Articles

50 Items

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?

Bosnia President Alija Izetbegovic, left, shakes hands with Croatia President Franjo Tudjman in Dayton, Ohio, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 1995.

AP Photo/Joe Marquette

Journal Article - International Security

How Civil Wars End: The International System, Norms, and the Role of External Actors

| Winter 2017/18

Historically, most civil wars have ended with the military defeat of the losing side. In the 1990s, by contrast, civil wars usually ended with a negotiated settlement. What accounts for this anomaly?

Bullets for Ballots: Electoral Participation Provisions and Enduring Peace after Civil Conflict

AP/Luis Romero

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Bullets for Ballots: Electoral Participation Provisions and Enduring Peace after Civil Conflict

    Author:
  • Aila M. Matanock
| Spring 2017

What kinds of peace agreements are most likely to prevent civil conflicts from recurring? Does holding elections after a civil war make enduring peace more likely? Agreements mandating that rebels be allowed to participate in post-conflict elections alongside the government are more likely to succeed, because such elections attract the engagement of international organizations that can reward compliance with the agreement and punish noncompliance.

Pres. Jose Napoleon Duarte, of El Salvador, left, smiles while talking with Pres. Ronald Reagan at the White House, Monday, July 23, 1984, Washington, D.C.

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Influencing Clients in Counterinsurgency: U.S. Involvement in El Salvador’s Civil War, 1979–92

    Author:
  • Walter C. Ladwig III
| Summer 2016

In foreign counterinsurgency campaigns from Vietnam to Afghanistan, the United States has often found local elites to be more hindrance than help. Client governments resist U.S.-prescribed reforms crucial to counterinsurgency success because such reforms would undermine their power. The history of the United States’ involvement in El Salvador’s civil war shows that placing strict conditions on military and economic aid is crucial to gaining client governments’ compliance.

Pan-American Conference in Rio de Janeiro, 1906.

Revista de História da Biblioteca Nacional, Rio de Janeiro.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Soft Balancing in the Americas: Latin American Opposition to U.S. Intervention, 1898–1936

    Authors:
  • Max Paul Friedman
  • Tom Long
| Summer 2015

The concept of soft balancing first emerged in analyses of other countries’ attempts to counter U.S. primacy through nonmilitary means after the end of the Cold War. Soft balancing is not a new phenomenon, however. In the early twentieth century, Latin American states sought to end the United States’ frequent interventions in the region by creating international norms against military intervention.

President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the United States and Cuba will re-establish diplomatic and economic relations, ending a political stalemate that began more than half a century ago.

Wikimedia Commons

Magazine Article - Harvard Gazette

U.S.-Cuba ties: In from the cold

| December 17, 2014

Following 18 months of secret talks facilitated by Pope Francis and the Canadian government, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the United States and Cuba will re-establish diplomatic and economic relations, ending a political stalemate that began more than half a century ago.

Under the agreement, the United States will open an embassy in Havana; many existing travel, trade, and banking restrictions imposed on American citizens and businesses will be loosened; and Secretary of State John Kerry will review Cuba’s presence on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Additionally, Obama said, two American prisoners in Cuba, contractor Alan Gross and an unidentified U.S. intelligence officer, were released in exchange for three Cuban spies who had been jailed in the United States since 2001.

In separate phone and email exchanges, the Gazette turned to two Harvard authorities on Cuba and American foreign policy to interpret the importance of the U.S. policy shift with the island nation, one of the last bastions of communist rule in the world, and where the agreement likely will lead, both economically and politically. The changes also have implications for Harvard.

Nicholas Burns is the Sultan of Oman Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). A former U.S. ambassador to NATO and Greece and a career Foreign Service officer, Burns is also director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at HKS. Here are their insights.

Jorge Domínguez is co-chair of Harvard’s Cuban Studies Program, focusing on Cuba’s domestic and international politics and economics. He is also vice provost of international affairs at Harvard and the Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

These interviews were lightly edited for length and clarity.

Gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment recovered en route to Libya in 2003.

U.S. Department of Energy

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Nonproliferation Emperor Has No Clothes: The Gas Centrifuge, Supply-Side Controls, and the Future of Nuclear Proliferation

| Spring 2014

Policymakers have long focused on preventing nuclear weapons proliferation by controlling technology. Even developing countries, however, may now possess the technical ability to create nuclear weapons. The history of gas centrifuge development in twenty countries supports this perspective. To reduce the demand for nuclear weapons, policymakers will have look toward the cultural, normative, and political organization of the world.