February 22, 2013
Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
The movie “Zero Dark Thirty” is unquestionably a gripping drama and credible contender in this year’s Oscar competition (nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Original Screenplay). If director Kathryn Bigelow’s film presented itself principally as fiction, it could be judged exclusively on its technical or dramatic merits, which are considerable. However, writes Graham Allison, "because it advertises itself as a factually grounded 'journalistic filming' of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, it cannot duck a further question about what it owes to truth."
February 5, 2013
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
"...[I]n Pakistan, in Yemen, in Somalia, and now seemingly in West Africa, the drones have been a reliable source of intelligence and, equipped with missiles, a lethal and potentially accurate weapon....Unquestionably, there have been a number of innocent people killed in drone attacks, either by proximity and/or mistake. But what is this in comparison to the land invasions and mass aerial bombings of the pre-drone era?"
January 29, 2013
By James F. Smith, Former Communications Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Gary Samore, President Obama’s Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction Counter-Terrorism and Arms Control, has been appointed Executive Director (Research) for Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. A former fellow with the Belfer Center's International Security Program, Samore has served for the past four years as the principal advisor to the President on all matters relating to arms control and the prevention of weapons of mass destruction proliferation and WMD terrorism.
January 16, 2013
Op-Ed, Boston Globe
By Evelyn Krache Morris, Research Fellow, International Security Program
"Obama may be comfortable with Brennan's philosophy of targeted assassinations, and he may be equally confident in the proposed new CIA chief's ability to control the initiatives of underlings. However, these are flimsy foundations on which to base policy decisions, particularly ones concerning a weapon as controversial as drones. Cutting Congress and the public out of the process of determining how, when, and where these weapons should be used is counterproductive and shortsighted."
December 12, 2012
Op-Ed, Washington Post
By David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project
In a new Washington Post column, Belfer Center senior fellow David Ignatius looks at Kathryn Bigelow's newest movie, Zero Dark Thirty, about the raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and asks what place torture has in issues of national security and, with bin Laden dead, 'where do we go next?'
November 2, 2012
Ambassador Cameron Munter, recently retired US Ambassador to Pakistan, gave an off-the-record lecture on November 1st, 2012, on his views on the past, present, and future of US-Pakistani relations.
November 1, 2012
Op-Ed, Boston Globe
By Eliot A. Cohen, Eric S. Edelman, Former Senior Associate, International Security Program, May 2009–June 2013 and Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
"Because of the last four years, we face a world in which our enemies do not fear us, our friends do not believe they can trust us, and those who maneuver between the two camps feel that they will not get in trouble by crossing us. It is time, and more than time, to choose a different course."
Strategy in the Second Nuclear Age assembles a group of distinguished scholars to grapple with the matter of how the United States, its allies, and its friends must size up the strategies, doctrines, and force structures currently taking shape if they are to design responses that reinforce deterrence amid vastly more complex strategic circumstances.
October 9, 2012
Op-Ed, Foreign Policy
By Matt Waldman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014
"Because the strength of any dialogue depends on buy-in from each of the major parties to the conflict, the participation of Pakistan, the Taliban's longtime host and supporter, is essential. But the nature and scope of Pakistan's involvement requires consideration. Many would argue it should be limited to regional and security issues. But to exclude Pakistan completely would be to encourage it to act as a spoiler."
September 25, 2012
Op-Ed, New York Times
By Marisa L. Porges, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2012–2014
"But this one-sided approach — always opting to kill instead of capture — is a major weakness of America's current approach to counterterrorism. It deprives us of significant amounts of intelligence about what Al Qaeda is thinking and planning, and information that could help find other senior terrorists. After all, it was intelligence from a detainee that helped American forces track down Bin Laden."