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Containing the National Security State represents more than 100 editorials that assess the militarization of U.S. governance and U.S. foreign policy.

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War on the Environment

Federal agencies will no longer have to take climate change into account when assessing the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines and other major infrastructure projects, according a Trump administration plan to weaken the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act.

Trump’s War on the Environment and Its Inhabitants

Trump continues his attack on bedrock environmental regulations established over the past fifty years. During the 2015-2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to dismantle most of the key climate and environmental policies that were in place. He has been enormously successful, according to the New York Times, with more than sixty environmental rules and regulations officially reversed, revoked or otherwise rolled back. An additional 34 rollbacks are in progress even during the pandemic.

Trump’s Attacks on Governance

Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, facing the possibility of less than six months in command, are stepping up their attacks on governance. Five Inspectors General have been removed since April; the Post Office has been placed in the hands of a political ideologue; and sensitive data related to the coronavirus is being taken away from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last month, two new positions were created at the Census Bureau to allow ideologues to monitor the completion of the decennial census, which has been compromised by the pandemic.

Robert Gates’ “Exercise In Power”: A Disingenuous Exercise in Public Relations

Gates’ “Exercise in Power: American Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World” requires a two-part review.
This second part discusses the inadequacies of the book and provide a strong case for demilitarization—with recommendations about what needs to be done.
Gates carries too much Cold War baggage to deal with the solutions to militarization. He fails to understand the current problems with Russia because he distorts the 1990 understanding between Secretary of State James Baker and his Soviet counterpart. Gates’ discussion of the Middle East, particularly the Iraq War, is fundamentally flawed. He points to the non-military instruments of power as being “unequal to the circumstances,” but it was the use of military force that created the regional instability that dominates the Middle East. Gates still believes in the exceptionalism of America, which puts all of us at risk.