128 Items

Coronavirus

U.S. Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Kennedy School

How COVID-19 has changed public policy

| June 24, 2020

For months, the coronavirus has crawled across the globe. One person at a time, it has passed through millions, reaching every corner of the earth. And it has not only infected people, but every aspect of our human cultures. Policymakers and the public sector face their biggest test in generations—some say ever—as lives and livelihoods hang in a terrible, delicate balance. Facing health crises, economic collapse, social and political disruption, we try to take stock of what the pandemic has done and will do. We asked Harvard Kennedy School faculty, in fields ranging from climate change to international development, from democracy to big power relations, to tell us how this epochal event has changed the world.

Vladimir Putin

TASS Russian News Agency

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Pinning Down Putin

| June 09, 2020

Few nations elicit such fatalism among American policymakers and analysts as Vladimir Putin’s Russia. For some, the country is an irredeemable pariah state, responsive only to harsh punishment and containment. Others see a wronged and resurgent great power that deserves more accommodation. Perspectives vary by the day, the issue, and the political party. Across the board, however, resignation has set in about the state of U.S.-Russian relations, and Americans have lost confidence in their own ability to change the game.

Boris Johnson addresses reporters.

U.S. State Department Photo / Public Domain

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Letter from London on the coronavirus: An order to stay apart brought us together

| Apr. 02, 2020

Dear America,

In London there is much talk of a new “spirit of the Blitz” in the face of another deadly threat to us all.

But 80 years on, that spirit is expressing itself very differently. When the Luftwaffe bombs fell, to continue with normal life was an act of patriotic defiance. Now as COVID-19 spreads, to continue with normal life is an act of punishable deviance.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, sail in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force fly overhead in formation during Keen Sword 2019.

U.S. Navy photo / SPC Kaila V. Peters

Paper

Asia Whole and Free? Assessing the Viability and Practicality of a Pacific NATO

    Author:
  • Aaron Bartnick
| March 2020

This report will address four questions in the Pacific NATO debate. First, is there a historical precedent for a Pacific NATO? This report does find a precedent in the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), though it was largely unsuccessful due to its lack of regional adoption, weak mutual defense provisions, and ultimately became tainted by the Vietnam War.

Second, would such an alliance be necessary given the plethora of existing multilateral partnerships in the region? While there is a broad multilateral landscape in the Indo-Pacific, there is currently no agreement that combines both the wide reach and deep obligations of a hypothetical Pacific NATO. However, the Quad and RIMPAC do bring together many of the key Indo-Pacific powers and serve as an important foundation for U.S.-oriented multilateral regional security.

Third, how could such an alliance be structured? This report examines three options: expanding NATO’s mandate beyond Europe, building on its Enhanced Opportunity Partner (EOP) program, and creating a new alliance system. It also uses the case of Montenegro’s NATO accession to generate a broad set of criteria for future membership.

And fourth, how would Indo-Pacific nations, including China, respond to such an alliance? This would be exceedingly difficult. China has significant economic leverage over even our closest allies, like Australia and Japan.

Intractable internal disputes abound, particularly between South Korea and Japan and four nations—Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam—with competing claims in the South China Sea. Two of the United States’ most important partners in the region, India and Singapore, have a longstanding aversion to exactly this type of alliance system. And for newer partners, like Malaysia and Indonesia, the value proposition is even less clear. The Chinese are likely to respond to any attempts at a multilateral military alliance in its backyard with a whole-of-government effort to stop it. If that alliance includes Taiwan, it could result in even more aggressive action.

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at a press briefing.

Shealah Craighead / Official White House Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

How to Lead in a Time of Pandemic

| Mar. 25, 2020

The world has never before confronted a crisis quite like COVID-19, one that has simultaneously tested both the limits of public health systems everywhere and the ability of countries to work together on a shared challenge. But it is in just such moments of crisis that, under all prior U.S. presidents since World War II, the institutions of U.S. foreign policy mobilize for leadership. They call nations to action. 

Ambassador Nicholas Burns

AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Magazine

Nicholas Burns: Why Does Good Diplomacy Matter?

| Mar. 23, 2020

What role does diplomacy play in the modern world order, and what are the characteristics of a good diplomat? Which countries are the great powers today, and which will lead in 2050? Does NATO have a role in helping manage the political, economic, and military challenges facing the United States? And why is morale reportedly at a low ebb in the State Department? In this episode, former ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns, the Goodman Family professor of the practice of diplomacy and international relations at Harvard Kennedy School, answers these questions and more, based on his long career in government service.