In the News | 2018

Jim Walsh

In the News

December 26, 2018

Russia says Israeli missile strikes near Damascus threatened two civilian flights

Peter O'DowdWBUR Here & Now

WBUR’s Peter O'Dowd speaks with Here & Now security analyst Jim Walsh.

 Kim Jong-un inspects an intercontinental ballistic missile in 2017 Credit: HOGP/AP

In the News

December 21, 2018

North Korea warns it will not give up nuclear weapons until US removes 'threat'

Nicola SmithThe Telegraph

“It has always said this. Some people wanted to delude themselves into believing otherwise. But North Korea is nothing if not consistent,” tweeted Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT. 

Vipin Narang

In the News

December 21, 2018

Narang sees a future with nuclear North

Kim Dong-HyeonKorea JoongAng Daily

Vipin Narang is a fixture in the American media whenever the issue of North Korea’s denuclearization is discussed. For the first time, Narang answered questions for a Korean media outlet. Excerpts from the interview are featured here.

Best articles of 2018

In the News

December 21, 2018

Posen's "Illiberal Hegemony" among Foreign Affairs' Best of 2018

Foreign Affairs

Barry Posen's "The Rise of Illiberal Hegemony" article is on Foreign Affairs' The Best of Print 2018 list for best articles they have published this year.


 In this Oct. 26, 2018, photo Ali AlAhmed poses for a photograph in his office in Washington. Hackers are impersonating reporters in a bid to intercept the communications of the prominent Saudi opposition figure in Washington. An Associated Press review of malicious emails sent to AlAhmed shows he was approached by hackers masquerading as a BBC reporter and as Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed last month at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

In the News

December 11, 2018

Khashoggi’s friends, other foreigners, are being watched. The US can do little about it

Tim Johnson and Stuart LeavenworthMiami Herald

“Persons in the United States are legally and effectively protected against unlawful surveillance by American government at every level, but are not legally or effectively protected from surveillance … by foreign governments or persons. Intuitively, this is a peculiar state of affairs,” said Joel Brenner, a former senior counsel at the NSA.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a media availability with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at the State Department on May 11, 2018, in Washington.

In the News

December 7, 2018

Trump moving ahead with second Kim summit despite working-level frustrations

Conor FinneganABC News

But it's not technically a violation of the declaration Trump and Kim signed at the Singapore summit because North Korea "never said it would" disarm, as Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT, tweeted Wednesday.

North Korea

In the News

December 5, 2018

North Korea: secret missile site revealed in new satellite images

The Guardian

“North Korea isn’t disarming. It never said it would,” Vipin Narang wrote on Twitter. “[Trump] has to be well aware of these developments. He just doesn’t care. Kim pretends to disarm and Trump pretends to believe him. That’ll get everyone to halftime.”

In the News

December 4, 2018

Russia isn't complying with an arms control treaty--so the US is threatening to rip it up

Alex WardVox

“Punching out isn’t going to bring them into compliance, and now lets them justify a buildup even more while painting us as the bad guys,” said Vipin Narang, who is quoted in this piece.


The S-400 can destroy the Nasr nuclear missiles of Pakistan. In Picture: Nasr 1 being fired.

In the News

December 3, 2018

Has Pakistan bought Chinese SH-15 Howitzer for its 'miniaturized' nuclear shells?

Nagesh NarayanaInternational Business Times

Vipin Narang was quoted as saying, I should clarify one thing: I have no doubt SPD would love a nuclear artillery shell—it's literally in its DNA—but we are talking about a warhead 1/8th size of Nasr and that's not easy without a test. So I'm very skeptical they have one ... yet.

Sana Aiyar, an associate professor of history at MIT

In the News

November 29, 2018

Populism: a case-by-case study

Una HajdariMIT News

MIT Starr Forum panel discusses extreme forms of populism that have endangered basic civil liberties and spawned intolerant rhetoric.

In the News

November 21, 2018

A US attempt to keep AI out of China’s hands could actually help China

Karen HaoMIT Technology Review

David Edelman, director of MIT’s Project on Technology, the Economy, and National Security, worries that if the restrictions are mishandled, they could cause serious “collateral damage” for US businesses. 

In the News

November 13, 2018

Satellite images reveal hidden North Korean missile bases

Zachary CohenCNN

Vipin Narang told CNN that Kim's actions do not amount to "deception since he said on New Year's Day that North Korea would mass-produce and deploy its missiles that it already tested. There has been no agreement or discussion remotely that detailed --- even on nuclear systems, and many of these are short range conventional missiles which North Korea has never said were on the table."

In the News

November 13, 2018

Insulting veterans and allies


President Trump is getting a lot of criticism for scrapping a planned visit to Arlington National Cemetery in honor of Veterans Day. It's the second time in three days that he has canceled plans to honor US soldiers.

