wild kingdom became part of his 2008 book, The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. DARPA turned 50 this year and, despite budget cuts, it still offers "a fertile area to further the science of death and destruction."

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki
(David Krieger / Hiroshima Committee)

The bombing of Hiroshima was an act of massive destruction of a civilian population, the destruction of an entire city with a single bomb. Harry Truman, president of the United States, upon being notified, said, in egregiously poor judgment, " This is the greatest thing in history ."

Israel Admits White Phosphorus Use
(Al Jazeera)

srael has admitted to using white phosphorus during its war on the Gaza Strip earlier this year, but says it did so in accordance with international law. The admission came in a 163-page document published by the Israeli foreign ministry on Thursday ahead of a UN report next week.

Pentagon, Eyeing Iran, Wants to Rush 30,000-Pound Bomb Program
(Tony Capaccio / Bloomberg)

The Pentagon wants to build the largest non-nuclear Weapon of Mass Destruction in the US arsenal. The US Defense Department wants to accelerate by three years the deployment of a 30,000-pound bunker-buster bomb, a request that reflects growing unease over nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea.

Air Force Report Envisions a Broader Use of Drones
(Christopher Drew / The New York Times)

Small remotely piloted planes are now used mainly to gather intelligence and fire missiles at insurgents. But over the next several decades, the Air Force envisions building larger ones that could do the work of bombers and cargo planes and even tiny ones that could spy inside a room.

Armchair Pilots Striking Afghanistan by Remote Control
(Laurie Ure / CNN )

From a desert outpost northwest of Las Vegas, elite fighter pilots journey to a war zone in Afghanistan, some 7,500 miles away. Air Force pilots are employing remotely controlled fighter-bomber aircraft known in military parlance as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs to fly combat missions over Afghanistan, hunting for insurgents bent on undermining Afghan President Hamid Karzai's fragile government. This is the future of aerial combat.

Rights Group: Israeli Drones Killed Gaza Civilians
(Joseph Marks / Associated Press)

Human Rights Watch charged Tuesday that Israeli pilots failed to verify targets of drone aircraft at least six times during the Gaza war, firing missiles that killed at least 29 civilians. A HRW expert called drones the most precise weapons available and noted "We should not find so many civilian casualties from these incidents." An Israeli military spokesperson accused HRW of being taken in by the "Gazan propaganda system."

Vandenberg Schedules Minuteman III Launch
(Vandenberg AFB News Release)

While the US media obsesses over North Korea, the US is developing a new Global Strike Command and firing an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from the West Coast into the West Central Pacific Ocean. The missile's three unarmed re-entry vehicles are expected to travel approximately 4,190 miles, hitting a pre-determined target near the Kwajalein Atoll. Read this US Air Force press release.

Russia Preparing to Test-fire Intercontinental Nuclear Missle
(RIA Novosti)

While Washington and the US media are focused on North Koreas test launch of a medium-range missile sometime in July, Russia is planning a July test of a sea-launched intercontinental missile that is designed to become the backbone of Russias nuclear triad.

Lethal Crop Dusters
(Defense Update)

The US Navy is already evaluating an armed version of Embraers EMB-314 Super Tucano under a classified evaluation program known as Imminent Fury. The Navy is currently evaluating a single aircraft and is seeking a budget of $44 million to embark on a larger program. Armed Super Tucanos are currently operated by Brazil, Columbia, and the Dominican. Super Tucano can carry 1.5 tons of weapons, and can stay on a mission up to 6.5 hours.

Pentagon Predator Drones Used in More than 20 Pakistan Attacks This Year
(Bill Roggio / The Long War Journal )

The US used unmanned Predator drone aircraft in at least 38 attacks against targets in Pakistan in 2008. So far this year, Pentagon drones have reportedly been used in 22 attacks on targets inside Pakistan. Because Predator drones use Hellfire missiles to destroy targets on the ground, there is a strong likelihood that civilians will be killed along with intended targets.

