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 Software Defined Warfare

The Atlantic Council’s newest Commission on Software Defined Warfare contends that In order to overcome adversarial challenges in a modern software-driven security environment, the US Department of Defense must modernize its archaic platform-centric approach to capability development. Following the success of the Council’s 2022-2023 Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption, this Atlantic Council Commission will consider how the US Defense Department and its allies ought to approach software-defined warfare. Co-chaired by 27th US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, Former Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox, and President of Purdue University Mung Chiang, and comprised of a distinguished group of Commissioners, the Commission will develop a framework to enhance US and allied forces through emergent digital capabilities.

Commission on Software-Defined Warfare

An Atlantic Council commission on improving DoD production and integration of state-of-the-art software solutions

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.

Commission on Defense Innovation Adoption

An Atlantic Council commission on improving DoD engagement with new companies and innovators

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.

Latest analysis

Content

New Atlanticist

May 23, 2024

General CQ Brown, Jr., on the US role in Gaza, Ukraine, and other crises around the world

By Katherine Walla

It’s time to plan for the long term in the Middle East, the general said at an Atlantic Council event.

Conflict Crisis Management

New Atlanticist

May 21, 2024

Congress should save the Sentinel ICBM—its true value is more than simply its cost

By James McCue

The value of the new intercontinental ballistic missile program should be measured over its full lifetime and not just by its current price tag.

Defense Technologies National Security

New Atlanticist

May 17, 2024

NATO must ‘win up front but be ready to win long’ in modern warfare, says General Christopher Cavoli

By Katherine Walla

At an Atlantic Council Front Page event, Cavoli spoke about the war in Ukraine, NATO’s modernization efforts, the China challenge, and more.

Defense Industry Defense Policy

New Atlanticist

May 7, 2024

The drones are small—the arms race may not be. Here’s how the US can win.

By Matthew Rose, Kathryn Levantovscaia

With rapid advances in drone technology, the United States needs to develop an updated, comprehensive counter-drone strategy.

Defense Industry Defense Policy

New Atlanticist

Apr 17, 2024

Pax Americana vs. autonomy: How the US and EU defense industrial strategies diverge

By Kathryn Levantovscaia

This is the first year in which both the United States and the European Union have formally introduced defense industrial strategies.

Defense Industry Defense Policy

Events

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In the news

In the News

May 24, 2024

McCue article reprinted in RealClearDefense and featured in “Morning Recon” newsletter

By Atlantic Council

RealClearDefense republished James McCue’s article, “Congress should save the Sentinel ICBM—its true value is more than simply its cost.”

Defense Technologies Nuclear Deterrence

In the News

May 21, 2024

Torres coauthored for CSIS about Chinese hypersonic missiles in South American space ground control sites

On May 21, Forward Defense Nonresident Senior Fellow Guido Torres coauthored an article for the Center for Strategic and International Studies titled “Space, Speed, and Sovereignty: Hypersonic Tensions in the Southern Hemisphere.” The piece underscores that Chinese hypersonic missile connection to ground control sites in South America poses a threat for the United States and […]

Americas China

In the News

May 7, 2024

Cole spoke at the 2024 AI Expo in Washington DC

On May 7-8, Forward Defense Nonresident Senior Fellow August Cole spoke at the 2024 artificial intelligence for national competitiveness expo in Washington DC. He spoke on a “Venture Capital Perspectives on the Technologies That Will Drive the 21st Century” panel and did a meet and greet for his books Burn-In: A Novel of the Real […]

Artificial Intelligence Defense Technologies

In the News

Apr 19, 2024

Hammes referenced in a Georgetown Security Studies Review article about autonomous military systems

On April 18, Forward Defense Nonresident Senior Fellow Thomas X. Hammes was referenced in a Georgetown Security Studies Review piece titled “From Sling and Stone to Autonomous Drone? Key Questions for Determining Whether Autonomy Favors Davids or Goliaths,” about autonomous military systems (AMS) favoring conventionally “weaker” or poorer actors.

Defense Policy Defense Technologies

In the News

Apr 15, 2024

Vinograd on CBS News explaining the current Israel-Iran tensions after Iranian missile strikes

On April 15, Forward Defense Nonresident Senior Fellow Samantha Vinograd appeared on CBS News to discuss Israel-Iran tensions after Israeli air defense, supported by the US and allies, intercepted over more than 300 Iranian drones and missiles.

Conflict Defense Policy

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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