Amazon founder Jeff Bezos arrives for a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the U.K. diplomatic residence in New York City on Sept. 20, 2021. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Dear Jeff Bezos,

I know these are troubling times for you and the 2,667 other members of the world’s billionaire club. According to Forbes, there used to be 2,755 of you, but the world’s current turbulence has relegated 87 of you to the mere ranks of multimillionaires and shaved your collective worth by $400 billion, to $12.7 trillion. Then again, you and your fellow billionaires did spectacularly well during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. You and the other nine men who are the world’s richest people more than doubled your wealth, and the billionaire club gained another member every 26 hours.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un acto a favor de la libre portación de armas, en julio de 2021 en Brasilia.Joédson Alves (EFE)

El paroxismo de Jair Bolsonaro por las armas llegó a su culmen la víspera de la pasada festividad del Corpus Christi. Reunido con líderes evangélicos, el presidente brasileño tomó la palabra en el palacio de Gobierno y dijo: “Jesús no compró una pistola solo porque no existían en aquella época”. El afán de Bolsonaro por las armas, y esa idea recurrente de querer “armar al pueblo contra la violencia”, lo han llevado hasta la blasfemia.

Lula da Silva, su competidor en las próximas elecciones que ya aparece como favorito, no perdió tiempo en responderle. “Es imposible que quien diga semejante idiotez diga creer en Dios.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Ukrainian activist carries a drone in western Lviv, Ukraine, on April 1. Aleksey Filippov/AFP via Getty Images

As the Russian military stalls in Ukraine, the Kremlin is turning to plan B: terror bombardment of civilians, an attempt to carve off parts of eastern Ukraine and the Black Sea coast, and destruction of Ukraine’s civil and industrial infrastructure. Accordingly, Kyiv needs a plan B as well. It needs long-range offensive strike options that can be deployed en masse and regenerate after attrition by Russian air defenses—something that the Ukrainian Air Force, despite its heroic efforts to date, cannot do.

Long-range, low-cost, self-manufactured kamikaze drones—produced and launched from a variety of locations throughout Ukraine’s nearly Texas-sized territory—would be a game-changer.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 lands in front of Military police officers at Graf Ignatievo airbase near Plovdiv on Feb. 21. NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images

Every day Russian forces stay in control of Ukrainian territory is another day innocent civilians are murdered.

Bodies of men lie face down in the mud, hands tied behind their backs. Women and girls have been raped. Local political leaders have been tortured and killed. Corpses not left on the street have been thrown into mass graves. In Irpin and Trostyanets, Bucha and Chernihiv, the Russian army has unleashed hell on the inhabitants. It is doing the same on a much larger scale in Mariupol, where the Russians have apparently deployed mobile crematoriums, which (in the innocent days of late February) the world thought were deployed to avoid having to send dead Russian soldiers back to their mothers.…  Seguir leyendo »

Official image released by North Korea state media on Friday Jan 28, 2022 shows leader Kim Jong Un inspects a missile munitions factory producing a major weapon system at an undisclosed location in North Korea. EyePress News / EyePress via AFP

At the turn of 2022, Pyongyang dramatically increased the pace of its missile testing, raising fears of renewed North Korean brinksmanship after an extended period of relative calm. That calm was a function, first, of a diplomatic process with the United States that played out during the last three years of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration and, secondly, of the COVID-19 pandemic. But January saw seven separate testing events, more than during any single calendar month on record. On 5 and again on 11 January, Pyongyang tested what it claimed were hypersonic weapons. It then tested a pair of mobile short-range ballistic missiles – derived from Soviet technology acquired long ago –from a train on 14 January and two “tactical guided missiles” on 17 January.…  Seguir leyendo »

With Iran on the cusp of building a deliverable nuclear weapon and with a growing perception that the United States may no longer be the staunch and reliable ally that many, especially in Europe and the Middle East, had long welcomed, the beginning of a realignment of traditional allies is beginning to take shape.

Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron paid a whirlwind visit to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In the UAE, he came away with a $19 billion order for 80 Rafale fighter jets and 12 military helicopters.
No such luck for the United States, after the UAE last week suspended its separate sale for $23 billion worth of weapons.…  Seguir leyendo »

File image of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the Defense Development Exhibition on Monday Oct 11, 2021. EyePress News / EyePress via AFP

In the autumn months, the two Koreas put on something of a military show for the world. As they flexed their muscles – testing missiles and displaying new capabilities – commentators speculated about an accelerating arms race and wondered whether the peninsula might be headed for a crisis moment after several quiet years. Since North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump exchanged taunts in 2017, including Trump’s famous threat to rain down “fire and fury” if Kim crossed his red lines, the peninsula has been relatively calm. But while the possibility of a sudden escalation in tensions can never be fully dismissed, particularly given North Korea’s penchant for wilfully unpredictable behaviour, the autumn’s activity does not necessarily augur a spike in near-term instability.…  Seguir leyendo »

Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who resigned from Congress due to a traumatic brain injury suffered during an assassination attempt, hugs a gun violence survivor on Oct. 19 in Los Angeles following a press conference unveiling an installation of flowers honoring the 3,200 California residents killed last year due to gun violence. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

For years, one of my favorite things about serving in Congress was getting the opportunity to interact with my constituents. I loved chatting with them about our beloved state of Arizona and the policies I was fighting for. Even when we disagreed, we did so respectfully. We found common ground without vilifying each other.

