By Terence Roehrig, Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
A nuclear North Korea makes it crucial that all countries in Northeast Asia work hard at maintaining a stable security environment that avoids the dangers of a crisis while encouraging North Korea to adopt a nuclear strategy that retains its "no first use" pledge, a strong command and control system, and a stable nuclear weapons posture. Given its relationship with North Korea, China is best positioned to encourage DPRK leaders in these directions.
April 4, 2013
Op-Ed, Chicago Tribune
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"Countries like South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and others are looking for clear signs of U.S. leadership, which means we need the most qualified and skilled people we can find in key diplomatic positions. We don't want ambassadors who are just reciting talking points prepared by others; we need ambassadors throughout Asia who have extensive knowledge of the region's history and the complicated economic and security landscape there. And, yes, it would be nice if they could read and speak the language."
The United States' extended system of security commitments creates a set of institutional relationships that foster political communication. Alliance institutions are first about security protection, but they also bind states together and create institutional channels of communication. For example, NATO has facilitated ties and associated institutions that increase the ability of the United States and Europe to talk to each other and to do business. Likewise, the bilateral alliances in East Asia also play a communication role beyond narrow security issues. Consultations and exchanges spill over into other policy areas. This gives the United States the capacity to work across issue areas, using assets and bargaining chips in one area to make progress in another.
March 25, 2013
Op-Ed, Asia Times
By Hui Zhang, Senior Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom
"President Barack Obama and Kim Jong-eun could end up confronting each other 'eyeball to eyeball', each with nuclear weapons on hair trigger, as president John F Kennedy and Nikita Khruschev did over five decades ago during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. However, the younger and less-experienced Kim of the smaller and isolated Kingdom might not behave as rationally as Khruschev."
Magazine or Newspaper Article, American Interest, issue 4, volume 8
By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
"American interests rest on stability in the region to allow the continuing growth of trade and investment that benefits all countries. The U.S.-Japan alliance remains crucial to stability in East Asia, but so too are good relations in all three sides of the strategic triangle. One thing is clear: If, despite all we do, Sino-Japanese relations deteriorate toward literal conflict, the United States will be faced with some very tough choices."
March 13, 2013
By Trevor Findlay, Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
This seminar considered how the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reacted to nuclear crises. The IAEA often appears not just to have weathered such crises, but to have successfully leaped through windows of opportunity presented by them. This has resulted in periodic expansions of its mandate, capabilities, and resources. The 2011 Fukushima disaster appears to be a puzzling exception, raising the question of what concatenation of factors needs to be present for the IAEA to take advantage of nuclear crises.
March 11, 2013
Op-Ed, Boston Globe
By Juliette Kayyem, Lecturer in Public Policy
"March 11, 2011, was three distinct disasters. The earthquake and tsunami fell into the category of tragedies that are often unavoidable. But the nuclear accident requires a different analytical frame, and proponents of nuclear energy shouldn't be allowed to write off the Fukushima crisis as a natural disaster. Since the industrial revolution, there have always been industrial harms. As societies require more of technology, engineering, and transportation, there will be blips in the systems. What isn't inevitable, however, is that they happen again."
February 25, 2013
Op-Ed, Project Syndicate
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Robert D. Blackwill, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Ali Wyne, Associate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Graham Allison and Robert D. Blackwill spotlight Lee Kuan Yew in their latest book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World.
February 22, 2013
Op-Ed, Asia Times
By Kei Koga, Research Fellow, International Security Program
"These overtures and initiatives indicate that ASEAN and its affiliated institutions still have a comparative advantage in shaping and influencing East Asia's security landscape and could play a key role in maintaining regional maritime stability. ASEAN would be wise to go beyond staging fora for talks discussions among member states and move to establish a monitoring mechanism to maintain the maritime status quo, as territorial disputes are likely to intensify among claimant states."
February 14, 2013
Op-Ed, Bloomberg View
By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
“We are finally poised to control our own energy future,” said President Barack Obama in his State of the Union message, noting the drastic increase in American energy production from unconventional oil and gas resources.
Controlling our energy future means more than just producing a greater amount of our own energy. It also means harnessing this energy renaissance to meet our global geopolitical needs. We’ve begun to reap the many economic benefits this boom brings—such as easing the trade deficit and lowering carbon emissions. But we have only started to appreciate how this energy renaissance affects our larger strategic environment. And, not surprisingly, many readers of the tea leaves have confused reality with desire, by hoping more energy at home will mean keeping out of the volatile politics and economics of the Middle East.