In the News

November 1, 2018

Novelist Min Jin Lee makes the case for understanding through fiction

Peter DizikesMIT News

Renowned author Min Jin Lee made a vigorous case for literature as an essential means for understanding complex cultures around the globe, during a Starr Forum event.

In the News

October 17, 2018

Endorsement meetings at the Globe ahead of the 2018 midterms

Una Hajdari IWMF

With the mid-terms being around the corner, the Boston Globe editorial board organized meetings with people running for various offices to help decide Globe endorsements, and this year's Neuffer fellow, Una Hajdari, comments on the process.

President Trump and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, during a signing ceremony on Sentosa Island, Singapore, in June.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

In the News

October 12, 2018

North Korea weaponizes its deal with Trump to tangle talks

Choe Sang-HunThe New York Times

Mr. Kim “has mastered the art of milking a single cosmetic concession for months,” Vipin Narang, said on Twitter this week. “Brilliantly selling the same horse twice.”

Google's unpopular social network is finally finding itself in the spotlight-- but for all the wrong reasons. David Edelman, MIT's Director of the Project on Technology, the Economy and National Security speaks with News Stream

In the News

October 10, 2018

Google+ to close after report of user data exposure


Google's unpopular social network is finally finding itself in the spotlightbut for all the wrong reasons. David Edelman speaks with CNN’s News Stream.

Daniel Slim/Getty Images

In the News

October 10, 2018

US weapons systems are easy cyberattack targets, new report finds

Emily DreyfussWired

“I will say that the GAO can be prone to cyber hyperbole, but unless their sampling or methodology were way off or deliberately misleading, DOD has a very grave problem on its hands,” says R David Edelman.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US and North Korea are in “complete agreement” ahead of the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean ...

In the News

October 9, 2018

Pompeo hails 'significant' North Korea progress; experts skeptical

ReutersThe New York Times

The real takeaway from this Punggye-ri pledge is that Kim has mastered the art of milking a single cosmetic concession for months to burn clock, Vipin Narang said on Twitter.

Kim Jong Un met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang on Sunday.

In the News

October 8, 2018

Experts dismiss North Korea's latest concession to US

Alexander SmithNBC News

Kim and his officials are instead trying to buy time so they can make progress on other fronts…Inviting inspectors to an old testing site is an example of this calculus, according to Vipin Narang.

 The CIA has long been concerned biological threats, including the use of anthrax bacteria, seen above.   © Reuters

In the News

October 3, 2018

China and the new frontier of biosecurity threats

Henny SenderNikkei Asian Review

Kenneth Oye, director of the Center’s Program on Emerging Technologies said that it is possible for even helpful advances to be used in bad ways. It will be difficult to check the potential for malevolent misuse of advanced biotechnologies, he said.

General Michael Hayden took questions from the audience and from Joel Brenner (right), who was a former senior counsel at the NSA and head of U.S. counterintelligence under the director of National Intelligence. Brenner is a research affiliate of the MIT Center for International Studies and CSAIL’s Internet Policy Research Initiative.  Photo: Laura Kerwin/Center for International Studies

In the News

October 3, 2018

An assault on American intelligence

Una HajdariMIT News

In MIT visit, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden describes current difficulties faced by society and US intelligence services.

  Troops from North and South Korea begin removing some land mines along their heavily fortified border, the South's defense ministry says, in a pact to reduce tension and build trust on the divided peninsula. (Reuters)

In the News

October 3, 2018

As Pompeo heads for Pyongyang, North Korea appears to raise its demands

Simon Denyer The Washingon Post

The US argues to keep sanctions until North Korea denuclearizes.  North Korea disagrees. Vipin Narang said the comments “really [put] a little bit of cold water” on the hope that North Korea might provide a list of its nuclear and missile sites in return for an end-of-war declaration.

Barry Posen

In the News

September 29, 2018

Safety nightmares of US nuclear weapons

Farooq AwanDaily Times

According to Barry Posen, the US has its guns pointed at aspiring nuclear weapons states in a way that makes them feel less secure. “I worry not about nuclear weapons in the hands of states, but nuclear weapons that are not in the hands of states…”

In the News

September 27, 2018

What is the point of a forever war in Iraq?

Bonnie KristianThe National Interest

“Odd indeed to repudiate the product of democracy at home to pursue a futile quest to achieve it in a divided and violent society abroad,” said Barry Posen.

U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers secure a landing zone near Al Tanf in southern Syria. The garrison there, at the border of Iraq, is one of many dotting Syria that presents a challenge for the U.S. presence in the country. (Army)

In the News

September 26, 2018

The White House just revealed massive mission creep in Syria. Here's why.

Kyle Rempfer and Todd South Military Times

“Never give up a sales pitch that's working,” said Barry Posen, director of the Security Studies Program at the MIT Center for International Studies.

