In the News | 2020

Indian soldiers pay their respects during the funeral of their comrade, Tenzin Nyima, a senior-rank Tibetan official from India's Special Frontier Force, on Sept. 7. | AFP-JIJI

In the News

September 16, 2020

Secret Tibetan military force raises stakes in India-China clash

Sudhi Ranjan Sen and Archana ChaudharyThe Japan Times

Vipin Narang quoted: While neither country has an incentive to go to war, the increasing intensity and persistence of friction may cause them to stumble into one, according to Vipin Narang. “An advertent or inadvertent incident at a local flashpoint could now really fuel a broader conflict that neither government wants,” said Narang.

An Indian helicopter flies over a mountain range near the disputed border © AFP via Getty Images

In the News

September 11, 2020

China and India agree to ‘disengage troops’ in Himalayas

Amy KazminThe Financial Times

Vipin Narang quoted: “The bottom line is we have to see what happens on the ground,” said Vipin Narang. “Until there is physical disengagement on the ground, you could still get an accident that forces one or both sides into a conflict that they don’t want.”

A man pauses by the National Sept. 11 Memorial in New York City. (Flickr/Sarah Le Clerc, https://flic.kr/p/dPcJkN; CC BY-ND 2.0, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/)

In the News

September 11, 2020

The 9/11 Commission Report, the pandemic and the future of Homeland Security

Carrie CorderoLawfare

Chappell Lawson and Alan Bersin write in a new volume they have edited along with Juliette Kayyem, that the new report will likely “bring significant disruption and confusion with little expectation of operational improvement.”

Both India and China have strengthened their positions on the border © Yawar Nazir/Getty

In the News

September 10, 2020

India and China meet to defuse Himalayan border tensions

Amy KazminThe Financial Times

Vipin Narang heavily quoted: “I don’t think that either side really wants to risk a war over these positions along the line of actual control but we now have a lot of friction points,” he said. “The problem isn’t that one side starts a war intentionally. The risk is that they stumble into war.” But he added that expectations for the talks were muted. “I don’t think anybody expects there to be a massive breakthrough,” he said. “The best-case scenario is that both sides walk away with a detailed framework of how to disengage.”

Participating in an online interaction on Monday night to mark the release of his book The India Way, Jaishankar pointed to the serious situation on the LAC and underscored the need for “very deep conversations between the two sides at a political level”. (Photo @DrSJaishankar)

In the News

September 9, 2020

Fresh Pangong lake face-off complicates Jaishankar-Wang’s face-to-face meet

Rezaul H LaskarHindustan Times

Vipin Narang quoted: “I don’t think either India or China have an incentive to go to war over the border dispute, but the increasing intensity and persistence of friction, along with air activity and the presence of loaded firearms may cause them to ‘stumble’ into war,” he said. “An advertent or inadvertent incident at a local flashpoint could now really fuel a broader conflict that neither government wants, as the forces continue to come into contact with each other,” Narang added.

a vast "pyrocumulus" cloud generated by the Creek Fire in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In the News

September 7, 2020

Pictures and videos show California burning as more wildfires break out across state

Aristos Georgiou Newsweek

Vipin Narang quoted: “This is not a nuclear blast. It is California on fire,” MIT professor Vipin Narang wrote in a post showing the image on Twitter.

Screen shot of Jim Walsh on Fox News

In the News

September 6, 2020

Russia 'thinks they can get away with' poisoning Navalny

Fox News

Jim Walsh discusses the suspected poisoning of Russian activist Alexei Navalny and Trump's response to the allegation.

Images suggest North Korea may be preparing launch of submarine missile -think tank

In the News

September 4, 2020

Images suggest North Korea may be preparing launch of submarine missile—think tank

David BrunnstromReuters

Vipin Narang quoted: “North Korea already tested a PKS-3 SLBM last October. And it didn’t cross Trump’s redline then, and is unlikely to this time. Trump won’t care,” Vipin Narang, a non-proliferation expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote on Twitter.

TikTok building entrance

In the News

September 3, 2020

America’s problem is much bigger than TikTok

David WertimePOLITICO China Watcher

M Taylor Fravel quoted: This year’s annual Pentagon report on the People’s Liberation Army dropped this week and it’s “the most comprehensive and detailed one ever published.”

DF-41 intercontinental strategic nuclear missiles are reviewed in a military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing on October 1, 2019. Liu Bin/Xinhua via Getty Images

In the News

September 2, 2020

China may double its nuclear arsenal in just 10 years. Don’t panic.

Alex WardVox

Vipin Narang quoted: “A doubling is not as scary as it sounds,” said Vipin Narang, a nuclear expert at MIT.  “China doubling over the next couple decades is kind of ‘it’s about time,’” said MIT’s Narang. “China is late to the game.”

In the News

September 1, 2020

Donald Blackmer, professor emeritus of political science and longtime leader at MIT, dies at 91

MIT News

An esteemed scholar and extraordinary steward of institutions and people, he was known to light up the academic landscape.

Chinese-held Subi Reef, a man-made island in the Spratly chain in the disputed South China Sea, is seen in April 2017. | POOL / VIA REUTERS

In the News

August 27, 2020

China fires missiles into South China Sea as US sanctions Beijing

Jesse JohnsonThe Japan Times

Vipin Narang quoted: “That they have been working on ASBMs and testing them isn’t a surprise,” said Vipin Narang, a professor of international relations at MIT. “But everything is now framed as a provocation.”

Competing territorial claims in the South China Sea involve several Asian nations as well as the United States.Credit...Ted Aljibe/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In the News

August 27, 2020

China fires missiles into South China Sea, sending US a message

Steven Lee Myers and Keith BradsherThe New York Times

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “The growing frequency of exercises and the new types of capabilities displayed demonstrate the progress China has achieved in its military modernization drive over the past two decades,” said M Taylor Fravel.  He said that it was not clear if the missiles were fired at fixed or moving targets, adding that the latter would be “a better test of the overall system, to include identifying, tracking, and destroying a moving ship at sea.”

Headshot of John Tirman

In the News

August 26, 2020

America’s invasion of Iraq fuelled militant Islam

Morgan DuchesneyThe Star

John Tirman quoted: As John Tirman of MIT says, “Expediency (has) usually trumped principle in US foreign policy … The result has predictably, been a growing antipathy for America and its hypocrisies … The avatar of that antipathy has been militant Islam. We remain deaf to this lesson, at our peril.”

A Tokyo Tech student

In the News

August 18, 2020

Fostering friendships and films from across the globe

MISTIMIT News

What do you do when a pandemic shuts down international travel, and you can't do your internship in Japan? For MISTI students this summer, the answer was the Virtual Language Conversation Exchange with Tokyo Tech.

Taylor Fravel headshot

In the News

August 11, 2020

The Galwan Valley clash and China’s approach to sovereignty disputes

ChinaPower Podcast

Taylor Fravel compares the recent clash to past incidents along the Sino-Indian border and discusses whether confidence building measures have the potential to prevent further China-India territorial conflict.

