Foreign Policy

Advancing American Security: Charles Koch Institute Talks Foreign Policy with Top Scholars

May 18, 2016

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2016 — Today, the Charles Koch Institute is hosting Advancing American Security: The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy, a day-long conference with the goal of bridging the gap between ideas and policy. Top scholars in the field will evaluate the U.S. approach to foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and discuss how our country should go forward to make America safe.

“Foreign policy — especially its grand strategy component — is among the weightiest areas of government action,” said William Ruger, vice president of research and policy at the Charles Koch Institute. “It has huge ramifications for our security, prosperity, civil liberties, fiscal health, and our relationships with other nations and peoples. It is critical that we get our foreign policy right.

“Unfortunately, our foreign policy discussions have been too narrow and failed to include a broad enough array of voices. This is why we have brought together many of the most respected scholars from around the country to help expand the conversation here in Washington and promote what scientist and philosopher Michael Polanyi called ‘a republic of science.’ Our goal is ultimately — through this conference and future events — to spark a broader, genuine discussion, identify additional avenues for research, and learn from the best minds in the business about how to better advance American security. While we will see disagreement on these panels, it’s vital to have debate and to listen to the views and experiences of different voices.

“When the Cold War ended 25 years ago, the United States emerged as the ‘unipolar power’ in the world. Since then, U.S. foreign policy has focused on maintaining American primacy. This has meant the frequent use of force, a military budget the size of the next seven to eight countries combined, and an active policy of spreading American power and values.

“After a quarter century of this approach, it’s time to ask: Has our foreign policy been working? Is it making America safe? Should we continue on this path? And if not, what do alternative approaches look like?

“We are thrilled to have 14 top scholars in international relations, political science, and U.S. foreign policy to discuss these critical questions. They are all respected members of the academy and the foreign policy community. This strong lineup is one of the reasons why we have more than 350 RSVPs from people from quality backgrounds and institutions.”

“Following the event, the Charles Koch Foundation hopes to take what we have discussed here to facilitate further events, discussions, and debates and to identify specific opportunities to support collaborative research and educational initiatives.”