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Through polling and research, roundtables, speaking engagements, online events, and other public outreach, ASP seeks to improve Americans’ understanding of the security challenges facing the United States, to spur rational and productive dialogue that fosters consensus, and to prescribe substantive, innovative solutions.

American Competitiveness

Our ability to compete in a global economy, attract the world’s brightest workers, and nurture a functional political system is slipping. This weakness is now at a point where it threatens to erode the pillars upon which America’s national security rests. Read More »

Maritime Security

Maritime security refers to maritime or oceanic issues related to national security--marine ecosystems, economic development, and human and food security. Maritime security includes the world’s oceans and regional seas, territorial waters, rivers, and ports. Read More »

Asymmetric Operations

United States faces many challenges around the world that are complex because they are asymmetric in nature. Asymmetric challenges are those where the different players and components have different interests, resources, and capabilities, but nevertheless interact in complex ways to make policy extremely difficult. Read More »

Climate Security

Climate change is scientific fact; it is real and poses a clear and present danger not only to the United States but to the entire world. Its effects on our domestic agriculture, infrastructure, economy and public health necessitate straightforward analysis and understanding. Read More »

Energy Security

For the United States, energy use is a security issue. Analytically, "energy security" is difficult to quantify. President Jimmy Carter defined energy security in a 1977 speech as “independence of economic and political action” in international affairs. The United States should be able to define its interests overseas independently from how it uses energy domestically. Read More »

Fusion Energy

Fusion is energy released by forcing atomic nuclei together—the same process that powers the sun. The primary fuel for fusion is derived from ordinary water. Electricity produced from fusion will be safe and clean. It offers hope for an ideal energy source, both in terms of our security and our environment. Read More »

National Security & Space

At present, the United States is reliant on Russian rocket engines to launch our reconnaissance satellites. Not only does this reliance have direct implications for our national security launch capabilities, it also means we are funding Russian space and missile technology, while we could be investing in US based jobs and the defense industrial base. The American Security Project is examining these key issues, educating the public and policymakers of the implications of our present approach as well as suggesting ways to further enhance our national security. Read More »

National Security Strategy

We live in a time when the threats to our security are as complex and diverse as terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, climate change, failing states and economic decline. Many of these national challenges will require responses that go beyond military might and utilize all the tools at our disposal. The American Security Project is leading the development of a new national security vision and strategy that will create a New American Arsenal for the twenty-first century that is responsive to the challenges and opportunities we face as a country. Read More »

Nuclear Security

The spread of nuclear weapons and increasing numbers of nuclear forces worldwide represents the greatest danger to mankind. Since President Eisenhower first proposed an Open Skies Treaty with the Soviet Union, successive American presidents have sought to advance U.S. nuclear security through international treaties and agreements to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and to create strategic stability. Read More »

Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication

The American Security Project defines public diplomacy as communication and relationship building with foreign publics for the purpose of achieving a foreign policy objective. Read More »

U.S.-Russia Relationship

With the exception of major arms control agreements like New Start, the course of US-Russia relations over the past 20 years has spiraled in the wrong direction. America needs a new plan to steer relations with Russia towards the right course. A comprehensive and effective strategy will deter Russian aggression, encourage it to contribute positively to international norms, and build closer ties between the people of Russia and the United States. Read More »
  • American Competitiveness & Economic Diplomacy

    Our ability to compete in a global economy, attract the world’s brightest workers and nurture a functional political system is slipping. This weakness is now at a point where it threatens to erode the pillars upon which America’s national security rests. America’s competitiveness is now a matter of national security. We need to acknowledge that current policies and objectives in the public and private sector, taken together, dangerously undercut America’s current and future global position through instability, inefficiency and risk. America’s political and business leaders must understand that improving our nation’s competitiveness is an urgent priority with much higher stakes than is acknowledged today.

    Read More »

  • ARCTIC

    Why is the Arctic Important? 

    Climate change is altering the physical and security landscape in the Arctic. The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, and much faster than many climate scientists expected. Arctic sea ice has steadily declined over the last 30 years, and the ice cap has retreated roughly 40 percent. The melting of sea ice has prompted the nations with Arctic Ocean coastlines—the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, and Denmark (Greenland)—to reassess their interests in the region, while driving interest from countries as far away as China, India, or even Singapore.

    Many experts believe that climate change, coupled with technological advances and rising global demand for resources, may uncover vast economic potential in the Arctic. An Arctic free of ice could mean billions of dollars in investment for energy production, shopping, and fishing. However, the melting ice will also create new security concerns, as countries like China and Russia increase their regional military presence. It is important that the U.S. assume a leadership position, and assist Arctic nations in developing rules and norms for the unique challenges the region poses.

