Elbridge Colby

  • Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow

Elbridge Colby is the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where he focuses on issues relating to defense strategy, deterrence, nuclear weapons, conventional forces, U.S. alliances, space, intelligence, and related issues.

In 2012, he served as the deputy head for national security personnel on the Mitt Romney pre-transition effort and also worked on several of the campaign’s security policy teams. From 2010 to 2013 he was a principal analyst and division lead for global strategic affairs at CNA. Before that, he served for over five years in the U.S. Government, including as policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense’s Representative for the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, as an expert advisor to the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, as a staff member on the President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the U.S. Regarding WMD, with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and with the State Department. Colby also serves or has served as a consultant to a variety of U.S. Government entities on a range of defense and intelligence matters. In 2014 he served as a staff member for the National Defense Panel.

Colby is a frequent commentator and author on defense and foreign policy issues. He has co-edited a volume on Strategic Stability: Contending Interpretations (2013), co-chaired a CSIS working group study on U.S.-China nuclear weapons issues entitled Nuclear Weapons and U.S.-China Relations: A Way Forward (2013), and has published book chapters in a number of edited collections. He also writes regularly on defense and foreign policy issues in a variety of venues such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, and Survival. He has testified before Congress and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He also speaks frequently to government, expert, university, and broader public audiences in the United States, Europe, and Asia and is a regular participant in Track II discussions.

He is a recipient of the Exceptional Public Service Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and of the Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Colby is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.

  • February 3, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Reports

Russia's Evolving Nuclear Doctrine and its Implications

In this report, Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby provides a baseline of Russian thinking on how Moscow looks at these options.

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  • January 27, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Reports

Countering Russian Nuclear Strategy in central Europe

In this collection of essays, Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby highlights discusses countering Russian nuclear strategy in central Europe.

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  • January 27, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Reports

From Sanctuary to Battlefield: A Framework for a U.S. Defense and Deterrence Strategy for Space

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby takes on the challenge laid out by senior U.S. defense officials to help develop a new defense and deterrence strategy for space in light of the growing challenges to the U.S. space architecture.

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  • December 16, 2015
  • Patrick M. Cronin, Van Jackson, Elbridge Colby, Richard Fontaine, David Eunpyoung Jee, Hannah Suh
  • Reports

Solving Long Division: The Geopolitical Implications of Korean Unification

Eight CNAS experts examine a host of issues posed by unification – including nuclear weapons and deterrence, the U.S.-Korea alliance, and relations between the countries in Northeast Asia – and offers key findings to inform how policymakers should prepare for unification on the Korean Peninsula.

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  • November 3, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Congressional Testimony

Elbridge Colby before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

Elbridge Colby testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces on adapting U.S. nuclear strategy and posture to a more contested and competitive world.

 

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  • October 28, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Reports

A Nuclear Strategy and Posture for 2030

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby offers the outlines of a revised nuclear policy and posture that adapts the United States' long-standing approach to nuclear weapons to a new era.

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  • September 9, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Other Resources

Promoting Strategic Stability in the Midst of Sino-U.S. Competition

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby examines Sino-U.S. competition and nuclear weapons.

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  • May 19, 2015
  • Andrew Erickson, Alexander Sullivan, Elbridge Colby, Ely Ratner, Zachary Hosford
  • Reports

More Willing and Able: Charting China's International Security Activism

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) Asia-Pacific Security Program has released a new report, More Willing and Able: Charting China’s International Security Activism. 

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  • April 1, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Congressional Testimony

Elbridge Colby before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on “China’s Offensive Missile Forces: Implications for the United States."

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  • February 3, 2015
  • Shawn Brimley, Phillip Carter, Elbridge Colby, Patrick M. Cronin, Michele Flournoy, Ilan Goldenberg, Jerry Hendrix, Nicholas Heras, Van Jackson, Katherine Kidder, Paul Scharre, Julianne Smith, Jacob Stokes, Alexander Sullivan
  • Reports

Ideas to Action: Suggestions for the 25th Secretary of Defense

In advance of Dr. Ashton Carter’s upcoming nomination hearing to be Secretary of Defense, CNAS experts have produced a series of commentaries outlining the key issues the 25th Secretary of Defense will face.

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  • May 31, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • In the News

A First Look at America's Supergun

In The Wall Street Journal, senior fellow Elbridge Colby discusses the loss of a conventional American military advantage as other nations improve technology.

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  • May 10, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • In the News

A fight to protect ‘the most valuable real estate in space’

In the Washington Post, senior fellow Elbridge Colby discusses the importance of investing in better satellite technology as precaution against world conflict entering outer space

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  • February 4, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • In the News

Space warfare with Russia and China? Pentagon urged to prepare for it.

The Washington Post covers the release of Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby's report on Pentagon vulnerabilities in space.

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  • December 16, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Press Notes

CNAS Press Note: The Nuclear Triad and the Republican Debate

Following the discussion of the nuclear triad during last night’s Republican debate, CNAS Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby has written a new Press Note, “The Nuclear Triad and the Republican Debate.”

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  • December 15, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • In the News

Audio: NATO Gunplay: M12/14/15Hr4: Elbridge Colby. Monte Reel. Paul Gregory,

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby discusses NATO capabilities on The John Batchelor Show.

