On May 20th, the Tobin Project convened policymakers and scholars across a range of disciplines for a meeting in Washington, DC on “Reassessing Threat Assessment: Building a Better Framework for Evaluating Strategic Threats.” Participants explored where new academic scholarship on past threat assessments could help develop the tools we need to accurately and reliably assess threats we face today—whether from state actors, non-state actors, or broader trends in technology, economics, or the international political system. The meeting was motivated by the belief that rigorous analysis of the successes and failures of past assessments can yield a richer understanding of what makes for accurate threat assessment that might help the United States evaluate and sustainably meet the challenges that shape the security landscape.
The meeting on Reassessing Threat Assessment featured four collaborative discussions that engaged with historical cases and contemporary subjects with the aim of identifying areas potentially ripe for future research. Each discussion featured a panel of expert scholars and policymakers and centered on a set of guiding questions, including:
Discussions around these questions yielded many valuable insights that will contribute to new work in the Tobin Project’s National Security initiative. We are grateful to all attendees for their thoughtful participation in the meeting’s discussions and for their meaningful contributions to the advancement of this research inquiry.