By Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications
The Fall/Winter 2014/15 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This edition highlights discussions at the Belfer Center about Iran and its nuclear program. Former U.S. National Security Advisor and Center Senior Fellow Thomas Donilon and former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror added their voices to Center debate on this issue during a Harvard Kennedy School forum on a possible deal to prevent development of nuclear weapons in Iran.
In "Stopping ISIL," a number of Belfer Center security experts weigh in on what must be done in the next year to stop the spread and brutality of the Islamic State (ISIL). Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns, Chuck Freilich, Nawaf Obaid, Ariane Tabatabai, Payam Mohseni, David Petraeus, Gary Samore, and Barak Mendelsohn suggest solutions to this strategic challenge.
And much more...
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, President Barack Obama called on the world to join in the effort to degrade and destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and to “dismantle this network of death.” Samantha Power, U.S. permanent representative to the UN and Belfer Center alumna, said at the UN on August 15, 2014, "The growth of...ISIL, al-Nusrah Front, and other associates of al-Qaeda respresents a grave threat to the people of Syria and the people of Iraq, as well as to the region ad the larger international community."
We asked Belfer Center international security experts to weigh in on this strategic challenge: As ISIL continues to expand its reach and brutality, what must be done in the next year--by neighboring states, the U.S., or others--to degrade and destroy this group?
Fall/Winter 2014 - 2015
Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
Farah Pandith, America’s first special representative to Muslim communities, joined the Belfer Center this fall as a Fisher Family Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project and as a senior fellow with the Middle East Initiative. Jairam Ramesh, a member of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh, India, and a leader in international climate negotiations, joined the Belfer Center this fall as a 2014 Fisher Family Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project.
November 13, 2014
An audio recording from Prof. Gregory Gause, John H. Lindsey ’44 Chair in International Affairs, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University.
On November 13, 2014, Professor Gause outlined an incisive new framework for understanding Middle East regional politics, casting regional power dynamics as a "New Cold War", in a talk moderated by Kennedy School Professor Tarek Masoud.
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 4½ 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 29, 2014
In this installment of “Inside the Middle East: Q&A,” Ambassador Robert Ford, former United States Ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014 and Algeria from 2006 to 2008, discusses his experiences with the State Department in Iraq and Syria, US strategy in the Syrian Civil War, and Syria's future.
October 28, 2014
Op-Ed, Washington Post
By David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project
WASHINGTON ― A glimpse of the anxiety sweeping the Arab world surfaced last week when an Arab woman complained during a talk in Amman at the Columbia Global Center for the Middle East. She said my speech’s title about the “crisis” in the region wasn’t accurate. The correct word was “disintegration.” The audience cheered loudly.
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.