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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 Region

 

Americas (continued)

AP Photo

November 11, 2014

"Vladimir Putin's Dicey Dilemma: Russia Stands at a Fateful Fork in the Road"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

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

"This is the moment for Obama to help Putin understand that he now stands at a fateful fork in the road. If he moves swiftly to end the conflict with Ukraine by offering terms acceptable to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, he can restore economic relations with the West, gain access to advanced technologies required to increase future production of Russian oil and gas and modernize other sectors of the Russian economy, and thus ensure Russia's chance for a stable, prosperous future. The alternative is to persist on a path that presents growing risks of what he fears most."

 

 

Photo by Kenny Holston/Getty

October 27, 2014

"Defeating ISIS: With Whose Boots on the Ground?"

Op-Ed, The Atlantic

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

President Obama’s strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS has become the target of heated criticism, not only from partisan opponents but from many of his supporters as well. Categorically ruling out American boots on the ground, while subcontracting the bloody job of house-to-house fighting to the Iraqi military, Free Syrian Army, and Kurdish Peshmerga, can only assure failure, critics argue.

These assessments fall into a familiar trap: assuming that what has been announced is the sum of the matter. Especially for admirers of the diplomatic sleights of hand practiced by Henry Kissinger or Jim Baker, neglecting the obvious when assessing the current strategy is unfair.

 

 

(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

September 29, 2014

"Is America on the ISIS Hit List?"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

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

"ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his organization are unusual among terrorists in their explicit articulation of their ambitions, their agenda, their priorities, and their strategy," writes Graham Allison. "Analyzing their actions, one finds a high level of alignment between what they say and what they do."

To whom, Allison asks, does ISIS pose the most imminent and even existential threat?

 

 

(AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

July 30, 2014

"Just How Likely Is Another World War?"

Op-Ed, The Atlantic

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

"A century ago this month, Europeans stood on the brink of a war so devastating that it forced historians to create a new category: 'World War.' None of the leaders at the time could imagine the wasteland they would inhabit four years later. By 1918, each had lost what he cherished most: the kaiser dismissed, the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved, the tsar overthrown by the Bolsheviks, France bled for a generation, and England shorn of the flower of its youth and treasure. A millennium in which European leaders had been masters of the globe came to a crashing halt."

With lessons learned from WWI, Graham Allison asks, how likely is another world war?

 

 

July 10, 2014

"Overcoming the Great Recession: Lessons from China"

Paper

By Liu He, Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor

In the aftershocks of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, Liu He led a research team that prepared an analysis of earlier financial crises to provide guidance for the Chinese government’s response. Graham Allison and Lawrence Summers arranged for that document to be translated and have published it here as a joint discussion paper of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School.

Summers and Allison, who wrote the foreword for the paper, introduce it with comments on why they think Liu He's perspective is so valuable.

 

 

(AP Photo)

July 1, 2014

"The Nuclear Maginot Line"

Op-Ed, Politico

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and Oren Setter, Former Associate, Project on Managing the Atom, 2014–2016; Former Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program, 2013–2014

French Minister of War Andre Maginot became infamous among military strategists for his fixation on a single route of attack that led to a fatal neglect of alternatives. Seeking to block a German invasion along the primary East-West axis, Maginot constructed an impregnable line of fortifications in the 1930s. He succeeded in preventing the attack he most feared, but when German panzers outflanked that line and rolled through Belgium in 1940, their attack from the rear led to France’s surrender in just six weeks.

 

 

AP

June 16, 2014

Shouldn't Europe Pay More for its Own Defense?

Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times

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

"The twin trends of overdependence on U.S. power and underinvestment in military might have left European defenses at risk of becoming dangerously irrelevant."

 

 

May 16, 2014

"Challenges to U.S. Global Leadership"

Event Report

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School, David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project and Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

In a Harvard Kennedy School IDEASpHERE session titled "Challenges to US Global Leadership," Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns, David Gergen, David Ignatius, and Meghan O’Sullivan discussed challenges as well as opportunities facing the United States. Burns moderated the session.

Challenges include the rise of China and the future of the U.S.-China relationship, the crises taking place around the world, and the reputation of the U.S. worldwide. An unexpected opportunity is the increase in available energy sources in the United States.

 

 

Summer 2014

From the Director

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

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

With attention focused on the mostly bad news coming from Ukraine, the good news is that nuclear weapons are not part of the story. In 1993, Ukraine had 2,000 strategic nuclear warheads aimed at targets in America. Today, Ukraine has zero. Four years ago, there remained at risk in Ukraine enough highly enriched uranium for 15 nuclear weapons. The amount today? None. And there’s another bit of good news. As U.S.-Russian relations chilled significantly in March, a group of high-level retired intelligence and military officials from both countries met and issued a statement that the crisis “should not interrupt the joint efforts of the U.S. and Russian Federation to protect our shared strategic interests.” The Elbe Group, established in 2010 by our own Kevin Ryan, is keeping priorities straight. Read more on page 8 of this newsletter.

 

 

Summer 2014

"Remembering James Schlesinger"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

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

Jim Schlesinger was a pillar in the pantheon of American national security. A proud son of Harvard, he was both red, white, and blue, and crimson to the core.

 

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.