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1. Anchoring NATO with leadership (Burns) The Chicago Tribune
2. How Close Is Iran to Exploding Its First Nuclear Bomb? (Allison) Scientific American
3. The Economist Who Changed the Way We Think About Housing (Glaeser) Bloomberg News
4. More women are needed in Congress (Hunt) The Boston Globe
5. Winning the competition for ideas ( Belinsky ) The Boston Globe
Anchoring NATO with leadership
The Chicago Tribune
Commentary by: Nicholas Burns, Belfer Center
Topic: The future of NATO
The long-term need for stronger political leadership is NATO's most important challenge. The eurozone debt crisis and substantial reductions in defense spending have badly weakened Europe's military capabilities and sapped its ambitions for global leadership. The decline is so severe that former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned of a "dim, if not dismal" future for NATO. Meanwhile, the United States has identified Asia and the Middle East as its top foreign policy priorities, leaving many NATO allies skeptical of Washington's enduring commitment to Europe's security.
Chicago presents a chance for President Barack Obama and NATO leaders to push back on this gloom and doom.
NATO still matters to Americans. It is the most successful alliance in modern history and binds the U.S., Canada and Europe into the greatest democratic community on the planet. A stronger, more ambitious and more united transatlantic partnership will be essential in shaping a future where the U.S. will still be the indispensable global leader. …
How Close Is Iran to Exploding Its First Nuclear Bomb?
Commentary by: Graham Allison, Belfer Center
Topic: Iran’s nuclear program
Over the past decade Iran has been cautiously, but steadily, putting in place all the elements it needs to construct a nuclear weapon in short order. But as James R. Clapper, director of National Intelligence, told the U.S. Senate in January, while the Iranians are “moving on that path ... we don’t believe they have actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon.”
For several years experts have debated the possibility of a “breakout” scenario in which Iran makes a mad dash to complete and test its first bomb before other nations can act to stop it. That would require doing as much as possible to prepare for bomb making without tripping the alarms of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the source of most good intelligence about Iran’s declared program. From that point, Iran would then race to conduct a test quickly, perhaps in as little as several weeks. How close is Iran to achieving such an option? …
The Economist Who Changed the Way We Think About Housing
Commentary by: Edward Glaeser, Taubman Center, Rappaport Institute
Topic: The late economist John M. Quigley
John M. Quigley, who died last week, was a pioneering economist who helped change the way we think about housing. He devised statistical models of housing quality and the risks inherent in mortgage-backed securities, documented the discrimination that restricted the housing choices of African-Americans, and wrote about the impact of housing wealth on consumption.
In 1970, the Journal of the American Statistical Association published a path-breaking paper by Quigley and his mentor, the urban economist John Kain, on the determinants of housing prices. They were not the first economists to try to tease out the impact of structure and neighborhood on prices and rents, but Kain and Quigley had a rich data set that enabled them to develop the prototype for papers estimating the value of housing quality. …
More women are needed in Congress
The Boston Globe
Commentary by: Swanee Hunt
Topic: Gender balance in politics
Political strategists say that women are critical to the Democrats’ strategy for retaining control of the Senate. But now, more than ever, women of both parties have a good reason to run — not for cover, but for office — because huge majorities of Americans say we’d be better off with more women in the political system.
Women seem to be heeding this call, with a record number of female Democrats running for US Senate this year, in part because their relative absence from the halls of power has been so noticeable. …
Winning the competition for ideas
The Boston Globe
Quoted: Mike Belinsky MPP 2012
Topic: Harvard College Innovation Challenge- Instiglio, public sector innovation award winners
… States like Massachusetts have already started experimenting with “social impact bonds” — a sophisticated way of saying that they’re structuring agreements with vendors to pay for social services based on whether they achieve results. …
“These are basically pay-for-success contracts,” says team member Mike Belinsky, a student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “If you don’t have an impact, we’ll pay you zero. The provider of the service is taking on the risk.”
Instiglio, a company founded by four students at the Kennedy School, wants to bring that practice to developing countries, addressing problems such as HIV and AIDs in sub-Saharan Africa or youth violence in Colombia and Mexico. Using the social impact bond approach, African governments might contract with health care providers to educate people about AIDS, the use of condoms, and other ways to prevent the spread of the disease, and tie payments to a decline in infections. …
Reuter’s “The Freeland File,” 5/16
This selection of media appearances is compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
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