November 19, 2014.
Op-Ed, Agence Global
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"One of the most fascinating issues that defines the Arab world today is the precarious status of half a dozen countries that run the risk of collapsing or fragmenting into smaller units. Media speculation, politicians’ comments and serious scholarly deliberations all address the possibility that countries like Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya could fracture and give birth to smaller statelets that are largely based on ethnic, tribal or sectarian identities, much like Yugoslavia split up into several smaller countries in the 1990s."
November 18, 2014
An audio recording from His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, former Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States (2005-2007) and former Director General of Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Directorate (1977-2001).
On November 18, 2014 Prince Turki spoke on regional instability and forces at work in the region, including power politics, energy markets, violent extremism, and theological divides, in a public address moderated by Kennedy School professor Nicholas Burns.
November 18, 2014
Op-Ed, Foreign Policy
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"China's increasingly assertive policies toward its immediate neighborhood shows that Beijing is hardly indifferent to geopolitics, and Russia's assertive defense of what it sees as vital interests in its 'near abroad' (e.g., Ukraine) suggests that somebody in Moscow didn't get the memo about the benign effects of globalization. And regional powers like India, Turkey, and Japan are taking traditional geopolitical concerns more seriously these days. Bottom line: If you thought great-power rivalry was a thing of the past, think again."
November 17, 2014
Op-Ed, Just Security
By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, met with senior Iraqi officials in Baghdad where he notably left the door open for deploying additional US troops in an effort to defeat ISIL that, he claimed, will likely take years.
Before ISIL can be defeated, it must be contained and the ideological divide during the Cold War serves as a useful starting point for conceiving a containment strategy against ISIL.
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.
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.