Downloading Disaster: Cyberscares About Cyberwars
(Frida Berrigan / TomDispatch)

As though we don't have enough to be afraid of already, what with armed lunatics mowing down military recruiters and doctors, the H1N1 flu virus, the collapse of bee populations, rising seas, flailing states, North Korea, al-Qaeda wannabes in New York with terrorist aspirations, and who knows what else now cyberjihadis are evidently poised to steal our online identities, hack into our banks, take over our Flickr and Facebook accounts, and create havoc on the World Wide Web.

Downloading Disaster: Cyberscares About Cyberwars
(Frida Berrigan / TomDispatch)

As though we don't have enough to be afraid of already, what with armed lunatics mowing down military recruiters and doctors, the H1N1 flu virus, the collapse of bee populations, rising seas, flailing states, North Korea, al-Qaeda wannabes in New York with terrorist aspirations, and who knows what else now cyberjihadis are evidently poised to steal our online identities, hack into our banks, take over our Flickr and Facebook accounts, and create havoc on the World Wide Web.

Russia: no nuclear cuts if US unclear on missile defence
(Agence France-Presse)

Russia's military on Friday warned the US that it would not reduce its nuclear arsenal until Washington made clear whether or not it would go ahead with a controversial missile shield in Central Europe. The comments by the country's top general exposed a potential hitch as the two sides hold talks on replacing a key Cold War-era nuclear arms reduction treaty by the end of the year.

The Elephant in the Room: Israels Nuclear Weapons
( David Morrison / Special to Environmentalists Against War)

When President Barack Obama hosted a press conference in the White House on 18 May 2009. with Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu there was an elephant in the room with them a large and formidably destructive elephant, which they and the assembled press pretended not to see. I am, of course, referring to Israels actual nuclear weapons systems, which are capable of doing to cities in the Middle East what the US did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Russia: no nuclear cuts if US unclear on missile defence
(Agence France-Presse)

Russia's military on Friday warned the US that it would not reduce its nuclear arsenal until Washington made clear whether or not it would go ahead with a controversial missile shield in Central Europe. The comments by the country's top general exposed a potential hitch as the two sides hold talks on replacing a key Cold War-era nuclear arms reduction treaty by the end of the year.

National Ignition Facility "Opens" Amid Continuing Controversy
(Suzanne Bohan / Contra Costa Times & Tri-Valley CAREs)

Nine years behinds schedule and $4 billion over budget, California's Lawrence Livermore Laboratory has officially opened its National Ignition Facility, 15 contentious years after the project's approval. While the local press repeated a NIF official's statement that "the dedication of NIF marks a new era," a local environmental watchdog group explains why the Lab's controversial decision to use weapons-grade plutonium poses an unprecedented danger to the surrounding neighborhoods

World Court Opinion Needed on Nuclear Disarmament
(Harvard Law School Human Rights Program)

The UN General Assembly should ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to clarify the legal obligation to achieve nuclear disarmament, said the International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) at Harvard Law School and the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms. IHRC and IALANA call for a new ICJ advisory opinion in a report they have released at a major UN conference taking place in New York this week.

President Obama Outlines His Plan for Missile Defense
(Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance / PRNewswire-USNewswire)

With an overall $8.2 billion spent on Missile Defense including Army Patriot Missile Defense systems at $400 million for 2010, missile defense still remains a core mission of the Department of Defense and President Barack Obama's Administration. The Department of Defense budget was increased by $21 billion, a 4% increase from last year while funding going to the Missile Defense Agency budget was decreased by $1.2 billion, a 13% decrease.

Washington, Moscow Ready to Cut Nuclear Weapons but Pentagon Balks
(The Army Times & The Associated Press)

Russia is prepared to "significantly" cut its nuclear arsenal if a deal is reached with the US, according to the head of the Russian General Staff, Nikolai Makarov. But in defiance of President Barack Obama's call for a "nuclear-free future," the Pentagon has begun work on a nuclear mission statement that envisions the US maintaining its atomic weapons stockpile for the next five to 10 years.

