February 12, 2015
The Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs announces the appointment of spring 2015 Fisher Family Fellows; former NATO Secretary-General and Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen; former EU Trade Commissioner and Belgian Foreign Minister, Karel de Gucht; former National Security Advisor and Foreign Secretary of India, Shivshankar Menon; and Brazil’s former Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Celso Amorim.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Op-Ed, The National Interest
Can the United States, European Union and Russia cooperate against the burgeoning common threat posed by the so-called Islamic State, even as their diplomats cross swords over the most recent escalation of fighting in Ukraine? The short answer is yes, but the path to cooperation will not be easy. The hard truth is that even when relations were good, counterterrorism cooperation was never as robust as many had hoped after 9/11. This was because of a fundamental conceptual gap about the nature of the terrorist threat.
For the United States, the threat comes in the guise of foreign radicals, determined to undermine the institutions of American society. That is the lesson Washington drew from 9/11 as it formulated its response. Al Qaeda in fact might have had a more limited goal of driving the United States from the Middle East, but Washington depicted the threat as one against the West's fundamental democratic values. For Russia, the terrorist threat is inextricably linked to separatism. That was the lesson Moscow drew from Chechnya as it formulated its counterterrorist policies. There were quite a few radical Islamists among the Chechen fighters even in the 1990s, but Moscow primarily saw them as a group determined to carve off territory for an independent secular state, not necessarily to destroy Russian society as such.
February 9, 2015
Op-Ed, Foreign Affairs
By Kelly M. Greenhill, Research Fellow, International Security Program
"...[W]e should consider divorcing the significance of an issue from its reported or purported size. Instead, we could use alternative criteria to judge the merits of how to deal with conflict, such as applying collective values and societal norms. A focus on deterring mass atrocities, for instance, might be a better use of limited resources than either waiting for a death toll to escalate in order to justify intervention, or artificially inflating numbers to justify taking actions actually driven by other, more strategically-oriented rationales."
February 6, 2015
By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
"Laïcité is sort of a civic French religion that substitutes for conventional religions, which are not allowed to manifest themselves in the public space officially. Separation of church and state is mandatory. This is the reason behind the banning of the Muslim full facial scarf (le voile intégral) in schools and other public places."
Journal Article, IEEE Security & Privacy, issue 6, volume 12
By Ryan Ellis, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age
On 22 November 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the latest version of mandatory cybersecurity regulations for the bulk electric system—known as Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards. The CIP standards are relatively unique: they are developed through an unusual model of industry-led regulation that places industry, and not federal regulators, at the center of regulatory design and enforcement. The CIP regulations have received a significant amount of criticism. Critics argue that the regulations are incomplete at best and irreparably flawed at worst. The author examines the lessons we can learn from the CIP standards and poses a provocative question: Are the regulations actually a secret success?
February 2, 2015
The closer the Western powers and Iran come to a negotiated settlement, the more we hear the West and Iran are destined to be enemies. Can the political establishment in the West and Israel ever say 'yes' to peaceful co-existence with the Islamic Republic? CrossTalking with Charles Cogan, Chuck Freilich, and Jim Lobe.
Op-Ed, Optics and Photonics News
By Benjamin Franta, Research Fellow, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program
Does campaigning for social change have a place in the scientific identity?
Journal Article, politique étrangère, issue 4, volume 79
By Lucas Kello, Associate, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program/Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age
The cyber revolution challenges conventional mechanisms of deterrence and conflict management. It is difficult to attribute responsibility for and even detect cyberoperations. The growing ability of nonstate actors to conduct offensive action further complicates the design of measures to repulse it. A large-scale cyberattack could instigate an intensifying spiral of escalation involving conventional strikes.
January 30, 2015
Op-Ed, Foreign Policy
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"As a public service, therefore, I offer the following Top 10 Questions to ask Ash Carter at his confirmation hearing....Under what conditions would you recommend the use of force against Iran's nuclear facilities? Given that a military attack could delay an Iranian bomb for only a year or two, and would probably increase Iran's desire to obtain an actual deterrent, does keeping 'all options on the table' make sense?..."
January 30, 2015
By Juliette Kayyem, Lecturer in Public Policy
"And anyone who follows the news will be aware of the litany of potential threats to an event being watched by millions of people across the globe — ISIS, a lone wolf terrorist, a deranged individual with too much weaponry, cyber villains, enemies of the state with weaponized drones, an unvaccinated kid with the measles....But stopping all bad things from happening can't possibly be the sole standard for judging these efforts. Instead, the less understood idea of response planning should be seen as of primary importance."