Center for Advanced Defense Studies

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Center for Advanced Defense Studies
Image: 200 pixels
MottoInnovation Through Peace
TypeThink Tank
Headquarters1201 I Street NW
Executive Director
David Johnson

The Center for Advanced Defense Studies, or C4ADS, is a digital-age think tank that provides data-driven analysis and evidence-based reporting on global conflict and transnational security issues.[1]

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, [2] they use cutting-edge technologies to manage, integrate, and analyze disparate data from diverse languages, regions, and sources, incorporating our own field research from conflict zones and fragile states. They seek to engage with local and international audiences and produce compelling analysis on conflict and security issues. In doing so, they fill a critical gap left by traditional public sector and profit-driven institutions.

The Conflict Finance and Irregular Threats Cell at C4ADS focuses on conflict economies as key drivers of global conflict and insecurity. We examine the networks that profit from human suffering – and the corporate, financial, and logistic infrastructure that enables them. Our research focuses on civil wars, conflict economies, and gray zone competition with a priority focus on the Middle East and Africa. Current priority countries include South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria.

The Counterproliferation Cell exposes illicit state-sponsored procurement and financial networks that trade in technologies for chemical, nuclear, and missile programs. Current projects include Chinese defense and intelligence modernization, North Korean sanctions evasion, Iranian ballistic missile development, Russian arms exports, Pakistani Weapons of Mass Destruction procurement networks, and Syrian chemical weapons supply chains.

The Environmental Crimes Fusion Cell combats the global illicit wildlife trade as a data interface connecting a global network of 120 organizations across conservation, law enforcement, financial intelligence, and regulatory communities.

The Natural Resources Cell focuses on the supply chains that launder illegal and illicit goods into the homes of consumers.

The Organized Crime and Grand Corruption Cell focuses on the convergence between serious organized crime, large-scale corruption, and the facilitators who help it cross borders. We focus on how large-scale corruption weakens societies and enables illicit networks in both origin and destination countries.


  1. ^ "C4ADS - About Us".
  2. ^ "990 Form" (PDF).

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