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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

 

2013 (continued)

March 20, 2013

"'Iran is the Main Beneficiary of the Iraq War'"

Magazine or Newspaper Article, The European

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

"Iran has always been a major power in that region. Under Saddam however, Iran and Iraq were bitter enemies who fought a long war and were strongly opposed to one another. There was almost a rough balance of power between the two countries. By reducing Iraq's power and by allowing the Shia to become the dominant political force in Iraq, the US removed the main country balancing Iran, and helped bring to power a government that has at least some sympathies and links to Iran. So, Iran is by far the main strategic beneficiary of the Iraq War, which made it even more difficult for the US and its allies to deal with the country."

 

2012

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December 14, 2012

"The Interview: Stephen M. Walt"

Op-Ed, The Diplomat

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

"The United States is out of Iraq and is getting out of Afghanistan, but the big question is whether we can keep ourselves from being dragged back into the Middle East quagmire in the future. The best course in the Middle East would be to act as an "offshore balancer": ready to intervene if the balance of power is upset, but otherwise keeping our military footprint small. We should also have normal relationship with states like Israel and Saudi Arabia, instead of the counterproductive "special relationships" we have today. Steps like these would free up the resources for a more robust presence in Asia, should that become advisable down the road. But we should act like an "offshore balancer" in Asia as well...."

 

 

September 2012

"Theory and Policy in International Relations: Some Personal Reflections"

Journal Article, Yale Journal of International Affairs, issue 2, volume 7

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

"It has been nearly thirty years since I received my PhD. At that time, I was convinced that systematic scholarly research could uncover and verify timeless truths about international politics and foreign policy, and that once those discoveries had been made, a grateful policy community would quickly absorb them and adopt the right prescriptions. With the passage of time, I've gained both a greater respect for the limits of what social science can accomplish and a greater appreciation for the imperviousness of the policy community to reasoned discourse, especially in the United States. Even if scholars were able to produce more convincing analyses—itself a debatable proposition—overcoming the entrenched interests that shape what policy makers choose to do is not easy."

 

 

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July 13, 2012

"Hillary Clinton's Tenure: Not So Bad"

Op-Ed, Star Tribune

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

"Which is not to say that Clinton has performed badly. On the contrary, I'd give her high marks for executing the job she was asked to perform, especially given the constraints in which she had to operate."

 

 

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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."

 

 

AP Photo

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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