The blast at the Port of Beirut from August 4 seen on a rendered satellite map. Authorities and aid workers are still searching for the dead and injured.Vampy1/Deposit Photos

In the News

August 7, 2020

Why the Beirut blast created a mushroom cloud

Erik OlsenPopular Science

Vipin Narang quoted: “We did not see anything remotely like that in Beirut,” says Vipin Narang.  The Beirut fireball’s vivid red color sets it apart from the aftereffects of an atom bomb, too. “It’s characteristic of NO compounds,” Narang says, which are by-products of ammonium nitrate explosions. 

A photo of a man looking at a destroyed Hiroshima

In the News

August 6, 2020

Hiroshima's legacy 75 years later

WBUR

WBUR's Here and New host Robin Young speaks with JIm Walsh about the first use of an atomic weapon and the state of nuclear weapons today.

This July 28, 2017 photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile being lauched at an undisclosed location in North Korea. STR/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES/GETTY

In the News

August 4, 2020

New North Korea ICBM report suggests Pyongyang can hit US with nukes

David BrennanNewsweek

Vipin Narang heavily quoted: Narang said the UN report should be read as "further evidence that North Korea is consolidating its nuclear weapons force, improving and augmenting it to improve survivability, retaliatory power, and penetration.  In other words, North Korea is making the technological improvements we would expect any other nuclear weapons power to make," he explained. "And that's precisely what they want us to acknowledge."

In the News

August 2, 2020

Putin's virus disinformation campaign against Americans

Fox News

Jim Walsh joins Arthel Neville on 'America's News HQ' to discuss the implications of Putin's virus disinformation campaign aimed at Americans.

MIT graduate student Nicholas Rivera (middle) and two students from Professor Ido Kaminer's lab visit Masada National Park near the Dead Sea in Israel

In the News

July 27, 2020

Shining a light on the quantum world

Fernanda FerreiraMIT News

With funding from MISTI, physicists at MIT and in Israel collaborate to improve understanding and use of quantum light.

Chinese President Xi Jinping. File   | Photo Credit: AP

In the News

July 23, 2020

Xi’s obsession to look strong amid domestic discontent likely reasons for China’s rogue behaviour, say experts

PTI / The Hindu

Vipin Narang quoted: "It could be anything from opportunism to concerns about India completing the infrastructure projects such as the DS-DBO (Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie) road to concerns about international or domestic legitimacy, where Xi Jinping believes he cannot afford to look weak," he told PTI.

MISTI Empowering the Teachers Fellows and Program Manager

In the News

July 23, 2020

Fellowship is at the heart of emergency response in Nigeria

MISTIMIT News

When Amir Bature came to MIT from Bayero University Kano (BUK) in Nigeria as part of the Empowering the Teachers (ETT) program, he was amazed at his shift in perspective during his time on campus. “The first time we arrived at MIT, there were a lot of things where we said ‘no, this is impossible.’ But before we left, it was all possible!” He had no idea that he would soon be applying this mindset to a public health crisis in his home country of Nigeria.

Taylor Fravel image from interview won Phuket News on China/India

In the News

July 18, 2020

China now trying to put ‘genie back in bottle’

Amit Shah's Aksai Chin Phuket News

China's foreign policy is at an inflection point even as India needs to come up with a new consensus on the border issue with Beijing, says China expert Taylor Fravel. 

 

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Joseph "CAPS" Hubley conducts a passing exercise in an F/A-18E Super Hornet in the South China Sea on July 7. (U.S. Navy photo via Reuters)

In the News

July 15, 2020

Asia greets US shift on South China Sea with hope and doubt

Ken Moriyasu and Tomoya OnishiNikkei Asian Review

M Taylor Fravel quoted: Given a choice, "Southeast Asian states do not want to choose between the US and China.  But they also want to be able to assert their maritime claims and jurisdiction.  The statement may create an expectation among other claimants that the United States may take actions to defend their claims, but the statement itself creates no such obligation, only an expectation," he said.

Joel Brenner

In the News

July 15, 2020

France creates first university intelligence chair and masters course on the dark arts of espionage

Henry SamuelThe Telegraph

Joel Brenner quoted:  Speaking to the Telegraph, Joel Brenner said: "I'm pleased to see that Sciences Po-Aix recognizes that intelligence and the place of intelligence agencies in society are worthy of academic study.  This is a welcome development and will make it easier to nourish links between French universities and their counterparts in the US and UK."

Students at the University of Washington in Seattle on March 6, the last day of in-person classes. Foreign students are worried that new Trump administration policies will make it difficult for them to remain in the country while attending college. (Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

In the News

July 13, 2020

Trump administration’s move on visas is ‘dream-crashing’ for Indian students and families

Joanna Slater and Niha MasihThe Washington Post

Vipin Narang quoted: The announcement makes international students a pawn in the administration’s push to get universities to fully reopen in the fall, said Vipin Narang. The level of anxiety it has induced is “incalculable,” he said. “It really does enrage me.” Several major US universities, including MIT, have sued the Trump administration in an attempt to reverse the move.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced China on Monday, saying its maritime claims in the South China Sea were “completely unlawful.”Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

In the News

July 13, 2020

US says most of China’s claims in South China Sea are illegal

Edward Wong and Michael CrowleyThe New York Times

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “The statement is a full-throated endorsement of the tribunal’s ruling,” said M Taylor Fravel, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies China’s territorial disputes and its military.

Tiled video screenshot of MISTI staff

In the News

July 13, 2020

At home and abroad with MISTI 2020

MISTIMIT News

“Covid-19 has demonstrated that international collaboration is essential to tackling challenges that span countries and cultures. Our aim in the coming year is to continue to equip students with the skills and awareness they will need to confront such challenges in the future.”

Schools such as Harvard, Princeton, and Georgetown have already announced mostly remote-learning semesters. (Gretchen Ertl/The New York Times)

In the News

July 10, 2020

US tells foreign students with online classes to go, universities look at options

Karishma Mehrotra Indian Express

Vipin Narang quoted: “There’s always been this concern about these online-only, for-profit, F1 scam businesses. But this directive seems a little more carefully crafted to target institutions like MIT. If all they want is some in-person component for online classes, I’ll be happy to do that. If this targets legitimate students in legitimate institutions, then any loophole that would allow faculty and institutions to make a class ‘hybrid’ would be exploited.”

According to Fravel, the old Chinese maps "do not show Sakteng or nearby areas in Bhutan as Chinese territory". (Photo: Twitter/fravel)

In the News

July 8, 2020

History contradicts new Chinese claims over Bhutan's territory

India Today BureauIndia Today

M Taylor Fravel heavily quoted: Past Chinese maps, put out by prominent China expert and Director of the MIT Security Studies Program M Taylor Fravel, suggest that China has acknowledged the area as Bhutanese territory in the past. According to Fravel, the old Chinese maps “do not show Sakteng or nearby areas in Bhutan as Chinese territory”.

