Over the past 15 years, CNAS has shaped U.S. defense strategy and policy. Today, the United States must significantly and swiftly adapt its defense strategy, develop innovative operational concepts, and promote difficult institutional reform to meet the long-term challenges posed by great powers and strengthen deterrence for decades to come. The CNAS Defense program addresses the central military challenges of today and tomorrow and offers recommendations for how to balance risk across time. By linking strategic, budgetary, and operational analysis, we provide concrete recommendations to help decision makers make hard choices to effect necessary change; reverse the erosion of U.S. military advantages vis-à-vis China and Russia; and better manage other persistent threats. Our work leverages innovative and engaging approaches, such as wargaming, to inform current and future defense policy and strategy and develop the next generation of defense leaders. Decision makers in DC and around the globe trust our high-quality analysis and policy recommendations on U.S. defense strategy, force structure, operational concepts, budgets, and institutional reform.
Image credit: DoD photo by Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho, U.S. Air Force/Released
Precision and Posture: Defense Spending Trends and the FY23 Budget Request
This report examines the fiscal year (FY) 2023 defense budget request and assesses whether it sufficiently resources what was known of the Biden administration’s national defe...
By Stacie Pettyjohn & Hannah Dennis
Dangerous Straits: Wargaming a Future Conflict over Taiwan
Until recently, U.S. policymakers and subject matter experts have viewed the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) forcible unification with Taiwan as a distant threat. But the...
By Stacie Pettyjohn, Becca Wasser & Chris Dougherty
Long Shadows: Deterrence in a Multipolar Nuclear Age
This report examines the nuclear policies and postures of the United States and its three primary nuclear adversaries: China, Russia, and North Korea. It concludes that the wo...
By Stacie Pettyjohn & Jennie Matuschak