A powerful combination of circumstances is transforming the fundamental problems of international security, requiring a substantial redesign of policy. Threats of concern are smaller in scale than the massive deterrent operations and conventional force contingencies that dominated the Cold War, and they are also more diffuse, more embedded in socioeconomic conditions, and more difficult to identify. Effective protection against them will depend less on military firepower than on the adroit management of information. This program explores the conceptual issues that must be resolved and the operational techniques that must be developed to subordinate traditional practices of active confrontation to refined collaboration. In particular, the program focuses on contexts where the need for adjustment is clear and the logic compelling: biological pathogens, space operations, nuclear programs, and civil conflict.
This project brings together U.S. and Russian security experts to develop courses, research projects, and interactive teaching techniques that can be used to educate a new generation about enduring problems posed by nuclear policies and emerging security problems associated with globalization. The project is a partnership between CISSM and the School for International Security and World Politics at the Institute of USA and Canada Studies in Moscow (ISKRAN)
CISSM is extending the principles and ideas developed as part of the Advanced Methods of Cooperative Security program—for example, how information management practices can help to subordinate traditional practices of active confrontation with collaboration—to a range of emerging security policy issues. Among the issues CISSM has so far addressed are cybersecurity and responses to global climate change.
To move beyond the political deadlock that characterizes the U.S. government’s responses to a range of important global security challenges—global climate change, nuclear risks, civil conflict, and global inequity—CISSM launched its “Morality and Security” research project. A central hypothesis of this work is that engaging faith communities—religious leaders, institutions, and individual believers—in considering how their moral beliefs apply to these global security challenges will increase support for cooperative steps to address them. Preliminary CISSM research, particularly the public opinion poll, “Faith and Global Policy Challenges,” supports this hypothesis. Among the other questions that this project seeks to address are: What is the best way to activate the application of moral beliefs and values to global policy challenges? What role do faith communities play in affecting the policy preferences of elected officials and other policy makers? Can a single set of moral beliefs be applied to a range of interrelated policy issues? This project involves scholarly research, as well as targeted outreach efforts aimed at students, policy experts, and faith communities.
A series of recent diplomatic and technological developments underscore the stark choice between competition and cooperation as the basis for space operations. Space is increasingly important to commerce in the information age, to routine military operations, and to the management of global environmental problems. U.S. advantages in military space capabilities and the vulnerability of space systems makes a competition for military control of space superficially attractive to some U.S. policy makers, though ultimately unwise. In collaboration with the Committee on International Security Studies at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, CISSM is exploring operational rules and transparency measures that could be used to balance the interests of commercial, civilian, and military constituencies in the United States and other major space-faring countries.
Biotechnology is perhaps the ultimate dual-use problem: the same lines of research that might help eradicate many human diseases also could endanger a large portion of humanity if deliberately misused or inadvertently misapplied. This project brings together leading scientists, arms control experts, information technology specialists, lawyers, and industry representatives from the United States and abroad to discuss the need for systematic protection against misapplications of biotechnology, and to develop a prototype oversight system in which selective disclosure and review could increase protection without banning beneficial research or imposing excessive secrecy.
Initiated in late 1999 and managed by Bill Lahneman, the project intended to make the U.S. intelligence community aware of the leading scholarly research on: broad trends shaping the future international environment; potential future threats to U.S. and global security; and opportunities and challenges that these developments pose for the continued peace and prosperity of the United States and the stability of the international system. The project tested the premise that intelligence organizations cannot hope to be the sole source and repository of privileged information upon which policy makers base many crucial decisions. Rather, intelligence analysis can profit greatly by tapping into the vast expertise, research, and other information found in academia, nongovernmental organizations, the business sector, and various intergovernmental organizations. The project brought groups of scholars and other experts together with members of the U.S. intelligence community to examine central questions about the international challenges facing the United States in the twenty-first century. The project utilized both foreign and domestic open sources of information. All work was conducted on an unclassified basis.
The Jerusalem Project focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It sought to develop new approaches to both the process of achieving an end to the conflict, as well as to the substantive issues of the conflict. Areas of policy research have included Jerusalem, refugees, statehood in Gaza, and responses to Hamas' electoral victory. Jerome M. Segal was the director of the project. He is the author of Creating the Palestinian State: A Strategy for Peace (1989) and co-author of Negotiating Jerusalem (2000).
Established in 1998 as a collaborative undertaking of CISSM and The Brookings Institution, this project was directed by Ivo H. Daalder and I. M. "Mac" Destler. The project examined the National Security Council (NSC) as a central element in the making of U.S. foreign policy. To shed light on the historical records, Daalder and Destler hosted seven oral history roundtables between 1998 and 2000, bringing together officials who had served on the NSC staff and related agencies. Daalder and Destler’s research culminated in the book, In the Shadow of the Oval Office: Profiles of the National Security Advisers and the Presidents They Served from JFK to George W. Bush (Simon and Schuster, 2009). Oral history roundtable transcripts are available through the CISSM publication database. For more details on the project, please visit the Brookings Institution's NSC webpage.
Co-directed by I. M. “Mac” Destler and Steven Kull (director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes), this project engaged policy practitioners in a dialogue about public attitudes and how they affect U.S. foreign policy. In a comprehensive report, “The Foreign Policy Gap,” the project examined the significant difference between policymakers' views of public opinion and the reality of those public attitudes. The project has also sponsored a major conference and the book, Misreading the Public: The Myth of a New Isolationism, co-authored by Kull and Destler.
Directed by Ivo Daalder, this project examined U.S. policy toward Bosnia since the beginning of the Bosnian war in order to derive lessons for future interventions in internal conflicts. It also examined the U.S. policy process, with an emphasis on the decision to intervene.
Directed by Adm. Stansfield Turner, the former Director of Central Intelligence, this project examined U.S. policy toward nuclear weapons. In the books resulting from the project--Caging the Nuclear Genie: An American Challenge for Global Security and Caging the Genies: A Workable Solution for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons--Turner argues for a policy of strategic escrow, which could allow deep reductions in both U.S. and Russian arsenals.
Co-directed by Ivo Daalder and Fran Burwell, this project engaged in a comprehensive review of U.S.-European relations after the Cold War, including both security and economic issues. Through workshops and other activities, the project explored ways to enhance transatlantic cooperation and lessen continuing tension between traditional allies. The project produced a book, The United States and Europe in the Global Arena (Macmillan, 1999).
Co-sponsored with the University of Tsukuba in Japan, the project focused on domestic sources of bilateral U.S.-Japan tensions.
Directed by Ivo Daalder, this project sponsored discussion groups aimed at challenging the assumptions on which previous arms control efforts had been based. It published the PRAC Papers series, as well as the Arms Control Briefs, some of which are available in the CISSM publications database.