Defense One, CNAS Launch American Readiness Project

Over the next year, the Project will chronicle Americans' desire, willingness, and capability to keep their country a global security leader.

Defense One and the Center for a New American Security, or CNAS, will work together on the American Readiness Project, a yearlong series of news articles, commentaries, and events exploring just how interested and prepared the nation is to be a global security leader.

The partnership will launch at Defense One’s Outlook 2020 policy summit today — November 7 — at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Americans are passionately engaged on domestic politics and issues, yet far less so in national-security affairs. The U.S. military grows increasingly insular, diplomatic-corps applications are down, government workforce and structures are outdated, and too few Americans are entering national security professions to staff the monumental security tasks required. Why? What needs to be done about it? We intend to find out.

Related: Do Americans Still Want The US to Be the World’s Security Leader?
Related: National Security Is Made of People

“I’m very excited that CNAS has joined us for this project,” said Defense One Executive Editor Kevin Baron. “We have candidates on the left and right openly calling for a U.S. retreat from its global presence and influence, and yet bipartisan national security leaders scream for the opposite. We need to understand this division better, and find out what Americans really think about U.S. global security leadership, and what they’re doing about it in their own fields.”

CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine said, “Today, Washington sees a rare bipartisan consensus: that the world has entered a new era of great-power competition. How to posture the United States for this competition garners far less agreement. More important than the headlines and talking points is shoring up the American advantages we have benefitted from over the last several decades. The foundations of American power are strong, but a powerful military, innovative economy, and strong alliances are neither preordained nor permanent. The United States' readiness to compete in this era will rely on investments and reforms that cut across multiple domains and demand both practical policy fixes and winning narratives.”