Army Gen. Robert Abrams

In the News

September 25, 2018

First UN Mil-Mil talks with North Korea in 11 years; what they mean

Colin Clark and Paul McLearyBreaking Defense

Vipin Narang, noted the importance of the communications between North Korea and the UN command. “The mil-mil line is really great, a far cry from last year’s high temperature,” he said, cautioning that Kim Jong Un didn’t start behaving this well until he “declared his nuclear deterrent force ‘complete’ and then embarked on the charm offensive. He’s been driving the train, and everyone else is trying to hang on or trying not to get run over!”

President Trump speaks to the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 19,

In the News

September 25, 2018

Trump strikes softer North Korea tone at UN, after 'Rocket Man' speech a year ago

Jeremy HobsonWBUR Here & Now

President Trump used his address at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday morning to assert American sovereignty, and speak on North Korea. Here & Now speaks with security analyst Jim Walsh about whether the meeting might lead to more talks between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) gesture as they watch the large-scale gymnastic and artistic performance at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang on 19 September, 2018, after their summit. (Pyeongyang Press Corps / AFP Photo)

In the News

September 20, 2018

Kim to visit Seoul, shut missile site

AFPThe Asean Post

Kim is playing this brilliantly: verify that I dismantle a single site that I no longer need anyway while I mass-produce the missiles the site helped me develop,Vipin Narang of MIT said.

  The Sohae Satellite Launching Station was the site of North Korea's first successful space launch in 2012. The North now says it will dismantle the facility. David Guttenfelder/AP

In the News

September 19, 2018

Experts are underwhelmed by North Korea's promise to dismantle missile site

Geoff BrumfielNPR

Narang says, North Korea is widely believed to be building up its nuclear arsenal: They claim they're already mass-producing the ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons that they've already tested.

Leaders of two Koreas parade through Pyongyang ahead of nuclear talks | Reuters

In the News

September 18, 2018

North, South Korean leaders meeting

Lisa MullinsWBUR Here & Now

The leaders of North and South Korea met for the third time to try to revive the stalled nuclear talks.  Jim Walsh discusses whether the meeting might lead to more talks between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un upon arrival in Pyongyang, North Korea on Sept. 18. (Pyongyang Press Corps)

In the News

September 18, 2018

Summit may be the grand theater Kim needs to show his people

The Associated PressThe New York Times

Vipin Narang said Kims efforts this week fit into his new strategic line. Nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles are quietly being mass-produced but Kim wont flaunt them. All attention and focus is on economic development.

In the News

September 17, 2018

Korean summit: can Moon and Kim deliver Trump a nuclear win, or is it all talk?

John PowerSouth China Morning Post

“Our alliance dynamics are complicated by the fact that South Korea, and President Moon in particular, may prefer a less robust US-South Korea alliance in order to normalise relations with North Korea…,” said Vipin Narang.

 Soldiers march across Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade in Pyongyang in 2017 Photograph: Wong Maye-E/AP

In the News

September 6, 2018

North Korea turns 70: all eyes on missile displays at upcoming military parade

Benjamin Haas The Guardian

Vipin Narang said that for Sunday’s procession “the most provocative move would be for Kim to parade new nuclear capable systems that we have not seen before. The signal in this case would be: ‘not only did I say I’m not unilaterally disarming, but I’ve even got some new toys in the works.’”  But he added it was unlikely Kim would want to be so aggressive while their talks with the US continue.

In the News

September 5, 2018

South Korean officials and Kim Jong Un; Pompeo in Pakistan

WBUR Here & Now

A South Korean presidential delegation met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and conveyed a personal letter from South Korean President Moon Jae-in. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Pakistan at a time when relations have sunk to a new low. Jim Walsh speaks about these and other issues.

Chief of the national security office at Seoul's presidential Blue House Chung Eui-yong meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, North Korea. The Presidential Blue House /via REUTERS

In the News

September 5, 2018

North Korea's Kim sets denuclearization time line, prompting thanks from Trump

Hyonhee Shin, Susan HeaveyReuters

“Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in President Trump.’ Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!” Trump wrote. “Kim just owns Trump. He knows his mark,” said Vipin Narang, in a message on Twitter.

President Trump

In the News

August 30, 2018

Trump is blaming China for North Korea impasse, but real fault may lie closer to home

Simon DenyerThe Washingon Post

Vipin Narang quoted on North Korea, “This was exactly the risk of Trump freelancing in Singapore: making promises to Kim Jong Un (and earlier Kim Yong Chol) that the Administration could not and would not deliver on. Things may quickly heat back up, and this one is squarely on Trump.”

Trump with Kim (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

In the News

August 24, 2018

Donald Trump sorrowfully cancels another North Korea meeting

Uri FriedmanThe Atlantic

Vipin Narang comments on the canceled North Korea meeting in The Atlantic, “I’m much more skeptical this time because last time Kim wanted the summit just as badly,” Narang observed on Friday. “This time he’s in a much stronger position.”

