The National Security and Defense Program aims to enhance the peace and prosperity of the United States and its allies by enhancing public understanding of the threats we face and the options we have for responding to them. In the post–9/11 world, threats to the national interest come from a greater variety of sources than ever before: traditional nation-states—not least the "rogue" variety—remain potential adversaries in conventional conflicts, while non-state actors—especially transnational terrorist organizations, insurgencies, and drug cartels—have become more effective than ever in asymmetrical warfare. CFR's national security fellows work to develop the policies, strategies, and tactics needed to minimize security vulnerabilities in our rapidly changing global environment.
Complemented by more focused CFR programs in cyber- and energy security, the National Security and Defense Program examines the cornerstones of national security: diplomacy, intelligence, security, and the military. Through books, article, blog posts, media outreach (both mainstream and social), congressional testimony, roundtables, and face-to-face meetings, fellows bring their hard-earned expertise to bear on the vital policy debates of the day.
The stakes are high. The long-term outcomes of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are far from decided; Egypt and Syria are in turmoil; and the future of the region in the wake of the Arab Spring remains an open question. Iran is working on acquiring nuclear weapons; North Korea has them already. China's power is growing, while Al Qaeda spreads its franchises across the Middle East. The war on terror continues to push the limits of U.S. military and intelligence capabilities, while raising difficult questions for international and domestic law. The military faces the twin challenge of maintaining its combat advantage in the information age while accepting the budget constraints of the age of austerity.
Dealing with these threats and many others requires informed policymakers and an informed electorate. The National Security and Defense Program aims to help both audience—both experts and ordinary, informed Americans—to better undertand the security issues which will affect our longterm interest both at home and abroad.
This roundtable series focuses on issues that influence U.S. defense policy, such as the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, civil-military relations, and debates about the transformation of the U.S. military and the future of warfare. It is made possible by the generous support of Roger Hertog.
Prompted by the critical security challenges facing our country, and the growing need to fully engage the private sector in meeting these challenges, the Council is sponsoring the Roundtable Series on the Role of the Private Sector in Homeland Security. The series is directed by Dr. Stephen Flynn, the Council's Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies. The aim of the Roundtable is to vigorously address some of the pressing issues highlighted in Flynn's recently released book, America the Vulnerable, How Our Government is Failing to Protect Us from Terrorism.
The design of the initiative is a sustained dialogue between homeland security experts and a small high-level group of decision makers from the private sector. Bringing these two groups together, the Council hopes to promote a forum for frank discussion leading to valuable insights into difficult security issues and the pursuit of solutions in the context of our present political and economic environment.
This study group will result in a book that examines four major technological revolutions of the past 500 years (Gunpowder, Industrial, Mechanization, and Computerization) and how they transformed warfare and the international balance-of-power. For each military revolution, Mr. Boot will provide dramatic narratives of key conflicts--from the battle of the Spanish Armada to the recent war in Afghanistan--that highlight the effects of changing technologies on strategy. In addition, Mr. Boot applies the lessons of history to current dilemmas, examining crucial questions such as how long America's military advantage will last, and what the United States can do to preserve its hegemony.
This project has been made possible with the generous support from the following:
Smith Richardson Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Roger and Susan Hertog
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
John M. Olin Foundation
Project Vice-Chair: Charlotte Ku Co-sponsered by ASIL
The Roundtable Series, “Old Rules, New Threats,” is a project on global governance that brings administration officials together with lawyers, professors and policymakers to look at areas in foreign policy and national security where the rules of the road, formal and informal, may or may not need to be adapted, amended, or replaced to address the challenges currently facing the nation.
The roundtable addresses a broad range of security issues, including threats related to force and war, as well as challenges requiring transnational cooperation. Past sessions have explored the administration’s announced doctrine of preemption; humanitarian intervention; military tribunals and unlawful combatants; use of force and the laws of war; and regulating the movement of black and gray market goods, technology, and people. Memos prepared by roundtable speakers and summary reports of the roundtable meetings are posted below. The roundtable, which met six times beginning in November 2002, will reconvene in the fall of 2003.
The Council and ASIL, with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, will begin the 2003 season with a one-day conference on September 19. The conference will focus on four areas: intervention and weapons proliferation; global climate change; bringing war criminals to justice; and counterterrorism and transnational law enforcement.
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies
Senior Fellow for Strategic Studies and Arms Control
Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Adjunct Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security
Adjunct Senior Fellow for International and National Security Law
Adjunct Senior Fellow for National Security Studies
Adjunct Senior Fellow for Defense Policy
Adjunct Senior Fellow
December 16 Application Deadline:
Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship
January 17 Application Deadline:
IAF in Nuclear Security
March 1 Application Deadline:
Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship
For application instructions and more information, visit www.cfr.org/fellowships.
For more information on the David Rockefeller Studies Program, contact: