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A series of recently tested hypersonic missiles in North Korea brings forth concerns about vulnerability for U.S. troops and their allies in Asia, reports Josh Smith for Reuters. Research affiliate David Wright warns that “South Korea and the roughly 28,500 U.S. troops based there are so close that incoming missiles could fly on even lower trajectories, with a much shorter flight time, making defense more difficult,” writes Smith.

The Wall Street Journal

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, Joel Brenner, an instructor at MIT’s Center for International Studies and the former inspector general of the National Security Agency, argues that the fall of Kabul to the Taliban was a counterintelligence failure that should be examined. “The intelligence community needs to take a hard look at the scope and effectiveness of its counterintelligence operations,” writes Brenner. “Like most intelligence failures, this one was probably more the result of a lack of imagination than of operational difficulties.”

Yahoo News

Sergey Paltsev, deputy director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, speaks with Brian Cheung of Yahoo Finance about climate change, the path to net-zero emissions and COP26. “What is extremely important is to send the clear signal that this policy [the Paris Climate Agreement] is going to stay,” says Paltsev of his hopes for COP26. “Because what the investors need, what the companies need, they need to see that these targets are solid, that we are not going to give away and give up, even though we are not there in terms of the emission reduction.”

Project Syndicate

Institute Prof. Daron Acemoglu writes for Project Syndicate about why the U.S. and its allies never reconsidered a top-down state-building strategy in Afghanistan. “In viewing nation-building as a top-down, ‘state-first’ process, US policymakers were following a venerable tradition in political science,” writes Acemoglu. “The assumption is that if you can establish overwhelming military dominance over a territory and subdue all other sources of power, you can then impose your will. Yet in most places, this theory is only half right, at best; and in Afghanistan, it was dead wrong.”

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. Christopher Capozzola investigates how for the Philippines, independence from the U.S. did not mean national sovereignty. “On this Fourth of July, as Americans celebrate our own independence, it’s worth recalling the moments in our past when we have failed to support the independence of others,” Capozzola writes.

Financial Times

In a letter to the Financial Times, graduate student Daniel Aronoff explores the effectiveness Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s regional policies. “If Israel severely cripples Hamas and Fatah emerges the winner of that contest, it will be an improvement from the standpoint of Israeli security, since Fatah is not committed to the goal of destroying Israel,” writes Aronoff.

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. M. Taylor Fravel explores how Chinese and Indian forces have disengaged and created a buffer zone at Pangong Lake on their disputed border. “The disengagement and buffer zone creates space for further talks,” writes Fravel. “In the short term, discussions have already begun to address disengagement in other “friction areas” such as Gorga/Hot Springs. Longer term, political talks about the border may be possible if a complete de-escalation occurs.”

The Boston Globe

In an article for The Boston Globe, President Emerita Susan Hockfield and Prof. Ernest Moniz, former secretary of energy, highlight alumnus George Shultz’s PhD ’49 visionary approach to tackling climate change and the development of new technologies. "George was masterful in bringing together people and ideas from disparate disciplines to find new kinds of solutions to daunting political, technological, and organizational problems," they write. "He created communities of shared concern, which he recognized was the way to get things done and to have lots of fun doing so, frequently reminding us, 'If you want to land together, you better take off together.'"

The Wire China

Associate Provost Richard Lester calls for a comprehensive dialogue between America’s research universities and the federal government. “Such a dialogue,” writes Lester, “would enable the universities to make clear that there is no contradiction between their interests as academic citizens of the world and as institutional citizens of the United States. Both sets of interests are served by openness, independence, and the freedom to attract, educate, and work with the world’s finest young minds.” 


CNN reporter Ivana Kottasová writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds there has been a significant drop in CFC emissions and a resumption in the recovery of the ozone layer. Prof. Ronald Prinn, director of the Center for Global Change Science at MIT, said that the results were “tremendously encouraging,” adding that “global monitoring networks really caught this spike in time, and subsequent actions have lowered emissions before they became a real threat to recovery of the ozone layer.”

Associated Press

AP reporter Matthew Lee memorializes the life and work of George Shultz PhD ’49, “a titan of American academia, business and diplomacy who spent most of the 1980s trying to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East.”

The Washington Post

George Shultz, an MIT alumnus and former professor of economics who served as a counsel and Cabinet member for two presidents, has died at age 100, reports Michael Abramowitz and David E. Hoffman for The Washington Post. “Mr. Shultz was a policy maven, conservative but curious, patient and determined. He ranged widely over domestic and foreign affairs,” they write.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Mark Feenery writes that George Shultz PhD ’49, who held top positions under President Nixon and was secretary of state for President Regan, “was regarded as a model of managerial dependability: pragmatic, low key, unflappable.”

Financial Times

George Shultz PhD ’49, known for serving as President Regan’s secretary of state has died at 100, reports Malcolm Rutherford and Aime Williams for the Financial Times. Rutherford and Williams note that during Shultz’s tenure as secretary of state, “there were achievements in arms control, in reducing regional conflicts and in placing human rights on the US-Soviet agenda.”

The Wall Street Journal

George Schultz PhD ‘49, the former secretary of state under President Regan and an MIT alumnus, has died at 100, reports Michael R. Gordon for The Wall Street Journal. Gordon notes that Schultz’s “diplomacy helped seal the end of the Cold War,” adding that he “remained an active voice on national security, economic and environmental issues after leaving government.”