Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

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Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
Abbreviation CSBA
Type Defense think tank
Headquarters 1667 K Street NW
Andrew Krepinevich

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) is an independent, non-profit, Washington, D.C.-based think tank specializing in US defense policy, force planning, and budgets. It is headed by Andrew Krepinevich, a West Point graduate. According to its website, CSBA’s mission is “to promote innovative thinking and debate about national security strategy, defense planning and military investment options… [and] to enable policymakers to make informed decisions in matters of strategy, security policy and resource allocation.”[1] CSBA emphasizes initiatives the United States and its allies can take to wisely invest in the future, even during periods of fiscal austerity and uncertainty. CSBA evaluates its policy proposals through the net assessment methodology, wargaming, and by estimated impact on the Department of Defense budget over multiple Future Years Defense Programs.


CSBA traces its origins to the Defense Budget Project, which was established by Gordon Adams in 1983 at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in order to “fill a vital information gap in the policy debate” during the Reagan Administration’s defense buildup.” In May 1995, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments was incorporated in its current form under the leadership of Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr. Over the next decade, CSBA played a prominent role in the debate over the revolution in military affairs (RMA) and the transformation of the US military.

Since September 11, 2001, CSBA has focused its analysis on linking near-term requirements to longer term challenges. According to the group’s website, CSBA “looks out two to three decades to identify emerging security challenges and opportunities.” CSBA describes its current efforts as “drawing attention to a set of worrisome and profound emerging areas of concern: a rising China threat in the Pacific Theater; a nuclear-armed Iran; maintaining the US defense industrial base; and realigning the defense budget.” Over the past few years, CSBA has played a prominent role in the ongoing development of an AirSea Battle concept by the U.S. Air Force and Navy.[2] Following cuts to U.S. defense spending and accelerating foreign military modernization, CSBA has also taken a lead role in highlighting the need to rebalance the Department of Defense's force structure[3] and invest wisely for future challenges.[4]

CSBA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The group’s public education and research program is funded by grants and contributions from a range of foundations and corporations. The majority of CSBA's income comes from research support under contract with the Department of Defense, military Services and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).[5]

Recent Publications[edit]

Commanding the Seas: A Plan to Reinvigorate U.S. Navy Surface Warfare, by Bryan Clark

Toward a New Offset Strategy: Exploiting U.S. Long-Term Advantages to Restore U.S. Global Power Projection Capability, by Robert Martinage

FY 2015 Weapon Systems Factbook, by Todd Harrison and Jacob Cohn

Analysis of the FY 2015 Defense Budget, by Todd Harrison

Rethinking Readiness, by Todd Harrison

Toward a Balanced Combat Air Force, by Mark Gunzinger

Hemispheric Defense in the 21st Century, by Andrew Krepinevich

Critical Mass: Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East, by Andrew Krepinevich

The Future of America's Strategic Nuclear Deterrent, by Evan Montgomery

Gateway to the Indo-Pacific: Australian Defense Strategy and the Future of the Australia-U.S. Alliance, by Jim Thomas, Zack Cooper, and Iskander Rehman

Chaos and Uncertainty: The FY 2014 Defense Budget and Beyond, by Todd Harrison

The Evolution of Precision Strike, by Barry Watts

The Future of MILSATCOM, by Todd Harrison

Shaping America's Future Military: Toward a New Force Planning Construct, by Mark Gunzinger

Strategic Choices Exercise Outbrief

Beyond the Ramparts: The Future of U.S. Special Operations Forces, by Jim Thomas and Chris Dougherty

Nuclear-Conventional Firebreaks and the Nuclear Taboo, by Barry Watts

Strategic Choices: Navigating Austerity, by Todd Harrison and Mark Gunzinger

Analysis of the FY2013 Defense Budget and Sequestration, by Todd Harrison

What the Fiscal Cliff Means for Defense, by Todd Harrison

Strategy in Austerity, by Andrew Krepinevich, Simon Chin, and Todd Harrison

Rebalancing Military Compensation: An Evidence-Based Approach, by Todd Harrison

Changing the Game: The Promise of Directed-Energy Weapons, by Mark Gunzinger and Chris Dougherty

The Road Ahead: Future Challenges and Their Implications for Ground Vehicle Modernization, by Andrew Krepinevich and Eric Lindsey

Outside-In: Operating From Range to Defeat Iran's Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threats, by Mark Gunzinger with Chris Dougherty

Understanding America's Contested Primacy, by Dr. Eric S. Edelman

Sustaining America's Strategic Advantage in Long-Range Strike, by Mark Gunzinger

AirSea Battle: A Point-of-Departure Operational Concept, by Jan van Tol with Mark Gunzinger, Andrew Krepinevich, and Jim Thomas


Key personnel currently employed by CSBA include:

  • Andrew Krepinevich, Jr., (LTC, USA, ret.) President, (1993 to present)
  • Jim Thomas, Vice President for Studies, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Resources and Plans and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy
  • Eric Edelman, Distinguished Fellow, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (2005-2009), Ambassador to Turkey (2003-2005), Ambassador to Finland (1998-2001)
  • Robert Martinage, Senior Fellow, former Vice President for Strategic Studies. Previously Acting Under Secretary of the Navy, Principal Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy for Policy, Plans, Oversight, and Integration (PPOI) (2010-2013), and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Special Operations / Low-Intensity Conflict & Interdependent Capabilities (SO/LIC&IC) (2009-2010)
  • Mark Gunzinger (Col, USAF, ret.), Senior Fellow, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Transformation and Resources
  • Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow
  • Jan van Tol (CAPT, USN, ret.), Senior Fellow, former Special Adviser to the Vice President
  • Bryan Clark (CDR, USN, ret.), Senior Fellow, former Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations
  • Evan Montgomery, Senior Fellow
  • John Stillion, Senior Fellow

Distinguished Alumni[edit]

  • Robert O. Work (Col, USMC, ret.), former Vice President for Strategic Studies, now Deputy Secretary of Defense
  • Steven M. Kosiak, former Vice President for Budget Studies (1991-2009), now Associate Director for Defense and International Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget
  • Michael G. Vickers, former Vice President for Strategic Studies, now Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations / Low-Intensity Conflict & Interdependent Capabilities (SO/LIC&IC)
  • Barry Watts (Col, USAF, ret.), former Senior Fellow, former director, Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E)

Board of directors[edit]


External links[edit]