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East West Institute

Analysis & Opinions

Nicholas Burns: A Changing U.S. Foreign Policy

| Mar. 27, 2018

Staffing gaps and significant personnel changes at the State Department have raised concerns about the direction of U.S. foreign policy, especially amid public statements by President Donald Trump concerning American alliances and positions on issues around the world. Ambassador Cameron Munter invites Ambassador Nicholas Burns to share his insights and ideas, including on timely topics such as the U.S.-Russia relationship following the re-election of Vladimir Putin, Transatlantic relations and changing perceptions about the future role of NATO, and a possible meeting between President Trump and his North Korean counterpart on nuclear nonproliferation and security.

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Analysis & Opinions - NPR

After Missile Launch, White House Warns Iran But Offers No Action Plan

| Feb. 02, 2017

Nicholas Burns talks with NPR's All Things Considered 

The White House says it's putting Iran officially "on notice" after its missile launch over the weekend. But officials offered no details on what exactly that means, or whether military options are on the table. It's another example of what's already emerging as a pattern for the Trump administration: coming out swinging with tough words, before having consulted or decided on an actual policy.

A Russian military medic inspects a patient near the village of Maarzaf, 15 kilometers northwest of Hama, in Syria, Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

News

Podcast: Humanitarian Negotiations Series: Negotiation with Non-State Armed Groups at the Frontlines

Dec. 21, 2016

A podcast from the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action produced from a Middle East Initiative event on humanitarian negotiations with non-state armed groups featuring Professor Claude Bruderlein; Ashley Jackson; Stig Jarle Hansen; and Abdi Ismail Isse.

In this photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, a destroyed ambulance is seen outside the Syrian Civil Defense main center after airstrikes in Ansari neighborhood in the rebel-held part of eastern Aleppo, Syria, Friday

Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP

News

Podcast: Humanitarian Negotiation Series: Protection of Medical Personnel and Operations at the Frontlines

October 26, 2016

A podcast from the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) program produced from a Middle East Initiative event on humanitarian negotiations to protect medical personnel and infrastructure on the frontlines of conflict zones on Thursday, October 6, 2016, featuring Professor Claude Bruderlein; Michael VanRooyen, Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; Chairman, Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine, Professor, Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; François Stamm, Head of Delegation for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Washington, D.C.; Adrienne Fricke, Senior Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Visiting Scientist, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Audio

Podcast: "Security States, Failed States, Islamic States: The Causes and Consequences of the Crisis of Arab Statehood" with Rami Khouri

| December 22, 2015

An audio recording of a public talk by Rami Khouri, MEI Non-Resident Senior Fellow; Senior Fellow, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy, American University of Beirut; Syndicated Columnist.

News

What’s at Stake in Paris - Diplomacy & Policy at the Climate Change Talks

Nov. 22, 2015

Opening the joint CLIMATE CHANGE DIPLOMACY WEEK event series, speakers and leading climate change experts from both Harvard and beyond participated in a panel discussion titled "What's at Stake in Paris?: Diplomacy and Policy at the Climate Change Talks," moderated by the Future of Diplomacy Project Faculty Director, R. Nicholas Burns, and co-hosted with the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements on November 9. The speakers comprised of Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology at Harvard University, Daniel Schrag;former Costa Rican Minister of Environment and Energy, René Castro; former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs and chief climate negotiator, Paula Dobriansky; and Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government and Director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Robert Stavins. Together panellists weighed in on the upcoming UNFCCC talks to be held in Paris in December and the overarching policy issues at play.

An Egyptian Army Helicopter flies over a crowd of pro-military demonstrators at Tahrir Square on July 26, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.

AP Images

News

Podcast Collection: Rethinking the Arab State - Spring 2015 MEI Study Group with Prof. Michael C. Hudson

May 13, 2015

Audio recordings from MEI's Spring 2015 Study Group Rethinking the Arab State: the Collapse of Legitimacy in Arab Politics, with Professor Michael C. Hudson.

During the Spring 2015 semester, Prof. Hudson hosted a distinguished group of scholars to re-examine the foundational concepts of legitimacy, the state, civil society, religion, and regional stability in the wake of the Arab Uprisings.

News

Podcast: "Can the United States 'Manage' the Middle East? Should it Try?" with Stephen M. Walt

| May 5, 2015

An audio recording from Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School.

On April 29, 2015 at MEI, Prof. Stephen Walt assessed U.S. policy and interests in the Middle East, arguing that scaled back involvement might yield better results for the U.S. and the region.