The International Security Program aims to provide evidence-based analysis of some of the thorniest questions facing American policymakers and the public. We are largely focused on South Asia and the Middle East, al-Qaeda and allied groups, the rise of political Islam, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), homeland security, and the activities of U.S. Special Forces and the CIA.

Future of war

International Security

The first annual Future of War Conference will address the question “How is Warfare Changing?”

Upcoming Events

Digital Humanitarians

EVENT March 09, 2015 12:30 PM– 01:45 PM

Monday March 09, 2015

12:30 PM – 01:45 PM


[u'New America', u'1899 L Street NW, Suite 400', u'Washington, DC 20036']

In his new book, Digital Humanitarians, Meier charts the sudden and spectacular rise of Digital Humanitarians by sharing their remarkable, real-life stories, highlighting how their humanity coupled with innovative solutions to Big Data is changing humanitarian response forever.

More about the event

Recent Content

in the news | March 03, 2015 | International Security

A STEP FORWARD FOR AFGHAN WOMEN?

In many cases, changing minds often came down to semantics — tweaking the vocabulary around issues of gender equity and women’s empowerment. In Farsi, “gender” has a loaded sexual connotation, explained Samira Hamidi, a representative from the Afghan Women’s Network. There was, Reshteen suggested, confusion about what “gender” means in a political context — as a way of simply referring to women’s roles in society. Development goals were the vehicle through which much of the advocacy took off, consistent with Afghan priorities. So the term “gender equality” became “ social equality.”

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in the news | February 28, 2015 | International Security

CHANGING THE NARRATIVE

Anatol Lieven in his book, ‘Pakistan: A Hard Country’, attempts to make a convincing case of the troubled nation’s inner resilience. The author, who is a professor of peacekeeping and terrorism studies at King’s College, London, penned his excellent work in 2011 when things were not so bad. Since then things have only headed south so far as the soft image of Pakistan is concerned. In an atmosphere of intolerance and bigotry, jihadist culture with tacit blessings from powers that be, has only thrived in these years.

Recent Content

Recent Content

in the news | February 25, 2015 | International Security

The Weapons of Tomorrow Must Come Cheaper, Faster and Simpler Than Before

And yet, as far-sighted and inventive as Graham was, his book remained rooted in certain contemporary assumptions that ceased to be valid much sooner than anyone expected. This is not a flaw, per se. It is simply the nature of predictions. Although Graham was very aware that threats and technologies change, there was no way he could know in 1983 that the USSR would be gone in less than a decade, making his proposed “High Frontier” system obsolete before it got off the ground. He knew change was inevitable but could not see the specific nature or pace of those future changes… and neither can we.

Recent Content

in the news | February 25, 2015 | International Security

CHINA'S SUBMARINE HUNTING PLANE HAS A GIANT STINGER

China is making serious efforts to correct its longstanding deficiency in aerial Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), introducing the Shaanxi Y-8Q (also designated as the Y-8GX6) aircraft painted in the blue-gray People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force (PLANAF) colors into operation. Previously, two Y-8Q prototypes had been flying for the past several years as part of a rigorous testing and training regimen. Until this month, China's only long-range aerial ASW capability came from three Harbin SH-5 seaplanes, which are nearly thirty years old.

Recent Content

in the news | February 24, 2015 | International Security

What war has in store

War will continue to be fought over issues of fear, honor and interest. Despite increasing automation, it will be fought primarily by young men (despite the increasing presence of older men and young women). The next war will likely be very recognizable to someone who fought in one millennia ago.

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in the news | February 23, 2015 | International Security

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR FROM CHINA'S NEW AIRCRAFT CARRIER

For the 2015 Chinese New Years this February (which is the 4713, 4712 or 4652 Chinese New Years, depending on who you ask), over a thousand Chinese sailors and air persons lined up on the Liaoning's ski ramp to say hi to the cameras. This wasn't just any ordinary photo op, but for the photoshoot of the Chinese Central Television (CCTV)'s Chinese New Year Gala, broadcast on February 18, 2015.

