Forward Defense (FD) helps the United States and its allies and partners contend with great-power competitors and maintain favorable balances of power. This new practice area in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security produces Forward-looking analyses of the trends, technologies, and concepts that will define the future of warfare, and the alliances needed for the 21st century. Through the futures we forecast, the scenarios we wargame, and the analyses we produce, Forward Defense develops actionable strategies and policies for deterrence and defense, while shaping US and allied operational concepts and the role of defense industry in addressing the most significant military challenges at the heart of great-power competition.
FD issues in focus
Read our extensive research and reports on cutting-edge issues in defense, including our leading analysis on key trends in military technology and innovation, our robust body of work on nuclear deterrence and the emerging strategic forces balance, and our foundational recommendations on the future of homeland security.
Sun, Apr 11, 2021
Outer space is rapidly transforming as new actors test new limits. This Atlantic Council Strategy Paper calls for the United States and its allies and partners to secure space over the next three decades or risk wasting the promise of this emerging domain.
Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series by
Mon, Mar 29, 2021
The United States is at a nuclear modernization crossroads. Critics of the land leg of the nuclear triad believe that an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force of 300 missiles will be cheaper and more stable than a force of 400. This issue brief shows that 400 ICBMs support the goals of US nuclear deterrence and are affordable.
Thu, Feb 4, 2021
The Cold War-era paradigm of bilateral arms control between the United States and Russia is becoming increasingly untenable. Including a rising China with a growing nuclear arsenal is essential. This issue brief shows the way forward with options for bringing China into the nuclear arms control fold on a trilateral basis with the United States and Russia.
Read our commentary, op-eds, and analysis on defense policy, military strategy, defense industry, and emerging trends.
Fri, Feb 19, 2021
US adversaries including China, Iran, and Russia are investing in additional technological capabilities to counterbalance the United States’ advantages in great-power competition—specifically its dominance in kinetic operations and weapons. The next NDS must differentiate among different technologies to create more nuanced strategies.
Wed, Feb 3, 2021
To seize the advantage, the next US National Defense Strategy needs a paradigm adjustment, not a shift. In the next NDS, the Biden defense team must take a broader definition of competition if the United States is to succeed in deterring, defending, and shaping the strategic environment in its favor.
Mon, Mar 29, 2021
Atlantic Council Board Directors former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.) and former Secretary of the US Air Force the Hon. Deborah Lee James released an article in Breaking Defense titled “The Space Rush: New US strategy must bring order, regulation.”
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Forward Defense houses the Scowcroft Center’s longstanding public event series on key issues related to the future of US and allied defense, including the Commanders Series, the Defense-Industrial Policy Series, and the Captains of Industry Series.
Our upcoming & latest events
Forward Defense is a forum for high-level speakers and experts to discuss new approaches to the most important challenges of our time. Stay tuned for FD’s upcoming events on key issues related to defense strategy, emerging military technologies and operational concepts, the defense-industrial base, and the intersection between international security and the creative arts. Also, be sure to watch our past events for relevant insights on these key topics.