    ASP’s Arctic research aims to better understand the challenges and opportunities of an opening Arctic. The research will focus on three major areas: great power competition, climate and energy security, and American competitiveness and leadership.

     

    Great Power Competition

    The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy established “great power competition” as the top priority for the Department of Defense. The strategy clearly labeled two states–China and Russia–as the primary competitors to the US. China’s and Russia’s interests in the Arctic are well known. How the U.S. navigates an opening Arctic in the face of great power competition will define American national security strategy in the coming decades.

     

    Climate and Energy Security

    The Arctic is a new security domain because of climate change. The opening of the Arctic means there will be more maritime traffic, more resource exploration, and more military investment. That means that the U.S. military should invest in projecting power, ensuring freedom of navigation, and strategic communication systems capable of operating that far north.

    An ice-free Arctic also means the exposure of undeveloped natural resources. Due to advancements in technology, deep seabed drilling for oil and natural gas in the Arctic is now technically possible. Minerals and other natural resources may provide strategic value for U.S. military weapons and electronics development. It is important, however, that the U.S. not rush to develop these resources before rules for the road are established.

     

    American Competitiveness and Leadership

    An opening Arctic provides ample business opportunities for American companies. It is critical that American companies demonstrate stewardship of the Arctic and establish best practices for commerce, tourism, and natural resource exploration. In doing so, American companies demonstrate leadership and can ensure the Arctic is developed safely and ethically.

    The Arctic has moved to the center of world affairs, even if policymakers don’t know it. What was once a frozen ocean is now a venue for oil and mineral exploration, cargo transit, and even tourism. The Arctic should not become the Wild West. The U.S. must assume leadership to ensure the Arctic is not militarized, is used safely, and developed ethically. If the U.S. is not engaged and leading the way, another country–Russia or China–will, undermining U.S. national security.

     

    Additional Resources

    FACT SHEET: Arctic Climate and Energy

    REPORT: Climate and Energy Security in Alaska

    REPORT: America’s Role in the Arctic: Opportunity and Security in the High North

    ASP’s Holland Testifies about the Arctic before House Foreign Affairs Committee

     

    Press Hits

    ASP COO Andrew Holland in High North News

    ASP COO Andrew Holland in Raconteur

     

     

    Read More »

  • Asymmetric Operations

    United States faces many challenges around the world that are complex because they are asymmetric in nature. Asymmetric challenges are those where the different players and components have different interests, resources, and capabilities, but nevertheless interact in complex ways to make policy extremely difficult.

    At the American Security Project, we think navigating asymmetric challenges begins with a clear articulation of U.S. interests. From there, the role American power should play becomes clear, and from understanding that role we can craft good policy to support our interests. Without dogma or partisanship, we seek long term solutions to the challenges facing the nation.

    There are many different ways ASP understands and analyzes asymmetric challenges and operations effect national security.

    Read More »

  • Climate Security

    The American Security Project is a leading organization studying how climate change threatens national security. Its research has shown how America’s military, and militaries around the world are taking the threat seriously.

    Climate Change is Happening Now

    The effects of climate change—extreme weather, droughts, wildfires, sea level rise, flooding, and warming polar oceans—present ever-growing risks to national security. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted these threats in their latest assessment of the state of knowledge on the science of climate change.

    The Military Must Plan

    The Department of Defense has recognized this threat in National Defense Strategies and Quadrennial Defense Reviews since the George H.W. Bush Administration. These documents explain that climate change acts as an “accelerant of instability” and a “threat multiplier” in fragile political and security situations, and has created new security domains, where geopolitical rivals will compete for influence and control.     Climate change alone does not cause wars. But it contributes and exacerbates conditions of resource scarcity, economic and political instability that often lead to conflict. As a global power with strategic interests around the world, climate change is strategically important to the U.S. through the impacts it has on U.S. readiness at home and the regional stability of our allies abroad.

    Read More »

  • Cuba Engagement

    After the landmark meeting in Havana between President Obama and Raul Castro, it is tempting to say that the process or re-establishing of a relationship with Cuba is complete. But 55 years of history cannot be simply forgotten – and elements on both sides of the Florida Strait have incentives to throw up roadblocks to further engagement.  
    ASP looks forward to helping build a closer relationship between the governments of the United States and Cuba. Even more importantly, ASP hopes to build a long-lasting relationship between the people of the United States and the people of Cuba and overcome challenges separating both countries.