CNBC TV18 Interview Screen Shot with Experts

In the News

July 6, 2020

India-China agree to disengage at Galwan Valley; experts discuss the road ahead

Parikshit LuthraCNBC-TV18

After a 60 day long confrontation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India and China have agreed to disengage and deescalate tensions at the LAC. Vipin Narang is among the experts who discuss the road ahead.

White House with US flag waving in front of it

In the News

July 3, 2020

Trump slams China’s pattern of aggression

Yashwant RajHindustan Times

Vipin Narang heavily quoted:  Narang said that one of the Trump administration’s foreign policy “bright spots” have been its relationship with India, and his personal bonhomie with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “That does not mean that the relationship is all roses, but there is a lot of sympathy and friendship toward India, across both parties and especially the Trump administration which has remained silent on domestic issues that some members of the Democratic Party have expressed concern about...”

Military vehicles with armed solders inside

In the News

July 3, 2020

First China, now Pakistan: How India's battling on two fronts

Sudhi Ranjan SenBloomberg | Quint

Vipin Narang heavily quoted: “But my general sense is that Pakistan may feel like it needs to show resolve at home and to India in Jammu & Kashmir” after India changed the province's consitutional status in August last year, Narang said.  Islamabad may “also be opportunistically taking advantage of India's distraction and focus on the LAC.”

Annie Gordon, left, Gabrielle Rene, center, and Jenny Clark, right, rally for protection from evictions Saturday, June 27, 2020, in the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston. Massachusetts' tenant eviction moratorium is slated to expire in mid-August. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

In the News

June 28, 2020

Report: Boston minority communities hit hardest by evictions

Michael CaseyAP News

Justin Steil quoted: “The results are very troubling,” said Justin Steil, an associate professor of law and urban planning at MIT who authored the report with MIT researcher David Robinson. “It suggest that above and beyond income, housing cost measures that race continues to play a significant role in evictions,” he said. “We see white supremacy and anti-blackness functioning in the housing markets as well as other areas of social life.”

A military parade in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing last year.Credit...Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

In the News

June 26, 2020

China’s military provokes its neighbors, but the message is for the United States

Steven Lee MyersThe New York Times

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “When China views it is being challenged in these other sovereignty disputes in this era, it will respond with a very tough line.  China never had the ability to assert itself in the maritime domain until really in the last 10 or 15 years,” Mr Fravel said, noting the steady buildup of China’s naval and air forces. He added, “That has enabled China to press its claims in the East and South China Sea more than before.”

Head shots of Suzanne Berger, Peter Krause, Yasheng Huang, Chap Lawson on globe map background

In the News

June 25, 2020

When culture clashes with Covid-19

MIT News Office

To what extent are different responses attributable to the “culture” of each country? And how much have widespread social norms affected the responses of different countries during the Covid-19 pandemic?

A satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a road under construction near the Line of Actual Control, the border between India and China, June 22, 2020.  (Maxar Technologies via AP) A satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a road under construction near the Line of Actual Control, the border between India and China, June 22, 2020. (Maxar Technologies via AP)

In the News

June 24, 2020

India reinforces contested region as China holds ground, sources say

French Press Agency (AFP)

Vipin Narang quoted: “There may be some short-term public backlash against China in India, but publicly, Pakistan swamps China as a perceived threat,” said Vipin Narang, a security specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  “The effects of this crisis, even if it slow burns, may be short-lived amongst India's public. And cheap TVs are still cheap TVs.”

screenshot of people talking on news program

In the News

June 23, 2020

India-China standoff: Prof M Taylor Fravel speaks on the false claim of Galwan by China

Rahul KanwalIndia Today

In this special broadcast of Newstrack, Rahul Kanwal exposes the cartographic aggression of China and speaks with Taylor Fravel on the matter. 

India and China have a similar number of soldiers along the border, a little over 200,000 each. (Photo Courtesy: www.indianarmy.nic)

In the News

June 22, 2020

India has closed military gap with China along border

Pramit Pal ChaudhuriHindustan Times

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “China has just over 10 percent of its ground forces [in its western theatre], a very large part of the country, and not even all these troops are focused on India.” But because China does not want to deploy a large fraction of its forces in Tibet or Xinjiang, he added, “I think this disparity in the local balance makes China especially sensitive to changes that improves India’s position.”

 Sandeep Kaur and her brother Prabhjot Singh lay flowers on the coffin of their father, Satnam Singh, who was killed in the fight in the Galwan Valley. Photograph: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

In the News

June 21, 2020

Xi plays tough, but can China afford to make an enemy of India?

Emma Graham-HarrisonThe Guardian

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “I feel it’s generally a response to the pressure Xi feels he is under,” said Fravel. “Because of Covid and the criticism China faced internationally, the economic crisis at home, and the concomitant deterioration of China-US relations, [Beijing] has taken a tough stance on a number of sovereignty issues as a way of signalling that China will not be cowed.”

An Indian army convoy drives towards Leh, on a highway bordering China, on June 19. Photographer: Yawar Nazir/Getty Images

In the News

June 20, 2020

Modi says China isn’t occupying Indian territory after clash

Archana ChaudharyBloomberg

Vipin Narang quoted: “The biggest implication is that wherever the Chinese have in fact changed the ground status quo—whether in Galwan Valley or Pangong Tso or elsewhere—is tacitly being accepted by the government as de facto Chinese claims,” said Vipin Narang. “One can litigate whether this is in fact ‘Indian territory,’ but it is tacitly accepting whatever faits accomplis China has undertaken.”

An Indian Army convoy moves along the highway leading to Ladakh, June 18, 2020. Photograph: Danish Ismail/Reuters

In the News

June 19, 2020

'PLA was acting with higher approval'

Pottayil RajendranRediff

M Taylor Fravel interviewed on the China-India border dispute.  "I don't think China is looking for a wider conflict with India on the China-India border," Dr Fravel tells Senior Rediff.com Contributor Pottayil Rajendran. Read the interview

Anti-China protests broke out across India after Indian authorities said 20 of its soldiers died in a clash with Chinese troops in the Himalayan Mountains. It is the worst military confrontation between the nuclear-armed neighbors in decades. Photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP

In the News

June 19, 2020

China Flexes Territorial Muscle – Recent India border clash signals risk Beijing will take in approach to disputes, experts say

Chun Han WongThe Wall Street Journal

M Taylor Fravel quoted: The use of such forceful tactics "reflects a continuity in China's approach under Xi," said M Taylor Fravel, a professor and director of the MIT Security Studies Program at MIT. "Whether it marks an inflection point in China's foreign policy and a willingness to use force in territorial disputes depends on what happens in the next few days and weeks."

An Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar-Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, north-east of Srinagar, on June 18, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

In the News

June 19, 2020

China lays claim to entire Galwan Valley

Ananth KrishnanThe Hindu

M Taylor Fravel quoted: "Chinese maps that I have seen show almost all of the Galwan River as lying within the territory China claims in the area,” M Taylor Fravel, an expert on the Chinese military at MIT, told The Hindu earlier. "The one discrepancy would be the western tip of the Galwan River as it meets the Shyok River. Here, the last few kilometres of the Galwan River are often depicted as lying beyond China’s border. How one defines the parameters of the valley itself might be different than the river, however.”

