Forward Defense leverages innovative methodological tools to get at the heart of today’s most complex security challenges. Under the banner of The Art of War, FD uses wargaming, narrative fiction, and the creative arts to better understand, communicate, and animate issues at the center of alternative military futures. Through the futures we forecast, the scenarios we wargame, and the narratives we explore, Forward Defense always maintains a methodologically Forward approach.
Report Sep 28, 2020
Competitive strategy insights from wargames
By Benjamin Jensen, John T. Watts, Christian Trotti, and Mark J. Massa
Warfighting eclipses the moment of battle. This report assesses the results from a series of competitive strategy wargames in order to explore how US military-modernization investments can shape adversary decisions long before the battle ever begins.
In the News Jun 4, 2020
Jensen and Van Echo in War on the Rocks: How to factor strategic competition into wargaming and PME
By Atlantic Council
Reviewing lessons from their Agile Competition wargame series, Forward Defense Senior Fellow Benjamin Jensen and Marine Corps officer Lt Col Matthew Van Echo advance a new approach to wargaming in the era of great-power competition.
New Atlanticist May 26, 2020
The 5×5—Is it a game or is it real? Simulations and wargaming in cyber
By Simon Handler
Greater insight into risk and response allow public and private sector organizations to better prepare for crisis before it happens and rerun history to stave off defeat in future. Wargames can be complex live events or low-cost simulations. They can even be the basis for major reforms to policy and doctrine, giving us much to understand about them. Shall we play a game?
In the News Oct 1, 2020
Jensen and Montgomery in War on the Rocks: A Solarium model for presidential transition teams
By Atlantic Council
Leveraging their experience on the 2020 Cyberspace Solarium Commission, Forward Defense Senior Fellow Dr. Benjamin Jensen and retired Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery argue that the presidential transition teams should adopt a Solarium model for conducting a comprehensive strategic assessment.
Report Sep 6, 2019
Alternate cybersecurity futures
By John Watts, Ben Jensen, JD Work, Nina Kollars, and Chris Whyte
If the national security community continues to focus on immediate threats and managing current emergencies, it will never escape a cycle of crises, nor manage to impose a strategy to shape tomorrow’s environment.
Issue Brief Jul 30, 2019
Avenues for conflict in the Gulf: A matrix game simulation
By John Watts
Iran faces increasing pressure domestically and internationally, while simultaneously perceiving a historic opportunity to reshape regional dynamics through multiple regional conflicts. This convergence creates conditions that could lead to a strategic shock, and which warrant serious consideration.
Narrative and the arts
Walk with us…
War Words is a work of documentary theatre that chronicles the funny, strange, heroic, and heartbreaking stories of men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This acclaimed stage play was written by award-winning playwright and Forward Defense Nonresident Senior Fellow Michelle Kholos Brooks, based on her interviews with veterans of those wars and their families.
In 2020, the Atlantic Council commissioned Arena Stage to adapt War Words into a short film, VETERANS DAY 2020, marking the launch of the Council’s campaign to promote a Veterans Day tradition of bringing staged readings of War Words to communities across the country.
Event Recap Jan 19, 2021
Veterans, war, and the arts: A celebration of military service
VETERANS DAY 2020 joined the Atlantic Council’s creative energy with the nation’s celebration of veterans on this day of remembrance. Featuring welcome remarks by Adrienne Arsht and keynote remarks by General David Petraeus, this flagship event introduced a film adaptation of the stage play “War Words,” telling the stories of the veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Art of the future
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.