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Graham Allison

Graham Allison

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

Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School

Member of the Board

Contact:
Telephone: (617) 496-6099
Fax: (617) 495-8963
Email: graham_allison@harvard.edu

 

 

By Date

 

2013 (continued)

November 27, 2013

"The Red-Zone Theory of the Iran Nuclear Deal"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, The Atlantic

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

"The interim agreement to push Iran back 20 yards on its fastest path to a bomb, stop its advance on other fronts, and expand international inspections of ongoing activities is a modest but significant first step,” writes Graham Allison. “Moving beyond this deal to a comprehensive agreement that pushes Iran further away from an exercisable nuclear weapons option will prove much more important—and much more difficult. But if we compare where Iran is today with where it will be over the next six months under the agreement, we are clearly better off. And if we compare where Iran’s nuclear program will be over the next six months with where it would have advanced in the absence of an agreement, we are even better off.

 

 

Dept. of Defense

Winter 2013-14

From The Director

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

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

The tributes have been pouring in for our friend and colleague Ash Carter, who recently announced his decision to step down from a grueling, but by every measure, enormously successful tenure as deputy secretary of defense. Carter stayed longer than most in this toughest of jobs, in effect the day-to-day boss of a $700 billion organization. He had to cope with the ravages of the mindless sequester, even as he managed the complex and dangerous logistics of drawing down our forces in Iraq and then Afghanistan. And he did it all with class -- grace under pressure.

 

 

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

November 22, 2013

"What would JFK have done about Iran?"

Op-Ed, CNN.com

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

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, it is instructive to consider what he might have done if faced with the Iranian nuclear challenge today.

In what historians agree was his “finest hour,” Kennedy successfully led the U.S. through the most dangerous confrontation in history, the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.  The odds of war were, in Kennedy’s view, “between 1 in 3 and even.”

When the Soviet Union was found emplacing nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba, 90 miles off American shores, Kennedy declared that totally unacceptable — as President Obama has declared an Iranian nuclear bomb.  The question was how to eliminate this danger without war.

 

 

October 23, 2013

Graham Allison Discusses his book on Lee Kuan Yew at Cambridge Forum

News

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

Belfer Center Director Graham Allison discussed his book Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World at a Cambridge Forum in Harvard Square on October 21. The public event also was broadcast by National Public Radio stations across the country.

 

 

October 16, 2013

Sharing the World with a Rising China

Magazine or Newspaper Article, China.org.cn

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

Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore, has been referred to as a "Grand Master" by presidents, prime ministers and chief executives. Graham Allison from Harvard University has written a book on Lee, entitled "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World," sharing the leader's insights on topics such as the rise of China and the new Chinese president, Xi Jinping, the result of 18 months of interviews.

Staff reporter Li Shen spoke to Allison during his latest visit to China to promote the Chinese version of his book, which is published by China CITIC press this month.

 

 

October 16, 2013

"The Cuban Missile Crisis: Debatable Issues, Instructive Lessons"

Paper

By Viktor I. Yesin, Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School and Andrei A. Kokoshin

Viktor Yesin analyzes important nuances in the behavior and thinking of the American and Soviet leaders during the Cuban Missile Crisis, building upon an evolving body of work surrounding the events of October, 1962.

Foreword by Graham Allison and Andrei Kokoshin.

 

 

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant,Pool)

September 9, 2013

"Beyond Airstrikes: On Syria, Ask 'What Would the Godfather Do?'"

Op-Ed, The Atlantic

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

President Obama should challenge the community of strategic analysts to exercise their imaginations. To strengthen the international taboo against the use of chemical weapons, to punish the Assad regime for violating that rule, and to deter Assad and his military commanders from using these weapons again, what would the Godfather consider? What might be the equivalent for Assad of waking up to the sight of the severed head of the creature he values most? To get the ball rolling, let me offer six clues.

 

 

(AP Photo/Uriel Sinai, Pool)

August 1, 2013

Will Iran Get a Bomb—Or Be Bombed Itself—This Year?

Magazine or Newspaper Article, The Atlantic

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

"There can be no question whatsoever that in 2013 Iran could get a bomb; there is also no question that Iran could be bombed,” writes Graham Allison. “But my best judgement is that in 2013 Iran will not get a bomb, and Iran will not be bombed. To be precise, I am prepared to bet $51 of my money against $49 of those who want to bet that by December 31, 2013, Iran will either have a nuclear weapon or have been the target of a major bombing attack."

 

 

June 6, 2013

"Obama and Xi Must Think Broadly to Avoid a Classic Trap"

Op-Ed, New York Times

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

"As President Obama welcomes China’s new president, Xi Jinping, for an informal “shirt-sleeves” summit meeting in California on Friday, the bureaucracies of both governments must be quivering...

Let us hope that these two leaders will rise above their bureaucracies’ narrow goals to confront the overarching challenge facing the two most important nations in the world.

Simply put, can the United States and China escape Thucydides Trap?

 

 

Summer 2013

"From the Director"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

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

"The Boston Marathon is at the heart of a day rich in meaning for the Boston community...The marathon terror attack of April 15 cut into our community at its most vulnerable. That made the suffering of the victims even more intolerable for all Americans...As the dramatic events unfolded in Boston, I was proud not only of the resilient response of our city, but also of the support the Belfer Center community was able to offer."

 

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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 Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.