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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 Program/Project

 

International Security (continued)

1997

Towards a New Democratic Commonwealth

Report

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

Thanks to the collapse of European communism, it is possible to envisage a new community embracing most of the states of the Northern Hemisphere. Voters in most of the former Soviet bloc countries have affirmed their commitment to democracy in repeated elections. Because of these elections, especially those in Russia, it is possible to think realistically of creating a Commonwealth of Democracies from Vancouver to Vladivostok to Tokyo.

 

 

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, 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.

 

 

March, 1996

Avoiding Nuclear Anarchy: Containing the Threat of Loose Russian Nuclear Weapons and Fissile Material

Book

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Owen R. Coté, Editor, International Security, Richard A. Falkenrath, Former Assistant Professor of Public Policy; Former Principal Investigator, Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness; Former Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Steven E. Miller, Director, International Security Program; Editor-in-Chief, International Security; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom

What if the bomb that exploded in Oklahoma City or New York's World Trade Center had used 100 pounds of highly enriched uranium? The destruction would have been far more vast. This danger is not so remote: the recipe for making such a bomb is simple, and soon the ingredients might be easily attained. Thousands of nuclear weapons and hundreds of tons of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium from the weapons complex of the former Soviet Union, poorly guarded and poorly accounted for, could soon leak on to a vast emerging nuclear black market.

 

 

January 29, 1996

Nuclear and Present Danger

Op-Ed, The Scotsman

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 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, The Washington Post

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 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.

 

 

January 1993

Cooperative Denuclearization: From Pledges to Deeds

Book

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Ashton B. Carter, Former Co-Director, Preventive Defense Project, Harvard & Stanford Universities, Steven E. Miller, Director, International Security Program; Editor-in-Chief, International Security; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom and Philip D. Zelikow, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Faculty Affiliate, International Security Program

"CSIA's research on cooperative denuclearization began during the August 1991 putsch against Mikhail Gorbachev. To those of us familiar with nuclear weapons, their construction, and command and control, and with the looming revolution about to sweep the then–Soviet Union, it was plain that a new and unprecedented danger to international security was emerging. An appropriate policy response to this new form of nuclear threat could not be fashioned from traditional Cold War tools of deterrence, arms control, and military preparedness alone. Safety could only be sought through new policies emphasizing cooperative engagement with the new states, new leaders, and military and industrial heirs of the former Soviet Union...."

 

Iran Project

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, 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

"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.

 

 

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

January 22, 2014

In Iran, Perfect Is The Enemy of the Good

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

Having finalized details of the interim deal to freeze Iran's nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited relief from sanctions, Graham Allison notes that attention is turning to the question of "end states" for a comprehensive agreement. In these negotiations, he asks, "what can the United States realistically hope to achieve?"

 

Managing the Atom

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, 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

"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.

 

 

April 13, 2011

Nuclear Security Summit: One Year On and Looking Ahead

Op-Ed

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Olli Heinonen, Senior Associate, Project on Managing the Atom and Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

We asked nuclear policy experts in Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs to summarize in one paragraph the achievements in the year since President Obama convened a summit on nuclear security on April 12-13, 2010. And we asked for a second paragraph on what needs to be done in the year before the follow-up summit planned for Seoul, South Korea.

 

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.