Security Studies Program


Early Warning newsletter

The Fall 2014 issue of Early Warning, SSP's internal newsletter, is now available. Click here to read the newsletter. 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.



The Nuclear Studies Research Initiative (NSRI) is now accepting papers for their second workshop. more information



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In the News

Barry Posen was on The Agenda, TVO (Ontario television), September 30, 2014 to discuss "Obama's ISIS Strategy."


"3 Questions: Jim Walsh on the elusive U.S.-Iran nuclear treaty," MIT News Office, September 30, 2014.


A report by the Observer Research Foundation about Vipin Narang's book talk, "Nuclear Strategies in the modern era," is now available. more information


Barry Posen was on WBUR's On Point August 14, 2014. The topic: "For the US: Intervention or Restraint in Iraq."


Stephen Van Evera was on WBUR's Open Source August 11, 2014 to discuss "WWI: The War of the Century."


Barry Posen and SSP alum Kenneth Pollack were on KCRW radio August 11, 2014. The title of the segment: "Islamic State Lures US Military Back to Iraq."


Frank Gavin was featured in an MIT New Office article August 7, 2014, titled "The history man."


A Defense Concept for Ukraine

This paper was written by Professor Barry R. Posen twenty years ago. It was never published in English. Though the order of battle assumptions are no longer accurate, the basic architecture of the military problem remains. Those following events in Ukraine may find the analysis useful.


New Publications

Boaz Atzili, "For Israel, defense may be the best defense," The Washington Post Monkey Cage blog, September 23, 2014.


Carol Saivetz, "The Price of 'Novorossiya',", September 7, 2014.


Nicholas L. Miller (with Jeremy Ferwerda), "Political Devolution and Resistance to Foreign Rule: A Natural Experiment," American Political Science Review, Vol 108, No. 3 (August 2014) pp. 642-660.


Jeanne Guillemin, "Smallpox: The long goodbye," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July 21, 2014.


Peter Krause (with Ehud Eiran), "The 'price' of radical flanks and the conflict in Gaza," The Washington Post, July 11, 2014.


Francis J. Gavin, "What new academic research can teach us about nuclear weapons," The Washington Post, July 8, 2014.


Philip Martin, "Intervention and the Prospects for Power-Sharing in Iraq," The Duck of Minerva, June 27, 2014.


Barry R. Posen, Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy (Cornell University Press, 2014)


Vipin Narang, Nuclear Strategy in the Modern Era: Regional Powers and International Conflict (Princeton University Press, 2014)


M. Taylor Fravel, "Policy Report: U.S. Policy Towards the Disputes in the South China Sea Since 1995," S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, March 2014. (pdf)


Russell Rumbaugh (with Barry Blechman), "Bombs Away: The Case for Phasing Out U.S. Tactical Nukes in Europe," Foreign Affairs, July/August 2014.


Jennifer Lind, "Pivot Problems: What Washington Should Concede in Asia," Foreign Affairs, June 25, 2014.


Christine M. Leah, "A Scary Scenario: Fewer Nukes, Lots of Missiles," The National Interest, June 24, 2014.


Alec Worsnop (with Evan Perkoski), A Closer Look at ISIS in Iraq in Political Violence at a Glance June 17, 2014. This post was quoted in Andrew Sullivan's blog. Sullivan also quoted Benjamin H. Friedman in the same blog post.


Barry R. Posen, "The Case for Doing Nothing in Iraq,", June 16, 2014.


Francis J. Gavin and Vipin Narang have articles in the June 15, 2014 H-Diplo/ISSF Forum: "What We Talk About When We Talk About Nuclear Weapons."