Policy Briefs & Testimonies

18 Items

Young Chinese netizens play online games and surf the internet at an internet cafe in Guilin city, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, September 29, 2011.


Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Exaggerating the Chinese Cyber Threat

  • Jon R. Lindsay
| May 2015

Information technology has generated tremendous wealth and innovation for millions, underwriting the United States' preponderance as well as China's meteoric rise. The costs of cyber espionage and harassment pale beside the mutual benefits of an interdependent, globalized economy. The inevitable frictions of cyberspace are not a harbinger of catastrophe to come, but rather a sign that the states inflicting them lack incentives to cause any real harm. Exaggerated fears of cyberwarfare or an erosion of the United States' competitive advantage must not be allowed to undermine the institutions and architectures that make the digital commons so productive.

A Chinese worker collects eggs at a chicken farm in Qionghai city, south China's Hainan province, 18 May 2013.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Better Threat Assessments Needed on Dual-Use Science

  • Kathleen M. Vogel
| February 2014

"...[A]ssessing the bioterrorism threat coming from the life sciences requires a broad range of expertise and information. A better analysis of such threats would involve relevant analysts within the intelligence community engaging with a range of social science experts. Such experts could provide information about terrorist intentions, motivations, and capabilities, as well as a more nuanced understanding of the difficulties involved in replicating scientific experiments and utilizing them for terrorist purposes."

Sheikh Abdel Sattar Abu Risha, founder of al-Anbar Awakening, arrives for a meeting with tribal leaders of Iraq's Anbar province in Ramadi, Aug. 16, 2007. They vowed to "work together against terrorism, militias and al-Qaida...."

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Giving the Surge Partial Credit for Iraq's 2007 Reduction in Violence

| September 2012

Why did violence decline in Iraq in 2007? Many credit the "surge," or the program of U.S. reinforcements and doctrinal changes that began in January 2007. Others cite the voluntary insurgent stand-downs of the Sunni Awakening or say that the violence had simply run its course after a wave of sectarian cleansing. Evidence drawn from recently declassified data on violence at local levels and a series of seventy structured interviews with coalition participants finds little support for the cleansing or Awakening theses. This analysis constitutes the first attempt to gather systematic evidence across space and time to help resolve this debate, and it shows that a synergistic interaction between the surge and the Awakening was required for violence to drop as quickly and widely as it did.

Outside view of the UN building with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) office inside, at the International Center, in Vienna, Austria, June 8, 2012.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Centre for International Governance Innovation

Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA

| June 2012

Published along with the report Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA — the result of more than two years of research  and examining all aspects of the Agency's mandate and operations this policy brief summarizes the report's key findings and policy recommendations for strengthening and reforming the IAEA.

An Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battle between Indian military and militants inside the hotel in Mumbai, India, Nov. 29, 2008.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Pakistan's Nuclear Posture: Implications for South Asian Stability

| January 2010

"...[E]xtremist elements in Pakistan have a clear incentive to precipitate a crisis between India and Pakistan, so that Pakistan's nuclear assets become more exposed and vulnerable to theft. Terrorist organizations in the region with nuclear ambitions, such as al-Qaida, may find no easier route to obtaining fissile material or a fully functional nuclear weapon than to attack India, thereby triggering a crisis between India and Pakistan and forcing Pakistan to ready and disperse nuclear assets—with few, if any, negative controls—and then attempting to steal the nuclear material when it is being moved or in the field, where it is less secure than in peacetime locations."

Preventing Terrorist Attacks: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Preventing Terrorist Attacks: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom

| May 5, 2008

Why do terrorist attacks frequently succeed, even though later investigations almost always show that warnings had been available but were either misunderstood or ignored?  Conventional wisdom, as seen in the 9/11 Commission Report, holds that disasters such as the 9/11 attacks have been caused by failures of analytical imagination, a lack of long-term strategic intelligence on the threat, and organizational limitations that prevent the U.S. intelligence community from being able to “connect the dots” of the existing intelligence. 

Policy Brief - Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

A Disproportionate Response? The Case of Israel and Hizballah

| December 1, 2006

"Hizballah is quite open about not playing by the normal rules of engagement. As Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah stated in early August, "We are not a regular army, and we don't fight like a regular army." Hizballah very clearly operates out of heavily populated civilian areas, and its fighters are often outwardly innocent-looking workers during the day and warriors at night, making the distinction between civilian and combatant even more difficult. Their offices and infrastructure are often in the midst of, below, or inside residential apartment buildings, usually within a sympathetic city or suburb."