Paul Scharre

  • 20YY Future of Warfare Initiative

Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the 20YY Future of Warfare Initiative at the Center for a New American Security.

From 2008-2013, Mr. Scharre worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) where he played a leading role in establishing policies on unmanned and autonomous systems and emerging weapons technologies. Mr. Scharre led the DoD working group that drafted DoD Directive 3000.09, establishing the Department’s policies on autonomy in weapon systems. Mr. Scharre also led DoD efforts to establish policies on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) programs and directed energy technologies. Mr. Scharre was involved in the drafting of policy guidance in the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance, 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, and Secretary-level planning guidance. His most recent position was Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Prior to joining OSD, Mr. Scharre served as a special operations reconnaissance team leader in the Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion and completed multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Army’s Airborne, Ranger, and Sniper Schools and Honor Graduate of the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Ranger Indoctrination Program.

Mr. Scharre has published articles in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Politico, Proceedings, Armed Forced Journal, Joint Force Quarterly, Military Review, and in academic technical journals. He has presented at the United Nations, NATO Defence College, Chatham House, National Defense University and numerous other defense-related conferences on robotics and autonomous systems, defense institution building, ISR, hybrid warfare, and the Iraq war. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the BCC, and Swiss and Canadian television. Mr. Scharre is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds an M.A. in Political Economy and Public Policy and a B.S. in Physics, cum laude, both from Washington University in St. Louis.

  • June 16, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Paul Scharre, Nicholas Heras
  • Reports

Defeating the Islamic State: A Bottom-Up Approach

Report proposes a strategy based on four key interlocking efforts and then describes how these efforts can be applied region by region in western Iraq, eastern Syria, southwest Syria, and northwest Syria.

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  • April 7, 2016
  • Paul Scharre, Kelley Sayler

Autonomous Weapons and Human Control

Paul Scharre and Kelley Sayler of CNAS’ Ethical Autonomy Project examine how autonomy is used in current and future weapons and prospects for human control.

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  • March 21, 2016
  • Van Jackson, Mira Rapp-Hooper, Paul Scharre, Harry Krejsa, CDR Jeff Chism
  • Reports

Networked Transparency: Constructing a Common Operational Picture of the South China Sea

As tensions rise in the South China Sea, five CNAS experts have written a report arguing in favor of, and creating a roadmap for, a shared maritime domain awareness (MDA) for the South China Sea.

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  • February 27, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • Reports

Autonomous Weapons and Operational Risk

20YY Future of Warfare Initiative Director Paul Scharre examines the risks in future autonomous weapons that would choose their own targets and the potential for catastrophic accidents.

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  • December 9, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Reports

Uncertain Ground: Emerging Challenges in Land Warfare

Defense Strategies and Assessments Program Senior Fellow Paul Scharre makes recommendations for enhancing strategic agility to adapt to a changing world.

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  • November 3, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Congressional Testimony

Paul Scharre before the Senate Armed Services Committee

Paul Scharre testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the future of warfare.

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  • April 7, 2015
  • Kelley Sayler, Michael Horowitz, Paul Scharre
  • Other Resources

Autonomous Weapons at the UN: A Primer for Delegates

CNAS experts Paul Scharre, Michael Horowitz, and Kelley Sayler provide a pimer for UN delegates on autuomous weapons.

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  • March 16, 2015
  • Michael Horowitz, Paul Scharre
  • Working Papers

Meaningful Human Control in Weapon Systems: A Primer

Dr. Michael Horowitz and Paul Scharre assess statements made by those advocating for meaningful human control and studied the use of weapons today, which have varying degrees of autonomy.

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  • February 13, 2015
  • Paul Scharre, Michael Horowitz
  • Working Papers

An Introduction to Autonomy in Weapon Systems

20YY Warfare Initiative Director Paul Scharre and Adjunct Senior Fellow Michael Horowitz discuss future military systems incorporating greater autonomy.

