About this websiteSecurity, Prosperity and America’s Purpose: Strategic Choices for the 21st Century is a project that has grown from the dramatic success of a major national policy forum on terrorism held on September 6-7, 2005 in Washington, DC. The objective of this conference was to examine the challenge of international terrorism on the 4th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks in New York and Washington and to encourage thinking about terrorism that is ‘comprehensive’ – that recognizes the importance of self determination in countries where America has interests, that considers the economic dimensions of this new type of conflict, and acknowledges the significance of legitimate grievances that terrorists have exploited in rhetoric and acts of terrorism. The conference was designed to encourage a bipartisan conversation that moves beyond an over-reliance and central focus on military responses to terrorism.
The conference gathered more than 1,000 participants over the two days including media, public policy practitioners, Congressional and administration officials, academics, association representatives, military and security professionals, and other important members of civil society.
The conference was covered by major television networks including: ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Al Jazeera, Fox News, and C-Span, which broadcast the entire proceedings live throughout the two days. Thousands of individual viewers around the world logged on to this website to watch the live streaming web cast of the conference.
The entire video is currently archived on this site, where one can search and download the presentations of specific speakers and panels. Another component to the conference was the commissioning of over 20 Working Group Papers by some of the world’s leading experts on terrorism. The Working Group Summary Papers and White Papers can also be accessed at the “America’s Purpose” website. Through our partnership with the New York University Center on Law and Security and Cambridge University Press, portions of the transcripts as well as papers from the conference are being edited and published in a book within the next year.
Our hope has been that this mega-conference – and now follow-on policy program – on terrorism, security, and America’s purpose in the world would trigger an ongoing conversation about the right mix of policy responses that assure both prosperity and security in the global system. It is the view of those who have organized this meeting and project that America’s early response to terrorism was too uni-dimensional. Now is the time to learn from what has worked, and what not, and to move towards more comprehensive strategies.
This project has already hosted a first follow up conference on the economic responses to terrorism, “Beyond Bullets: Economic Strategies in the Fight Against Terrorism.” This website will become the home for a suite of activities including public discussions, conferences and salons in addition to the publication of policy briefs and recommendations that are designed to foster robust debate and encourage new thinking on America’s strategic choices.
These activities will continue to be sponsored by the New America Foundation in collaboration with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Hauser Foundation, the U.S. in the World project, and the NYU Center on Law and Security, as well as with other collaborating institutions and foundations.