The Index is an annual assessment of the state of America’s “hard power,” the geographic and functional environments relevant to the United States’ vital national interests, and threats that rise to a level that put those interests at risk.

The Index is meant to be descriptive, not prescriptive, meaning we assess the current condition of our subjects within the assessed year. In future editions we will describe how their condition has changed from the previous year, informed by the baseline condition. In short, we will attempt to answer the question, “Have conditions improved or worsened during the assessed year?”

Assessing America's Ability to Provide for the Common Defense