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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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  • August 18, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Events

Terminators: Fact or Fiction?

cnas-movie-screening-terminator

CNAS will host a movie screening for Terminator: Genisys on Monday, September 14, 2015. RSVP today.

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  • September 9, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • In the News

A reminder of the permanent wars: Dozens of U.S. airstrikes in six countries

In The Washington Post, senior fellow Paul Scharre discusses the reality of terrorism today and the use of drone strikes in multiple countries.

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  • September 6, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • In the News

How Technology Could Create 'Super Soldiers'

In National Defense, senior fellow Paul Scharre discusses the use of performance-enhancers in the military.

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  • September 6, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • In the News

Attack of the Killer Robots

In BuzzFeed, senior fellow Paul Scharre explains the meaning and importance of "meaningful human control" when discussing autonomous weapons systems.

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  • September 6, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • In the News

Pentagon is worrying about 'Terminator' coming true. Seriously.

Senior fellow Paul Scharre discusses the risks of autonomous weapons systems in the Christian Science Monitor.

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  • September 1, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • In the News

Report: US Military Could Save Billions of Dollars By Doing This One Thing

In The National Interest, senior fellow Paul Scharre discusses the financial benefits of adopting semi-autonomous unmanned combat aircraft.

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  • July 21, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Paul Scharre, Nicholas Heras
  • Press Notes

CNAS Press Note: The Counter-ISIS Ministerial Meeting

As the defense and foreign ministers of 46 nations meet in Washington to discuss the counter-ISIS campaign, Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg, 20YY Future of Warfare Initiative Director Paul Scharre, and Bacevich Fellow Nicholas Heras have written a new Press Note.

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  • June 2, 2016
  • Kelley Sayler, Paul Scharre
  • In the News

An Air Force Without Pilots? Critics Call for an Unmanned B-21 Bomber

Senior fellows Kelley Sayler and Paul Scharre discuss the benefits of having unmanned B-21 Bombers in The Fiscal Times.

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  • May 13, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • In the News

U.S. establishes Libyan outposts with eye toward offensive against Islamic State

In the Washington Post, senior fellow Paul Scharre compares the dangers in Lybia to those in Syria as U.S. Military identify potential threats to Lybia

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  • May 12, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • In the News

Pentagon Turns to Silicon Valley for Edge in Artificial Intelligence

In The New York Times, senior fellow Paul Scharre analyzes the risks of AI technology

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  • April 13, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • In the News

Going for the ZAP

In USA Today, Senior Fellow Paul Scharre discusses the benefits of using directed-energy weapons on the battlefield.

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  • May 31, 2016
  • Paul Scharre, Kelley Sayler
  • Op-eds

The B-21 Bomber Should Be Unmanned on Day 1

Senior fellows Kelley Sayler and Paul Scharre write an op-ed explaining the importance of unmanned B-21 bombers in Defense One.

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  • April 20, 2016
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Nicholas Heras, Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

Taking the Fight to "ISILSTAN": Displacing and Replacing ISIL in Eastern Syria and Western Iraq

In War on the Rocks, CNAS experts Ilan Goldenberg, Paul Scharre, and Nicholas Heras co-author an op-ed discussing U.S. strategy toward ISIL.

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  • April 11, 2016
  • Paul Scharre, Kelley Sayler
  • Blog: The Agenda

Statement at United Nations CCW Expert Meeting on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

  • November 30, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

The Smartphone Wars are Coming

Senior Fellow and Director of the 20YY Future of Warfare Initiative Paul Scharre wrote an op-ed examining how changes in technology will impact the military in The National Interest.

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  • November 12, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Blog: The Agenda

INFOGRAPHIC: The Value of Endurance

  • August 11, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

Yes, Unmanned Combat Aircraft are the Future

Senior Fellow and Director of the 20YY Warfare Initiative Paul Scharre penned an op-ed discussing the capabilites of robots and whether they will replace humans in War on the Rocks.

