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Graham Allison

Graham Allison

Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School

Member of the Board

Contact:
Telephone: (617) 496-6099
Fax: (617) 495-1905
Email: graham_allison@harvard.edu

 

 

By Date

 

2015 (continued)

(AP Photo)

March 28, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew: Lessons for Leaders from Asia's 'Grand Master'

Op-Ed, CNN.com

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

(CNN)The death of the founding father of Singapore last Monday is an appropriate occasion to reflect on nation building.

 

 

March 30, 2015

The Lee Kuan Yew Conundrum

Op-Ed, The Atlantic

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Washington, D.C., is fast becoming an acronym for “Dysfunctional Capital.” Singapore, in contrast, has become the poster child for “the concept of good governance,” to quote the Financial Times’s obituary for the country’s longtime leader, Lee Kuan Yew, who was laid to rest on Sunday. For Americans in particular, this contrast presents a conundrum. On the one hand, Americans hold as a self-evident truth that their democracy is the best form of government. On the other hand, they see mounting evidence daily of Washington’s gridlock, corruption, and theatrical distractions, which makes their system seem incapable of addressing the country’s real challenges.

 

 

(AP Photo)

March 25, 2015

"The Sayings of Lee Kuan Yew, the Sage of Singapore"

Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore who died Monday, was more than his country's founding father. Not only did he raise a poor, notoriously corrupt port from the bottom rungs of the Third World to a modern First World nation in a single generation, but he was also one of two certifiable grand masters of international strategy in the last half century (Henry Kissinger being the other).

 

 

March 23, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew: Graham Allison Reflects on the Man and His Impact

News

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The death of the founding father of Singapore, and its prime minister for its first three decades, is an occasion for reflection. Not only did Lee Kuan Yew raise a poor, notoriously corrupt port from the bottom rungs of the third world to a modern first world nation in a single generation. He was also one of two certifiable grand masters of international strategy in the last half century (Henry Kissinger being the other), and a wise counselor to the world.

 

 

Spring 2015

"From the Director"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Being responsive to news events is natural for a center whose mission includes “advancing policy-relevant knowledge.” From NPR and Al Jazeera to Bloomberg and The New York Times, the interviews our faculty and fellows give and the commentary they write provide crucial insight about fast-moving developments.

We are mindful, however, of the dangers of “short-termism” – trading depth for speed; analysis for punditry; and research for reaction. Indeed, at a gathering of dozens of world-renowned think tanks in Geneva last December, many expressed anxiety about the deleterious impact of 24/7 media pressure on their long-term research agendas.

 

 

(AP Photo)

March 3, 2015

"Iran Already Has Nuclear Weapons Capability"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington this week to try to sell members of Congress a false dichotomy. In nuclear negotiations with Iran, he will argue that the United States faces a choice between a “good deal” and a “bad deal.” He will urge Congress to stop President Barack Obama from accepting the latter which, he will say, “endangers the existence of the state of Israel.”

Buyer beware. Every serious analyst of this issue — including the prime minister — knows that this is a false dichotomy.

 

2014

December 5, 2014

Ashton B. Carter: A Salute

News

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Following President Barack Obama's December 5th nomination of Ashton B. Carter for Secretary of Defense, Belfer Center Director Graham Allison commented on the nomination:

President Obama's nomination of Ash Carter to be the next Secretary of Defense makes all of us at the Belfer Center proud.  Ash is a model of the Belfer Center's mission to advance policy-relevant knowledge about the central challenges of international security and train future leaders in making policy in this arena.

 

 

AP Photo/Jake Simkin

December 4, 2014

"Viral Threats"

Op-Ed, TIME / time.com

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

As images of brutal beheadings and dying plague victims compete for the world’s shrinking attention span, it is instructive to compare the unexpected terrors of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (known as ISIS or ISIL) and Ebola. In October, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out that “the twin plagues of Ebola and ISIL both fomented quietly, neglected by a world that knew they existed but misread their terrible potential, before exploding into the global consciousness.” Seeking more direct connections, various press stories have cited “experts” discussing the potential for ISIS to weaponize Ebola for bioterrorist attacks on the West.

Sensationalist claims aside, questions about similarities and differences are worth considering. Both burst onto the scene this year, capturing imaginations as they spread with surprising speed and severity. About Ebola, the world knows a lot and is doing relatively little. About ISIS, we know relatively little but are doing a lot.

 

 

Aspen Strategy Group

November 2014

The Crisis with Russia

Book

By Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School, Jonathon Price, Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Kevin Rudd, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and Stephen Hadley

The Crisis with Russia is a collection of papers by preeminent U.S.-Russia policy experts, academics, journalists, and business leaders. This volume explores topics ranging from the history of the U.S.-Russia relationship, current developments in the Sino-Russian relationship, the NATO and European responses to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, energy considerations, areas of potential U.S.-Russia cooperation, and finally, the broader question of U.S. national security and interests in the European region.

 

 

Fall/Winter 2014-15

From the Director

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Autumn is springtime at the Belfer Center: Remarkably, each fall brings a fresh crop of students, research fellows, and senior fellows whose passion and ideas enrich our work. At a welcome lunch, 42 new fellows introduced themselves; from scientific creativity in China to international refugee law, they are covering the policy waterfront.

 

Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe

Graham Allison, founding dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a former top official at the Pentagon, and one of America’s leading scholars of nuclear strategy and national security, presents the evidence and argument that led him to two provocative conclusions: a nuclear terrorist attack on an American city is inevitable on our current course and speed, but preventable if we act now. 

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.