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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.

A U.S. Marine carries cold weather equipment as he begins to march across the Icelandic terrain in preparation for NATO’s Trident Juncture 2018 exercise, October 19, 2018. 

NATO Photo

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

NATO at Seventy: An Alliance in Crisis

| February 2019

Approaching the seventieth anniversary of its founding in April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (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. Based on extensive discussions with current European and North American leaders, former senior officials, academics and journalists during the past six months, this report argues that NATO needs to come to grips with ten major challenges this year. The list is long, with simultaneous challenges from within the alliance, from beyond NATO’s borders and looming on the horizon. Most significant is a challenge NATO has not faced before: the absence of strong American presidential leadership. 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.

Analysis & Opinions

Tarek Masoud - The Shifting Politics of the Middle East | Snack Break with Aroop Mukharji

| Feb. 09, 2019

Host Aroop Mukharji interviews Dr. Tarek Masoud, the Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School, about the shifting political dynamics of the Middle East, the region's potential for democratization, and a triple snack of doughnuts, coffee, and Turkish delight.

U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Palladino

U.S. Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - CNN

State Department Breaks 'Silence' With First Briefing of 2019

| Feb. 07, 2019

The State Department broke its silence on Thursday, holding its first public press briefing of 2019. The number of briefings at the agency have plummeted since the Trump administration came into office, plunging from what was a near-daily occurrence in past administrations to a sporadically scheduled event that regular watchers say offers a truncated and less substantive version of past practice.

Army Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone waits at the witness table in the U.S. Senate

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The U.S. Military is Quietly Launching Efforts to Deter Russian Meddling

| Feb. 07, 2019

With little public fanfare, U.S. Cyber Command, the military’s new center for combating electronic attacks against the United States, has launched operations to deter and disrupt Russians who have been interfering with the U.S. political system.

(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Lebanon Finally Has a New Government. Here are Three Reasons for Cautious Optimism.

| Jan. 31, 2019

After a nine-month deadlock marked by political bickering, a struggling economy and massive growing public debt, Lebanon’s political elite finally agreed Thursday on the formation of a new government. The compromise among Lebanon’s sectarian political factions will certainly inject some much-needed social normalcy and stability, and the new government will historically include four women ministers, among them Raya al-Hassan, leading the influential Ministry of Interior.

Afghan National Army-Territorial Force members prepare for an exercise at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 11, 2018. (Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson/Air Force)

Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - Miami Herald

Peace with the Taliban? Trump Warned of Afghan Pullout Risks

| Jan. 30, 2019

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.