Articles

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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.   

Magazine Article - Harvard Gazette

Britain muses: play bridge or solitaire?

    Author:
  • Christina Pazzanese
| June 17, 2016

On Thursday, voters in the U.K. will decide by a simple majority whether to remain in the E.U. during a national referendum known as “Brexit” (a portmanteau of the words British and exit). Over the last month, public opinion polling showed voters evenly split, with the “leave” campaign edging upslightly in recent days. Douglas Alexander is a senior fellow in The Future of Diplomacy Project.The Gazette spoke with Alexander about the upcoming referendum and the potential fallout for the U.K. and Europe.

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.

Sub-Saharan migrants climb over a metallic fence that divides Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Friday, March 28, 2014.

Santi Palacios/ AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Barriers to Entry: Who Builds Fortified Boundaries and Why

    Authors:
  • Ron E. Hassner
  • Jason Wittenberg
| Summer 2015

Contrary to conventional wisdom, states do not typically construct fortified boundaries in response to border disputes or to prevent terrorism. Instead, most build such boundaries for economic reasons, to keep out unwanted migrants from poorer states. Further, Muslim states are more likely to both build and be the targets of fortified boundaries.

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.

US and Ukrainian soldiers stand guard during opening ceremony of the 'Fiarles Guardian - 2015', Ukrainian-US Peacekeeping and Security command and staff training, in western Ukraine, in Lviv region, Monday, April 20, 2015.

(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Magazine Article - The National Interest

Russia and America: Stumbling to War

| May-June 2015

In the United States and Europe, many believe that the best way to prevent Russia’s resumption of its historic imperial mission is to assure the independence of Ukraine. They insist that the West must do whatever is required to stop the Kremlin from establishing direct or indirect control over that country. Otherwise, they foresee Russia reassembling the former Soviet empire and threatening all of Europe. Conversely, in Russia, many claim that while Russia is willing to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (with the exception of Crimea), Moscow will demand no less than any other great power would on its border. Security on its western frontier requires a special relationship with Ukraine and a degree of deference expected in major powers’ spheres of influence. More specifically, Russia’s establishment sentiment holds that the country can never be secure if Ukraine joins NATO or becomes a part of a hostile Euro-Atlantic community. From their perspective, this makes Ukraine’s nonadversarial status a nonnegotiable demand for any Russia powerful enough to defend its national-security interests.