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.

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

In-depth analysis

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Content series

Event series

Our upcoming & latest events

Thu, Dec 17, 2020

The Future of DHS project: Time to reform Congressional oversight of the Department of Homeland Security

Online Event The Hon. Bennie Thompson and distinguished former officials discuss why now is the time to streamline congressional oversight of the Department of Homeland Security.

4:45pm Defense Policy National Security Political Reform United States and Canada

Tue, Dec 1, 2020

The five revolutions: Examining defense innovation in the Indo-Pacific region

Online Event In this launch event for Forward Defense’s latest report, experts discuss the defense innovation trends, emerging technologies, and operational concepts that will define the future of competition and warfare in the Indo-Pacific region.

3:00pm Australia China Conflict Defense Industry

Wed, Nov 11, 2020

Veterans Day 2020

Online Event “Veterans Day 2020” joins the Atlantic Council’s creative energy with the nation’s celebration of veterans on this day of remembrance. It features keynote remarks by General David Petraeus, introducing a film adaptation of the stage play “War Words,” which depicts true stories of the veterans of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

4:30pm Afghanistan Conflict Iraq Middle East

Mon, Nov 9, 2020

The Blue Economy: A global agenda to explore, protect, and develop ocean resources

Online Event Five maritime experts join the Scowcroft Center and its Forward Defense practice area for a virtual discussion on the Blue Economy and how the United States can sustainably and responsibly cultivate international cooperation in this arena.

1:30pm Economy & Business Energy & Environment Entrepreneurship International Norms

Tue, Oct 20, 2020

Strengthening US alliances and partnerships in an era of great-power competition: A conversation with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper

Public Event AN #ACFRONTPAGE EVENT – US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper joins the Atlantic Council’s #ACFrontPage event series in conversation with Atlantic Council CEO Frederick Kempe to discuss the importance of alliances and partnership in US national security and how to enhance and expand those relationships.

1:00pm Defense Policy Europe & Eurasia Indo-Pacific Middle East

Mon, Oct 19, 2020

The future of US national security

Public Event An #ACELECTIONS2020 and COMMANDERS SERIES Event: Former National Security Advisors Gen James L. Jones, the Hon. Robert McFarlane, and Amb. John R. Bolton address key security threats and priorities for the next Presidential administration and beyond.

10:00am China Coronavirus Crisis Management Defense Policy

Core team

Experts

Content

Wed, Jan 20, 2021

FD senior military fellows in National Interest on the Constitutional commitment of the US military

Forward Defense senior military fellows US Navy Commander Ronald Fairbanks, US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Crouch, and US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Mulder published an article in the National Interest titled "Above politics: The US military will always defend the constitution."

In the News by Atlantic Council

Crisis Management Democratic Transitions

Tue, Jan 19, 2021

Veterans, war, and the arts: A celebration of military service

VETERANS DAY 2020 joined the Atlantic Council’s creative energy with the nation’s celebration of veterans on this day of remembrance. Featuring welcome remarks by Adrienne Arsht and keynote remarks by General David Petraeus, this flagship event introduced a film adaptation of the stage play “War Words,” telling the stories of the veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Event Recap by Olivia Popp

Afghanistan Conflict

Wed, Jan 13, 2021

Rodriguez writes in ARMY Magazine on defense reform

Forward Defense Senior Advisor Stephen Rodriguez writes in ARMY, the magazine of the Association of the US Army (AUSA), on the need for defense reform.

In the News by Atlantic Council

Defense Policy National Security

Mon, Jan 11, 2021

Cole’s “Ghost Fleet” featured in Task & Purpose’s list of military movie ideas

On January 11, Forward Defense nonresident senior fellow August Cole was featured in an article in Task & Purpose on new ideas for military movies.

In the News by Atlantic Council

Media Security & Defense

Sun, Jan 10, 2021

Warrick interviewed on Government Matters on security risks of Capitol attack

Forward Defense and Hariri Center non-resident senior fellow Thomas Warrick was interviewed on "Government Matters" on the security implications of the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol.

Future of DHS by Atlantic Council

Crisis Management Cybersecurity

Sun, Jan 10, 2021

Cole’s “Burn In” named to best sci-fi of 2020 list by Polyon

Polygon, a video game publication, named Burn In, co-authored by Forward Defense non-resident senior fellow August Cole, to its top sci-fi and fantasy books of 2020. Burn In is a thriller at the intersection of robotics, artificial intelligence, and security.

In the News by Atlantic Council

Defense Technologies Drones

Fri, Jan 8, 2021

Future of DHS Project examines the role of Congressional oversight in department reform

On Thursday, December 17, the Scowcroft Center’s Forward Defense practice and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted a panel of former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to discuss why now is the time to streamline congressional oversight of DHS.

Event Recap by Julia Siegel

Coronavirus Cybersecurity

Thu, Jan 7, 2021

Warrick quoted in CBS News on Capitol insurrection

On January 7, Forward Defense nonresident senior fellow Thomas Warrick was quoted in an article by CBS News titled “Fears of new attacks after pro-Trump rioters breach Capitol.”

Future of DHS by Atlantic Council

Extremism National Security

Thu, Jan 7, 2021

Starling interviewed by BBC Radio Scotland on the siege of the US Capitol

Forward Defense Deputy Director Clementine Starling discusses Trump supporters' siege of the Capitol and its implications for US domestic politics and democracy moving forward.

In the News by Atlantic Council

Non-Traditional Threats Politics & Diplomacy

Thu, Jan 7, 2021

Nurkin discusses the Five Revolutions on Armada International podcast

On January 7, Forward Defense nonresident senior fellow Tate Nurkin was interviewed on the Armada International Electronic Warfare podcast.

In the News by Atlantic Council

Defense Industry Defense Technologies
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