A M E R
C A N
E C U R
R O J
Bernard I. Finel and Christine Bartolf
The American Security Project is organized around the
belief that honest public discussion of national security
requires a better-informed citizenry — one that under-
stands the dangers and opportunities of the twenty-first
century and the spectrum of available policy responses.
Security is a fundamental responsibility of government.
In the new millennium, however, U.S. national security
policy has not kept pace with rapidly changing threats
to American interests. Globalization has quickened, but
the United States has not built alliances or institutions
to protect and advance American security. Terrorists
have expanded their reach and lethality, but the moral
authority of the United States is at an all-time low.
Changes in the Earth’s climate are more evident every
day, but the United States has failed to act, alone or with
allies, to avoid disaster.
America needs a new national security vision for this new
era and a dialogue at home that is as robust as it is real-
istic. Yet the quality of our discussion on national security
has been diminished. Fear has trumped conversation.
Artificial differences have been created and real differ-
ences have been left unexamined. The character of our
national dialogue has grown increasingly shrill while the
need for honest discussion has grown more urgent.
Only by developing real analysis and thoughtful answers
can a genuine foreign policy consensus be rebuilt for
a dangerous and decisive age. Only then will America
again marshal all her resources — military, diplomatic,
economic, and moral — to meet the challenges of a
Changes in the
Earth’s climate are
more evident every
day, but the United
States has failed to
act, alone or with
allies, to avoid
climate security initiative
Stephen A. Cheney,