Think tanks have been a part of the United States’ foreign policy establishment for more than a century. They have played a significant role at key junctures in US foreign policy. Two inflection points, however, have dramatically altered the think tank landscape in the last 15 years. The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks caused these organizations to dramatically expand their staff and overhead, as the demand for their services increased. The 2008 financial crisis subsequently left many of these same think tanks financially overextended. This circumstance forced these organizations to seek out more unconventional funding arrangements, imposing new constraints at the exact moment that their competitive environment intensified. In the twenty-first century, US foreign policy think tanks will maintain their relevancy by moving beyond what made them relevant in the last century.
A very relevant and timely piece with the shake-up going on at one prominent defense think tank (and likely many others).