Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter
This fall, thanks to edX, the non-profit online education enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT, about 10,000 people from around the world are auditing – for free – an online version of this course, called HKS211.1x. Auditors have access to relevant writings, video lessons from the instructors or special guests, and weekly assignments. They can also engage with fellow students in the discussion forums. Auditors can do as much or as little as they want – on their own time.
November 29, 2013
Op-Ed, ISN Blog
By Tong Zhao, Stanton Nuclear Security Predoctoral Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom
"if both the top-down and bottom-up methods of trust building are never going to be risk free, is there a more plausible third option? For example, what if Washington and Beijing forget about trust-building and instead opt for a relationship based on mutual deterrence? Unfortunately, the risks of this option — arms racing, a return to a Cold War-like MAD doctrine, and forever teetering on the brink of conventional conflict — might not just upend US-China relations, they might sabotage regional and global security as well."
November 25, 2013
Op-Ed, The Huffington Post
By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
"The Obama Administration is on the way to becoming the peacemaking presidency, after having been handed down two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and having been urged to start two others (Syria and Iran). The way the President handled these challenges should ease the way for Hillary Clinton in 2016, should she decide to run."
November 23, 2013
Op-Ed, The Straits Times
By Derwin Pereira, International Council Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
"AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Tony Abbott's imperious dismissal of Indonesian complaints over spying betrays profound ignorance of the new realities of Asia of which Indonesia is an integral part," writes Derwin Pereira, "to say nothing of diplomatic protocol."
November 22, 2013
By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
As we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, it is instructive to consider what he might have done if faced with the Iranian nuclear challenge today.
In what historians agree was his “finest hour,” Kennedy successfully led the U.S. through the most dangerous confrontation in history, the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The odds of war were, in Kennedy’s view, “between 1 in 3 and even.”
When the Soviet Union was found emplacing nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba, 90 miles off American shores, Kennedy declared that totally unacceptable — as President Obama has declared an Iranian nuclear bomb. The question was how to eliminate this danger without war.
November 21, 2013
By Trevor Findlay, Senior Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom/International Security Program
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations are undertaking an unprecedented operation in Syria: disarming a country of a particular type of weaponry in the midst of a civil war. Professor Findlay discussed the issue in the context of the overlapping legal, institutional, technical, and political demands being made of Syria and the prospects for success of the operation.
November 20, 2013
Op-Ed, Washington Post
By David Ignatius, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project
Bassem Youssef, Egypt’s popular television comedian, expresses the irreverent confidence this country will need to regain stability. On air, he mocks the autocratic tendencies of both the Muslim Brotherhood leaders and the army generals who toppled them from power.
November 21, 2013
Op-Ed, Boston Globe
By Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School
Like many Americans alive on November 22, 1963, Professor Nicholas Burns recalls vividly the day that President Kennedy was assasinated. In this piece, he reflects on Kennedy's legacy and the lessons we can learn from how he played the role he loved best — his stewardship of American foreign policy at the very height of the Cold War.
November 20, 2013
Op-Ed, Christian Science Monitor
By Payam Mohseni, Research Fellow, International Security Program
"...[S]anctions played a part in changing Iran's behavior, but not because they forced Iran to return to the negotiation table out of fear of economic collapse. Rather, sanctions contributed to a transformation of the balance of power within the Iranian political system that had been already underway since 2009 — prior to the enactment of the current sanctions regime. Sanctions helped pave the way for a Rouhani victory in the 2013 presidential elections..."
November 19, 2013
Op-Ed, Agence Global
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
BEIRUT—Beneath the surface of wars and ethnic tensions, one of the most troubling trends in the Arab world these days is the determination by many governments to stifle freedom of expression and thereby limit the ability of citizens to make their views known and hold accountable those who exercise political power. Two different examples of this come from Egypt and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, reflecting dangerous trends in both cases. These developments are important because freedom of expression and the ability to protest peacefully in public are at the very heart of free, democratic and humane societies that respect the rights of their citizens—which is the goal that tens of millions of Arabs are struggling to achieve in the current wave of uprisings.