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Commentaries

The icebreaker and #ShellNo: How activists determine the course

By Patrick T. Hiller I don’t know any of the 13 activists who lowered themselves from the St. John ’s Bridge in Portland, Oregon, nor any of the dozens of kayakers paddling in the Willamette River below them, but they succeeded in a temporary blockade of the Shell-leased Arctic-bound
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Deal with the Deal. Nuclear Nonproliferation, Sanctions Relief, Then What?

Iran Nuclear Deal
The day the historic nuclear deal between Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany (P5+1) was reached, President Obama declared that “the world can do remarkable things when we share a vision of peacefully addressing conflicts.” At the same tim
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Iran Nuclear Talks. A fresh tone in Washington with a breath of Oregon

It is easy to be a cynic listening to some of the more nonsensical chatter coming out of Congress. Despite the most comprehensive international agreement between the United States and its P5+1 partners (the members of the UN Security Council and Germany) with Iran on its nuclear progr
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TPP, Peace and Conflict: It’s Not about Trade, It’s about How We Trade

Let’s get one thing straight to begin with. Trade is good. We do it all the time. Trade has been pretty much part of recorded human history and evidence reveals prehistorical trade routes in many parts of the world. It becomes a little bit trickier when we look at large-scale internat
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Fight terror again, and again, and again. Or end it by refusing to participate in its creation

The cycle of violence. When will it be interrupted? The attack on Charlie Hebdo was another incident of “Terror in [fill in the blank]… attackers part of [fill in name of terror network]”. It was an incident of home-grown terror, since the attackers were French-born second-generation
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ISIS, Ebola, Ferguson (nukes?)

Did you notice? Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel just announced plans to massively “upgrade” the US nuclear arsenal. It might have been swallowed by other breaking and ongoing news: ISIS and another beheading, Ebola, Ferguson, or the historic comet landing of Philae – at least one pos
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USS Oregon/USS Portland: Not in my name

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus was in Portland last Friday to announce the resurrection of the USS Portland and USS Oregon names for two new warships. I am offended that this is being done in my name and in the name of all other Oregonians who have for decades consistently professed
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More leaks in the faulty national security debate – and how to fix them

A little leak can be quickly fixed by stuffing it. Large leaks, however, often require more structural repairs or completely different solutions. Bradley Manning’s and just days ago Edward Snowden’s leaking of classified information demonstrates just how big our structural repairs nee
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No peace through military strength. A response to Catherine Ashton’s “To Secure Peace, Be Ready for Battle”

“The War to End all Wars” never achieved what H.G. Wells implied with this term. On the contrary, World War I not only resulted in the death of more than 16 million humans, it also resulted in a victor’s peace directly setting the stage for World War 2 where an estimated 60 to 100 mil
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Give Peace Science a Chance – “Big Stick Ideology” on Iran becoming irrelevant in light of constructive conflict

“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far” was a trademark description of Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy. To no surprise the current electoral season turns politicians into stick-carrying hunters – only now it does not seem necessary to speak softly. In political and e
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