02/21/15 – SecDef Ashton Carter (left) walks with Gen. John Campbell upon arrival in Afghanistan. (AP)


Spring 2015 Newsletter

March 23, 2015

This issue features new U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter, former director of the Belfer Center. Also in this issue, Graham Allison, Kevin Rudd, Joseph Nye, and Steven Miller weigh in on the future of U.S.-China relations and whether the two countries can avoid war in the 21st century.

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03/23/15 – A family pays tribute to Singapore's Former Prime Minister. (Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty)


Remembering Grand Master Lee Kuan Yew

March 23, 2015

The death of the founding father of Singapore, and its prime minister for its first three decades, is an occasion for reflection, writes Graham Allison. "He was also one of two certifiable grand masters of international strategy in the last half century … and a wise counselor to the world."

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March 21, 2015

"Islamic State in Yemen: Why IS is Seeking to Expand"

BBC News

By Barak Mendelsohn, Research Fellow, International Security Program

"IS's need continuously to expand is a central feature in its strategy since its blitzkrieg in Iraq and Syria last year gave it control over vast territory and facilitated the announcement that it is a caliphate....Expansion is also a mobilisation tool for IS. It adds to the myth of Islamic State's inevitability and invincibility that its leaders are trying to promote."




March 20, 2015

"Will Congress torpedo Obama’s Iran deal?"

By Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School

With the Iran nuclear negotiations coming down to the wire next week, Professor Burns argues for Congress to respect the President's lead role in the conduct of our foreign policy and to avoid interfering in the negotiations with Iran.



March 20, 2015

"How Iran Became the Middle East's Moderate Force"

The National Interest

By Mansour Salsabili, Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom

"There is only one country in the Middle East that is truly in alliance with the United States in its fight against the ISIS and that is Iran. The military presence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) elite forces in defense of the territorial integrity and political stability of Iraq has already expanded from the Kurdish city of Erbil to the multiethnic capital city of Baghdad."



(AP Photo/Mstyslav Chernov)

March 18, 2015

Knowing when it's war and how to avoid it

Financial Times

By Simon Saradzhyan, Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

To hear Vladimir Putin say it, Russia is not at war with Ukraine. “I think that this apocalyptic scenario is highly unlikely, and I hope it never comes to that,” Putin said when asked on Russia’s Defender of the Fatherland Day whether his fellow citizens may “wake up one day to learn we are at war” with Ukraine. It can be inferred that the commander-in-chief of the Russian armed force believes (or wants us to believe) that there will be no war between Russia and Ukraine for as long as Moscow refuses to admit to its involvement in the conflict. But is there such a thing as a declared war any more? And how should other European nations respond if they become the target of an undeclared war? What can be done to prevent repetition of the Ukraine scenario elsewhere in Europe?



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March 18, 2015

"Netanyahu, in the Driver's Seat"

Harvard Gazette

By Christina Pazzanese and Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

Israeli election results promise more settlements and warnings on Iran, with scant chance of a Palestinian state, Walt says



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<em>International Security</em>

The winter 2014 issue of the quarterly journal International Security
is now available!

  1. Development: Learning from Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew
  2. India is a Nation of Unfulfilled Greatness
  3. Why the United States Should Spread Democracy

"The closer we get to the end game, the more incentive he has to stretch it out."

Gary Samore, on the delayed disarmament process in Syria

The Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International affairs has been ranked the world's top University Affiliated Think Tank for 2014.

The annual ranking were issued by University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. More Info ›