Publications

"Nobody does defense policy better than CSBA. Their work on strategic and budgetary topics manages to combine first-rate quality and in-depth research with timeliness and accessibility—which is why so many professionals consider their products indispensable." – Gideon Rose, Editor, Foreign Affairs.

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Briefs

2023 Annual Report

For nearly three decades, CSBA has provided consistent, high-quality, and innovative research on defense strategy, budgets, and the security environment.

Briefs

An Ongoing and Necessary Renaissance: NATO’s Nuclear Posture

President Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling while the war in Ukraine has raged, along with lurid nuclear threats by Russian officials and propagandists, have once again focused attention on NATO’s nuclear mission. As the alliance approaches a summit in Washington later this summer, it is an appropriate time to review its nuclear posture.

Studies

Strengthening the Phalanx: Layered, Comprehensive, and Distributed Air and Missile Defense in the Indo-Pacific

One of the most critical operational challenges the United States is likely to confront in a future conflict, particularly in the Indo-Pacific theater, is the threat of massed precision-guided air and missile attacks on overseas ports, bases, and other vital facilities. DoD has invested significant resources to defend against ballistic missile attacks on the United States, as well as its forward bases and forward-operating forces. However, it cannot still defeat large numbers of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial systems.

Studies

Inconsistent Congress: Analysis of the 2024 Defense Budget Request

After increasing the Department of Defense (DoD) budget in real terms during seven of the past eight fiscal years, Congress has now pivoted toward restraining spending by passing the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. Approved in early June as part of the debt ceiling deal, the law imposes a liberating limit on defense. It unshackles defense spending from parity with nondefense spending but still caps military budgets at or near current spending levels for the next two fiscal years while brandishing the threat of a lowered defense cap and potential sequestration if Congress delays in passing full-year appropriations for any budget account.

Studies

Evaluate Like We Operate: Why DOD Should Evaluate Weapons Systems as Networked Force Packages, Not Individual Platforms

Weapons do not conduct military operations in isolation from one another, and yet the U.S. defense community devotes considerable attention each year to individual platforms. The time spent appraising specific weapons is understandable, given the huge investments and cutthroat politics surrounding these projects, not to mention the defense budget boiling everything down to line items, but is misplaced in a strategic context. 

Studies

Extending Deterrence by Detection: The Case for Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems Into the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness

In May 2022, the “Quad” nations — the United States, Australia, Japan, and India — announced the creation of the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) to monitor illegal fishing, humanitarian crises, maritime security, marine conservation, and related issues in the region. IPMDA’s most significant activity involves disseminating unclassified data collected by commercial satellites to improve the common operating picture of participating nations and bolster information sharing across regional fusion centers, including in India, Singapore, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.