About our work
Forward Defense explores the nexus of public-private partnerships critical to the success of US defense. Through our Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption and our Arsenals of Democracy event series, FD brings together the institutional bodies that create strategies and policies with the defense and technology companies that build advanced capabilities for defense and deterrence.
Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption
The Atlantic Council’s landmark Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption contends that now is the time to reform the defense innovation ecosystem. Co-chaired by 27th US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper and 23rd US Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, and comprised of a distinguished group of Commissioners, the Commission has developed recommendations to better enable the Department of Defense to rapidly absorb technological advancements from the leading edge of the innovative commercial sector.
Arsenals of Democracy
The Arsenals of Democracy, including the Captains of Industry Series and the Defense-Industrial Policy Series, is the Atlantic Council’s longstanding event series on the trends and issues confronting the US and allied defense-industrial base. The series aims to convene key policymakers, executives, and strategists to solve major challenges at the interface of geostrategic imperatives, public policies, and defense markets.
Report Apr 12, 2023
Atlantic Council Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption interim report
By Eric Lofgren*, Whitney M. McNamara, and Peter Modigliani
The DoD must accelerate defense innovation adoption from the leading edge of the private sector. This report has ten recommendations to do so.
Issue Brief Nov 3, 2022
Power projection: Accelerating the electrification of US military ground vehicles
By Reed Blakemore, Tate Nurkin
Reed Blakemore and Tate Nurkin highlight advantages and propose next steps of the electrification of US military ground vehicles in this Global Energy Center and Forward Defense issue brief.
Issue Brief Oct 7, 2021
Una squadra vincente: The US-Italian defense-industrial partnership
By Mauro Gilli and James Hasik
The United States needs to more closely integrate its own defense-industrial base with those of its allies, including Italy. This issue brief focuses on the US-Italian defense-industrial partnership to enable policymakers to better understand this relationship, leverage it more comprehensively to meet key strategic objectives, and secure the supply chains necessary to ensure US national security.
Issue Brief Jul 28, 2021
The security of defense trade with allies: Enhancing contact, contracts, and control in supply chains
By James Hasik
The COVID-19 pandemic and a wave of “Buy American” policies have cast doubt on the ability of foreign suppliers to provide crucial defense goods and services to the US Department of Defense in times of crisis or conflict. Forward Defense Nonresident Senior Fellow James Hasik recommends the expansion of security of supply agreements (among other measures) to fully leverage the defense-industrial bases of US allies and partners and best support US security priorities.
Report Nov 30, 2020
The Five Revolutions: Examining defense innovation in the Indo-Pacific region
By Tate Nurkin
The Indo-Pacific region has become a center of gravity for innovation in defense technologies and emerging military capabilities. This report explores major drivers of modernization and advances a new framework to capture defense technology and investment efforts in the region.
Report Apr 23, 2019
Leveraging the National Technology Industrial Base to address great-power competition
By William Greenwalt
The purpose of this report by William Greenwalt is to promote urgent deliberations over what a modern National Technology and Industrial Base should look like, and to encourage Congress and the administration to adopt measures that will enable access to defense-industrial resources that are more responsive to the needs of the National Defense Strategy.
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Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, generates ideas and connects stakeholders in the defense ecosystem to promote an enduring military advantage for the United States, its allies, and partners. Our work identifies the defense strategies, capabilities, and resources the United States needs to deter and, if necessary, prevail in future conflict.
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