Our mission

Forward Defense (FD) shapes the debate around the greatest defense challenges facing the United States and its allies, and creates forward-looking assessments of the trends, technologies, and concepts that will define the future of warfare. Through the futures we forecast, the scenarios we wargame, and the analyses we produce, FD develops actionable strategies to help the United States navigate major power conflict and defend forward, alongside allies and partners. As the character of war rapidly changes, FD assesses the operational concepts and defense industrial tools necessary to effectively deter and defend against emerging military challenges.

The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security works to develop sustainable, nonpartisan strategies to address the most important security challenges facing the United States and the world.

FD issues in focus

FD in-depth analysis

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.

FD quick reads

Read our commentary, op-eds, and analysis on defense policy, military strategy, defense industry, and emerging trends.


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Content series

Event series

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.

Core team



In the News

May 19, 2022

Konaev in Washington Post on assessing Ukraine’s military

By Atlantic Council

Margarita Konaev argues that the US military had better assessments of the capabilities of Ukraine's military as they trained them.

Conflict Crisis Management

Event Recap

May 18, 2022

Viva la space: Why the commercial small satellite revolution matters for the US government

By Madison Littlepage

A panel of space experts and practitioners discuss with Forward Defense how the US government can leverage commercial small satellite technology to secure the space domain.

Defense Industry Defense Technologies

Press Release

May 17, 2022

Atlantic Council’s Matthew Kroenig Appointed to Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States

Director of Studies and Deputy Director of Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security will bring expertise in nuclear strategy and policy to high-level commission

Arms Control Defense Policy

In the News

May 17, 2022

Trotti in the National Interest on drones

By Atlantic Council

Christian Trotti recommends that the US military heavily invests in drone technology.

Defense Technologies Drones

In the News

May 15, 2022

Kroenig and Ashford in Foreign Policy on endgames in Ukraine

By Atlantic Council

Scowcroft Center deputy director Matthew Kroenig and senior fellow Emma Ashford debate desirable outcomes for the war in Ukraine.

Conflict Crisis Management

In the News

May 15, 2022

Lieber in Express on possibility of nuclear strike in Ukraine

By Atlantic Council

Keir Lieber thinks that Russia will use nuclear weapons against Ukraine if faced with a devastating defeat.

Conflict Crisis Management

New Atlanticist

May 13, 2022

What does the future of autonomous warfare look like? Four critical questions, answered.

By Forward Defense experts

Experts from the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Forward Defense practice break down how these autonomous systems will shape the future of battle.

Defense Policy Defense Technologies

In the News

May 12, 2022

Eftimiades in the news on small satellites

By Atlantic Council

Nicholas Eftimiades featured in multiple news outlets based on his recently released small satellites report.

Non-Traditional Threats Space

In the News

May 12, 2022

Sadat in SpaceNews on the Arctic and space

By Atlantic Council

Mir Sadat asserts that the US military does not adequately consider the implications of the space domain on its Arctic strategies.

Defense Policy Maritime Security

New Atlanticist

May 11, 2022

Russia Crisis Military Assessment: How Ukraine is taking the fight to Russian soil

By Atlantic Council military fellows

Ukraine is striking behind enemy lines to interrupt Russian supply lines and destabilize its military establishment, according to our military fellows.

Conflict NATO