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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

 

2012 (continued)

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May 2, 2012

"Dealing with a Chinese Monroe Doctrine"

Op-Ed, New York Times

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

"...[W]ar between China and America is far from inevitable. Both countries have nuclear weapons and both governments understand that a war would be catastrophic. If future leaders are prudent, the rivalry may be managed and peace preserved. But if inexperienced, reckless or over-confident leaders come to power on either side, the danger of war will rise. Unfortunately, recent history warns that the likelihood both countries will always have wise leaders is not high."

 

 

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April 3, 2012

"Don't Prolong the Inevitable"

Op-Ed, New York Times

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

"...Afghanistan is not a vital United States interest. President Obama had said that we must prevent Al Qaeda from establishing safe havens there, but Osama bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda already has better safe havens elsewhere. Victory in Afghanistan will not eliminate Al Qaeda, and leaving won't make it more dangerous."

 

 

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March 20, 2012

"Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Because it is not clear if any U.S. approach would have succeeded at an acceptable cost, the real lesson of Iraq is not to do stupid things like this again."         

 

 

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March 4, 2012

"Mr Obama Must Take a Stand against Israel over Iran"

Op-Ed, Financial Times

By John J. Mearsheimer, Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security and Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"...[F]orce cannot produce a meaningful victory. Israel's air force cannot destroy all Iran's nuclear facilities; even a successful US attack could not eliminate the knowledge on which the programme is based. Iran would simply rebuild its facilities in less vulnerable locations, as Iraq did after Israel bombed the Osirak reactor in 1981."

 

2011

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November-December 2011

"The End of the American Era"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

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

"...[T]he biggest challenge the United States faces today is not a looming great-power rival; it is the triple whammy of accumulated debt, eroding infrastructure and a sluggish economy. The only way to have the world's most capable military forces both now and into the future is to have the world's most advanced economy, and that means having better schools, the best universities, a scientific establishment that is second to none, and a national infrastructure that enhances productivity and dazzles those who visit from abroad. These things all cost money, of course, but they would do far more to safeguard our long-term security than spending a lot of blood and treasure determining who should run Afghanistan, Kosovo, South Sudan, Libya, Yemen or any number of other strategic backwaters."

 

 

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November 2011

"The Myth of American Exceptionalism"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Although the United States possesses certain unique qualities — from high levels of religiosity to a political culture that privileges individual freedom — the conduct of U.S. foreign policy has been determined primarily by its relative power and by the inherently competitive nature of international politics. By focusing on their supposedly exceptional qualities, Americans blind themselves to the ways that they are a lot like everyone else."

 

 

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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."

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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."

 

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