Prime Minister Modi of India

In the News

June 18, 2020

Modi finds neighbors silent as India-China tensions simmer

Archana Chaudhary and Bibhudatta PradhanBloomberg

Vipin Narang quoted: “The optimistic view is that the tragic loss of life will incentivize both governments to energize their efforts to resolve the border dispute,” said Vipin Narang, associate professor of political science at MIT and author of ‘Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era: Regional Powers and International Conflict.’ “The pessimistic view is that China has no intention of relieving the pressure that it is putting across the entire Line of Actual Control and that this is a long way from being over.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has responded to the violent face-off, in which at least 20 Indian soldiers died and many more were injured, saying that India does not "instigate" and will not compromise

In the News

June 18, 2020

Modi denies any Indian territory was lost in China clash

The Associated PressThe New York Times

M Taylor Fravel quoted: From a strategic perspective, Fravel said, China should want to drive a wedge between India and the United States to prevent any kind of counter-balance coalition. "The deaths and the clash on Monday night will probably very quickly and much more rapidly push India closer to the United States, which I think is probably not what China wants,” he said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar shakes hands with Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

In the News

June 17, 2020

Ladakh face-off | China’s Foreign Minister blames India ‘for deliberately provoking’ border clash

Ananth KrishnanThe Hindu

Taylor Fravel quoted: China was unlikely to confirm the number, said M Taylor Fravel, an expert on the Chinese military at MIT. “I can think of no armed conflict involving China where it has released casualty figures publicly at the time of the conflict,” he said. “Usually, they are published years or decades later,” he noted on Twitter, pointing out that casualties from the 1962 were only revealed for the first time in an internal history published in 1994.

Trucks driving through the India/China border region

In the News

June 17, 2020

A watershed moment in India-China relations, says MIT's Vipin Narang

Kaushik VaidyaBloomberg | Quint

Vipin Narang was interviewed and heavily quoted in this article about the "violent face-off" in the Galwan Valley on Monday night in which 20 Indian armymen were killed in action. The political mood over the next several days in both countries will be critical he says.

An Indian border security force soldier walks near a check post along the Srinagar-Leh National highway on Tuesday, following deadly clashes along the disputed border with China. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In the News

June 17, 2020

Himalayan flashpoint could spiral out of control as India and China face off

Julian BorgerThe Guardian

Vipin Narang quoted: “Now domestic politics and public opinion, especially nationalist pressure to avenge their deaths and escalate, becomes a dangerous force,” Vipin Narang, a security studies professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said. “It will be hard for India at least, with a relatively open media, to de-escalate as easily now.”

Indian army trucks move along a highway leading to Ladakh on Wednesday. (Danish Ismail/Reuters)

In the News

June 17, 2020

India and China trade barbs after ‘gang war’ high in the Himalayas

Joanna Slater and Gerry ShihThe Washington Post

M Taylor Fravel quoted: China probably has “little interest in further escalation,” said M Taylor Fravel, an expert on the People’s Liberation Army who heads the Security Studies Program at MIT. “China’s main competitor in East Asia and beyond is the United States, not India.”

The two nuclear armed neighbours have a chequered history of face-offs

In the News

June 16, 2020

India-China clash: An extraordinary escalation 'with rocks and clubs'

Soutik BiswasBBC News

Vipin Narang quoted: "It is looking bad, very bad," says security analyst Vipin Narang, of the deadly clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh on Monday night. The most serious face-off on the world's longest unsettled land border in nearly half a century left 20 Indian soldiers dead. India says both sides suffered casualties. "Once fatalities are sustained, keeping everything quiet becomes hard on both sides. Now public pressure becomes a variable," Dr Narang, a security studies professor at MIT, told me.  "The scale, scope and swathe of the pressure across the border is seemingly unprecedented."

Headshot of Jim Walsh

In the News

June 16, 2020

North Korea blows up joint liaison office with South

Robin YoungWBUR Here & Now

North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office building just north of the heavily armed border with South Korea on Tuesday. The dramatic display of anger sharply raises tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and puts pressure on Washington and Seoul amid deadlocked nuclear diplomacy. Host Robin Young speaks with security analyst Jim Walsh about the implications.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (r) shakes hands with Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during a meeting in Beijing on Dec. 31, 2019. (NOEL CELIS/POOL/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES)

In the News

June 12, 2020

Russia, China and the US: Who has the best Middle East policy?

Dale SprusanskyWashington Report on Middle East Affairs, June/July 2020, pp 58-59

The Middle East Institute held an online discussion with two renowned scholars of international affairs on April 16 to assess the role of the US, China and Russia in the Middle East, which included SSP's Barry Posen.  Here is a recap with some highlights and quotes from the event.

President Trump and Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, during a meeting last year on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

In the News

June 12, 2020

Two years after Trump-Kim meeting, little to show for personal diplomacy

David E Sanger and Choe Sang-HunThe New York Times

Vipin Narang quoted: “Trump has told himself this was a win, and so has Kim,” said Vipin Narang. “Trump keeps repeating, ‘There wasn’t a war.’” “For Kim Jong-un it was also a win because he is able to take the air out of the maximum pressure campaign” to crush the country economically, he said, “while he is still expanding his missile and nuclear force.”

In the News

June 5, 2020

Fingers, boots, and lines: Understanding the 2020 India-China border tensions

Ankit PandaThe Diplomat

The Diplomat’s Asia Geopolitics podcast host Ankit Panda speaks to M Taylor Fravel, the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, about the ongoing India-China tensions along the Line of Actual Control.

Screenshot of Taylor Fravel speaking during TV interview

In the News

June 5, 2020

Pan-India News 18 poll on India-China standoff: Here’s what it means according to experts

Parikshit LuthraCNBC-TV18

CNBC-TV18’s Parikshit Luthra is joined by M Taylor Fravel, director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kanwal Sibal, former secretary, and Jayant Dasgupta, former Indian ambassador to WTO, to discuss about India-China relations and border skirmishes.

Headshot of Jim Walsh

In the News

June 4, 2020

Mattis calls out clearing protesters outside White House 'abuse of executive authority'

Jeremy HobsonWBUR Here & Now

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis has called the decision to clear peaceful protesters from outside the White House this week an "abuse of executive authority." Host Jeremy Hobson speaks with security analyst Jim Walsh about the incident.

The aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt anchored off Manila Bay in 2018.Credit...Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

In the News

June 2, 2020

Philippines backs off threat to terminate military pact with US

Jason GutierrezThe New York Times

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “In light of China’s continued assertion of its historic rights in Vietnamese and Malaysian waters over the last year, Manila may have concluded that its previous rapprochement with Beijing would not protect Philippine interests,” said M Taylor Fravel, a political-science professor who is director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In the News

May 29, 2020

Experts explain: What triggered China’s recent LAC moves?

