For more on the region, visit the Belfer Center's Middle East Initiative
Monday, September 30, 2014
Op-Ed, Financial Times
By Martin Feldstein, George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University
President Barack Obama has responded to the horrible actions by the forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) and to the sharp turn in American public opinion by promising to degrade and eventually destroy this powerful terrorist group. But, not surprisingly, Mr Obama promises to achieve this without putting any American combat troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria and without any significant increase in military spending. What is happening in this battle reflects a more broadly misguided and underfunded US defence policy.
September 29, 2014
Op-Ed, The National Interest
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
"ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his organization are unusual among terrorists in their explicit articulation of their ambitions, their agenda, their priorities, and their strategy," writes Graham Allison. "Analyzing their actions, one finds a high level of alignment between what they say and what they do."
To whom, Allison asks, does ISIS pose the most imminent and even existential threat?
September 27, 2014
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
"...[I]n eliminating the Syria-Iraq border in favor of a larger Islamic Caliphate, it made moot whether attacks against it took place in Iraq or Syria. There is now a license for the U.S. and its Jordanian and Gulf allies to pursue their air attacks against ISIS and its main concentrations, which are in Syria."
September 26, 2014
Op-Ed, Washington Post
By David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project
It may not be as revealing as “Mein Kampf” or “The Communist Manifesto.” But people looking for insight into the extremist strategy that inflames the fighters of the Islamic State might begin with a book chillingly titled “The Management of Savagery.”
September 26, 2014
Op-Ed, Just Security
By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
After the United States and a five-member Arab coalition launched the first strikes against ISIL, I’d like to offer four preliminary observations:
September 24, 2014
Op-Ed, Boston Globe
By Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School
Professor Burns argues that President Obama’s decision to order the attacks on ISIS in its home base in northern Syria was the correct one, and essential. But, air strikes alone won’t bring an end to ISIS as it is too strong, too entrenched and too wealthy to be defeated by air power alone. The U.S. needs an effective ground campaign. That will have to be a combination of a reconstituted Iraqi army, the Kurdish Peshmerga and moderate Syrian rebel groups as it would be a great mistake to re-introduce into Iraq American ground combat forces. This will be a long, dangerous and risky campaign. It is a fight we did not seek but must now pursue.
September 23, 2014
Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Ariane Tabatabai, Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
The nuclear program is naturally an important area where Tehran wants to become self-reliant. This is certainly driven by pride and revolutionary ideals, but also by concerns stemming from the country's experience of being denied fuel and technology in the past.
September 22, 2014
Op-Ed, American Interest
By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program
"ISIS is the immediate threat and must be dealt with effectively, but we should view our efforts to deal with it as part of a much broader and multi-dimensional effort."
September 20, 2014
Op-Ed, Agence Global
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"There is little in the Middle Eastern political scene these days more shameful than the sheer incompetence and irresponsibility of both leading Palestinian political groups Hamas and Fateh in moving ahead to implement their national reconciliation government, — a move critical for any real improvements in the lives of Gazans."
September 19, 2014
By Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Dr. Gary Samore addresses on the status of the P5+1 negotiations with Iran at the Global Strategic Review for the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Oslo, Norway earlier this month.