Seizing the Advantage

Mission

Forward Defense‘s “Seizing the Advantage: The Next US National Defense Strategy” explores the future of defense through frank review of current policy, cogent expert analysis of the present security environment, and actionable recommendations for strategy to meet future defense challenges. The project will begin with a series of op-eds and short analytical pieces designed to facilitate debate over the ideal strategic underpinnings, central pillars, and operationalization of future defense strategy, and will culminate in a published Strategy Paper that articulates the Atlantic Council’s key recommendations for the next National Defense Strategy (NDS).

A paradigm adjustment

Read FD Deputy Director Clementine Starling and LtCol Matthew Crouch‘s primary argument for why the next National Defense Strategy needs a paradigm adjustment to revise its central theory of competition. The Department of Defense must adjust its key lines of effort to embody a broader posture for multi-spectrum competition in order to prepare for not only high-end, high-tech, kinetic warfare, but also low-end, hybrid warfare. To seize the advantage, the next NDS must place a greater emphasis on understanding and addressing the escalation ladder between hybrid and kinetic warfare. Starling and Crouch lay out four key recommendations for the next National Defense Strategy.

Wed, Feb 3, 2021

How the US can regain the advantage in its next National Defense Strategy

To seize the advantage, the next US National Defense Strategy needs a paradigm adjustment, not a shift. In the next NDS, the Biden defense team must take a broader definition of competition if the United States is to succeed in deterring, defending, and shaping the strategic environment in its favor.

Seizing the advantage by Clementine G. Starling, Matthew R. Crouch

Conflict Defense Industry

Op-eds and commentary

FD’s leading-edge op-eds and commentary advance the debate on key defense issues and offer practical policy recommendations for the next National Defense Strategy.

Critical questions

Stay tuned for Q&A articles as distinguished security and defense experts respond to Forward Defense’s most pressing questions about the future of defense strategy and the next National Defense Strategy.

Project team

Contributors

Barry Pavel

Senior Vice President and Director, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the US government or other organization.

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All content on the next National Defense Strategy

Fri, Apr 2, 2021

Recalculating the math of great-power competition

To better serve US interests, the Biden administration should recalculate the DoD’s GPC framework to address the threats that the country is most likely to confront, while improving the United States’ preparedness for the most dangerous threats. It should replace the single “2+3” concept with three multilayered and interactive frameworks nested upon one another.

Seizing the advantage by Arun Iyer

Defense Policy Security & Defense

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

Mon, Mar 15, 2021

What the US can learn from the UK about strategic reviews

The Biden administration has begun work on a slew of strategies—including a new National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, and Nuclear Posture Review—that will form the framework for its approach to security challenges. There’s a lot that it can learn from the British experience of conducting strategic reviews.

Seizing the advantage by Peter Watkins CB, CBE, Will Jessett CBE

China Defense Industry

Mon, Mar 1, 2021

How should the next National Defense Strategy balance terrorism, rogue regimes, and great-power competition?

Our experts explore how the United States can tackle terrorism, address the advances of rogue regimes, and establish a balance between competition and cooperation with other global powers.

Seizing the advantage by Matthew R. Crouch, Ronald C. Fairbanks

China Conflict

Fri, Feb 19, 2021

How the next National Defense Strategy can get serious about emerging technologies

US adversaries including China, Iran, and Russia are investing in additional technological capabilities to counterbalance the United States’ advantages in great-power competition—specifically its dominance in kinetic operations and weapons. The next NDS must differentiate among different technologies to create more nuanced strategies.

Seizing the advantage by Justin Sherman, Evanna Hu

Defense Industry Defense Policy

Thu, Feb 4, 2021

Elevating ‘deterrence by denial’ in US defense strategy

As the Biden administration reshapes foreign policy and makes decisions about how to invest in US military capabilities for the future, it should acknowledge the value of a denial-based approach to deterrence.

Seizing the advantage by Erica D. Borghard, Benjamin Jensen, and Mark Montgomery

Defense Industry Defense Policy

Wed, Feb 3, 2021

How the US can regain the advantage in its next National Defense Strategy

To seize the advantage, the next US National Defense Strategy needs a paradigm adjustment, not a shift. In the next NDS, the Biden defense team must take a broader definition of competition if the United States is to succeed in deterring, defending, and shaping the strategic environment in its favor.

Seizing the advantage by Clementine G. Starling, Matthew R. Crouch

Conflict Defense Industry

Thu, Dec 3, 2020

Reconciling ends and means in US national security

The next National Defense Strategy should recognize that the American people’s unwillingness to spend considerably more money on the military necessitates a serious reconsideration of what is needed to secure the nation’s truly vital interests

New Atlanticist by Christopher Preble

Defense Policy National Security

Wed, Dec 2, 2020

America’s fleeting second-mover advantage is here

Though Chinese initiative has upset the status quo, their first move clarifies their vulnerabilities and exposes potential effective counterweights. By acting promptly to exploit these opportunities, the United States can take the second-mover advantage.

New Atlanticist by Matthew R. Crouch

China Coronavirus

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.