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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

 

 

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December 5, 2014

Ashton B. Carter: A Salute

News

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

 

 

Fall 2014

The Crisis with Russia

Book

By Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School, Jonathon Price, Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and Kevin Rudd, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

This edition is a collection of papers commissioned for the 2014 Aspen Strategy Group Summer Workshop. On the occasion of the 30th year anniversary of the Aspen Strategy Group (founded in 1984), the Summer Workshop in Aspen, Colorado convened a nonpartisan group of preeminent U.S.-Russia policy experts, academics, journalists, and business leaders. The group's policy discussions were guided by the papers found in this volume, whose scope ranges from exploring 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.

Belfer Center-affiliated contributors include Nicholas Burns (co-editor), Joseph S. Nye (Foreword, with Brent Scowcroft), and chapter authors Graham Allison, Meghan O'Sullivan, and Kevin Rudd.

 

 

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; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, 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."

 

 

(AP Photo)

July 1, 2014

"The Nuclear Maginot Line"

Op-Ed, Politico

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School and Oren Setter, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program

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.

 

 

June 2014

"Blocking All Paths to an Iranian Bomb: How the West Can Avoid a Nuclear Maginot Line"

Paper

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School and Oren Setter, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program

"In concentrating so much of their mindshare on imposing constraints on Iran's known nuclear facilities at Natanz, Fordow, and Arak, are the US and its five negotiating partners at risk of creating a nuclear Maginot line?" In this discussion paper, Director of the Belfer Center Graham Allison and MTA/ISP Research Fellow Oren Setter explore what the US might be missing: alternative pathways for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

 

 

May 16, 2014

"Challenges to U.S. Global Leadership"

Event Report

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, 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; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, 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.

 

 

AP Photo

May 7, 2014

"Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World 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

The thought that what we are now witnessing in Ukraine could trigger a cascade of actions and reactions that end in war will strike most readers as fanciful. Fortunately, it is, writes Graham Allison. But we should not forget that in May 1914, the possibility that the assassination of an Archduke could produce a world war seemed almost inconceivable. History teaches that unlikely, even unimaginable events do happen.

 

 

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

April 18, 2014

"How Ukraine crisis could pull U.S. to war"

Op-Ed, CNN.com

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

Despite the ray of good news in Thursday's Geneva agreement on steps to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine, President Obama was right to sound a note of caution, observing that "I don't think we can be sure of anything at this point."

The deal, reached by Russia, Ukraine and the West, called for, among other things, disarming illegally armed pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine, and the surrender of the government buildings they have seized.

 

 

March 23, 2014

"The Step We Still Haven't Taken to Create a Nuke-Free World"

Op-Ed, The Atlantic

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

On Monday, President Obama will join Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and 40 other heads of state in the Netherlands for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. It will be the third in a series of summits initiated by Obama to address what he has called “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security”: nuclear terrorism. These gatherings have become a powerful means of motivating leaders to eliminate or secure the fissile material that terrorists could use to carry out a nuclear 9/11.

 

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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.