Throws Down the Gauntlet on Defense Budget
(Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation)

On April 6, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates proposed a significant changes to the fiscal year 2010 defense budget.The good news is that Gates wants to modify or terminate a number of high-priced weapons programs that are over cost, behind schedule, useless in Iraq and Afghanistan, and unneeded for the foreseeable future. The bad news is that the Pentagon budget, at $534 billion, still perpetuates the decade-long uptick in US defense spending

ACTION ALERT: Support Call to Cut Wasteful Pentagon Spending
(Los Angeles Times & CNN & TrueMajority / USAction)

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has outlined programs to eliminate wasteful Pentagon spending. The Weapons Industry and pork-barrel politics will resist this call. Send a message to Congress, the White House and the Pentagon saying it is time to stop wasting taxes on weapons that don't work and have no conceivable use against real-world enemies. Use the link below to sign a petition to Congress.

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones
(Adam Shapiro / United Nations Chronicle)

With tens of thousands of nuclear weapons left over from the Cold War, only a small fraction of which is capable of obliterating this planet many times over, nuclear disarmament is perhaps the most vital issue on the global security agenda. Despite the hazards associated with these weapons, nations continue to proliferate out of fear and insecurity.

President Barack Obama's Prague Speech On Nuclear Weapons
(Huffington Post)

To protect our planet, now is the time to change the way that we use energy. Together, we must confront climate change by ending the world's dependence on fossil fuels, by tapping the power of new sources of energy like the wind and sun.... The existence of thousands of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War.... I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.

US Gun Sales Fueling Mexican Drug Violence but Congress Remains Gun-shy on Gun Control
(Suzanne Gamboa / Associated Press & Richard A. Serrano / Los Angeles Times)

High-powered automatic weapons and ammunition are flowing virtually unchecked from border states into Mexico, fueling a war among drug traffickers, the army and police that has left thousands dead, according to US and Mexican officials. Members of Congress may be alarmed by the surge in Mexican drug violence and its potential to spill across the border, but they grow silent when the talk turns to gun control as a solution.

Hawaii's Top Court Torpedoes 'Ferry from Hell'
(Gar Smith / San Francisco Chronicle)

Hawaii's Supreme Court has scuttled a controversial inter-island ferryboat that had raised eco-hackles from Oahu to Kauai. The court ruled on March 16 that the operators of the Superferry Alakai would have to file an environmental impact statement before the ship could resume business. Some have called the ferry a prototype for a new naval warship. With a 56,800-gallon tank and four turbocharged engines, the Alakai is perfectly suited for hauling Humvees and 21-ton Stryker tanks.

US Says Missile Attacks Take Toll on al Qaeda
(Greg Miller / Los Angeles Times)

US intelligence and counterterrorism officials claim that an intense, six-month campaign of Predator strikes in Pakistan has taken such a toll on al Qaeda that militants have begun turning violently on each other out of confusion and distrust.

From Bee Bombs to Battle=ready Beetles: A History of Insects as Weapons
(Jeffrey A Lockwood / Oxford University Press)

Six-legged Soldiers, a brilliant portrait of the many weirdly creative, truly frightening, and ultimately powerful ways in which insects have been used as weapons of war, terror, and torture. Beginning in prehistoric times and building toward a near and disturbing future, the reader is taken on a journey of innovation and depravity.

Hawaiis Ferry Carries Some Heavy Pentagon Baggage
(Gar Smith / Earth Island Journal)

The Hawaiian Superferry Alakai was originally promoted as an eco-friendly transit option between the states islands but a new book suggests the Superferry a massive dreadnaught towering five stories above the water and spanning the length of 1.5 football fields is a Trojan seahorse designed to allow Pentagon profiteers to use Paradise (and taxpayer dollars) to test out a prototype armament-carrier that can carry heavy weapons across the world's oceans.

Hawaiis Ferry Carries Some Heavy Pentagon Baggage
(Gar Smith / Earth Island Journal)

The Hawaiian Superferry Alakai was originally promoted as an eco-friendly transit option between the states islands but a new book suggests the Superferry a massive dreadnaught towering five stories above the water and spanning the length of 1.5 football fields is a Trojan seahorse designed to allow Pentagon profiteers to use Paradise (and taxpayer dollars) to test out a prototype armament-carrier that can carry heavy weapons across the world's oceans.

