The National Security and Human Rights (NSHR) Program examines national security issues through the prism of human rights, weaving humanitarian concerns into the fabric of traditional security studies. Through research, publications, and dialogue among practitioners and academics, the Program aims to shape national and international security and human rights policies and the promotion of organizational learning and change. The Program is generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The Program addresses issues ranging from the effect of war on foreign civilians to the impact of security measures upon American citizens; from civil-military relations at the highest levels in Washington to actions in the field; and from the role of military ethics, leadership, training, doctrine, and capabilities in upholding human rights norms and laws to national and international judicial redress for abuses committed during armed conflict. The Program also examines human rights as justification and outcome of national and international interventions (using both military and non-military tools) and the role of human rights in post-war reconstruction efforts.The National Security Human Rights Program comprises several initiatives. The Project on the Means of Intervention lies at the core of the Program's activities. Through an ongoing dialogue between the military and human rights community, the Project considers how humanitarian considerations are factored into the conduct of war. Having completed a several-year effort focused principally on U.S. airpower, the Project recently began a new phase devoted to counterinsurgency operations and institutional learning.
The NSHR Program also hosts and co-sponsors workshops, seminars, training sessions and other exchanges with interested military and civilian institutions (for example, co-sponsoring the Army's February 2006 counterinsurgency doctrine revision working conference). The Program publishes working papers and sponsors research related to programmatic activities. The Program helps develop the capacity of human rights organizations to constructively engage military actors, and helps integrate humanitarian perspectives into military activities. By facilitating independent activities or participation in institutional activities such as war games and training seminars, the Program helps these two communities identify and expand common interests and concerns.
The Program also hosts members of the military and human rights communities through its non-stipendiary Visiting Fellows program. Fellows are expected to contribute intellectually and participate in Program activities. Duration and starting dates of the fellowship are flexible.