About our work

The Department of Defense needs a clear roadmap to counter today’s myriad security challenges—from strategic competitors and regional aggressors to violent extremist organizations and climate change. Strategic thinking is essential in order to align priorities and ensure US and allied national security.

Forward Defense explores this issue set through frank review of current defense policy, cogent expert analysis of the present security environment, and actionable recommendations for strategy to meet future defense challenges.

Featured projects

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.

Latest analysis

Featured reports



Register for upcoming events

Meet our experts

In the news

In the News

May 28, 2024

Soofer cited in Asia Times on the nuclear sea-launched cruise missile

By Atlantic Council

Forward Defense Senior Fellow Dr. Robert Soofer’s recent article on the SLCM-N was cited in the Asia Times.

China Defense Policy

In the News

May 5, 2024

Starling and Gen. Cartwright publish in Defense One emphasizing the value of a new image for special operations forces

On May 5, Forward Defense Director Clementine Starling and Atlantic Council Board Director General James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), published commentary in Defense One about the value that special operations forces (SOF) have in today’s great power competition. They argued that SOF should reinforce not only their direct-action capabilities, but also the indirect competencies—special reconnaissance, […]

Conflict Crisis Management

In the News

Apr 25, 2024

Brooks interviewed for History Channel “The Great War”

On April 25, it was announced that an interview with Forward Defense nonresident senior fellow Max Brooks will be included in The History Channel’s upcoming two-part documentary series “The Great War” premiering on May 27-28. “The Great War” explores the critical years of 1917 and 1918, weaving together the stories of three different groups showcasing […]

Conflict Defense Policy

In the News

Apr 20, 2024

Konaev cited in Taipei Times about drone warfare, deterring China, and global conflict

On April 20, Forward Defense Nonresident Senior Fellow Margarita Konaev was quoted in the Taipei Times about drone warfare as a deterrent against China and its implications on increasing global conflict.

China Conflict

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

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.


Sign up for updates from Forward Defense to hear the latest on the trends, technologies, and military challenges shaping tomorrow.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.