Army Updates Plans for Electronic Warfare

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the Army is updating its plans for electronic warfare, calling for more use of high-powered microwaves, lasers and infrared beams to attack enemy targets and control angry crowds. A 112-page manual lays out in broad terms the Army's fear that without new equipment and training, US forces may be at a deadly disadvantage.

Obama's Budget Boosts Pentagon Spending 4% Higher than Congress Proposed
(Rob Reynolds / Al Jazeera & Vago Muradian / The Army Times & Eric Gershon / The Hartford Courant)

As President Barack Obama prepared to send his budget outline to congress, US defense spending was coming under new scrutiny. Fighting two wars and supporting an enormous global military machine, cost the US almost $700 billion in 2008. Despite pledges to cut back on Pentagon waste, no-bid contracts and outmoded weapons, President Obama's budget proposal for the 2010 fiscal year would provide $533.7 billion for basic defense spending, a 4 percent increase over what Congress approved for 2009.

US Jails Syrian-born Arms Dealer
(Al Jazeera)

A US district court has sentenced a Syrian-born arms dealer to 30 years in prison for conspiring to sell weapons to Colombian rebels. Monzer al-Kassar, 63, a longtime resident of Spain and known as the "Prince of Marbella" for his lifestyle in the posh seaside town, was taken from his home in Spain in 2007 and extradited to the US.

Gaza: Deaths Laboratory: WMD's from Boeing and UC Berkeley to the Streets of Gaza
(Conn Hallinan, Dispatches From The Edge / Berkeley Daily Planet)

The GBU-39, a Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) was developed by the US Air Force, Boeing Corporation, and University of Californias Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2000. The weapon wraps the high explosives HMX or RDX with a tungsten alloy and other metals like cobalt, nickel or iron, in a carbon fiber/epoxy container. When the bomb explodes, the container evaporates and the tungsten turns into micro-shrapnel that is extremely lethal up to about 60 feet.

Gaza: Inside the World's Biggest Prison
(Lara Marlowe / The Irish Times & Taghreed El-Khodary / New York Times)

Evidence is mounting that the Israeli defence forces used the Gaza assault as a testing ground for new, horrific weapons including new WMDs designed and manufactured in the US that have confounded doctors attempts to save the wounded. Three congressional Democrats, including Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, visited Gaza on Thursday, saying they wanted to see for themselves the destruction caused by the war with Israel last month and to assess the area's needs.

France and UK Cover-up as Nuclear Subs Collide in Mid-Atlantic
(BBC News & The Sun & The Independent)

A Royal Navy nuclear submarine was involved in a collision with a French nuclear sub in the middle of the Atlantic . Although both vessels were left visibly damaged by the crash, the incident was covered up for several weeks, with the French concocting a false story that their sub had collided with cargo spilled from a shipping vessel. The two British and French warships had enough weapons on board to carry out 1,248 Hiroshima bombings

Military 2.0: Should You Fear the Killer Robots?
(Eric Stoner / Mother Jones)

In his new book, "Wired for War," Peter Singer takes an in-depth and at times frightening look at the growing use of robotics by the military a development that he argues will be looked on as "something revolutionary in war, maybe even in human history." Recently, he spoke with < I>Mother Jones about the unforeseen ripple effects of these new technologies, the folly of calls to use robots in Darfur, and whether we should ban these machines before it's too late.

American Killing Machines
(P.W. Singer / The Los Angeles Times)

America has a new corps of warriors fighting on its behalf. But they also have no pulse and have killed at least three people who the United States thought were Osama bin Laden, but who later turned out not to be. Science fiction is coming true on our battlefields. Robotics are revolutionizing today's battlefields, but what kind of blowback might this kind of science-fiction warfare bring?

Israel Finally Admits Using White Phosphorous in Attacks on Gaza
(James Hider Sheera Frenkel / The London Times Online)

After weeks of denying that it used white phosphorus in the heavily populated Gaza Strip, Israel has finally admitted that the weapon was deployed in its offensive. The army's use of white phosphorus was first reported by The Times on January 5, when it was strenuously denied by the Israeli army. Now, in the face of mounting evidence and international outcry, Israel has been forced to backtrack on that initial denial.