South Korean Lee Su-nam shows a selection of ageing family photos and his brother’s high school diploma. Photograph: Benjamin Haas

In the News

August 19, 2018

South Korean family prepares for what might be a last reunion

Benjamin HaasThe Guardian

 “These may look like small goodwill gestures, but they are an important part of the trust-building process which North Korea has signalled it values,” said Vipin Narang.

Warning: John Bolton

In the News

August 10, 2018

US frustration rises as North Korea turns down timeline to ditch its nuclear weapons

Nicola SmithIndependent.IE

Vipin Narang called Mr Pompeo's plan a delusional non-starter.  Writing on his Twitter account he said: If this is what Pompeo has asked for, its no wonder North Korea has called him a robber or gangster-like. And trying to literally take their nukes away distracts from other realistic objectives like caps.

In the News

July 26, 2018

US anticipates North Korea will return remains of 55 service members, official says

Greg Palkot, Lukas MikelionisFOX News

The US is anticipating that North Korea will return the remains of some 55 American service members on Friday, which is the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War.

 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is dismantling a rocket-launch facility. It could be because of President Donald Trump. Korea Summit Press Pool/Getty Images

In the News

July 25, 2018

US-North Korea talks have been a disaster since Trump met with Kim Jong Un

Alex WardVox

SSP's Vipin Narang tells Vox it’s a good thing that Pyongyang is dismantling the rocket-launch facility. But it’s a positive step having less to do with North Korea’s missile-launching ability, and more to do with how it will make the Trump administration look.

A satellite image shows progress at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station.

In the News

July 24, 2018

North Korea is dismantling missile facilities, but nuclear expert warns against getting 'drunk on optimism'

Linda MottramABC News

It is good news, said Vipin Narang, but there are a couple of caveats.  ...the Sohae test site could be destroyed, and North Korea could continue to improve their missile force and produce nuclear weapons."

In the News

July 23, 2018

What was the strategy behind the president's Iran tweet?


President Trump tweeted a strongly worded message to President Rouhani of Iran. Jim Walsh says that the president’s tweet could come off as a nuclear threat.

In the News

July 23, 2018

Satellite images indicate North Korea has started dismantling rocket launch site

Jonathan Cheng and Michael R. GordonThe Wall Street Journal

The overall importance of the Sohae missile site has also likely diminished for Pyongyang says Vipin Narang on the news that satellite imagery shows North Korea has begun taking down its main satellite launch facility.

Barry Posen, a Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the MIT Security Studies Program at the Center for International Studies, provided a foreign policy briefing on US grand strategy to consuls generals and journalists in April, 2018. He is the author of "The Case for Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy."  Photo courtesy Laura Kerwin/MIT Center for International Studies

In the News

July 20, 2018

The NATO summit and state of the alliance

Michelle EnglishMIT News

Barry Posen, a leading national security expert and Cold War historian, offers in-depth scholarship on NATO Summit. He discusses the role of NATO today, and whether the alliance is “stronger than ever,” as President Trump stated in a post-summit press conference.

In the News

July 20, 2018

For US cybersecurity, it’s Code Red

Hiawatha BrayBoston Globe

“It’s very scary out there,” said Joel Brenner, a senior research fellow at CIS and former inspector general of the US National Security Agency. “People have little idea how relentlessly our critical infrastructure as well as our government agencies are being attacked, around the clock.”

In the News

July 19, 2018

Trump's sharp criticism of NATO's newest member has a point, but his comments are playing right into Russia's hands

Christopher WoodyNew Haven Register

Russia has accused NATO of trying to encircle it, and Moscow was adamantly opposed to Montenegro joining the alliance. Barry Posen is quoted.

President Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands before attending a joint press conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. (Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

In the News

July 17, 2018

Where Trump's summit with Putin fits as a historical moment

Robin Young and Jeremy HobsonWBUR Here & Now

President Trump meets with lawmakers Tuesday as he deals with fallout from Monday's closed-door talks and joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Trump Faces Criticism For Comments After Putin Meeting

In the News

July 16, 2018

Trump faces criticism for comments after Putin meeting

Sue O'ConnellNECN "The Take"

President Donald Trump faces bi-partisan congressional criticism for his comments after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. What's the basis of the criticism and is it fair? Why was he so eager to meet with Putin in the first place? Carol Saivetz, MIT Security Studies, discusses on The Take.

South China Sea, Image Credit: U.S. Navy/ Still shot

In the News

July 11, 2018

Is China using force or coercion in the South China Sea?

