- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Notable Quotes

| Winter 2009-10

“ON MY MOST RECENT VISIT TO WASHINGTON, I could not help being struck by the shift that has occurred from the imperial presidency of the Bush era to something like parliamentary government under Mr Obama. This president proposes; Congress disposes.”
Niall Ferguson, “A Runaway Deficit May Soon Test Obama’s Luck,” Financial Times (August 11, 2009)

“IN RECENT YEARS, THE PACE OF INNOVATION in the financial sector has outstripped the pace of regulatory modernization, leaving entire markets and market participants largely unregulated.”
Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner, “A New Financial Foundation,” Washington Post (June 15, 2009)

“THE CBO ESTIMATES THAT THE HOUSE COMMITTEE VERSIONS of the Obama health plan would add more than $1 trillion to federal deficits over the next decade. But the actual costs would be much higher.”
Martin Feldstein, “ObamaCare's Crippling Deficits,” Wall Street Journal (September 7, 2009)

“AT HOME, THE PRESIDENT’S CONSERVATIVE CRITICS charge that his engagement policy has been naive, arguing the United States should return to a more confrontational strategy based on military force.  They could not be more mistaken.”
Nicholas Burns, “Obama’s Opportunity in Iran,” Boston Globe (October 1, 2009)

“FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, U.S. taxpayers' money has funded hardly any bona fide counterterrorism successes, but quite a bit of corruption in the Pakistani Army and intelligence services.… Despite the U.S. goal of encouraging democratization, assistance to Pakistan has actually weakened the country's civilian government.”
Azeem Ibrahim, “How America Is Funding Corruption in Pakistan,” Foreign Policy (August 13, 2009)

“THE MOST WORRISOME ASPECT of these recurring incidents is that facilities from which the materials originated did not report them missing. In addition, there have been some notable lapses in warhead security, even in the United States.”
Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, “Nuclear Security in Pakistan: Reducing the Risks of Nuclear Terrorism,” Arms Control Today (July/August 2009)

“IN THE LONG-TERM, HOWEVER, WHAT REALLY MATTERS is whether the Muslims of South Asia will be able to roll back the spread of Talibanization altogether. The answer to that question lies within the various Muslim communities of the region, not just in Pakistan.”
Hassan Abbas, “A Long Fight for Pakistan's Soul,” Korea Herald (June 25, 2009)

“KASHMIR LOOKS REMARKABLY DIFFERENT from the streets of Srinagar than it does from the seminar circuits of Delhi, and Kashmiris are serious political players who can thwart the agendas of the Indian and Pakistani governments.”
Paul Staniland, “Kashmir in the AfPak Equation,” Foreign Policy (August 18, 2009)

“GENERAL PETRAEUS WILL FIND IT DIFFICULT to repeat the apparent success of the surge in Iraq. There are no mass political parties and the Kabul government lacks the base, strength or legitimacy of the Baghdad government.”
Rory Stewart, “Afghanistan: A War We Cannot Win,” London Telegraph (July 10, 2009)

“THE SHI’I-SUNNI DIVISION IS REAL, and it will continue to play out in Iraqi politics. Already there are warning signs, including the dominance of Shia in the security apparatus (notably the Ministry of Interior) and the lack of progress in integrating the Sunni-dominated Awakening Council members in the security forces.”
Monica Duffy Toft, “A Risky Prospect for Iraq,” Foreign Policy (June 30, 2009)

“ENCOURAGING THIS MOVEMENT TOWARD ISSUES-BASED POLITICS is arguably the most important component of a strategy to help Iraqis solve their most intractable problems. Too often, differences among Iraqis are portrayed as feuds between primordial rivals, grounded in irrational and emotional stances.”
Meghan O’Sullivan, “Issues Before Identity in Iraq,” Washington Post (July 21, 2009)

“THE CONTINUING HEADACHE that this Iraqi prime minister gave to President Bush may indeed carry over into this administration, despite Maliki’s non-endorsing “endorsement’’ of Obama during the US presidential campaign. Nevertheless, given the drawdown of US troops in Iraq, having a strong man in Baghdad - whatever his ethnic or confessional background - is not the worst of all outcomes.”
Eric Rosenbach and Aki Peritz, “What Maliki’s Power Means for US,” Boston Globe (July 24, 2009)

