“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
Five causes of collapse appear paramount: major episodes of climate change, crises-induced mass migrations, pandemics, dramatic advances in methods of warfare and transport, and human failings in crises including societal lack of resilience and the madness, incompetence, cultic focus, or ignorance of rulers.
Liberal democracy and capitalism have been the two commanding political and economic ideas of Western history since the 19th century. Now, however, the fate of these once-galvanizing global principles is increasingly uncertain.
In her new book, Not for the Faint of Heart, Ambassador Sherman takes readers inside the world of international diplomacy and into the mind of one of our most effective negotiators―often the only woman in the room. She discusses the core values that have shaped her approach to work and leadership: authenticity, effective use of power and persistence, acceptance of change, and commitment to the team. She shows why good work in her field is so hard to do, and how we can learn to apply core skills of diplomacy to the challenges in our own lives.
The Diplomacy and International Politics Program examines the future of diplomacy and conflict prevention, and also supports research and teaching on global political relations through initiatives on the Middle East, the Gulf, and South Asia.
At 70, NATO remains the single most important contributor to security, stability and peace in Europe and North America. NATO allies, however, are confronting daunting and complex challenges that are testing both their purpose and unity. NATO’s leaders need to act decisively in 2019 to meet these tests and heal the widening divisions within the Alliance before it is too late.
Trump administration claims of progress in talks with the Taliban have sparked fears even among the president's allies that his impatience with the war in Afghanistan will lead him to withdraw troops too soon, leaving the country at risk of returning to the same volatile condition that prompted the invasion in the first place.
According to Nicholas Burns, a former U.S. ambassador who served Bill Clinton and in both Bush administrations, Trump’s approach in Syria has more in common with Obama’s than either would likely admit. “I think that the president’s tweet yesterday was specific enough that he has effectively drawn a red line as well. I think that the president needs to respond to this.”
Nicholas Burns's April 7 op-ed in the weekend edition of the Financial Times on the U.S. cruise missile strikes against the Syrian Air Force. His major points are:
He supports President Trump's decision. The U.S. should not tolerate Asad's use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.
The Trump Administration needs a strategy for what comes next. They may consider working with Turkey to establish safe havens for civilians protected by a No Flight Zone. This carries enormous risk. Tread carefully.
The U.S. should push hard to resume UN-sponsored negotiations for a cease-fire and an eventual settlement to end the war. It may take years. But this is how the war will end.
Trump should reverse course and admit Syrian refugees into the U.S. This is the most direct way to help in the most horrific refugee crisis since World War Two.
Finally, this often brash and impulsive President should not conclude that the Syria strikes can be replicated easily elsewhere, such as in North Korea.
On Thursday, President Trump ordered a military strike on "the airfield in Syria where the chemical weapons attack was launched." He said that "it is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons." It was the first direct American assault on President Bashar al-Assad's regime since the Syrian civil war began six years ago.
Nicholas Burns talks with WBUR/Radio Boston.
U.S. Department of Defense/Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
The Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named Ambassador Douglas E. Lute a Senior Fellow. While at the Kennedy School, Ambassador Lute will initiate a research project focused on NATO and transatlantic relations that will address the multiplicity of challenges facing the alliance as it approaches its 70th anniversary. He will also share his expertise in security and diplomacy by conducting seminars and study groups with students and fellows.
Reports suggest Syria’s president Bashar Al-Assad was behind this week’s deadly chemical weapons attack that left dozens of people dead, some of them children. Guests Nicholas Burns and Gary Samore weigh-in: Should the U.S. and other Western nations act now to protect Syrians from further harm?
Analysis & Opinions
- Future of Diplomacy Project, Belfer Center
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.