BELFER CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
"Do States Delegate Shameful Violence to Militias? Patterns of Sexual Violence in Recent Armed Conflicts"
Journal of Conflict Resolution, issue 5, volume 59
By Dara Kay Cohen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and Ragnhild Nordas, Former Research Fellow, Initiative on Religion in International Affairs/International Security Program, 2008–2010
Existing research maintains that governments delegate extreme, gratuitous, or excessively brutal violence to militias. However, analyzing all militias in armed conflicts from 1989 to 2009, we find that this argument does not account for the observed patterns of sexual violence, a form of violence that should be especially likely to be delegated by governments. Instead, we find that states commit sexual violence as a complement to—rather than a substitute for—violence perpetrated by militias.
August 3, 2015
Former International Security Program Research Fellow Paul Staniland has been selected as the third annual winner of the Peter Katzenstein Book Prize for Outstanding First Book in International Relations, Comparative Politics, or Political Economy for Networks of Rebellion: Explaining Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2014).
August 3, 2015
By Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
The Iran Nuclear Deal: A Definitive Guide has been produced in the interest of contributing to informed Congressional review and public discourse on a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It provides a concise description of the agreement and the accompanying UN Security Council Resolution 2231. It also includes a balanced assessment of the agreement's strengths and weaknesses with respect to its central objective to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The team of experts who prepared the report includes Democrats, Republications, independents, and internationals. Noting areas of disagreement among themselves, they agreed that this report provides an accurate description and balanced assessment of the agreement.
July 30, 2015
Political Violence @ a Glance
By Evan Perkoski, Research Fellow, International Security Program
"Early in the civil war there were significant cases of peer fragmentation producing dozens of new organizations that shared similar goals. This included organizations like the Al-Qassas Army, the Revolutionary Army, Jaysh al-Islam, and many others....Instead of supporting many of these organizations, providing weapons and training to a wide range of moderates, the United States should have chosen to back a single peer to create unity since parity might actually increase outbidding behavior as groups seek to gain an advantage."
July 28, 2015
By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
On July 28, Hudson Institute hosted a timely conversation on the Iran nuclear deal with Senator Tom Cotton and a panel of leading experts including William Tobey of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Hudson Senior Fellows Michael Doran, Hillel Fradkin, and Lee Smith.
Terrorism and Political Violence
By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program
The percentage of Israelis killed by terrorism is higher than in any other democracy. The article analyzes the threats Israel has faced, the impact terrorism has had on Israel, and the counter-terrorism policies Israel has adopted.
By Charles L Glaser, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1982–1985; Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security
A grand bargain would not constitute the entirety of U.S. policy toward China. Unilateral measures and alliances would remain essential components of U.S. policy. When uncertain about a state's motives and goals, a state should pursue a mix of cooperative and competitive policies.
July 27, 2015
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"In Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and several other places, U.S. leaders failed to realize that there were limits to what U.S. power could accomplish and that military force is a crude instrument that inevitably produces unintended consequences. Defeating third-rate armies and toppling foreign leaders was easy, but conventional military superiority did not enable Washington to govern foreign societies wisely or defeat stubborn local insurgencies."
July 27, 2015
By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
With most commentary being focused on analyzing the technical requirement of the US and west’s agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program, it’s also crucial to take on early the broader ramifications of the deal on Middle East stability. These observations are framed by four quotations from an op-ed piece published by Henry Kissinger and George Schultz in the Wall Street Journal in April 2015.
I believe the wise statesmen’s advice can help guide the formulation of US strategic objectives that should be pursued following the nuclear deal with Iran. Kissinger and Schultz suggest four over-arching tasks to take on as first order of business in tying broader US policy initiatives into the agreement.
July 27, 2015
The Huffington Post
By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
"What this contradiction about the battle flag represents to me is the white South's refusal, even today, to admit that its valiant defeat in the Civil War was also the defeat of a bad cause. Keeping millions of human beings in slave status was hardly a worthy cause to fight for."