Reports & Papers

1496 Items

Report Chapter - Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Al-Shabab in Somalia: The Resilience of Al-Qaeda's East African Affiliate

| June 2017

This chapter examines the trajectory of Al-Shabab since 2011 and the factors behind its continued resilience in Somalia and East Africa including its expansion into Kenya and other neighboring countries and its responses to growing challenges from the Somali Federal Government, African Union Mission to Somalia forces, and Islamic State.

teaser image

Report - Washington Institute for Near East Policy

How Al-Qaeda Survived Drones, Uprisings, and the Islamic State: The Nature of the Current Threat

  • Aaron Y. Zelin
| June 2017

In this new Policy Focus, Washington Institute fellow Aaron Y. Zelin compiles case studies demonstrating how each part of al-Qaeda's network has evolved and survived the various challenges it has faced roughly since the Obama administration took office. Written by eminent scholars, practitioners, and government officials from the United States and abroad, the chapters are informed by a recent workshop in which the participants gave candid, off-the-record assessments of numerous key issues, including al-Qaeda's current strategic outlook, a close examination of its branch in Syria, its branches outside of Syria (AQAP, AQIM, al-Shabab, and AQIS), and its current financial situation.

A man wears a Guy Fawkes mask and carries his daughter during a celebration by the Muslim Brotherhood movement to declare victory of Gaza and Hamas against Israel, in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon

Paper - Intelligence and Defense

The Muslim Brotherhood: A Failure in Political Evolution

| July 2017

While the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) started as a movement centered on resistance to what it saw as the Westernization, or de-Islamization, of Muslim culture, it soon realized that resistance was only as effective as its access to power. Thus began the group’s long attempt to infiltrate the halls of governance. As this report will show, these attempts have failed. In essence, the tree of the Muslim Brotherhood has been unable to flower into a viable governmental structure for the Arab world because it is still fed by its oppositionist roots.

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Artificial Intelligence and National Security

  • Greg Allen
  • Taniel Chan
| July 2017

In this piece, we propose three goals for developing future policy on AI and national security: preserving U.S. technological leadership, supporting peaceful and commercial use, and mitigating catastrophic risk. By looking at four prior cases of transformative military technology—nuclear, aerospace, cyber, and biotech—we develop lessons learned and recommendations for national security policy toward AI.

United States. Central Intelligence Agency. The Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands. Scale 1:2,000,000. Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, 1992.

CIA map, 1992.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea: A Practical Guide

| June 2017

By virtue of geography, the South China Sea is home to some of the world’s most important shipping lanes. Ships carrying exports and imports between markets in Asia and in Europe, Africa, and the Americas must transit through the South China Sea; it is estimated that $5.3 trillion in trade passes through the region annually. Circumnavigating the region would involve both considerable expense and time delay in the delivery of goods. As a result, most nations have a direct stake in ensuring that freedom of navigation is respected in the South China Sea.

Unfortunately, however, the South China Sea is home to a number of longstanding territorial disputes. Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam have overlapping sovereignty claims to various maritime features and areas of water in the South China Sea. Most of these territorial disputes center on features located in the Paracel and Spratly island groups.

Solar panels at sunrise.

Karsten Würth

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy

| June 28, 2017

For a century, the geopolitics of energy has been synonymous with the
geopolitics of oil and gas. However, geopolitics and the global energy economy
are both changing. The international order predominant since the
end of World War II faces mounting challenges. At the same time, renewable
energy is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, the geopolitics of renewable
energy has received relatively little attention, especially when considering
the far-reaching consequences of a global shift to renewable energy.

The paper starts with a discussion of seven renewable energy scenarios
for the coming decades: the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2016, the EIA’s
International Energy Outlook 2016, IRENA’s REmap 2016, Bloomberg’s
New Energy Outlook 2016, BP’s Energy Outlook 2016, Exxon-Mobil’s Outlook
for Energy 2016 and the joint IEA and IRENA G20 de-carbonization

Paper - Cyber Security Project, Belfer Center

Countering the Proliferation of Malware

| June 27, 2017

Malicious software is adapted, stolen, bought, and used everyday on a global scale. There are better ways to counter this proliferation than export controls. Policymakers should strengthen incentives for researchers and the private sector to rapidly identify software vulnerabilities, disclose them to developers, patch those vulnerabilities, and adopt those patches. Building on previous debates, this paper makes specific recommendations to shorten the lifecycle of vulnerabilities and improve the short term health of the software security ecosystem.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Security Science, July 2015

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Discussion Paper - Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center

When Did (and Didn’t) States Proliferate?

| June 2017

In this Project on Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Philipp C. Bleek chronicles nuclear weapons proliferation choices throughout the nuclear age. Since the late 1930s and early 1940s, some thirty-one countries are known to have at least explored the possibility of establishing a nuclear weapons program. Seventeen of those countries launched weapons programs, and ten acquired deliverable nuclear weapons.