News Release

Brookings Launches the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence (21CSI)

March 12, 2013

Washington, D.C. — The Brookings Institution announced today the establishment of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence (21CSI). The new center will be unique in addressing defense, cybersecurity, arms control and intelligence challenges in a comprehensive manner, seeking not just to explore key emerging security issues, but also how they cross traditional fields and domains.

“With the launch of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, Brookings will be at the forefront of research and public debate on the critical security issues of our time,” said Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution. “21CSI will bring together the extraordinary array of scholars already working on defense and security issues at Brookings, along with adding new experts in fields that range from cyber to intelligence policy.”

The Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence will be housed in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings and Peter W. Singer will serve as its founding director. One of the world’s leading experts on modern warfare and author of the New York Times bestseller, Wired for War (Penguin, 2009), Singer has founded and managed two previous projects at Brookings, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World and the 21st Century Defense Initiative.

The center will encompass four key focal points of policy research on security and defense issues:

  • A Defense Policy team will be led by Michael O’Hanlon, one of the most influential and widely published defense scholars in the world, who also serves as director of research in the Foreign Policy program. He will be joined by other resident and nonresident scholars including Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown, a leading expert on counterinsurgency and illicit networks, and Senior Fellow Stephen Cohen, a pre-eminent expert in South Asian security issues. The team will also comprise the Federal Executive Fellows (FEFs), career officers from each military service and the Coast Guard, who spend a year in residence researching and writing on defense topics.
  • The new Intelligence Project, focusing on the nexus of intelligence and policymaking, will be led by Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel, a 30-year veteran of the intelligence community who also served on the National Security Council staff for three presidents. Riedel will be supported by a team of resident and nonresident scholars, including Paul Pillar and John McLaughlin, as well as career officers seconded from the intelligence community, and an advisory group of distinguished former senior intelligence officials and policymakers. The Intelligence Project is the first of its kind to be established at a major research institution.
  • The Arms Control Initiative will combine a focus on existing challenges of nuclear and conventional disarmament with new policy research on the Iranian and North Korean challenges to the nuclear nonproliferation regime. It is led by Senior Fellow Steven Pifer, a former special assistant to the president with substantial arms control experience. Robert Einhorn, currently the State Department’s special adviser for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, is expected to join later this spring as a Senior Fellow. The Initiative will also house a new program designed to cultivate and mentor the next generation of arms control and nonproliferation scholars.
  • The new Cybersecurity project will bring together the work of Visiting Fellow Ian Wallace, a former senior official at the British Ministry of Defence, who helped develop British cyber strategy, as well as its cyber-relationship with the United States, and a team of nonresident fellows, including Noah Shachtman, national security editor at Wired magazine, recently named one of the top 10 cybersecurity writers in the world; Ben Hammersley, a war journalist, noted technology writer, and author of the upcoming book Approaching the Future: 64 Things You Need to Know Now for Then; and Ralph Langner, the cybersecurity expert credited with “decoding” Stuxnet.

21CSI will focus on cutting-edge, in-depth, policy-relevant research and programming, designed to help shape the public policy debate and inform policy-makers. Bringing together a diverse group of experts and scholars, it will seek to promote collaboration across the various policy domains, in order to better understand the rapidly evolving, increasingly complex 21st century battlefield.

“We’ve created 21CSI in response to the enormous changes playing out in the global security environment,” said Martin Indyk, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. “To address the diverse range of issues in this field, we’ve assembled a world-class team of researchers, who are some of the leading voices on the current challenges driving security policy today, as well as how we should think about tomorrow.”

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.