Energy

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

New Report Focuses on NATO at Seventy: An Alliance in Crisis

| Feb. 14, 2019

As the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) approaches, the world’s oldest and most successful military alliance of democratic nations faces serious and complex challenges to its purpose, effectiveness, and unity in 2019. In a new report to be launched at the Munich Security Conference February 15, 2019, former U.S. Permanent Representatives to NATO Douglas Lute and Nicholas Burns highlight ten major challenges to NATO in a new report, NATO at Seventy: An Alliance in Crisis, and offer recommendations to bolster this critically important alliance.

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.

Great Decisions Cover

Foreign Policy Association

Journal Article - Foreign Policy Association

The State of the State Department and American Diplomacy

| Jan. 03, 2019

During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled, and meetings with foreign leaders such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries?

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

kees torn/Flickr

Paper - National Bureau of Asian Research

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

This essay examines Russia’s growing role in Asia’s energy markets, assesses the implications for the U.S., and examines the claim that closer Sino-Russian energy ties are adding new incentives for a broader strategic alignment.

President George H.W. Bush

Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Once Upon a Time, U.S. Foreign Policy Worked

| Dec. 02, 2018

George H.W. Bush's administration was evidence of what the establishment was capable of. I worked on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff during the last two years of the late President George H.W. Bush’s administration. It was my first job in government and an extraordinary period in world history. As I came on board at Foggy Bottom, Bush had just facilitated Germany’s unification. The international coalition that he’d mobilized was in the process of evicting Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. In a few months’ time, Bush would help manage the peaceful unraveling of the Soviet Union and the launch of historic peace talks between Israel and its Arab neighbors via the Madrid process.

One Fewer Reason to Be Nervous About the G-20 This Weekend

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

One Fewer Reason to Be Nervous About the G-20 This Weekend

| Nov. 29, 2018

If asked what will be the most consequential meeting this weekend in Argentina at the G-20, you might have a hard time making up your mind. You’d have good reason to choose a) the Trump-Xi bilateral. But b), the gathering to sign the new Nafta deal, could also go awry. If you are like me, you are relieved that c), the Trump-Putin meeting, is now off the table.