Before the beginning of WW-II, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of Britain said in parliament that it was “against international law to bomb civilians as such and to make deliberate attacks on the civilian population.” U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt called civilian bombing “inhuman barbarism.” How cities and their populations during WW-II became military targets in violation of international conventions is explained in this essay.

In has been claimed that the high level of civilian deaths in the 2024 Gaza war is due to Israel dropping some five hundred 2000 pound “bunker busting bombs” in Gaza. It is shown hthat this is not the case.

The number of civilian deaths in Gaza is not exceptionally high in comparison with past wars, and the number would be significantly less if it were not for the well-known Hamas policy of deliberately placing military facilities in high population density areas.


USA Today Magazine Articles 2001-2023

This book gathers together the articles I published in USA Today Magazine. They cover a large variety of topics and the book contains a commentary, sometimes giving history and technical details that could not be included at the time.


NYT: “A Nuclear Legacy Within Reach”

The 8 August 2016 lead editorial of the New York Times made a financial argument against modernization of the nuclear arsenal — including the land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles.  They then noted that former Defense Secretary William Perry had argued that land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles are no longer needed.  Concluding that, “the time has come to think seriously about whether that leg of the traditional air-sea-land triad should be gradually retired”.   Only one letter was published on 15 August that partly addressed the real problem associated with this leg of the triad.  Here is the letter I wrote that addresses the issue:

To the Editor:

William Perry, as you report in your editorial of 8 August, is correct that land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles are no longer needed. What was not said is that their mere existence increases the probability of accidental war.  As former defense secretary Perry well knows, these missiles are not survivable under nuclear attack.  Historically, and no doubt currently, the lack of survivability drives national policy to a launch-on-warning posture.  What this means is that when satellite and radar systems both indicate a massive ballistic missile attack, the President is given barely enough time to make a couple of phone calls before he must make the decision to launch the missiles or lose them.  It has happened in the past that both satellite and radar systems have falsely indicated a nuclear attack.  The nation went to the highest defense readiness condition but luckily the indication of an attack was found to be a false alert before the President was called.

At one time land-based ballistic missiles had a greater accuracy than survivable sea-based systems, but this hasn’t been the case for many years.  The country would be well served by taking this opportunity to unilaterally eliminate them.


(with S. Fred Singer)

Many people believe that wind and solar energy are essential for replacing nonrenewable fossil fuels. They also believe that wind and solar are unique in providing energy that’s carbon-free and inexhaustible. A closer look shows that such beliefs are based on illusions and wishful thinking.

Op-Ed in The Bridge: Linking Engineering and Society (Winter 2015)

Published quarterly by the National Academy of Engineering



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