19 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."

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meet in Paris to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal.

United States Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Assessing an Iran Deal: 5 Big Lessons from History

| July 7, 2015

As the policy community prepares to assess an agreement between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker asked me to review the history of analogous agreements for lessons that illuminate the current challenge. In response to his assignment, I reviewed the seven decades of the nuclear era, during which the U.S. negotiated arms-control treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968; strategic arms limitation talks and agreements from SALT to New Start; the North Korean accord of 1994; the agreements that helped eliminate nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in the early 1990s; and the pact that eliminated the Libyan nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Among many lessons and clues from this instructive history, five stand out

new start treaty closing negotiations

US Department of State

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Lessons Learned from Past WMD Negotiations

| June 26, 2015

Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on lessons from prior weapons of mass destruction negotiations for the current talks with Iran over its nuclear program. Drawing on arms control agreements during the Cold War and the post-Cold War era, he argued that negotiated agreements on nuclear weapons are a crucial part of American national security although they are complementary to, and not an alternative to, other military, diplomatic, covert, and economic means of geopolitical competition, that no arms agreement is perfect from the perspective of both sides as they are by nature negotiated settlements, claims that the United States can't or should make agreements with "evil" regimes or those that cannot be trusted are false, the United States can make agreements with regimes that it is trying to contain or subvert in other ways, and which are in turn engaging in other actions that are threatening American citizens and soldiers, arms control agreements overall have reduced the number of nuclear weapons and helped reduce the likelihood of war, and that there is no "good" or "bad" agreement on its own, but only when assessed against alternative options.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., center, speaks with the committee's ranking member Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., on Capitol Hill in Washington In this April 14, 2015 file photo.

(AP Photo)

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

Lessons Learned from Past WMD Negotiations

| June 24, 2015

Belfer Center Director Graham Allison testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on "Lessons Learned from Past WMD Negotiations" to inform assessment of a comprehensive nuclear deal that will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Blog Post - Iran Matters

Belfer Center scholars weigh the extension of negotiations with Iran past November 24th

Eight members of the Belfer Center's Iran Working Group—Graham Allison, Stephen Bosworth, Chuck Freilich, Nader Habibi, Martin Malin, Payam Mohseni, Gary Samore, and William Tobey—comment on the extension of nuclear negotiations with Iran beyond November 24th and consider potential determinants of the talks'  success in the coming months.

How to Solve the Ukraine Crisis

U.S. Dept. of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

How to Solve the Ukraine Crisis

| June 6, 2014

Amid heightened fighting in eastern Ukraine this week, with separatist rebels gaining control of several checkpoints along the Russian border as well as various military bases in Luhansk, few observers are forecasting a peaceful resolution to the conflict anytime soon. Yet even as President Obama and Putin trade warnings alongside D-Day anniversary commemorations, the terms of an eventual agreement are not difficult to imagine.

Report

Challenges to U.S. Global Leadership

In a Harvard Kennedy School IDEASpHERE session titled "Challenges to US Global Leadership," Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns, David Gergen, David Ignatius, and Meghan O’Sullivan discussed challenges as well as opportunities facing the United States. Burns moderated the session.

Challenges include the rise of China and the future of the U.S.-China relationship, the crises taking place around the world, and the reputation of the U.S. worldwide. An unexpected opportunity is the increase in available energy sources in the United States.

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

The Red-Zone Theory of the Iran Nuclear Deal

| November 27, 2013

"The interim agreement to push Iran back 20 yards on its fastest path to a bomb, stop its advance on other fronts, and expand international inspections of ongoing activities is a modest but significant first step,” writes Graham Allison. “Moving beyond this deal to a comprehensive agreement that pushes Iran further away from an exercisable nuclear weapons option will prove much more important—and much more difficult. But if we compare where Iran is today with where it will be over the next six months under the agreement, we are clearly better off. And if we compare where Iran’s nuclear program will be over the next six months with where it would have advanced in the absence of an agreement, we are even better off.