National Security and International Policy

Advancing progressive national security policies that are grounded in respect for democratic values: accountability, rule of law, and human rights.

Representatives of the U.N. Security Council members raise their hands to vote in favor of a draft resolution at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 30, 2021. (Loey Felipe/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)

What We're Doing

Defending democracy

Democracies around the globe—including our own—face threats not seen in generations. We work to bolster the guardrails of democracy around the world, strengthening the rule of law and accountability, and in so doing, we add our voice to the chorus pushing against authoritarian forms of government.

Revitalizing diplomacy

The United States’ most enduring advantage is our network of alliances. Alliances and relationships are increasingly important components of U.S. national power, furthering economic, security, and humanitarian aims. We develop and support approaches for revitalizing diplomacy to further U.S. engagement in improving lives at home and around the world.

Putting climate at the center of U.S. foreign policy

Climate change threatens global security, stability, and humanity, bringing sweeping changes to our world. We are working to center climate in our international efforts and policies by transforming strategy, culture, and budgets; outlining collective responses; and defining new bilateral and multilateral alliances that can advance collective solutions to these urgent problems confronting the country and the world.

Redefining American security in today’s threat environment

Many of today’s most foreseeable threats are those that affect daily life and prospects for prosperity: COVID-19, climate change, systemic inequality, racism, and global disinformation aimed at undermining rights and democratic practices. We are working to reconceptualize what national security means in the 21st century and how U.S. national security institutions and foreign policy priorities can adapt to protect Americans and safeguard human security for all.

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Featured work


Interactive: The First 100 Days Interactive
 (Photoillustration: Chester Hawkins)

Interactive: The First 100 Days

This interactive database features nearly 250 recommendations that the next administration can advance, adopt, and implement within the first 100 days to set the country on a path toward a more progressive national security approach.

the CAP National Security and International Policy Team

Interactive: North Korea Diplomacy Scorecard Interactive

Interactive: North Korea Diplomacy Scorecard

The United States and South Korea are engaged in diplomatic negotiations with North Korea, and this scorecard highlights the state of play for the different issues on the table.

Michael Fuchs, Abigail Bard, Mathew Brady

Trump’s Conflicts of Interest Interactive

Trump’s Conflicts of Interest

This interactive map of the world spells out President Donald Trump’s and his family’s conflicts of interest in 25 countries around the globe.

Carolyn Kenney, John Norris

Investments Along China’s Belt and Road Initiative Interactive
 (one belt one road thumbnail)

Investments Along China’s Belt and Road Initiative

China’s Belt and Road initiative is becoming a reality. This interactive provides a comprehensive map of the projects that China is pursuing, their locations, and how much investment they are receiving.

Ariella Viehe, Aarthi Gunasekaran, Vivian Wang, 1 More Stefanie Merchant

Chinese Direct Investment in the U.S. Energy Economy Interactive

Chinese Direct Investment in the U.S. Energy Economy

CAP mapped Chinese direct investment activity across the U.S. energy economy to analyze where these investments are happening and what makes some regions more attractive than others.

Melanie Hart, Angela Luh

International Commitments to Afghanistan Interactive

International Commitments to Afghanistan

This interactive outlines key international commitments to Afghanistan through pivotal years of transition.

Katherine Blakeley, Aarthi Gunasekaran

Interactive Map: Ranking Our Foreign Aid Recipients Interactive

Interactive Map: Ranking Our Foreign Aid Recipients

John Norris sees if countries receiving U.S. economic and security assistance are good places to invest increasingly scarce development dollars.

John Norris

Interactive Map: Foreign Aid Interactive

Interactive Map: Foreign Aid

John Norris looks at U.S. foreign assistance spending for the past fiscal year and whether it was wisely appropriated.

John Norris

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