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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 Region

 

Americas (continued)

AP Photo

October 15, 2012

"Fifty years after Cuban missile crisis: closer than you thought to World War III"

Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor

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

Graham Allison writes that fifty years after the Cuban missile crisis, many people find it hard to believe that the confrontation could have pushed the U.S. and Soviet Union to nuclear war. Robert F. Kennedy’s newly released papers remind us why this was the most dangerous moment in recorded history.

“My fellow Americans, with a heavy heart, and in necessary fulfillment of my oath of office, I have ordered – and the United States Air Force has now carried out – military operations with conventional weapons only, to remove a major nuclear weapons build-up from the soil of Cuba.” Allison writes that these are the words President Kennedy almost delivered in October 1962.

 

 

AP Photo

September 7, 2012

"Living in the Era of Megaterror"

Op-Ed, International Herald Tribune

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

Forty years ago this week at the Munich Olympics of 1972, Palestinian terrorists conducted one of the most dramatic terrorist attacks of the 20th century. The kidnapping and massacre of 11 Israeli athletes attracted days of around-the-clock global news coverage of Black September’s anti-Israel message. Three decades later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 individuals at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, announcing a new era of megaterror. In an act that killed more people than Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, a band of terrorists headquartered in ungoverned Afghanistan demonstrated that individuals and small groups can kill on a scale previously the exclusive preserve of states.

 

 

Imaginechina via AP Images

August 22, 2012

"Avoiding Thucydides’s Trap"

Op-Ed, Financial Times (London)

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

China’s increasingly aggressive posture towards the South China Sea and the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea is less important in itself than as a sign of things to come. For six decades after the second world war, an American “Pax Pacifica” has provided the security and economic framework within which Asian countries have produced the most rapid economic growth in history. However, having emerged as a great power that will overtake the US in the next decade to become the largest economy in the world, it is not surprising that China will demand revisions to the rules established by others.

 

 

July/August 2012

"The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Foreign Affairs

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

"Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Every president since John F. Kennedy has tried to learn from what happened back then," writes Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center and one of the world's foremost experts on the Cuban Missile Crisis. "Today, it can help U.S. policymakers understand what to do -- and what not to do -- about Iran, North Korea, China, and presidential decision-making in general."

 

 

AP Photo

June 15, 2012

"At 50, the Cuban Missile Crisis as Guide"

Op-Ed, New York Times

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

Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. During the standoff, President John F. Kennedy thought the chance of escalation to war was “between 1 in 3 and even,” and what we have learned in later decades has done nothing to lengthen those odds. Such a conflict might have led to the deaths of 100 million Americans and over 100 million Russians.

 

 

AP Photo

May 9, 2012

"Lugar's bipartisan spirit helped ensure U.S. security"

Op-Ed, GlobalPost

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

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts — Yesterday was a dark day for the United States. When Richard Lugar lost the Republican primary election, not only did Indiana lose its senator of 35 years, but the nation was deprived of one of its greatest champions of bipartisan leadership on issues of war and peace.

 

 

AP Photo

May 2, 2012

"Killing Osama bin Laden: What's most amazing?"

Op-Ed, GlobalPost

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

The hunt for Osama bin Laden followed a path with many twists and turns. Around each corner lay new discoveries, each often more unbelievable than the last. What was most amazing about this story?

 

 

Spring 2012

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 time passes since Paul Doty’s death, we begin to move beyond our grief to a deeper appreciation of all the ways Paul’s work lives on. Nowhere is this legacy more vividly alive than at Harvard in the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, of which he was the founding member.

 

 

AP Photo

March 26, 2012

"Can Seoul summit tackle biggest threat to US security – nuclear terrorism?"

Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor

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

Why did President Obama fly halfway around the world to Seoul, South Korea, for the second Nuclear Security Summit? What can the 50 world leaders who meet today and tomorrow plausibly accomplish?  The answer is less than many observers hope – but more than skeptics appreciate.

 

 

AP Photo

March 8, 2012

"Will Iran be Obama’s Cuban Missile Crisis?"

Op-Ed, Washington Post

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

The mounting confrontation between the United States and Iran is like a Cuban Missile Crisis in slow motion. Events are moving, seemingly inexorably, toward a showdown at which point President Obama will have to choose to either attack Iran’s nuclear facilities or acquiesce in an Iranian nuclear bomb. When examined in turn, each of these two options seems worse than the other.

 

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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. 

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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.