The General Jack Keane Center for National Security

The General Jack Keane Center for National Security

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) advances an informed understanding of military affairs among decisionmakers and the public through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education.

ISW has had a remarkable impact on US national security throughout its 13+ year history. Dr. Kimberly Kagan founded ISW in 2007 to improve America’s national security by educating policy makers, journalists, and other civic leaders. She believes strongly in educating emerging talent to create a strong bench of national security leaders while shaping an informed debate. 

ISW published its first Iraq Report in February 2007, gaining 25,000 readers, including David Petraeus, then the Commanding General in Iraq, who invited Dr. Kagan to assess the ongoing campaign; ISW is honored that General (Ret.) Petraeus serves on our board. Dr. Kagan traveled to Baghdad with General (Ret.) Jack Keane, now the Chairman of ISW’s Board, with whom she had worked on the landmark “Choosing Victory” planning exercise at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in December 2006, which informed President George W. Bush’s decision and strategy to conduct the surge of forces in Iraq that turned the tide of the war.

General Jack Keane (US Army, Retired) continues to serve in a civilian capacity through extensive media and policy engagement that informs Americans and their leaders with truthful and often frank assessments of threats to American security and prosperity. General Keane has been a trusted advisor to numerous senior politicians and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2019, one of the nation’s highest civilian awards provided in to those who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interest of the United States. ISW’s President’s Circle Benefit Event in the fall of 2021 will honor General Jack Keane (US Army, Retired) with its National Security Leadership Award.

Investments in ISW’s work from generous supporters helped convert ISW from an idea into an impactful organization. ISW is growing a body of citizens, including national security professionals, who understand with nuance the role and use of military force in protecting the US, its way of life, and its allies.

We are honoring General Keane’s leadership, vision, and service by launching The General Jack Keane Center for National Security. The Center’s in-depth research and analysis protects America and its allies against current and future adversaries, including the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies; the global Islamist violent extremist movement; China’s emergence and growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond; and a resurgent Russia. The Center provides intelligence on ongoing conflicts, issues early warnings, proposes policy options, and identifies strategic risks and opportunities for the United States and its allies. These critical lines of effort embody ISW’s core values of service to the nation, independence, developing young talent, and creative problem solving.


The Institute for the Study of War enhances the quality of policy discussions on national security by providing reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education to decisionmakers and the public.

ISW’s General Jack Keane Center for National Security aims to help shape informed national security policy by providing decisionmakers with continuous, timely, accurate, and independent analysis as well as superior insight on military activities vital to US national security. ISW’s portfolio currently includes Iraq, Syria, ISIS, China, Russia, and former Soviet States including Ukraine and Belarus among others.  

The Keane Center aims to innovate within the intelligence field to generate lessons learned and best practices from the public domain that can inform how the intelligence community refines its tradecraft. This function is especially important as the volume and intelligence value of online information continues to skyrocket, often outpacing the intelligence community’s ability to adapt. ISW achieves this innovation by introducing new approaches that leverage new technology tools and data sources. An example of ISW’s unique success is ISW’s “early warning” forecasting functions to detect crises before they strike, such as the rise of ISIS and Russia’s military intervention in Syria. 

Get Involved

Donate directly to the General Jack Keane Center for National Security here.

To learn more about how you can get involved with the General Jack Keane Center for National Security, please contact ISW Development Director Megan Lott at [email protected] or (703-501-0998).

General David H. Petraeus Center for Emerging Leaders

ISW's General David H. Petraeus Center for Emerging Leaders invests in strengthening the future cadre of America’s leaders through education, intellectual development, and hands-on leadership development. Learn more about the General David H. Petraeus Center for Emerging Leaders here