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  • May 27, 2015
  • Michael Horowitz, Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

The Morality of Robotic War

CNAS experts Paul Scharre and Michael Horowitz pen a New York Times op-ed discussing the moral argument for autonomous weapons.

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  • May 20, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

It’s Time To Arm the Sunni Tribes

20YY Warfare Initiative Director and Senior Fellow Paul Scharre notes that a failure to support moderate Sunnis strengthens ISIS’ hand as well as spoilers like Iran who can argue they are necessary to counter ISIS.

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  • April 28, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

Scharre: Protect the X-47B to safeguard innovation

20YY Warfare Initiative Director Paul Scharre discusses the importance of the Navy’s X-47B.

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  • November 3, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Congressional Testimony

Paul Scharre before the Senate Armed Services Committee

Paul Scharre testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the future of warfare.

Read More
  • September 6, 2016
  • Paul Scharre, Ilan Goldenberg
  • Videos

Video: Defeating the Islamic State: A Bottom Up Approach

At the CSS Lunch Series Fall 2016 Kickoff Event, senior fellows Ilan Goldenberg and Paul Scharre discuss CNAS report "Defeating the Islamic State: A Bottom Up Approach." 

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  • May 26, 2016
  • Paul Scharre
  • Audio

Audio: Killer Robots

On NPR affiliate WYPR, senior fellow Paul Scharre discusses the dangers and ethical delimma of lethal autonomous weapons.

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  • December 7, 2015
  • Paul Scharre, Ben FitzGerald
  • Audio

Podcast: How Drones Are Reshaping the World

On an America Abroad podcast, Senior fellows Ben FitzGerald and Paul Scharre look at how drones are revolutionizing the skies, and how this technology has moved from science fiction to reality.

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  • November 4, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Videos

Video: Paul Scharre before the Senate Armed Services Committee

Paul Scharre, senior fellow and director of the 20YY Warfare Initiative, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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  • October 1, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Videos

Transforming Training for a 21st Century Threat Landscape

Senior Fellow Paul Scharre joined RealClearPolitics as a panelist for their event with Sen. Tom Cotton: “Transforming Training for a 21st Century Threat Landscape.”

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  • September 28, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Videos

Video: Paul Scharre on Unmanned and Autonomous Systems and Emerging Weapons Technologies

Paul Scharre, senior fellow and director of the 20YY Warfare Initiative leads a discussion called "Unmanned and autonomous systems and emerging weapons technologies" during the 2015 Mad Scientist Conference.

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  • September 16, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Videos

Video: Terminators - Fact or Fiction?

CNAS and the U.S. Department of State co-hosted a discussion on autonomous weapons featuring the following speakers:Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and LaborStuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science and Smith-Zadeh Professor in Engineering at University of California, BerkeleyPaul Scharre, Senior Fellow and Director of the CNAS 20YY Warfare InitiativeMissy Ryan, Pentagon Correspondent, The Washington Post

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  • July 8, 2015
  • Ben FitzGerald, Kelley Sayler, Paul Scharre
  • Videos

Video: CNAS 2015 Annual Conference - The Promise and Peril of Drones

President and Chief Executive Officer of Textron, Ellen Lord, Chief Executive Officer of Finmeccanica North America and DRS Technologies, Inc. William J. Lynn, Senior Fellow Paul Scharre, Senior Fellow Ben FitzGerald, and Associate Fellow Kelley Sayler discuss the use of drones and advances in their technology.

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  • May 29, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Videos

Commander trained to fight terrorism joins ISIS

On CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, 20YY Warfare Initiative Senior Fellow and Director Paul Scharre 

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  • May 13, 2015
  • Paul Scharre
  • Videos

Beyond Offset: Paul Scharre on Technical Landscape

CNAS recently held a working group session to discuss the capabilities and technologies that should be at the center of this strategy. In the video below, Paul Scharre, director of CNAS’s 20YY Warfare Initative, weighs in.

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