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Stephen M. Walt

Mailing address

Littauer 367
Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs
79 John F. Kennedy Street, Mailbox 53
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Stephen M. Walt

Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: (617) 495-5712
Fax: (617)-495-8963
Email: stephen_walt@harvard.edu

 

Experience

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs.  He previously taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago, where he served as Master of the Social Science Collegiate Division and Deputy Dean of Social Sciences.  He has been a Resident Associate of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution, and a consultant for the Institute of Defense Analyses, the Center for Naval Analyses, and the National Defense University.  He serves on the editorial boards of Foreign Policy, Security Studies, International Relations, and Journal of Cold War Studies, and as Co-Editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, published by Cornell University Press.  He was elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in May 2005.

Professor Walt is the author of The Origins of Alliances (1987), which received the 1988 Edgar S. Furniss National Security Book Award, and Revolution and War (1996).  His recent publications include “An Unnecessary War,” Foreign Policy, (Winter 2002–03), “American Hegemony: Its Prospects and Pitfalls,” Naval War College Review, (Spring 2002); “Beyond bin Laden: Reshaping U.S. Foreign Policy” (International Security, Winter 2001/02); and Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy (W.W. Norton, 2005).

Professor Walt blogs at walt.foreignpolicy.com.

 

 

By Date

 

2014

November 18, 2014

"The Top 5 Foreign Policy Lessons of the Past 20 Years"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"China's increasingly assertive policies toward its immediate neighborhood shows that Beijing is hardly indifferent to geopolitics, and Russia's assertive defense of what it sees as vital interests in its 'near abroad' (e.g., Ukraine) suggests that somebody in Moscow didn't get the memo about the benign effects of globalization. And regional powers like India, Turkey, and Japan are taking traditional geopolitical concerns more seriously these days. Bottom line: If you thought great-power rivalry was a thing of the past, think again."

 

 

November 10, 2014

"The Big Counterterrorism Counterfactual"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"If we didn't have all these cool high-tech hammers, in short, we'd have to stop treating places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria as if they were nails that just needed another pounding, and we might work harder at marginalizing our enemies within their own societies. To do that, we would have to be building more effective partnerships with authoritative sources of legitimacy within these societies, including religious leaders. Our failure to do more to discredit these movements is perhaps the single biggest shortcoming of the entire war on terror..."

 

 

U.S. State Dept.

October 31, 2014

"Netanyahu's Not Chickenshit, the White House Is"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"Is this any way for the senior officials of a mature great power to behave? Loose lips sink ships, and loose talk derails effective diplomacy. If there was a purpose behind this statement, then it was lame-brained. And if it was just a petulant bit of verbal payback by a frustrated official, then it's a sign of professional incompetence."

 

 

W. Lloyd MacKenzie

October 24, 2014

"Keep Calm and Carry On, Stephen Harper"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"And then a lone gunman opens fire in Canada. Even when the loss of life or damage is small — thankfully — each new terrorist incident tends to magnify public concern and is used to justify increasingly stringent counterterrorism measures."

 

 

Wikimedia CC

October 16, 2014

"Uncle Sucker to the Rescue"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"Instead of pouring good money (and possibly U.S. lives) down that particular rat hole, I'd like to see the people who are most directly affected start fighting this one for themselves. Unless the Turks, Jordanians, Kurds, and other Iraqis are willing to get their acts together to contain these vicious extremists, even a protracted and costly U.S. effort will amount to little."

 

 

DoD

October 13, 2014

"Much Ado About the Islamic State"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"Absent effective political institutions, efforts to move from authoritarian to more participatory forms of government tend to provoke bitter quarrels between previously advantaged groups and those who have been excluded from wealth or power. In a world where most states are in fact multiethnic or multinational, democratization was bound to provoke greater internal conflicts, at least in the short term."

 

 

September 4, 2014

"NATO Owes Putin a Big Thank-You"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"But as George Kennan, Michael Mandelbaum, and other experts warned in the 1990s, NATO expansion turned out to be a fundamental strategic misstep. It alienated Russia without making NATO stronger; on the contrary, expansion involved extending security guarantees to mostly weak countries that would be the hardest to defend should Russian power ever recover"

 

 

White House Photo

August 13, 2014

"Double Diss"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[I]t's clear Clinton understands George W. Bush blew it big-time, and that repeating his mistakes will doom the next president as well. What's less clear is why she didn't openly embrace the more prudent policies that both her husband and her former boss championed. My guess: she was just reacting to the president's favorability ratings and pandering to the usual suspects, which is what anyone running for office is likely to do these days."

 

 

July 22, 2014

"AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America's Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy"

Op-Ed, The Huffington Post

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and assorted Christian Zionist groups continue to exhibit a severe case of tunnel vision. Because defending Israel no matter what it does is their main raison d'etre (and central to their fundraising), they are unable to see that they are helping Israel drive itself off a cliff. Similarly, those pliant members of Congress who cravenly sign AIPAC-drafted resolutions are not true friends of Israel. They are false friends who pretend to care but are really only interested in getting reelected."

 

 

DoD Photo

June 20, 2014

"Being a Neocon Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"How can a group of people be so wrong so often and at such high cost, yet still retain considerable respect and influence in high circles?"

 

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