International Security Program

Evidence-based analysis of international security issues, including the rise of political Islam, counterterrorism operations, and cyber warfare.

About this Program

The International Security Program aims to provide evidence-based analysis of some of the thorniest questions facing American policymakers and the public. The program is largely focused on South Asia and the Middle East, al-Qaeda and allied groups, the rise of political Islam, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), homeland security, and the activities of U.S. Special Forces and the CIA. The program is also examining how warfare is changing because of emerging technologies, such as drones, cyber threats, and space-based weaponry, and asking how the nature and global spread of these technologies is likely to change the very definition of what war is.
There are many complex questions that policy makers and ordinary Americans need answers to in these fields of study, for instance, the likely shape of post-2014 Afghanistan once American and other NATO combat troops are pulled out of the country, the exact scope of the threat posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliates, the precise level of threat from “homegrown” militants in the United States, and the scope of the CIA drone warfare program in Pakistan and Yemen.
We aim to provide answers to these questions. For instance, given the official silence about the CIA drone program, for the past four years, New America has provided the most transparent and authoritative accounting of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and the types of casualties these are causing. We are building one of the most comprehensive databases on domestic terrorism cases in the United States since 9/11. We also aim to provide the most comprehensive analysis of South Asia on Foreign Policy magazine’s South Asia Channel, which is widely regarded as providing some of the deepest sources of commentary about Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. This is all supplemented by hosting dozens of public events every year and publishing books and articles that delve into the topics mentioned above.


Sep 24 2014
Iraq After America Washington 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm
Sep 22 2014
The Rise of Lashkar-e-Taiba Washington 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm
Sep 17 2014
Next Steps for the Israelis and Palestinians Washington 9:00 am - 10:30 am
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International Security Program Books

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The Longest War

Our Funders

Funding for the International Security Program’s efforts is provided by a number of organizational grants, as well as the generous donations of several individuals on the program’s Advisory Council:


  • Arizona State University
  • Brown Advisory
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Open Society Foundations
  • Smith Richardson Foundation


  • Chip Kaye, co-chair
  • Tom Freston
  • Fred Hassan
  • Rita Hauser
  • Bob Niehaus

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