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

Cullen Nutt has been chosen as a semifinalist for the 2015 "Bobby R. Inman Award" for Student Scholarship on Intelligence from the University of Texas at Austin Strauss Center. more information


Congratulations to William Graham, 2009-2010 SSP military fellow, on his promotion to brigadier general in the US Army. more information


Barry Posen was on KCRW's Morning Edition on August 10, 2015. The segment was titled "Finding Friends to Fight ISIS in Syria."


Noel Anderson and Alec Worsnop have each been awarded a dissertation fellowship from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.


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.


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

Mark S. Bell, "Okay, so what if Iran does get nuclear weapons?" Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, August 20, 2015.


The new issue of International Security, Vol. 40, No.1, Summer 2015 includes articles by Francis J. Gavin, Nicholas L. Miller, and Mark S. Bell on the topic of Nonproliferation and Proliferation. In addition, SSP affiliates Joel Brenner and Jon Lindsay are featured in the "Correspondence" section. more information


Caitlin Talmadge, The Dictator's Army: Battlefield Effectiveness in Authoritarian Regimes, Cornell University Press, September 2015.


Harvey M. Sapolsky, review of Providing for a National Security: A Comparative Analysis, Andrew H. Dorman and Joyce P. Kaufman, eds., (Stanford, CA, 2015) in e-International Relations, August 13, 2015.


Nicholas L. Miller, "Debunked: Why 5 Criticisms of the Iran Deal Are Wrong," The National Interest, August 12, 2015.


The Summer 2015 issue of SSP's internal newsletter, Early Warning, is now available. more information


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.