“HOW CAN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES PARTICIPATE in an international effort to reduce emissions without incurring costs that derail their economic development? Their emissions targets could start at business-as-usual levels, becoming more stringent over time as countries become wealthier.”
Robert Stavins and Sheila M. Olmstead, “The Essential Pillars of a New Climate Pact,” Boston Globe (September 20, 2009)

“A CARBON TAX SHIFT IS ONE OF THOSE RARE IDEAS that can take a political liability and turn it into a political asset — it allows Congress to vote for a tax cut and a tax increase while putting into place the financial incentives we need to transition to a noncarbon future.”
Elaine Kamarck, “Gore’s Carbon Tax Makes Good Sense,” Politico (September 23, 2009)

“AFRICA COULD BENEFIT FROM THIS NEW INFRASTRUCTURE if it can focus on four critical areas: lowering the cost of access to bandwidth; expanding training opportunities in multimedia technology; stimulating enterprise development and liberalizing the market for devices to access the net.”
Calestous Juma, “Riding the Digital Express,” BBC (September 15, 2009)

“THE REASON FOR THE SILENCE on the forums is that al Qaeda couldn't care less about the current U.S. debate about torture. The questions of who signed which memos when, whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 80 or 180 times, and whether a millipede was inserted into Abu Zubaydah's confinement box are only interesting for those who did not expect the United States to behave this way.”
Thomas Hegghammer, “Irreparable Damage,” Foreign Policy (May 4, 2009)

“[T]HE FACT THAT NO ORGANIZED GROUP has an extensive network in the country is no longer a guarantee that radicalization cannot reach America's shores, as the Internet has replaced the need to have operatives physically spreading the propaganda on the ground.”
Lorenzo Vidino, “Keeping a Lid on Homegrown Terror,” Boston Globe (October 5, 2009)

“IF WE ARE CAPABLE AS A NATION OF LEARNING FROM HISTORY, we should also take this opportunity to decide that covert operations should be done rarely, and then only by a special component of the military and perhaps by a small, separate, civilian agency under the joint supervision of a group of experienced administration and bi-partisan Congressional overseers.”
Richard A. Clarke, “Targeting Terrorists,” Wall Street Journal (July 18, 2009)

“THIS SITUATION IS A TRAGEDY in the making between peoples who have known more than their share. Unless Obama summons the will and skill to break the logjam, a two-state solution will become impossible and those who yearn for peace will be even worse off than before.”
Stephen Walt, “Settling for Failure in the Middle East,” Washington Post (September 20, 2009)

“THE SIMPLE TRUTH, that if Israel were to offer the Palestinians 100% of their demands, there would be no one capable of both accepting and delivering on this, was lost to international opinion. Netanyahu played tough, failed and delivered a severe blow to Israel's international standing.”
Chuck Freilich, “Hoping the Next 100 Days Go Better,” Jerusalem Post (July 12, 2009)

“GIVEN THEIR DOMESTIC FRAGMENTATION, the Palestinians are limited in what they can provide Israel in exchange for the concessions it is being asked to make. By contrast, the promise of peace with the Arab world is a more enticing context, justifying Israeli downpayments such as in settlement construction.”
Shai Feldman and with Gilead Sher, “The Grand Bargain that is the Mideast’s Best Hope,” Financial Times (August 19, 2009)

“ABBAS’ WEAKNESS, LIKE ARAFAT’S BEFORE HIM in the latter’s last decade of life, has been an infatuation with two elements that are addictive but non-productive: the trappings of power, privilege and incumbency, and a direct line to the US president.”
Rami Khouri, “The Emptiness of the Palestinian Presidency,” Agence Global (October 7, 2009)

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Maclin, Beth, ed. Notable Quotes.” Edited by Maclin, Beth, ed.. Belfer Center Newsletter (Winter 2009-10).