International Security & Defense

745 Items

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

Field Experience in Pursuit of a Richer Understanding

    Author:
  • Celia Carbone
| Fall/Winter 2017-2018

Elizabeth Philipp’s passion for international relations sprouted at a young age. When learning to walk, she was also learning the French language from her Montessori school teachers. Global priorities have always been part of her life.

A satellite view of the Pyongyang Bio-Technical Institute, April 22, 2017.  ©2016 Google Earth, CNES/Airbus. Used with Permission.

Google Earth, CNES/Airbus

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

North Korea’s Biological Weapons Program: The Known and Unknown

| October 2017

Amidst the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear program, the assassination of Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother via VX nerve agent in February 2017 brought renewed interest in North Korea’s other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs—chemical and biological weapons. If used on a large scale, these weapons can cause not only tens of thousands of deaths, but also create panic and paralyze societies.

On April 19, 2013, federal agents wearing hazardous material suits and breathing apparatus inspect the home and possessions of a Mississippi man who was later convicted for mailing ricin to President Obama (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Trump Must Prevent the Next Biological Attack Before It Strikes

| Sep. 02, 2017

Biological threats have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. This summer, while nuclear tensions are center stage, we can’t afford to divert attention from biological threats. Pathogens know no borders, don’t have passports, can come from a bioterrorist or Mother Nature and can ignite already volatile situations. And the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Texas is yet another reminder of the importance of health security before, during and after a crisis.

Ri Tong Il in Kuala Lumpur

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Stimson Center

Malaysia's VX Incident: Six Months Later

| Aug. 03, 2017

"Even though the VX incident in Kuala Lumpur did not result in a mass killing, the use of a toxic chemical agent in a public space could have generated great threats to the public. Furthermore, the use of a weapon of mass destruction, regardless of the magnitude of its effect, is by itself a matter of grave concern. The international community has created various important norms and rules to prevent the use and spread of WMD. For now, the responsibility rests with Malaysia and its ongoing investigation. Depending on the results, the international community may also need to respond."

Israeli workers at the Shalon gas mask factory

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Reopen the Syrian 'Chemical File'

| May 10, 2017

Israel must assess whether its long-standing decision to refrain from ratifying the CWC, which it signed, continues to serve its interests, or merely provides a PR advantage to its adversaries. At a time when the use of chemical weapons has become more common in the region, a change in policy may be appropriate.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 file photo, smoke rises over Saif Al Dawla district in Aleppo, Syria. It began in March 2011 with a few words spray-painted on a schoolyard wall: “Your turn is coming, doctor.” The doctor in question was Syrian President Bashar Assad, a trained ophthalmologist whose family has ruled the country for more than 40 years. (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo, File)

AP Photo/ Manu Brabo, File

Analysis & Opinions - U.S. News and World Report

Crossing the Line

    Author:
  • Dennis Ross
| Apr. 05, 2017

Clearly, the ceasefire that Russia claims to have brokered with Turkey and Iran does not apply to Bashar Assad's forces. And when it comes to the Assad regime, there can be no doubt that it did not destroy or ship out all of its chemical weapons – notwithstanding its commitment to do so as part of the 2013 deal the U.S. and Russia negotiated. Worse, it feels free to use them.

Syrian soldiers walk at the entrance of Daraya, a blockaded Damascus suburb, August 26, 2016.

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Sacrificing a Queen for a Knight

| August 26, 2016

It will take focused, determined, and vigorous diplomacy in addition to the Obama administration's recognition that the Syria chemical weapons deal was not a proud moment to hold the Assad government accountable. To succeed, Obama will need to craft a consensus, albeit not necessarily a unanimous one, that the Assad government must go because it has repeatedly and grossly violated norms of civilized behavior, and that those who ordered and conducted the attacks must be held personally responsible.