    Read More »

  • Egypt Strategic Partnership

    “Egypt’s political and economic success is important, of course, not only for Egyptians, but it’s important for the region, for the United States, and the international community.” - John Kerry, Secretary Of State

    Egypt is the most populous and traditionally one of the most influential countries in the region. The United States has had long-term military, cultural and economic links with the country.

    Recently, due in part to lack of knowledge and understanding of political change in Egypt, that relationship has faltered.

    Read More »

  • Energy Security

    How the United States uses and produces energy is a national security issue

    Co. E, 2/4 conducts combat patrols for Mountain Training Exercise 3-14

    Energy refers to everything from fossil fuels, like oil and gas, to renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power, and the infrastructure that underpins them, like the national grid and energy storage. Energy security is a function of availability, consistent access, and predictable pricing. Energy becomes a national security and foreign policy issue when energy insecurity affects a country's governing policies. The United States can ensure energy security by diversifying energy sources, ensuring domestic production, and securing both distribution and access.

    ‘Energy security’ is not ‘energy independence.’ Not all of the energy used in a country must come from within its own borders. This is neither obtainable nor desirable in a globalized world. In a world of globally traded commodities, it is no longer possible to be truly energy independent: even domestically produced energy sources are subject to fluctuations in global commodity markets.

    Over the last decade, the United States has experienced an energy revolution, which has allowed it to increasingly use energy as a tool of statecraft. For example, since 2014 the U.S. has drastically increased domestic oil production, allowing it to greater affect global oil prices. The U.S. has also increased its production of renewable energy. In 2020, renewable energy became the second-most important energy for electricity generation. U.S. efforts in renewable energy position it as a global energy leader as the world moves away from fossil fuels.

    Read More »

  • Fusion Energy

    FusionFUSION ENERGY IS REAL. IT’S HAPPENING NOW IN LABS AROUND THE WORLD.

    Fusion is energy released by forcing atomic nuclei together—the same process that powers the sun. The primary fuel for fusion is derived from ordinary water. Electricity produced from fusion will be safe and clean. It offers hope for an ideal energy source, both in terms of our security and our environment. Will the United States lead in the commercialization of this technology? Read More

    Read More »

  • Maritime Security

    (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Matthew R. White/Released)


    The ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth, with more than 80% unexplored. The ocean is vital for many earth processes, including weather and climate, and it is rich in natural resources essential for human survival. Fish account for 17% of the animal protein consumed by the global population and overall provide about 3 billion people worldwide with nearly 20% of their animal protein. Further, about 12% of the world’s population—over 870 million people—depend on fisheries and aquaculture to support their livelihoods. However, fish populations and marine ecosystems are increasingly at risk of exploitation and degradation. Overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification, and habitat degradation threaten already fragile marine ecosystems.
    The pressure on the world’s oceans is increasing as global populations rise and technology for exploration advances. Due to modern technology, industrial fishing fleets can fish for extended periods in more remote locations. This technology also facilitates transnational organized criminal activity at sea due to the ease of evading detection and divergent ocean governance structures.
    Maritime security refers to maritime or oceanic issues related to national security--marine ecosystems, economic development, and human and food security. Maritime security includes the world’s oceans and regional seas, territorial waters, rivers, and ports.
    The issues related to maritime security include illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and transnational organized crimes: piracy; armed robbery at sea; human, drug, and weapons trafficking; and marine pollution. Maritime security is often global and characterized as being cross-jurisdictional. Due to the challenges of governing global resources, the strategies to protect and secure oceans require collaboration amongst coastal States. In addition, there must be effective international policy with backing from multi-State coalitions to support enforcement mechanisms with solid monitoring, control, and surveillance.

    United Nations Law of the Sea

    The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) defines the international parameters for managing all marine and maritime activities. Under UNCLOS, coastal nations have jurisdiction over the natural resources within their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), which extend up to 200 miles offshore. How coastal countries govern the marine resources in these zones may look different; it is ultimately the coastal nation’s responsibility to manage the resources within their EEZs.
    The U.S. is party to several effective international agreements to combat IUU fishing, including regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA). Underpinning international agreements about the ocean is the UNCLOS, which remains unratified by the U.S. However, U.S. forces regularly enforce freedom of navigation principles enshrined in UNCLOS. Every Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since the adoption of the convention in 1982 has supported its ratification. Ratification of the UNCLOS would strengthen U.S. maritime policy and influence abroad.

