Reports & Papers

4 Items

President Truman signs National Security Act Amendments

NARA

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

Imagining a New U.S. National Security Act for the 21st Century: Winning Essays

July 19, 2022

The Intelligence and Applied History Projects hosted a National Security Act Essay Contest in 2022 entitled: “Imagining a New National Security Act for the 21st Century.” The contest sought to generate new ideas for improving the intelligence and national security community in the US based on the dynamic security environment we face in the 21st century. The essay prompt offered a variety of hypothetical scenarios where intelligence failure contributed to catastrophic failure and posed the question: what you would change now to improve the intelligence and national security posture of the US?

The winning essays, from a field of approximately 75 applicants, were authored by (1) Russell Travers, (2) Sophie Faaborg-Andersen, and (3) Marie Couture and Laurie LaPorte. The authors' winning essays appear in this report.

Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci

AP/Alex Brandon

Paper - Centre for International Governance Innovation

US Intelligence, the Coronavirus and the Age of Globalized Challenges

| Aug. 24, 2020

This essay makes three arguments. First, the US government will need to establish a coronavirus commission, similar to the 9/11 commission, to determine why, since April 2020, the United States has suffered more coronavirus fatalities than any other country in the world. Second, the COVID-19 pandemic represents a watershed for what will be a major national security theme this century: biological threats, both from naturally occurring pathogens and from synthesized biology. Third, intelligence about globalized challenges, such as pandemics, needs to be dramatically reconceptualized, stripping away outmoded levels of secrecy.

Advocacy groups display a thousand signs that read #GetUsPPE, along images of health care workers, in a call for personal protective equipment for frontline health workers during the coronavirus outbreak, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Washington.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Paper

Coronavirus as a Strategic Challenge: Has Washington Misdiagnosed the Problem?

| April 2020

With reservations about venturing into territory outside our normal wheelhouse, and in full certainty that some of what we write here will in retrospect turn out to have been wrong, a team of researchers at the Belfer Center and I have been collecting all the data we have been able to find about coronavirus, analyzing it to the best of our ability, and debating competing answers to the fundamental questions about the challenge this novel virus poses to our nation.

What follows is our current first-approximation of a work in progress. We are posting at this point in the hope of stimulating a wider debate that will include a much larger number of analysts beyond public health professionals and epidemiologists—including in particular intelligence officers, financial wizards, historians, and others.

Report

Challenges to U.S. Global Leadership

In a Harvard Kennedy School IDEASpHERE session titled "Challenges to US Global Leadership," Graham Allison, Nicholas Burns, David Gergen, David Ignatius, and Meghan O’Sullivan discussed challenges as well as opportunities facing the United States. Burns moderated the session.

Challenges include the rise of China and the future of the U.S.-China relationship, the crises taking place around the world, and the reputation of the U.S. worldwide. An unexpected opportunity is the increase in available energy sources in the United States.