In the News | 2017

Syrians burying their loved ones after the chemical attack.

In the News

April 20, 2017

Guillemin on the sarin attack in Syria

Michelle NhuchMIT News

Jeanne Guillemin, a medical anthropologist and a senior fellow in the MIT Security Studies Program, discusses the April 4 attack on Syrian civilians that killed at least 80.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter launched a missile strike against Syria on Friday.

In the News

April 7, 2017

Strike on Syria is defensible but problematic

Michael A. CohenBoston Globe

Barry Posen comments in the Boston Globe, “…one of the great ironies of Trump’s decision to use force is that is actually in direct support of President Obama’s 2013 negotiated agreement with the Syrian government…”

USA map – cybersecurity © Getty Images

In the News

April 5, 2017

MIT report to combat cyber threats

Colin GrantBBC

Joel Brenner, former NSA inspector general and CIS senior research fellow, speaks to BBC reporter Gareth Mitchell about the recent MIT report on cyber security that examines threats to the nation’s infrastructure. 

Crisis in Syria

In the News

April 5, 2017

Crisis in Syria


Carol Saivetz, a senior advisor at MIT’s Security Studies Program, is featured on WBGH's "Greater Boston" to discuss the crisis in Syria.

MIT Asian security studies faculty (left to right) M. Taylor Fravel, Richard Samuels, and Vipin Narang train the next generation of scholars and security policy analysts; counsel national security officials in the U.S. and abroad; and inform policy through publications and frequent contributions to public debates.

In the News

April 3, 2017

MIT's experts in Asian security

Leda Zimmerman, Emily HiestandMIT News

Taylor Fravel, Richard Samuels, and Vipin Narang train the next generation of scholars and security policy analysts; counsel national security officials in the US and abroad; and inform policy through publications and frequent contributions to public debates.

A nuclear-capable missile was displayed in the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi in 2009.

In the News

March 31, 2017

India, long at odds with Pakistan, may be rethinking nuclear first strikes

Max FisherThe New York Times

This would be more than an arms race, said Vipin Narang, “It’s very scary because all the ‘first-strike instability’ stuff is real…” Shivshankar Menon, India’s national security adviser (2011-2014) and recently at CIS as a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow, is also quoted.

Lourdes Melgar

In the News

March 22, 2017

Mexico’s energy reform

Mary PottsMIT News

Lourdes Melgar, the Center’s Robert Wilhelm Fellow, MIT alumna, and former Mexican government official discusses opportunities and challenges of recent energy reforms in Mexico.

During the 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, Narang said, "There is increasing evidence that India will not allow Pakistan to go first".

In the News

March 21, 2017

India may abandon its 'no first use' nuclear policy

The Economic Times

"Serious voices, who cannot be ignored, seem to suggest that this is where India may be heading, and certainly wants to head,” said Vipin Narang, an expert on South Asian nuclear strategy.

A funeral service last week for victims of a garbage landslide in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At least 113 people were killed in the March 11 collapse, according to the government.

In the News

March 20, 2017

As trash avalanche toll rises in Ethiopia, survivors ask why

Hadra Ahmed and Jacey FortinThe New York Times

The disaster is at odds with the image Ethiopia wants to project as a rapidly developing country, reports Hadra Ahmed and Jacey Fortin for the New York Times. Fortin is the 2016-17 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow at CIS.

Rex Tillerson meeting with Japan

In the News

March 16, 2017

Rex Tillerson, in Japan, says US needs ‘different approach’ to North Korea

Motoko RichThe New York Times

“It’s pretty clear that there’s a perfect storm brewing for mischief in East Asia right now,” said Richard Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the Center for International Studies at MIT.

A peshmerga solider training near Erbil, Iraq

In the News

March 16, 2017

Syria Showdown: will Trump be pressured into putting Turkey first, America second?

Barry R. PosenThe National Interest

Turkey may retaliate against the United States if its desire to recapture Raqqa is denied, writes Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the MIT Security Studies Program.

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor was successfully tested at an undisclosed location in the United States in 2013.

In the News

March 11, 2017

Why US antimissile system in South Korea worries China

Chris BuckleyThe New York Times

“China is probably confident in its ability to be able to retaliate, but given the size and sophistication of US nuclear forces and the steady development of ballistic missile defenses, coupled with China’s small nuclear arsenal, the margin for error is thin,” said Taylor Fravel and Fiona Cunningham.

President Trump visited the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Va., in January. Officials have not ruled out the possibility that the leaker was an agency employee.

In the News

March 8, 2017

CIA scrambles to contain damage from WikiLeaks documents

Matthew Rosenberg, Scott Shane, and Adam GoldmanThe New York Times

Investigators say that the leak was the work of a disaffected insider. Joel Brenner, senior research fellow at CIS and formerly the country’s top counterintelligence official, suggests that the intelligence agencies need to assess the advisability of sharing secrets widely inside their walls.

WikiLeaks said it obtained an alleged arsenal of hacking tools the CIA has used to spy on espionage targets.

In the News

March 7, 2017

FBI prepares for new hunt for WikiLeaks’ source

Devlin BarrettThe Washington Post

“Anybody who thinks that the Manning and Snowden problems were one-offs is just dead wrong,’’ said Joel Brenner, former head of U.S. counterintelligence at the office of the Director of National Intelligence. Brenner is a senior research fellow at CIS. 

Protesters at airport

In the News

February 5, 2017

Making sense of Trump’s travel ban

Harvey M. SapolskyE-International Relations

The dangerous part stems from the belief that President Trump’s ban, temporary or not, blocked or not on legal grounds, will become a recruiting incentive for terrorists.

A Japanese F-15 fighter jet (Courtesy of Japan's Self-Defense Forces)

In the News

January 26, 2017

Smartening up Japan's defenses

Eric Heginbotham and Richard J. SamuelsNikkei Asian Review

Targeted spending increases needed to buttress deterrence as threats rise. The balance of power in Asia is shifting rapidly, with important consequences for Japanese security and the U.S.-Japan alliance. The People's Liberation Army has become a formidable military force capable of challenging U.S. power at an increasing distance from the Asian continent.

The first of 100 Airbus planes arrived in Iran last week after its historic nuclear deal ended some sanctions.

In the News

January 14, 2017

Guess who we don’t talk about these days? Iran

Thomas R. Pickering and Jim WalshThe Charlotte Observer

Have you noticed? The nuclear agreement with Iran is no longer in the headlines. Not long ago, Iran’s nuclear program was the central issue in U.S. foreign policy.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper listens while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017

In the News

January 9, 2017

Trump's intel bashing

Joseph MarksNextgov

“When the president of the United States disparages your work, demeans your work, insults the integrity of your work, you wonder why you’re doing it, especially for a government salary,” says Joel Brenner, a senior research fellow at CIS and a former National Security Agency senior counsel.