April 20, 2016
Op-Ed, Agence Global
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"A flurry of press reports and analyses about the future of Syria, like the regular Elvis Presley sightings I always enjoy, are dramatic, captivating, slightly wondrous, and fill a basic psychological need. Most of what we hear about the future demographic configuration, borders, or ruling power structure of Syria is titillating speculation. The actual outcomes in Syria will reflect domestic, regional, and international factors that are all unknown today..."
April 18, 2016
By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program
Created as a state only in 1830, largely at the instigation of the British, who wanted it as a buffer against possible further French imperialism, it could be argued that the country could have been divided along linguistic lines, between France and the Netherlands.
April 18, 2016
Op-Ed, Foreign Policy
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"Gazing solely in the rearview mirror also discourages us from thinking about the actual problems we face today and devising constructive and creative solutions to them. Case in point: The United States is not going to go back to being a society with a comfortable Anglo-Protestant majority, no matter how much some people might want it to be. It's not going to be a country where gay people are back in the closet. It is not going to have a nuclear monopoly; it's not likely to turn its back on global trade (and if it does, it will be poorer), and it's not going to be able to dictate terms to anybody who gets in our way."
April 18, 2016
Magazine or Newspaper Article, Harvard International Review
By Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School
This Harvard International Review piece examines the use of pop culture as a diplomatic strategy stands in appealing, warm, and humane opposition to the threat of military power. “Cultural programs are a demonstration of our good faith. They can help to change the mood if successful,” said Nicholas Burns, former Under Secretary of State under the Bush Administration and Harvard Kennedy School professor.
April 18, 2016
Op-Ed, The Boston Globe
By Niall Ferguson, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
When I was a little boy, my mother liked to quote the following quatrain (sometimes attributed to the New York wit Dorothy Parker):
See the happy moron,
He doesn’t give a damn,
I wish I were a moron,
My God! perhaps I am!
I often think of the happy moron when I settle down to the read the International Monetary Fund’s semiannual publication, the World Economic Outlook. Almost without fail, this publication acknowledges that its previous projections were too optimistic and need to be revised downwards. The Fund’s economists then proceed to make new projections, surely knowing that they too will soon need to be revised downwards.
The world order that was created in the aftermath of World War II has produced immense benefits for peoples across the planet. The past 70 years have seen an unprecedented growth in prosperity, lifting billions out of poverty. Democratic government, once rare, has spread to over 100 nations around the world, on every continent, for people of all races and religions. And, although the period has been marked by war and suffering as well, peace among the great powers has been preserved. There has been no recurrence of the two devastating world wars of the first half of the 20th century.
NOTE: This white paper is republished with peermission from the World Economic Forum, the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The views expressed in this paper are those of the Global Agenda Council on the United States and do not necessarily represent the views of the World Economic Forum or its Members and Partners.
Op-Ed, The Environmental Forum, issue 3, volume 33
By Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
"The problem has not been solved, and it will not be for years to come, but the new approach brought about by the Paris Agreement can be a key step toward reducing the threat of global climate change. The agreement is only a foundation for moving forward, but it is a sufficiently broad and sensible foundation to make increased ambition feasible for the first time. Whether the agreement is ultimately successful, whether this foundation for progress is effectively exploited over the years ahead by the parties to the agreement, is something we will know only 10, 20, or more years from now."
April 12, 2016
Op-Ed, Arab News
By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
"In addition to a revival of Scottish separatism, Britain's inward turn in recent years could accelerate. And over the longer run, the effects on the global balance of power and the liberal international order — in which Britain has a strong national interest — would be negative."
April 11, 2016
Op-Ed, Just Security
By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
There has been much public criticism concerning European counterterrorism failings in the wake of the Paris and Brussels attacks. It has been widely reported in the media that the US intelligence community was well aware of clear deficiencies in this regard. In fact, after the Paris bombing, senior US officials publicly promised to provide the French with the same level of information that the US has been providing to the British for years. Such expressions of support raise a question: Why was the US not providing that level of information to the French before the Paris attacks?
It is well and good that the US and European counterterrorism partners intend to re-commit to two-way, broad information sharing on a near real time basis. For without robust information sharing as a foundation for cooperation, there is a strong possibility that threat-related information will not be passed until after the fact. The dangers of inadequate information are aggravated in the case of unprecedented attacks, because the “dots” or indicators of a plot that has never occurred would presumably be harder for analysts to identify and neutralize.
April 11, 2016
By Zachary D. Kaufman, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program
"Some may argue that the US government bears no moral responsibility, as it did not directly participate in this human experimentation. But the United States declined to hold many of the perpetrators accountable, and benefited materially as well. US government officials were interested in the potential utility of the work of Ishii and other Japanese, however unethical, to the US military. Senior American officials felt that obtaining data from the experiments was more valuable than bringing those involved to justice, because the information could be used to advance the US government’s own weapons development program."