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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) 495-1905
Email: graham_allison@harvard.edu

 

 

By Region

 

Americas (continued)

AP Images

January 1, 2014

"2014: Good Year for a Great War?"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

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

Precisely a hundred years ago today, the richest man in the world sent New Year’s greetings to a thousand of the most influential leaders in the U.S. and Europe announcing: mission accomplished. “International Peace,” he proclaimed, “is to prevail through the Great Powers agreeing to settle their disputes by International Law, the pen thus proving mightier than the sword.”

....

As we enter 2014, war between great powers seems almost inconceivable. But if we start at the other end of the telescope by imagining that a Great War with some similarities to World War I actually happened, what could future historians find in current conditions that permitted events to ride mankind to another catastrophe?

 

 

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.

 

 

(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 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.

 

 

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."

 

 

(AP File Photo)

March 28, 2013

"'Star Wars' Today: What would Reagan do?"

Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times

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

"President Reagan stunned fellow citizens and the world 30 years ago this month with a dramatic announcement that the United States would develop and deploy a system capable of intercepting and destroying strategic ballistic missiles." For Reagan, Graham Allison writes, "this was an essential steppingstone to his even grander vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. [To] persuade America's Cold War adversary to eliminate its superpower nuclear arsenal as well, Reagan proposed to share this SDI technology with Moscow."

 

 

February 2013

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World

Book

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Robert D. Blackwill, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Ali Wyne, Former Research Assistant, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, presidents, prime ministers, diplomats, and CEOs listen. Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. This book gathers key insights from interviews, speeches, and Lee's voluminous published writings and presents them in an engaging question and answer format.

 

 

AP Images

December 10, 2012

"The Coming Clash Over Iran"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

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

Graham Allison and Shai Feldman write that while the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government were largely on the same page during the Gaza crisis, "much greater turbulence in their relations can be expected by the middle of next year when the issues associated with Iran’s nuclear project will likely reach another crescendo."

 

 

Winter 2012-2013

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

As in October 1962, this fall’s 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded against the backdrop of a national election. The electoral stakes were even higher this year with the presidency in play, not just midterm Congressional races. So it seemed appropriate for the Belfer Center to take the anniversary as a learning moment for politicians and policy-makers, not just for students and scholars.

 

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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 Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.