Constantinos YiallouridesThe Diplomat

M. Taylor Fravel comments that China’s use of force in its territorial disputes aims “to create a reputation for toughness over territory and deter its opponents in all other disputes.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left North Korea after two days of “productive” talks, while Pyongyang decried U.S. “gangster-like” tactics, on July 7, 2018. (Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images)

In the News

July 10, 2018

Crisis in US nuclear talks with Pyongyang not China’s doing, experts say

Keith JohnsonForeign Policy

“Trump’s tweet betrays the fundamental problem: He thinks it was a contract and a unilateral agreement to denuclearize,” said Vipin Narang. “But when North Korea says it is not going to unilaterally disarm, that is not the influence of China — that is them knowing what they signed [in Singapore].”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at Nom Bar International Airport in Hanoi on July 8, 2018. Pompeo shrugged off North Korean accusations of "gangster-like" behavior and said sanctions on Pyongyang would only be lifted with "final" denuclearization. (Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images)

In the News

July 9, 2018

Heated rhetoric from North Korea

Lisa MullinsWBUR Here & Now

President Trump heads to Europe this week for the NATO summit after a weekend that featured heated rhetoric from North Korea on denuclearization. Jim Walsh weighs in on Here & Now.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Pyongyang, on Friday, in the first negotiations since the historic June 12th summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.

In the News

July 8, 2018

North Korea declares US diplomacy “gangster-like”

Robin WrightThe New Yorker

Vipin Narang described the criticism as a “negotiating tactic.” But he also cautioned, in a tweet, that the Kim regime is signalling “… (1) We aren’t unilaterally disarming…(2) Any other stuff short of that? Gonna cost you chief…”

White House national security adviser John Bolton

In the News

July 2, 2018

US has plan to dismantle North Korea nuclear program within a year: Bolton

The New York Times

The North could try to trade sites and technology that have relatively low values in exchange for sanctions relief, while covertly operating facilities required to advance key capabilities, SSP's Vipin Narang said. What it suggests is that Kim has no intention of surrendering his nuclear weapons.” 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

In the News

July 2, 2018

Is North Korea secretly continuing its nuclear programme?

Andreas IllmerBBC News

You can imagine a North Korean strategy where without a full disclosure of all their facilities they can offer to shut down some of the known sites in order to get sanctions relief, SSPs Vipin Narang explains to BBC News. At the same time they would clandestinely push ahead at the secret sites.

New satellite images show North Korea has made rapid improvements to the infrastructure at its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center.

In the News

June 27, 2018

Satellite images show North Korea upgrading nuclear facility

Zachary CohenCNN

North Korea has had a decade-long nuclear testing sequence where they have presumably learned a lot about designs, SSP's Vipin Narang told CNN. They probably do not need full blown tests to go into serial production of warheads.

Siemens trains its next generation of workers at this complex outside Munich.

In the News

June 22, 2018

Rebuilding Germany’s centuries-old vocational program

Russ JuskalianMIT Technology Review

The Ausbildung is widely touted as an example other countries should follow. But it’s struggling to keep up with technological change. But don’t write off the German system just yet. Over the centuries, it “has survived and been adapted to massive changes in technology,” says Kathleen Thelen.

Orkideh Behrouzan

In the News

June 21, 2018

The psycho-politics of wellbeing

Middle East Research and Information Project

CIS affiliate scholar Orkideh Behrouzan speaks about the politics of Iranian mental health and the effects of 40 years of revolution and war and the ways in which a younger generation is forming identities. 

American flag and barbed wire, USA border

In the News

June 20, 2018

CIS experts discuss immigration in the US

CIS experts have been talking about immigration in America and offering their insight on the issues—as well as how the Trump administration changes impacted the process and changed the narrative on migration to the US.

In the News

June 20, 2018

Kim Jong Un ends visit to China with a message for the US

Zachary CohenCNN

The Economist may have said Kim Jong Won, Narang said, referring to a pun on the magazines cover about the summit, but it really should've been Xi Jinping winning.

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter tours the General Dynamics Electric Boat facility in Groton, Conn., in May 2016.

In the News

June 16, 2018

Some experts question defense value of submarines

Dan FreedmanThe Hour

The Columbia-class is the updated classic ballistic-missile submarine, and, according to Owen Cote, “the single most important part of the nuclear triad. It’s the only weapons platform that can survive attack and destroy any target. The only bad thing about it is it’s expensive.”

Chinese visitors in Dandong look on as a train passes from North Korea to China on the Friendship Bridge. Beijing sees Pyongyang as holding a unique place in its foreign policy. Photo: Reuters

In the News

June 16, 2018

How China is using North Korea in its long game against America

Shi JiangtaoSouth China Morning Post

Despite Pyongyang’s record of using diplomacy to manipulate major powers, analysts say Beijing may have few good options other than to throw its weight behind another round of denuclearisation talks to maintain ties with its communist neighbour and secure its regional influence.

Kim Jong-Un

In the News

June 14, 2018

Two guys walk into a summit in Singapore

Chris LydonRadio Open Source
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018.

