Foreign PolicyA government’s most important task is to secure the rights and liberties of its citizens—in part, by providing for the common defense. As such, the United States should maintain a strong military to defend America. Guided by grand strategy, actions taken abroad should prioritize vital national interests.
Yet in recent decades, many foreign policy decisions have not made Americans safer. To the contrary, they have undermined both domestic and international security. Discounting core national interests, and premised on flawed assumptions and theories, these policies have kept the U.S. military engaged throughout the globe on a near-constant basis. This all-embracing strategy, which some call “primacy” or “liberal hegemony,” has become the dominant perspective among foreign policy leaders in Washington.
The Charles Koch Foundation envisions a more vigorous debate about the strategic necessity and economic sustainability of current policies. To that end, the Foundation supports academics and institutions willing to challenge present circumstances and provide alternative visions for U.S. foreign policy. We expect these scholars to generate a more dynamic examination of goals, strategies, budgets, and incentives while bridging the gap between ideas and policy.
The Foundation is especially interested in projects from the perspective of political science, international relations, history, or economics. However, proposals from all fields will be considered on their merits.
We are especially interested in research that:
- Explores topics and issues related to a grand strategy of restraint.
- Examines the role of values and ethics in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.
- Addresses the unintended consequences of U.S. military actions abroad.
- Considers the impact of U.S. military ventures on American society—for instance, the effect of our foreign policy decisions on civil liberties or the health and welfare of veterans.
- Explores the concept of threat inflation.
- Analyzes executive-legislative relations in foreign policy, including the Constitutional division of war powers.
- Examines the impact of domestic interest groups, businesses, think tanks, and the permanent national security bureaucracy on U.S. foreign policy.
- Explores the growth of the intelligence and national security establishments since 9/11.
- Surveys the costs, risks, and impacts of foreign aid and alliance commitments.
- Studies the costs and benefits of burden-sharing with allies.
- Scrutinizes Pentagon spending, force structure, and the strategic demands of U.S. defense policy—including structural incentives that demand military expenditures.
- Considers the consequences of an increasingly multipolar world, especially as concerns principal geostrategic regions (e.g. Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Western Pacific).
- A one-to-two-page abstract of the project on behalf of your university, college, think tank, or other 501(c)(3) organization. The abstract should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to assess the nature and feasibility of the idea.
- A CV or résumé.
- A brief, itemized budget.
- Final projects should be original, meet the highest standards of their field, and must not have been previously published.
Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. Accepted proposals may also receive support to disseminate the research findings.