News + Media

David Miliband

In the News

April 15, 2021

Miliband receives the Robert A Muh Alumni Award


Rt Hon David W Miliband SM ’90, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), has been recognized with the 2021 Robert A Muh Alumni Award. The biennial award recognizes the tremendous achievements of MIT degree holders who are leaders in one of the Institute’s humanities, arts, and social science fields. Miliband is being recognized for his long and distinguished political career in the United Kingdom and his leadership in addressing the global refugee crisis. He earned an SM in political science at MIT as a Kennedy Scholar and more recently served as a Robert E Wilheim Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd right), joined by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (right), speaks while facing Yang Jiechi (2nd left), director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Wang Yi (left), China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister, at the opening session of US-China talks in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 18, 2021.   © Reuters

In the News

April 14, 2021

Sought-after ambassador posts unfilled under Biden. Will they go to political allies or veteran diplomats?

Deirdre Shesgreen and Courtney SubramanianUSA Today

M Taylor Fravel quoted: M Taylor Fravel, an expert on China with MIT's security studies program, said the Biden administration may have good reason to hold off on its ambassadorial nominations, noting the wide range of legislative priorities the White House is juggling. “It's America's most consequential diplomatic relationship at the moment, without a doubt,” Fravel said. “If you get China wrong, you get many other things wrong. If you get China right, you solve a lot of other problems.”

Map of Iran with the flag and nuclear symbol

In the News

April 12, 2021

Natanz sidelined by another Israeli attack

James JoynerOutside the Beltway

Vipin Narang quoted: MIT’s Vipin Narang thinks otherwise, tweeting “Setting back part of Iran’s nuclear program by nine months but hardening its resolve to potentially reconstitute its nuclear weapons program seems like a bad trade unless you’re supremely confident you can keep sabotaging it indefinitely before a nuke gets out of the barn.” But, honestly, it’s not as if the regime lacked “resolve” previously.

Happymon Jacob and Taylor Fravel

In the News

April 5, 2021

China miscalculated in provoking a standoff with India

Happymon JacobThe Wire

Happymon Jacob interviews Taylor Fravel about China’s military strategy. Fravel unpacks China’s concept of a world class military and provides a rich understanding of its strategy of fighting local informalized wars and situates it within the Chinese grand strategy.

Globe on a table, with someone on a laptop in the background


April 1, 2021

CIS awards 17 summer study grants

Seventeen doctoral students in international affairs at MIT were awarded summer study grants. Each will receive up to $3,500. Apekshya Prasai was awarded the second annual Guillemin prize.  “The awards were made to an outstanding cohort of MIT students from across the Institute. We're so pleased that the appeal of these grants has broadened and students are responding,” said John Tirman, CIS executive director and principal research scientist.

People hiking with mountains in distance, Feature China/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

In the News

March 29, 2021

The mysterious user editing a global open-source map in China’s favor

Vittoria Elliott and Nilesh ChristopherRest of World

M Taylor Fravel quoted: Altering OpenStreetMap to advance national interests could be considered an extension of what experts call “cartographic warfare” when countries enforce territorial claims via maps. “In the ’50s and ’60s, China and India were engaged in this and would publish competing maps to bolster the strength of their claims to territory,” said M Taylor Fravel, director of the Security Studies Program at MIT, who has studied China’s borders and territorial disputes. “What we are seeing now in open source I would characterize as the latest manifestation of the ways in which states have sought to advance their claims through maps and mapmaking.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a ballistic missile at an unknown location in the nuclear-armed country on July 31, 2019. | KCTV / VIA AFP-JIJI

In the News

March 28, 2021

Loaded language: US denuclearization phrasing puts progress on North Korea in jeopardy

Jesse JohnsonThe Japan Times

Vipin Narang quoted: “The inconsistency is frustrating,” Vipin Narang, a North Korea expert and professor of international relations at MIT, said of the apparent shift in language. “These phrases are not interchangeable, at least as far as Pyongyang is concerned...”  “It seems unnecessary to insist on the ‘denuclearization of North Korea’ if it will simply torpedo attempts to jump-start talks,” MIT’s Narang said. “Of course, it’s possible Pyongyang is just using this as an excuse, but it’s an easy excuse for them to use.”

Pyongyang has released the first images of the test

In the News

March 26, 2021

North Korea claims 'new tactical guided' missiles launched

Laura BickerBBC News

Vipin Narang quoted: Such a new missile would allow North Korea to put heavier nuclear warheads on its rockets, Vipin Narang, a security studies professor at MIT said on Twitter.  “I think the story with this KN23 variant is this massive payload upgrade. This gives North Korea the flexibility to use a not-so-compact nuclear warhead on this missile. On @ArmsControlWonk 0 (fart) to 10 (ICBM) scale, I put this test at a solid (fuel) 6. Others may disagree.” 

September 30, 1987 – Crew members prepare to go ashore from an Ohio class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (National Archive photo by PH1 Harold J. Gerwien)

In the News

March 25, 2021

Barry Posen on risking escalation and scrutinizing plan

CIMSEC discussed the 1980s Maritime Strategy with Professor Barry Posen of MIT, who at the time emerged as a challenger of some of the strategy’s precepts. In this discussion, Posen discusses the possibly escalatory nature of the strategy, the nuclear risks involved, and how operational war plans deserve to be scrutinized by civilian policymakers. This article was first published here

This photo provided by the North Korean government, shows what it says a test fire of newly developed tactical guided projectile at an undisclosed place in North Korea.

In the News

March 25, 2021

North Korea claims it tested a new guided missile

Guardian staff and agenciesThe Guardian

Vipin Narang quoted: Vipin Narang of MIT said it appeared to be a weapon that the North displayed at a military parade in January. “A 2.5 ton warhead likely settles the question whether this KN23 variant is nuclear capable. It is,” he tweeted.