This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

mushroom-cloud-nuclear-ss-img

Trump Is Launching a New, Terrifying Arms Race

Michael T. Klare

Nation

Ostensibly, President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, announced on February 1, is intended to coerce Russia into admitting that it has violated the accord and then to destroy any weapons so identified. But the closer one looks, the more obvious it becomes that administration hawks, led by National Security Adviser John Bolton, have no interest in preserving the arms-control agreement but rather seek to embark on an arms race with Russia and China—a dynamic that will take us into dangerous territory not visited since the Cold War.

According to the INF Treaty, “intermediate-range nuclear forces” are nuclear-capable ballistic or cruise missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, or approximately 310 to 3,400 miles. These can be fired from ships, submarines, planes, or ground-based launchers; the treaty, however, covers the land-based variants only. When it was signed in 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union had deployed some 1,293 of these weapons, mostly in Europe. (Read more)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Nigerian elections: Is poverty getting worse?

Peter Mwai & Jack Goodman

BBC

Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and the continent’s biggest oil producer.

But it is a country where more than half the population lives in poverty, and 60% of the urban population cannot afford the cheapest house.

There are also some very rich Nigerians indeed and the gap between rich and poor is all too clear to see in the country’s largest cities.

Ahead of Nigeria’s elections on 16 February, BBC Reality Check examines whether the poor are getting poorer and if the wealth gap is getting wider. (Read more)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

France and Italy: a deeper rift over Europe lies behind the current crisis

Simon Toubeau

The Conversation

France and Italy are in a diplomatic crisis, provoked by a recent meeting between Italy’s deputy prime minister, Luigi Di Maio, and representatives of the French Gilets Jaunes protest movement.

Di Maio has expressed his support for the Gilets Jaunes as they prepare to stand candidates in the European Parliament elections this year. This has caused so much trouble for the French president, Emmanuel Macron, that the French government has pulled its ambassador out of Rome, accusing the Italian government of making verbal attacks “without precedent since World War II”. (Read more)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Decline of Historical Thinking

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s