ReportDec 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.
Seizing the advantageAug 31, 2021
As the US faces increasing threats, the next National Defense Strategy must rise to meet them
By Matthew R. Crouch, Ronald C. Fairbanks
As US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin looks toward the future of the global strategic landscape, he will wrestle with questions surrounding how to frame the current strategic environment, align US and allied efforts, and balance varied threats.
In-Depth Research & ReportsMay 18, 2021
Predictable strategy and unpredictable operations: The implications of agility in Northern Europe
By Conor Rodihan, Matthew R. Crouch, and Ronald C. Fairbanks
As the US military becomes increasingly agile, its evolving strategy and activities pose implications for cooperation with allies, deterrence, and stability in Northern Europe.
Commander Ronald C. Fairbanks was the 2020-21 senior US Navy fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center.
Afloat, Commander Fairbanks completed his division officer tours aboard USS Port Royal (CG73) as the communications officer and gunnery officer and then aboard USS Dewey (DDG105) as the fire control officer. During his first two sea tours, he deployed to the Fifth Fleet area of operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Commander Fairbanks’ department head assignments were as the weapons officer and combat systems officer in USS William P Lawrence (DDG110) from March 2014 through March 2017. During his tours, he deployed to the Seventh Fleet area of operations as part of the John C Stennis carrier strike group, conducting multiple freedom of navigation operations, pacific presence operations, and the Oceania maritime support initiative (OMSI) mission.
His shore assignments include expeditionary fires officer in Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic (EWTGLANT) from January 2011 through January 2013, the training and readiness officer (N7) in Commander Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Pacific (COMNECCPAC) from March 2017 through May 2018, and as the executive assistant to the deputy commander, US Pacific Fleet from May 2018 through July 2020.
A native of San Diego, California, Commander Fairbanks attended the University of Southern California on a Naval ROTC scholarship, graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), as well as multiple unit and service awards.