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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

 

Harvard–Belfer on Syria

Wikimedia CC

October 16, 2014

"Uncle Sucker to the Rescue"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Instead of pouring good money (and possibly U.S. lives) down that particular rat hole, I'd like to see the people who are most directly affected start fighting this one for themselves. Unless the Turks, Jordanians, Kurds, and other Iraqis are willing to get their acts together to contain these vicious extremists, even a protracted and costly U.S. effort will amount to little."

 

 

DoD

October 13, 2014

"Much Ado About the Islamic State"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"Absent effective political institutions, efforts to move from authoritarian to more participatory forms of government tend to provoke bitter quarrels between previously advantaged groups and those who have been excluded from wealth or power. In a world where most states are in fact multiethnic or multinational, democratization was bound to provoke greater internal conflicts, at least in the short term."

 

International Security

U.S. State Dept.

January 30, 2015

"What Would Ash Carter Do?"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

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

"As a public service, therefore, I offer the following Top 10 Questions to ask Ash Carter at his confirmation hearing....Under what conditions would you recommend the use of force against Iran's nuclear facilities? Given that a military attack could delay an Iranian bomb for only a year or two, and would probably increase Iran's desire to obtain an actual deterrent, does keeping 'all options on the table' make sense?..."

 

 

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."

 

 

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."

 

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