April 23, 2014 – President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands before having dinner in Tokyo. (AP Images)


U.S. Rebalance toward Asia

April 23, 2014

As President Obama begins a four-country trip through Asia this week, Belfer Center experts highlight America's long-term interest in Asian security and stability.

Joseph Nye and Kevin Rudd: “How to Navigate the East China Sea Dispute between Japan and China" More

Tom Donilon says Obama is on the right course with his reorientation toward Asia. More

WATCH: Stephen Bosworth expects nuclear test in North Korea. More


"A Populism Spurned By The Downturn's Discontents"

By Niall Ferguson, for Financial Times.

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"Engineering Africa"

Discussion with Calestous Juma. April 24, 7:00AM.

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RGloucester Image CC

April 22, 2014

"Our Unpredictable 'Partner for Peace'"

The Huffington Post

By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program

"Taking a leaf from Hitler's playbook of the late 1930s (Austria, Sudetenland, Memel), Vladimir Putin has now declared himself the protector of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers no matter where they are. His seizure and annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula disregarded international law and the inviolability of nation-states and raised the specter of a resurrection of the former Soviet empire in its dimensions though not its ideology."



Amos Ben Gershom/GPO via Getty Images

April 22, 2014

"Israeli Extremism or Zionism’s True Colors?"

Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"This week, the Israeli transportation ministry announced that it would establish designated bus routes for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, allowing Jewish Israelis to travel on buses without Palestinians. Some months ago, the Israeli government started discussing a bill in parliament that would identify Palestinian Christians with Israeli citizenship as “non-Arabs.” These are among the continuing actions by the state of Israel that cause more and more people around the world to roll their eyes in disbelief—for they see Israel slowly turning into an Apartheid-like state that plays with the demography of its citizens and those under its occupation, in order to enhance the wellbeing of the politically dominant Zionist and Jewish majority."



April 18, 2014

"A Populism Spurned By The Downturn's Discontents"

Financial Times

By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Political backlash usually follows economic crisis. Everyone knows how the Great Depression fuelled support for extremists on both the left and right. Less well known is the way the original Great Depression – the one that began in 1873 and involved a quarter-century of deflation – led to a wave of populism on both sides of the Atlantic. Could this history be repeating itself?



(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

April 18, 2014

"How Ukraine crisis could pull U.S. to war"


By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School

Despite the ray of good news in Thursday's Geneva agreement on steps to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine, President Obama was right to sound a note of caution, observing that "I don't think we can be sure of anything at this point."

The deal, reached by Russia, Ukraine and the West, called for, among other things, disarming illegally armed pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine, and the surrender of the government buildings they have seized.



(AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

April 17, 2014

"Putin's Dilemma After Crimea"

Moscow Times

By Kevin Ryan, Director, Defense and Intelligence Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

What is President Vladimir Putin's next move? The answer is thus far undecided, perhaps even for Putin.

To put ourselves in Putin's shoes, writes Kevin Ryan, "Western observers and analysts have searched history for analogous moments in time. Historians tell us that if we can find similar historical circumstances, we might be better able to predict what will happen next. Some experts look to 1914 and the run-up to World War I for clues and insights. But for Putin and his inner circle, the most analogous moment in history is December 2001. Russia is playing the role of the U.S. as it basked in the initial 'success' of Afghanistan and contemplated Iraq. The parallels are uncanny."



April 16, 2014

How Russia's Red Line in Ukraine Got Real

Russia Direct

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

In 2008, Kiev was actively pushing to integrate Ukraine into the West not only economically and politically, but also militarily. And yet Russia didn't intervene. So what's changed between now and then?


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<em>International Security</em>

The winter 2013/14 issue of the quarterly journal International Security is now available!

  1. Why the United States Should Spread Democracy
  2. The Shale Oil Boom: A U.S. Phenomenon
  3. Good News from Ukraine: It Doesn’t Have Nukes
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 ›

"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