The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a United States–based think tank founded in 2007 by Kimberly Kagan. ISW describes itself as a non-partisan think tank providing research and analysis regarding issues of defense and foreign affairs. Others have described ISW as “a hawkish Washington” group favoring an “aggressive foreign policy”. It has produced reports on the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War, “focusing on military operations, enemy threats, and political trends in diverse conflict zones”. The non-profit organization is supported by grants and contributions from large defense contractors, including Raytheon, General Dynamics, DynCorp and others. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Kimberly Kagan is the daughter of Kalman Kessler, a Jewish accountant and school teacher from New York City and his wife Frances. She received her B.A. in Classical Civilization and her Ph.D. in History from Yale University. At Yale, Kagan met her husband Frederick Kagan, who is an American resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), son of Donald Kagan, a well-known historian and brother of Robert Kagan, another well-known writer and publicist.
Robert Kagan’s wife is Victoria Nuland, a former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in the American federal government.