Evidence Mounts that Israel Used Horrific New Explosive in Gaza
(Al Jazeera & The Guardian & Noah Shachtman.com)

One doctor described the injuries as 'new' and 'much more dramatic' than landmine wounds. In addition to using white phosphorus, evidence suggests Israel has also used DIME explosives and micro-penetrating projectiles that are surgically impossible to remove. Deaths caused by burning and internal wounds were first reported when Israel attacked Gaza in June 2006. Then, as now, Jerusalem denies using the experimental weapon.

Unexploded Munitions Threaten Gaza
(The Mideast Times & UPI & The International Committee of the Red Cross)

The International Committee of the Red Cross is warning that despite a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, unexploded munitions in Gaza remain a threat. With the cease-fire in place, a number of people, especially children, are leaving their homes for the first time, running the risk of being killed or maimed by unexploded munitions scattered in civilian area. On 20 January, two children were killed by unexploded ordnance in the Shaaf area, near Jabaliya, east of Gaza City.

US Weaponry Facilitates Killings in Gaza
(Thalif Deen / InterPress Service)

The US weapons systems used by the Israelis including F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters, tactical missiles and a wide array of munitions have been provided by Washington mostly as outright military grants. "Israel's intervention in the Gaza Strip has been fueled largely by US supplied weapons paid for with US tax dollars," says a background briefing released Thursday by the Arms and Security Initiative of the New York-based New America Foundation.

Sound Bombs' Hurt Gaza Civilians, Trigger Miscarriages in Women
(The Guardian & Sorcha Faal & Mike Whitney / Information Clearing House & John Pilger / Information Clearing House & Rory McCarthy, David Batty and agencies / The Guardian)

The tactic of jets creating sonic booms low over the homes of Palestinians has been attacked by doctors and UN officials as terrifying and indiscriminate. These terrifying sonic blasts have reportedly caused spontaneous abortions and miscarriages. The horrible impacts of these weapons have been known since at least 2005, yet Israel persists in using against the civilian population of Gaza. Almost half the population under attack in Gaza is under the age of 15.

War Crimes Charged as Depleted Uranium Used to Attack Gaza
(Press TV & Matthew Weaver and agencies / The Guardian)

Norwegian medics told Press TV correspondent Akram al-Sattari that some of the victims who have been wounded since Israel began its attacks on the Gaza Strip on December 27 have traces of depleted uranium in their bodies. Palestinian medical officials said that an Israeli airstrike on a Gaza mosque had killed 10 people and wounded dozens more. At least 200 people were reportedly praying inside the Ibrahim al-Maqadna mosque in northern Gaza when the Israeli missile struck.

Global Zero Calls for Nuclear Weapons Ban
(Gordon Corera / BBC News)

A group of international dignitaries have launched a new campaign in Paris to eliminate nuclear weapons. Global Zero consists of 100 leading figures seeking practical steps towards nuclear abolition and gaining public support for that goal. The group will hold meetings in Moscow and Washington in the coming days.

Answers Sought over Nerve Gas Plan: US Planned to Bombard Australian Troops with Sarin
(Cameron Stewart and Nicola Berkovic | / The Australian)

Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon has asked for an "urgent and full briefing" from his department about US plans to drop deadly nerve gas bombs in Queensland in the 1960s. The secret US plan to test the effectiveness of nerve gas agents, including sarin gas, in jungle warfare called for the Menzies government to lie to Australians about the tests. The revelations, which were contained in recently declassified top secret documents held by the National Archives

Kansas Picked for Biodefense Lab & he Germs Next Door
(Sam Hananel / Associated Press & Stan Cox / CounterPunch)

Kansas has won a three-year competition to land a new $450 million federal laboratory to study livestock diseases and some of the world's most dangerous biological threats. But some states that lost out are crying foul. What would it take to convince you that your town should play host to the world's most feared human and animal pathogens? Believe it or not, five states are locked in fierce competition over a proposed bioterror lab that would have them doing just that.

92 Nations Sign Cluster-bomb Ban; US, Russia Don't
(Doug Mellgren / Associated Press Writer)

An Afghan teenager who lost both legs in a cluster bomb explosion helped persuade his country to change its stance and join nearly 100 nations in signing a treaty Wednesday banning the disputed weapons. Afghanistan was initially reluctant to join the pact which the United States and Russia have refused to support but agreed to after lobbying by victims maimed by cluster munitions.

