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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

 

2015

January 23, 2015

"If Only We'd Just Spent More Blood and Treasure in Yemen"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"...[W]e have a terrorism problem in part because the United States has been repeatedly interfering in the greater Middle East, and not always for the right reasons or with much skill or effectiveness. We aren't going to reduce that problem by doubling down on the policies that helped produce it in the first place, and especially when even our well-intentioned interventions seem to make things worse instead of better."

 

 

January 16, 2015

"Think Before You March"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"...[T]he keys to success are not bellicose speeches, mass marches, wars on terror, or continued military interventions throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. The key is calm resolution and conscious efforts to build resiliency at home."

 

 

January 6, 2015

"The Credibility Addiction"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"When Washington goes to war on the basis of cooked intelligence, worst-case assumptions, and unsurpassed hubris, then other countries will be warier the next time we try to get them to line up alongside us....If foreign powers believe U.S. policy is driven more by domestic politics than by strategic imperatives, they'll view us with barely veiled contempt and meddle even more in our porous political system."

 

2014

December 30, 2014

"My Greatest Hits (and Misses) of 2014"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"I've written a lot of critical things about neoconservatives over the years, but given the damage that their policies inflicted on the United States and several other countries, any criticism to date is still less than they deserve."

 

 

December 22, 2014

"A Christmas Pardon"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"So what's Barack Obama to do? I have a suggestion: pardon them all. But I don't just mean the Bush-era officials who ordered, justified, conducted, or tried to conceal these crimes. In addition, Obama should also pardon the whistleblowers and dissidents who broke the law while trying to expose these (and other) government excesses."

 

 

U.S. Congress

December 11, 2014

"Failures to Launch"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Contrast that admirable clarity and responsiveness with the way that the United States deals with far more costly foreign policy screw-ups. Even when the strategic and/or human consequences are enormous, the U.S. government finds it nearly impossible to evaluate what went wrong in a candid, clear-eyed, and timely manner. It is even harder for the government to assign responsibility for wrongdoing; if anything, officials tend to bend over backward to shield wrongdoers..."

 

 

Samantha Lotti CC

December 5, 2014

"Leaders in Glass Countries Shouldn't Throw Stones"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"The United States hasn't been able to fix its racial divisions in a century and a half, but we thought we could settle some equally deep divisions in a few years in foreign countries that we barely understood."

 

 

November 26, 2014

"10 Things World Leaders Are Thankful For"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Iran's supreme leader should be grateful to congressional hard-liners like Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and to the various right-wing organizations that are working hard to derail a possible nuclear deal. If the latest extension of the talks goes nowhere and congressional opposition gets the United States blamed for the failure...the opportunity to open Iran up to the outside world will be postponed yet again....Treating Cuba like a pariah for 50 years hasn't toppled the Castro brothers, and keeping Iran isolated and sanctioned hasn't shaken the Islamic Republic much, either."

 

 

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..."

 

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