Sushant SinghThe Indian Express

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “China’s actions are hard to decipher, especially in the absence of any authoritative statements from Beijing.  The simplest explanation perhaps is that China is responding to India’s efforts to bolster border-area infrastructure in Ladakh after the completion of the DSDBO road. After India’s move into Doklam in 2017, China is perhaps especially sensitive to Indian activity along the disputed border. Around Galwan, in particular, China may be seeking to pre-empt an Indian effort to improve its links to the LAC”, he added.

In the News

May 28, 2020

Amid a pandemic, China picks a border fight with India

Sadanand DhumeWall Street Journal

M Taylor Fravel quoted: M Taylor Fravel, a political scientist and China expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says "putting the border dispute in a box" has been "the great success of the India-China relationship." No soldier has died on the boundary since 1975.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wearing face mask

In the News

May 28, 2020

What do the IG firings say about American democracy?

WBUR On Point

The president has fired at least five inspectors general. It may be his right, but what does it say about political accountability and American democracy? Joel Brenner weighs in.

In the News

May 28, 2020

Chinese aggression in Ladakh also a message for domestic and external audience: Experts

Snehesh Alex PhilipThe Print

M Taylor Fravel quoted: “While I don’t think this alone would lead China to create an incident with India, I do think it helps to explain the scope, scale, and posture of China’s response,” he said. “In many issues this spring, China has sought to signal its resolve, especially when sovereignty is involved — Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the South China Sea.”

In the News

May 28, 2020

Robert Art retires as director of the Seminar XXI Program

Michelle EnglishMIT News

Robert Art is stepping down as director of the Seminar XXI Program, a post-graduate education program in the national security arena that has inspired graduates to apply the compelling insights of social science to the most pressing challenges of our times.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, and Premier Li Keqiang, center-right, with other delegates at the second plenary session of China’s National People’s Congress in Beijing on Monday. (Roman Pilipey/Pool/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

In the News

May 27, 2020

Far from being weakened by coronavirus, China pursues sovereignty claims on all fronts

Anna Fifield and Joanna Slater The Washington Post

M Taylor Fravel quoted: The recent flare-up along the “line of actual control,” which has marked the unofficial border between China and India since they fought a war in 1962, prompted a response from President Trump. “We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute,” he tweeted Wednesday.

File photo of Pangong lake which bisects Line of Actual Control between India and Chinese occupied territory.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

In the News

May 27, 2020

Changing balance across LAC trigger for stand-off, says China expert Taylor Fravel

Ananth KrishnanThe Hindu

The spark for the current stand-off with China, with the ongoing face-off situations in the Galwan River valley, Pangong Lake and other areas, is the increasing infrastructure competition along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), says M Taylor Fravel.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a meeting of the Seventh Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea in this photo provided Sunday by the North Korean government. (AP)

In the News

May 24, 2020

Two years after Trump summit, Kim vows to boost North Korea’s nuclear deterrent

Simon DenyerThe Washington Post

Vipin Narang quoted:  MIT professor Vipin Narang called the statement “alarming.” “I have no idea what this means but I am sure we won’t like it,” he tweeted.

Headshot of Jim Walsh

In the News

May 22, 2020

US pulls out of open skies treaty

Jeremy HobsonWBUR Here & Now

The United States is pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, the third major security accord the Trump Administration has scuttled.  Host Jeremy Hobson speaks with security analyst Jim Walsh to explain the situation and talk about the potential consequences.

The lawn at a mixed-use development in Alpharetta, Ga. with people sitting in grass, cars going by store fronts, on May 9. (Kevin D. Liles/For the Washington Post)

In the News

May 21, 2020

The ‘us and them’ pandemic shows America is still impervious to black pain

Michele L Norris The Washington Post

Evan Lieberman quoted: “It is not difficult to imagine that if covid-19 comes to be understood as a ‘Black’ epidemic,” he wrote, “this will create false impressions for many white Americans — in the United States’ racially polarized and effectively segregated society — that the virus is ‘not our problem,’ leading to decreased demand for and compliance with public health directives.”

Headshot of Sara Plana

In the News

May 21, 2020

Sara Plana receives inaugural Jeanne Guillemin Prize

Michelle EnglishMIT News

The prize, which provides financial support to women working toward a PhD in international affairs, will be applied toward her research into proxy warfare.

Screenshot of Barry Posen being interviewed on tv show

In the News

May 19, 2020

Intervention or restraint: Ruger and Posen debate Kristol and Flournoy

Jacob HeilbrunnThe National Interest

On the American Public Television program “The Whole Truth,” hosted by historian and author David Eisenhower, a panel of leading foreign policy figures, including William Ruger, Michele Flournoy, William Kristol and Barry Posen, recently debated America’s purpose.

screen shot of tv show m-s-n-b-c

In the News

May 18, 2020

Former inspector general: Trump is attacking the ‘institution’ of oversight

Lawrence O'DonnellMSNBC

Joel Brenner, who served as Inspector General of the National Security Agency under President Bush, tells Lawrence O’Donnell the firing of several inspectors general shows President Trump believes all government officials owe him “personal loyalty.”

screenshot of Joel Brenner with bookcase behind him being interviewed

In the News

May 18, 2020

Trump’s ‘highly unusual’ politicization of government watchdogs

Yamiche AlcindorPBS News Hour

President Trump has fired three inspectors general recently, including State Department watchdog Steve Linick on Friday. Yamiche Alcindor talks to Joel Brenner, a former national security inspector general and director of national intelligence, about how politicizing the IG role is “all wrong.”

Joel Brenner

In the News

May 15, 2020

Inspectors general: oversight, authority, and removal with Joel Brenner

National Security Law Today

Joel Brenner discusses the Inspectors General role during the Covid-19 crisis and Trump's removal on National Security Law Today.

Political cartoon featuring Godzilla monster but with Trump head blowing flames of tariffs decimating a city with the caption Trumpzilla

In the News

May 11, 2020

National security is in the eye of the beholder

Brad GlossermanJapan Times

Richard Samuels quoted: MIT Professor Richard Samuels describes this as the belief that societies must “organize to defend the wealth of individuals they comprise” — their skills, productive relationships, firms and R&D centers that create their wealth — and argues that this logic has long prevailed in Japan. 

President Trump pointing his finger in a salute boarding air force one plane

In the News

May 8, 2020

Trump wages a war on watchdogs as coronavirus elevates their importance

Liz GoodwinThe Boston Globe

Joel Brenner quoted: “It absolutely sends a chill through the whole community,” said Joel Brenner, former inspector general of the National Security Agency. “It’s a very clear message. The president doesn’t want any inspector general issuing any report critical of the administration and any inspector general who does it has to understand that he or she is likely to be out of a job.”

MIT Covid 19 Hackathon

In the News

May 4, 2020

MIT Africa's Ari Jacobovits helps produce Covid-19 hackathon

Ari Jacobovits, managing director of the MIT Africa program, helped organize a hackathon on Covid-19 with collectives from around the world—drawing from universities, industry, government, and NGOs, among others.  CIS research affiliate Claude Grunitsky covered the story in his publication True Africa

National Committee on US China Relations logo

In the News

May 1, 2020

China's modern military strategy in historical perspective

NCUSCR Podcast

In an interview with NCUSCR President Steve Orlins, Taylor Fravel discusses his motivations for and key discoveries from writing, "Active Defense: China's Military Strategy Since 1949." 

