At the heart of Marathon’s mission is the conviction that strategy is possible and, in situations such as today in which America cannot simply outspend or overwhelm its rivals, more necessary than ever. In order to succeed in an era of renewed great power competition, America needs the right strategies to guide its foreign and defense policies.

Helping develop national strategies is the original purpose of think tanks, which at their best provide the space, flexibility, and freedom to think in broad scope but rigorously and with an acute sense of the real problems government faces. Neither government itself, with its constant press of business, nor academia, with its focus on scholarship, can provide this for the country. To that end, Marathon was designed from the beginning to be a think tank as the model was originally conceived – an institution dedicated to equipping the nation and its leaders with the strategic insights and frameworks needed to deal with the deep and difficult problems of great power competition.

Marathon will pursue this goal by being:

  • Committed to deep analysis: Our aim is to enable the best thinkers to do significant, foundational, and policy-relevant work on great power competition. Our analysis is deeply informed not only by strategic logic but also applied history, geography, and engagement with the country as a whole and the wider world. We do not seek to chase the daily headlines.
  • Future-oriented: Our initiative seeks to promote the contributions to addressing these problems of emerging strategists from the fields of foreign and defense policy, economics, and technology in a variety of organizational modes and affiliations.
  • Focused on strategy with impact: The essence of our approach is to produce deep, rigorous, but policy-relevant strategies and analysis at the right time and in the right modalities – this is how major change happens.
  • Committed to public duty: Central to our mission is an ethos of service to the country and commitment to preserving and strengthening America as a country flourishing under its democratic-republican ideals, and that possesses the power, principles, and responsibility to be a force for good in the world.