Center for Preventive Action

About the Center for Preventive Action

About the Program

The Center for Preventive Action (CPA) helps policymakers devise timely and practical strategies to prevent and mitigate armed conflict around the world, especially in those places where U.S. interests are most at risk. Geopolitical friction among the major powers has been steadily growing in recent years while many parts of globe has seen an increase in violent conflict. Other threats to international peace and security, whether it be violent extremism, cyberattacks, or the proliferation of deadly technologies, are also evolving in new and destabilizing ways. 

The work of the center is focused on trying to anticipate how and where these challenges may arise and which are more deserving of attention than others so that policymakers can prioritize preventive measures in a sensible way. This is accomplished through forward looking assessments, in-depth policy analysis, and regular consultations with representatives of leading international institutions, civil society groups, corporations, and other research organizations. Emphasis is placed on producing policy recommendations that are realistic and workable.

CPA’s annual Preventive Priorities Survey draws upon the informed judgments of government officials, foreign policy experts, and academics to identify thirty contingencies requiring U.S. attention over the next twelve months. CPA also provides background information and up-to-date analysis of ongoing conflicts on its online interactive, the Global Conflict Tracker.

CPA convenes meetings and publishes reports on crisis response efforts with the goal of sensitizing U.S. policymakers to crises that are both plausible and potentially detrimental to U.S. interests in the short-to-medium term while also helping them formulate practical prevention and mitigation strategies. In order to help U.S. policymakers anticipate foreign crises, CPA routinely convenes Contingency Planning Roundtables, “Flashpoints” Roundtables, and Preventive Action Workshops and publishes Contingency Planning Memoranda.

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