Analysis & Opinions

7716 Items

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Questions from Quarantine: Vaccines and the Public Health Response

The Security and Global Health Project is proud to present a weekly web series with Security Mom Juliette Kayyem and Medicine Mom Dr. Margaret Bourdeaux. Each week, our experts will answer your questions from quarantine and give you advice on staying sane and sanitary in a global crisis. We hope you'll join our Moms every Tuesday, and if you have a question that you want answered, tweet with #QuestionsFromQuarantine.

Donald Trump is greeted by Kurt Heise, left, Supervisor of Plymouth Township, Mich., and Speaker Lee Chatfield, of the Michigan House of Representatives

AP/Alex Brandon, File

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

What Makes Trump's Subversion Efforts So Alarming? His Collaborators

| Nov. 23, 2020

Henry J. Farrell and Bruce Schneier detail how Americans' shared beliefs about democracy can break down when political insiders make bogus claims about general fraud, trying to cling to power when the election has gone against them.

Flags stand arrayed

State Department Photo/Public Domain

Analysis & Opinions - Economist

America’s foreign service

| Nov. 20, 2020

Joe Biden, the president-elect, wants to end his country’s “forever wars” and believes diplomacy should be “the first instrument of American power”. He promises to reinvest in America’s hollowed-out diplomatic corps, the better to nurture alliances and tackle the global issues of the future, such as climate change and great-power competition. But how to make the foreign service fit for the future? Two new reports, one from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a think-tank, the other the result of an extensive project at Harvard University, offer thoughts.

Both say the State Department is in crisis. Its problems stretch back well beyond the Trump administration but have deepened dramatically under it. Morale is low, budgets are squeezed and the foreign service is suffering from an exodus of talent. Diplomats’ careers are stymied by the politicisation of senior posts. For the first time in a century, not one of the 23 Senate-confirmed assistant-secretary positions is a serving career official, and 43% of ambassadors are political appointees, also a modern record. The story on diversity is dismal: in March the Senior Foreign Service was 90% white and 69% male. Only five of 189 ambassadors are African-American (over their two terms, Barack Obama appointed 46 African-American ambassadors and George W. Bush had 44). Under Donald Trump, a quarter-century trend of rising female ambassadors has gone into reverse.

Nicholas Burns

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions - MSNBC

NYT reports Pres. Trump sought options for attacking Iran

| Nov. 17, 2020

Nick Burns, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and Peter Baker join Andrea Mitchell to discuss the national security threats that accompany the stalled transition and the New York Times' new reporting on President Trump seeking military action against Iran's main nuclear site. "If we launched a military attack on any target in Iran, what we know about the Iranians is they do hit back," Amb. Burns says. "They could try to kidnap or kill American citizens anywhere in the world. They’ve done that in the past.”

America needs to invest more in diplomacy

Nick Lowndes

Analysis & Opinions - The Economist

America needs to invest more in diplomacy

| Nov. 17, 2020

WHO WILL run the world in 2021? International institutions such as the United Nations have been weakened by great-power rivalry. Russia will be a spoiler, not a leader. In Europe, Boris Johnson will have his hands full with the aftermath of Brexit, Germany’s Angela Merkel will leave the stage and France’s Emmanuel Macron has limited means to pursue his grand ideas. China is the rising superpower, and an increasingly assertive one, but not yet keen, let alone able, to take on the burdens of world leadership. The question is whether America, under President Joe Biden, will be prepared to step back into the role.