“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.
"Legally, the KRG continues to operate as a federal unit of the Iraqi national government, but a September 25 referendum for independence could set the Kurds on a trajectory toward sovereignty, something Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly wanted in an unofficial referendum held in 2005. Both the upcoming referendum and issues of territorial control are already being hotly contested. Peshmerga views of the post-ISIS regional order—and the extent to which these views are unified—are therefore key to Iraq’s political future."
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.
"Offshore balancing has not failed in the Middle East because it hasn't been U.S. strategy for almost a generation. The United States did act like an offshore balancer from 1945 to about 1990: It had vital interests in the region and wanted to prevent any state (including the Soviet Union) from controlling the Gulf. But it pursued this goal first by relying on Great Britain (until 1967) and then by turning to local allies like the shah of Iran. After the shah fell in 1979, the United States created the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) so it could affect the balance of power swiftly and directly and thus deter a possible Soviet foray into the Gulf. But it didn't park the RDF in the Gulf or elsewhere in the region; instead, it kept it offshore and over the horizon and didn't use it until Iraq seized Kuwait in August 1990."
In the global revulsion at the recent terror attacks in four Muslim countries, the United States and its allies have a new opportunity to build a unified command against the Islamic State and other extremists. FDP Senior Fellow David Ignatius examines the diplomatic relationships needed to create an effective counterterrorism strategy.
The tensions unsettling the Saudi royal family became clear in September, when Joseph Westphal, the U.S. ambassador to Riyadh, flew to Jiddah to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, nominally the heir to the throne. But when he arrived, he was told that the deputy crown prince, a brash 30-year-old named Mohammed bin Salman, wanted to see him urgently. Senior Fellow, David Ignatius, discusses Mohammed bin Salman opportunity to transform Saudi Arabia.
Trump's polarizing rhetoric on this issue may be the best thing the Islamic State has going for it, according to some leading U.S. and foreign counterterrorism experts. The group's self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq is imploding. Its Syrian capital of Raqqah is surrounded and besieged; the gap in the Turkish-Syrian border that allowed the free flow of foreign fighters is finally being closed; Sunni tribal sheikhs who until recently had cooperated with the Islamic State are switching sides. The group's narrative is collapsing -- with one exception. David Ignatius, Senior Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project examines how the Presidential candidate is already effecting US foreign policy.
Despite wary military cooperation, U.S. strategy remains on a collision course with that of Turkey, a NATO ally. What can be done to prevent an eventual rupture that would damage all concerned? David Ignatius, Senior Fellow for the Future of Diplomacy Project, offers suggestions for strategic cooperation.
An audio recording of a book talk by Marc Lynch, Professor of Political Science at George Washington University and Director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, on his most recent book The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East.
The abiding strategic fact about the current war against the Islamic State is that it’s part of a bigger process of reordering the post-Ottoman structure of this part of the world. We don’t know what the outcome will be or what the borders will look like; the United States isn’t even sure what it wants, as the local powers scramble for their selfish interests. David Ignatius, Senior Fellow with the Future of Diplomacy Project, take a deeper dive into the story that is often missed.