Realism and restraint

Foreign Policy

Realism and restraint

Foreign Policy

The United States needs a strong military to keep the nation safe. But our foreign policy relies too often on the use of military force — asking our service members to do too much in too many places. This approach undermines our security and saps our strength. U.S. foreign policy should be characterized by a grand strategy of realism and restraint, free trade, and diplomacy focused on articulating — but not imposing — liberal values and the advantages of a society of equal rights and mutual benefit.

Developing and applying a better grand strategy will make the United States safer, secure the conditions of our prosperity, and protect our liberal democratic system here at home. It is also vitally important that our veterans, who have sacrificed so much implementing our country’s foreign policy, do not suffer from internal and external barriers inhibiting the realization of their potential.

Our foreign policy should be based on facts and reasoned, scientific inquiry, not idealistic assumptions about the world. We support scholars who conduct rigorous research to identify and evaluate optimal policy solutions.

Research and Education Priorities

Grand Strategy Grand strategy, including research on the nation’s most pressing challenges and support for the next generation of scholars who will generate the insights necessary to ensure America’s long-term security
Veterans' Issues Addressing veterans’ issues, such as improving the V.A., modernizing the veterans’ disability and compensation system, and ensuring veteran economic independence
Trade Improving trade and industrial policy, with an emphasis on getting the U.S. approach to China right

Our Partners

At the Notre Dame International Security Center, director Michael Desch and his colleagues support a new generation of scholars in international relations and national security as they work to broaden and deepen the discussion of U.S. grand strategy. “I want to see NDISC be the bridge from Notre Dame to the Pentagon and Washington and other parts of the national security bureaucracy to ensure that fresh and innovative thinking is part of the policy discussion,” says Desch. NDISC offers a forum for scholars and students to debate the most-pressing foreign policy issues and recently launched the yearlong Hans J. Morgenthau Fellowship Program, making it possible for top graduate students across the country to further the center’s mission.
Harvard and MIT’s post-doctoral fellowship on grand strategy, security, and statecraft invites scholars to address fundamental issues in U.S. grand strategy and broaden the debate on America’s role in the world.

Joshua Shifrinson

Boston University
Joshua Shifrinson at Boston University studies grand strategy with a special focus on great power politics since 1945 and U.S. engagement in Europe and Asia. His most recent book Rising Titans, Falling Giants focuses on the policies rising states adopt toward declining competitors.

Partner with us to drive sensible foreign policy, trade, and veterans’ policy that speaks to the nation’s enduring interests.

We form partnerships based on a shared vision and complementary capabilities, bringing our network, knowledge, research, and more to every relationship.