Nicholas Burns | Power & Policy

Author Archives: Nicholas Burns

About Nicholas Burns

Nicholas Burns is Director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for programs on the Middle East, and on India and South Asia. He served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2008, leading the effort to reshape U.S. relations with India. Previously, he was U.S. Ambassador to NATO. Full bio >

Two challenges that college graduates will inherit

By Nicholas Burns (Excerpt from op-ed in Boston Globe, May 24, 2012) My family and I spent Monday at Boston College celebrating the graduation of our youngest daughter. And at Harvard, where I teach, thousands of graduates will parade to … Continue reading >

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Blame China, not the U.S., for the Plight of Chen Guangcheng

The dramatic events in Beijing surrounding the brave Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng, are confounding and hard to fathom at such a great distance and without all the facts. That has not stopped critics who should know better from rushing to blame the Obama Administration for having mishandled negotiations with the Chinese authorities over his fate.

It is irresponsible to second guess Washington when we don’t know the full story. Instead, the true culprit in this fascinating and increasingly tragic drama is the usual suspect–China’s authoritarian government. China has hounded and mistreated Chen and his family for years. Beijing is now trying to intimidate him when he is beyond the protection of the American embassy. None of this is surprising given China’s lamentable human rights record and its shameful status as the world’s greatest human rights abuser. It was also standard Chinese practice to demand a U.S. apology for harboring Chen, an apology that will surely not be forthcoming. Continue reading >

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Why Europe Still Matters

By Nicholas Burns (This is an excerpt from my latest Boston Globe column on Friday, March 30. See that piece for a longer assessment of these challenges.) At a recent conference in Brussels sponsored by the German Marshall Fund, I heard from … Continue reading >

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India disappoints U.S. friends with its Iran policy

By Nicholas Burns The Indian government’s ill-advised statement last week that it will continue to purchase oil from Iran is a major setback for the U.S. attempt to isolate the Iranian government over the nuclear issue.  The New York Times … Continue reading >

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India’s strategic importance to the US

By Nicholas Burns In my February 3 Boston Globe op-ed, “India’s Strategic Importance to the U.S.”, I argue that a close U.S.-India partnership can be of immense value to the United States in the future, particularly in preserving the influence … Continue reading >

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What to do about Iran

By Nicholas Burns In my January 20 Boston Globe op-ed, “What To Do About Iran,” I argued that President Obama is right to follow a policy of “strategic patience” in confronting the Iran nuclear challenge and that it would be … Continue reading >

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The best GOP candidates on foreign policy

By Nicholas Burns In my January 6 Boston Globe op-ed, “The Best GOP Candidates on Foreign Policy,” I wrote that one of the challenges for Republicans this election year is to nominate a candidate who can match President Obama’s impressive … Continue reading >

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Let’s make peace a campaign issue

By Nicholas Burns In my December 23 Boston Globe op-ed, “Why isn’t peace on anyone’s platform?”, I wrote that our national leaders rarely raise the standard of “peace” as among our most important international objectives. Unlike past leaders such as Lincoln, … Continue reading >

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Arab Awakening, Act II

By Nicholas Burns In my Nov. 25 Boston Globe column, “Arab Awakening, Act 2”, I warn that, nearly one year since the start of reform and revolution across the Arab world, the region may turn more turbulent and violent in … Continue reading >

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Libya: A victory for NATO, too

By Nicholas Burns The death of Muammar Qadhafi is the decisive event in the nine-month civil war in Libya.   In the minds of most Libyans, the war could not end without his departure from the country or death on the … Continue reading >

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