The Center for Security Policy was founded in July 1988 by 30 national security policy practitioners united by an overarching goal – to perpetuate the time-tested policy Ronald Reagan used to such transformative effect during his presidency: “Peace through Strength.” Led by Frank Gaffney, a former Reagan Defense Department official and aide to Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Tower, they founded an non-partisan, educational public policy organization with a single, overarching mission: secure freedom.
“What an exemplary organization you are — devoting yourselves to the pursuit of peace and national security. I can think of no loftier purpose or goal.”
— 1995 letter from President Ronald Reagan to the Center for Security Policy
The Center has diligently advanced that goal ever since through a combination of: cutting-edge public policy research; the skillful and evolving use of multi-media platforms for outreach to – and impact with – the nation’s leadership and people; and, most uniquely, the creation and direction of coalitions to undertake effective advocacy.
In its early days, the Center for Security Policy became famous for its highly timely and influential “Decision Briefs” that were regularly faxed to hundreds of national security officials and other policy-makers and influencers.
In the years since, the Center has evolved, as has the information technology available to reach ever larger audiences through traditional, earned and social media platforms. Today, the Center complements the efficient dissemination of its own analyses, insights and recommendations and those of its allies with innovative means of showcasing such ideas and those who champion them.
“As for Frank, I’ve long held that we ought to campaign that when the first missile defense system is deployed, it should be named after him.”
— Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Krauthammer, on receiving the Center’s Mightiest Pen Award, 2002
For example, CSP hosted four high-profile National Security Action Summits across the country with presidential candidates during the 2016 presidential campaign to showcase the sorts of foreign and defense policy topics awaiting the new Commander-in-Chief. The Center has recognized the work of dozens of accomplished national security practitioners, affording them opportunities for remarks intended to inform and inspire those who are following in their footsteps.
Particularly gratifying was the unveiling in December 2017 of the Trump administration’s new National Security Strategy – a document that closely reflects in almost every particular the positions that the Center for Security Policy has fought for over the last three decades.