The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s New American Engagement Initiative (NAEI) has a twofold mission: to challenge prevailing assumptions underpinning US foreign policy; and to point to alternative paths, different priorities, and a re-allocation of resources to support new modes of US global engagement.

Our work is premised on the view that the United States—indeed, the world—is at a pivotal time, a notably disruptive moment in history. An unprecedented technological revolution has accelerated the redistribution of global wealth and power in a multipolar world. Global institutions have frayed and fragmented, and America’s military and economic preeminence has begun to erode.

NAEI’s Engagement Reframed series questions assumptions at a moment of fluidity and uncertainty by suggesting ways to rethink America’s global role, stimulate new ways of thinking about US foreign policy and recommend solutions that employ all elements of American power and influence. As the title implies, the series will reimagine and reframe US engagement beyond traditional notions of US military dominance to fashion a viable type of leadership in a world of many capable actors.

The Engagement Reframed series will stress important opportunities for US engagement, explain the urgent need for change, and highlight avenues to implementation.

The Engagement Reframed series will consider the institutions of US foreign policy making and implementation, the specific issues and problems facing the United States and its partners and allies, and the ways in which the scaffolding of the international system might be renovated or reengineered. These concise policy briefs will address some of the core issues pertaining to the world order or the lack of it.

The papers in the Engagement Reframed series will follow the same structure. First, identify a missed opportunity for US engagement; second, explain the urgent need for change; and third, prescribe recommendations to implement renewed engagement in a multipolar world.

The short papers in the Engagement Reframed series will be available through this page as they come out. To learn more about the Engagement Reframed series, read NAEI Co-Director Christopher Preble and Senior Fellow Robert Manning’s paper at the “Read now” button below and explore the series.

Read the latest

Engagement Reframed

Jun 16, 2022

Engagement Reframed #8: How to avoid anarchy in space

By Robert A. Manning

There is a dangerous deficit of governance with regard to human activities in our space, which presents an opportunity for mutually beneficial cooperation among rivals.

China Economy & Business
Man carries a sack of wheat at World Food Program warehouse in Gode

Engagement Reframed

Jun 9, 2022

Engagement Reframed #7: Defending democracy and countering China requires US and Western support for a beleaguered developing world

By Mathew Burrows

The war in Ukraine has become a turning point for developing countries, many of whom could give up the gains made in economic growth and reduction in poverty over the past three decades.

Africa Americas

Engagement Reframed

May 12, 2022

Engagement Reframed #6: US Arctic policy should prioritize environmental protection

By Alec Evans

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine warrants a robust response from the West, but the United States and its allies cannot jeopardize the Arctic climate by refusing to work with all relevant parties, including those in Moscow.

Americas Climate Change & Climate Action

Engagement Reframed

Mar 24, 2022

Engagement Reframed #5: Deploy America’s secret diplomatic superstars

By Evan Cooper

How the United States can leverage its immense musical talent for diplomatic benefit

Africa Americas
Indian migrants detained at US-Mexico border

Engagement Reframed

Mar 8, 2022

Engagement Reframed #4: Securing America’s demographic and economic future

By Mathew Burrows

What is the opportunity? Throughout US history, many American entrepreneurial heroes have been immigrants or the children of immigrants—from Alexander Graham Bell and Andrew Carnegie, both born in Scotland, to Intel’s Andy Grove and Google’s Sergey Brin, originally from Hungary and Russia, respectively. Indian immigrants comprise only about 1 percent of the US population but […]

Americas Entrepreneurship

Engagement Reframed

Feb 14, 2022

Engagement Reframed #3: Appoint a European SACEUR

By Kelly A. Grieco

What is the opportunity? President Joe Biden vowed to make revitalizing America’s alliances, especially NATO, a cornerstone of his foreign policy. “America is back. The transatlantic alliance is back,” he told the Munich Security Conference in February 2021, just one month after taking office. Seeking to undo the damage from four years of his predecessor’s […]

Defense Policy Europe & Eurasia

Engagement Reframed

Feb 9, 2022

Engagement Reframed #2: Seize the opportunity to rethink European security

By Emma Ashford

What is the opportunity? The ongoing crisis over Ukraine poses an extraordinary challenge for US and NATO policymakers. In recent months, Russia has positioned increasing numbers of military personnel, heavy weapons, and materiel along the Russian border with Ukraine, as well as near the Ukrainian-Belorussian border. Thus far, the Russian approach suggests that the Kremlin […]

Crisis Management Defense Policy

Engagement Reframed

Feb 1, 2022

Engagement Reframed #1: Vaccinate the world

By Mathew Burrows, Evan Cooper

The United States can do more to increase vaccination rates around the world, and in doing so help to build a more resilient global health system in which it is a leader.

Africa China

Engagement Reframed

Jan 26, 2022

Engagement Reframed: Introduction

By Robert A. Manning, Christopher Preble

The Biden administration has been slow to distribute surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries in need or to facilitate foreign manufacturing of vaccines, squandering a diplomatic opportunity and potentially endangering US security.

Africa Caribbean

Explore NAEI

Engage with us: the New American Engagement Initiative welcomes feedback. Its success or failure hinges on the willingness of leading experts to scrutinize prior assumptions, consider alternative explanations, and be open to new approaches that collectively rethink, reshape, and reinvigorate US global engagement. Explore our program by navigating through our content, past and future events and experts pages.

Follow our work on Twitter with @ACScowcroft and connect with us using #NAEI and #FutureForeignPolicy.