Strategically Forward

Forward Defense seeks to craft sustainable, nonpartisan strategies with allies and partners to counter, deter, and overcome the diverse military challenges posed by great-power competitors and other potential adversaries.

The next National Defense Strategy

Forward Defense and Seizing the Advantage

Seizing the advantage: The next US National Defense Strategy

The Atlantic Council’s Forward Defense practice advances leading-edge commentary and key recommendations to help chart the course for the United States’ next National Defense Strategy.

Strategic forces balance of the future

Great-power competition

As articulated in the 2017 National Security Strategy and 2018 National Defense Strategy, great-power competition has returned as the most significant and troubling national security challenge for the United States. Forward Defense unpacks the military implications of these geostrategic shifts and assesses how the United States, alongside allies and partners, can contend with adversaries and maintain global stability.

Security cooperation

Security cooperation is a multifaceted tool of defense strategy. Encompassing training, advising, and equipping, it builds interoperability while enabling the United States and its allies and partners to collaborate on the most significant defense and security challenges. Therefore, Forward Defense provides actionable recommendations for enhanced security cooperation and opportunities for US and allied defense initiatives.

Innovative strategies & policies


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More on defense policy

Forward Defense

Forward Defense, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, shapes the debate around the greatest military 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.