Our nation’s foreign policy is on the wrong track. We’ve been at war for seventeen years and counting. A heavy reliance on military intervention over diplomacy and deterrence has led to disaster in places like Iraq and Libya. Yet there has been little serious reflection in Washington on whether our nation’s strategy is too assertive. Indeed, many calls for involvement in new conflicts seem to contain little reflection about unintended consequences – or about whether the danger to the United States is great enough to justify the risks to American troops and foreign civilians.
It’s up to us, the next generation of leaders, to chart a new, more careful path, shaped by humility, realism, and prudence and defined by self-restraint, diplomacy, deterrence, and peace. Together, we can work toward a brighter future, one in which American ideals spread by the power of our example, not the force of our arms, and in which American decisionmakers enjoy the fruits of a robust and well-informed foreign-policy debate.
The John Quincy Adams Society is a nonpartisan, national organization that aims to identify and educate the next generation of foreign policy leaders, to network them with one another and with leading figures in our field, and to empower them to advance in their careers. We build chapters on university campuses, reaching both undergraduate and graduate students. Our chapters serve as centers for learning and debate that challenges the national security status quo. Chapters host exciting activities like guest speakers, documentary screenings, and discussions of current international events.
Members learn about opportunities to get jobs and internships in the foreign policy arena, developing connections and skills that can accelerate their careers. And they join a national network of students on thirty campuses that share their desire to serve the public good via an impactful and successful foreign policy career.
Some highlights of the Society’s 2017-2018 academic year:
- Our University of Southern California chapter hosted a talk by John Mearsheimer on his soon-to-be-released book on liberalism and nationalism as forces in the international system.
- Our Colorado College chapter hosted a debate on U.S. foreign policy between David Hendrickson and Eliot Cohen.
- Our Johns Hopkins chapter hosted a debate on U.S.-Russia relations between Ambassadors John Evans and John Herbst. (Herbst served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine during the Orange Revolution; Evans was Consul in St. Petersburg during Putin’s time as deputy mayor.)
- Our Notre Dame chapter hosted a debate between Tony Smith and Michael Desch on the future of liberal internationalism.
- We cosponsored a panel on national security and the Constitution at Catholic University featuring legal scholars Michael Glennon and Louis Fisher and historian Andrew Bacevich.
- Our University of Kentucky chapter featured a lecture by Eugene Gholz on A2/AD strategies and the opportunities they create for U.S. allies in East Asia.
- Penn State hosted a lecture by veteran CIA analyst Paul Pillar.
- Our University of Miami chapter held a crisis simulation on North Korea.
- We held monthly Knowledge & Networking happy hours in DC, featuring short talks from up and coming foreign policy voices with unique perspectives.
- Our first annual Student Leadership Conference took place in Washington, D.C. More than two dozen students attended. Participants were trained in effective chapter leadership, met with professionals from a range of foreign policy careers, and heard from a number of international security experts.
- The National Interest will soon publish the winners of our annual Student Foreign Policy Essay Contest.
You can bring opportunities like this to your campus. Apply below to create a chapter. (Click here if the form doesn’t load.) Faculty members who would like a chapter on their campus should email the Society’s executive director, John Gay, at email@example.com.