2022 Annual Report

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit public policy research institute established to promote innovative thinking and debate about national security strategy, defense planning, and military investment options for the 21st century.

For nearly three decades, CSBA has provided consistent, high-quality, and innovative research on defense strategy, budgets, and the security environment. With notable alumni, CSBA experts have worked to analyze U.S. defense strategy, force structure, and planning, and defense budgets in the effort to reconcile these interrelated subjects, contributing extensively to the Revolution in Military Affairs debate, the development of an AirSea battle concept, discussions on the strategic choices necessary for the transformation and modernization of the U.S. military in the face of limited resources, and the defense strategy and operational concepts needed for an era marked by rapid technological change, new ways to operationalize capabilities, and acute peer-level challenges to the U.S.-led liberal international order.

Under the leadership of Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken since 2016, CSBA remains instrumental in guiding the nation’s most critical defense policy debates as a small but powerful group comprising experts with extensive experience in the field of national security— many of them military veterans and former senior-level policymakers from the Department of Defense, State Department, and the National Security Council—supported by a dedicated staff of accomplished executives and scholars.

CSBA’s mission is to develop innovative, resource-informed defense concepts, promote public debate, and spur action to advance U.S. and allied interests. Our vision is to set the terms of debate for the future of national defense and drive change in concept development, force structure, and resources to prepare the United States and its allies to compete and win in an era characterized by great power competition and conflict.

CSBA enjoys a highly-regarded reputation cemented in its values that ensures the entire team achieves its mission and lives its vision of Independence, Objectivity, Integrity, Innovation, Expertise, and Quality.

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