Welcome to the online home of the Security Policy Reform Institute. We are an independent, grassroots think tank that promotes a just U.S. foreign policy to serve the most pressing economic, social, and political needs of everyday Americans. Our advocacy is driven by empirical research. Our research decisions are made by corporate donors but by clearly defined Progressive values.
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Who we are
The Security Policy Reform Institute is an independent, grassroots think tank that promotes a just U.S. foreign policy serving the most pressing economic, social, and political needs of everyday Americans. We partner with civil society groups, academics, and social justice actors to redefine how Americans conceive of foreign policy, beginning with the fundamental understanding that foreign policy is domestic policy. Every dollar of military and foreign policy spending is unavailable for the most urgent domestic needs, such as healthcare justice, social spending, education, or affordable housing initiatives. We propose real alternatives to disrupt the cycle of foreign military interventions, constant warfare, and the interminable pursuit of “security” abroad that makes Americans more insecure at home.
Political elites from both parties and every branch of government, the arms industry, the endlessly expanding security sector, and foreign interest groups have reached a political consensus: the ceaseless pursuit of narrowly parochial security interests is good for “America” — even if it’s demonstrably harmful to actual Americans. We disagree. By showing the tradeoffs inherent to American security practices, we show who security is actually for, and how traditional security narratives fuel malign foreign policy practices.
Foreign policy is the most obvious realm of security politics, but it’s not the only one. Our goal is to show the direct links between foreign policy practices and the tradeoffs Americans are being forced to make in their day-to-day lives and domestic policy priorities. More importantly, we show how a post-September 11 security orientation has eroded Americans’ quality of daily life through militarization of police forces, mass surveillance, warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention without trial. Ultimately, practices undertaken in the interest of unattainable or unstated “security” objectives have eroded Americans’ real freedoms, and made us — and the rest of the world — more insecure.
The Security Policy Reform Institute has two principal initiatives: the Military Spending Initiative and the Middle East Policy Initiative. In each of these areas, we show how policy and practice fail to achieve stated American objectives and instead create a world that is more unstable and less free.
We categorically refuse corporate donations. As a grassroots initiative funded exclusively by small donations, the Security Policy Reform Institute is answerable only to the same American public whose interests we promote through our analysis and policy prescriptions. SPRI is for and by the American people.
We advocate for a foreign policy that promotes the same freedom and dignity promoted by a Left domestic policy. Our critical methodology and core tenets provide a roadmap for instilling foreign policy decision-making process with Leftist ideals.