International Security & Defense

5533 Items

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

Building Cyber Defenses For U.S. Elections

| Spring 2018

Undaunted, a group of young civil servants is working directly with political operatives and state and local officials to fortify campaigns and elections against cyberattacks and information operations: Harvard Kennedy School students affiliated with the Belfer Center’s Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P).

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

International Security - Vol. 42 No. 3, Winter 2017/18

Spring 2018

A sampling of articles in the Winter 2017/18 issue of the Belfer Center's journal International Security.

International Security is America’s leading journal of security affairs. The International Security journal is edited at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center and published quarterly by the MIT Press. Questions may be directed to

A passenger reads a newspaper with headline of a planned summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump


Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Give North Korea All the Prestige It Wants

| Mar. 15, 2018

And that is the real danger lurking behind a Trump-Kim summit (assuming, of course, it ever takes place). Having already given Kim a significant propaganda coup — no matter how much Trump's staff tries to deny it — the president will be under enormous pressure to come away with an agreement that makes the gamble seem worth it.

In this August 2, 2017 file photo, A US military helicopter flies over the site of a suicide bomb that struck a NATO convoy in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan. In an "open letter" to U.S. President Donald Trump, Afghanistan's Taliban on Tuesday reiterated their call for a withdrawal of troops to end the protracted war. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Tell the Truth About Our Longest War

| Mar. 14, 2018

The nearly 17-year-old Afghanistan conflict, the longest war in United States history, will not end on the battlefield. It can be resolved only at the negotiating table. So, the bold offer last month from President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan to negotiate with the Taliban “without preconditions” is a welcome initiative. But it faces daunting obstacles.

CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel


Analysis & Opinions - CNN

Breaking Glass Ceiling Doesn't Give Gina Haspel a Pass

| Mar. 13, 2018

If Haspel is to protect American spies and even citizens abroad, she needs to be as clear-eyed as Tillerson about the Russian threat. In her upcoming confirmation hearing, she must share her assessment of the Skripal poisoning and how to temper Russian aggression in light of President Vladimir Putin's conduct. She will represent all of the agents at the CIA; she must stand up for them.

Police officers wear protective suits inside the fence of "Ashley Wood Recovery"


Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Russia Has a Long History of Eliminating 'Enemies of the State'

| Mar. 13, 2018

Cold War histories tend to discuss KGB covert action — including assassinations — in passing, if at all. My research on intelligence and Cold War superpowers, drawing on previously classified KGB material, reveals the importance that successive Soviet leaders attached to 'liquidating' traitors.

An American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem and flags during a welcome ceremony for visiting U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. November 9, 2017 (Andy Wong/Associated Press).

Andy Wong/Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - Cato Unbound

The Future of U.S.-China Relations Begins at Home

| Mar. 12, 2018

Kori Schake’s essay (and the book from which it is adapted) provides a serious, penetrating, and provocative invitation to debate the overriding geostrategic challenge of our time: what to do about the rise of China. Safe Passage is an outstanding example of the sort of work we champion at the Harvard Belfer Center’s Applied History Project. It illuminates current challenges by careful analysis of the historical record. And the case she examines in which the United States rose to rival and eventually surpass the British global hegemony is among the most instructive of the 16 cases in the Harvard Thucydides’ Trap case file for policymakers seeking to cope with the current U.S.-China competition.

The Palace of Nations

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Strategist

How Will New Cybersecurity Norms Develop?

| Mar. 12, 2018

Many observers have called for laws and norms to secure this new environment. But developing such standards in the cyber domain faces a number of difficult hurdles. Although Moore's law about the doubling of computing power every two years means that cyber time moves quickly, human habits, norms, and state practices change more slowly.