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Event Summary

Four months into sequestration, budget cuts that many derided as unthinkable are here. But these cuts, allegedly the object of bipartisan opposition, are hardly registering a protest on Capitol Hill — on either side of the aisle — despite their potential consequences.

In light of the need for a rethinking of America’s national defense and the resources required to support it, the Heritage Foundation and AEI on Wednesday launched the Project for the Common Defense, a new initiative designed to forge a consensus around core national interests and “peace through strength.”

The project launch was highlighted by a keynote address from Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who stressed the need for an American grand strategy to help align ends, ways, and means. As Senator Ayotte observed, in the absence of such a unifying vision, it has become increasingly easy for Washington to turn its back on core national interests — diminishing its influence, as displayed in Syria and in America’s lack of leverage in negotiating with the Russians for the extradition of Edward Snowden.

Senator Ayotte asserted that there is no substitute for American leadership and action. She posed a key question: will the country be up to the test?
–Charles Morrison

Event Description

While tactical questions relating to the use of military force often divide Americans, a bipartisan consensus regarding America’s enduring strategic interests — such as the one that emerged in the aftermath of World War II — is possible.

To this end, the Heritage Foundation and AEI are pleased to announce the creation of the Project for the Common Defense, a coalition of independent volunteers committed to national defense policies that are defined by strategic clarity and robust capabilities. It includes seasoned policymakers, analysts, and veterans who have significant operational and policy experience.

Please join us as Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) speaks to the importance of a strong common defense and the work of the project as we seek to promote a 21st-century agenda of peace through strength.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

Download Audio as MP3


10:45 AM

11:00 AM
Jon Kyl, AEI

11:05 AM
Kelly Ayotte, US Senate (R-NH)

11:40 AM
Closing Remarks:
Jim Talent, Heritage Foundation

11:45 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Charles Morrison at [email protected], 202.862.5945.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire was elected to the US Senate in 2010. She currently serves on the Senate Armed Services, Budget, Commerce, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Aging Committees. As ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, Senator Ayotte is a staunch advocate of maintaining America’s military readiness and a strong national defense.

Jon Kyl
was a US senator for 18 years after serving for 8 years in the US House of Representatives. He was elected unanimously by his colleagues in 2008 to serve as Republican whip, the second-highest position in the Senate Republican leadership, which he held until his retirement in 2001. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he helped write reforms to US patent law and the landmark Crime Victims’ Rights Act, as well as important provisions of the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and other antiterrorism laws. At AEI, Kyl will join former senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) to lead the American Internationalism Project, a new effort within AEI’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies. The project aims to rebuild and reshape a bipartisan consensus around American global leadership and engagement.

Jim Talent is a national security leader who specializes in issues related to the US Department of Defense. He has been active in Missouri and national public policy for over 25 years. After serving four terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, two of which as the Republican leader, Talent was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1992 and to the US Senate in 2002. He served on both the House and Senate Armed Service Committees during his service in the Congress. After leaving the Senate in 2007, Talent joined the Heritage Foundation as a distinguished fellow. Currently, Talent serves on the US-China Commission and the National Defense Panel for the Quadrennial Defense Review.

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