Thursday, November 21, 2013

CNAS Reshuffles Research Agenda

This week the national security and defense policy-focused think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS) announced a new research agenda and website.

CNAS introduced seven new/expanded research programs, as follows:

Asia-Pacific Security
Under the leadership of Senior Director Dr. Patrick Cronin and Deputy Director Dr. Ely Ratner, the Asia-Pacific Security program provides cutting-edge analysis and policy recommendations that seek to inform the exercise of U.S. power across the Asia-Pacific region.  Through research, publications and events, including dialogues with officials, public events and expert working groups, the Center’s Asia-Pacific Security program focuses on such issues as the rebalance of America’s strategic priorities and resources to Asia, the effort to account for China’s rise and refashion traditional alliances, and the need to build new partnerships and strengthen multilateral institutions in Asia.

Responsible Defense
Directed by Senior Fellow and Senior Advisor LTG David W. Barno, USA (Ret.) with Senior Fellow Dr. Nora Bensahel, the Responsible Defense team conducts analysis and crafts recommendations for senior policymakers on how to best ensure the nation’s security in a climate of shrinking budgets and changing global threats.  The team also addresses the underlying structural reform necessary to put the Defense Department on a sustainable path and examines the challenges to American’s position of technological dominance in the military arena posed by the diffusion of advanced technology.

Energy, Environment and Security
The Energy, Environment and Security (EES) research program, which is led by Senior Fellow Elizabeth Rosenberg, analyzes the implications of a changing global energy landscape and the national security opportunities and challenges it presents.  From the national security implications of shifting energy market dynamics to the role of a changing natural environment in shaping security considerations, the EES team develops practical strategies to help decision makers anticipate, shape and respond to these security challenges.

Middle East Security
Despite the desire to “rebalance” American foreign and defense policy towards Asia and the departure of U.S. forces from Iraq and (soon) Afghanistan, the Middle East continues to be an important focus of U.S. national security policy.  Given the continued need for U.S. military, diplomatic, and economic engagement with the region, the Middle East Security team, under the direction of Senior Fellow Dr. Colin Kahl, provides in-depth and innovative analysis and solutions to ongoing national security challenges, including Iranian nuclearization, the Syrian conflict, Iraq, and the implications of the democratic movements and unrest sweeping across the region.

Military, Veterans, and Society
The Military, Veterans, and Society (MVS) program addresses the issues facing America’s service members, veterans, and military families. Senior Fellow Phillip Carter leads this unique research program, which focuses on such issues as the long-term trends within the veterans and military population, the future of the All-Volunteer Force, and civil-military relations.  The MVS program provides ideas and recommendations to inform and guide public, private and nonprofit activity supporting the veterans and military community.

Technology and National Security
Senior Fellow Ben FitzGerald heads a growing team exploring the nexus of strategy, technology and business.  The Technology and National Security program offers solutions that take advantage of opportunities and mitigate risks connected to rapid technological development.  The program aims to provide realistic analysis and recommendations to both the public and private sector to guide national security policy and business practices in a manner that best maintains the U.S. technological advantage.

Strategy and Statecraft
In January 2014, CNAS will inaugurate a new Strategy and Statecraft research program, aimed at renewing and elevating the debate on America’s unique role in the world and the best way to defend and promote U.S. national security interests in a smart, sustainable way.  With the foreign policy consensus in the United States crumbling, and with many questioning whether the United States requires a strong, forward-engaged diplomatic, development, and defense posture, this program will help guide analysts and policymakers to the key questions and hard choices that will truly matter in the years ahead.

Here is a recent Think Tank Watch post on the recent shakeup on the CNAS Board of Directors.

In the recently released University of Pennsylvania think tank rankings, CNAS was ranked as the 14th best think tank in the US.  It was also ranked as the 24th best security and international affairs think tank in the world.  It was ranked 25th in the world in terms of think tanks having the most significant impact on public policy.