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A battle-scarred home draped with an Israeli flag in Kibbutz Be'eri, an Israeli communal farm on the Gaza border. AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov

AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Challenging Biases and Assumptions in Analysis: Could Israel Have Averted Intelligence Failure?

| April 2024

The human tragedy continuing to unfold in Gaza and Israel reminds us how important it is to get strategic forecasting right. While in no way excusing Hamas’ culpability for 7 October, we also cannot dismiss the fact that the failure to anticipate and prepare for such an attack has had grave consequences for communities on both sides of this conflict, undermined efforts to bring peace and prosperity to the region, and affected global interests through the expansion of the conflict to the Red Sea and potentially beyond. 

A composite image of a tank being loaded on a truck as people line the streets and two paper masks of Vladimir Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin.

AP Photos/Uncredited

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

Putin and Prigozhin: It’s Complicated

| July 28, 2023

In the wake of Wagner boss Yevgheny Prigozhin’s 36-hour mutiny and the scant and the confusing smoke signals emanating from the Kremlin since then, evidence of Vladimir Putin’s decision-making disfunction and his way forward are coming into focus.  How he manages these issues in the coming weeks may very well determine Putin’s ability to maintain his grip on power over the long run.

In this image released by the Department of Defense on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, a U.S. Air Force U-2 pilot looks down at a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon as it hovers over the United States on Feb. 3, 2023.

Department of Defense via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The Chinese Balloon Was a Necessary Wake-Up Call

| Feb. 23, 2023

The United States tends to react to unexpected events with a combination of fear, political recrimination, and bravado—not a particularly effective mix when it comes to evaluating and responding to potential crises. Despite widespread expressions of concern, some warranted and some hyperbolic, the Chinese surveillance balloon spotted over Montana (and tracked across the country before a fighter jet shot it down over the Atlantic) did not represent a crisis. In fact, it was a gift from Beijing: a necessary wake-up call about the shortcomings in the United States’ national defense. 

Burned-out cars after clashes on a street in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on January 7, 2022.

AP Photo/Vasily Krestyaninov

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Washington Must Step Up Its Engagement in Central Asia

| Jan. 27, 2022

This month, protests in Kazakhstan sparked by a sharp increase in gas prices and caused by discontent with the government spread across the country. The unrest and the ensuing violence serve not only as a cautionary tale for other Central Asian countries but also as a wake-up call for the United States. Washington needs a more coherent and dynamic policy for the region, which lies at the crossroads of Russia and China and is more unstable than many outside observers understand. It is time for the United States to shift its approach and increase its engagement in Central Asia.