Strategy & Statecraft

Within Strategy & Statecraft

The Strategy and Statecraft program works to advance ideas regarding America’s role in the world and explores how the country employs its national security tools to protect and advance its interests and values. The program is also home to CNAS’ work on Europe, NATO, Russia, and transatlantic security. From building a community of interest dealing with U.S. grand strategy to advancing a strong transatlantic agenda between the United States and Europe to crafting new ways to work more closely with allies and partners, the Strategy and Statecraft program shapes and elevates the debate in Washington and around the world.

In May 2016, the program released the report “Extending American Power: Strategies to Expand U.S. Engagement in a Competitive World Order,” which was the culmination of a year-long project that promoted the idea that American leadership is crucial to preserving and strengthening the current international order. During the previous year, the Strategy and Statecraft program convened a bipartisan group of current and former government officials, strategists, and scholars for monthly meetings to help shape the national conversation on America’s role in the world during the run-up to the presidential election. Co-chaired by Dr. Robert Kagan and the Honorable James P. Rubin, the group discussed a range of regional and functional issues from the Middle East to Asia to the international economy. Throughout the series, the group—with members from both sides of the political aisle—agreed that despite unprecedented levels of partisanship in American politics today, strong American leadership is indispensable to the liberal world order. 

In February, the Strategy and Statecraft team conducted the tabletop exercise Assured Resolve, which divided 50 high-level experts and former government officials from both sides of the Atlantic into teams and asked them to respond in real time to various scenarios in the Nordic-Baltic region. The results of this two-day exercise were surprising and highlighted the need for Europe and the United States to revisit core assumptions about European security; the exercise and its findings are discussed in detail in the report “Assured Resolve: Testing Possible Challenges to Baltic Security.” The exercise elevated the discussion on Baltic security, with the Strategy and Statecraft team briefing the report to the National Security Council (NSC), the NATO Secretary General, on Capitol Hill, as well as to high-level government officials in the Baltics. 

The Strategy and Statecraft program penned the inaugural report in CNAS’ Papers for the Next President series. In “Enabling Decision: Shaping the National Security Council for the Next President,” the authors—including three former NSC staff members—recommend changes to NSC management processes and structure to make it more agile and effective for the next administration. Looking forward to 2017, the Strategy and Statecraft program will focus on the future of the liberal order, questions of statecraft, and transatlantic relations. 

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