In the News

June 13, 2018

CIS experts in national security and the Koreas discuss the Singapore summit

The Center's experts have been mentioned in media outlets around the globe, weighing in on the expectations and possible outcomes of the historic meeting of President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

Kathleen Thelen

In the News

June 12, 2018

Gender gap without gender bias?

Colleen FlahertyInside Higher Ed

Kathleen Thelen's research inspires political science publishers to take a closer at publication gender bias. Study says editors of major political science journals demonstrate no systematic bias against female authors. Yet women authors remain underrepresented in the field. Why?

A man watches a TV screen showing file footage of U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, June 11, 2018. Final preparations are underway in Singapore for Tuesday's historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim, including a plan for the leaders to kick things off by meeting with only their translators present, a U.S. official said.

In the News

June 11, 2018

Singapore summit preview

Meghna Chakrabarti and Jamie BolognaWBUR

It may take years to determine the success of the summit, but experts discuss what to watch for and what they expect to see out of the historic meeting.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives in Singapore on June 10, 2018. Terence Tan /Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information via Getty Images

In the News

June 11, 2018

What to expect from President Trump’s first meeting with Kim Jong Un

Larry MantleAirTalk

It will be the first time a North Korean leader has met with a sitting US president, despite decades of tense relations. Experts in national security and the Koreas discuss expectations ahead of tonight’s summit.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 16, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS

In the News

June 11, 2018

Who has Kim Jong Un's 'nuclear button' in Pyongyang while he's away?

Josh SmithReuters

“Its command and control structure while Kim is traveling is unlikely to be robust enough for him to be able to reliably issue or stop launch sequences,” says Vipin Narang.  He said that was because North Korea was likely to have configured its nuclear forces to permit rapid authorization to launch in order to offset the risk of a first strike from the United States.

In the News

June 8, 2018

Despite good faith on Singapore meeting, discord remains between US, Japan


CIS Director Richard Samuels said: He (Trump) has given every reason for Tokyo to fear that Washington will compromise their security by cutting a deal that doesn't include short range missiles and that effectively acknowledges the DPRK as a nuclear weapons state. Abe has few cards to play to forestall that.

Yevgenia Nayberg

In the News

June 7, 2018

Why certain types of elections favor extreme candidates


The study, based on the research of Fotini Christia and several other social scientists, cannot say whether district or at-large elections are better, but it is clear that voting systems can influence who ends up in power.

In the News

June 4, 2018

Students spearhead “women working in security” conference

Ryan Evans, Usha Sahay, Sara Plana, Rachel Tecott, Alex Bick, Alice Friend, and Kathleen HicksWar on the Rocks

PhD candidates Sara Plana and Rachel Tecott spearheaded a major conference that was sponsored and hosted by CSIS and the Kissinger Center at SAIS.  The topic, the future of force, aims to be the first in a program series called the Future of Strategy Forum that features women doing important work in national and international security.

VCG/VCG | Getty Images A PLA Navy fleet including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, submarines, vessels and fighter jets take part in a review in the South China Sea last April.

In the News

June 1, 2018

As Trump talks trade and nukes, China quietly tightens its grip on the South China Sea

Clay DillowCNBC

The US is trying to stop China from doing something its already doing, said Taylor Fravel, associate professor of political science and the Centers acting director. Thats harder than stopping it from doing something it hasnt done yet.

In the News

May 31, 2018

What a Trump-Kim deal may look like, from good to bad to worse

David Tweed, Toluse Olorunnipa, and Justin Sink Bloomberg News

“It is costless for Kim to say I am not going to do nuclear or missiles tests for now because frankly they are a stage in their cycle where they don’t need to,” said Vipin Narang.

Trump leaves the room

In the News

May 30, 2018

Vipin Narang in the news

Nuclear strategy expert Vipin Narang spoke with several media outlets about President Trump's withdrawl from the Iran Deal and the implications it has on North Korea, speculating about the expectations both leaders have for the upcoming June 12th summit in Singapore between Kim and Trump.

U.S. Pacific Command head Admiral Harry Harris (L); General Joe Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2nd L); Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Admiral John Richardson (R) attend a change of command ceremony in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, May 30, 2018

In the News

May 30, 2018

US military renames largest area of operations

William GalloVOA

Taylor Fravel, associate professor of political science and the Centers acting director, says the name change to “Indo-Pacific Command” from “Pacific Command” is also likely intended to signal support for the US administrations “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.”

Kim Trump

In the News

May 28, 2018

US-North Korea summit like Trump’s “reality tv-show finale”: Vipin Narang

By Eleanor HallThe World Today

The recent meeting of the two Korean leaders has boosted the prospects that the June 12 summit will go ahead. Vipin Narang featured on The World Today.

