Governance

328 Items

Afghan National Army-Territorial Force members prepare for an exercise at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 11, 2018. (Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson/Air Force)

Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - Miami Herald

Peace with the Taliban? Trump Warned of Afghan Pullout Risks

| Jan. 30, 2019

Trump administration claims of progress in talks with the Taliban have sparked fears even among the president's allies that his impatience with the war in Afghanistan will lead him to withdraw troops too soon, leaving the country at risk of returning to the same volatile condition that prompted the invasion in the first place.

A soldier from one of the U.S.-backed Syrian forces looks into the distance with his binoculars, March 29, 2018.

Hussein Malla (AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

What Trump’s Syria Decision Means on the Front Lines of the Fight Against the Islamic State

| Dec. 23, 2018

Mazloum explained the dangers of a terrorist resurgence after Trump’s sudden decision. Islamic State communications last week showed new hope they can restore their caliphate, which was on the way to destruction, he said. What’s more, Mazloum has been holding more than 2,200 Islamic State prisoners, including 700 foreign fighters. Without help from the United States and other coalition members, those deadly fighters may eventually escape.

Gen. John Hyten (right), Commander of the United States Strategic Command, speaks with the National Security Fellows.

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

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

Center Welcomes National Security Fellows

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

Harvard Kennedy School’s National Security Fellows Program made the official transition in June from its base within the School’s Executive Education division to the Belfer Center.

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

Gen. Lori J. Robinson Joins Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center as Senior Fellow

| Dec. 17, 2018

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named General (ret.) Lori J. Robinson a non-resident Senior Fellow. After 37 years of military service, Gen. Robinson retired this year as Commander, United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.

KFOR Multinational Battle Group-East Soldiers fire the M9 pistol from the firing line during the weapons qualification event for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, Dec. 12, 2017. (U.S. Army Photo / Staff Sgt. Nicholas Farina)

U.S. Army / SSG Nicholas Farina

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

No Exceptions: The Decision to Open All Military Positions to Women

| December 2018

As Secretary of Defense, my overwhelming priority was ensuring that we had the strongest possible military force today – and tomorrow. Building this force meant finding the most qualified person to fill any position. Yet at the time I became SecDef in February 2015, nearly 10 percent of all military positions—220,000 in total—were barred to women. My decision exactly three years ago to open all roles to women without exception was not a social experiment. It was a professional responsibility to draw from our nation’s entire pool of talent, and to recruit and retain high-performing women in our armed services. Though consequential, the decision has enjoyed broad and lasting support. Service members and policymakers alike share the view that the policy change reflected military needs, not political desires.
 
I’m proud of the decision we made – and even prouder of the remarkable women who’ve since earned their way into our most demanding assignments. In this report, which you can download at the link below and read in full below my signature, I detail the steps we took to make sure this decision reflected the military’s mission-critical thinking.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns speaks at Halifax International Security Forum 2018

Halifax International Security Forum

Analysis & Opinions

Western Allies Focus on Crisis of Leadership at Halifax Security Forum

| Nov. 19, 2018

For a decade now the Halifax International Security Forum has been a place to discuss the major external threats facing Western democracies and how to counter them.  One of the main themes coming out of this year's gathering of military, political and academic leaders is the biggest threat to democracy is coming from within.

"In the democratic world, many of our strongest and largest democracies are in some type of crisis," says former U.S. ambassador Nicholas Burns, who now teaches at the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (left) and Philippine Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin (right) shake hands on a Marine Corps V-22 Osprey as they depart the USS Stennis after touring the aircraft carrier as it sails the South China Sea April 15, 2016.

SMSgt Adrian Cadiz / DoD

Report

Reflections on American Grand Strategy in Asia

| October 2018

To understand how I approached China during my time as Secretary, it’s important to note that I don’t see U.S. strategy in Asia as centered on China at all. I said many times: We don’t have a China policy, we have an Asia policy. The heart of that policy is a mesh of political, diplomatic, economic, and military relationships with many nations that has sustained security and underwritten an extraordinary leap in economic development.

During my time as Secretary, I referred to this structure over and over as the “principled, inclusive network.” Enunciating and reinforcing its strategic and military dimensions in a rapidly changing security environment was my constant priority as Secretary of Defense. Even amid pressing challenges such as the fight against ISIS and the need to confront Russian aggression, no other issue I dealt with had such lasting implications for our national security and prosperity.

My three-word title for this policy was admittedly not very catchy. But my counterparts in the region understood it. They understood that all three words have been essential to its success and will remain essential to its future.

Rouhani Erdogan Putin turkey iran russia sochi

Wikicommons

Analysis & Opinions - Aljazeera

What does Iran want in northern Syria?

| Sep. 23, 2018

Although there are a number of major disagreements between Iran, Russia and Turkey, what is important in the end is that they are all opposing the current US policies in Syria. All three countries have suffered from US sanctions and all have serious trust issues with the Trump administration. Emphasising this common ground, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in September that "the US is containable" and that Iran and Russia should continue close cooperation towards this goal. Whichever strategy Iran chooses to pursue, the US will likely feel the pressure on the ground soon enough. That could end up being an effective deterrent against US plans of opening additional fronts against Iran in the Middle East.

Security personnel surround Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro during an incident as he was giving a speech in Caracas on Saturday.

(Xinhua/AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Drone Attacks Are Essentially Terrorism by Joystick

| Aug. 05, 2018

A failed assassination attempt against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Saturday was mounted with explosive-armed drones, according to news reports. Nine days earlier, and on the other side of the world, terrorists claimed to have sent an armed drone to attack the international airport in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. No one was killed in either case, and the circumstances of both remain murky. But a new and dangerous era in non-state-sponsored terrorism clearly has begun, and no one is adequately prepared to counter it.