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.

Undercover Jihadi

New America
International Security

Mubin Shaikh never expected to follow the path of a militant jihadi. Once he was no longer able to reconcile violence with faith, Shaikh became an intelligence officer, going undercover with the Toronto 18 terror cell. Mr. Shaikh will speak at New America with Dr. Anne Speckhard, his biographer, about what it was like helping to prevent a devastating series of attacks, growing up Muslim in an age where militant jihad is glorified, and reconciling two conflicting identities.

Upcoming Events

88 Days to Kandahar

EVENT February 10, 2015 12:15 pm– 1:45 pm

Tuesday February 10, 2015

12:15 pm – 1:45 pm


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

Join New America for a conversation with Robert Grenier, author of 88 Days to Kandahar, and former Pakistan Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani as they look back at the complexities of Middle East politics and contemporary war and what it means for the future of counterterrorism and diplomacy efforts around the world.

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in the news | January 27, 2015 | International Security

Obama Wraps Up India Visit; Banned Pakistani Militant Leader Gives Speech; USAID Suspends Major Contractor for Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama urged Indians to address climate change, overcome religious divisions, and promote gender equality, while addressing an audience largely consisting of 1,500 students in New Delhi on Tuesday. Additionally on Monday the U.S. Agency for International Development announced that it had suspended International Relief and Development (IRD), one of the largest federal nonprofit contractors for “serious misconduct”

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in the news | January 27, 2015 | International Security

Charlie Hebdo’s Rights and Wrongs

The easiest way to compound the tragedy in Paris would be to use the deaths of Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stephane Charbonnier, and 11 others to fan the flames of religious hatred. Surely we can defend people’s right to express themselves without approving or endorsing their views. In the case of Charlie Hebdo, the decision not to disseminate its cartoons can be driven not by fear, but by respect.

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in the news | January 25, 2015 | International Security

ISI should stop supporting attacks on Indian targets in Afghanistan: Professor Anatol Lieven

Anatol Lieven

Anatol Lieven, professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar, has written extensively on Islamist terrorism and Pakistan. His 2011 book Pakistan: A Hard Country was widely praised. He was at the Jaipur Literature Festival and spoke to ET on why Pakistan should stop aiding terrorist groups working against India.

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in the news | January 18, 2015 | International Security

BJP assertiveness could lose India important opportunities: Anatol Lieven

Anatol Lieven

Under Obama, the US has certainly pulled back considerably from the megalomaniac policies of the Bush administration. This reflects a profound war-weariness in the US, and a deep unwillingness to engage in further military adventures. On the other hand, US nationalist ideology and a bipartisan desire to maintain US global hegemony have not changed.

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in the news | January 15, 2015 | International Security

How to prevent another Paris? Experts debate issues that divide, unite

Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about whether attacks like the one in Paris can be prevented in the future? CNN hosted an email discussion featuring Brookings fellow Shadi Hamid, former CIA analyst Cindy Storer, Texas A&M associate professor Sahar Aziz and New America Foundation research fellow Barak Barfi about the integration of Muslims into European society and whether French law enforcement authorities dropped the ball.