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

Belfer Center Fellows and Visiting Scholars Lookbook 2021-2022

September 3, 2021

As the 2021-22 academic year got underway at Harvard Kennedy School, the Belfer Center welcomed more than 250 research fellows, senior fellows, student fellows, visiting scholars, and associates to a Center-wide orientation event on September 3.  The fellows, who were selected from a large group of candidates following a rigorous application process, will work with the Center or one of its 18 programs and projects.  

The infrasound station array at infrasound station IS49, Tristan da Cunha, U.K.

CTBTO/Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Arms Control Today

The CTBT at 25 and Beyond

| September 2021

Despite political and legal uncertainty, the CTBTO and its member states have shown remarkable ingenuity in establishing a successful global monitoring network—the International Monitoring System (IMS)—of unprecedented scale and sophistication. The system relies on superb and still unsurpassed technical capabilities for monitoring and verifying the global nuclear test ban. Nevertheless, serious technical and political challenges to the long-term sustainability of the organization and the monitoring system are slowly emerging. Consequently, although this would be undesirable and politically costly, the international community should consider taking steps to decouple the IMS from the treaty’s fate in order to maintain and expand on the extraordinary technical investments that the monitoring system represents.

A member of the Czech Army takes part in an anti-terrorism drill at the Temelin nuclear power plant near the town of Tyn nad Vltavou, Czech Republic, April 11, 2017.

REUTERS/David W. Cerny

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Twenty Years After 9/11, Terrorists Could Still Go Nuclear

| Sep. 16, 2021

The probability of terrorists getting and using a nuclear bomb appears to be low—but the consequences if they did would be so devastating that it is worth beefing up efforts to make sure terrorists never get their hands on a nuclear bomb’s essential ingredients. To see the possibilities, we need to look at motive, capability, and opportunity.

Real-time cyber attacks, including information on the attack’s origin, type and target, as well as, the attacker’s IP address, geographic location and ports being utilized, are displayed on the Norse attack map on the 275th Cyberspace Squadron’s operations floor, known as the Hunter’s Den, at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Md., June 3, 2017.

Air Force

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

A Next Generation National Information Operations Strategy and Architecture

| Sep. 13, 2021

This research paper conducts a deep dive into sources and includes interviews of senior information operations professionals to broadly identify strategic gaps in capability that continue to plague America’s information operations.

Taliban special force fighters arrive inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport

AP/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi

Analysis & Opinions - TRENDS Research & Advisory

An Unassailable Position of Total Weakness — U.S. Foreign Policy Since 9/11

| Sep. 11, 2021

Nathaniel L. Moir writes of historical cases in which a U.S. tendency to over-rely on military capabilities and American economic strength proved unwise and how such power eventually proved to be irrelevant. In addition to the Vietnam War as an example, the rapid collapse of the Republic of China and its large military forces in late 1948 and 1949 offers some parallels with the collapse of the Afghan National Army and the Afghan Government, despite the United States investment of trillions of U.S. dollars.

Photo of Pakistani immigrant family following naturalization. The father of the family was killed in a revenge killing post-9/11.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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

Ending the Worst American Tradition: 20 Years After 9/11

| Sep. 08, 2021

The anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks provides an important opportunity to reflect, to remember, and to mourn our losses, and the priority on this day should be honoring the victims and supporting their families. But it also offers a chance to review our responses, to gather and assess lessons learned, and to reflect on our own reactions to the tragic events in New York, Washington DC, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It is an opportunity to see the impact that misguided assumptions, hate, and fear have had on our societies.

Audio - Harvard Environmental Economics Program

Assessing the Economic Dimensions of Environmental Policy: A Conversation with Suzi Kerr

| Sep. 08, 2021

Suzi Kerr, the chief economist at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and founder of the MOTU Economic and Public Policy Research think tank in her home country of New Zealand, shared her perspectives on international climate change policy in the latest episode of “Environmental Insights: Discussions on Policy and Practice from the Harvard Environmental Economics Program,”