Nuclear Issues

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Security Line at an Airport

ahlynk/Flickr

Analysis & Opinions - The Atlantic

The Recurring Folly of ‘If You See Something, Say Something’

| Jan. 06, 2020

Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers on Friday that their city might be subject to retaliatory attacks from Iran. “I’m not saying this to be alarmist,” the mayor said as he and his underlings ticked off—in a slightly alarming fashion—a series of defensive measures the city might take after the American air strike that killed the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Though the New York Police Department had received no specific, credible threats, de Blasio and other officials warned of more bag checks at the subways and increased police presence throughout the city. The city is no stranger to terrorism and would maintain a better-safe-than-sorry posture. “If you see something, say something,” de Blasio said.

Recent talk of homeland threats, and the just-in-case operational response, are based on nothing more than the rather uncontroversial assessment that Iran will feel obliged to do something to respond to the killing of Soleimani. The homeland-security practices to which Americans became accustomed after 9/11 long ago became a bad habit—one more divorced than ever before from the kinds of threats the United States might actually face. Intended to calm the public, gestures like the ones de Blasio described presume that Iran would be both reckless and capable enough to target an American city—and that greater vigilance alone would prepare us for that possibility. Now nearly two decades old, the post-9/11 style of security theater also risks masking the real vulnerabilities in the American homeland against a potential Iranian action.

Nicholas Burns on CNC

CNBC

Analysis & Opinions - CNBC

"Trump's 'Rocket Man' Comment Tends to Divide People"

| Sep. 18, 2017

Amb. Nicholas Burns, Harvard Kennedy School professor and former undersecretary of State for political affairs (2005 to 2008), provides his thoughts on the Trump administration's handling of North Korea's threat, and the message Kim Jong Un is attempting to send by lobbing missiles over Japan.

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall

U.S. Department of Energy

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

Former Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall Named Senior Fellow With Harvard's Belfer Center

| July 12, 2017

Former Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall is joining Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a Senior Fellow, the Center announced today. Sherwood-Randall, who has served in the White House and Departments of Energy and Defense, is returning to the Center where she worked in the 1990s to help establish two pioneering projects – the Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project with Graham Allison, who this month stepped down as the Center’s director, and the Preventive Defense Project with Ash Carter, the former Secretary of Defense who is the new Belfer Center director.

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

Q&A with Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall

| July 12, 2017

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, former Deputy Secretary of Energy who has served in high-level positions at the White House and Pentagon, joined Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center as a non-resident Senior Fellow in July. Sherwood-Randall is returning to the Kennedy School where she previously collaborated with Ash Carter, the Belfer Center’s newly appointed director, and Graham Allison, who stepped down as Center director this month. We asked Sherwood-Randall to give us some background on her Harvard connections, why she returned, and what she hopes to accomplish as a Senior Fellow.

Cathryn Cluver Ashbrook on NDR

NDR

Analysis & Opinions - Norddeutscher Rundfunk

Cathryn Cluver Ashbrook discusses importance of wording of the G-20 communique on NDR Aktuell Extra (in German)

| July 07, 2017

Cathryn Cluver Ashbrook, Executive Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project, discusses the importance of the final wording of the G-20 communique, particularly with respect to the climate change and energy policy dossiers, noting different approaches to achieve transatlantic compromise. She underlines the importance of high-level meetings such as the G-20 to address critical global challenges, including multilateral responses to North Korea’s provocations and the ongoing conflict in Syria.

President Barack Obama meets with members of this national security team and cybersecurity advisers.

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Stat

Why President Trump Needs to Finally Name a Science Advisor

| Apr. 05, 2017

"Every president stocks the White House with people who can advise him on the economy, national defense, and foreign relations. And nearly all presidents in modern times have understood that science and technology are so central to all of those top-tier issues — and practically every other issue on the nation’s agenda — that science and technology advice in the White House is no less essential."

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Russian businessmen in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016.

(AP)

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

A Blueprint for Donald Trump to Fix Relations with Russia

| December 18, 2016

In a "policy memo" to President-elect Donald Trump, Graham Allison and Dimitri K. Simes write: "The two Chinese characters that make up the word “crisis” can be interpreted as meaning both “danger” and “opportunity.” Russia today offers your administration not only a serious challenge but a significant opportunity.

Russia is no longer the Evil Empire the United States confronted over decades of Cold War. Nonetheless, Russia remains a player whose choices affect vital U.S. interests profoundly across the agenda of global issues. First and foremost, Russia remains the only nation that can erase the United States from the map in thirty minutes.