Belfer Center Harvard University

The Crisis with Russia

OVERVIEW

This edition is a collection of papers commissioned for the 2014 Aspen Strategy Group Summer Workshop. On the occasion of the 30th year anniversary of the Aspen Strategy Group (founded in 1984), the Summer Workshop in Aspen, Colorado convened a nonpartisan group of preeminent U.S.-Russia policy experts, academics, journalists, and business leaders. The group’s policy discussions were guided by the papers found in this volume, whose scope ranges from exploring the history of the U.S.-Russia relationship, current developments in the Sino-Russian relationship, the NATO and European responses to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, energy considerations, areas of potential U.S.-Russia cooperation, and finally, the broader question of U.S. national security and interests in the European region.

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Belfer Center Harvard University

Refugees Themselves Can Crack This Tough Nut

 

The Palestinian unity technocratic government that held its first meeting in war-torn Gaza on Thursday marked several significant if symbolic realities, the most important being the need to unify all Palestinians under a single legitimate leadership. It could be an important first step in a historic series of actions that are needed to address the visible weaknesses in the Palestinian national condition.

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Belfer Center Harvard University

Europe’s Paralysis Problem

It is seductive to think that the Russian war in Ukraine—and NATO’s sluggish response—is a crisis wholly tied to Russian nationalism and power politics. But in reality, the current crisis is neither simply a function of personal leadership nor political decision-making. As this crisis slowly expands and escalates, we must look at the deeper and far more consequential forces at work upon which the future of Europe—and Ukraine—rest. Russian President Vladimir Putin deals in the currency of force and power. He has found the nations of Europe to be weak, self-indulgent, irresolute, and intestinally unfit for confrontation.

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Belfer Center Harvard University

Backsliding on Nuclear Promises

 

For much of the past six years, President Obama has talked about working toward a world without nuclear weapons. Yet his administration is now investing tens of billions of dollars in modernizing and rebuilding America’s nuclear arsenal and facilities, as The Times reported in detail on Monday. And after good progress in making nuclear bomb material more secure around the world, Mr. Obama has reduced his budget requests for that priority. This is a shortsighted and disappointing turn.

 

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Belfer Center Harvard University

A Generational Challenge

 

President Obama’s plan for dealing with ISIS is a step in the right direction, albeit one that doesn’t go far enough. That’s because ISIS is the symptom and immediate threat, not the primary problem: The Middle East is a fundamentally ill region, one that has repeatedly exported its problems to the United States and the rest of the world and will continue to do so for decades. Iran’s Islamic revolution, Saddam’s rapacious Iraq, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, and Hamas, the slaughter in Syria, Darfur. The litany goes on.

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