Articles

172 Items

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

How the Next Nuclear Arms Race Will Be Different from the Last One

| 2019

All the world's nuclear-armed states (except for North Korea) have begun modernizing and upgrading their arsenals, leading many observers to predict that the world is entering a new nuclear arms race. While that outcome is not yet inevitable, it is likely, and if it happens, the new nuclear arms race will be different and more dangerous than the one we remember. More nuclear-armed countries in total, and three competing great powers rather than two, will make the competition more complex. Meanwhile, new non-nuclear weapon technologies — such as ballistic missile defense, anti-satellite weapons, and precision-strike missile technology — will make nuclear deterrence relationships that were once somewhat stable less so.

Great Decisions Cover

Foreign Policy Association

Journal Article - Foreign Policy Association

The State of the State Department and American Diplomacy

| Jan. 03, 2019

During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled, and meetings with foreign leaders such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries?

Russian caricaturists gleefully poked fun at U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

Library of Congress

Journal Article - Russian History

Images of Empire: Depictions of America in Late Imperial Russian Editorial Cartoons

| 2018

Although historians have paid much attention to American perceptions of Russia, few have looked at Russian views of the United States, particularly in the imperial period. This article surveys editorial cartoons in Novoe Vremia, one of the few Russian newspapers to publish illustrations as commentary on international affairs. Novoe Vremia published cartoons depicting the United States in the years between 1898 and 1912 in the late imperial period, that is, beginning with the War of 1898 and ending with the abrogation of the U.S.-Russia commercial treaty. 

The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Pennsylvania transits the Hood Canal in Washington.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amanda R. Gray

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Escalation through Entanglement: How the Vulnerability of Command-and-Control Systems Raises the Risks of an Inadvertent Nuclear War

    Author:
  • James Acton
| Summer 2018

The risks of nuclear escalation are greater than ever given the possibility of misinterpreted cyber espionage and military strikes against early warning systems. 

The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington in 2010 (Chuck Kennedy/White House via Flickr).

Chuck Kennedy/White House via Flickr

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Nuclear Security in Russia: Can Progress Be Sustained?

| May 08, 2018

Nuclear security in Russia has continued to evolve since the suspension of nearly all US–Russian nuclear-security cooperation in 2014, but the United States and the rest of the world now know much less about the directions of this evolution. This article assesses the current state of nuclear security in Russia based on an examination of key drivers of Russia’s nuclear-security system, from allocation of resources to regulatory oversight. It then outlines four scenarios for the future of evolution of nuclear security in Russia, describing potential causes, implications, and observable indicators for each scenario. It closes with recommendations designed to maximize the chance of moving onto a path of continuous improvement of nuclear security.

A TV screen shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump during a news program

AP/Ahn Young-joon

Journal Article - Political Science Quarterly

The Power and Limits of Compellence: A Research Note

| Spring 2018

The authors offer a comprehensive review of the scholarly literature on compellence. They highlight the findings that could be of use to contemporary policymakers and identify gaps that inhibit a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of compellence.

During, "Intelligence gathering in the 21st century," Nick Burns (from left) and Ash Carter listen as John Sawers, former head of MI6, discusses the challenges of the modern intelligence industry.

Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Newspaper Article - Harvard Gazette

Goodbye James Bond, Hello Big Data

    Author:
  • Christina Pazzanese
| Feb. 28, 2018

Following a distinguished career in diplomacy (he also was British ambassador to the United Nations and Egypt), Sawers is at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) this week speaking about national security, intelligence, diplomacy, and public service as a Fisher Family Fellow. During a talk Monday, he encouraged listeners thinking of pursuing a career in government to look beyond the typically modest pay such work affords compared with careers in business or the law.

Vladimir Putin and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping held talks in Beijing, June 25, 2016.

President of Russia

Journal Article - Europe-Asia Studies

Explaining the 2014 Sino–Russian Gas Breakthrough: The Primacy of Domestic Politics

| Jan. 22, 2018

On 21 May 2014, during a state visit by President Vladimir Putin to Beijing, China and Russia signed a $400 billion, 30-year gas deal. Under this agreement, China will import 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom, beginning in 2018. Why, after 15 years of stalemated negotiations, did this breakthrough occur in 2014? Why did a natural, symbiotic gas relationship not develop earlier and more gradually? Most studies explain this by looking at Russia’s international isolation post Ukraine. Based on interviews with both Chinese and Russian officials this article argues the following: domestic incentives, rather than foreign-policy pressures, are the real force behind the timing of Sino–Russian energy breakthroughs in 2014.

Gazprom sign in Moscow.

Martin Griffiths

Journal Article - Post-Soviet Affairs

Understanding Russia’s energy turn to China: domestic narratives and national identity priorities

| Dec. 22, 2017

This study investigates whether, as part of a broader “Asian Energy Pivot,” Russia’s energy giant Gazprom refashioned its export strategy away from Europe, and what impact such a reorientation might have on the EU–Russia gas relationship. It uses four empirical cases to emphasize the domestic movers underlying Russia’s eastward shift in energy trade, developing a constructivist theory rooted in the dynamics of Russia’s dominant public narrative and the contours of domestic politics. It argues that Russia’s national interests changed as a result of how Russian policy-makers interpreted and reacted to the stand-off with Europe, in response to what they perceived as Europe’s attempt to isolate it economically and geopolitically.