Harvard-Belfer on Syria

July 24, 2014

As the Middle East becomes increasingly turbulent, Syria’s civil war rages on. The human toll has reached epic proportions with more than 160,000 people killed and more than 9 million uprooted from their homes. The Belfer Center has updated and relaunched its Syria website with key facts, documents, statistics, analysis, and compelling infographics to illustrate key facts.

Syria Infographics

Syria Website ›



3D Printing for Educators

Moderated by Calestous Juma. July 31, 6PM, Starr Auditorium.

More Info ›




Wikimedia CC

July 21, 2014

"A Revanchist Power, 21st Century Style"

The Huffington Post

By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program

"The skyrocketing popularity of Putin in Russia after his illegal annexation of Crimea and his tactic of 'hybrid war' (which we in the U.S. would call covert action), is a measure of just how wronged the Russian people feel about how the post–Cold War world has turned out...."



July 18, 2014

"The Three Dimensions of War"

Daily Star

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"What does Israel expect to achieve by attacking Gaza with a large land force, following ten days of attacking from the air and suffering Palestinian counter-attacks by far less effective small rockets? After every Israeli war and invasion that kills hundreds of Palestinians and destroys key elements of the civilian infrastructure, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other resistance groups regroup, replenish their military supplies, increase their technical capabilities and prepare for the next round of fighting with Israel."



July 17, 2014

"Why There Won't Be a Nuclear Grand Bargain with Iran"

The National Interest

By Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom and Robert Reardon, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program

"Rather than continuing with the current objective of a comprehensive grand bargain, the United States and its partners in the P5+1 should instead work toward a series of interim agreements using the JPOA as a model, with each successive accord building on the last. Such a gradual, incremental approach offers a better chance of ultimately resolving the nuclear dispute, at a lower risk of the existing deal falling apart."




July 17, 2014

"A Cold War lesson for Iran"

Boston Globe

By Nicholas Burns, Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School

In tribute to former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze who died last week, Nicholas Burns reflects on the admirable and successful diplomacy by veteran diplomats of former rivals -- the U.S. and U.S.S.R. -- to bring a peaceful end to the Cold War. From this seemingly unlikely and remarkable outcome, he draws lessons on how we might proceed on another Cold War — our 35-year struggle with Iran, now at a critical juncture.



July 15, 2014

Obama's Foreign Policy Inertia

Washington Post

By David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project

When Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. says that the Islamic State that has taken root in Iraq and Syria poses a “deadly” threat and that he has “extreme, extreme concern” about its bomb-makers, that sounds like an emergency. Yet the Obama administration hasn’t settled on a coordinated, aggressive response that might prevent this inferno from spreading.



DoD Photo

July 16, 2014

"Period of Adjustment"

The Huffington Post

By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program

"What some perceive as a new era of weakness is rather, to borrow the title of a Tennessee Williams play, a period of adjustment, in which we are becoming a power among others. Certainly a military power superior to all the others, but no longer in a position, nor with the disposition, to intervene anywhere and everywhere in the world."


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<em>International Security</em>

The Spring 2014 issue of the quarterly journal International Security is now available!

  1. Why the United States Should Spread Democracy
  2. A Cold War lesson for Iran
  3. Lessons from Libya: How Not to Intervene

"The closer we get to the end game, the more incentive he has to stretch it out."

Gary Samore, on the delayed disarmament process in Syria

The Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International affairs has been ranked the world's top University Affiliated Think Tank for 2014.

The annual ranking were issued by University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. More Info ›