This, I thought, was what representative democracy should look like.

That’s why one of my first priorities after being elected for a third term was to host a “Congress on Your Corner” event outside a grocery store in the Tucson area. A long line of people waited there to meet me that day in January 2011.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘On Wednesday, Mexico announced that it’s seeking at least $10 billion in compensation from America’s 11 major gun manufacturers for the havoc the guns have wrought south of the border.’ Photograph: Hérika Martínez/AFP/Getty Images

Even as Republican members of Congress accuse Joe Biden of failing to secure the nation’s southern border, Mexico is facing a growing problem of securing its northern border. Guns from the United States are pouring into Mexico, arming violent drug gangs.

Mexico has tried just about everything to stop the flow of firearms from the north – passing strict gun control laws, imposing stiff penalties on traffickers and pleading with US authorities to stop the trafficking – but nothing has worked. So now it’s doing what any litigious American would do: it’s suing.

On Wednesday, Mexico announced that it is seeking at least $10bn in compensation from 11 major US gun manufacturers for the havoc the guns have wrought south of the border.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, during a video link with cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS). Photo: Getty Images.

Days before the publication of last week’s report into Russian activity in the UK, and the subsequent call from several UK parliamentarians for a swift response to the ‘Russian threat’, Russia tested a new anti-satellite weapon capability releasing a small projectile from its Kosmos-2543 sub-satellite.

Kosmos-2543, a small satellite contained inside a larger satellite, Kosmos-2542, and 'birthed’ into orbit in late 2019, recently came under scrutiny in January 2020 when it was reportedly caught ‘buzzing’ US spy satellites in Low Earth Orbit.

By releasing a small projectile from the Kosmos-2543 sub-satellite, the US claims that Russia has launched a new projectile into orbit with relatively high speed – estimated at around 500 km per hour – leading to concerns about the potential of Russia to develop this technology as a weapon to target foreign satellites.…  Seguir leyendo »

By easing access to basic services, schools and farms, and allowing civilians to travel once again between villages and towns, the South Sudan peace deal signed in September 2018 was a much-needed boon for the country’s population, whose lives had been decimated by years of brutal fighting and a man-made humanitarian crisis that claimed up to 400,000 lives.

Almost two years down the line, South Sudan’s leaders have formed a unity government -- with critical support from South Africa -- and should be commended for achieving progress towards peace. But the new government, formed in February of this year, remains shaky.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Russian Air Force plane flying over Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha last year under the Treaty on Open Skies. Credit Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald, via Associated Press

Arms control treaties can be a powerful national security tool. But too often arms control proponents — those who seek to control weapons by agreement — get confused: Is arms control a means to a national security end or the end itself?

President Trump has never been afraid to step back, evaluate what the United States and its allies gain from an agreement and how a potential adversary benefits from it, and decide what’s in the best interest of the security of the American people.

Mr. Trump, whose administration I served in, said on Thursday that the United States will initiate the process to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies.…  Seguir leyendo »

It came as close as possible to Canada's Sandy Hook tragedy. On April 18, an unhinged man went on a 13-hour rampage in rural Nova Scotia and killed 22 peopl e, including a veteran Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. It was the worst mass killing in Canadian history and shocked an already traumatized nation dealing with the Covid-19 lockdown.

Last Friday, in response to the shooting, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a sombre voice that has become habitual in his daily Covid-19 briefings, said: "Thirty years from now, an entire generation of Canadians will remember exactly where they were on Sunday, April 18, 2020.…  Seguir leyendo »

An image from the Russian Defense Ministry showing an intercontinental ballistic missile launch.Credit...Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, via Associated Press

Last week, President Vladimir Putin of Russia announced the deployment of the Avangard, among the first in a new class of missiles capable of reaching hypersonic velocity — something no missile can currently achieve, aside from an ICBM during re-entry.

Such weapons have long been an object of desire by Russian, Chinese and American military leaders, for obvious reasons: Launched from any of these countries, they could reach any other within minutes. No existing defenses, in the United States or elsewhere, can intercept a missile that can move so fast while maneuvering unpredictably.

