Chris Dougherty

Senior Fellow, Defense Program

Research Areas

Chris Dougherty is a Senior Fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. His research areas include defense strategy, strategic assessments, force planning, and wargaming.

Prior to joining CNAS, Mr. Dougherty served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development at the Department of Defense (DoD). During this time, he led a handful of major initiatives including the development and writing of major sections of the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), including the Global Operating Model, the Force-Management and Planning Construct, and the Force-Planning Priorities. He also developed the wargaming and analytic inputs to the NDS. Prior to the NDS, he wrote the FY2018 Defense Analytic Guidance, which revamped the previous force-planning construct and mapped out major reforms to DoD’s analytic enterprise. He conducted several assessments of the Joint Force’s ability to execute the defense strategy, and led analysis and wargaming on a broad range of topics including deterrence in Eastern Europe and East Asia.

Before serving in DoD, Mr. Dougherty was a research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). At CSBA, he co-authored reports on special-operations forces, directed-energy weapons, and defeating Iranian anti-access/area-denial strategies in the Persian Gulf. He published on protracted warfare in The National Interest and on the need for the Army to rethink its roles and missions in Defense News. He assisted with scenario development, game design, and post-game analysis for numerous wargames on topics including proxy warfare, future maritime competitions, and operational logistics.

Mr. Dougherty served as an airborne infantryman with the 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, WA from 1997-2000.

Mr. Dougherty holds a master's degree with distinction in international studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor's degree summa cum laude in international studies from the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.

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