Rajan Menon

Rajan Menon is Anne and Bernard Spitzer of International Relations at the Powell School, City College of New York/City University of New York. He is a senior research fellow in the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. He is the author, most recently, of The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Articles by this author

Hypersonic weapons are just the most recent manifestation of the urge to engage in an “arms race,” even if, as a sports metaphor, it couldn’t be more off base. (Photo: Reuters) Views
Tuesday, October 01, 2019
Hypersonic Weapons and National (In)security
Hypersonic weapons close in on their targets at a minimum speed of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound or 3,836.4 miles an hour. They are among the latest entrants in an arms competition that has embroiled the United States for generations, first with the Soviet Union, today with China and Russia...
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Evidence from the United States, Brazil, Japan, and Sweden does indicate that, as income inequality increases, so does the suicide rate. (Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Why Is America’s Suicide Epidemic Hitting Trump’s Base So Hard?
We hear a lot about suicide when celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade die by their own hand. Otherwise, it seldom makes the headlines. That’s odd given the magnitude of the problem. In 2017, 47,173 Americans killed themselves. In that single year, in other words, the suicide count was...
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 1% of the population actually provides a quarter of all the money spent on politics by individuals and 80% of what the two major political parties raise. (Photo: Austin Kirk/flickr/cc) Views
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Money Talks, Big Time
Despair about the state of our politics pervades the political spectrum, from left to right. One source of it, the narrative of fairness offered in basic civics textbooks -- we all have an equal opportunity to succeed if we work hard and play by the rules; citizens can truly shape our politics --...
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A memorial wall remembering local victims of drug use and drug-related violence in Portsmouth, Ohio, 2012. (Photo: Joel Prince/Getty Images) Views
Sunday, February 03, 2019
There Is a Real National Emergency in America, It’s Just Not the Wall
President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to declare a national emergency if Congress refuses to pony up $5.7 billion to build the “ great, great wall ” he promised his base during the 2016 election campaign. In an apocalyptic televised address early in January, he even warned -- falsely, as...
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No sooner had Air Force One touched down in Paris than the president in his usual fashion made news, drawing attention to his impulsiveness, his vindictiveness, and his contempt for facts. (Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images) Views
Monday, November 19, 2018
Shattering Europe?
You’ve probably had your fill of the media coverage, punditry, tweets, and wisecracks surrounding President Trump’s controversial trip to Paris, officially undertaken to honor the Allied soldiers, especially the Americans, who perished in France during World War I. By now, we’re used to the...
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In Yemen, the United States backs a grim military intervention for which—unless you are a weapons company—it is hard to find any justification, practical or moral. (Photo by Sebastiano Tomada/Getty Images Reportage Reportage) Views
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Yemen’s Descent into Hell
It’s the war from hell, the savage one that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with seven other Middle Eastern and North African states, have been waging in Yemen since March 2015, with fulsome support from the Pentagon and American weapons galore. It’s got everything. Dead children...
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"A third of Americans have no savings at all and another third have less than $1,000 in the bank." (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Views
Monday, July 16, 2018
The Wages of Poverty in America
So effectively has the Beltway establishment captured the concept of national security that, for most of us, it automatically conjures up images of terrorist groups, cyber warriors, or “rogue states.” To ward off such foes, the United States maintains a historically unprecedented constellation of...
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"If the Pentagon turns its Nuclear Posture Review into reality, the first president who will have some of those more “flexible” nuclear options at his command will be none other than Donald Trump." (Photo: Woohae Cho/Getty Images) Views
Monday, February 26, 2018
Dr. Strangelove in the Pentagon
If you’re having trouble sleeping thanks to, well, you know who... you’re not alone . But don’t despair. A breakthrough remedy has just gone on the market. It has no chemically induced side effects and, best of all, will cost you nothing, thanks to the Department of Defense. It's the new Nuclear...
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"Coming to terms with the reality of a nuclear-armed North Korea and trusting in deterrence may not sound like a perfect ending, but under the circumstances it’s undoubtedly the best way to avert catastrophe." (Photo: Getty) Views
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Avoiding Armageddon in Korea
Most people intuitively get it. An American preventive strike to wipe out North Korea’s nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles, or a commando raid launched with the same goal in mind, is likely to initiate a chain of events culminating in catastrophe. That would be true above all for the roughly 76...
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Trump's economic nationalism is, of course, a con job. Views
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
The Many Ways Trump Will Betray His Base
Among the stranger features of the 2016 election campaign was the success of Donald Trump, a creature of globalization, as an America First savior of the white working class. A candidate who amassed billions of dollars by playing globalization for all it was worth -- he manufactured clothes and...
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