January 14, 2015

Expanding the CNAS Strategic Focus on Economics and National Security

The Center for a New American Security is expanding its strategic focus on economic issues in national security, and will expand and rename the “Energy, Environment, and Security Program” to become the “Energy, Economics, and Security Program.” The program’s strategic objective is to increase its focus on how changing global energy markets and economic policy measures—including sanctions and trade policy—can influence and advance U.S. strategic interests and national security. The program will explore and shed light on the critical intersection between energy, economics and national security. 

The Energy, Economics and Security Program will continue to offer analysis and commentary on critical security effects of energy and environmental change, as it has done in the past. These contributions to the national debate will influence and advance the policy conversation in these critical arenas. Managing access, production and trade of conventional energy sources, and the development and adoption of new and alternative energy technologies are central to the policy considerations of national leaders.  Similarly, policymakers must anticipate and plan for the environmental and economic effects precipitated by climate change, which serve as threat multipliers and stresses on existing political, financial and social systems around the world.

Additional new work of the expanded Energy, Economics and Security program will examine economic policy and U.S. national security. The vitality of the U.S. economy is a key national security asset and the instruments of economic statecraft have become indispensible among the national security tool kit. These tools include both policy instruments designed to coerce change and those offered as positive inducements—including financial sanctions, trade and export controls, and investment guarantees, development aid and interest rate policy, to name a few.

An initial focus of the program’s work on economic statecraft will be on the use of sanctions and trade controls—the coercive financial tools of national security—to shape and respond to national security threats. Additionally, the program will examine the national security implications and market effects of energy sanctions.

To support the program’s expanded focus and on-going research on economic measures, Zachary Goldman and Peter Harrell are joining CNAS as adjunct senior fellows. Their extensive government experience working directly on sanctions, trade policy and national security issues will contribute valuable insights to the Energy, Economics, and Security Program’s research going forward. Additionally, their work with the banks and companies that function as the front line of U.S. financial policy implementation and compliance, will bring technical insights and key networks to expand the reach and relevance of the work of this program. They will join Dr. David Gordon and Dr. David Asher as CNAS adjunct senior fellows associated with the work of the Energy, Economics and Security Program. 

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