Gone are the days when a nation’s security could be measured by bombers and battleships. Security in this new era requires harnessing all of America’s strengths: the force of our diplomacy; the might of our military; the vigor and competitiveness of our economy; and the power of our ideals. We believe that America must lead in the pursuit of our common goals and shared security. We must confront international challenges with our partners and with all the tools at our disposal and address emerging problems before they become security crises. And to do this we must forge a bipartisan consensus here at home. ASP brings together prominent American business leaders, former members of Congress, retired military flag officers, and prominent former government officials. ASP conducts research on a broad range of issues and engages and empowers the American public by taking its findings directly to them via events, traditional & new media, meetings, and publications. We live in a time when the threats to our security are as complex and diverse as terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, energy challenges, and our economic wellbeing. Partisan bickering and age old solutions simply won’t solve our problems. America – and the world – needs an honest dialogue about security that is as robust as it is realistic. ASP exists to promote that dialogue, to forge that consensus, and to spur constructive action so that America meets the challenges to its security while seizing the opportunities that abound.

About our team

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Ret.)

BGen Stephen Cheney, USMC (Ret) is the President of the American Security Project (ASP). He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has over 30 years experience as a Marine. His career included a wide variety of command and staff positions with the operating forces and the supporting establishment. Gen. Cheney’s primary specialty was artillery, but he focused extensively on entry-level training, commanding at every echelon at both Marine Corps Recruit Depots, to include being the Commanding General at Parris Island. He served several years in Japan and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and Asia.

Our staff

Matthew Wallin

Chief Operating Officer

Public diplomacy, military history, national security policy, nuclear security, U.S.-Russia relations, asymmetric operations.

Matthew Wallin is ASP’s Chief Operating Officer, and has led ASP’s research on public diplomacy and strategic communications since 2011. As an expert in national security strategy and international relations, Matthew’s work at ASP has also focused on nuclear security, US-Russia relations, and asymmetric operations.
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David R. Haines

Senior Fellow for Climate Security

Expertise: US National Security Policy, Climate Security, South and Southeast Asia Policy, Internal Conflict

David Haines is a Senior Fellow for Climate Security at the American Security Project.  His research examines the national security implications of climate change.

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Annie Aleman

Director of Strategic Communications and Development

Her past experience includes digital communications for domestic and international political clients. Annie’s work has taken her around the world, including a year spent in New Zealand with the international consultancy, Topham Guerin.


Adam Despang

Climate Security, Energy management, Sustainability.

Adam, a former Army Field Artillery Officer, earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Florida, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Psychology from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.


Alyssa Withrow

Illicit Fishing Research Associate

Expertise: Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) Fishing Policy, Marine Conservation, Climate & Ocean Policy, Natural Resource Management.

Alyssa Withrow is an experienced ocean policy and conservation researcher based in Washington, DC. She began SCUBA diving when she was 13 years old and has since become acutely aware of the threats to our oceans. This insight was beneficial when conducting research in East Africa for her senior undergraduate thesis, which focused on Tanzanian marine environments and included interviews and observations about illegal fishing in the region.

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