The Hidden Military Agenda behind Hawai'i's Superferries
(James Heddle / The Ecological Options Network)

Five stories high and a football field-and-a-half long, the superferry can carry 866 civilian or military personnel, 282 civilian cars and trucks...or an unknown quantity of Stryker Depleted Uranium-firing military tanks across the high seas and into shallow water on any island chain or continent. China, and other potential US rivals, please take note.

US Aircraft Carrier an Imposing Presence
(Eric Talmadge /Associated Press)

No country in the world has anything like the USS George Washington. It is a $5 billion floating air base with 67 aircraft ready to fly; it's a city unto itself, with a population of around 5,000; and it's an armory carrying about 4 million pounds of bombs. The George Washington's mere presence is makes a strong statement that the US is committed to stability in the region which means: to keeping the foreign oil flowing to keep the US economy growing.

Uranium Weapons Briefing
(International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons ICBUW)

What is depleted uranium and how is it used in weapons? Depleted Uranium (DU) is nuclear waste. Uranium naturally occurs as three different isotopes U234, U235 and U238. Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons but the same number of protons. This means that they behave in the same way chemically, but different isotopes release different amounts and kinds of radiation

Energy Department Ignores Public; Announces Plans to Revive Nuclear Weapons Production
(Tri-Valley CARES)

The Dept. of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration have announced plans to revitalize and rebuild the Pentagon's nuclear weapons complex at Livermore Lab in California and at other sites across the country.

The Cluster Bomb Tour
(Friends Committee on National Legislation)

The United States is the world's largest producer, exporter, and stockpiler of cluster bombs. The path to banning cluster bombs leads through Lansing, Columbus, and Indianapolis. If senators from Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana support a cluster bomb ban, the next administration and Congress are more likely to join the rest of the world in banning these bombs that keep on killing, years after they are dropped.

Nuclear Fastball: Palin, Biden Strike Out
(John Burroughs / DisarmamentActivist.org)

In the October 2 vice-presidential debate, Governor Sarah Palin claimed that US reliance on nuclear forces is safe and a stable deterrence. Palin argued that dangerous regimes cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. But if deterrence works for the US, why would it not work equally for others? Not addressed by Palin or Biden: Deterrence is based on the willingness to use nuclear weapons. If you embrace deterrence, you embrace the use of nuclear weapons.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the India/US Nuclear Weapons Deal
(Andrew Lichterman / Disarmament Acticist.org)

The imminent US/India nuclear weapons agreement will undermine an already shaky Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime by giving a country that developed nuclear weapons outside the Treaty the benefits of international nuclear trade. In general, the deal reinforces the legitimacy of nuclear weapons and weakens global rule of law. Write to Congress today.

US Says its Arms Exports Boomed this Year
(Jim Wolf / Reuters)

US government-brokered overseas arms sales are expected to total about $34 billion in the current fiscal year, up more than 45 percent from the year before. Among the biggest government-to-government buyers in FY 2008 were Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and Iraq, Overseas arms sales are a key instrument of US foreign policy as well as a boon to defense contractors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, & General Dynamics and Raytheon.

Russia: On a Defense Spending Binge

An analysis of Russia's state spending shows that Vladimir Putin's Kremlin is taking the country in a dangerous direction, girding for a new Cold War while neglecting the domestic infrastructure. Military and security spending is so lopsided in Russia that the country's cash cow the energy sector is being starved of funds. At least one-quarter of Russia's expenditures during the first six months of 2008, or $31.2 billion, was directly devoted to the defense and security sectors.

Treaty Conference Seeks to Regulate Global Arms Trade
(Alisha Ryu / Voice of America)

Ministers and civil society leaders from 18 African countries, UN disarmament officials, and arms-control advocates are meeting in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to try to form a united position on a proposed treaty to regulate the global arms trade. The global arms trade is believed to be adding eight million more guns a year to the 650 million in circulation around the world. And 60 percent of those guns are in the hands of civilians, most of them in developing countries.