  South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday for an unannounced discussion about their hopes for a U.S.-Korea summit. (South Korea Presidential Blue House)

In the News

May 27, 2018

US officials meet with North Koreans despite uncertainty surrounding Trump-Kim summit

Anna Fifield and Joby WarrickThe Washington Post

“This is a great step,” said Vipin Narang, noting that the summit preparation was best handled by experts behind the scenes rather than in public forums such as Twitter. “This is how progress is made, and the best chance to have a summit, and one that yields meaningful outcomes,” Narang said. 

President Trump

In the News

May 18, 2018

Jim Walsh on Iran and North Korea

Jim Walsh, SSP senior research associate and foreign policy expert corrects Fox News host claiming the Iran deal must be bad because Iran wants to stay in By that definition, no deal would ever be good if the parties supported it. That's not how negotiations work.” Walsh also appeared on various media outlets to give his perspective on the latest with North Korea and President Trump.

Could the inevitable compromise at a Kim Jong-un summit could force a parting of the ways between Donald Trump and his third national security adviser? Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

In the News

May 17, 2018

Trump faces North Korea dilemma after Bolton infuriates Pyongyang

Julian Borger The Guardian

“The North Koreans were prepared to ignore a lot of what the administration said before the summit, but it was the victory lap before the race that has really set them off,” Vipin Narang said.

John Tirman

In the News

May 16, 2018

JCPOA opportunity for EU to get rid of US dominance

Iran Times of News

The EU, in words at least, wants to keep the JCPOA and has opposed President Trump’s move. John Tirman discusses the Iran nuclear deal with Persia Digest.  

Hazel Sive - Image courtesy of the MIT Office of Faculty Support

In the News

May 7, 2018

3Q: Hazel Sive on MIT-Africa

Sarah McDonnellMIT News

Hazel Sive, a professor in the Department of Biology, member of the Whitehead Institute, and faculty director of MISTI’s MIT-Africa program discusses the MIT-Africa Initiative, including the launch of a new website,

President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House

In the News

May 7, 2018

Walsh on the Iran nuclear deal

WBUR Here & Now

We get the latest surrounding the Iran nuclear deal, amid President Trump facing a Saturday deadline to decide whether to stay with the deal, from security analyst Jim Walsh. 

Vipin Narang

In the News

May 7, 2018

Pentagon wants to deploy 'low-yield' nuclear weapons to deter Russia from similar ones

David Welna NPR

If they ever saw a trident coming, they would have no idea what's on it. And I think that's a really dangerous proposition, especially if your aim is to target assets deep in Russian territory. You're buying yourself a strategic nuclear war potentially.  Vipin Narang spoke on All Things Considered.

Richard A. Nielsen

In the News

May 6, 2018

Richard Nielsen on Deadly Clerics

Research On Religion

Political rebellion and violence in the Middle East has recently been associated with religious belief and rhetoric, often spurred on by the writings and recordings of Muslim clerics. What motivates imams to advocate such tactics?

In the News

May 3, 2018

Denuclearization: can Trump and Kim find a common definition?

Shelby HollidayThe Wall Street Journal

“Denuclearization is a catch-all term that allows both sides to let it mean whatever they want it to mean...It creates a lot of trouble as you approach a summit, because both sides can have very different definitions or notions of what it means.” Vipin Narang told the WSJ.

President Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to meet soon.CreditAhn Young-Joon/Associated Press

In the News

April 23, 2018

An unpredictable Trump and a risk-prone Kim mean high stakes and mismatched expectations

Max FisherThe New York Times

In the New York Times, Vipin Narang warned that the mile-wide gaps in the countries’ goals and even their understandings of basic terminology leaves “either lots of room for a bargain, or lot of room for a war.”

People walk past a television news screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seoul on April 21, 2018. Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

In the News

April 21, 2018

North Korea stops short of suggesting any intention of giving up nuclear arsenal


This was a smart move by Kim, says Vipin Narang. Although it largely formalizes previous pledges on the moratoria from last November and March, it still leaves a lot of wiggle room for circumventing the pledges in the future, and nothing in there is irreversible. And nothing in there mentions denuclearization, of any variety. 

A TV screen at Seoul Railway Station shows file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday. (Ahn Young-Joon/AP)

In the News

April 19, 2018

South Korean president says North isn’t insisting on American troop withdrawal

Anna FifieldThe Washingon Post

Vipin Narang said he would be “very, very careful” about interpreting Moon’s statement as a sign that Kim had conceded that U.S. Forces Korea could stay, “This is a very clever semantic pirouette.”

Lent Shaw was lynched in 1936 CBS News

In the News

April 9, 2018

Great-grandson of lynching victim faces the past: "This is American history"

Jim AxelrodCBS News

Melissa Nobles, in reference to the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Boston's Northeastern University Law School, told CBS We are now beginning to change the narrative such that the families who have had that violence visited upon them now can talk about it and it be understood.

