Belfer Center Home > Experts > Graham Allison

« Back to Graham Allison

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 Publication Type

 

Op-Ed (continued)

April 1, 1996

Russia's Loose Nukes a Serious Threat to US

Op-Ed, The Houston Chronicle

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

The greatest single threat to the security of America today, and indeed the world, is the threat from loose nuclear weapons and weapons-usable material from Russia. "Loose nukes' - the loss, theft or sale of weapons-usable nuclear materials or nuclear weapons themselves from the former Soviet arsenal - is not a hypothetical threat; it is a brute fact. Since the disappearance of the Soviet Union, the number of reported, suspected and documented cases of diversion of weapons-usable nuclear material has been increasing steadily.

 

 

January 29, 1996

Nuclear and Present Danger

Op-Ed, The Scotsman

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

ON 18 APRIL 1995, American terrorists demolished Oklahoma City's federal office building, killing 162 people. Two and a half years earlier, international terrorists attacked New York City's 110-storey World Trade Center. Had that explosion succeeded in undermining the structural foundation, 30,000 people would have died. From Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center to the first act of nuclear terrorism is but one small step. Suppose that instead of mini-vans filled with hundreds of pounds of the crude explosives used in Oklahoma City and New York, terrorists had acquired a suitcase carrying a, grapefruit sized 100 pounds of highly-enriched uranium (HEV). Assuming a simple, well-known design, a weapon fashioned from this material would produce a nuclear blast equivalent to 10,000 to 20,000 tons of TNT. Under normal conditions, this would devastate a three-square mile urban area. Oklahoma City would have disappeared. The tip of Manhattan, including all of Wall Street reaching up to Gramercy Park, would have been destroyed. AS A DIRECT CONSEQUENCE OF the collapse of the Soviet Union, a buyer's market for the raw materials needed to build simple nuclear bombs has emerged. This has transformed the nature of the world's nuclear proliferation problem in a manner that is only slowly being appreciated by international leaders.

 

 

January 29, 1996

Nuclear and Present Danger

Op-Ed, The Scotsman

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

ON 18 APRIL 1995, American terrorists demolished Oklahoma City's federal office building, killing 162 people. Two and a half years earlier, international terrorists attacked New York City's 110-storey World Trade Center. Had that explosion succeeded in undermining the structural foundation, 30,000 people would have died.

From Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center to the first act of nuclear terrorism is but one small step. Suppose that instead of mini-vans filled with hundreds of pounds of the crude explosives used in Oklahoma City and New York, terrorists had acquired a suitcase carrying a, grapefruit sized 100 pounds of highly-enriched uranium (HEV).

 

 

April 30, 1995

Must We Wait for the Nuclear Morning After?

Op-Ed, Washington Post

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

What is the message of the Oklahoma City bombing for American national security? First, the oft-repeated assertion that with the end of the Cold War, the United States faces no direct or immediate threat to our security at home is dead wrong. As the most open society on a shrinking globe, America's democracy is also most vulnerable to terrorists' attacks. Such actions threaten not only our security but also our freedom.

 

 

September 25, 1992

The Territorial Dispute Between Russia and Japan: How a Special Group of Experts See it

Op-Ed, Izvestiya, issue 214

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

The Territorial Dispute Between Russia and Japan: How a Special Group of Experts See it

 

 

July 27, 1992

Collusion for Confrontation

Op-Ed, Financial Times (London)

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

On the global canvas of international politics today, what is the most striking anomaly? Of all the leading powers, two alone remain mired in a cold-war confrontation, without a peace treaty to conclude the second world war that ended 47 years ago, without normal relations. The contrast between Russia's new relationship with its main European adversary in the second world war, and its relationship with Japan, is instructive. Only on the Asian front, and most singularly in Russian-Japanese relations, is the cold war essentially frozen in time.

 

 

April 24, 1992

Marshalling an Effective Aid Package

Op-Ed, The Guardian

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

Political pressure from all quarters has finally persuaded President Bush to join his G7 allies in supporting a multibillion assistant package to the former Soviet Union. In Moscow, first deputy prime minister Yegor Gaidar grasped the G7 package as something to be "compared in scope only to the second Marshall Plan." The allusion is hopeful if exaggerated. While the rhetoric is reminiscent, neither the circumstances in the east nor the commitment to the west yet justify such a comparison.

 

 

February 24, 1992

Commonwealth of Contradictions

Op-Ed, Asahi Shimbun

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

The Soviet Union has ceased to exist. Its disappearance leaves us without a convenient way of referring to this one-sixth of the Earth's surface. As a result, it is now commonplace to talk of the Commonwealth of Independent States as if it were a real political entity. But the Commonwealth is largely a misnomer. Those who participate in it have less in common than the term suggests. Whatever they share, it is not wealth.

 

 

February 9, 1992

Review of Dino Brugioni's Eyeball to Eyeball

Op-Ed, New York Times Book Review

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

Distant as it is, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 still offeres the best lens available through which to examine the possibilities of nuclear confrontation, problems of crisis management and opportunities for crisis prevention. It remains the only occasion in the postwar era when the United States and the Soviet Union stood "eyeball to eyeball" contemplating actions that could have led directly to nuclear war. Dino A. Brugioni has now made an important contribution to the growing number of books on the crisis. His is the first account of this event as seen through the eyes of the intelligence officer. He has made admirable use of his own personal experience (he was the supervisor of aerial reconnaissance photographs during the crisis), as well as the historian's craft (he is also the author of a book on the Civil War), to retell this story with special intention to the role played by intelligence.

 

 

January 3, 1992

Nuclear Objectives

Op-Ed, Financial Times (London)

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

Can the west seize the present moment of opportunity to secure and disable nuclear weapons on the territories of those former Soviet republics that wish to be nuclear free? The answer is yes - but only with a strategy that marshalls all western instruments of influence and exercises them with a sense for priorities.

 

SUBSCRIBE

Receive email updates on the most pressing topics in science and int'l affairs.

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.