Whether President Trump or one of his challengers is sworn in as president on January 20, 2021, he or she will have the complete and unchecked authority to order the use of the approximately 4,000 nuclear weapons in the active US stockpile.
The Senate is about to wade neck-deep into a confirmation battle over a Supreme Court nominee. But even as their calendar jams up, they shouldn’t forget another important executive appointment: Will Ruger, nominated by Donald Trump to be the new ambassador to Afghanistan. Ruger is a board member and longtime friend of The American Conservative. A Naval Reserve officer, a realist on foreign policy, a foe of idiotic wars, his elevation was viewed as a statement that the president is committed to bringing the troops home from Afghanistan.
Time has taken a tragic toll. Sherle Schwenninger died in the middle of last week. As we were reeling from that loss, Stephen F. Cohen left us on Friday. The attached are recollections of the two great American originals by their friends Peter Kaufman, Marshall Auerback, James Carden and Patrick Lawrence.
He was courageous and fearless in continuing to question the increasingly rigid orthodoxies about the Soviet Union and Russia. But in the last months, such criticism did take its toll on him. Along with others who sought to avert a new and more dangerous Cold War, Steve despaired that the public debate so desperately needed had become increasingly impossible in mainstream politics or media.
Over time US media attention on Russia declined. And while many of us went quiet, Steve persisted and sought that national audience just about anywhere he could find it. By the 2010s, the problem was not simply that media attention had declined; any new attention was vapid and simplistic…It was hard to have a conversation about Russia without centering it on Putin; from 2016, Russia was only about election interference.
There is no doubt that the Trump administration, with help from the military-industrial complex, is dismantling the U.S. arms control regime, and more recently, seemingly using the pandemic as a distraction.
In 2017 the AJC Global Forum featured Stephen F. Cohen; journalist Julia Ioffe; and Andrew Weiss, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
RIP Stephen F. Cohen, a friend and guide who spent the last four years of his life standing against a tidal wave of hysterical Cold War hostility with elegance and erudition. His intellectual courage was anchored in experience and scholarship his antagonists could never match. Please watch the attached clip from CNN.
A note from ACEWA Board Member and President of the Center for Citizen Initiatives Sharon Tennison on the passing of Professor Stephen F. Cohen…
The first step in this process should be for the United States to transition from being the frontline defense of NATO countries to a supporting role.