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Focused on Strategy with Impact
307720-1491992576
Committed to Deep Analysis
307720-1491992576
Oriented to the Future
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Committed to Public Duty
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What We Do

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.

The mission of The Marathon Initiative is to develop the diplomatic, military, and economic strategies the nation will need to navigate a protracted competition with great power rivals.

Marathon is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization. It is funded by private individuals and foundations, as well as by grants from or contract work for the U.S. Government. Marathon does not seek or accept funding from corporations or from foreign sources.

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

Elbridge Colby

Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development.

Wess Mitchell

Dr. A. Wess Mitchell is co-founder and principal at The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Jakub Grygiel

Dr. Jakub J. Grygiel is a Senior Advisor at The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State.

Edward Luttwak

Dr. Edward N. Luttwak is a Distinguished Adjunct Fellow at The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as a consultant to the U.S. government.

Matt Pottinger

Matt Pottinger is a Senior Advisor at The Marathon Initiative and formerly served as the U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor.

Our Work

Strategic Sequencing: How Great Powers Avoid Multi-Front War

by A. Wess Mitchell

This paper examines how four great powers in history have handled simultaneity. Byzantium, Venice, Habsburg Austria, and the British Empire were all confronted, at important moments in their life cycles as empires, with the appearance of new threats both more powerful and different in kind than anything they had previously encountered.
Read the Report
china-canada
November 29, 2022

Canada, playing catch-up, enters its own ‘decisive decade’ with China

The Hub - Canada | “Canada’s new Indo-Pacific strategy represents an important step forward. It begins to bring Ottawa’s policies into line with the increasingly evident reality that China is an exceptionally powerful, ambitious, and aggressive state that needs to be dealt with as it is, not as we might wish it to be........
XiJinping-LauraIngraham
November 15, 2022

Elbridge Colby on The Ingraham Angle

The Ingraham Angle | Former deputy assistant Secretary of Defense Elbridge Colby joins 'The Ingraham Angle' to break down President Biden's meeting with Xi Jinping.......
taiwan-china
November 14, 2022

A Dangerous Game Over Taiwan

The New Yorker | Some American officials and experts believe that China’s advantages will begin to wane later in the decade. A new generation of U.S. defense improvements is scheduled to come online, and America’s defense industrial base, now attenuated, will be revived—or so goes the hope.....
bipartisanship-china
November 14, 2022

Bipartisanship Is Dead. Except on China.

Bloomberg | In part, no doubt, the consensus on China reflects a far-reaching reassessment of the global balance of power by the American political elite, based on their careful study of the subject....
tawain-ukraine
November 14, 2022

Elbridge Colby Has It Right on Taiwan and Ukraine

The American Spectator | Elbridge Colby is one of the new generation of defense/national-security intellectuals in the mold of Andrew Marshall and Edward Luttwak, and, before them, Herman Kahn and Albert Wohlstetter....
nuclear-middle-east
November 13, 2022

A Nuclear Middle East: Preventing Proliferation | The Grand Strategy Summit

Richard Nixon Foundation | The fourth panel of the Grand Strategy Summit featured: Elbridge Colby (Moderator), Jon Alterman and Morgan Ortagus......
grandleadership-summit
November 11, 2022

The Grand Strategy Summit: American Leadership in the 21st Century

Richard Nixon Foundation | The Grand Strategy Summit will gather top government officials and leaders from diplomatic, economic, defense and media sectors to chart a path forward for the United States to "meet its responsibilities of leadership," tackle the tumultuous geopolitical challenges of our time and develop innovative strategies that promote America's national interest in the 21st century. ......
sweden-nato
November 10, 2022

“The euphoria in the US over Sweden’s entry into NATO is exaggerated”

Dagens Nyheter | The fact that Sweden joins NATO does not mean that we can relax and rely on American military help. For the United States, the war in Ukraine is a distraction, says Republican Elbridge Colby, who served in the Pentagon under Trump....
america-save-taiwan
November 9, 2022

How America can save Taiwan

UnHerd | Current US policy is setting Washington up for a major crisis with its allies, especially in Europe...
putins-new-plan
November 6, 2022

Here’s Putin’s new plan: Lots of frost. Lots of refugees. Lots of discord

Politiken | It is only a few days ago that the US's former deputy defense minister under Donald Trump, the Republican Elbridge Colby, warned in Politiken that the US's involvement in Europe is on borrowed time.....
biden-europe
October 31, 2022

Former Trump advisor warns Europe against Joe Biden: He is sending the wrong signals

Politiken | Europeans hate to listen to people like him: But Donald Trump's former deputy defense secretary Elbridge Colby warns Europeans not to think the US will defend them as fiercely as it did during the Cold War. Taiwan and Asia have become more important to the US than Ukraine and Europe....
japan-aukus
October 28, 2022

Why Japan Belongs in AUKUS: Tokyo Has Proved Its Mettle as a Security Partner

Foreign Affairs | Although none of the countries in AUKUS have publicly acknowledged any discussion of Japan’s inclusion in the alliance, some officials and former officials have expressed support for the move....
russia-china
October 25, 2022

The Russia China Partnership: A Challenge to the World Order?

U.S. Naval Institute | The U.S. Naval Institute gathered government, military, and academic leaders to discuss great power competition and the influences and factors that are shaping the Russian and Chinese worldviews. ....
intensified-taiwan
October 23, 2022

‘Distinct intensification’ of concerns about Taiwan

Sky News Australia | Former US deputy assistant secretary of defence Elbridge Colby says there’s a “distinct intensification” of concerns about Taiwan in the near-term....
nancy-pelosi-taiwan
October 22, 2022

無駄にする時間はない 日米は同盟強化へ手を尽くせ (There is no time to waste, Japan and the United States must do everything possible to strengthen the alliance)

Wedge Magazine (Japan) | China responded to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan in August with large-scale military exercises. What is the path that Japan should take as "Taiwan emergency" becomes more realistic? What is China's internal situation? ...
taiwan-economy
October 19, 2022

Taiwan’s New Security Challenges: Economic and Military Security

Express UK | About the event: Taiwan is increasingly being tested by both military and economic security pressures from China. Beijing’s stepped-up manned and unmanned military activities and imposition of greater economic and military costs on other countries engaging in otherwise regular diplomatic.....
Xi-Jinping
October 19, 2022

Top US official warns Xi Jinping plots to invade Taiwan ‘much faster’: ‘Different China’

Express UK | Following Mr Blinken's comments, Elbridge Colby, co-founder and principal of US strategy group The Marathon Initiative, said Washington must react to China’s mobilisation in kind......
taiwan-china-defense
October 19, 2022

‘Not Sure Taiwan’s Going to Survive,’ Defense Expert Warns of Xi’s Push for ‘Reunification’

The Daily Signal | “So, now it’s sort of pretty clear that the Chinese are thinking seriously of making a move. So, why aren’t we acting like it?” says Elbridge Colby, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development in the Defense Department......
taiwan-war
October 18, 2022

US, Japan Australia should be on ‘mobilisation footing’ for potential war with China

The Australian | “Why are we not on a national mobilisation footing? If we get in a war we will have to be, but by then it may be too late,” said Mr Colby on social media on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT).....
supplychain
October 16, 2022

Trying to solve the defense industry supply chain crunch

CNBC | The war in Ukraine and tensions with China have exacerbated a military supply chain that was already stretched thin. Can the defense industry adapt to the current climate of uncertain international politics?....

Contact

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

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