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Category: current events

On U.S. Defense Policy Toward Taiwan, prompted by Vivek Ramaswamy’s comments

I saw recently that Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy had answered a question about the U.S. Navy in which he drew attention to our relationship with Taiwan. Ramaswamy argued that we must defend Taiwan as long as they are the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer (this article gives some statistics) and we are dependent on them. …

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Peace of Westphalia in the news, November and December 2022

Alfred de Zayas, the author of an article I referenced in my previous entry, appears again with another article in Counterpunch. I didn’t much care for his other article, and this one is significantly worse. In the last paragraph, he seriously argues that “NATO could easily be considered under the prism of articles 9 and …

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Papal Mediation

The war in Ukraine now has something in common with the Thirty Years’ War: the pope has offered to mediate. (I am speaking of “mediation” broadly here, in the sense of “acting as a go between”.) The papacy makes a likely mediator because it is not itself a political power. It made a lot more …

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No Need to Negotiate?

Before this post, a quick reminder that you can buy a lovely Peace of Westphalia mug as a last-minute Christmas present. Apparently, I have been labouring under the misconception that peace is better than war, and negotiations are the best way to peace. I have found articles in the past month arguing the contrary position, …

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“How to End a War”

This title, taken from an article at Euractiv, seems appropriate after our last post about ending the Russia-Ukraine war. It is actually more interesting that just another take, however, because it proposes an alternate solution that I hadn’t considered: what if the war just peters out and never has a formal end? The article points …

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Two Articles on Putin’s Approach to the War

“Why Vladimir Putin Would Use Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine” (The New Yorker) is a disturbing but, I think, convincing argument that Westerners are fooling ourselves with arguments why Putin would not use nuclear weapons. It includes disturbing information, such as the fact that Russian television keeps repeating Putin’s nuclear threats, or this quotation: “We are …

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