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2019 National Security Conference: Sharpening America's Edge

Jun 14, 2019
9:30am to 4:30pm ET

Washington Hilton
Washington, DC

The CNAS 2019 National Security Conference explored the United States' efforts to sharpen its strategic edge in an era of heightened global competition. From sustaining America's military advantage, to countering high-tech illiberalism, to designing new ways to project U.S. economic power, each session offered new ideas to elevate the national security debate.

Watch the morning plenary sessions:


Living on the Edge: Strengthening American Competitiveness

Richard Fontaine highlights the range of national security challenges facing the United States....


Renewing the National Security Consensus in Congress

Loren DeJonge Schulman discusses bipartisan solutions to complex foreign policy challenges with Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Chris Murphy (D-CT)....

Technology & National Security

Digital Freedom and Repression

Paul Scharre and Kara Frederick discussed how we can win the digital contest with authoritarian governments....

Indo-Pacific Security

A New Day for Development Finance

David Bohigian discusses how the United States is leveraging development finance to strengthen its competitive edge....

Presentation of the 1LT Andrew J. Bacevich Jr. Award

Kristine Lee and Cole Stevens are recognized as the 2019 recipients of the 1LT Andrew J. Bacevich Jr. Award....

Military, Veterans & Society

Perceptions of the Military Community

Kayla M. Williams tackles persistent myths about who serves in today’s All-Volunteer Force and how they fare as veterans....

Explore the first breakout sessions:

Technology & National Security

American Leadership in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

How can the United States maintain its artificial intelligence leadership in a new era of global competition?...

Energy, Economics & Security

FinTech and National Security: What’s In Your Digital Wallet?

Experts discuss the threats and opportunities for U.S. national security posed by new financial technologies....

Securing U.S. Democracy Initiative

Fostering Bipartisanship in Intelligence Oversight

Experts and policymakers discuss setting intelligence oversight priorities, the importance of bipartisanship in intelligence oversight, and whether the intelligence committees...

Indo-Pacific Security

Russia-China: Debating the Significance of the Partnership

What does the future trajectory of Russia-China relations look like?...

Watch the afternoon plenary sessions:

Indo-Pacific Security

Conscious Decoupling: Are the United States and China Parting Ways?

What steps are Washington and Beijing taking to undo decades of economic integration?...


A Deadly Game: Taiwan Strait Crisis 2025

What could a crisis in the Taiwan Strait look like in the year 2025?...

Explore the second breakout sessions:


Challenges to Force Development in A New American Way of War

What can the U.S. military can do to maintain a quality force in a changing landscape of warfare and competition?...

Middle East Security

Interactive Tabletop Exercise on the Future of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Nicholas A. Heras, Eric Brewer, Elizabeth Rosenberg, and Ilan Goldenberg lead an interactive tabletop exercise about the future of Iran's nuclear program....

Indo-Pacific Security

Addressing China’s Digital Expansion

Experts assess the global implications of China’s “Digital Silk Road” and identify how the United States and its allies and partners can advance information connectivity....


National Security Lightning Talks and Roundtables

CNAS experts pitch their solutions to top national security challenges....

Map showing event location
Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009