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.
Issue Brief Feb 24, 2022
The next National Defense Strategy must get Russia right
By Clementine G. Starling, Christian Trotti, Tyson Wetzel
The rapidly developing 2022 Russo-Ukrainian crisis raises a key question for US defense policy makers as they finalize the next National Defense Strategy (NDS): How can the NDS get Russia “right”? This issue brief seeks to answer this question by developing a US defense strategy for deterring and managing the Russian threat in Europe and beyond, building upon the authors’ 2021 report, “Seizing the Advantage: A Vision for the Next US National Defense Strategy.”
Report Dec 22, 2021
Seizing the advantage: A vision for the next US national defense strategy
By Clementine G. Starling, Tyson Wetzel, Christian Trotti
In this latest installment of the Atlantic Council Strategy Papers series, Forward Defense’s Clementine Starling, Lt Col Tyson Wetzel, and Christian Trotti articulate their vision and recommendations for the next US National Defense Strategy, including clearer prioritization, investments and divestments, reposturing of US forces, a new warfighting concept, and a focus on transnational threats like hybrid warfare and climate change.
Strategic Insights Memo Aug 5, 2021
A new strategy for US global defense posture
By Matthew Crouch, Barry Pavel, Clementine G. Starling, and Christian Trotti
This Policy Brief, produced by the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s Forward Defense team, recommends a novel strategy for US global force posture to strengthen deterrence and competitive leverage vis-à-vis China, Russia, and other challengers. It addresses multifaceted challenges abroad, allocates missions according to mobility and range, lays the foundation for emerging technologies, and facilitates robust cooperation with allies and partners.
Report Jun 8, 2021
Transformative priorities for national defense
By Franklin D. Kramer and Lt. Col. Matthew R. Crouch
Today, the United States faces multi-theater and multi-domain challenges different from any presented since World War II—and, in fact, ever. This report addresses these pivotal challenges by advancing key transformative priorities for an effective US national defense strategy, both in the “American theater” at home and in the forward theaters abroad.
Atlantic Council Strategy Paper Series Apr 11, 2021
The future of security in space: A thirty-year US strategy
By Clementine G. Starling, Mark J. Massa, Lt Col Christopher P. Mulder, and Julia T. Siegel
Outer space is rapidly transforming as new actors test new limits. This Atlantic Council Strategy Paper calls for the United States and its allies and partners to secure space over the next three decades or risk wasting the promise of this emerging domain.
Register for upcoming events
Watch past events
Meet our experts
In the news
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.