Georgia, Russia Criticized for Using Cluster Bomb WMDs in S. Ossetia Attacks
(Robert Evans / Reuters North American News Service)

ampaigners seeking a ban on cluster bombs called on Georgia on Wednesday to renounce any further use of the weapons which it said it had used against Russian forces in South Ossetia. The Cluster Munitions Coalition also said that despite Moscow's denials, Russia had deployed the fragmenting bombs in attacks in and around the Georgian city of Gori during fighting in August, killing 11 civilians.

Russia-Georgian Conflict Heralds Arrival of "iWar"
(Murray Brewster / Canadian Press)

As Russian troops stormed into Georgia this month, they had some novel help from cyber-savvy countrymen who unleashed an assault of their own hacking into government and commercial websites. NATO calls it iWar, and it has the potential to disrupt lives and wreck economies, particularly in Internet-dependent countries.

Nuclear-Powered Amphibious Assault Ships?
(Prof. Karl Grossman / Blogspot.com)

Most new large US Navy amphibious assault ships would be required to be nuclear powered under the National Defense Authorization Act for 2009 which the House of Representatives has passed by a vote of 384 to 23. It now goes to the Senate where many senators are uneasy about the scheme. If one of these amphibious ships is hit, or has an accident, we would be fighting a tide of radioactivity on beaches that could leave them contaminated indefinitely.

The Bush Administration's Secret Biowarfare Agenda
(Stephen Lendman / Global Research)

When it comes to observing US and international laws, treaties and norms, the Bush administration is a serial offender. The US has built an extensive arsenal of biological weapons in blatant violation of international laws and covenants. It was enlarged in the 1980s and 1990s but significantly expanded under George Bush.

Weather Warfare: Beware the US Militarys Experiments with Climatic Warfare
(Prof. Michel Chossudovsky / The Ecologist)

arely acknowledged in the debate on global climate change, the worlds weather can now be modified as part of a new generation of sophisticated electromagnetic weapons. Both the US and Russia have developed capabilities to manipulate the climate for military use.

Special Weapons' Fallout on Babies
(Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail / Inter Press Service)

Babies born in Fallujah are showing deformities on a scale never seen before. The new cases have risen after "special weaponry" was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004. After denying it at first, the Pentagon admitted in November 2005 that white phosphorous, a restricted incendiary weapon, was used. In addition, depleted uranium munitions, which contain low-level radioactive waste, were used heavily in Fallujah.

"Iron Man" Robot Suit Could Usher In Super-Soldier Era
(Associated Press)

Sarcos Inc., a Salt Lake City firm, is under contract with the US Army to perfect a 150-pound "exoskeleton that will enable its wearer to perform feats of super-human strength and endurance. Working under a two-year, $10 million contract, Sarcos and the Army plan initial field tests next year.

Cybarmageddon!: Air Force Wants 'Full Control' of 'Any and All' Computers"
(Kevin Poulsen / blog.wired.com & Noah Shachtman / blog.wired.com)

Col. Charles W. Williamson III is proposing that the Air Force build its own zombie network, so it can launch distributed denial of service attacks on foreign enemies. The best defensive minds in the country want to build a massive distributed computing system to do nothing but pump crap into the internet.

Summit Seeks World Cluster Bomb Ban
(Al Jazeera)

Representatives from more than 100 countries have gathered at a conference in Dublin, Ireland's capital, in an attempt to agree a global ban on the use of cluster bombs. However, China, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia and the United States, all major producers and stockpilers of cluster bombs, are not taking part in the 12-day conference. [Although Reuters and he Voice of America have reported the story, it appears that no major US newspaper is covering the conference.]

Protests over Stratcom at Omaha Gathering
(Associated Press & David Swanson / Liveblog)

Hundreds of people from anti-nuclear and peace organizations around the world are converging on Omaha.The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space is holding its 16th annual international space organizing conference in Omaha this weekend.he organization is made up of more than 145 groups around the world who are working to oppose the introduction of weapons and nuclear power into space.

