22 April 2017   Leave a comment

The Trump Administration claims to have sent “messages” to the world through the use of military strikes in Syria and Afghanistan.  Max Fisher has gone through the research about whether such messages are effective in international relations and has found that there is little evidence to support the proposition that such messages are effective.  Using military power to send signals of intend can be effective, but there are a number of conditions that need to be satisfied for the messages to be received effectively.  While the claims of the Trump Administration seem to be intuitively persuasive, it is very difficult to tell whether they actually do deter behavior.

The US State Department has certified that Iran has complied with the nuclear agreement, but the day after it had done so, US President Trump repeated his campaign assessment that the agreement was “the worst deal ever” and that he would review the accord.  The tension between these assessments is hard to resolve, but a good deal of it is due to adamant hostility to Iran on the part of the US.  Paul Pillar worked for the CIA on Middle Eastern affairs and is now a Professor at Georgetown.  His analysis of the Trump Administration’s policy toward Iran is enlightening and compelling.

Last March was the second warmest March on record and was 1.9°F above the 20th century average.   The reality of global warming is hard to deny when one realizes that:

“More notably, this March marks a whopping 627 months in a row of warmer than normal temperatures. If you were born after December 1964, you’ve never experienced a month cooler than average on this planet.”

The chart below is a graphic demonstration of how the planet has warmed.  Nonetheless, there is a concerted effort to undermine the clear consensus of most climate scientists.

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Posted April 22, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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