Whether or not the Avangard can do what Mr.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘He has fought hard to keep a French hold over the European commission’s internal market portfolio, which includes key defence investments.’ Emmanuel Macron reviews troops in Paris on Bastille day Photograph: Eliot Blondet/AFP/Getty Images

For three years now, the European Union, created to promote peace and understanding, has been undergoing a profound pivot to militarisation and hard power. Europeans are served up a relentless narrative about their continent’s duty to stand up to external challenges: Russian assertiveness, the US retreat from Nato and traditional Euro-Atlantic structures and China’s rise as a geopolitical force. But this narrative has served to legitimise a militarising agenda that, away from the spotlight, is being set and pushed by defence industry interests and their political cheerleaders.

Countries in Scandinavia and central and eastern Europe, including the Baltic states, Poland, Romania, Finland and Sweden, have all increased military expenditure as part of this creep towards arming and organising for potential use of lethal force.…  Seguir leyendo »

México no debería, bajo ninguna circunstancia, aceptar la presencia de tropas de Estados Unidos (o de cualquier otro país) en su territorio. Es una cuestión de principios, de soberanía y de historia.

Este tema surge tras el brutal asesinato de seis niños y tres mujeres mexicano-estadounidenses en Sonora, México, miembros de las familias LeBarón y Langford. Poco después, la familia le pidió al presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, que designara a los narcotraficantes mexicanos como grupos terroristas y este, en una entrevista, dijo que lo haría. Las posibles consecuencias serían enormes; desde sanciones contra México, aranceles y certificaciones anuales hasta una mayor militarización de la frontera y más retrasos en la aprobación del nuevo tratado de libre comercio.…  Seguir leyendo »

I decided to visit Halle, Germany, shortly after moving to Berlin. I am one of a growing number of Jewish expats in Berlin, excited by the cultural outlets of the city, the cheaper rents and the diverse and open-minded Jewish life. Two weeks ago, an opportunity arose to visit a small, Russian-speaking Jewish community from the former USSR living in Halle to spend Yom Kippur with them. Our delegation was supposed to bring life and song to one of the most important days on the Jewish calendar.

We had just begun the Torah portion Wednesday when we heard the first explosion.…  Seguir leyendo »

Melania y Donald Trump posan con el bebé de dos meses de Jordan y Andre Anchondo, quienes fallecieron en el tiroteo de El Paso, y con otros familiares Anchondo.CreditCreditFotografía oficial de la Casa Blanca por Andrea Hanks

Una de las imágenes más emblemáticas del gobierno de Barack Obama fue una fotografía de la Casa Blanca en la que se ve al entonces presidente agachado para que un niño de 5 años pueda tocar su cabello.

Como reportó en ese momento Jackie Calmes en The New York Times, el niño —hijo de un empleado que dejaba su puesto en el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional— le había dicho tímidamente a Obama: “Quiero saber si mi cabello es como el tuyo”.

“¡Tócalo, amigo!”, le respondió el presidente.

Fue un momento representativo de todos los sueños vertiginosos sobre la raza, la modernidad y un futuro estadounidense brillante que catapultaron a un senador novato de nombre exótico al cargo de presidente.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un oficial de policía afuera del lugar donde un hombre abrió fuego y mató a más de veinte personas el 3 de agosto Credit John Locher/Associated Press

Están advertidos: esta columna no pretende ser reconfortante ni alentadora en estos momentos. No voy a expresar mi profundo luto por las vidas perdidas ni mencionar a los ángeles que llevamos dentro ni nuestra resiliencia como estadounidenses. Esta columna no va por ahí.

Porque tengo una advertencia que hacer y una realidad que contar, la cual es tan perturbadora como evidente.

Empecemos primero por las matanzas que han tendido lugar en días recientes.

El 28 de julio, un joven blanco de 19 años llamado Santino William Legan abrió fuego en el Festival del Ajo en Gilroy, California; mató a tres personas e hirió a otras trece antes de quitarse la vida.…  Seguir leyendo »

In January the Russian military rolled out a 9M729 land-based cruise missile and spelled out its specifications in an effort to refute the American claim that Russia had violated a key nuclear arms pact.CreditCreditPavel Golovkin/Associated Press

After more than 30 years, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (I.N.F.) Treaty ended last week, with an American withdrawal on Friday and a Russian withdrawal on Saturday. Although the United States abided by the terms of the treaty, Russia violated it by fielding more than 100 banned intermediate-range missiles, and China, which was never bound by it, fielded thousands. The United States has none.

To fix this gap, it is time for the Department of Defense to develop and field conventionally armed, ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles. The I.N.F. was a good treaty that reduced tensions and contributed to the peaceful end of the Cold War.…  Seguir leyendo »