Rather, they are ideas generated on college campuses, in think tanks and in other research organizations around the country (Wiarda 55). This essay is going to draw comparison between the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), Rand Organization and American Enterprise Institute (AEI) think tanks, explore how they function, and finally how these think tanks influence the US foreign policy.
Think tanks vary enormously in terms of size, staff, and institutional resources, but they all rely to a certain extent on both public and private channels to exercise policy influence (Wiarda 63). Of the more than 2,000 think tanks in the USA, close to 25percent of these are considered as independent or free standing whereby vast majority are affiliated with university departments. The Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) is a popular American think tank that is based in Washington DC in the United States of America and it primary role is to conduct policy studies and strategic analyses on economic development and reconstruction, political and security issues, Global Health as well as climate change and energy (Arin 40). It also focuses on Human Rights, Technology, and Trade and Economics as well as Global Trends and Forecasting throughout the world.
Nonetheless, CSIS pays special focus on issues concerning trade, international relations, energy, technology, finance as well as geostrategic. According to a report that was released by the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 entitled “Global Go To Think Tanks Report”, CSIS is the best think tank internationally for international affairs and security. It was also placed as the fourth best think tank globally and it has been termed occasionally as “one of the most respected of Washington’s think tanks” (Arin 39). CSIS invites well-known foreign policy and public service officials and from the US Congress and the executive branch inclusive of