Weaponizing the Pentagon's Cyborg Insects
(Nick Turse / TomDispatch.com)

Biological weapons delivered by cyborg insects. It sounds like a nightmare scenario straight out of the wilder realms of science fiction, but it could be a reality, if a current Pentagon project comes to fruition. Right now, researchers are already growing insects with electronics inside them. They're creating cyborg moths and flying beetles that can be remotely controlled to spy on distant battlefields or US streets.

Arms Race in Space?
(Mike Moore / The San Francisco Chronicle)

The United States has been talking about space weapons for decades talking about space-based weapons that, in theory, could pulverize earthly targets. And we're talking about "space power options" that in Pentagon-ese could give the United States "full spectrum dominance" in space. Meanwhile, a University of Maryland poll indicates that most Americans overwhelmingly oppose putting weapons in space. So what's driving the Pentagon's would-be Space Warriors?

Israel Test-launches Nuclear-capable Missile
(Tim Butcher /The London Telegraph)

Israel has carried out the successful test launch of a long-range, ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. It was launched from the top-secret Palmachim air base south of Tel Aviv, home to a number of highly sensitive Israeli weapon systems including the Arrow anti-missile defence battery.

Mobile Labs to Target Iraqis for Death
(Robert Parry / consortiumnews.com)

US forces in Iraq soon will be equipped with high-tech equipment that will let them process an Iraqis biometric data in minutes and help American soldiers decide whether they should execute the person or not, according to its inventor.

Unmanned Drones over Houston
(Stephen Dean / Houston Local 2 TV)

Houston police started testing unmanned aircraft and the event was shrouded in secrecy, but it was captured on tape by Local 2 Investigates. Cameras were rolling as an unmanned aircraft was launched into the sky and operated by remote control. HPD Chief Harold Hurtt attended, along with the US Department of Homeland Security and dozens of officers from various police agencies in the Houston area. Few of the guests would comment as they left the test site.

Pioneering 'Heat Wave' Gun May Be Used in Iraq
(Philip Sherwell & Jacqui Goddard / The Telegraph)

American commanders in Iraq are urging Pentagon chiefs to authorise the deployment of newly-developed heat wave guns to disperse angry crowds or violent rioters. But the plea has so far gone unanswered. The first ADS, Raytheons Silent Guardian, could be deployed early next year if the Pentagon allows. Also: A journalist experiences an attack by heat guntechnology.

Mind Wars: Brain Research, Nanotech and the Military
(Richard Thieme / National Catholic Reporter & Global Research)

Mind Wars, an important new book by Jonathan D. Moreno is a broad but necessarily incomplete overview of neuroscience, nanotechnology and related areas applied to the arts of war, with an examination of ethical issues raised by this work, all considered in a historical context by a scholar who has researched the field.

Pentagon Confirms It Sought To Build A 'Gay Bomb'
(Hank Plante / KCBS-TV)

A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange US military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.

Did the US Lie About Using Cluster Bombs in Iraq?
(Nick Turse / Tomdispatch.com & The Nation)

Did the US military use cluster bombs in Iraq in 2006 and then lie about it? Does the US military keep the numbers of rockets and cannon rounds fired from its planes and helicopters secret because more Iraqi civilians have died due to their use than any other type of weaponry?

US Space First-Strike Program Well Underway
(Bruce K. Gagnon / Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space)

In the House of Representatives last week Democratic Party Congress members lead the way to approve money for Star Wars programs in the fiscal year 2008 budget. Representatives Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and John Larson (D-CT) restored $150 million to Pentagon boost phase missile defense programs, $48 million for future missile defense systems, including space sensors, $12 million more for sea-based sensors and language to allow $160 million for a highly controversial European missile defense site.

Did US Use Neutron Bomb in Battle of Baghdad?
(Gary Wilson / The Workers World)

In an April 9 interview reported by Al Jazeera, Saifeddin Fulayh Hassan Taha al-Rawi, a former commander of Iraqs Republican Guard, says that, US forces used neutron and phosphorus bombs during their assault on Baghdad airport before the April 9, 2003, capture of the Iraqi capital. At least one retired US Army officer is backing up his charge.

The Missile Defense Agency: Unsupervised and Over Budget
(Sam Black & Victoria Samson / The Center for Defense Information)

A report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that plans for the p