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.

New Media in the Israeli Landscape

New America
International Security

The media landscape in Israel is shifting, thanks to the emergence of independent digital magazines. Join us this morning at New America for a discussion of these changes co-sponsored by Just Vision and the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Click here to find out more and RSVP; join the conversation online using #EyesOnIsraeliMedia and following @NewAmerica.

Upcoming Events

Warrior Diplomat

EVENT December 04, 2014 12:15 pm– 1:45 pm

Thursday December 04, 2014

12:15 pm – 1:45 pm


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

Please join New America in welcoming Michael Waltz for a conversation about his book and his experiences in both Washington and Afghanistan with Peter Bergen, the director of New America’s International Security Program.

More about the event

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in the news | November 17, 2014 | International Security

Seven unlikely events in the fight against Islamic State, and their likely outcomes

When assessing events on the ground — particularly in dynamic situations like Iraq and Syria — it is devilishly difficult to determine if and when a game-changing event will occur. “Unforeseeable” game-changers are, well, “unforeseeable.” Part of the intelligence challenge is trying to prepare for all possible scenarios and making assessments about what the future might hold. We’ve identified five black swans — high-impact but low-probability events that could alter the course of the conflict. Will any of them occur? Nobody knows. But if any does happen, all bets are off as to the next chapter in Iraq and Syria.

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in the news | November 13, 2014 | International Security

A conversation with 'Warrior Diplomat' Michael G. Waltz

Michael G. Waltz

It’s one thing to be able to create a policy. It’s another altogether to be able to execute it. Without a strategy that is executable and with sufficient resources behind it, our national security objectives are worth little more than the paper they are written on. To that end, it is important that our key leaders have past operational expertise, so that they understand the immense challenges involved with implementing a strategy. In cases when on-the-ground experience doesn’t exist, our leaders must surround themselves with experienced hands, such as Ronald Reagan did. Reagan was a visionary and fantastic communicator, but lacked a military or diplomatic background. His solution was to surround himself with true professionals such as Colin Powell and George Schultz.

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in the news | November 12, 2014 | International Security

The Mercenaries

Endgame is one of a small but growing number of boutique cyber mercenaries that specialize in what security professionals euphemistically call “active defense.” It’s a somewhat misleading term, since this kind of defense doesn’t entail just erecting firewalls or installing antivirus software. It can also mean launching a pre-emptive or retaliatory strike. Endgame doesn’t conduct the attack, but the intelligence it provides can give clients the information they need to carry out their own strikes. It’s illegal for a company to launch a cyberattack, but not for a government agency. According to three sources familiar with Endgame’s business, nearly all of its customers are U.S. government agencies. According to security researchers and former government officials, one of Endgame’s biggest customers is the National Security Agency. The company is also known to sell to the CIA, Cyber Command, and the British intelligence services.

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