Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama shake hands at the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales (Tom Robinson/Number 10).


Restoring the Power and Purpose of NATO

June 24, 2016

As NATO leaders prepare to meet next month, the Alliance faces the greatest threats to peace in Europe since the end of the Cold War. What is needed most is political leadership backed by a long-term strategy, write Nicholas Burns and General James Jones in a new report. More ›

See Also:

Russia: Playing Hardball or Bidding Farewell to Europe? More ›


Government's Role in Vulnerability Disclosure

A new cyber paper by Ari Schwartz and Rob Knake.

Read Here ›



The Case Against Peace

Stephen Walt warns about the downsides of peace.

Read Here ›




June 7, 2016


By Kurt M. Campbell, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

This book is about a necessary course correction for American diplomacy, commercial engagement, and military innovation during a time of unrelenting and largely unrewarding conflict. While the United States has intensified its focus on the Asia-Pacific arena relative to previous administrations, much more remains to be done.

THE PIVOT is about that future. It explores how the United States should construct a strategy that will position it to maneuver across the East and offers a clarion call for cunning, dexterity, and ingenuity in the period ahead for American statecraft in the Asia-Pacific region.



White House

July/August 2016

"The Case for Offshore Balancing: A Superior U.S. Grand Strategy"

Foreign Affairs

By John J. Mearsheimer, Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security and Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program

"For nearly a century, in short, offshore balancing prevented the emergence of dangerous regional hegemons and pre­served a global balance of power that enhanced American security. Tellingly, when U.S. policymakers deviated from that strategy—as they did in Vietnam, where the United States had no vital interests—the result was a costly failure."



Summer 2016

From the Director

Belfer Center Newsletter

By Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

What is the most serious danger facing the world today?

Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Mohamed ElBaradei, and Dick Cheney all give the same answer: nuclear terrorism. If terrorists succeed in exploding a nuclear weapon in New York, Boston, or London, the other issues we care about will not matter much.

In 2009, President Obama proposed an ambitious agenda to address this danger. Among the steps he called for was a Global Summit on Nuclear Security. Seven years and four summits later, including the final one this spring in Washington, we can take stock of progress—and the Belfer Center’s role in helping conceive and sustain it. Policy impact is rarely a simple case of cause and effect.



(Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

June 7, 2016

"Midnight in Moscow"

By Torrey Taussig and Kevin Ryan, Director, Defense and Intelligence Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

A quarter-century after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, authoritarianism is staging a comeback. Nowhere is this trend more evident than in Russia, where Putin is progressing from consolidating power within Russia’s borders to projecting power beyond them. In response, the world continues to watch and react.

Later this month, members of the European Union will decide whether to renew sanctions against Russia in response to Putin’s continued aggression in eastern Ukraine. In July, NATO will convene in Warsaw for its annual summit to determine the most effective steps to take in the face of an encroaching Russia. What is not likely to be discussed in these deliberations, however, are the political conditions within Russia that are influencing Putin's actions abroad.


<em>International Security</em>

The spring 2016 issue of the quarterly journal International Security
is now available

  1. Why the United States Should Spread Democracy
  2. Government's Role in Vulnerability Disclosure: Creating a Permanent and Accountable Vulnerability Equities Process
  3. Ideal Qualities of a Successful Diplomat

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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 ›