Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the presidency in Tehran, Iran (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)


After Paris: Time to Accept Assad?

November 23, 2015

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, is America's democracy project over in the Middle East? More ›


– When Should Terror Force a City to Shut Down? More ›
– Nicholas Burns: House Vote on Syrian Refugees More ›


A Conversation with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter

Live stream will be available. Dec. 1, 6PM ET.

More Info ›



COP21 & The Pathway to Paris

Harvard Kennedy School at the Paris Climate Conference

More ›




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November/December 2015

"ISIS as Revolutionary State"

Foreign Affairs

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

"Regional actors will no doubt try to pass the buck and get Americans to do their fighting for them. U.S. leaders should reject such ploys politely but firmly and pass the buck right back. ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States, to Middle Eastern energy supplies, to Israel, or to any other vital U.S. interest, so U.S. military forces have no business being sent into harm's way to fight it."



October 27, 2015

"Just Say No To Bashar"

The Huffington Post

By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program

"How can we say to history that we helped maintain in power the man ultimately responsible for the repression of an uprising that began peacefully and which has caused the deaths of more than 200,000 people, amid gas and barrel bomb attacks, and has produced four million externally displaced and eight million internally displaced persons. If he is not to answer to this tragedy, he can at least leave power."




November 3, 2015

"We're Putting Lives in Danger By Not Clarifying What It Takes to Get Asylum in Europe"

The World Post

By Jill Goldenziel, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

"...[V]ulnerable people must be empowered to make informed decisions to avoid interrupting their livelihoods and their children's educations, decimating their savings and at worst, losing their lives. Wealthier nations seeking to avoid expensive border clashes, security controls, asylum processing and political costs have every incentive to help them do so."



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October 29, 2015

"Why Obama Should Just Let Putin Have the Mess in Syria"

Foreign Policy

By Emile Simpson, Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy, International Security Program

"President Barack Obama could use this moment to devise a real political strategy, rather than oscillating between moralizing tirades against Putin's support for what remains of the Syrian state and the apolitical, meaningless mission of degrading the Islamic State. U.S. strikes in Syria should only be tied to positively defined goals, such as counterterrorism to defend U.S. interests, stopping the Islamic State from resupplying operations to Iraq, or supporting Kurdish enclaves."


<em>International Security</em>

The fall 2015 issue of the quarterly journal International Security
is now available

  1. Strategic Engineered Migration as a Weapon of War
  2. COP-21 & The Pathway to Paris
  3. Why the United States Should Spread Democracy
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 ›

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