Departments

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.

The National Security and International Policy department advances progressive national security policies that are grounded in respect for democratic values: accountability, rule of law, and human rights.

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Featured work

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The Forgotten War: Sudan in Crisis Past Event

The Forgotten War: Sudan in Crisis

Join the Center for American Progress for a discussion on what must be done to bring urgent humanitarian relief to Sudan and restore lasting peace.

A Conversation With Dr. Lael Brainard Past Event

A Conversation With Dr. Lael Brainard

Please join the Center for American Progress for a conversation with National Economic Adviser Lael Brainard on the Biden administration’s investment agenda and China’s overcapacity.

Famine and Insecurity in Northern Gaza Article

Famine and Insecurity in Northern Gaza

Famine is likely underway in the north of Gaza, a man-made crisis resulting from the Israeli government’s obstruction of aid delivery and failure to address a deteriorating security situation.

To Resolve the Humanitarian and Administrative Border Crisis, the U.S. Must Fix the Broken Asylum System, Help Stabilize the Western Hemisphere, and Provide Robust, Orderly Migration Pathways Article
Sunlight his the U.S. Capitol dome.

To Resolve the Humanitarian and Administrative Border Crisis, the U.S. Must Fix the Broken Asylum System, Help Stabilize the Western Hemisphere, and Provide Robust, Orderly Migration Pathways

The just-released Senate border deal is a sincere, bipartisan attempt to create much needed order at the U.S.-Mexico border; release pressure on the broken asylum system, resource agencies, and communities; and provide other targeted solutions across the immigration system. However, to achieve and sustain order at the border, Congress must more boldly address what drives migration in the region and must create accessible lawful pathways that are an alternative to asylum.

Congress Must Provide Funding and Protect Oversight To Meet Global Security and Humanitarian Needs Article
Photo shows a view of the Capitol building against a blue sky, partly reflected in a shiny surface in the foreground

Congress Must Provide Funding and Protect Oversight To Meet Global Security and Humanitarian Needs

Recent bipartisan Senate legislation provides security and humanitarian assistance in critical areas—Ukraine, Israel and Palestine, and the Indo-Pacific—but Congress must ensure more oversight so that the funds are used according to U.S. law and policy.

Taiwan’s Election: PRC Interference and Its Implications for the 2024 Election Landscape Article
Election workers in Taipei count voting ballots.

Taiwan’s Election: PRC Interference and Its Implications for the 2024 Election Landscape

The Democratic Progressive Party’s triumph in Taiwan’s 2024 presidential election signals Taiwan’s resilience against the People’s Republic of China’s coordinated and intense interference efforts; but it also accentuates the critical need for nations worldwide to formulate robust strategies against escalating threats of interference, thereby safeguarding the integrity of global democratic processes.

These Fossil Fuel Industry Tactics Are Fueling Democratic Backsliding Article
The COP28 logo is seen in Dubai.

These Fossil Fuel Industry Tactics Are Fueling Democratic Backsliding

As citizens around the world increasingly favor serious policy action to fight climate change, the fossil fuel industry is undermining democratic principles to stem the tide of climate action—spreading misinformation and obstructing elected governments’ climate efforts, promoting anti-democratic movements and candidates, and even undermining democratic rights.

Chris Martinez, Laura Kilbury, Joel Martinez, 6 More Calee White, Mariel Lutz, Kat So, Kate Petosa, Allison McManus, Anne Christianson

Why Congress Must Reauthorize a Lifesaving Program To Fight HIV/AIDS Article
U.S. Capitol building

Why Congress Must Reauthorize a Lifesaving Program To Fight HIV/AIDS

Despite extremists’ assertions, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) does not facilitate abortion access but does improve pregnancy and other health outcomes for women and girls, as well as promote strong partnerships and democratic principles in key nations; it is also indispensable to the elimination of HIV/AIDS by 2030.

Sarnata Reynolds

Poland’s Democratic Resurgence: From Backsliding to Beacon Article
Photo shows five people standing on a wall waving the EU flag and the Polish flag against a clear blue sky

Poland’s Democratic Resurgence: From Backsliding to Beacon

Poland's recent elections signify a major shift from democratic backsliding to a recommitment to EU values and democratic principles, with implications for regional stability and U.S. foreign policy.

Robert Benson

Response to Horrific Attacks in Israel Must Avoid Collective Punishment for Gaza and Confront Obstacles to Peace Article
Fire and smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City.

Response to Horrific Attacks in Israel Must Avoid Collective Punishment for Gaza and Confront Obstacles to Peace

The horrifying Hamas terror attack on Israeli civilians has provoked an understandable imperative to bring the perpetrators to justice, but Israel must avoid collective punishment for Gaza that can bring a loss of moral clarity and reinforce historic grievances.

Patrick Gaspard

Assessing Risk and Reward in the Saudi Megadeal Article
Photo shows Joe Biden and Mohammed bin Salman talking as they walk, passing by other Saudi officials

Assessing Risk and Reward in the Saudi Megadeal

Negotiations around a “megadeal” for Saudi Arabia’s normalization with Israel should ensure the deal advances, rather than undermines, regional stability and prosperity.

Allison McManus

Executive Summary: A Whole-of-Government, Society-Wide Approach to Tackling the Opioid Crisis Fact Sheet

Executive Summary: A Whole-of-Government, Society-Wide Approach to Tackling the Opioid Crisis

This fact sheet summarizes a recent Center for American Progress report outlining the need for a whole-of-government, society-wide approach to addressing the complex challenges posed by the opioid overdose epidemic.

Tackling the Opioid Crisis Requires a Whole-of-Government, Society-Wide Approach Report
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents sift through packages in search of fentanyl.

Tackling the Opioid Crisis Requires a Whole-of-Government, Society-Wide Approach

The opioid epidemic is a complex public health crisis that can be ameliorated by addressing root causes of drug use; expanding access to treatment and harm reduction strategies; and reducing the supply of illicit opioids entering the United States.

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