Vietnam War

“So Many People Died”: The American System of Suffering, 1965-2014

For all the dissimilarities, botched analogies, and tortured comparisons, there has been one connecting thread between the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan that, in recent years at least, Americans have seldom found of the slightest interest: misery for local nationals.  Civilian suffering is, in fact, the defining characteristic of modern war in general, even if only rarely discussed in the halls of power or the mainstream media.

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Agent Orange on Okinawa: The Smoking Gun

Agent Orange on Okinawa: The Smoking Gun

Since 1945, the small Japanese island of Okinawa has been unwilling host to a massive U.S. military presence and a storehouse for a witches’ brew of dangerous munitions and chemicals, including nerve gas, mustard gas, and nuclear missiles. However, there is one weapon the Pentagon has always denied that it kept on Okinawa: Agent Orange. But a recently discovered U.S. army report puts lie to those denials once and for all.

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A Bomb-Free Future for Laos

A Bomb-Free Future for Laos

Almost 40 years have passed since the end of the secret U.S. bombing campaign over Laos, and U.S.-Lao relations have made impressive strides. On her trip to Laos, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should reaffirm America’s commitment to cleaning up the deadly mess it left behind.

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Frenemies

Frenemies

We won our independence from the British in a hard-fought revolutionary battle. Today, no hard feelings: the Anglo-American alliance is strong, we all love Downton Abbey, and our skirmishes are largely confined to disputes over which version of The Office is funnier and how to spell and pronounce the word “aluminum.”

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The Curse of Cluster Bombs

The Curse of Cluster Bombs

Laos, a small landlocked country in Southeast Asia known as “the most bombed country on earth,” fittingly hosted an international disarmament conference in November 2010. This was a follow-up to an Oslo conference in 2008 when 94 nations signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), an international treaty to ban all cluster weapons following in the footsteps of the global campaign to ban landmines which came into force in 1999.

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War Fatigue and the Un-Critical Critics of War

War Fatigue and the Un-Critical Critics of War

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya, the first decade of the 21st century has solidified the U.S. reputation as the energizer bunny of war. While these conflicts continue to rage on, there are a growing number of signs that even the United States has a limit to how much war it is willing to wage.

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