141 Items

People inspect the wreckage of buildings that were damaged by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

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

Significance of the Iran-Saudi Arabia Agreement Brokered by China

Belfer Center experts on the U.S.-China relationship and Middle East issues shared thoughts on the significance of the unexpected Iran-Saudi Arabia agreement brokered by China. 

In this image released by the Department of Defense on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, a U.S. Air Force U-2 pilot looks down at a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon as it hovers over the United States on Feb. 3, 2023.

Department of Defense via AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The Chinese Balloon Was a Necessary Wake-Up Call

| Feb. 23, 2023

The United States tends to react to unexpected events with a combination of fear, political recrimination, and bravado—not a particularly effective mix when it comes to evaluating and responding to potential crises. Despite widespread expressions of concern, some warranted and some hyperbolic, the Chinese surveillance balloon spotted over Montana (and tracked across the country before a fighter jet shot it down over the Atlantic) did not represent a crisis. In fact, it was a gift from Beijing: a necessary wake-up call about the shortcomings in the United States’ national defense. 

This image released on Thursday, April 14, 2022 by Ukraine's Defense Ministry reportedly shows Russian military vehicles heading toward Izyum, on a blown up bridge in Kharkiv region, Ukraine. News organizations are using sophisticated new technologies to transform the way they conduct investigations. Much of it is publicly available, or “open-source” material from mobile phones, satellite images and security cameras. 

Ukraine Defense Ministry via AP, File

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

Open Source Intelligence for National Security: The Art of the Possible

| Fall 2022

The war in Ukraine was a wake-up call regarding the ability of non-state actors, such as Bellingcat, to glean valuable information from open-source data. On November 1, 2022, the Intelligence Project hosted a highly praised virtual discussion with private sector experts who tackle national security problems using publicly-available data and artificial intelligence.

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

Preventing Another Cuban Missile Crisis

| Fall 2022

The Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom, Intelligence Project, and Applied History Project organized a day-long conference in October to mark the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis and to discuss what we’ve learned from the CMC. Managing the Atom’s Mariana Budjeryn discusses the relevance of those lessons for today’s conflict in Ukraine.

Study Groups Explore Issues from Middle East Reform to Intelligence Use and Abuse

Fall 2022

Hundreds of students and others from the greater Harvard community took part in Belfer Center study groups this fall. Focusing on Middle East reform, use and abuse of intelligence, and the origin and potential for the CHIPS and Science Act, these fall groups provided an opportunity for generally small groups to interact over a period of weeks with Belfer Center and visiting experts.

Report - Intelligence Project

Report: Marking the CIA’s 75th Anniversary: Reflections on the Past, Visions of the Future

Since its creation in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been at the heart of supporting United States foreign policy and national security decision-making. From the early days of the Cold War to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the CIA has been a critical instrument of foreign intelligence collection, analysis, and operations. However, the CIA is often misunderstood, as its own work and history, particularly its successes, are rarely seen by the public. To help unpack this storied history, and in honor of the agency’s 75th anniversary, on September 16, 2022, former directors, officers, scholars, students, and the public gathered to discuss the past, present, and future of the agency. 

Ukrainian soldiers on a tank in Ukraine during the war with Russia.

AP Photo/Leo Correa, File

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

Giving Ukraine Heavy Weapons is Deterrence, Not Escalation

| Sep. 28, 2022

Ukraine has recently signaled to Washington that it needs long-range missile systems to continue with its impressive offensive that has, according to Zelensky, brought back under Ukrainian control more than 6,000 square kilometers. The U.S. should fulfill Ukraine’s request as it will end the war sooner and save many more lives, including from Russia’s terrorizing mass murders recently revealed in the city of Izyum.

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

The Indo-Pacific Region

USINDOPACOM Map (US State Dept.)

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

Old Friends and New Horizons: Recalibrating American and French Indo-Pacific Strategy

France and the United States are the two Western countries with the highest sovereign interests in the Indo-Pacific region. Ensuring sovereign integrity and the security of their citizens are the first strategic priority of both nations. Furthermore, as longtime allies, Washington and Paris share mutually supporting interests that align their geopolitical security within the diplomatic, economic, and military spheres. Traditionally thought of as national interests, many now transcend borders to reflect inclusive interests of both Washington and Paris versus the exclusivity of a single nation-state. There is an increasingly common strategic vision that can bolster regional security by developing physical and digital connectivity to ensure a free, safe, and open Indo-Pacific. Shared strategic vision requires apt diagnosis of the state of play before consideration of potential policy prescriptions that might strengthen a unified approach to the Indo-Pacific. This report identifies the best approaches for the US, France, and the EU to support their Indo-Pacific allies within a framework of collaboration, coordination, and consultation, underpinned by common values.

A cargo ship on the sea.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

The Looming Threat of Russia’s Black Sea Ambitions

| Aug. 14, 2022

NATO itself must strengthen its presence in the Black Sea via Romania and Bulgaria and invest in ramping up Moldova’s security against a Russian invasion. Additionally, the United States and its partners should intensify sanctions against Russia to limit its fleet construction. It should also pressure countries such as India that are taking advantage of sanctions against Russia to increase their trade with the aggressor state.