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The Defense Enterprise Today: Strategy, Structure, and Future Prospects curriculum includes a series of interactive seminars addressing a wide range of strategic, policy, technical, and budgetary issues in the defense domain.

  • Understanding the Defense Environment: Geopolitics and Defense Strategy

  • The Intelligence Community and the Gray Zone

  • Nuclear Capabilities and Arms Control

  • Terrorism and Irregular Warfare

  • NATO and the Allies

  • Military Forces: Strategy and Structure

  • Myths and Realities of the Defense Budget

  • Acquisition and the Defense Industry

  • Defense Futures

Interactive Strategy Exercise

This  integrative  exercise  challenges  participants  to  apply  lessons from the seminars to make choices about strategy and then  identify the resourcing and program trade-offs that follow. Participants will collaborate in small groups to determine levels of force structure, modernization, and readiness, organized around their concept of a national defense strategy. At the end of the exercise, CSIS experts will provide detailed feedback to the participants, addressing the trade-offs that they have made and potential implications of their choices for national security.


CSIS is seeking a professionally diverse cohort of mid-career practitioners with 5 to 10 years of experience from across the U.S. and international military, government, private sector, and academic communities interested in increasing their knowledge of the U.S. defense enterprise. Applicants may be seeking a baseline understanding of U.S. defense issues broadly, knowledge of how different elements of the defense enterprise fit together, and/or deeper insights into particular areas important to U.S. defense. The course is structured to accommodate this range of learning. The selection committee will consider candidates' professional background as well as demonstrated interest in the fields of international security, defense, or other related areas.

How to Register

The online registration form includes a statement of interest, brief bio, and attachment of a resume. Applications are due by Friday, December 3, 2021, by 11:59 PM EST. They will be reviewed on a rolling basis.




Previous and current participants include representatives from:

Central Intelligence Agency, Harvard University Kennedy School, IBM, Institute for Defense Analyses, Marine Corps University Krulak Center, Morgan Stanley, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), National Defense University, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon Technologies, Royal Australian Air Force, Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), U.A.E. Ministry of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Navy, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Victorian Government Australia Trade and Investment Office, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army War College.


For more information, please contact Barbara Petzen, Director of Learning Experiences, at

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