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Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

New Report Focuses on NATO at Seventy: An Alliance in Crisis

| Feb. 14, 2019

As the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) approaches, the world’s oldest and most successful military alliance of democratic nations faces serious and complex challenges to its purpose, effectiveness, and unity in 2019. In a new report to be launched at the Munich Security Conference February 15, 2019, former U.S. Permanent Representatives to NATO Douglas Lute and Nicholas Burns highlight ten major challenges to NATO in a new report, NATO at Seventy: An Alliance in Crisis, and offer recommendations to bolster this critically important alliance.

President Trump speech at NATO summit in Brussels. May 25, 2017.

CHANNEL 90 seconds TV / YouTube

Analysis & Opinions - Harvard Gazette

A Spirited Defense of NATO as Bulwark

| Feb. 14, 2019

Sensing that NATO’s role as an enduring multinational defense alliance may be slipping toward “crisis,” two Harvard affiliates and former U.S. ambassadors to NATO, Nicholas Burns and Douglas Lute, say they want to “ring the alarm” about the difficulties they believe pose a grave danger to NATO at a time when the public also seems to be underestimating its importance.

Great Decisions Cover

Foreign Policy Association

Journal Article - Foreign Policy Association

The State of the State Department and American Diplomacy

| Jan. 03, 2019

During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled, and meetings with foreign leaders such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries?

President George H.W. Bush

Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Once Upon a Time, U.S. Foreign Policy Worked

| Dec. 02, 2018

George H.W. Bush's administration was evidence of what the establishment was capable of. I worked on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff during the last two years of the late President George H.W. Bush’s administration. It was my first job in government and an extraordinary period in world history. As I came on board at Foggy Bottom, Bush had just facilitated Germany’s unification. The international coalition that he’d mobilized was in the process of evicting Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. In a few months’ time, Bush would help manage the peaceful unraveling of the Soviet Union and the launch of historic peace talks between Israel and its Arab neighbors via the Madrid process.

US President Trump meets with Saudi Arabia's King Salman

CNN

Analysis & Opinions - New Yorker

Trump’s Utter Denial About Saudi Arabia and Its Crown Prince

| Nov. 20, 2018

So much for American justice. In a statement both stunning and coldhearted, President Trump on Tuesday gave Saudi Arabia a pass on the grisly murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the name of U.S. national security. He blithely rejected a U.S. intelligence assessment as well as damning physical evidence provided by Turkey indicating that the kingdom’s de-facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, authorized the Saudi dissident’s execution, in Istanbul, on October 2nd. The President of the United States sounded more like a defense attorney—or lobbyist—for the oil-rich kingdom than a protector of American values.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns speaks at Halifax International Security Forum 2018

Halifax International Security Forum

Analysis & Opinions

Western Allies Focus on Crisis of Leadership at Halifax Security Forum

| Nov. 19, 2018

For a decade now the Halifax International Security Forum has been a place to discuss the major external threats facing Western democracies and how to counter them.  One of the main themes coming out of this year's gathering of military, political and academic leaders is the biggest threat to democracy is coming from within.

"In the democratic world, many of our strongest and largest democracies are in some type of crisis," says former U.S. ambassador Nicholas Burns, who now teaches at the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

President Donald Trump gestures as he visits the American Cemetery of Suresnes, outside Paris, on November 11, 2018.

Agence France-Presse

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

What Has President Trump Learned From Defeat?

| Nov. 17, 2018

All presidents suffer defeats and setbacks, whether through elections, legislative battles, international events or scandals. Most learn from them and adapt. Will President Trump be an exception?

That’s the question ahead for the president: Will the second two years of his first term be any different from the first two years? His actions and words in the days following the midterm elections indicate things actually could get worse rather than better. He has never been a gracious winner. In defeat, he has shown worse: ill-tempered, withdrawn, even more unpredictable.