Articles

57 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?

Trump Salute

Le Point

Magazine Article - Le Point

Burns : « Il renie soixante-dix and de diplomatie » (Burns: "He rejects seventy years of diplomacy")

| Feb. 02, 2017

In an interview with Amin Arefi of French magazine Le Point, Ambassador (ret.) Nicholas Burns reflects on the first ten days of the Trump administration and the trajectory of American foreign policy going forward. Burns explains the fundamental differences between Donald Trump and George W. Bush, and the  worrying implications of Trump's indifference towards the US-backed system of alliances that has upheld the liberal world order for the past seven decades.   

U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev hold a press conference at the Helsinki Summit, Finland on September 9, 1990.

George Bush Library

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Deal or No Deal? The End of the Cold War and the U.S. Offer to Limit NATO Expansion

| Spring 2016

During the 1990 German reunification negotiations, did the United States promise the Soviet Union that it would not expand NATO into Eastern Europe? Although no written agreement exists, archival materials reveal that U.S. officials did indeed offer the Soviets informal non-expansion assurances, while keeping open the possibility of expansion and seeking to maximize U.S. power in post–Cold War Europe.

teaser image

Magazine Article - Corporate Counsel

The Inside Counsel Revolution

| April 2016

The practical ideal of the modern general counsel is a lawyer-statesperson who is an outstanding technical expert, a wise counselor and an effective leader, and who has a major role assisting the corporation achieve the fundamental goal of global capitalism: the fusion of high performance with high integrity and sound risk management. For the lawyer-statesperson, the first question is: "Is it legal?" But the ultimate question is: "Is it right?"

Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a big screen in Beijing as Chinese battle tanks roll by during a Sept. 3, 2015 parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II.

(AP Photo)

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

| September 24, 2015

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the international press corps during a news conference that followed a NATO Ministerial meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on December 3, 2013.

State Department photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Myth of Entangling Alliances: Reassessing the Security Risks of U.S. Defense Pacts

| Spring 2015

How often do alliance commitments draw the United States into military conflicts that it might otherwise avoid? An analysis of U.S. conflicts over the past several decades reveals that the number is significantly smaller than many observers assume.

Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) in Europe (Czech Republic and Poland)

DoD Image

Journal Article - Arms Control Today

Missile Defense Against Iran Without Threatening Russia

| November 2013

"Although the cancellation of the planned deployment of the SM-3 IIB interceptors has removed the possibility that interceptors deployed under the phased adaptive approach would pose a threat to Russian missiles, it has not diminished the missile defense system's primary mission of intercepting an array of current and potential future Iranian missiles. The restructured missile defense system would still theoretically be able to handle these Iranian missile threats, even if one factors in a comfortable amount of time for detecting and tracking them."