By Simon Saradzhyan
Simon Saradzhyan is assistant director of the U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism and a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.
It seems there has been no Russia watcher left in the world who has not opined on Vladimir Putin’s swift and not so covert moves in the Crimea, pondering: “who’s to blame and what to do?” In times like these it is also as customary for analysts of international affairs to wonder “to whose benefit?” Yet this question remains open even though some of the Western diplomats are already calling the current standoff the biggest crisis in Europe of the 21st century.
The Power Problem is an occasional series of mini-forums on Power & Policy, asking specialists from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School to suggest policy responses by the United States to pressing world issues. We invite readers to comment.
We asked our experts: What should the United States do now that Qaddafi is digging in? And what is the gravest risk for the United States in the Libyan crisis?
Read other views from from Stephen M. Walt and Rami G. Khouri
By Nicholas Burns
By Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School; Director, Future of Diplomacy Project; and Faculty Chair for the Programs on the Middle East and on India and South Asia.
Muammar Qaddafi is a weird, brutal, cynical and vile dictator whose fall from power would be cheered from one end of the world to another. The United States should do everything we can to isolate him, cut off the flow of funds to his gangster-style family dictatorship and turn Arab and world opinion against him. President Obama is right to deploy a naval task force off the Libyan coast to pressure and intimidate him, to prepare to extract refugees, to bring food and medical aid to suffering Libyans and, perhaps, ultimately, to intervene. Read more
Joshua W. Walker
The Power & Policy Fellows’ Forum
By Joshua W. Walker
As a longtime ally of the West and new partner of Iran and Syria, Turkey has been seeking the role of mediator and model in every available arena, including Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia. As a G-20 founding member, holder of a seat on the UN Security Council, European Union aspirant, and head of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Ankara has transformed itself into an international actor, capable of bringing considerable clout and influence to its regions. Often lost in the debates about Turkey and its potential as a model is the fact that Ankara did not transform itself overnight from a defeated post-Ottoman state led by Ataturk’s military to a flourishing market-democracy led by a conservative Muslim party. It has been almost a century in the making. Read more
By Richard Clarke
In the late 19th century, American Admiral Alfred Mahan described the rise of sea power and its relationship to a nation’s global strength. In the early 20th century Italian General Giulio Douhet was first to develop theories about the essentiality of air power to future military superiority. Today America’s “cyber warriors” have begun to talk about the need for their nation to be the “dominant” cyber war power in order to be assured of continued global military superiority.
Although no Mahan or Douhet has yet emerged, America’s cyber generals have described cyberspace as a domain similar to sea, air, and outer space as a potential battleground. In some documents, the cyber warriors have admitted that without dominance in cyberspace, a military power will likely lose the battle in the other domains. With that in mind, the US Navy has created a new 10th Fleet, to accompany the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. The 10th Fleet will fight in cyberspace. A new US Cyber Command will coordinate Navy, Army, and Air Force cyber warriors. Read more