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  • December 15, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • In the News

Panel: Evolving Defense Technologies Require New Strategies

Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby examines Russia and China's approach to nuclear weapons in Defense News.

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  • December 1, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • In the News

American military: If we want to contain Russia, we need to spend more.

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby is mentioned in regards to his assessment of Russia's threat in the journal Survival in Slate.

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  • November 19, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • In the News

Video: Stimson Debate: Nuclear Weapons and International Stability

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby discusses the role of nuclear weapons in promoting international stability at the Stimson Center.

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  • November 10, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • In the News

Audio: Fri 11/6/15 Hr 2: Small Business is the Business of America: Gene Marks, Washington Post. Elbridge Colby, Center for New American Security.

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby discusses the need for the US to prepare for limited war on The John Batchelor Show.

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  • November 5, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • In the News

Video: Elbridge Colby before HASC on Future Options for the U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby discusses potential options for the U.S. nuclear deterrent before the House Armed Services Committee.

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  • June 30, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

Don't Scrap America's Alliances. Fix Them.

Senior fellow Elbridge Colby co-writes an oped in The National Interest on why preserving alliances makes the United States stronger.

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  • June 9, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

Commentary: What happens if pope rejects 'just war' theory?

Senior fellow Elbridge Colby writes an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer discussing the risks of abandoning the Vatican's "just war" theory. 

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  • May 23, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

U.S. ‘Ambiguity’ on Taiwan Is Dangerous

In The Wall Street Journal, senior fellow Elbridge Colby writes an op-ed analyzing U.S. relations and obligations to Taiwan.

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  • December 2, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

Countering Russian Nuclear Strategy In Central Europe

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge A. Colby penned a chapter examining the potential for conflict between Russia and Central European NATO members in CEPA.

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  • October 21, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

America Must Prepare for 'Limited War'

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby penned an op-ed examining the U.S. military's ability to respond to new threats and emerging powers in The National Interest.

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  • September 30, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

Terrible But Justified: The U.S. A-Bomb Attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby wrote an op-ed examining the anniversary of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Global Asia.

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  • August 26, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

Changing Tides in South China Sea

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby co-authored an op-ed examining the challenges posed by China's land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea in The Wall Street Journal.

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  • August 13, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

The United States, NATO, and Dissuading Russian Aggression

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby wrote an op-ed examining how effective NATO tactics are against Russian aggression in Foreign Affairs.

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  • May 27, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

NATO Needs a Nuclear Strategy Update

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby pens a Wall Street Journal op-ed urging the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to update its nuclear strategy.

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  • March 10, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Op-eds

Why China's Growing Defense Budget Matters

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby discusses why China's growing defense budget matters.

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  • November 3, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Congressional Testimony

Elbridge Colby before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

Elbridge Colby testified before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces on adapting U.S. nuclear strategy and posture to a more contested and competitive world.

 

Read More
  • April 1, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Congressional Testimony

Elbridge Colby before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on “China’s Offensive Missile Forces: Implications for the United States."

Read More
  • February 3, 2016
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Audio

John Batchelor Show: New Outer Space War Plans

Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow Elbridge Colby discussed his new report, "From Sanctuary to Battlefield: A Framework for a U.S. Defense and Deterrence Strategy for Space.

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  • March 18, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Audio

Audio: Elbridge Colby discusses security balance between China and the United States.

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby discusses the security balance between China and the United States.

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  • March 12, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Audio

Audio: Elbridge Colby joins The John Batchelor Show

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby joins The John Batchelor Show to discuss Chinese defense budget and more.

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  • February 13, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Audio

Audio: Elbridge Colby Discusses Nuclear Weapons In The 21st Century

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby joins The John Batchelor Show to discuss nuclear weapons in the 21st century.

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  • January 20, 2015
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Audio

Audio: The John Batchelor Show

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby is a guest on The John Batchelor Show to discuss the future of nuclear forces.

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  • December 19, 2014
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Videos

Asia Goes Nuclear: Elbridge Colby December 2014 Interview

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby discusses his op-ed on nuclear weapons in Asia with The National Interest.

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  • September 15, 2014
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Audio

Audio: Elbridge Colby on The John Batchelor Show on Realism and U.S. Foreign Policy

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby joined "The John Batchelor Show" to deliberate, in response to President Obama's recent four-point ISIS strategy, the concept of realism in U.S. foreign policy.

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  • July 31, 2014
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Audio

Interview: Elbridge Colby on NPR's "All Things Considered" on U.S. Nuclear Missiles

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby discusses the United States' nuclear-armed missiles with NPR's Geoff Brumfiel on "All Things Considered."

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  • April 9, 2014
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Videos

Video: America's International Leadership

Robert M. Gates Fellow Elbridge Colby, John Bew of King's College London, and Joshua Walker of the German Marshall Fund discuss America's international leadership on April 9, 2014. Ryan Evans, the assistant director at the Center for the National Interest, moderated.

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  • January 29, 2014
  • Elbridge Colby
  • Videos

Video: PONI Live Debate: Triad Modernization

The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) hosts a debate over the future of the U.S. nuclear triad.

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