Russia vs Ukraine: Is diplomacy dead?

Russia vs Ukraine: Is diplomacy dead?Far from it. But the diplomacy of peace is in need of emergency resuscitation As a junior delegate to the Stockholm Conference on Confidence- and Security-building Measures and Disarmament in Europe in 1984-85, I had adopted the prevailing view that, with nuclear weapons in play, war in Europe was outmoded. That Stockholm dialogue was a…

Each of us is a mixture of good and bad

Each of us is a mixture of good and badThe divisions we believe exist between us are artificial Christmas is the time of year when human beings put aside their differences and come together. It is difficult to find a truer example of this essence of our character than during the first winter of the First World War. Ordinary soldiers on both sides of…

Putin’s War has dramatically changed the political landscape

Putin’s War has dramatically changed the political landscapeThe world can no longer afford to swim with the green tide In 2008, Britain’s parliamentarians passed the Climate Change Act (CCA), which committed Britain to achieving Net Zero by 2050. As The Economist put it, CCA “would mark the end of Britain’s contribution to global warming, notwithstanding ‘exported’ emissions resulting from products made abroad”.…

Why Ukraine’s infrastructure is vulnerable to Russian attacks

Why Ukraine’s infrastructure is vulnerable to Russian attacksAnd how to make it more resistant to drones and missile strikes As an academic who teaches risk management to an international student audience, I sometimes reflect on whether what I teach is relevant to solving real-world problems such as nuclear proliferation, terrorism, global warming, pandemic risk and regional conflict. Regarding the latter problem, specifically…

Russian false flag operations: Telling truth from lies

Russian false flag operations: Telling truth from liesHistory is replete with false flag operations The 2022 Russia-Ukraine war is being waged on the battlefield and in cyberspace. In the propaganda war, false flags abound. The term false flag describes either: An act of self-harm undertaken to cast an enemy in a bad light and garner sympathy and material support from allies, or…

Our world was forged in the trenches of the Great War

The battle for the values it was fought for – the defense of justice, rights and freedoms – never ceases

Our world was forged in the trenches of the Great WarThe battle for the values it was fought for – the defence of justice, rights and freedoms – never ceases In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row. It was at the funeral of his close friend and comrade Alexis Helmer that Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was first moved to write…

The role Russian history plays in Putin’s War with Ukraine

The role Russian history plays in Putin’s War with UkraineRodric Braithwaite’s book, Russia Myths and Realities, a perfect segue into Putin's brain Prior to the February invasion of Ukraine, my knowledge of Russian history pretty much started with the early 19th century. Everything before that was vague and fragmentary, enlivened only by titillating tales of Catherine the Great’s purported sexual appetite. But there’s much…

We are at great risk of a nuclear holocaust

But our leaders are failing us, and they are putting all of our lives at risk

We are at great risk of a nuclear holocaustWe are potentially living in the most dangerous time in history since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The world owes a great deal to American President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev who were able to back away from global nuclear destruction during that crisis through skillful negotiation. Reflecting on the event…

Genocide denied is genocide repeated

Russia continues to deny the Holodomor; Turkey continues to deny the Armenian genocide

Genocide denied is genocide repeatedThe world is facing trying times. How did we get here? Did we not learn anything from the death and destruction of the 20th century? Jewish philosopher Martin Buber told us, “One gains power over the nightmare by calling it by its real name.” Another Jewish writer, Raphael Lemkin, coined the name for the nightmare:…
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