In this Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves after a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea’s collapse has been predicted — wrongly — for decades. So it is no surprise that unconfirmed rumors that current leader Kim Jong Un is seriously ill have raised worries about what Washington and North Korea’s neighbors would do if things fall apart in any post-Kim North Korea. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

In the News

April 30, 2020

Outsiders consider possibility of chaos in North Korea

Foster KlugAP News

Vipin Narang quoted: “The million-dollar question is: When do you invoke the OPLAN and what indicators do you rely on to do so? Because one country’s ‘securing the country’ operation can look to the other nation like an ‘invasion plan.’ And then all hell can break loose,” said Vipin Narang, a North Korea nuclear specialist at MIT.

Kim Jong Un

In the News

April 29, 2020

Where is Kim Jong Un?

WBUR Here and Now

North Korea hasn't reported a single case of Covid-19 and the pandemic coincides with the absence of the country's leader, Kim Jon Un. Jim Walsh offers insight into the situation.

The head of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking at a podium with the World Health Organization backdrop behind him

In the News

April 28, 2020

'War and disease travel together': Why the pandemic push for a global cease-fire is gaining ground

Deirdre ShesgreenUSA Today

Barry Posen quoted: "The disease caused by the coronavirus is weakening all of the great and middle powers more or less equally," he said. He said with no country likely to gain a meaningful military advantage from the pandemic, "the odds of a war between major powers will go down, not up." 

Screen shot of Yasmeen Silva, Jim Walsh, Joe Cirincione, Vipin Narang

In the News

April 28, 2020

Will the Covid-19 pandemic change national security?

Peter DizikesMIT News

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to inflict huge damage around the world, international affairs experts are increasingly wondering: Will the virus make countries reconsider their national security strategies?

The NNSA's new mission logo for the W76-2 low-yield, submarine-launched, ballistic-missile warhead.

In the News

April 28, 2020

Low-yield warhead eliminates need for nuclear buildup, state says

Dan LeoneDefense Daily

Vipin Narang quoted: “What can the low yield [submarine launched ballistic missile] do that our current low yield nuclear systems cannot?” Vipin Narang of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology mused on Twitter. “Range and penetrate into downtown Moscow. Which doesn’t seem all that restrained.”

People watch archival footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Seoul Railway Station on April 21.

In the News

April 23, 2020

The rumors of Kim Jong Un’s “grave” illness, explained

Alex WardVox

Vipin Narang quoted: “What if he is technically ‘alive’ or there is litigation amongst potential successors as for whether he is alive or dead? Who can legally issue orders? What if there are contravening orders?” said Vipin Narang, an expert on North Korea’s nuclear program.

screen shot of CNN video with image of Kim Jong Un

In the News

April 21, 2020

Why the confusion about Kim Jong Un's health actually makes sense

Joshua BerlingerCNN

Vipin Narang quoted: "States want the public and others to know just enough. They want to be transparent about the capability, but kind of opaque about the procedures and the actual line of deployment to enhance deterrence," he said.

Forum of Women in Intl Security

In the News

April 6, 2020

A forum for female voices in international security

Leda ZimmermanDepartment of Political Science

The Future Strategy Forum emerged from the efforts of Sara Plana and Rachel Tecott as co-chairs of a Boston-based organization of graduate students, Women in International Politics and Security. This group was funded by the MIT Center for International Studies and Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Fotini Christia headshot next to a map of Afghanistan

In the News

April 2, 2020

3 Questions: Fotini Christia on new deal-making in Afghanistan

Michelle EnglishMIT News

It is unclear what a negotiated settlement could look like between the Afghan government and the Taliban given the latter’s clear desire to head the state. Whether the Taliban can commit to power sharing is a highly doubtful proposition as many expect it to get militarily emboldened as soon as the US withdraws and to become the de facto ruling power.

Imagery shows new roads appearing at a key rocket and missile test site in North Korea. The roads (light brown) appear to have been built around mid-March.

In the News

March 27, 2020

North Korea seen expanding rocket launch facility it once promised to dismantle

Geoff BrumfielNPR

Vipin Narang quoted: "It's hard to know what it is, but they're clearly reactivating it and preparing for personnel to be there, which suggests that they may want to start using it again," Narang says. "Maybe they want to test a satellite launch vehicle; maybe they want to test an ICBM; maybe they want to test an engine."

1954's Castle Bravo test

In the News

March 25, 2020

America’s allies are becoming a nuclear-proliferation threat

Pete McKenzieDefense One

Vipin Narang quoted: “The concern is that it’s not a genuine negotiating position, that it’s demanded as an excuse to eventually pull out of South Korea,” Narang said. “There’s a deep enough thread in Trump’s thinking and rhetoric to suggest that he genuinely believes that American [nuclear] assurance and conventional deployments to these allies are a waste of money.”

Special Duty book on display

In the News

March 15, 2020

The Japanese intelligence community & espionage

Tony VegaJapan Station: A Podcast by Japankyo.com

On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, Richard Samuels digs into the world of Japanese spycraft and the history of Japan's intelligence community.

Coronavirus

In the News

March 13, 2020

MIT’s response to Covid-19

MIT

MIT is tracking the Covid-19 (coronavirus) situation daily, offering ongoing updates and guidance. This website offers the latest updates and information on what the Institute is doing.

In the News

March 10, 2020

Why do banking crises occur?

Peter DizikesMIT News

In a new book, political scientist David Singer finds two key factors connected to financial-sector collapses around the globe.

North Korea carried out another launch of projectiles on Monday, a week after a similar exercise [Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo] Koreans watching news coverage of the launch on tv.

In the News

March 8, 2020

N Korea fires projectiles, after 'momentous' retaliation threat

AFP

Vipin Narang quoted: Vipin Narang of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology added: "Kim continues to test, improve and operationalise his force." 

In the News

February 26, 2020

It all adds up: MIT-Africa

Laura Carter, School of ScienceMIT News

Hazel Sive, faculty director for MISTI-Africa and director of the MIT-Africa Initiative, visited the Uganda program. “This is a fantastic contribution by the MIT Mathematics Department. Our students ran an outstanding program for the best high school math talent in Uganda. The Ugandan students were exceptional, and we hope some will be attracted to apply to MIT. ”  

#NaMosteTrump | What Trump's visit means for India?

In the News

February 24, 2020

What Trump's visit means for India?

India Today

Vipin Narang and other local experts were interviewed and commented on President's Trump trip to India and what it means for India and for Modi.

Donald Trump thanked India for the contributions its culture and traditions have made to the United States and said Americans are eager to strengthen ties between their people. (Photo: AP)

In the News

February 24, 2020

Beyond the spectacle: What global think tanks think about NaMoste Trump

Rahul KanwalIndia Today

Vipin Narang quoted: Trump's India visit appeals to his "vanity", says Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the MIT. "I think at a higher level for President Trump, this is a vanity exercise. I think he loves the idea of being adulated in the crowds," Narang said.

