A revolution is taking place in the nature of warfare.

Associated Scholars: Richard M. Harrison, Peter Garretson, Eric Ormes, Jennifer McArdle, James Grant, Samuel Bendett, Jenny Jun, Margot van Loon
Related Bulletins: Defense Technology Monitor

The proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction has given rogue states and terrorist groups unprecedented access to potentially devastating capabilities, while space and cyberspace have emerged as distinct new arenas of strategic competition. AFPC’s Defense Technology Program is built on four core initiatives - an e-journal, Hill briefings, the Defense Technology Monitor, and Strategic Primers. These initiatives fill a critical void by helping inform policymakers through access to timely, focused information on topics that affect U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. Led by Program Director Richard Harrison, data from the program's core initiatives is increasingly used by policymakers and members of the defense and intelligence community to respond to this new, and increasingly complex, threat environment.

In December 2011, AFPC began publishing its Defense Dossier, an online magazine (e-journal) to highlight emerging national security threats to the U.S.  The journal is disseminated three times a year and typically contains five scholarly articles by subject matter experts. Readership, which ranges from Congressional staffers to members of the defense/intelligence community, continues to increase.  Prominent officials and scholars write for the journal, including U.S. Senators and Representatives. 

AFPC publishes the Defense Technology Monitor, a monthly review of developments in both domestic and international defense technology. Formerly the Missile Defense Briefing Report, the monitor has since been broadened to encompass issues including cybersecurity, autonomous weapon systems, directed energy weapons, and electromagnetic pulse weapons, among several others. The e-bulletin is circulated to members of the defense and intelligence community and has a primary readership of some 2,000, with an estimated secondary circulation of several thousand more.

For America, space represents the next great strategic frontier. There, the United States now faces growing competition, and a growing threat, from countries like Russia and China, which are each developing technologies capable of targeting U.S. space assets. At the same time, the global space economy is primed for lift off, as technological advances and scientific breakthroughs increasingly put investments and resources there within reach. According to some estimates, within the next two decades, ventures like space tourism, the harnessing of solar energy, and space mining will propel the overall value of the space economy to $1 trillion. 

As such, defining a strategy for ensuring space security, sustainability, and commerce needs to be a strategic priority for the U.S. Our top-notch array of experts—including Peter Garretson, one of the leading pioneers of American spacepower—form a robust team that will make a major contribution to crafting space policy through briefings, conferences and publications that will provide policymakers with the ideas and tools they need to chart a course in this emerging domain.

AFPC has held several major conferences on the Hill over the last decade. The events bring together practitioners and experts to examine the current and future national security threats to America and provide responses. Previous keynote speakers include: former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), former Defense Science Board Chairman William Schneider, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph, and other notables.

In addition to large conferences, AFPC has had great success conducting luncheon briefings for congressional staff in the House and Senate, featuring presentations by noted subject matter experts. Private briefings have also been held for members of Congress, the House Science Committee staff, and other Congressional staffers. To ensure that the briefers’ messages are captured for the staffers who are not able to attend the briefing, policy papers based on speaker remarks are disseminated after the events. AFPC briefings on Capitol Hill have attracted senior staff on both aisles from over 52 Senate and close to 100 House offices, as well as professional staff members from all relevant committees (Armed Services, Intelligence, Foreign Relations, Appropriations, etc.).

This initiative provides a concise, comprehensive overview of specific defense technology issues presented in a clear, direct, and graphical manner to provide an accessible reference to policymakers (and the general public). The Strategic Primers are balanced representations of the potential benefits and limitations of a particular technology. They discuss the history and uses, assess the challenges, and discuss U.S. adversaries’ use of the technology. Please click on the links below to view the Strategic Primers:

AFPC Defense Technology Program Director Richard M. Harrison delivers the opening remarks at an AFPC sponsored Cybersecurity briefing in the U.S. Capitol Building before an audience of Congressional Staff.