The objective of the International Security and Foreign Policy Program is to assist the U.S. policy community in developing effective national security strategies and foreign policies. The Foundation is committed to supporting projects that help the policy community face the fundamental challenge of ensuring the security of the United States, protecting and promoting American interests and values abroad, and enhancing international order.
The events of the past year – political turmoil across the Middle East, increasing tensions in East Asia, and the geopolitical reverberations of the global financial crisis – have demonstrated that the U.S. policy community will continue to face significant challenges in order to protect U.S. security and interests and foster a stable global order. The evolution of politics in key countries of the Middle East, such as Egypt and Turkey, has seen the emergence of groups agitating for more democratic accountability as well as actors arguing for and against a greater role for religion in politics. At the same time, internal events in some countries, such as Syria, threaten to heighten international conflict as regional actors jockey for advantage. In East Asia, territorial disputes and the steady rise of Chinese political, economic, and military power threaten regional stability. Finally, the United States, as well as some of its key allies around the world, are grappling with how to emerge from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The downturn has placed significant pressure on public budgets, which is limiting the capacity of these states to promote international security and cooperate on common global concerns, including terrorism, the emerging threat of cyber attacks, and promoting reconstruction and state building in areas of instability.
Against this backdrop, the Foundation is supporting efforts to help U.S. policy makers improve the country’s national security and foreign policy capabilities. The Foundation has developed portfolios of projects on the evolving politics of the Middle East. These have included assessments of the actors shaping the politics of Iran, the future of Turkey’s foreign policy, and the role of security services in Pakistan. The Foundation has expanded its grant making on the internal evolution of major powers in Asia, including China, India, and South Korea, as well as on the prospects for conflict among these countries. In terms of informing the debate over U.S. policy, the Foundation has supported efforts to help security analysts identify ways that the United States can continue to play its essential world role at a time of constrained budgets. Foundation grant making has also sought to highlight the emergence of new challenges, such as cyber attacks, and to consider policy steps to combat those threats.
The Foundation also provides funding to foster the next generation of scholars and analysts and underwrites historical research with implications or lessons for current policy. For more than a decade, the Foundation has provided research grants to junior faculty and junior-level analysts in the think tank community. The Foundation also sponsors the World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship Program, to support doctoral graduate students who are pursuing policy-relevant research projects in their dissertations.