Remembering the Costs of the Iraq War in the Age of Trump

Remembering the Costs of the Iraq War in the Age of Trump

About 54 cents of every discretionary dollar in the federal budget goes to the military. And that’s been true for a very long time. Despite his claimed opposition to current wars, President-elect Donald Trump has promised to end limits on Pentagon spending, increase...
The Obama Administration Is Misreading Public Opinion on Israel

The Obama Administration Is Misreading Public Opinion on Israel

Shortly before the New Year, the Obama administration broke with its usual behavior at the United Nations and abstained from a Security Council resolution against Israel’s illegal settlements in Palestinian territory. By abstaining instead of vetoing the...
The Coming Drone Blowback

The Coming Drone Blowback

The targeted assassination of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour last weekend wasn’t just another drone strike. First of all, it was conducted by the U.S. military, not the CIA, which has orchestrated nearly all drone strikes in Pakistan. Second, it didn’t...
Are We Incapable of Ending Wars?

Are We Incapable of Ending Wars?

Jason Smith was both very unlucky and very lucky. His bad luck began on February 20, 2015, when he was walking back to his home in McAdoo, Pennsylvania on a very cold evening. He doesn’t quite remember what happened, but he thinks that he tripped and fell face down...
Brownbag: Pacific Rim Mining Company vs. El Salvador

Brownbag: Pacific Rim Mining Company vs. El Salvador

Since 2009, Canadian mining company Pacific Rim has been suing the government of El Salvador for not having granted it a mining permit since a presidential ban was adopted. There is widespread opposition to mining across El Salvador: Polling data shows that a majority...
The Off-the-Cuff Breakthrough on Syria

The Off-the-Cuff Breakthrough on Syria

John Kerry may have just accidentally earned himself a Nobel Peace Prize. In off-the-cuff remarks to reporters, the Secretary of State reiterated his support for a U.S. attack on Syria, saying Bashar al-Assad could only ward off a U.S. strike by turning over his...

The Impotence of International Law

Cross-posted from Progressive Avenues. Whenever a lawyer or historian describes how a particular action “violates international law” many people stop listening or reading further. It is a bit alienating to hear the words “this action constitutes a...
The South China Sea Conundrum

The South China Sea Conundrum

Recent months have witnessed renewed tensions over disputed territories in the South China Sea. In response to China’s encroaching military maneuvers and the country’s designation of the whole area as part of its indisputable sovereignty, several South...

Governments Kill

We make a bargain with our governments. We pay taxes and expect a set of government services in return. And in return for a guarantee of some measure of security, we grant the government a monopoly on legitimate violence. In theory, then, we forswear mob rule and...
Justice In The Congo & Great Lakes Region: A Legal Framework

Justice In The Congo & Great Lakes Region: A Legal Framework

Impunity, lack of accountable and injustices have reigned in the Great Lakes Region for the past 16 years. The United Nations has published a report that calls for the establishment of an international mechanism that will deliver justice to the people of the region...

U.S. Hijacks ICC conference

The United States managed to foil the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) adoption of the crime of aggression as part of its mandate during the just-concluded review conference in Kampala, Uganda. Despite the fact that the United States is not a signatory to...