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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 Date

 

2012 (continued)

AP Photo

March 2012

What Happened to the Soviet Superpower’s Nuclear Arsenal? Clues for the Nuclear Security Summit

Discussion Paper

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

Twenty years ago Russia and fourteen other newly-independent states emerged from the ruins of the Soviet empire, many as nations for the first time in history. As is typical in the aftermath of the collapse of an empire, this was followed by a period of chaos, confusion, and corruption. As the saying went at the time, “everything is for sale.” At that same moment, as the Soviet state imploded, 35,000 nuclear weapons remained at thousands of sites across a vast Eurasian landmass that stretched across eleven time zones. 

Today, fourteen of the fifteen successor states to the Soviet Union are nuclear weapons-free. This paper will address the question: how did this happen? Looking ahead, it will consider what clues we can extract from the success in denuclearizing fourteen post-Soviet states that can inform our non-proliferation and nuclear security efforts in the future. These clues may inform leaders of the U.S., Russia, and other responsible nations attending the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit on March 26-27, 2012. The paper will conclude with specific recommendations, some exceedingly ambitious that world leaders could follow to build on the Seoul summit’s achievements against nuclear terrorism in the period before the next summit in 2014. One of these would be to establish a Global Alliance Against Nuclear Terrorism.

 

 

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.

 

 

AP Photo/Douglas Birch

December 29, 2011

"Washington Can Work: Celebrating Twenty Years With Zero Nuclear Terrorism"

Op-Ed, The Huffington Post

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

As Washington antics undermine our confidence in government, it is instructive to think back 20 years to challenges a President and Congress faced in December, 1991. President George H. W. Bush was finishing the 3rd year of his first term, exhausted by the international avalanche that began shortly after he took office. First the Berlin Wall came down, the Warsaw Pact disintegrated, Saddam invaded Kuwait, and the President mobilized 500,000 American troops to lead a coalition to victory in Desert Storm. A year before he would stand for reelection, the U.S. economy was in recession and the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse. President Bush and his key advisors wanted nothing more than to get out of town for a well-deserved vacation break.

 

 

AP Photo

December 25, 2011

"Christmas gift to America 20 years ago – a Russia to be thankful for"

Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor

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

When the Soviet Union collapsed 20 years ago on Christmas, doomsayers had a field day. But seen strictly from the perspective of what matters most to Americans, the good news is that the nightmares that experts realistically expected about Russia have not happened.

 

2011

AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File

December 20, 2011

"The Great Negotiator"

Op-Ed, Boston Globe

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

The Harvard Negotiation Project annually presents a "Great Negotiator Award" to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary capabilities in international negotiations. Recent winners have included George Mitchell (for Ireland), Richard Holbrooke (for Bosnia), and Martti Ahtisaari (for Kosovo and Aceh). Only half in jest, over the past several years, I have urged my colleagues who run the program to give the prize to Kim Jong Il.

 

 

Department of State

Winter 2011-2012

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 we approach the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991, we can note with some satisfaction the ongoing role of the Belfer Center in....staying relevant and involved as the challenges shift from Cold War strategic nuclear weapons to contending with the threats of terrorist drones and dirty bombs," writes Belfer Center director Graham Allison

 

 

Department of Defense

Winter 2011-2012

Spotlight: James Schlesinger

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

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

Belfer Center Director Graham Allison spearheaded the campaign to create a Harvard professorship in honor of James Schlesinger to honor his lifetime of extraordinary achievement and his service as a model public servant. Schlesinger's long list of responsibilities includes his current role as chairman of the Belfer Center International Council. Here, Allison reflects on Schlesinger the man, and on how an institution like Harvard comes to honor him.

 

 

(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti,
Dmitry Astakhov,
Presidential Press Service)

October 30, 2011

"10 Reasons Why Russia Still Matters"

Op-Ed, Politico

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School and Robert D. Blackwill, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Russia is still a player whose choices affect our vital interests in nuclear security and energy writes Graham Allison and Robert D. Blackwill

 

 

October 2011

Russia and U.S. National Interests: Why Should Americans Care?

Report

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Robert D. Blackwill, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Dimitri K. Simes and Paul J. Saunders

"Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s emergence as an independent state, Moscow is no longer America’s strategic rival. Yet, while Russia is not our enemy, neither has it become a friend. Washington and Moscow have succeeded in overcoming Cold War confrontation, but have not developed sustainable cooperative relations. A better-managed bilateral relationship is critical for the advancement of America’s vital national interests."

 

 

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

October 7, 2011

"Obama should test Iran's nuclear offer"

Op-Ed, Washington Post

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

"President Obama should take a page from Ronald Reagan’s playbook in winning the final inning of the Cold War," Graham Allison writes in the Washington Post. "Obama can challenge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to put his enriched uranium where his mouth is — by stopping all Iranian enrichment of uranium beyond the 5 percent level."

 

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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.