CSBA’s research on the most pressing issues in U.S. national security continues to shape the defense agenda. CSBA’s research focuses on four main areas:

CSBA specializes in thinking about the future of warfare. As President Dwight Eisenhower observed, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” While it may be impossible to predict the future, thinking about the future is essential to formulate concepts and strategies that will be effective across the widest range of contingencies, and executable within projected resource limitations.

CSBA uses the methodology of net assessment to frame future military competitions.  It evaluates the relative strengths and weaknesses of competitors and suggests sources of competitive advantage, while explicitly taking uncertainty into account. CSBA also utilizes scenario planning and wargaming to identify future trends and candidate operational concepts, understand emerging warfare regimes, and challenge preconceived notions of the future.

CSBA’s work has highlighted the increasingly non-permissive character of the security environment, such as the maturation and spread of anti-access/area-denial capabilities and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and disruption that threaten to negate the U.S. military’s traditional approach to power projection.

Based on insights gleaned through research, wargaming and exploration of future warfighting scenarios, CSBA has developed pathbreaking operational concepts to inform the U.S. military’s operational planning. These concepts serve as the “connective tissue” linking U.S. strategy with the defense program.


More of the Same? The Future of the Russian Military And Its Ability to Change

Assessing the type of threat that Russia is likely to pose in the aftermath of the war in Ukraine is a critical challenge for the United States and its allies. What will the Russian military look like in the future? Some argue that the Russian military will remain a significant threat – and perhaps become a very different and even more serious one. This argument holds that the Russian military will reconstitute in a relatively short time frame and may reform according to lessons learned during the war in Ukraine. Others argue that the Russian military will pose a far less formidable conventional threat going forward. Not only has the war against Ukraine exposed fundamental weaknesses in the Russian military, the argument goes, but Moscow’s ability to address those weaknesses will be limited by available manpower, sanctions, and export controls.

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