Opinion and Analysis


History suggests the Islamic State could convince the US it deserves to exist

History suggests there are certain criteria that allow insurgents and revolutionaries, even ones with histories of brutal behavior, to engage with the United States.


How Death Threats and the Government Shut Down Pakistan's First LGBTQ Website

In 2013, Pakistan's first website targeted to the LGBTQ community launched and immediately took off. In the next several months, the government would shut it down twice as the founder endured death threats and harassment.


The Lessons of Chernobyl May Be Different Than We Thought

Thirty years ago, the worst nuclear accident in history killed dozens, displaced thousands, and terrified the world. Today, its awful effects are still being felt — but that doesn't mean nuclear power has no future.


Humans Can't Escape Killer Robots, but Humans Can Be Held Accountable for Them

Instead of fighting an inevitable future full of autonomous systems, humans must ensure that even when machines perform tasks independently, there are always humans who are ultimately responsible.


Stephen Hawking's Plan to Blast a Tiny Ship to Another Star With Giant Lasers May Work

Breakthrough Starshot is a new project, introduced by Stephen Hawking, to send a spacecraft to another star. It wouldn't happen for decades — if it happens at all — but it's the first-ever proposal for interstellar travel that might actually work.


Meet the Man With a Plan to Fix America's Many Broken Space Programs

Congressman Jim Bridenstine wants to fix all of the US space programs, and today he revealed his weapon of choice — the American Space Renaissance Act.


US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter Wants to Fix Everything Wrong With the Pentagon

Before a new administration takes over, Carter is pushing to deeply change an immense bureaucracy that happens to have the power to end civilization.


The US Army Doesn't Seem Real Sure It Could Stop a Russian Invasion of Europe

The US has been neglecting its traditional warfare capability for decades. Now, with Russia seemingly emboldened and slightly loopy, that neglect has the potential to bite America in the ass.


The World's Nuclear Security Is Important — But Also Kind of a Pain

The 2016 Nuclear Security Summit saw leaders from more than 50 countries address a topic generally considered to be pretty important. But they have no plans to do it again.


The Battle Over What to Pay Teachers in the US May Come Down to One Painful Decision

The grievances of the Chicago Teachers Union, whose members are holding a one-day strike, highlight problems with the way the entire country compensates teachers.


The Nuclear Industry Says Security Is Pretty Good — But It Could Be Better

At the Nuclear Industry Summit in Washington, DC, the world's nuclear facilities appear relatively safe and secure, but the trend lines may not be headed in the right direction.


America's Nuclear Weapons in Europe Are the Nuclear Elephant in the Room

There are still 150 US nuclear bombs stored in five different European countries — including about 20 in Belgium, not far from the Brussels terrorist attacks. But little is said of the weapons.