While there are several programs for women serving in or seeking to enter the U.S. foreign policy and national security field, none combines a clear focus on hard security with a vision of a more prudent grand strategy. That’s where the Society’s Marie von Brühl Program for Women in Statecraft comes in: it provides a space for women to gather, make connections, and learn from one another – women who believe that the United States should prioritize diplomacy and self-restraint in the use of force abroad.
We take our name from the woman who brought us On War, the classic work on strategy and the theory of war by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz. Von Brühl was central in the work’s research and writing, and Clausewitz treated her as an intellectual partner and equal. Because Clausewitz died with the work unfinished and in disarray, it was von Brühl who completed it, organized it, and saw to its publication. She was herself closely familiar with political and military affairs, leaving her “at least as influential as Scharnhorst and Gneisenau” on Clausewitz’s thinking, and she was, in the words of her biographer Vanya Eftimova Bellinger, “the more politically active member of the family” through her involvement in debates in the Prussian court. Von Brühl was, incidentally, an acquaintance of John Quincy Adams, having met him during his time as ambassador to Prussia.
Von Brühl’s sharp understanding of statecraft and security, and her comfort at both the tactical and strategic levels of thought, make her an excellent lodestar for women in today’s American foreign policy conversation. Women who wish to become involved in the Program should tick the box on the signup form to the right.