Dec. 11, 2014 – The ruble tumbled to a record low, spurring speculation Russia's central bank intervened to stem the rout, and bonds slid as weaker oil prices worsen the outlook for an economy verging on recession. (Bloomberg)


How low can they go?

November 21, 2014

Oil prices have plunged nearly 50% in six months, sending shockwaves around the globe. What’s driving the trend, and how long can it last?

The Saudis Won’t Let Oil Free-Fall
Determinants of a New Saudi Oil Policy
Why Low Oil Prices Could Make Russia’s Putin Even More Combative
WATCH: Meghan O’Sullivan discusses the fall on ABC's "This Week"




December 14, 2014

"CIA Agents Assess: How Real Is 'Homeland'?"

The Daily Beast

By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program and John MacGaffin

"The origins of what Carrie faces over Season 4—and which her successors as chief of station in Islamabad will continue to face in the future, were largely presented accurately in Charlie Wilson's War, a dramatic account of that war that the two of us developed and oversaw when we were at CIA."



December 12, 2014

Science, Technology, and Public Policy Fellowships, 2015–2016

Each year, the Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School welcomes new pre- and post-doctoral fellows and visiting researchers to a select team of scholars exploring the critical role that science and technology play in everyday life.



U.S. Congress

December 11, 2014

"Failures to Launch"

Foreign Policy

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

"Contrast that admirable clarity and responsiveness with the way that the United States deals with far more costly foreign policy screw-ups. Even when the strategic and/or human consequences are enormous, the U.S. government finds it nearly impossible to evaluate what went wrong in a candid, clear-eyed, and timely manner. It is even harder for the government to assign responsibility for wrongdoing; if anything, officials tend to bend over backward to shield wrongdoers..."



AP Photo

December 11, 2014

"The Senate’s CIA report is a necessary public accounting"

Washington Post

By David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project

A CIA medical officer who was assigned to monitor the interrogation of an al-Qaeda operative named Abu Zubaida sent a message to his superiors on Aug. 4, 2002, the day the CIA first used the technique known as “waterboarding.” He hauntingly titled his cable: “So it begins.”

“Longest time with the cloth over his face so far has been 17 seconds. This is sure to increase shortly. NO useful information so far. . . . I’m head[ing] back for another water board session.”

And so dawned a nightmare era in which a CIA with little expertise in interrogation worked desperately to gather information that might protect a nation severely traumatized by the events of Sept. 11, 2001.




December 9, 2014

"Global Risks of Rejecting Agricultural Biotechnology"

Genetic Literacy Project

By Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa

"African countries, by virtue of being latecomers, have had the advantage of using second-generation GM seed. African farmers can take advantage of technological leapfrogging to reap high returns from transgenic crops while reducing the use of chemicals. In 2010, Kenya and Tanzania announced plans to start growing GM cotton in view of the anticipated benefits of second-generation GM cotton. The door is now open for the revolutionary adoption of biotechnology that will extend to other crops as technological familiarity and economic benefits spread."



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<em>International Security</em>

The Fall 2014 Issue of the quarterly journal International Security
is now available!

  1. Why the United States Should Spread Democracy
  2. Symposium on the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Nuclear Disarmament, Non-proliferation, and Energy: Fresh Ideas for the Future
  3. The Next Great War? The Roots of World War I and the Risk of U.S.-China Conflict
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