The Challenge

The United States needs a strong military to keep Americans 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. It 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.

This approach will make America safer, secure the conditions of our prosperity, and protect our liberal democratic system 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.

Focus Areas

  • Fostering discussion of a grand strategy of realism and restraint
  • Trade
    Exploring the future of free trade and industrial policy
  • Veterans’ affairs
    Improving veterans’ health care, modernizing disability compensation, and ensuring veterans’ economic independence

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Emerging leaders in foreign policy

We offer a two-year concentration within the Koch Associate Program (KAP) for emerging leaders in foreign policy.

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Foreign Policy Requests for Proposals

Managing Relations with China

As Washington, DC gears up for an era of “Great Power Competition” with China, academics and policymakers should ask whether the underlying assumption that these two states are destined for conflict is true.

Executive-Legislative Relations and War Powers

As the underlying legal authorities for American activities in Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere attract increasing scrutiny, policymakers must appreciate the need for appropriate oversight and accountability over the power to commence, fund, and finish hostilities.

The Future of America’s Alliances

Given problems with burden-sharing and conflicting interests, U.S. policymakers should reevaluate the costs and benefits of the U.S.’s security commitments.

Ending Endless Wars in the Middle East

As political will mounts to leave foreign conflicts and bring American troops home, policymakers must grapple with exit strategies and the lessons learned from the last few decades of engagement.


The Charles Koch Institute seeks to partner with scholars and organizations interested in understanding issues related to trade policy, including the social and economic benefits of free trade, as well as defining and addressing true national-security threats and illiberal trade practices.

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Navigating U.S.-Russia Relations

If peaceful and more cooperative relations are to be restored between the two countries, a significant change in the status quo is required.

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