September 22, 2015 – Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, shakes hands with former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. (AP)


The Key to Henry Kissinger’s Success

December 1, 2015

In his new biography of Henry Kissinger, Belfer Center Baord Member Niall Ferguson recalls that halfway through what became an eight-year research project, he had an epiphany. Tracing the story of how a young man from Nazi Germany became America’s greatest living statesman, he discovered not only the essence of Kissinger’s statecraft, but the missing gene in modern American diplomacy: an understanding of history.

Read More ›


A Conversation with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter

Live stream will be available. Dec. 1, 6PM ET.

More Info ›



COP21 & The Pathway to Paris

Harvard Kennedy School at the Paris Climate Conference

More ›




Creative Commons

November/December 2015

"ISIS as Revolutionary State"

Foreign Affairs

By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"Regional actors will no doubt try to pass the buck and get Americans to do their fighting for them. U.S. leaders should reject such ploys politely but firmly and pass the buck right back. ISIS is not an existential threat to the United States, to Middle Eastern energy supplies, to Israel, or to any other vital U.S. interest, so U.S. military forces have no business being sent into harm's way to fight it."



October 27, 2015

"Just Say No To Bashar"

The Huffington Post

By Charles G. Cogan, Associate, International Security Program

"How can we say to history that we helped maintain in power the man ultimately responsible for the repression of an uprising that began peacefully and which has caused the deaths of more than 200,000 people, amid gas and barrel bomb attacks, and has produced four million externally displaced and eight million internally displaced persons. If he is not to answer to this tragedy, he can at least leave power."




November 3, 2015

"We're Putting Lives in Danger By Not Clarifying What It Takes to Get Asylum in Europe"

The World Post

By Jill Goldenziel, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program

"...[V]ulnerable people must be empowered to make informed decisions to avoid interrupting their livelihoods and their children's educations, decimating their savings and at worst, losing their lives. Wealthier nations seeking to avoid expensive border clashes, security controls, asylum processing and political costs have every incentive to help them do so."



Creative Commons

October 29, 2015

"Why Obama Should Just Let Putin Have the Mess in Syria"

Foreign Policy

By Emile Simpson, Ernest May Fellow in History and Policy, International Security Program

"President Barack Obama could use this moment to devise a real political strategy, rather than oscillating between moralizing tirades against Putin's support for what remains of the Syrian state and the apolitical, meaningless mission of degrading the Islamic State. U.S. strikes in Syria should only be tied to positively defined goals, such as counterterrorism to defend U.S. interests, stopping the Islamic State from resupplying operations to Iraq, or supporting Kurdish enclaves."


<em>International Security</em>

The fall 2015 issue of the quarterly journal International Security
is now available

  1. Why the United States Should Spread Democracy
  2. COP-21 & The Pathway to Paris
  3. Strategic Engineered Migration as a Weapon of War
The Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International affairs has been ranked the world's top University Affiliated Think Tank for 2014.

The annual ranking were issued by University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program. More Info ›

Receive email updates on the most pressing topics in science and international affairs