International Security & Defense

926 Items

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?

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.

Wendy Sherman, Belfer Center Senior Fellow and forthcoming Director of the Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership, answers a question from a student during a JFK Jr. Forum focusing on Sherman’s career as a diplomat and negotiator.

Martha Stewart

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

Q&A: Wendy Sherman

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

Ambassador and Belfer Center Senior Fellow Wendy R. Sherman, the former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, will lead HKS’s Center for Public Leadership and become a professor of the practice of public leadership in January. Sherman, who negotiated with the North Koreans and the Iranians on nuclear issues, is the author of Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power, and Persistence.

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.

Family Fisher Fellow and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Tawakkol Karman

APB

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Enough is Enough. End the War in Yemen.

| Nov. 21, 2018

Today, the Yemeni people are suffering from the actions of outsiders. Regional powers have turned the country into an arena for proxy conflicts that have little to do with the actual interests of the Yemeni nation. Large parts of the country have been devastated, including much of its vital infrastructure. Millions are threatened by starvation and disease. The fighting has left tens of thousands of others dead or wounded.

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.

Panel discussion at Halifax International Security Forum 2018

Halifax International Security Forum

Analysis & Opinions

Future Tense - Our World in Ten

| Nov. 19, 2018

This year’s Halifax International Security Forum paid respect to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, but in its final plenary session, Future Tense: Our World in Ten, the attention shifted to the future. How will the issues discussed throughout this year’s Forum play out over the next decade? Will democratic states be able to defend their values and institutions from growing threats like great power politics and cyber-warfare? This diverse set of panelists spoke confidently and optimistically about the resilience of democracies to withstand this challenge.