A U.S. soldier takes part in a Vigilant air combat exercise in South Korea last December. (Photo by Kim Hong-Ji-Pool/Getty Images)

In the News

April 9, 2018

North Korea’s definition of ‘denuclearization’ is very different from Trump’s

Anna FifieldThe Washingon Post

“The danger is entering into negotiations with unrealistic expectations that Kim is just going to hand over the keys to his nuclear kingdom. He won’t,” said Vipin Narang.

Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In the News

March 29, 2018

What economists don’t know about manufacturing

William B. Bonvillian & Peter L. SingerThe American Interest

Political economist Suzanne Berger has noted that mainstream economists thought manufacturing was like agriculture, where relentless productivity gains allowed an ever-smaller workforce to achieve ever-greater output. She found that the agriculture analogy was simply incorrect.

What it's like to negotiate with North Korea

In the News

March 22, 2018

What it's like to negotiate with North Korea

Shannon VavraAxios

President Trump may find himself in a difficult position as soon as he sits down with Kim Jong-un, according to Jim Walsh, who has been in the room for previous talks and says North Korea’s first pitch is often a curveball.

US Critical Infrastructure Under Attack by Russia

In the News

March 22, 2018

Russian hackers targeted critical US infrastructure—What happens now?

Alison Bruzek and Meghna ChakrabartiWBUR Radio Boston

Russian hackers targeted and penetrated some of the country's most sensitive infrastructure including power, nuclear, water, and aviation networks. Joel Brenner wasn't surprised.

DPRK and ROK foreign ministers abroad, preparing for talks | CGTN America

In the News

March 16, 2018

US and ROK’s diplomatic push for talks with the DPRK

Roee RuttenbergCGTN America

There is a flurry of diplomatic activity ahead of a planned meeting between President Trump and the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Jong Un. CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with international security expert Jim Walsh.

Joel Brenner

In the News

February 28, 2018

Sessions pushes back on Trump after insult


"The fact that the President is upset that Sessions is playing by the book is yet another indication that the President is profoundly ignorant and indifferent to the purposes of the institutions of our government," says Joel Brenner, former NSA inspector general and a senior research fellow at CIS.

Dean Nobles moderating the discussion

In the News

February 27, 2018

Is democracy dying?

Peter DizikesMIT News

Is democracy dying, in the US and around the world? Why or why not? And if so, what can anyone do about it? These questions were at the heart of the Center’s Starr Forum on Monday evening. The panelists discussed democratic systems of rule and suggested some measures to protect them. 

Students walked through pillars at MIT.

In the News

February 25, 2018

Some colleges are cracking down on student-teacher romances

Deirdre FernandesBoston Globe

David Singer cited for work on MIT's new sexual harassment policy, “We wanted to make sure the policy was fair,” Singer said. But ultimately, school officials “were concerned about relationships of asymmetry of power.”

Barry Posen

In the News

January 31, 2018

The future of transatlantic relations: A debate

Brookings Institution

On Wednesday, January 31, the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology hosted a debate on the future of the transatlantic relationship. This debate, convened by the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy program and the Charles Koch Institute, in partnership with POLITICO, is the third debate in a series of thematic debates on America’s role in the world.

Missile Agni V is displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013.

In the News

January 18, 2018

India tests-fires Agni-V, a nuclear-capable ICBM

Joshua Berlinger and Nikhil KumarCNN

Vipin Narang said Thursday's test did not demonstrate any new capability, (this) was simply a developmental test before India inducts it into operational service. It's possible India's armed forces were testing the canister the missile is launched out of, as well as its ejection, flight performance and accuracy -- a regular technical test in that regard.

It took 38 minutes for officials to correct a false alert that said a missile was heading for Hawaii.Instagram/@sighpoutshrug/via REUTERS

In the News

January 15, 2018

Hawaii and the horror of human error

Paul McLearyThe Atlantic

Vipin Narang tweeted one scenario on Saturday. “POTUS sees alert on his phone about an incoming toward Hawaii, pulls out the biscuit, turns to his military aide with the football and issues a valid and authentic order to launch nuclear weapons at North Korea. Think it can’t happen?”

Members of the People's Security Council take part an anti-U.S. rally, in this September 23, 2017 photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

In the News

January 7, 2018

North Korea’s sudden interest in talks

Nyshka Chandran | Nancy Hungerford CNBC

North Korea's willingness to talk may be due to the strength of its nuclear capability, said Taylor Fravel, associate political science professor at MIT and acting director of the MIT Center for International Studies.

There aren't many checks and balances in place to prevent President Donald Trump from initiating a nuclear missile strike, experts say.

In the News

January 3, 2018

Few checks can keep Trump’s hands off his ‘nuclear button’

Joseph P. WilliamsU.S. News & World Report

The bottom line is if the president orders a valid and authentic order to release nuclear weapons, neither the chief of staff, nor the secretary of defense, nor the chair of the Joint Chiefs could legally stop him, says Vipin Narang.