The Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP), formed in 1992, is a nonpartisan organization whose activities are guided by the principles of democratic values, the pursuit of the public interest, accountability, open dialogue, and an objective approach to policy issues.
It places a high priority on integrity and professional competence, reflected in the work of highly qualified and knowledgeable experts from numerous fields. These individuals have close contacts with principal research centers, policy making bodies, business entities, and political parties, and have an intimate knowledge of domestic politics and decision making processes.
The Council is one of the very few if not the only association of the civil society in Russia which served for so long and is still actively functioning.
The Council conducts studies and makes recommendations on foreign and defense policies of the Russian Federation . This includes the following activities:
- Exploring Russian national interests, priorities, and policy options;
- Developing and assessing new strategic concepts and innovative approaches;
- Promoting public information, education, and discussion on security, foreign, and defense policy issues; and
- Making specific recommendations based on its studies.
The Council on Foreign and Defense Policy is directed by an Assembly of over 120 members ╬ prominent figures in government, business, academia, and the mass media. The Presidium of the Council, headed by a Chairman and composed of 14 persons in these fields, is elected by the Assembly and is responsible for general oversight and decision making. An Executive Director, selected by the Presidium, oversees the everyday activities of the Council and appoints an Executive Committee, subject to the approval of the Presidium. The Council works with a small permanent staff and a number of temporary staff supplied by supporting companies and institutes.
Council activities focus on the following areas:
- Developing various forms of cooperation among politicians, businessmen, academicians, the military, and representatives of the mass media;
- Research on the national interests of the Russian Federation , including those related to its foreign and defense policies, and promoting a national political consensus in these areas;
- Encouraging sound decision making in the areas of foreign policy, military reform, and the security of the individual and society;
- Considering effective and flexible mechanisms of coordination and cooperation in the areas of national and international security among the newly independent states and between them and other foreign states;
- Supporting research, innovative ideas, and the international exchange of experiences in the fields of defense industry conversion, the development and reorganization of military forces and security services, the adaptation and integration of uniformed services personnel into civil society, and civilian political control over the military and security establishments; and
- Facilitating international dialogue and understanding in sensitive areas of foreign and defense policy by fostering direct contacts and joint cooperation between members of the Council and interested foreign organizations and individuals.