October 9, 2009
Op-Ed, The Providence Journal
By Aaron Rapport, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2009–2010
"...Obama is unlikely to decrease his commitment to Afghanistan, even if assessments of the situation there grow increasingly dire. Instead he will probably opt to push the day of reckoning down the road. This is not just cynical politics on Obama's part. Powerful, success-oriented individuals tend to believe they can find solutions to even the most intractable problems if they are given enough time. As a result, they underestimate the long-term risks and costs of their actions."
July 6, 2009
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
"...I assign the Errol Morris film The Fog of War to my students in a course about leadership and ethics in foreign policy. What the film shows is a man who belatedly realized his frailties and decided to warn a younger generation not to repeat his mistakes. Many former policy makers spend their time after office trying to cast their actions in the best possible light for history. Bob was a rare exception in exposing his mistakes...."
June 30, 2009
Op-Ed, Foreign Policy
By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009
"'Peace with honor.' This was the Nixon administration's euphemism for disengagement from South Vietnam, a place where corruption and incompetence had long doomed any hope of victory; even a victory as modest as the simple negative objective of preserving the political independence of tiny South Vietnam."
Magazine or Newspaper Article, Prospect, issue 157
By Monica Duffy Toft, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy; Former Board Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Former Director, Initiative on Religion and International Affairs.
It’s a busy time for civil wars. The Sri Lankan army has pushed far into Tamil territory, seeking a decisive victory. The killings in Northern Ireland show how spoilers try to gain advantage over rivals in any political process. Then there is the threat that recently pacified civil wars, such as those in Iraq and Sudan, will come back, while the global recession may push new ones forward.
July 3, 2008
The days of American hegemony on the world stage appear to be waning. The rise of other global powers, the diffusion of economic and human capital, and the increasingly powerful influences being exerted by non-state actors — including terrorists — have ushered in a new era in geopolitics. Joseph Nye is university distinguished service professor and Sultan of Oman professor of international relations. He is the author of many books and articles on international relations, including his most recent book, “The Powers to Lead.”
Journal Article, Foreign Affairs, issue 4, volume 87
"Muller argues that ethnonationalism is the wave of the future and will result in more and more independent states, but this is not likely. One of the most destabilizing ideas throughout human history has been that every separately defined cultural unit should have its own state. Endless disruption and political introversion would follow an attempt to realize such a goal. Woodrow Wilson gave an impetus to further state creation when he argued for "national self-determination" as a means of preventing more nationalist conflict, which he believed was a cause of World War I...."
The use of biological warfare (BW) agents by states or terrorists is one of the world's most frightening security threats but, thus far, little attention has been devoted to understanding how to improve policies and procedures to identify and attribute BW events. Terrorism, War, or Disease? is the first book to examine the complex political, military, legal, and scientific challenges involved in determining when BW have been used and who has used them.
By Matthew Meselson, Co-director, Harvard Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons
"U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig, in a speech in West Berlin in September 1981 and in a detailed report to the Congress the following March, charged Soviet-backed Laotian and Vietnamese forces with waging toxin warfare against Hmong resistance fighters and their villages in Laos and against Khmer Rouge soldiers and villages in Cambodia. The charges were repeated with additional details in a further report to the Congress and to the member states of the United Nations in November 1982 by Haig's successor, Secretary of State George Shultz.
The investigation on which the allegation was based, however, failed to employ reliable methods of witness interrogation or of forensic laboratory investigation; it was further marred by the dismissal and withholding of contrary evidence and a lack of independent review. When the evidence for toxin attacks or any other form of chemical/biological warfare (CBW) was subjected to more careful examination, it could not be confirmed or was discredited. In what became known as the "Yellow Rain" affair, these charges — that toxic substances called trichothecenes were used in CBW — were initially pressed vigorously by the U.S. government and, even when the allegations proved unsustainable, they were not withdrawn...."
May 6, 2008
In the News
By Robert Rotberg, Director, Program on Intrastate Conflict and Conflict Resolution
In late April, President Bush declared that the upcoming elections in Burma would not be “free, fair, or credible” and that the U.S. would impose further sanctions on the state-owned business sector, in order to increase pressure on the ruling junta.
March 31, 2008
By Elaine Kamarck, Lecturer in Public Policy
Half of all living Americans today were born after McCain's A4E Skyhawk was shot down in an attempted bombing run on the Yen Phu power plant....his "rescuers" stripped him and beat him before handing him over to the military, which put him in Hoa Lo and then moved him around to several other prisons, where he continued to be repeatedly tortured....The Democrats can't compete with John McCain's past. But given the emergence of the millennial generation and its contributions so far to the Democratic comeback, they should be more than able to compete with John McCain for the future.