In the Spotlight

Trump anti-Muslim travel ban supporters

AP

The White House's approach to the world's second largest religion is a strategic disaster.

More from Stephen M. Walt

Lyndon Johnson Vietnam

LBJ Library

In the enormous and growing literature on the Vietnam War, one journalist's work still stands out for its insight and sagacity.

Explore the Applied History Project

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

AP

The growing dangers posed by North Korea and China offer a stark reminder that attitudes and platitudes alone will not succeed in East Asia.

Check out Thucydides Trap

Diplomacy

Diplomacy ResearchRSS

Diplomacy Experts

Paula J. Dobriansky

Paula J. Dobriansky

Senior Fellow, The Future of Diplomacy Project

Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander

Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander

Senior Fellow, The Future of Diplomacy Project

Michele Gelfand

Michele Gelfand

Visting Scholar, Middle East Initiative

Energy & Environment

Energy & Environment ResearchRSS

A view of the Yangtze River near Chongqing city.

© Landsat/Copernicus. Used with Permission.

The world has witnessed a new era of cooperation on climate change between the United States and China. This cooperation between the world’s two largest economies and carbon emitters played a fundamental role in the international negotiations leading up to the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015. This includes, in particular, the joint announcement of their respective post-2020 climate actions in November 2014 and the crafting of common visions on key issues related to the Paris Outcome in September 2015. The world has high expectations that the United States and China will enhance their future collaboration on climate change. These expectations will be the cornerstone of translating the Paris vision into action. Furthermore, the Joint Presidential Statement released in March 2016 also stressed that “joint efforts by the United States and China on climate change will serve as an enduring legacy of the partnership between our two countries”.

Energy & Environment Experts

William C. Clark

William C. Clark

Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Faculty Chair, Environment and Natural Resources Program; Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Area Chair, HKS International and Global Affairs

Robert N. Stavins

Robert N. Stavins

Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements; Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Director, Harvard Environmental Economics Program; Chair, Environment and Natural Resources Faculty Group; Chairman, Ph.D. Programs in Public Policy and Political Economy & Government; Co-Chair, Kennedy School–Harvard Business School Joint Degree Programs

David Keith

David Keith

Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Science & Technology

Science & Technology ResearchRSS

Server racks inside a data center at American Electrical Power headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, May 2015.

AP

In a drumbeat of news stories and corporate press releases, one phrase has dramatically grown in use over the last decade: “sophisticated cyber attack.” These words have been used to describe specific intrusions into telecommunication providers, insurance companies, social media hubs, banks, the Pentagon, a host of security firms, government agencies, research labs, movie studios, and much more. It seems the world is awash in sophisticated network intrusions. 

But if everything is sophisticated, nothing is. This paper unpacks “sophistication” in cyber operations, exploring what it means, and what it should mean, for an operation to attain such a status. It examines the incentives for victims and observers to overstate the sophistication of other actors. Additionally, it offers a more rigorous framework for defining the term that takes into account technical and operational factors. But deploying the lens of sophistication by itself can be misleading; this paper also explores the incentives some actors have to deploy less sophisticated capabilities. 
 

Science & Technology Experts

Jeffrey Frankel

Jeffrey Frankel

James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth

Calestous Juma

Calestous Juma

Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa; Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Michael Sulmeyer

Michael Sulmeyer

Director, Cyber Security Project

Security

Security ResearchRSS

Strategies of Nuclear Proliferation: How States Pursue the Bomb

AP

Understanding which nuclear proliferation strategies are available to states and how to thwart them is crucial for global security. Analysis of the strategies chosen by potential proliferators, and particularly the history of India’s nuclear program, shows how states choose among four possible proliferation strategies: hedging, sprinting, hiding, and sheltered pursuit. Each strategy has vulnerabilities that can be exploited to prevent proliferation.

Security Experts

Joseph S. Nye

Joseph S. Nye

Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor; Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Steven E. Miller

Steven E. Miller

Director, International Security Program; Editor-in-Chief, International Security; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom; Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Kate Cronin-Furman

Kate Cronin-Furman

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, International Security Program