Recent Content

in the news | February 23, 2015 | International Security

What Is the Future of War?

It is with this in mind that New America, a nonpartisan think tank network; Arizona State University, the nation’s largest public university; and Defense One, the home for innovative online reporting and debate about security, have teamed up to launch a new series on the future of war. The site will host original reporting, commentary, analysis and public databases, all designed to help us better understand the new trends, technologies, and forces shaping war. Reflecting the ideas that warfare is becoming highly networked and plays out on multiple levels, the project has forged a multi-disciplinary network of experts and leaders. Occasionally, we’ll survey them for a “wisdom of the crowd” approach to the key questions.

Recent Content

in the news | February 18, 2015 | International Security

U.S. to Allow Sale of Armed Drones to Some Allies

Peter Singer, a strategist at the New America Foundation, said the policy is a long-awaited recognition by the U.S. that it needs to deal with the rapid proliferation of drones. “It’s facing the reality that this technology is here to stay and was already globally proliferating,” he said. “It fills the policy gap and now we can have a debate about the policy itself.”

Recent Content

in the news | February 18, 2015 | International Security

Ten Recommendations for Obama’s CVE Summit

In light of recent attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, Paris — and now Copenhagen — President Obama announced a White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) that begins on February 18 to discuss U.S. and international efforts to prevent violent extremists and would-be supporters from “radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups to commit acts of violence.” The White House has said the summit will build on current White House strategy. However, the White House would be wise to keep in mind the ten recommendations derived from the field of international security studies.

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in the news | February 18, 2015 | International Security

Why does ISIS keep making enemies?

We live in an increasingly secularized world, so it's sometimes difficult to take seriously the deeply held religious beliefs of others. For many of us the idea that the end of times will come with a battle between "Rome" and Islam at the obscure Syrian town of Dabiq is as absurd as the belief that the Mayans had that their human sacrifices could influence future events. But for ISIS, the Dabiq prophecy is deadly serious. Members of ISIS believe that they are the vanguard fighting a religious war, which Allah has determined will be won by the forces of true Islam.

Recent Content

in the news | February 17, 2015 | International Security

New Rules Set on Armed Drone Exports

Peter W. Singer, an expert on robotic weaponry at the New America Foundation, said the new rules filled a policy vacuum that had lasted for years. “The reality is that the technology is here to stay, and it’s globally proliferating,” he said. “So to have a policy is a good thing.” But he said that, as with other arms exports, American-made armed drones that are exported are likely to be used for dubious or regrettable purposes. “Whether it’s an F-16, an armed drone or a billy club, once you sell it to another country, you lose control over how it’s used,” Mr. Singer said.

Recent Content

in the news | February 17, 2015 | International Security

What the media gets wrong about the brides of ISIS

Reports describe many motivations for female foreign fighters — highlighting factors that can be traced back to a woman's sexuality, domesticity or sanity rather than her political agency. The Islamic State appeals to women, some reports say, because it offers them a life of adventure, purpose, and access to devout, strong Muslim husbands. Women find the idea of raising a Muslim family in an Islamic state alluring, particularly surrounded by a strong sisterhood of like minded women, which they can see via their colorful social media accounts. But beyond these gendered factors, women may also join ISIS or al-Nusra because they are passionate ideologues, determined to fight for an organization that promises a return to a golden Islamic era where Muslim people thrived.

Recent Content

in the news | February 17, 2015 | International Security

HACKED HARDWARE COULD CAUSE THE NEXT BIG SECURITY BREACH

In the past year, cybercrime has blossomed into a pandemic, consuming more than $445 billion in lost time, jobs, and intellectual property. Hackers compromised 233 million personal records from eBay; they intimidated Sony into scuttling the theatrical release of The Interview; they even commandeered the Pentagon’s Twitter account. But as varied as those assaults were, they shared a trait: Somone hacked software to penetrate a network or account. What set the McDonald’s incident apart—and what strikes fear into cybersecurity professionals everywhere—is that the perpetrator hacked hardware instead.