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Focused on Strategy with Impact
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Committed to Deep Analysis
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Oriented to the Future
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Committed to Public Duty
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What We Do

America is entering an era of great power competition for which it is not prepared. How to secure American freedom and prosperity in this more competitive age is the organizing national security question of our time.

The mission of The Marathon Initiative is to develop the diplomatic, military, and economic strategies the nation will need to navigate a protracted competition with great power rivals.

Marathon is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization. It is funded by private individuals and foundations, as well as by grants from or contract work for the U.S. Government. Marathon does not seek or accept funding from corporations or from foreign sources.

To preserve America’s prosperity, security, and democratic way of life in an era when they are threatened by the return of great power competition.

Who We Are

Elbridge Colby

Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development.

Wess Mitchell

Dr. A. Wess Mitchell is co-founder and principal at The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Jakub Grygiel

Dr. Jakub J. Grygiel is a Senior Advisor at The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State.

Edward Luttwak

Dr. Edward N. Luttwak is a Distinguished Adjunct Fellow at The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as a consultant to the U.S. government.

Matt Pottinger

Matt Pottinger is a Senior Advisor at The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as the U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor.

Our Work

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January 22, 2022

Building a ‘strategy of denial’ to thwart China

Hindustan Times | After many decades of hoping to avoid a rivalrous relationship with China, both the United States (US) and India now recognise China as their top security threat. sensus that China is one of — if not the — major threats to US stability and prosperity. But concerted action from the Pentagon that matches the gravity of this threat is lacking. .....

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January 20, 2022

Taking on the China Challenge: A Conversation with Elbridge Colby

American Enterprise Institute | After years of the US “pivoting to Asia,” there is bipartisan consensus that China is one of — if not the — major threats to US stability and prosperity. But concerted action from the Pentagon that matches the gravity of this threat is lacking. .....

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January 20, 2022

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) introduces the S.T.A.N.D with Taiwan Act – January 20, 2022

National Review | Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) mentions Elbridge Colby’s National Review article “The United States Should Defend Taiwan” in National Review......

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January 13, 2022

Strategy and Future: Interview with Elbridge Colby

Strategy and Future | Jacek Bartosiak talks to Elbridge Colby on realistic military strategy, limited war, burden of escalation, and your enemy’s best strategy.....

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January 12, 2022

China: Strategy of Denial

Council on Geostrategy | The rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the surrounding Indo-Pacific region has altered the global balance of power.....

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January 3, 2022

Interview: Providing for America’s Defense

City Journal | Elbridge A. Colby is cofounder and principal of The Marathon Initiative and a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development for the Defense Department, where he served as the lead official in the development and rollout of the 2018 National Defense Strategy.....

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December 30, 2021

A Coalition Will Blunt Beijing’s Ambition

The Australian | Beijing’s goals appear to be regional hegemony over Asia, the world’s largest market, as a start, and global pre-eminence from there. Some argue that Australia should accommodate Beijing and hope for the best; but that would result in the compromise of the freedoms and prosperity that make Australia the envy of the world.....

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December 29, 2021

China is on the move, the West no longer knows which foot to step on

Radio Canada | Elbridge Colby served as Assistant Under Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development under the Trump administration (2017-18). He is worried about the growing influence of China....

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December 17, 2021

Biden’s Climate Diplomacy Is a Gift to China

Foreign Policy | U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate diplomacy with China is rooted in the fantasy that Washington can turn Beijing into a constructive global partner simply by treating it like one.....

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December 17, 2021

Authors Debate: Should US Defend Taiwan Or Not? —Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar

Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar | Krystal and Saagar are joined by two authors and foreign policy experts who debate on whether the US should defend Taiwan or not if China were to invade in the near future.....

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December 15, 2021

History Ago Go: Elbridge Colby & The Strategy of Denial

History Ago Go | Interviewed by Rob Mellon, Elbridge A. Colby was the lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the most significant revision of U.S. defense strategy in a generation. Here they discuss out how America’s defense must change to address China’s growing power and ambition....

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December 14, 2021

Ruthless Podcast: Disasters, Inflation & Biden

Ruthless Podcast | Discussion about devastating storms in the heartland, the growing inflation crisis and Biden's inability to assist. Former Pentagon official Bridge Colby joins the program for an interview.......

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December 14, 2021

Colby: “US Defence Strategy and Alliances in the Indo-Pacific Elbridge Colby” from Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation: Managing Deterrence in the 21st Century

Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation: Managing Deterrence in the 21st Century (Australian National University Press) | This text is taken from Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation: Managing Deterrence in the 21st Century, edited by Stephan Frühling and Andrew O’Neil, published 2021 by ANU Press, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia......

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December 13, 2021

Diplomatic Courier’s Best Books of 2021

Diplomatic Courier | A best book is one that challenges preconceived notions, exploring an already well-explored topic, but through a new lens......

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December 13, 2021

Elbridge Colby & The Strategy of Denial

The Ben Domenech Podcast | This week, Ben sits down with author Elbridge Colby to discuss his new book, The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict.....

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December 13, 2021

Former Senior Defense Official Weighs in on America’s Strategy Crisis

USA Daily Times | Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business, interviewed Elbridge A. Colby........

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December 12, 2021

Elbridge Colby: Jim Bohannon Show

The Jim Bohannon Show | Elbridge Colby, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development, On to discuss his book, The Strategy of Denial......

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December 12, 2021

One for the Books: What our Politicians Read This Year

The Australian | From the PM to Anthony Albanese, our 11th survey of which books politicians most enjoyed turned up some revealing choices.....

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December 8, 2021

Who Read What: Political Figures Share Their Favorite Books of 2021

World Affairs Councils of America | Elbridge Colby appears on the RNDF 2021 panel: Pacing the Threat in the Pacific: How Should the New National Defense Strategy Contend with China?.....

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December 7, 2021

U.S.-China Ties: The Geopolitical Test of the 21st Century

World Affairs Councils of America | Elbridge Colby appears on the RNDF 2021 panel: Pacing the Threat in the Pacific: How Should the New National Defense Strategy Contend with China?.....

Contact

For press inquiries, please email us at press@themarathoninitiative.org.

For all other inquiries, please email us at inquiries@themarathoninitiative.org.