12 Items

Discussion Paper - Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, Belfer Center

WikiLeaks 2010: A Glimpse of the Future?

    Author:
  • Tim Maurer
| August 2011

The recent publications on WikiLeaks reveal a story about money, fame, sex, underground hackers, and betrayal. But it also involves fundamental questions regarding cyber-security and foreign policy. This paper argues WikiLeaks is only the symptom of a new, larger problem which is the result of technological advances that allow a large quantity of data to be 'stolen' at low or no cost by one or more individuals and to be potentially made public and to go 'viral', spreading exponentially online.

In this 1987 file photo, mujahedeen guerrillas sit atop a captured Soviet T-55 tank. The U.S. military presence in Afghanistan surpassed the Soviet occupation of the country on Nov. 25, 2010.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Iranian Diplomacy

The U.S. War on Terror after Bin Laden

| May 11, 2011

The United States' wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are unlikely to come to an end, even after the death of Osama Bin Laden. These wars which were initiated and continued based on the sacred and ideological aim of the complete destruction of world terrorism (Al Qaeda) will simultaneously provide the grounds for local and opposing forces to justify their resistance in the form of a sacred ideological war against foreign occupiers. In the case of a bilateral ideological war, with no possible winner, therefore the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have mostly local and regional roots, will not come to end in the near future.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, shakes hands with an unidentified Afghan official during a meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul, left, as Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, looks on, in Tehran, Iran, July 15, 2010.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Iranian Diplomacy

The U.S. Midterm Elections and Iran

| November 14, 2010

"Following the parliamentary elections of Iraq in March 2010 and the long-time deadlock which had stalled formation of the coalition government for nearly 8 months and the West's disappointing efforts to talk with the Taliban, it is now crystal-clear that the United States cannot tackle these crises single-handedly and needs Iran's cooperation as the main regional actor in settling the crises in Iraq and Afghanistan, either during the presence and even after the withdrawal of American troops from both countries. The importance of this issue becomes manifest as one realizes that curbing terrorist activities in this region is directly connected to the establishment of security and stability in the region after the withdrawal of foreign troops. In such circumstances, Iran's role for the establishment and preservation of stability becomes crucial."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, shakes hands with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in Tehran, Oct. 18, 2010. Iran gave its clearest nod of support to al-Maliki as he lines up backing from key neighbors in his bid to remain in office.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions

The Nuclear Program and Iran-US Mutual Strategic Need

| October 31, 2010

In an interview with Mosallas (Triangle) Weekly, Dr. Kayhan Barzegar pointed out that at present the United States is not in the position of starting a new war in the region and while Iran is set on pursuing its independent uranium enrichment policy, time is against Washington with respect to Iran's nuclear program. Iran is also interested in direct talks and removing the current sanctions. Because of mutual strategic need, especially on solving Iran's nuclear crisis, the two sides will have to interact. This does not necessarily mean establishing close ties of friendship. The nature of issues which both sides are involved in is such that Iran and the United States will remain ideological and strategic rivals in the future.

Lebanese Shiite supporters wave Iranian and Lebanese flags at a rally addressed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Qana, Lebanon, Oct. 14, 2010. Hezbollah supporters rallied crowds for a visit that took Iran's president near the Israeli border.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs

Roles at Odds: The Roots of Increased Iran-U.S. Tension in the Post-9/11 Middle East

| Fall 2010

"The United States' determination on minimizing Iran's regional role has led in actuality to the adoption and pursuit of an oppositional posture and role on the part of Iran. This dichotomous situation and role-playing has important implications for foreign policymakers in Tehran and Washington. If the United States continues to ignore Iran's increased role in the region, Washington risks disrupting the natural power equations, potentially exacerbating the conflict. If, however, the United States can accept Iran's role in the region's new security architecture, especially in the Persian Gulf area, and change its policy of castigating Iran as the main source of threat for the region, Washington and Tehran can ultimately reach a practical rapprochement and find an accommodation that will advance the interests of both states in the region."

Book Chapter - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Preface to Going Nuclear

| January 2010

"Concern over nuclear proliferation is likely to increase in the coming years. Many observers believe that the spread of nuclear weapons to one or two more states will trigger a wave of new nuclear states. More states may turn to nuclear power to meet their energy needs as other sources of energy become more costly or undesirable because they emit carbon that contributes to global climate change. As more nuclear reactors are built, the world's stock of nuclear expertise and fissionable materials is likely to grow."

In this photo released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), the reactor building of Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is seen, just outside the port city of Bushehr 750 miles (1245 km) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Nov. 30, 2009

AP Photo

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

Iran's Foreign Policy Strategy after Saddam

| January 2010

"The prevailing view in the United States is that Ahmadinejad's foreign policy and Iran's increasing presence in the region has been offensive, expansionist, opportunistic, and often ideological. Though Iran has occasionally taken advantage of new opportunities, these characterizations have been exaggerated in the United States. Instead, Iran's action should be perceived in a more pragmatic light. Though Ahmadinejad may himself be an ideological and divisive figure, Iran's foreign policy strategy predates him and ought to be viewed as a wider Iranian effort to secure its geostrategic interests and national security concerns. Despite Ahmadinejad's tendencies to indulge his eccentricities, the logic of Iran's foreign policy decisionmaking process always ensures this return to pragmatism."

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, left, shakes hands with his Armenian counterpart, Edward Nalbandian, prior to their press conference, in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 16, 2008.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Viewpoints

The Geopolitical Factor in Iran's Foreign Policy

| January 29, 2009

"Revolutions either expand to export their ideologies or preserve themselves from the outside world. The 1979 Islamic revolution of Iran is no exception. A careful reading of Iran's actions in the region shows how and why Iran has shifted its policies to meet the latter aim. Since the revolution, Iran's leaders have faced the challenge of balancing their ideological (idealism) and geopolitical (pragmatism) approaches to foreign policy. Gradually, the Iranian leadership has come to focus on the geopolitical factor in the conduct of foreign policy; today, ideology one factor among many other sources of Iran's power, and serves the aim of preserving Iran's national security and interests...."

Analysis & Opinions

Stephen M. Walt on the U.S., Iran, and the New Balance of Power in the Persian Gulf

| August 5, 2008

Walt: “…..by maintaining a (new) balance you don’t get conflict breaking out and you tilt in favour whichever side seems to be falling behind. At the same time, you do try to discourage conflict whenever possible. You certainly don’t try to control the region yourselves and if the balance breaks down as it did in 1991 and you have to intervene you go in, you get out as quickly as possible. But you don’t try to organize these societies. You don’t try to tell them how to live. You don’t try to tell them how their governments should be organized and you don’t try to transform them at the point of a rifle barrel. This is not disengagement, but it is also not trying to control the region or dictate its political evolution.”

“…we are not going to have a stable long-term situation in the Persian Gulf until the United States and other countries in the region—including Iran—do come to some understanding about the various issues that concern them.  Achieving that goal will require genuine diplomacy…The United States will also have to recognize that Iran’s size, potential power, large population, and its geo-strategic location inevitably make it a major player in the security environment in the Persian Gulf, and ignoring that fact is unrealistic…”

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

How to Build US-Iran Relations

| September 26, 2007

"...Iran has not suspended its uranium enrichment program, but it has not ignored the UN Security Council resolutions on Iran either, as can be discerned in the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency citing "significant progress" in Iran-IAEA cooperation. With the United States and Iran talking in Iraq and Iran-IAEA cooperation yielding concrete results in terms of Iran's nuclear transparency, the stage is potentially set for de-escalating the US-Iran tensions, particularly if both sides adopt a long-term view and sort out the security dimension."