Security Studies Program


CDR Ryan Bernacchi, USN, to head Blue Angels

SSP Military Fellow Ryan Bernacchi will be Navy Blue Angels flight leader as his next assignment, a great honor. He will be taking over the flight demonstration team for 2016 and 2017. more information



The Security Studies Program at MIT is a graduate-level research and educational program based at the Center for International Studies at MIT. The senior research and teaching staff includes social scientists and policy analysts. A special feature of the program is the integration of technical and political analysis of national and international security problems. Security Studies is a recognized field of study in the MIT Political Science Department. Courses emphasize grand strategy, the causes and prevention of conflict, military operations and technology, and defense policy.



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SSP extends its appreciation to The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which has awarded SSP a 36 month, $1 million, grant to support our research on the global “Diffusion of Power.” This will allow us to sustain and expand our work on Asian Security, Nuclear Arms Control and Strategy, Domestic Political Instability and Violence in the Greater Middle East, and U.S. Grand Strategy.


In the News

Paul Staniland has been awarded the 2015 Peter Katzenstein Book Prize for his book, Networks of Rebellion.


Frank Gavin, Vipin Narang, and Jim Walsh are among those interviewed in: "The US-Iran Nuclear Deal: MIT's experts size it up," MIT News Office, July 24, 2015.


Jim Walsh on CNN discussing Iran negotiations, and on CNBC. Both interviews took place July 13, 2015.


Jim Walsh's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 25, 2015. “Evaluating Key Components of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action With Iran.”


Barry Posen participated in a discussion at the Atlantic Council on July 7, 2015, titled "Changing America's Approach to Middle East Security." click here to see the video.


Several people from SSP, including Steve Van Evera, Frank Gavin, and Lena Andrews, are mentioned in "How to Bridge the Gap Between Policy and Scholarship," War On The Rocks blog, June 29, 2015.


Phil Haun has been selected as Dean of Academic Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. His appointment there will begin January 2016.


New Publications

Julia Macdonald and Jacquelyn Schneider, "Presidential Risk Orientation and Force Employment Decisions: The Case of Unmanned Weaponry," Journal of Conflict Resolution, July 2015.


Peter Krause and Craig Noyes, "A Frightening Thought: When Terrorism 'Works'," The National Interest, July 8, 2015.


Amanda J. Rothschild, "Policy Relevant Scholarship: What's Chutzpah Got To Do With It?", July 6, 2015.


Harvey M. Sapolsky, "Acquisition Reform: The Elusive Quest,", July 1, 2015.


M. Taylor Fravel, "China's New Military Strategy: 'Winning Informationized Local Wars," Jamestown Foundation, China Brief Volume: 15 Issue: 13, June 23, 2015.


Barry R. Posen, "Prelude to a Quagmire,", June 16, 2015.


Barry R. Posen, "The Iraqi Army No Longer Exists," Defense One, June 7, 2015.


Francis J. Gavin, "Friends or Frenemies: the puzzling foundations of the Ango-American special relationship," The American Interest, June 1, 2015.


Eric Lorber and Julia M. Macdonald, "Sensible Sanctions," Foreign Affairs, May 28, 2015.


Vipin Narang, "Nuclear Strategies of Emerging Nuclear Powers: North Korea and Iran," The Washington Quarterly, May 1, 2015.


Roundtable on Paul Staniland's book, Networks of Rebellion, (Cornell, 2014) including a review by Fotini Christia in H-Diplo/ISSF, May 11, 2015.


Harvey M. Sapolsky, "What Americans Don't Understand About Their Own Military,", May 6, 2015.