35 Items

Presidents Trump and Xi shake hands.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Magazine Article - The National Interest

How America and China Could Stumble to War

| Apr. 12, 2017

WAR BETWEEN the United States and China is not inevitable, writes Graham Allison, "but it is certainly possible. Indeed, as these scenarios illustrate, the underlying stress created by China’s disruptive rise creates conditions in which accidental, otherwise inconsequential events could trigger a large-scale conflict. That outcome is not preordained: out of the sixteen cases of Thucydides’s Trap over the last five hundred years, war was averted four times. But avoiding war will require statecraft as subtle as that of the British in dealing with a rising America a century ago, or the wise men that crafted a Cold War strategy to meet the Soviet Union’s surge without bombs or bullets. Whether Chinese and American leaders can rise to this challenge is an open question. What is certain is that the fate of the world rests upon the answer."

Ambassador Douglas E. Lute

U.S. Department of Defense/Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

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

Ambassador Douglas E. Lute Named Senior Fellow by Belfer Center's Future of Diplomacy Project

The Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named Ambassador Douglas E. Lute a Senior Fellow. While at the Kennedy School, Ambassador Lute will initiate a research project focused on NATO and transatlantic relations that will address the multiplicity of challenges facing the alliance as it approaches its 70th anniversary. He will also share his expertise in security and diplomacy by conducting seminars and study groups with students and fellows.

President Barack Obama speaks with Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the start of a National Security Council Meeting on the counter-Islamic State group campaign, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Why ISIS Fears Israel

| August 8, 2016

In the wake of the Orlando and Istanbul attacks, President Obama reiterated his determination to “destroy” ISIS by executing a strategy that combines air strikes, American special-operations units and support for local ground forces. Both of the candidates campaigning to succeed him insist that the United States must do more: Donald Trump advocates that Washington “bomb the hell out of” the group, while Hillary Clinton promises to “smash the would-be caliphate.” All three, however, are in violent agreement on one point: the overriding objective must be to destroy ISIS.

Could There Be a Terrorist Fukushima?

commons.wikimedia.org

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Could There Be a Terrorist Fukushima?

| April 4, 2016

The attacks in Brussels last month were a stark reminder of the terrorists’ resolve, and of our continued vulnerabilities, including in an area of paramount concern: nuclear security.

The attackers struck an airport and the subway, but some Belgian investigators believe they seemed to have fallen back on those targets because they felt the authorities closing in on them, and that their original plan may have been to strike a nuclear plant. A few months ago, during a raid in the apartment of a suspect linked to the November attacks in Paris, investigators found surveillance footage of a senior Belgian nuclear official. Belgian police are said to have connected two of the Brussels terrorists to that footage.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to greet U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, Israel, Tuesday, July 21, 2015.

(AP Photo)

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Iran Deal Keeps Our Military Options Open

| August 5, 2015

In the debate about whether the Iranian nuclear agreement provides Iran a “path to a bomb” or instead provides us a “window to a target,” Americans should listen carefully to the Israeli who knows best.

In his campaign to persuade Congress to reject this deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has focused like a laser beam on the claim that this agreement “paves Iran’s path to a bomb” because its key constraints expire in a decade. In contrast, one of Israel’s most respected national security barons, Amos Yadlin, formerly chief of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate under Netanyahu, has pointed out that when the agreement expires, an American or Israeli military attack will not be more difficult, and indeed could be easier than it is today.

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?"

US and Ukrainian soldiers stand guard during opening ceremony of the 'Fiarles Guardian - 2015', Ukrainian-US Peacekeeping and Security command and staff training, in western Ukraine, in Lviv region, Monday, April 20, 2015.

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Magazine Article - The National Interest

Russia and America: Stumbling to War

| May-June 2015

In the United States and Europe, many believe that the best way to prevent Russia’s resumption of its historic imperial mission is to assure the independence of Ukraine. They insist that the West must do whatever is required to stop the Kremlin from establishing direct or indirect control over that country. Otherwise, they foresee Russia reassembling the former Soviet empire and threatening all of Europe. Conversely, in Russia, many claim that while Russia is willing to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (with the exception of Crimea), Moscow will demand no less than any other great power would on its border. Security on its western frontier requires a special relationship with Ukraine and a degree of deference expected in major powers’ spheres of influence. More specifically, Russia’s establishment sentiment holds that the country can never be secure if Ukraine joins NATO or becomes a part of a hostile Euro-Atlantic community. From their perspective, this makes Ukraine’s nonadversarial status a nonnegotiable demand for any Russia powerful enough to defend its national-security interests.

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

Ashton B. Carter: A Salute

| Dec. 05, 2014

Following President Barack Obama's December 5th nomination of Ashton B. Carter for Secretary of Defense, Belfer Center Director Graham Allison commented on the nomination:

President Obama's nomination of Ash Carter to be the next Secretary of Defense makes all of us at the Belfer Center proud.  Ash is a model of the Belfer Center's mission to advance policy-relevant knowledge about the central challenges of international security and train future leaders in making policy in this arena.

In this Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 photo, fighters from the Free Syrian Army, left, and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), center, join forces to fight Islamic State group militants in Kobani, Syria.

AP Photo/Jake Simkin

Analysis & Opinions - TIME / time.com

Viral Threats

| Dec. 04, 2014

As images of brutal beheadings and dying plague victims compete for the world’s shrinking attention span, it is instructive to compare the unexpected terrors of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (known as ISIS or ISIL) and Ebola. In October, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out that “the twin plagues of Ebola and ISIL both fomented quietly, neglected by a world that knew they existed but misread their terrible potential, before exploding into the global consciousness.” Seeking more direct connections, various press stories have cited “experts” discussing the potential for ISIS to weaponize Ebola for bioterrorist attacks on the West.

Sensationalist claims aside, questions about similarities and differences are worth considering. Both burst onto the scene this year, capturing imaginations as they spread with surprising speed and severity. About Ebola, the world knows a lot and is doing relatively little. About ISIS, we know relatively little but are doing a lot.