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Estonian Military Officer reading NATO at 70

Munich Security Conference

Analysis & Opinions - Economist

What NATO Needs To Do To Live To Its 100th Birthday

| Mar. 14, 2019

Yet as this special report has pointed out, NATO is also deeply troubled. Douglas Lute and Nicholas Burns, two former American ambassadors to NATO, say Donald Trump has “hurtled the alliance into its most worrisome crisis in memory.” The report, “NATO at Seventy,” sets out a daunting array of the challenges it faces.

Astana, Kazakhstan

Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions

Kazakhs Wary of Chinese Embrace as BRI Gathers Steam

| Feb. 28, 2019

Following on our annual conference, in which China’s Belt and Road Initiative was discussed in detail, Philippe Le Corre of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School writes about the perceptions that Beijing will have to overcome in Kazakhstan, where the government is keen on investment, but the people less so.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns Speaks About the Second U.S.-North Korea Summit

WGBH

Analysis & Opinions - WGBH News

North Korea Summit Take 2: What, If Anything, Can Trump Accomplish?

| Feb. 25, 2019

President Donald Trump travels this week to Vietnam, where preparations are underway for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But while he declared today that the summit would be “tremendous,” the meeting comes in the wake of last year’s meeting, after which Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates directly disagreed with the Trump’s exuberant claims that the North Korean threat had largely been erased. So if Trump and his own foreign policy team can't even agree on the problem, are we really right around the corner from a deal with North Korea?

Jim Braude was joined by former undersecretary of state and U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns at the 55th Munich Security Conference 2019

Hertie School of Governance

Analysis & Opinions

Post-MSC Discussion: Picking Up the Pieces

| Feb. 19, 2019

The post-MSC discussion at the Hertie School offered an insider’s view into the conference, bringing together Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO and Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Daniela Schwarzer, Director of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, and Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice at the Hertie School of Governance and Chairman of the MSC.

Iran Syria missiles

Associated Press

Journal Article - International Affairs

Iran's Syria Strategy: The Evolution of Deterrence

| Feb. 04, 2019

Iran has been a critical player in the Syrian war since 2011, crafting a complex foreign policy and military strategy to preserve its Syrian ally. What have been the drivers of Iranian decision-making in this conflict? And how has Iranian strategy evolved over the course of the war? This article argues that the logic of deterrence has been fundamental not just for shaping the contours of Iran–Syria relations since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, but also for determining the overall trajectory of Iranian strategy in the Syrian war. The authors outline Iran's decision-making calculus and divide the country's strategy on Syria after the Arab Spring into four primary phases: 1) a ‘Basij’ strategy to establish local militias in Syria; 2) a regionalization strategy to incorporate transnational fighters and militias in the war effort; 3) an internationalization strategy to incorporate Russia and balance the United States; and 4) a post-ISIS deterrence strategy to balance against the United States, Turkey and Israel. Iran's Syria strategy progressively escalated in response to the possible defeat of its ally and the deterioration of its forward deterrence capacities against the United States and Israel. Today, the potential for direct inter-state conflict is rising as proxy warfare declines and Iran attempts to maintain the credibility of its forward deterrence.