In the News

February 24, 2020

Dreaming big in a small country

MIT News

The MISTI Global Startup Labs (GSL) program, now in its 20th year, has expanded its partnerships to include Uruguayan institutions to promote entrepreneurship and data science across Latin America.

 A monkey sits atop a billboard that shows India’s Prime Minister Narenda Modi welcoming President Trump ahead of his visit to Ahmedabad, India, on Monday. (Ajit Solanki / Associated Press)

In the News

February 22, 2020

Huge rally will highlight Trump’s visit to India

Eli Stokols, Shashank BengaliLos Angeles Times

Vipin Narang quoted: “For Trump to get up and go all the way to India … it’s a pretty big deal and a validation for Modi in the face of this withering international criticism,” said Vipin Narang, an associate political science professor at MIT. “There’s a lot of focus on the lack of deliverables, but for Modi, the trip itself is the deliverable.”

Luis Videgaray, director of MIT’s AI Policy for the World Project, talking at his Starr Forum lecture, hosted by the Center for International Studies, on February 19, 2020.

In the News

February 20, 2020

A road map for artificial intelligence policy

Peter DizikesMIT News

In a Starr Forum talk, Luis Videgaray, director of MIT’s AI Policy for the World Project, outlines key facets of regulating new technologies.

Singapore tightens rules for entry from China

In the News

February 18, 2020

Fact-checking Tom Cotton's claims about the coronavirus

Tara SubramaniamCNN

Vipin Narang quoted: "the thing that weighs against the claim is that it's a terrible bioweapon. If you were engineering a bioweapon this would have the absolute opposite of the characteristics you would want." Cotton's other hypotheses were more plausible, Narang said. "If the claim is that there were bats at the facility that may have had the novel coronavirus and there was a lapse in security and protocol, it's possible but it doesn't sound like there was anything intentional," Narang said. "Unless there's strong evidence to the contrary that should be the operating assumption."

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday repeated a debunked conspiracy theory about coronavirus and Chinese bioresearch. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

In the News

February 17, 2020

Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked

Paulina Firozi The Washington Post

Vipin Narang quoted: After Cotton’s Sunday remarks, Narang said, “These kinds of conspiracy theories are unhelpful. I don’t think it’s particularly helpful, and it’s borderline irresponsible to — and it’s without evidence, so at this point it’s a conspiracy theory — peddle it,” he said. “Cotton should spend more time funding the agencies in the United States that can help contain and combat the virus rather than trying to assign blame.”

Ben Chang

In the News

February 10, 2020

Might technology tip the scales?

Leda ZimmermanDepartment of Political Science

Benjamin Chang, a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, is using his understanding of computer science to explore the impacts of artificial intelligence on military power, with a focus on US and China.

 Copies of President Trump’s FY2021 budget are shown after being delivered to the House Budget Committee on February 10, 2020, in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In the News

February 10, 2020

The 2 most controversial national security items in Trump’s new budget

Alex WardVox

Vipin Narang quoted: Experts are split on whether a nuclear modernization program, which gained steam in the Obama years, is a good idea. “If you’re going to have the force, make sure it’s safe, secure, and reliable,” says Vipin Narang, a nuclear expert at MIT. “Some, not all, of the force and the delivery platforms are decades old.” He added that “it just can’t sit and rot.”

Public service announcements telling people to wear protective face masks are placed in a subway as the coronavirus continues to threaten Beijing on Thursday. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI |

In the News

February 6, 2020

China's 'grand gestures,' propaganda aim to calm fears about coronavirus

Elizabeth ShimUnited Press International (UPI)

Grad student Kacie Miura quoted: In building the new hospitals, the Chinese government could have had other objectives aside from treating sick patients. Authorities allow the construction to be viewed live online, creating a spectacle and an image of a government "in control of the situation and capable of accomplishing monumental tasks," Miura said.

Nuclear sub's torpedo room

In the News

February 4, 2020

US military deploys new type of nuclear weapon seen as key to countering Russia

Ryan Browne, Barbara Starr and Zachary CohenCNN

Vipin Narang quoted: The real difference is the ability to threaten "and penetrate targets deep in adversary territory that current aircraft deliverable low yield nuclear weapons cannot reach," according to Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT.

Harvard University professor Charles Lieber is surrounded by reporters as he leaves the Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston Thursday. (Charles Krupa/AP)

In the News

February 3, 2020

Beyond Harvard prof's arrest, increased scrutiny over research conflicts sparks 'a whole lot of anxiety'

Carrie JungWBUR

Joel Brenner quoted: "The FBI and other counterintelligence officials have been warning of these problems for at least 20 years now," he said. "The academic community has been very skeptical."

In a photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a medical staff member wearing a protective suit works in the department of infectious diseases at Wuhan Union Hospital on Jan. 28. (Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua/AP)

In the News

January 29, 2020

Experts debunk fringe theory linking China’s coronavirus to weapons research

Adam Taylor The Washington Post

Vipin Narang quoted: Vipin Narang, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in a message on Twitter that a good bioweapon “in theory has high lethality but low, not [high], communicability” and that spreading such ideas would be “incredibly irresponsible.”

Hatice Cengiz has been an outspoken advocate for justice for Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October 2018. Photograph: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In the News

January 24, 2020

Saudi Arabia 'planned to spy on Khashoggi's fiancee in UK'

Stephanie Kirchgaessner The Guardian

Hala Aldosari quoted: “Saudi Arabia is trying to put a lid on the whole [Khashoggi] thing, so it is understandable that they would try to make sure that Hatice’s voice and advocacy is limited,” said Hala Aldosari, a Saudi activist and fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “All sorts of unlawful behaviour continues, nothing has changed.”

In the News

January 22, 2020

Who is Mohammad bin Salman?

NowThis

Hala Aldosari is featured on the first international podcast of Who Is. This epidsode explores the 34-year-old trillionaire in charge of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman, and the story of a monarchy that is using its wealth to secure its global legitimacy and expand its influence.

Associate Professor Noelle Eckley Selin (left) and former graduate student Emil Dimanchev SM ’18 used a new method to analyze the impacts of current and proposed state-level renewable energy and carbon pricing policies. Their study yielded some unexpected outcomes on the health benefits of the policies they examined.

In the News

January 22, 2020

Study: State-level adoption of renewable energy standards saves money and lives

Nancy W Stauffer MIT News

MIT researchers review renewable energy and carbon pricing policies as states consider repealing or relaxing renewable portfolio standards.  Emil Dimanchev SM ’18, a senior research associate at the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, had his outreach relating to the Ohio testimony supported by the Policy Lab at the MIT Center for International Studies. 

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 14.     Reuters

In the News

January 21, 2020

Saudi Arabia runs squalid, abusive jails for women disowned by their male guardians — a forgotten chapter in its rush to champion women’s rights

Bill BostockBusiness Insider

Hala Aldosari quoted: “How women are treated is very much determined by the staff,” she said. “It’s worse when they bring low-skilled people in to work with women left with no supervision. Because of the gender division and lack of transparency they abuse power, and there’s no way for the women to address the issues.”

