68 Items

teaser image

News

U.S.-Russia Elbe Group Issues Joint Statement

| Apr. 09, 2019

The Elbe Group – consisting of retired senior military and intelligence officials from the U.S. and Russia – met in Reykjavik, Iceland in March 2019 to discuss a range of issues including strategic stability, cyber security, counter terrorism, the Middle East, questions related to nuclear security, the status of the Iran nuclear agreement, the future of nuclear nonproliferation, and Arctic issues.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Group agreed on a statement of common goals.

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

Keeping Communications Open Despite U.S.-Russia Friction

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

For the past eight years, a group of high-level American and Russian retired military and intelligence officials has met annually to discuss sensitive issues of U.S. - Russian relations. The purpose of the Elbe Group, launched by the Belfer Center in 2008, is to keep open an important channel of communications between the two countries that have the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons. in the world. 

John Breannan gives the keynote speech at a public event at the LBJ Presidential Library on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015

(LBJ Library Photo/Gabriel Cristóver Pérez)

Analysis & Opinions - Just Security

Why I Signed the Former CIA Officials’ Letter on Clearances: In Defense of Rule of Law

| Aug. 20, 2018

I count myself among the skeptics concerning John Brennan’s organizational changes at the CIA, but such concerns have no bearing on the revocation of his clearances of other prominent national security officials. I signed the letter by former CIA officials repudiating the president’s actions because I am convinced that our nation is in a crisis. 

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, left, and former CIA chief Michael Hayden at the Watergate Hotel in May

Jared Soares/TIME

Analysis & Opinions - Just Security

Security Clearance Removals and Presidential Politicization of Intelligence

| July 27, 2018

The White House’s statement that it has “begun the mechanism to remove security clearances” for former senior intelligence officers General Michael Hayden, General James Clapper, and John Brennan should be judged in the light of the President’s disturbing pattern of silencing democratic forces — individuals, groups and institutions — that possess the temerity to challenge the authority and power of Donald Trump.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

(Alexei Nikolsky/AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Russia Already Gave Up on ‘Normal Relations’ with the U.S.

| July 20, 2018

When Russian President Vladimir Putin approved what U.S. authorities say was a GRU operation to meddle in the 2016 election, he undoubtedly expected it to deal a death blow to U.S.-Russian relations. U.S. intelligence would become aware of it at some point; that’s the risk of conducting an intelligence operation on this scale. The American people would surely be outraged. As in the past, both parties would unite to confront Russia. The questions that must have run through his mind: What do I have to lose? Are Russian interests fulfilled by attempting to reset this broken relationship with the Americans, or is our cause advanced by going on the offensive? For the weaker party — a country facing encroachment by NATO — isn’t offense the best defense?

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Analysis & Opinions - Just Security

Helsinki Summit: A Time for Choosing—Three observations by former senior CIA officer

| July 16, 2018

Rolf Mowatt-Larssen: "The US intelligence community can no longer trust the President’s judgment after he clearly sided with Russia in the Mueller investigation and the underlying intelligence information that formed the basis of the indictments of twelve Russian military intelligence officers."

Donald Trump in Syracuse, New York, April 16, 2016; Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, April 14, 2016

Carlo Allegri/Reuters; Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Analysis & Opinions - The Cipher Brief

Top-Down Presidential Leadership: The Helsinki Summit

| July 11, 2018

Two conditions are clear as the U.S. and Russian Presidents prepare meet in Helsinki. First, U.S.-Russian relations are arguably at their lowest point since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Second, both presidents have domestic realities that constrain their flexibility to achieve compromise in the many areas that have caused relations to falter.