    (U.S. Navy photo by Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 3rd Class Joseph Dioso/Released)

    Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing

    Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity threatens marine ecosystems by undermining efforts to manage fisheries and conserve marine biodiversity sustainably. Due to challenges in identifying, detecting, and quantifying the scope of IUU practices, this problem has proved difficult to combat.
    IUU fishing exacerbates poverty, threatens livelihoods, and fosters food insecurity. These impacts are especially detrimental to developing countries that rely heavily on marine ecosystems for subsistence and employment. Resources derived from IUU fishing are typically exported away from communities already at the margins of society and into developed countries. Once the illegal catch is brought to shore and processed, the fish products are shipped and sold in overseas markets. Between 20-32% of wild-caught seafood in the United States of America is illegal.
    Not only does overfishing from illicit actors exacerbate food insecurity, but it also subjects marginalized communities to human rights abuses within the fishing industry, including substandard working conditions and human trafficking. IUU fishing activities pose a significant national security threat by fostering other illicit activities such as money laundering, drug smuggling, illegal arms dealing, and other transnational organized crimes. In 2020, the U.S. Coast Guard identified IUU fishing as the leading global maritime security threat due to the expected deterioration of government authority within fragile coastal states and increased tension between fishing nations. Without U.S. and international efforts to stop illegal fishing, the tension among fishing nations could threaten geopolitical stability worldwide.

    Read More »

  • National Security & Climate Change

    www.NationalSecurityandClimateChange.org
    Helicopter and SoldiersIn 2014-2015, the American Security Project (ASP) is undertaking a grassroots effort to build a consensus among Americans around the country from left to right, and especially among the non-political, that climate change is not simply a low-priority ‘green’ issue: it is a pressing national security threat, and should be treated as such.

    Read More »

  • National Security & Space

    Competition in space is heating up and a new space race is beginning. While space has been and can continue to be an area for scientific cooperation, there is a growing risk of conflict developing between space-faring nations. There are also critical threats to American infrastructure in space. Whether communications satellites, GPS systems, or intelligence gathering assets, these are potentially vulnerable to attack. In addition to this, space debris is a growing problem, putting many of America’s space assets in danger. The U.S. should develop forward looking solutions to manage these threats, while developing policies to help it retain its competitive edge in an increasingly crowded environment.

    Read More »

  • National Security Strategy

    We live in a time when the threats to our security are as complex and diverse as terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, climate change, failing states and economic decline.

    Many of these national challenges will require responses that go beyond military might and utilize all the tools at our disposal. The American Security Project is leading the development of a new national security vision and strategy that will create a New American Arsenal for the twenty-first century that is responsive to the challenges and opportunities we face as a country.

    Read More »

  • Nuclear Security

    The spread of nuclear weapons and increasing numbers of nuclear forces worldwide represents the greatest danger to mankind.

    Since President Eisenhower first proposed an Open Skies Treaty with the Soviet Union, successive American presidents have sought to advance U.S. nuclear security through international treaties and agreements to reduce the dangers posed by nuclear weapons and to create strategic stability.

    ASP seeks to build upon that legacy and educate the public about the leadership needed to build a new international consensus for nuclear security.

    U.S. policymakers are taking a serious look at the future of our nuclear deterrent and the size of the future nuclear. Reportedly, the proposals for a 21st century nuclear force ranges from reducing to a few hundred to the status quo deployed force of 1550. Most agree that it’s time to take a hard look the nuclear force the U.S. wants and needs.

    Read More »

  • Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication

    The American Security Project defines public diplomacy as: Communication and relationship building with foreign publics for the purpose of achieving a foreign policy objective. Public diplomacy is a vital aspect of our national security strategy and must also inform the policy making process. Paraphrasing Edward R. Murrow, President Kennedy's Director of the United States Information Agency (USIA), public diplomacy must be in on the take-offs of policy and not just the crash landings. In the 20+ years since the end of the Cold War, the United States has yet to establish a defining role for public diplomacy in the context of its foreign relations.

    Read More »

  • US-Russia Relationship

    With the exception of major arms control agreements like New Start, the course of US-Russia relations over the past 20 years has spiraled in the wrong direction. While some have declared Russia an enemy of the United States, others have called for working closer with the Russian Government. Neither view completely satisfies the requirements for an effective strategy. America needs a new plan to steer relations with Russia towards the right course. A comprehensive and effective strategy will deter Russian aggression, encourage it to contribute positively to international norms, and build closer ties between the people of Russia and the United States. Lessons of the Cold War and the 10 years following should serve as a guide to preventing a decay of relations which threatens US national security, while protecting the national interests of America and her NATO allies. Read More >>

    Read More »

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