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

Notable Quotes

Winter 2005-06

"THE UNITED STATES IS LOSING its competitive advantage and may soon lose its innovative edge. It does not invest fully in resources most critical for sustained high-tech leadership, and the most talented and productive regions of the Third World challenge our dominance with skills and  efforts only we once possessed."

-Lewis M. Branscomb, "Innovate or Perish," Los Angeles Times (1 January 2006)


"SOME STATES MAY PURSUE ENRICHMENT and reprocessing technologies for noneconomic reasons such as building nuclear weapons, developing naval nuclear propulsion, or boosting national pride. The multinational supply regime must therefore include punitive measures against these ‘holdouts.'"

-Ashton Carter, "A Fuel-Cycle Fix," Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (January/February 2006)

"WHILE RECENT U.S. CONGRESSIONAL REPORTS have focused on the rise of China's economic and military power, far less attention has been paid to the rise of China's soft power. Yet in a global information age, soft sources of power such as culture, political values, and diplomacy are part of what makes a great power. Success depends not only on whose army wins, but also on whose story wins."

-Joseph S. Nye, "The Rise of China's Soft Power," Wall Street Journal Asia (29 December 2005)


"AMERICANS SPEND ABOUT $3 BILLION A YEAR ATTEMPTING AND FAILING to expunge the Afghan poppy crop. The conclusions of a Kennedy School of Government project on Afghanistan estimate that providing annual guarantees for purchases of wheat at triple the world price would cost less than eradication."

-Robert I. Rotberg, "Sowing Afghan Security," Boston Globe (10 January 2006)


"A RISE IN THE OIL PRICE COULD HAPPEN AGAIN AT ANY TIME. There is little spare capacity in global oil production and oil demand is rising rapidly in China and other Asian countries. . . . The US was lucky after 2003 to escape the contractionary effect of an oil price rise even without an explicit change in monetary or fiscal policy. It would not be so lucky if a big oil price increase happened again now."

-Martin Feldstein, "America Will Fall Harder if Oil Prices Rise Again," FinancialTimes (3 February 2006)


"AFRICA HAS MADE DRAMATIC DEMOCRATIC STRIDES in recent years. Over the last 15 years, more than 30 countries have abandoned one-party dictatorships in favour of variants of multi-party democracy . . . In nascent African democracies, party platforms would help facilitate effective and accountable political parties. They are blueprints for the future . . . thus helping professionalise the political process.

-Calestous Juma and Allison DiSenso, "Political Parties as Tools of Democracy," Daily Nation (Kenya) (11 January 2006)


"INSTEAD OF DOCTRINALLY CLINGING TO ERADICATION, the international community should explore other means of decreasing Afghanistan's illicit economy, such as converting the still vast opium cultivation into legal production for medical opiates. The idea of transforming the cultivation for the production of codeine and morphine is promoted by the Senlis Council, a European drug policy think tank. Pointing to the successful implementation of such a scheme in Turkey, where it eliminated the large illegal cultivation of opium, the Senlis advocates ask: Why not Afghanistan?"

-Vanda Felbab-Brown, "Afghanistan and Opium," Boston Globe (18 December 2005)


"GREAT POWER CONCERT IS POSSIBLE INVOLVING THE UNITED STATES, the United States, European Union, Russia, China, Japan and India. The eastern and western mainstays of co-operation are the U.S. and Europe on one side, and China on the other. Together they act to  maintain peace among great powers and to prevent terrorism and the further spread of nuclear weapons."

-Richard Rosecrance, "Two Patient Powers, One Peaceful World," Toronto Star (20 December 2005)


"THE NEW MARTYRDOM IS DRIVEN BY HUMILIATION that differs significantly from the concrete grievances of traditional suicide bombers. The motives of the bombers of Bali, London, and most probably those of Amman are not rooted in the humiliation of a personally experienced occupation. Many of today's martyrs, in fact, have enjoyed a relatively comfortable upbringing. Theirs is a suffering and humiliation felt vicariously through the calamities of their brethren in Iraq and Palestine."

-Assaf Moghadam, "The New Martyrs Go Global," Boston Globe (18 November 2005)


"IF RUSSIA IS GOING TO THROW ITS WEIGHT AROUND, it is better to have allies among those affected. The key to energy security is diversity-of pipelines as well as sources of supply. Small neighbors without options will suffer, but Europe may not."

-Joseph S. Nye, "The Chimera of Russia's Gas Power," Yemen Times (23 January 2006)


"WITHOUT . . . A CLEAR-CUT SET OF CONDITIONS and unmistakable international attention, the militarization of Palestinian society will intensify, affect the Israeli elections adversely, and point the way to a grim future."

-Dennis Ross, "The Danger of a Sharon Exit," USA Today (24 January 2006)


"WHO COULD HAVE IMAGINED U.S. victory over its Cold War rival with a whimper rather than a bang? The tectonic collapse of one pole of a bipolar international system with so few aftershocks? . . . Russia is still the land of the Matrushkas and Potemkin's village is much more subtle and complex than we realize. One peels off one shell only to find another each layer embodying elements of truth, competing with contradictory realities both within and beyond."

-Graham Allison, "Fourteen Years After Evil Empire, A Stable Russia," Boston Globe (26 December 2005)


"THE PRACTICAL REALITY, HOWEVER, IS that Hamas is a pivotal player in Palestinian politics, and no peace process can succeed without at least the tacit acceptance of its leaders. Moreover, Hamas's participation in Palestinian politics is not necessarily a bad thing, and resisting it will very likely do more harm than good."

-Fotini Christia, "Hamas at the Helm," New York Times (27 January 2006)

"WHAT IS CLEAR, THOUGH, IS THAT PROJECT 100,000 WAS A FAILED EXPERIMENT. It proved to be a distraction for the military and of little benefit to the men it was created to help. Forty years later, amid new conflicts and a renewed manpower shortfall, we would do well not to make the same mistake again."

-Kelly M. Greenhill, "Don't Dumb Down the Army," New York Times (17 February 2006)


"INDIA TODAY HAS A LARGER MIDDLE CLASS than the combined population of France, Germany and Britain. And that middle class is rapidly increasing. The US is India's largest trading partner."

-Robert Blackwill, "Forging Fresh Bonds," The India Times (27 February 2006)


For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Notable Quotes.” Belfer Center Newsletter (Winter 2005-06).