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Stephen M. Walt

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

 

 

By Date

 

2011 (continued)

AP Photo

July 21, 2011

"International Affairs and the Public Sphere"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, Transformations of the Public Sphere

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

"...[T]he academic study of international affairs will be impoverished if the relevant academic disciplines continue to turn inward, to focus on narrow issues that are primarily of interest only to other scholars, and to become even less interested in communicating to policymakers, the broader public, or the bulk of our students (the vast majority of whom do not want to be social scientists themselves). Accordingly, our goal should be to encourage a diverse, engaged community of scholars that is still committed to a free exchange of ideas and to high standards of both rigor and relevance."

 

 

AP Photo

July 15, 2011

"Nationalism Rules"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Because American national identity tends to emphasize the civic dimension (based on supposedly universal principles such as individual liberty) and tends to downplay the historic and cultural elements (though they clearly exist) U.S. leaders routinely underestimate the power of local affinities and the strength of cultural, tribal, or territorial loyalties. During the Cold War, we persistently exaggerated the strength of transnational ideologies like Communism, and underestimated the degree to which national identities and interests would eventually generate intense conflicts within the Marxist world. Osama bin Laden made the same mistake when he thought that terrorist attacks and video-taped fulminations would ignite a mass movement to re-establish a transnational Islamic caliphate."

 

 

Summer 2011

"What Role Should the U.S. Play in Middle East?"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School, Ashraf Hegazy, Former Executive Director, The Dubai Initiative, Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

The Belfer Center's Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns, Ashraf Hegazy, Joseph S. Nye, and Stephen Walt consider the U.S.'s shifting foreign policy in the Middle East.

 

 

 

AP Photo

April 29, 2011

"Wishful Thinking"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"A central tenet of both neo-conservatism and liberal internationalism/interventionism is the idea that democracy is both the ideal form of government but also one that is relatively easy to export to other societies. Never mind that democratization tends to shift the distribution of power within different societies, thereby provoking potentially violent struggles for power between different ethnic or social groups within society. Pay no attention to the fact that it took several centuries for stable democracies to emerge in the Western world, and that process was frequently bloody and difficult."

 

 

AP Photo

April 4, 2011

"Is America Addicted to War?"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Since the mid-1960s, American conservatism has waged a relentless and successful campaign to convince U.S. voters that it is wasteful, foolish, and stupid to pay taxes to support domestic programs here at home, but it is our patriotic duty to pay taxes to support a military establishment that costs more than all other militaries put together and that is used not to defend American soil but to fight wars mostly on behalf of other people. In other words, Americans became convinced that it was wrong to spend tax revenues on things that would help their fellow citizens (like good schools, health care, roads, and bridges, high-speed rail, etc.), but it was perfectly OK to tax Americans (though of course not the richest Americans) and spend the money on foreign wars."

 

 

AP Photo

February 10, 2011

"10 Reasons Americans Should Care About the Egyptian Revolution"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"No one can say for certain how the upheaval in Cairo will affect regional events — including the peace treaty with Israel — but the possibility that it will have a big impact is enough reason to care about what is happening there. I'm more sanguine about this than some people are because I don't think Egypt wants to get back into the war business. But I recognize the possibility that it could have destabilizing repercussions. But that doesn't mean the United States should be propping up Mubarak at this point, because if he's doomed, America will want to have earned some goodwill with his successors (and with the Egyptian people)."

 

2010

AP Photo

December 20, 2010

"The Zombie War in Afghanistan"

Op-Ed, NPR.org

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

"...[I]t is hard not to see echoes of Nixon's decision to invade Cambodia in 1970, in a failed attempt to eradicate Viet Cong bases there. The two situations are hardly identical, but both illustrate the tendency for wars to expand in both the scope and extent of violence, especially when they aren't going well. You send more troops, but that doesn't turn things around. So you send a few more, and you widen the war to new areas. But that doesn't work either, so you decide you have to alter the rules of engagement, use more missiles, bombs, or drones, or whatever."

 

 

AP Photo

November 8, 2010

"Delusion Points"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"George W. Bush's presidency really was that bad — and the fact that Obama has largely followed the same course is less a measure of Bush's wisdom than a reminder of the depth of the hole he dug his country into, as well as the institutionalized groupthink that dominates the U.S. foreign-policy establishment."

 

 

AP Photo

July 9, 2010

"Twitter Firing was A Mistake For CNN"

Op-Ed, NPR.org

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

"...[T]he double-standard here is both remarkable and distressing. As Juan Cole noted this morning, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki openly praised Fadlallah after the latter's death, and in terms far more lavish than Ms. Nasr used. Al-Maliki is the democratically-elected leader of Iraq and supposedly a U.S. ally; does his praise for Fadlallah mean that we shouldn't say anything positive about him either?"

 

 

AP Photo

March 2010

"The Challenge of Mutual Security"

Report Chapter

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

"A workable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must provide adequate security for Israelis and Palestinians alike. This objective will not be easy to achieve even in the context of a two-state solution, as each state will be comparatively small and the two sides will have to coordinate border controls, access to water and key religious sites and other potentially contentious issues. The long history of conflict will magnify security concerns, and both sides are bound to worry that concessions made in the context of a final-status agreement might one day be opened up for further negotiation. Despite these challenges, a two-state solution offers the best chance of mutual security for Israelis and Palestinians alike, both now and for the foreseeable future."

 

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