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.
February 22, 2008
Op-Ed, San Francisco Chronicle
By Xiaohui (Anne) Wu, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2007–2010; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2004–2007
"...while relations with "problematic" countries have soured when the United States and some European nations insisted on carrying a big stick, it is wiser for China not to burn its bridges. If China had signed on to coercive diplomacy, countries such as Sudan, Burma and North Korea would not have listened, and there would have been no way for China to serve as a constructive messenger. China's power looks muscular, but it stands to lose those muscles once they are flexed."
February 12, 2008
Op-Ed, The Bangkok Post
By Jason Qian and Xiaohui (Anne) Wu, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2007–2010; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2004–2007
"China would want to avoid choosing sides in Burma, so as not to compromise its holistic interests. A more effective route is to manage relations with all to maximise common interest. To achieve this, the motto of 'there are no permanent friends or enemies in international relations' is the key....As in the case of North Korea, China does not want the problems of a neighbour like Burma spilling over into its own territory. Burma is also part of China's strategic configuration with other regional and international players."
January 18, 2008
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"...a realist would be a valuable antidote to the self-righteous hubris that pervades contemporary U.S. commentary on foreign affairs, an attitude that has encouraged many of the policies that have undermined America's image around the globe. A realist would also cast a skeptical eye on virtually all of the current presidential candidates, whose views on foreign policy do not stray far from the current neoconservative/liberal consensus. Realists aren't infallible and some readers will undoubtedly object to their views, but that's hardly the issue. The point is that Americans would be better informed if they regularly heard what realists had to say, and media institutions that are genuinely interested in presenting a diverse array of views should be signing up a few of them."
Journal Article, International Security, issue 3, volume 32
By Evelyn Goh
The end of the Cold War left the stability of Southeast Asia in question, with many assuming that China would dominate the region after the United States withdrew and that other countries would engage in conflict. Instead, Southeast Asian states shaped the new regional order by encouraging the omni-enmeshment of major powers through multilateral institutions and indirectly balancing against China. The resulting stability, though promising, remains questionable because of uncertainty regarding U.S. commitment and Chinese intentions in this part of the world, as well as the involvement of other regional powers. The United States must widely engage Southeast Asia to maintain a favorable regional order.