This past month, we have seen a national election in our own country, an ongoing crisis in the East China Sea, the conflict between Israel and Gaza, unfolding information about the murder of a U.S. ambassador, and scandal in our own national security community. Our nation continues to face many challenges from abroad, few of which are easy to address.
Here at The Institute of World Politics, we believe that this country is worth protecting. The founding principles of America which our students study have resulted in extraordinary freedom and prosperity.
But our system of government also allows for rapid political turnover, and this, as Winston Churchill explained, makes it difficult for our leaders to conduct a consistent foreign policy for any more than five years at a time. This, to a large extent, is a challenge for strategic thinking--where the truly long-term national interest can be pursued, regardless of which party controls the executive branch.
Another problem we face is the widespread ignorance and neglect of key instruments of statecraft that can offer us an enhanced array of options to address the many challenges we face while avoiding armed conflict.
This is why IWP educates future leaders for our foreign policy community: so that they will understand the many tools available to address international challenges and be able to apply them in an effective strategic fashion. We have particular strengths in teaching certain of the most neglected instruments, such as public diplomacy, (including cultural diplomacy, information policy, strategic communications, and countering foreign propaganda), various forms of strategic influence, intelligence and counterintelligence, and economic statecraft.
We at IWP pride ourselves in teaching our students to see the world realistically and not through rose-colored glasses. This means that they must also understand the nature and behavior of foreign powers and the principles of "hard power," and how it ultimately may be the only option a nation has left.
IWP students also study the Western moral tradition, in which the dignity of the human person is respected. As a result, our graduates do not take the loss of human life lightly, and are ever more motivated to work for resolutions to international problems in a peaceful way. An IWP education equips them with the tools to do so.
There is a huge amount at stake here. These are matters of life and death not only for individuals but for our entire civilization. Thank you for helping make our work possible.
Founder and President