Intro

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. Yet America has been slow to wake up to the challenge.

To fill that void, we are building The Marathon Initiative.

Our Focus

The mission of The Marathon Initiative is to develop strategies for preserving America’s prosperity, security, and democratic-republican way of life in an era when they are threatened by the return of great power competition.

What We Do

Marathon exists to develop the diplomatic, military, and economic strategies America will need to navigate conditions of protracted competition with great power rivals.

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

The Marathon Initiative is a 501(C)3 non-profit research think tank dedicated to the development of strategies to deal with the problems posed by great power competition.

Elbridge Colby

Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition.

Wess Mitchell

Dr. A. Wess Mitchell is co-founder and principal at The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition.

Our Work

We believe that the primary task for our generation is to build a new American strategy attuned to the pressing realities of our time. This framework must be comprehensive of the major regions and dimensions of U.S. power and interests. It must also be willing to challenge established wisdom and inertia in U.S. national security policy and related fields.

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October 13, 2020

Should U.S. Foreign Policy Focus on Great-Power Competition?

Foreign Affairs | We at Foreign Affairs have recently published a number of pieces on great-power competition. To complement these articles, we decided to ask a broad pool of experts for their take...

October 12, 2020

Korean Policy Forum “U.S.-Korea Relations in the Era of U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry” – Part 2

GW IKS | The intensifying strategic rivalry between the U.S. and China under the Trump administration has exposed the U.S.-Korea relations to a greater deal of uncertainty....

October 12, 2020

Korean Policy Forum “U.S.-Korea Relations in the Era of U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry” – Part 1

GW IKS | The intensifying strategic rivalry between the U.S. and China under the Trump administration has exposed the U.S.-Korea relations to a greater deal of uncertainty....

October 10, 2020

Defending Taiwan is growing costlier and deadlier

The Economist | Rousing music accompanies the h-6k, a hulking Chinese bomber, as it sweeps up into a pink sky. Moments later, its pilot presses a red button, with the panache and fortitude that only a People’s Liberation Army (pla) officer could muster, and a missile streaks towards the island of Guam...

October 9, 2020

Online Event: Tenth Annual South China Sea Conference, Session Four

Center for Strategic & International Studies | The CSIS Southeast Asia Program and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative are pleased to present the Tenth Annual South China Sea Conference: Session Four on Friday, October 9, 2020...

October 9, 2020

Panel: Pace of Navy Freedom of Navigation Operations Stressing Force

USNI News | Freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea puts stress on the fleet when the Navy could use that time more effectively “to train up for high-end conflict,” a national security expert who served in the Trump administration said Friday...

October 7, 2020

Why The Pentagon Should Focus On Taiwan

War On the Rocks |China is now the official “pacing threat” for the U.S. armed forces. Simply put, the Pentagon considers the People’s Liberation Army its most serious competition. ....

October 4, 2020

China, Foreign Affairs, and the Anti-Ideology Delusion

RealClear Politics | The China challenge has revived an old and often arid quarrel about the relationship in foreign affairs between ideas and interests...

October 1, 2020

A View from the United States: Unwilling to Let “the End of History” Go

ZeitenwendeWendezeiten | From the US perspective, the era of “the end of history” is over. America is internalizing that and increasingly determined to concentrate on great power competition....

October 1, 2020

A New Bargain

Internationale Politik | The rapid rise of China is inevitably forcing a major shift in the US-European relationship. It is time for both sides to root the transatlantic bond in shared interests, rather than often ill-defined values. Fortunately, such a basis exists.....

September 30, 2020

How to Trim the Defense Budget Without Harming U.S. Security

Foreign Policy | As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and its economic toll grows, politicians and observers on both sides of the U.S. political divide have called for cuts to the national security budget in order to free up funds for more pressing items...

September 24, 2020

Expert Panel Tells Lawmakers U.S. Needs to Do More to Counter Chinese Pacific Expansion

USNI News | EPalau’s recent offer to permit the United States to build bases and airfields could provide a model for Washington to use to counter China’s territorial claims in the Pacific, a senior security expert told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday....

September 23, 2020

“Korean neutrality between the US and China… What really energized China”

VOAKorea | A former U.S. Department of Defense official warned that if South Korea takes neutrality between the US and China, which are in a battle for supremacy, it will in fact lean towards China, and if it tries to walk the so-called tightrope, it will be dangerous...

September 23, 2020

“Neutrality between the US and China is on the side of China” … US former official warns of Korean tightrope

Naver | A former U.S. Department of Defense official warned, "Korea is on a dangerous tightrope between the United States and China," and warned that "taking a neutral position is actually on the side of China."....

September 23, 2020

Full Committee Hearing: “The Role of Allies and Partners in U.S. Military Strategy and Operations”

House Armed Services Committee | Full Committee Hearing: “The Role of Allies and Partners in U.S. Military Strategy and Operations”, Wednesday, September 23, 2020, (12:00 PM ET – CVC & Cisco Webex – Open)...

September 23, 2020

Former senior US official “If Korea takes neutrality between the US and China, it will be interpreted as being energized by China”

ZeitenwendeWendezeiten | If South Korea takes neutrality between the United States and China, it would in fact be interpreted as being on the Chinese side, a former senior U.S. Department of Defense official said. Analysis has also been raised that South Korea is choosing a strategic ambiguity between the United States and China. Reporter Kim Young-gyo reports.....

September 6, 2020

Elbridge Colby on China’s Expanding Military Influence

C-SPAN | Elbridge Colby, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Trump administration, talked about the new Pentagon...

September 4, 2020

The Ideology Delusion America’s Competition With China Is Not About Doctrine

Foreign Affairs | Bipartisanship is exotic these days in the United States, but the two parties do share something: a deep concern about China. Asked....

September 1, 2020

Europe belongs on Washington’s Side

Internationale Politik | A new reality is forcing US foreign policy to make fundamental changes...

Contact

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

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