186 Items

The USS Vesole, foreground, a radar picket ship, steams alongside the Soviet freighter Polzunov, outbound from Cuba, for an inspection of her cargo in the Atlantic Ocean, Nov. 11, 1962

AP Photo/Pool

Analysis & Opinions - Arms Control Today

The Cuban Missile Crisis at 60: Six Timeless Lessons for Arms Control

| October 2022

As the best documented major crisis in history, in substantial part because Kennedy secretly taped the deliberations in which he and his closest advisers were weighing choices they knew could lead to a catastrophic war, the Cuban missile crisis has become the canonical case study in nuclear statecraft. Over the decades since, key lessons from the crisis have been adapted and applied by the successors of Kennedy and Khrushchev to inform fateful choices.

A man looks at a destroyed Russian tank placed as a symbol of war in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine

AP/Natacha Pisarenko, File

Journal Article - Texas National Security Review

What's Old Is New Again: Cold War Lessons for Countering Disinformation

| Fall 2022

Hostile foreign states are using weaponized information to attack the United States. Russia and China are disseminating disinformation about domestic U.S. race relations and COVID-19 to undermine and discredit the U.S. government. These information warfare attacks, which threaten U.S. national security, may seem new, but they are not. Using an applied history methodology and a wealth of previously classified archival records, this article uses two case studies to reveal how and why a hostile foreign state, the Soviet Union, targeted America with similar disinformation in the past

President Truman signs National Security Act Amendments


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

Imagining a New U.S. National Security Act for the 21st Century: Winning Essays

July 19, 2022

The Intelligence and Applied History Projects hosted a National Security Act Essay Contest in 2022 entitled: “Imagining a New National Security Act for the 21st Century.” The contest sought to generate new ideas for improving the intelligence and national security community in the US based on the dynamic security environment we face in the 21st century. The essay prompt offered a variety of hypothetical scenarios where intelligence failure contributed to catastrophic failure and posed the question: what you would change now to improve the intelligence and national security posture of the US?

The winning essays, from a field of approximately 75 applicants, were authored by (1) Russell Travers, (2) Sophie Faaborg-Andersen, and (3) Marie Couture and Laurie LaPorte. The authors' winning essays appear in this report.

Photo of President Harry Truman meeting with members of the National Security Council and other advisers Jan. 24, 1952 for review of the defense situation.

(AP Photo/Henry Griffin)

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

Imagining a New National Security Act

| Spring 2022

If you woke up to news of a massive cyber or Pearl Harbor-type attack on the U.S., you would want to know that a solid national security structure and plan was in place. On May 11, the Intelligence Project and Applied History Project hosted a conference to imagine a new National Security Act to replace the current act of 1947.

Raising the American flag over Fort Santiago, Manila

Public Domain/George W. Peters

Analysis & Opinions - War on the Rocks

The Psychology of Stickiness: What America Can Learn from Its Annexation of the Philippines In 1898

| May 05, 2022

Aroop Mukharji writes that the moment the United States became a major military power in Asia can be traced to a single day, Oct. 28, 1898. It is a story about the difficulty of letting go, and it teaches scholars and policymakers an important lesson: An everyday psychological bias can lead to years of entanglement. Foreign policy commentary is awash with debates about why one region or another is more or less relevant to U.S. national interests. Those debates are important, but they miss a general point. It is always hard to let go.

NATO headquarters

Public Domain/U.S. State Department

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

Was NATO Enlargement a Mistake?

| Apr. 19, 2022

Foreign Affairs recently published a number of pieces on NATO, the decision to proceed with its enlargement, and its impact on European and global security. To complement these articles, Foreign Affairs solicited a broad pool of experts for their take. As with previous surveys, dozens of authorities with specialized expertise relevant to the question at hand, together with leading generalists in the field were approached. Participants were asked to state whether they agreed or disagreed with a proposition and to and to rate their confidence level in their opinion. 

Book - Oxford University Press

Number One Realist: Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare

| April 2022

Number One Realist illuminates Bernard Fall's study of political reconciliation in Indochina, while showing how his profound, humanitarian critique of war continues to echo in the endless conflicts of the present. It will challenge and change the way we think about the Vietnam War.