To inform citizens, thought leaders, and policy makers of the importance of a strong, dynamic military—used more judiciously to protect America's narrowly defined national interests—and promote a realistic grand strategy prioritizing restraint, diplomacy, and free trade to ensure American security.


The most important function of government is to secure the rights and liberties of individual citizens, in part by providing for the common defense. As such, the United States should maintain the strongest military in the world in order to defend our homeland, maintain our national security, and protect our cherished freedoms.

These vital interests must be weighed against the prevailing Washington narrative that obliges U.S. military engagement in so many places and at so many times. Too often, these needless and exhausting ventures are undertaken absent thoughtful consideration of the consequences here at home and abroad.

In contrast, Defense Priorities believes U.S. actions around the globe should derive from a realistic grand strategy focused on protecting and securing our vital national interests. American power is built on our economic strength, and we must be mindful of the fiscal consequences of our foreign policy. Alternatives to military engagement, such as the softer yet powerful tools of diplomacy and economic leverage, might exist at our disposal.

Overall, the United States should pursue a more prudent, restrained foreign policy that assesses the world as it exists, carefully considering the numerous complexities and nuances of each situation. A principled, constitutional foreign policy would send our brave men and women into harm’s way only after the American people, through their duly elected representatives in Congress, have debated the merits of military action.