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The next National Defense Strategy must get Russia right

Issue Brief

Feb 24, 2022

The next National Defense Strategy must get Russia right

By Clementine G. Starling, Christian Trotti, Tyson Wetzel

The rapidly developing 2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis raises a key question for US defense policy makers as they finalize the next National Defense Strategy (NDS): How can the NDS get Russia "right"? This issue brief seeks to answer this question by developing a US defense strategy for deterring and managing the Russian threat in Europe and beyond, building upon the authors' 2021 report, "Seizing the Advantage: A Vision for the Next US National Defense Strategy."

Conflict Crisis Management

In the News

Feb 24, 2022

Pavel and Trotti on Chinese hypersonic weapons and military modernization

By Atlantic Council

Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel and Forward Defense Assistant Director Christian Trotti write in the Ripon Society’s magazine on Chinese military modernization and advance recommendations for US defense and diplomatic approaches.

China Defense Industry


Dec 22, 2021

Seizing the advantage: A vision for the next US national defense strategy

By Clementine G. Starling, Tyson Wetzel, Christian Trotti

In this latest installment of the Atlantic Council Strategy Papers series, Forward Defense’s Clementine Starling, Lt Col Tyson Wetzel, and Christian Trotti articulate their vision and recommendations for the next US National Defense Strategy, including clearer prioritization, investments and divestments, reposturing of US forces, a new warfighting concept, and a focus on transnational threats like hybrid warfare and climate change.

China Defense Industry

Christian Trotti was an assistant director of Forward Defense at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, where he led FD’s defense innovation and modernization portfolio.

Having served as one of the Atlantic Council’s lead action officers in building the new Forward Defense practice area, Trotti is responsible for executing multiple facets of program administration, including strategy, business development, project and financial management, and event and logistical planning. He has also authored and contributed to analyses on defense strategy, military and dual-use technology, and nuclear deterrence, while assisting in the design and implementation of the Scowcroft Center’s wargames.

Trotti is pursuing a Master of Arts in Security Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He previously received his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, where he studied international politics, national security, and diplomacy. For his academic work, he was awarded summa cum laude honors, membership in the Phi Beta Kappa (national) and Pi Sigma Alpha (political science) honor societies, and the Joseph S. Lepgold Medal for outstanding achievement in the field of international security.