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

Mon, Dec 21, 2020

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

Wed, Aug 26, 2020

US defense strategy and posture for an era of great power competition

Public Event AN #ACELECTIONS2020 EVENT – Experts discuss how near-term deterrence be strengthened while investing in the next generation of military capabilities for deterrence and defense in the 2030s.

10:00am ONLINE EVENT Elections


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


More on defense policy

Thu, Mar 25, 2021

Samad joins Al Jazeera to discuss the implications of the US Secretary of Defense’s visit to Kabul

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Defense Policy

Thu, Mar 25, 2021

Nasr joins the Quincy Institute to discuss if time is running out for the JCPOA?

In the News by Atlantic Council

Defense Policy Iran

Mon, Mar 22, 2021

Intelligence reform for peacetime – A call to reform and modernize the Afghan intelligence services

The United States, as it pushes for a political settlement and withdraws its troops from Afghanistan, needs to leave a credible and professional Afghan intelligence partner behind with whom it must partner for counter-terrorism (CT) missions post-withdrawal.

SouthAsiaSource by Tamim Asey

Afghanistan Defense Policy

Thu, Mar 18, 2021

US national defense strategy and the future of foreign military sales

Ongoing great-power competition, US efforts to strengthen alliances and partnerships, and the global dominance of the US defense industry will ensure that FMS remains a policy tool of first resort. This being the case, US policymakers need to ensure that it is the most efficient tool that it can be.

Seizing the advantage by Charles W. Hooper

Defense Industry Defense Policy

Wed, Mar 17, 2021

Rodriguez on defense industry and acquisition in DefenseNews

On March 17, FD Senior Advisor Stephen Rodriguez wrote a piece on strategies for acquiring new, innovative technology within the defense industrial base.

In the News by Atlantic Council

Defense Industry Defense Policy

Forward Defense 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.