These media sources are slight to moderately conservative in bias. They often publish factual information that utilizes loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by appeals to emotion or stereotypes) to favor conservative causes. These sources are generally trustworthy for information but may require further investigation. See all Right-Center sources.
- Overall, we rate the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) as Right-Center biased based on Neo-Conservative advocacy and editorial positions. We also rate them as Mostly Factual in reporting rather than high due to one-sided perspectives favoring military intervention that may leave out important context when covering complex situations.
Bias Rating: RIGHT-CENTER
Factual Reporting: MOSTLY FACTUAL
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Organization/Foundation
Traffic/Popularity: High Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: HIGH CREDIBILITY
Founded in May 2007, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-profit (501(c)(3)) neoconservative public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to defense and foreign affairs research. While its mission is to foster an informed understanding of military affairs, ISW has been characterized as “hawkish” and referred to as “The Institute for the Promotion of War.”
Board members include General Jack Keane, a regular national security analyst on Fox News, who also serves as chairman of both the Institute for the Study of War and AM General, a manufacturer of the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee) and Dr. William Kristol, a political analyst known for advocating American military power.
Further, a Foreign Policy article outlined critiques of ISW, noting that some experienced military analysts viewed ISW’s reports as overly positive about the Ukrainian military’s capabilities. The article also mentioned the young age and inexperience of some ISW analysts and their use of open-source intelligence, notably from platforms like Telegram, which may contain misinformation.
Funded by / Ownership
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-profit funded through donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Some corporate supporters include Kirkland and Ellis LLP, General Dynamics, Capital Bank, Rubicon, and WP Global Partners. ISW also offers membership options that provide access to its research and events, with varying benefits at different levels.
Kimberly Kagan is the founder and president of the ISW, and her husband, Frederick Kagan, who directs the “Critical Threats” project at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), are prominent figures in neoconservative circles. They are known for advocating for a strong U.S. military presence and interventionist policies in foreign affairs.
Analysis / Bias
ISW provides daily updates on the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, the Iranian military’s regional influence is covered in reports like “Iran’s Two Navies” and “The Iran Crisis Updates,” including a report on Iran’s influence in various countries produced by the Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute with support from ISW.
We examined the article “Iran Update, October 9, 2023” which consistently portrays Hamas and Palestinian militias as always initiating attacks on Israel while depicting Israel’s actions as defensive responses. This perspective aligns with the neoconservative views of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). While the article cites some reputable sources, its interpretation is influenced by these institutional biases.
Cited sources include the Wall Street Journal (Right-Center Bias, mostly factual reporting), Reuters (Least Biased, Very High factual reporting), and The Guardian (Left-Center Bias, Mixed factual reporting).
In general, The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) claims to be non-partisan but is widely regarded as having close ties to neoconservative ideologies. The organization is known for advocating military interventions. Due to these factors and the influence that its affiliations and contributors may have on its focus and framing, we rate the ISW as editorially right-leaning and mostly factual in reporting due to one-sided reporting.
Failed Fact Checks
- None in the Last 5 years. They are sometimes used as a resource by fact-checkers.
Overall, we rate the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) as Right-Center biased based on Neo-Conservative advocacy and editorial positions. We also rate them as Mostly Factual in reporting rather than high due to one-sided perspectives favoring military intervention that may leave out important context when covering complex situations. (M. Huitsing 10/11/2023)
Last Updated on October 11, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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