SFS in the News

Byman on the True Defeat of the Islamic State

Daniel Byman, professor and senior associate dean, worries that forcing the Islamic State underground will not be a total defeat of the organization. Without maintaining pressure on the group and shoring up cooperation with allies, Byman says, the outcome will be “at best a respite, not lasting victory.”

Nexon on the ancient origins of Xi’s Belt and Road

Xi Jinping alludes to historical icons Zhang Qian and Zheng He in touting big infrastructure plans. “Such images underscore Beijing’s message about the peaceful, cooperative nature of the Belt and Road Initiative,” Professor Daniel Nexon wrote with Paul Musgrave. “They also leave no doubt about China’s leadership role.”

Arsalan Suleman Criticizes Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Arsalan Suleman, former Acting U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and current non-resident fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, believes Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital holds clear implications for the national security interests of the United States.

Irfan Nooruddin

Irfan Nooruddin Weighs In On the Legitimacy of the Honduran Presidential Election

SFS Professor Irfan Nooruddin commented on the legitimacy of the Honduran Presidential election in an OAS-commissioned report, saying: “On the basis of this analysis, I would reject the proposition that the National Party won the election legitimately.” The election occurred on November 26 and has faced accusations of fraud.

intercontinental ballistic missile

SFS On-Topic: North Korea’s Nov. 29 missile launch

After the successful launch of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on November 29, 2017, North Korea announced that it was capable of attacking the continental United States. As tensions reach new heights, SFS faculty weighed in on the reasons for the ICBM launch, its consequences, and the alternatives for U.S. policy towards North Korea.

Matthew Kroenig on the Importance of U.S. Nuclear Weapons

Professor Matthew Kroenig argues that the world is a safer place with U.S. nuclear weapons in response to the Nobel Peace Prize that will go to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), an organization that supports the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Daniel Byman on al-Qaeda’s Declining Influence

Professor Daniel Byman argues that al-Qaeda’s influence is in decline, partly due to U.S. efforts to isolate al-Qaeda in Syria. As the Islamic State gains more attention, funders are becoming less likely to support al-Qaeda and Syrian defection from al-Qaeda is one sign that the group is weakening.

Dennis Ross on Trump’s Misguided Plan for Syria

Professor Dennis Ross explains that while Syria seems to be the only place Trump hasn’t tried to undo his predecessor’s policies, his plan to continue working with Russia in the region is misled in the Wall Street Journal.

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright On U.S. Policy Towards North Korea

In an Op-Ed for The New York Times, School of Foreign Service professor and former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright criticized U.S. president Donald Trump for his inconsistent approach to a nuclear-armed North Korea and advocated for increased diplomatic efforts to address the threat.

Daniel Byman on the United States’ List of Terrorism Sponsors

Writing for Axios, School of Foreign Service Associate Dean Daniel Byman criticized the United States’ list of terrorism sponsors for lacking coherence. Speaking on the re-addition of North Korea to the list, he said that while it may be a “loathsome” state, it is less involved with terrorism than unlisted U.S. partners like Pakistan.

John Tutino

Tutino on Mexico, Mexicans, and the Challenge of Global Capitalism

“The integration of Mexico and the U.S., their workers and markets, is pivotal to U.S. power,” Professor Tutino writes, “yet problematic to many U.S. voters who feel prejudiced in a world of globalizing capitalism and buy into stereotypes that proclaim invasive Mexicans the cause of so many problems.”

Kahl on Trump and Russia: “The Evidence Is Damning”

“The evidence is now irrefutable that Trump,” writes Professor Colin Kahl, “his associates, and Republican leadership more broadly conspired to give Moscow a pass despite (or perhaps because of) Russia’s attack on our democracy.”

Mathew Ha Shares U.S. Position to Isolate North Korea at Emergency UNSC Meeting

Research associate Mathew Ha (MASIA’18) discloses the position that the U.S. took at the United Nations Security Council emergency meeting held in response to North Korea’s third intercontinental ballistic missile. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley argued to isolate and pressure North Korea by cutting diplomatic ties and banning the sale of oil.

McEldowney on the Crisis in Trump’s State Department

“The main problem with our diplomacy and our foreign policy right now is Donald Trump,” said Amb. Nancy McEldowney, Director of the MSFS Program, in an interview with WBUR’s On Point “No one can be an effective secretary of state for Donald Trump.”

Iftikhar and Hamid on Trump’s anti-Muslim retweets

Arsalan Iftikhar, a Senior Fellow at The Bridge Initiative, and alumnus Shadi Hamid (SFS’05, MAAS’06) have spoken out against President Trump’s retweeting of anti-Muslim videos. “What the president is doing is inciting against an entire group of people,” said Hamid.

Pillar: “Misusing Intelligence To Sell Conflict With Iran”

Paul Pillar, veteran CIA analyst and fellow at the Center for Security Studies, described parallels between the way Trump seeks confrontation with Iran and the ways the Bush administration sold the Iraq war. “Among these techniques is the cherry-picking of intelligence,” Pillar wrote.

Ned Price (SFS’05) and Paul Pillar object to Cotton as CIA chief

The veteran CIA analysts expressed concern over Sen. Tom Cotton leading the agency. “Sen. Cotton is a highly ideological individual who is not well-suited to lead an agency part of whose core mission is objective analysis,” said Pillar, a fellow at the Center for Security Studies.