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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 Program/Project

 

International Security (continued)

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."

 

 

March 2010

Israel and Palestine: Two States for Two Peoples—If Not Now, When?

Report

By Boston Study Group on Middle East Peace and Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"The benefits of a two-state solution are incontestable, and genuine progress must be achieved quickly. Continuing the status quo—fruitless negotiations, Palestinian divisions and the steady expansion of Israeli settlements—may soon make it impossible to create two states for two peoples. The result would be the latest in a long line of tragedies: extremists on both sides would be vindicated; America's image would suffer, complicating foreign policy in a crucial region; Israel would cease to be a democratic and Jewish-majority state and be condemned as an apartheid society; and the Palestinians would continue to suffer in poverty and powerlessness."

 

 

AP Photo

March 21, 2010

"In the Fight over Settlements, Who are Israel's Real Friends?"

Op-Ed, Washington Post

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

"A two-state solution wouldn't solve all U.S. challenges in the region, but it would make it easier to address most of them. It is also the best guarantee of Israel's long-term future. By showing real backbone this time and explaining to the American people why his approach is the right one, Obama could advance U.S. interests and be a true friend to the Jewish state."

 

 

AP Photo

October 21, 2009

"High Cost, Low Odds"

Op-Ed, Nation

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

"...America's odds of winning this war are slim. The Karzai government is corrupt, incompetent and resistant to reform. The Taliban have sanctuaries in Pakistan and can hide among the local populace, making it possible for them simply to outlast us. Pakistan has backed the Afghan Taliban in the past and is not a reliable partner now. Our European allies are war-weary and looking for the exits. The more troops we send and the more we interfere in Afghan affairs, the more we look like foreign occupiers and the more resistance we will face. There is therefore little reason to expect a US victory."

 

 

AP Photo

September 20, 2009

"Settling for Failure in the Middle East"

Op-Ed, Washington Post

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

"This situation is a tragedy in the making between peoples who have known more than their share. Unless Obama summons the will and skill to break the logjam, a two-state solution will become impossible and those who yearn for peace will be even worse off than before."

 

 

AP Photo

July 7, 2009

"Obama's Style Trumps Substance, Again"

Op-Ed, The Daily Beast

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

"The tone of U.S.-Russian diplomacy was much improved, and Obama is returning to Washington with several concrete agreements, but the summit did not yield a significant breakthrough on any major issue. In fact, like much of Obama's foreign policy to date, the Moscow summit was as much a triumph of style and attitude as an achievement in terms of substance. Russian-American relations may now be headed in the right direction, but both sides have a long way to go."

 

 

AP Photo

January-March 2009

"Is It Love or The Lobby? Explaining America's Special Relationship with Israel"

Journal Article, Security Studies, issue 1, volume 18

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

"In The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, we argued that the "special relationship" between the United States and Israel is due largely to the influence of a domestic interest group—comprised of Jews as well as non-Jews—and that this unusual situation is harmful to both the United States and Israel....[P]ublic opinion in the United States does not explain why the United States gives Israel such extensive and nearly unconditional backing. Although most Americans have a favorable image of Israel, surveys show that they also favor a more even-handed Middle East policy and a more normal relationship with Israel. Thus, the special relationship is due primarily to the lobby's influence, and not to the American people's enduring identification with the Jewish state."

 

 

AP Photo

January 2009

"Alliances in a Unipolar World"

Journal Article, World Politics, International Relations Theory and the Consequences of Unipolarity, issue 1, volume 61

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

Unipolarity is a novel condition in world politics, and its effects on international alliances have yet to receive sustained theoretical attention.  Tracing its impact requires a careful distinction between the purely structural features common to any unipolar system and the unique characteristics of the current unipole (the United States) or the policies undertaken by particular U.S. leaders (such as George W. Bush).  In general, the unipole will enjoy greater freedom of action and be less dependent on allied support, enabling it to rely more readily on ad hoc "coalitions of the willing."

 

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