An aerial image of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Gloucestershire. Picture: Ministry of Defence

In the News

January 19, 2020

Spies being left exposed in the digital age

Ben MacintyreThe Times

Joel Brenner quoted: Everyone leaves digital footprints, whether intentionally or otherwise. Joel Brenner, a former top counterintelligence official, told Yahoo: “It’s extremely difficult now to run cover operations when so much is known and can be known about almost everybody.”

Jim Walsh

In the News

January 14, 2020

Iran nuclear deal continues to unravel

Tonya MosleyWBUR Here and Now

Iran suspended all limits on its production of enriched uranium required by the deal after the American drone strike that killed Iran's top military commander this month. Jim Walsh discusses the implications.

Hala Aldosari

In the News

January 13, 2020

How exiled Saudi Arabian activists are quietly building a resistance movement

Ty JoplinAl Bawaba

Al Bawaba spoke with Hala Aldosari, a Saudi human rights activist who stands on the vanguard of digitally organizing a resistance movement to the Saudi regime while in exile.

Joel Brenner

In the News

January 8, 2020

What's the path forward on Iran?

Tiziana Dearing, Jamie BolognaWBUR Radio Boston

Now a senior research fellow at CIS, Joel Brenner—former inspector general of the National Security Agency and head of US counterintelligence in the Obama administration—joins us to make sense of where we are with Iran and what happens next.

President Trump spoke at the White House on Wednesday after missile strikes by Iran on two bases housing American troops in Iraq.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

In the News

January 8, 2020

Trump’s inaccurate statements about the conflict with Iran

Linda QiuThe New York Times

Jim Walsh quoted: Mr Trump’s claim blaming the nuclear accord for Iranian aggression rather than his withdrawal from it is “almost an inverted reality,” said Jim Walsh, a research associate at MIT’s Security Studies Program and an expert on nuclear issues and the Middle East.

Jim Walsh

In the News

January 8, 2020

After Iran strikes back, President Trump indicates a de-escalation

Jim BraudeWGBH Greater Boston

Jim Walsh, a senior research associate at MIT’s Security Studies Program, joined Jim Braude to discuss the events of the last week and what else may be on the horizon in US-Iran relations.

David Edelman

In the News

January 8, 2020

How an Iranian cyberattack might start

Marketplace

David Edelman quoted: Iran has promised retaliation following the US killing of its top commander, and one form that could take is cyberattacks. Iran is not considered the most sophisticated cyber actor, but David Edelman said it has attacked and been the target of attacks, so it has an unusual amount of experience with hacking.

Jeanne Guillemin Meselson

In the News

January 7, 2020

Jeanne Guillemin, biological warfare expert and senior advisor at MIT, dies at 76

Michelle EnglishMIT News

Jeanne Guillemin was described by The New York Times as a “scientific sleuth” and the Washington Post as a “pioneering researcher” in obituaries that lauded her groundbreaking work in biological warfare — a field where men had long outnumbered their female colleagues.

 Iranians tear up a US flag during a demonstration in Tehran on January 3, 2020.

In the News

January 6, 2020

Iran drives another stake into the heart of the nuclear deal

Tim ListerCNN

Vipin Narang quoted: Vipin Narang, Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT, points out that despite Iran's announcement that it won't abide by enrichment levels and quantities set by the JCPOA, "it is still quite far from having enough enriched uranium for a bomb, let alone a functional arsenal because...of the JCPOA."

Senior Research Associate at MIT’s Security Studies Program Dr. Jim Walsh on the U.S. airstrike that killed top Iranian general Soleimani.

In the News

January 5, 2020

Iraqi parliament votes to expel US troops from country

Fox News

Senior Research Associate at MIT’s Security Studies Program Dr Jim Walsh on the US airstrike that killed top Iranian general Soleimani.

Posing for a picture with a poster of Maj Gen Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad on Saturday.Credit...Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In the News

January 4, 2020

Did the killing of Qassim Suleimani deter Iranian attacks, or encourage them?

Amanda TaubThe New York Times

Vipin Narang quoted: “He was a monster, no question,” said Vipin Narang, an MIT political scientist who has studied efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program. “But there’s a consequentialist argument as well.”  Dr Narang said the deterrence argument “assumes a unitary, rational actor.” While he said that could apply to Iran, which may want to avoid war, it may not apply, say, to Hezbollah, which Iran backs in Lebanon.

In this March 27, 2015 file photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, sits in a religious ceremony at a mosque in the residence of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran. A U.S. airstrike near Baghdad’s airport on Friday Jan. 3, 2020 killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force. Soleimani was considered the architect of Iran’s policy in Syria. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader v

In the News

January 3, 2020

Qassem Soleimani long targeted the United States

Sean Philip CotterBoston Herald

Jim Walsh quoted: “Soleimani was a central figure in Iran — he was Iran’s military representative to the Middle East,” Jim Walsh, an expert on terrorism and the Middle East at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the Herald. “There was sort of a cult of personality about him, and people thought of him as being talented.”

An Iranian woman covers her face with a picture of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani during a demonstration in Tehran against the killing of the top commander in a U.S. strike in Baghdad. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

In the News

January 3, 2020

Qassem Soleimani, top Iranian general, killed in US airstrike in Baghdad

Peter O'Dowd WBUR Here & Now

Peter O'Dowd speaks with security analyst Jim Walsh about the US killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, which is expected to have larger repercussions.

The US claimed responsibility for an air raid in Baghdad that killed General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds force, raising fears that oil supplies could be disrupted in the Middle East [File: Haider al-Assadee/EPA]

In the News

January 3, 2020

Oil prices surge after US attack kills senior Iran military chief

Al Jazeera

John Tirman quoted: "Certainly Iran is going to retaliate in some way - retaliations will come, as they have in the past, in what we call an asymmetrical way. They're not going to confront the US directly but they will perhaps attack Saudi tankers again, maybe Saudi oil refineries again," John Tirman told Al Jazeera. "The fact is that Iran will come back and hit US assets or the assets of US allies in the region, and they will do so repeatedly over a period of time," Tirman said.

Jim Walsh

In the News

January 1, 2020

A look at the national security challenges facing the US in 2020

Robin YoungWBUR Here & Now

Robin Young speaks with security analyst Jim Walsh about the stalled nuclear talks with North Korea and the US embassy protests in Baghdad.

Kim Jong Un at the the 5th Plenary Meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang.STR / AFP - Getty Images

In the News

January 1, 2020

North Korea signals end of nuclear-test suspension, promises 'new' weapon

Alexander SmithNBC News

Vipin Narang, a politics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who focuses on nuclear weapons, tweeted the potential to negotiate on this issue is "the door we should urgently push on."

President George W Bush

In the News

January 1, 2020

George W Bush slips in and out of town as Poodle naps

Nick WelshSanta Barbara Independent

John Tirman interview and research heavily referenced in piece about mortality rates and cost of war.