Our mission

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, FD 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

In-depth analysis

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Event series

Our upcoming & latest events

Tue, Jun 30, 2020

The future of high-tech warfare

ONLINE EVENT – How true is the truism that the United States possesses the world’s strongest military? While many in Washington and beyond worry about the military rise of great-power rivals like China, Christian Brose makes the provocative case that the United States is already lagging behind in the military competition because it has for years invested billions of dollars in expensive and vulnerable ships, planes, and other military platforms.

2:30pm ONLINE EVENT

Tue, Jun 2, 2020

War stories from the future

ONLINE EVENT – In the inaugural event for the Atlantic Council’s newly-established Forward Defense practice area, General James Jones, General James Cartwright, Max Brooks, August Cole, and Valerie Jackson join us for a contemporary exploration of narrative and the future of warfare.

3:30pm ONLINE EVENT

Thu, May 28, 2020

War against the invisible: Heroism and sacrifice in the National Guard’s response to the coronavirus

ONLINE EVENT – Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, joins the Atlantic Council’s Commanders Series to discuss stories of heroism from the National Guard’s response to the Coronavirus and the Guard’s plans to move forward while the pandemic continues.

3:30pm ONLINE EVENT

Fri, May 15, 2020

The geopolitical implications of COVID-19

ONLINE EVENT – In this virtual ‘fireside chat’ co-hosted by the Atlantic Council and SACC-USA, Barry Pavel addresses the Scowcroft Center’s efforts to both comprehend the geopolitics of COVID-19 and shape the US and allied response.

12:30pm

Tue, May 5, 2020

Security through global partnerships

ONLINE EVENT – Lieutenant General Charles Hooper joins the Scowcroft Center for a virtual discussion on defense security cooperation in an era of great-power competition.

10:30am ONLINE EVENT

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.

Core team

Experts

Content

Sun, Jun 28, 2020

Kroenig quoted in The Washington Times on restarting nuclear testing

More about our expert

In the News by Matthew Kroenig

Arms Control China

Thu, Jun 18, 2020

War stories from the future: Launch of new Forward Defense practice

On Tuesday, June 2, at the inaugural event for the Atlantic Council’s newly-established Forward Defense practice, the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security hosted a panel of distinguished speakers to discuss the importance of thinking creatively about national security and defense.

Event Recap by Andrew Farnsworth

Coronavirus Defense Industry

Thu, Jun 18, 2020

An affordable defense of Asia

US military advantages over China are steadily eroding. Therefore, in this inaugural report for Forward Defense, T.X. Hammes crafts a new strategy and corresponding operational concepts which leverage geography and emerging technology to improve the US and allied warfighting posture in Asia.

Report by T.X. Hammes

China Conflict

Thu, Jun 11, 2020

Kroenig’s new book reviewed in the National Interest

Army officer Sam Wilkins reviews Matthew Kroenig's new book, "The Return of Great Power Rivalry," and notes that it "represents a much-needed lesson in the hard power advantage of democracies."

In the News by Atlantic Council

Conflict Defense Policy

Tue, Jun 9, 2020

Packard and Jensen in War on the Rocks: Washington needs to rethink its China strategy

Reviewing the Trump administration's current China strategy, Marine Corps University Assistant Professor Nathan Packard and Forward Defense Senior Fellow Benjamin Jensen advance points of convergence and divergence, while examining critical flaws.

In the News by Atlantic Council

China Conflict

Thu, Jun 4, 2020

Jensen and Van Echo in War on the Rocks: How to factor strategic competition into wargaming and PME

Reviewing lessons from their Agile Competition wargame series, Forward Defense Senior Fellow Benjamin Jensen and Marine Corps officer Lt Col Matthew Van Echo advance a new approach to wargaming in the era of great-power competition.

In the News by Atlantic Council

China Conflict

Tue, Jun 2, 2020

Max Brooks on non-military threats to the homeland

China, Russia, and Iran learned a very different lesson from the one the United States learned after the hundred hour-campaign in 1990-1991 to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. Writer Max Brooks, author of World War Z, put it this way:

Future of DHS

Defense Policy National Security

Tue, Jun 2, 2020

Forward Defense launch referenced by POLITICO

In their daily Morning Defense briefing, POLITICO referenced the launch of the Atlantic Council's new Forward Defense practice area, designed to help the United States and its allies and partners contend with great power rivals and maintain favorable balances of power.

In the News by Atlantic Council

Security & Defense

Tue, Jun 2, 2020

Atlantic Council launches Forward Defense

Groundbreaking practice area will shape the debate around US and allies’ greatest military challenges and create forward-looking assessments of the trends, technologies, and concepts that will define the future of warfare.

Press Release

Security & Defense

Mon, Jun 1, 2020

Pavel in Defense One: Pandemic raises likelihood of great-power conflict

On June 1, Defense One published an article by Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel titled: “The Coronavirus is Raising the Likelihood of Great-Power Conflict.” The article addresses the intensifying military operations in the western Pacific and warns of potential escalation if efforts are not calibrated carefully.

In the News by Atlantic Council

China Russia