39 Items

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Fidel Castro at Harvard: How History Might Have Changed

| April 25, 2015

FIFTY-SIX YEARS ago today, in 1959, a 32-year-old victorious revolutionary named Fidel Castro arrived at Back Bay Station to face a raucous crowd of 5,000 Bostonians.

Graham Allison writes in the Boston Globe that Castro was headed to Harvard, his last stop on a 12-day trip along the East Coast....Castro’s visit aroused so much excitement that Harvard had no auditorium large enough to host his speech. So the Harvard football stadium was converted into an amphitheater.

"The social sciences rarely allow for controlled experiments where we can test initiatives for cause and effect," Allison writes. "But occasionally the world around us offers its own clues. Is it accidental that the two states that have persisted the longest as bastions of Stalinist authoritarianism are the two that the US has most harshly isolated and sanctioned: North Korea and Cuba?"

Defeating ISIS: With Whose Boots on the Ground?

Photo by Kenny Holston/Getty

Analysis & Opinions - The Atlantic

Defeating ISIS: With Whose Boots on the Ground?

| October 27, 2014

President Obama’s strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS has become the target of heated criticism, not only from partisan opponents but from many of his supporters as well. Categorically ruling out American boots on the ground, while subcontracting the bloody job of house-to-house fighting to the Iraqi military, Free Syrian Army, and Kurdish Peshmerga, can only assure failure, critics argue.

These assessments fall into a familiar trap: assuming that what has been announced is the sum of the matter. Especially for admirers of the diplomatic sleights of hand practiced by Henry Kissinger or Jim Baker, neglecting the obvious when assessing the current strategy is unfair.

Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?

| May 7, 2014

The thought that what we are now witnessing in Ukraine could trigger a cascade of actions and reactions that end in war will strike most readers as fanciful. Fortunately, it is, writes Graham Allison. But we should not forget that in May 1914, the possibility that the assassination of an Archduke could produce a world war seemed almost inconceivable. History teaches that unlikely, even unimaginable events do happen.

An armed Libyan rebel joins others on March 13, 2011, demanding the international community impose a no fly zone.

(AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

U.S. Should Support British and French-led No Fly Zone in Libya

| March 17, 2011

"President Obama should announce immediately full U.S. support for a British-French led No Fly Zone over Libya," writes Graham Allison. "He should express confidence in the British and French to organize and conduct this military operation with the backing of their colleagues in the 27-nation European Union and NATO. The US should stand ready to respond to requests for help if we have unique capabilities, including intelligence assets, essential for this mission." The U.S. should not take the lead, Allison argues.

President-elect Barack Obama, with Vice President-elect Joe Biden (right), speaks at a news conference on Nov. 24, 2008.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Chicago Tribune

When will Osama test Obama?

| December 1, 2008

In the final weeks of the presidential campaign, vice presidential candidate Joe Biden predicted "an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of [Barack Obama]." Belfer Center Director Graham Allison argues that history is on Biden's side. "In the first year of each of the last two presidents' terms," Allison says, "Osama bin Laden has claimed the mantle of 'tester in chief'" Allison suggests three steps President-elect Obama should take to meet this threat.

Analysis & Opinions - Baltimore Sun

Fast Action Needed to Avert Nuclear Terror Strike on U.S.

| July 2, 2007

Before 9/11, most Americans found the idea that international terrorists could mount an attack on their homeland and kill thousands of innocent citizens not merely unlikely but inconceivable. After nearly six years without a second attack on U.S. soil, some skeptics suggest that 9/11 was a 100-year flood. The view that terrorists are preparing even more deadly assaults seems as far-fetched to them as the possibility of terrorists crashing passenger jets into the World Trade Center did before that fateful Tuesday morning in 2001. And yet the danger of a nuclear attack by terrorists is not only very real but disturbingly likely.