ISSP cosponsors high-level conferences with the senior leadership of the U.S. armed services and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, Massachusetts. These conferences bring together leading academic specialists, senior civilian government officials, high-ranking members of the military leadership and the defense industry, directors of non-governmental organizations, and representatives of major media organizations to examine key security issues and debates and their impact on U.S. and international interests. For example, these symposia have focused on the changing strategies, programs, roles, and missions of each of the U.S. armed services in the current security environment. Each year, prominent keynote speakers attract a wide audience from the military and civilian policy communities.

Topics have included A New Maritime Strategy for 21st-Century National Security; Security Planning & Military Transformation After Iraqi Freedom; Atoms for Peace: Nuclear Energy & Science for the Twenty-First Century; Strategy, Force Structure, and Defense Planning for the Twenty-First Century; United States as a 21st Century Aerospace Power; National Strategies and Capabilities for a Changing World; Strategic Responsiveness; The Role of Naval Forces in Twenty-First Century Operations.

Cosponsors have included the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, Office of the Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; and the. Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Operations and Plans, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Net Assessment, the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Army War College, among others.