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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

 

 

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International Security (continued)

Mil.ru

October 13, 2015

"A Road to Damascus, via Moscow"

Op-Ed, The New York Times

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

"The United States should have two goals in Syria. First, bring order to those parts of the country that the Islamic State does not control. Second, strive to build a coalition of forces that can contain the Islamic State and eventually replace it. Russia's 'intrusion' could offer a chance to achieve both. This means setting aside American prejudices and heated political rhetoric. Russia isn't an intruder in Syria; it has been involved there for decades, just as America has been involved throughout the Middle East for more than 60 years. Mr. Assad is Russia's protégé, and Syria is an operations base for the Russian military."

 

 

October 9, 2015

"Who Is a Better Strategist: Obama or Putin?"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Putin's goals in Syria are equally simple, realistic, and aligned with Russia's limited means. He wants to preserve the Assad regime as a meaningful political entity so that it remains an avenue of Russian influence and a part of any future political settlement. He's not trying to conquer Syria, restore the Alawites to full control over the entire country, defeat the Islamic State, or eliminate all Iranian influence. And he's certainly not pursuing some sort of quixotic dream of building democracy there."

 

 

October 2, 2015

"Give Peace a Chance"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"From a purely selfish, rational, flag-waving American perspective, therefore, peace is a goal to proclaim, to pursue, and to prize. Yet one is hard-pressed to find a leading presidential candidate who will talk openly about his or her passion for peace, commitment to pursuing it once in office, or the specific strategies he or she intends to follow to further this goal."

 

 

Creative Commons

September 21, 2015

"Could We Have Stopped This Tragedy?"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Early U.S. intervention might have reproduced the Libyan disaster, reminding us that that only thing worse than a truly awful government is no government at all."

 

 

September 15, 2015

"Why Do So Many People Want So Little From the Agreement With Iran?"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"...[K]eeping Iran at arm's length (or worse) reduces U.S. diplomatic leverage and flexibility. As long as U.S. Middle East policy remains fixated on its 'special relationships' with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and to some extent Egypt, these states will continue to take U.S. support for granted and ignore U.S. preferences more often than we'd like. But if the United States had decent working relations with every state in the region — including Iran — it could work constructively with any or all of them."

 

 

CC-BY-SA-3.0

September 4, 2015

"What Do Politicians Really Mean by 'Global Leadership?'"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"...[W]hat I'd really like to know is what the different candidates think about this issue, and hear them explain why U.S. taxpayers should pay a lot more than our allies’ citizens do and how Americans actually benefit from the energetic foreign policy that both GOP and Democratic stalwarts never even question. I'd also like to see reporters give them a good grilling on this topic, and refuse to accept vague or non-specific responses."

 

 

August 28, 2015

"The Soft Logic of Soft Targets"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"If foreign and domestic terrorists are moving away from large-scale, dramatic attacks (such as 9/11), and toward smaller attacks on soft targets, then how should we respond? Mostly by refining basic counterterrorist activities (e.g., creating better watch-lists, sharing information with foreign intelligence services, monitoring terrorist publications, etc.), and guarding high-value targets whose destruction would have more far-reaching effects. But trying to harden every conceivable target is a fool's errand."

 

 

U.S. Army Photo

August 21, 2015

"So Wrong for So Long"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"...[T]he real problem is that the neoconservative worldview — one that still informs the thinking of many of the groups and individuals who are most vocal in opposing the Iran deal — is fundamentally flawed. Getting Iraq wrong wasn't just an unfortunate miscalculation, it happened because their theories of world politics were dubious and their understanding of how the world works was goofy."

 

 

August 10, 2015

"The Myth of the Better Deal"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"The most obvious example of magical thinking in contemporary policy discourse, of course, is the myth of a 'better deal' with Iran. Despite abundant evidence to the contrary, opponents of the JCPOA keep insisting additional sanctions, more threats to use force, another round of Stuxnet, or if necessary, dropping a few bombs, would have convinced Iran to run up the white flag and give the United States everything it ever demanded for the past 15 years."

 

 

August 3, 2015

"Why America Will Never Hit Reset With Iran"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Instead of using this agreement as a first step toward a more cordial and business-like relationship, these groups will try to poison U.S.-Iranian relations in other ways and keep the cold war between Washington and Iran going into perpetuity."

 
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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 Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.