As the international community is consumed by the impact of Covid-19, there are signs of the impact of the pandemic on the body politic. There is change throughout the international community, particularly the decline of the influence and power of the United States; the fragmentation of the European Community; the weakening of the transatlantic system; the increased influence of China; and the dire impact on Third World countries and their refugee problems.
If New START expires, or either party withdraws without a replacement treaty, America and Russia would be free to build up their nuclear arsenals. There would be nothing left to restrain the new nuclear arms race, and both countries would lose insight into the other’s nuclear arsenals. This move would reverse decades of bipartisan and international cooperation to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons.
Why America Needs to Rethink Its National Security Priorities
The leaders of the House Armed Services Committee just announced that they are postponing the scheduled markup of the National Defense Authorization Act to “a later time.” Good. It gives policymakers time to rethink their assumptions about what constitutes national security and how much money America should be spending on the military threats that have dominated traditional thinking.
African Women Weigh the Costs of the #MeToo Movement
Ghanaian feminist activist, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah said, “the reasons why women aren’t motivated to speak up…is because the cost of doing so is too high…when it brings no justice.” This may help explain why the #MeToo movement hasn’t had the same viral reach in African countries as it did in the US.
U.S. Government Documents Detailing American Law Firm’s Work For Moscow Firm Puzzles Experts
Ben Freeman, the Director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center For International Policy and FARA expert said, “That’s so interesting, because none of that, reading their exact words, actually would require FARA registration. Where it could cross over, say, if they’re at a congressional briefing, telling a Congressman to do something to benefit their foreign client, that would trigger FARA, but it based on what they put here, this is just information collection”.
“The Center for International Policy is out with a special report on the military’s response to the coronavirus that warns against relying too heavily on the armed forces while also making a new appeal for reassessing national security priorities.
“While the Pentagon may have some relevant resources to add to the fight against COVID-19, it is not a public health agency, and is far from the ideal tool for addressing the current crisis,” said the nonprofit research center. “What is needed in the long-term is a sustained and growing investment in public health resources, from research and public outreach funding for key agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, to a large uptick in funding for national, state, and local health agencies.”
Five years ago this month, a Saudi-led coalition began a bombing campaign in Yemen that was designed to defeat Houthi rebels and their allies and restore the government of Abd-Rubba Mansour Hadi, which the Houthis had overthrown. The Saudis and their backers naively assumed that it would be a short war – perhaps a matter of a few months at most. Five years and tens of thousands of lives later, the war has spiraled into the world’s greatest humanitarian catastrophe. With the likely spread of COVID-19 in a country whose health care system has already been devastated by the war, the situation is poised to get even worse.
The Coronavirus and the Urgent Need to Redefine National Security
In order to address serious domestic concerns, the United States must seek significant savings by reducing the Pentagon budget, ending endless wars, and returning to the arms control and disarmament arena.
Don’t let the Saudis use coronavirus concerns to hide their crimes
by Sunjeev Bery and Ben Freeman
Freedom Forward and Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative
Saudi Arabia has just offered to host a “Virtual” G20 summit, bringing the world’s leaders together to address the coronavirus pandemic. While the world absolutely needs much better international coordination in response to this catastrophic pandemic, Saudi Arabia’s ruling family is one of the last governments we should want convening a conversation on solving any humanitarian crisis, let alone a crisis of this magnitude.
Defense Giant Boeing Thinks Aerospace Needs A $60 Billion Bailout
In his 2012 book Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex, William D. Hartung noted that seeking to write your own rules and to enjoy an endless win-win scenario in the defense industry is nothing new. Since World War One, the defense industry benefited from “cost-plus contracts” where expenses were paid back by the government and automatic profit minimums were established. As Hartung writes, “these generous deals were compounded by a lack of effective oversight and minimal accountability for any malfeasance or misfeasance carried out with the taxpayers’ money.”
(Note: This article is based on a briefing for activists who will be participating in the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), which are being held from April 10th through May 9th, 2020.) Looked at on a global scale, in 2018 U.S. spending on the Pentagon is greater than the amounts spent by the next seven nations combined — China, Saudi Arabia, India, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Five of these seven nations are U.S. allies.
The U.S. Military Has Joined the War Against the Coronavirus. But Its Firepower Is Limited
William D. Hartung, a security analyst at the Center for International Policy, said Pentagon officials rightly point out that there are real-world limitations to relying on the military as a major player in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. “There is no substitute for a robust civilian response,” he said. “However, given that we are facing a national emergency, the Department of Defense should be showing a greater sense of urgency and flexibility in determining how best to add its existing resources to the fight against the coronavirus.”