Smaller, deeper, hotter - the new nukes: on the return to a feeling that limited nuclear war is acceptable.
When Bush came to power, he brought with him very hard-line security advisers, some of whom had worked in think-tanks that had been diligently investigating new nuclear strategies that were uncannily like those of the early 1990s. Once in power, they were given their head, with the results that have been reported so widely this week.
What has surprised most people is the apparent willingness to consider using nuclear weapons first, using them on a small scale, and doing so on the assumption that this is a reasonable component of an international security policy. In reality, there should be very little surprise at this - a long-term feature of nuclear planning throughout the Cold War years was the idea that a limited nuclear war could be fought, and controlled, even when facing a heavily-armed opponent such as the Soviet Union.
As peace talks fail and the civil war in Colombia heats up, the White House and members of Congress are considering expanding the U.S. military's role in that troubled country. This major shift comes as the anti-drug effort, known as 'Plan Colombia,' has failed to curb coca production, according to the White House's own reports.
But rather than reconsider military intervention in a country with one of the hemisphere's longest-running civil wars, the Bush administration and Congress are considering lifting long-standing restrictions that limit the U.S. military's involvement in Colombia to anti-drug efforts and impose human rights standards on the Colombian military.
Why the "War on Terror" Won't Work: a former CIA officer lists six root causes of terrorism against the U.S. and explains why he thinks a purely military solution will not work.
These Islamic extremists are not nice people. Those still alive, and other future adherents to their cause, will continue to try to kill innocent people in the U.S. and elsewhere. But what the extremists see themselves as trying to do is to stop the United States from continuing its drive for global hegemony, including hegemony over the Islamic world. I think it's important to understand this, because if people in the United States believe that some enemy is trying to "destroy" the U.S. and actually has some possibility of doing so then waging an all-out war against that enemy can be more easily justified. But what if the U.S. is not trying to prevent its own destruction, but instead is trying to preserve and extend its global hegemony? In that case, I think we should all step back and start demanding of our government a serious public debate over future U.S. foreign policies. We should be strenuously debating the degree to which the people in this country, given all of our own domestic problems, want the U.S. government to continue foreign policies intended to strengthen U.S. hegemony over and domination of the rest of the world in the political, economic, and militarily areas.