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A nation must think before it acts.
Matters of national security have concerned the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) ever since its founding in 1955. They are especially concerning during times of war—as the United States has been every day since September 11, 2001. But today’s national security threats are not solely related to matters of terrorism. The contemporary geopolitical environment contains myriad threats and challengers to the United States and its interests.
National security is a complex and multifaceted topic. This book demonstrates this reality by presenting both breadth and depth across topics ranging from grand strategy to military culture, from nuclear deterrence to irregular warfare. While the articles offer snapshots of individual events over the past ten years, the overall coverage should, like Janus, allow the reader both to look back in time and also to contemplate the future.
Such looking forward and backward will be essential for coping with the challenges the United States confronts against threats and challengers such as, to name just a few, the Islamic State, a revanchist Russia, or a rising China. Legitimate questions will also arise over what the nation’s priorities should be and what areas of the budget should be well funded and which areas should be less well funded. Those are points of genuine debate. This work will have succeeded if it spurs such debate and promotes civic literacy on the broad topic of national security.
This volume honors the 60th anniversary of the Institute by presenting a collection of writings published by FPRI and produced by both FPRI and non-FPRI scholars over the past decade. It is a large collection of writing. It has to be because much has happened. The layout of the sections here should allow those readers not interested in reading the entire volume to jump around to particular authors or subjects of interest. If you enjoy what you find here, visit us on the web to read, see, and hear more—or even better, become a member, a member at a higher level, or a partner, and support the sustained production of quality scholarship and analysis on national security.