For more on the region, visit the Belfer Center's Middle East Initiative
October 30, 2014
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
"...[T]he hijackers promised to end the siege if they were allowed safe passage, and the Egyptian authorities agreed. The hostages disembarked on October 9. It was decided to fly the hostages, plus Abu al-Abbas, out of the country aboard an Egyptair plane. However, unbeknownst to the Egyptians, intelligence was obtained by the U.S."
By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
Americans are pleasantly surprised about how their energy fate appears to have changed, in such a short time, with little notice or anticipation. Within the last five years, both actual US production of oil and gas and projections for future American production have changed dramatically. Whereas in the mid-2000s, experts predicted that the US should anticipate a future of severe dependence on imported natural gas, in 2012 Washington is debating the pros and cons of becoming an exporter of this resource. Even more quietly, domestic production of oil has increased, in large part due to the development of the tight oil in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas.
November 15, 2013
By Andreas Goldthau, Visiting Scholar, The Geopolitics of Energy Project
This is the first handbook to provide a global policy perspective on energy, bringing together a diverse range of international energy issues in one volume.
October 30, 2014
An audio recording from Robert S. Ford, former US Ambassador to Syria (2011-2014) and Algeria (2006-2008). He is currently a resident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. and teaches at Johns Hopkins University on Middle East politics.
On October 29, 2014 at MEI, Ambassador Ford reflected on his 4˝ years working for the U.S. Mission in Iraq and 3 years working on Syria, in a talk moderated by Kennedy School professor and former State Department colleague Nicholas Burns.
October 21, 2014
By Leonardo Maugeri, Associate, Environment and Natural Resources Program/Geopolitics of Energy Project
In my 2012 study “Oil, the Next Revolution”, I stressed something that no one was seeing at that time (and much later as well). As summed up by the opening sentence of the study:
“Contrary to what most people believe, oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption. This could lead to a glut of overproduction and a steep dip in oil prices.”
October 27, 2014
Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Ariane Tabatabai, Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"Tehran has made it clear that its goal is to have industrial-scale enrichment. But while fixing a clear and concrete goal, Khamenei's speech also gave a lot of room for his negotiating team to maneuver. This part of the speech was lost in translation in the United States."
October 27, 2014
Op-Ed, The Atlantic
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
President Obama’s strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS has become the target of heated criticism, not only from partisan opponents but from many of his supporters as well. Categorically ruling out American boots on the ground, while subcontracting the bloody job of house-to-house fighting to the Iraqi military, Free Syrian Army, and Kurdish Peshmerga, can only assure failure, critics argue.
These assessments fall into a familiar trap: assuming that what has been announced is the sum of the matter. Especially for admirers of the diplomatic sleights of hand practiced by Henry Kissinger or Jim Baker, neglecting the obvious when assessing the current strategy is unfair.
October 22, 2014
Op-Ed, Foreign Policy
By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Facing a complex and difficult task in negotiating an agreement with Iran on the nuclear issue, the Obama administration is beginning to leak what many observers have long understood -- that it sees no point in trying to obtain Congressional approval for any nuclear deal with Iran.
October 18, 2014
Op-Ed, Agence Global
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"Analysts in the United States this week are debating the precise meaning of the statements Wednesday by John Allen, the ex-Marine general who now coordinates the U.S.-led coalition’s response to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He said that the United States is not coordinating with the Free Syrian Army, and instead plans to develop from scratch new local ground units in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS on two fronts."
October 16, 2014
Op-Ed, Foreign Policy
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"Instead of pouring good money (and possibly U.S. lives) down that particular rat hole, I'd like to see the people who are most directly affected start fighting this one for themselves. Unless the Turks, Jordanians, Kurds, and other Iraqis are willing to get their acts together to contain these vicious extremists, even a protracted and costly U.S. effort will amount to little."