Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany (left) in Russian uniform, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in Prussian uniform.


How Nicky and Willy Could Have Prevented WWI

July 29, 2014

One hundred years ago this week, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany exchanged telegrams to try to prevent a war that neither wanted.

Graham Allison writes that these telegrams between cousins "Nicky" and "Willy" are vivid reminders of the perils of crisis management and the wisdom of preventive diplomacy to resolve challenges like today's territorial dispute in eastern Ukraine before they become crises that suck great powers into confrontations.

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WWI: Lessons from 1914

Belfer Center experts reflect on the most important lessons that today’s leaders should draw.

Here ›



3D Printing for Educators

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

More Info ›




July 24, 2014

"I'm One of the People Sen. John Walsh Plagiarized from"

Washington Post, PostEverything Blog

By Sean M. Lynn-Jones, Editor, International Security; Series Editor, Belfer Center Studies in International Security

"...[P]lagiarism is fundamentally wrong. Scholars' careers largely depend on receiving credit for their research and publications. Tenure and promotion decisions may hinge on how often a professor's books or articles are cited. So academics are understandably sensitive to the possibility that someone else will claim credit for their research. Students who plagiarize in their research papers may not damage the careers of the scholars they plagiarize, but they are cheating and should be held accountable."



Getty Images

July 23, 2014

"Washington Absurdity, Arab Helplessness"

Agence Global

By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative

"The bizarre role of the United States government in current events in Israel and Palestine has reached such a peak this week that someone in the realm of the absurd should create a prize for this and offer the inaugural one to John Kerry during his stay in Cairo today. Washington’s quest for a ceasefire in Gaza while wholeheartedly supporting and arming Israel’s onslaught against Palestinian civilians reflects the frightening extent of bankrupt Arab diplomacy and exercise of sovereign power as much as it reflects the true nature of American government siding with Israel."



Ron Sachs/REX/AP Images

July 22, 2014

"GM's GC and Some Theories of Culpability"

Corporate Counsel

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The role of General Motors Co. general counsel Michael Millikin in the deadly ignition-switch events should be a subject of intense interest and close scrutiny for lawyers working in, or for, complex corporations. But the recent—and I think overly simplistic— comments of prominent attorney John Quinn detract and do not add to a practical discussion about the responsibilities of general counsel.



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 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."



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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. World War I: Lessons from 1914 for 2014
  3. Lessons from Libya: How Not to Intervene
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 ›

"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