Strategic Command Academic Alliance


Develop an academic community of interest focused on research and analysis of deterrence, assurance, and associated
strategic level national security themes in a rapidly changing, multi-domain global threat environment.


» Advance deterrence and assurance thinking beyond Cold War era narratives.

» Stimulate rigorous academic research into deterrence, assurance, and other concepts of strategic thought for the 21st Century.

» Promote collaboration among academic and military Alliance members.

» Encourage development of national security professionals to meet future research, analytic, and decision-making requirements.

Click to Contact USSTRATCOM Academic Alliance.



Future and Recent Events

Recent Events

2022 UK Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance Conference

31 May - 1 June 2022 | The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

"Deterrence and Escalation in an Era of Systemic Competition" is the theme of the UK Deterrence and Assurance conference, to be held in partnership with the Defence Nuclear Organisation and King’s College London.

Topics for this conference will include:

-    Deterrence and strategic culture, both theory and practice.
-    Deterrence methodologies.
-    Deterrence and society.
-    Considerations for space and cyber.
-    The impact of evolving technologies.

To register, click here.  For conference inquiries contact

2022 United States Strategic Command Deterrence Symposium

July 27 – 28, 2022 | La Vista, NE | La Vista Conference Center

Registration is now open for the 13th Annual U.S. Strategic Command Deterrence Symposium.  This is an UNCLASSIFIED event. The theme, Evolving Deterrence:  Adapting to the Dynamic Global Threat Environment, will feature seven panels and three keynote speakers comprised of U.S. and international speakers to discuss current and future strategic deterrence trends and challenges. Attendees will include a wide range of government, military, academic, and industry practitioners and experts in the field. 

To attend, visit the symposium website for details and registration information. 

Points of Reference for the Conduct of
21st Century Deterrence and Assurance Research


Deterrence and Assurance are abstract political-military concepts.   They are also conditions attained in the minds of deterrees and assurees, achieved only at their respective discretion, and only in nuanced context of their unique decision spaces.  Activities undertaken to achieve deterrence and assurance goals comprise planning and execution of a strategy, an equally abstract concept requiring similar research consideration.  Simply stated, research involves gaining understanding of both the nature of a given deterrence and assurance problem, and how to address it.

With these themes in mind, new thinking in deterrence and assurance is not exclusively adversary and/or military in scope.  It calls for research into topics that go beyond consideration of adversary military capabilities and attendant U.S./Allied means to countervail them.  Topics include (but are not limited to) local, regional, and international political and economic factors; socio-cultural and decision-making dynamics; as well as psychological lines of inquiry, all of which are geared toward informing policies pursuant to tailored deterrence and allied assurance objectives.

While better understanding into how objectives might be achieved vis-à-vis a given deterrence and assurance problem set remains a central focus, equally as pertinent is appreciating the mechanics of how objectives are to be achieved.  Such research involves understanding the political, fiscal, and bureaucratic aspects of marshalling limited national resources into coherent deterrence and assurance strategies.  Underlying all of this is the need to understand the nature of the term strategy itself.

While not exhaustive, researchers are encouraged to consider the following alphabetized list of references selected with each of these themes in mind as they pursue efforts to add to the literature.
















Strategic Intelligence

Strategic Culture

Decision-Making Dynamics

Behavioral Dynamics

Legacy Deterrence Theory

Deterrence in the “Second Nuclear Age”

Deterring Terrorism




Concept of Deterrence

Practitioners of Deterrence


Points of Reference for the Conduct of 21st Century Deterrence and Assurance Research in PDF


Curtis D. McGiffin, Associate Dean
School of Strategic Force Studies

James C. Petrosky, Director
Nuclear Expertise for Advancing Technologies




Todd Robinson, Assistant Professor
Military and Security Studies
Air University




John M. Wiest, Assistant Dean
College of Engineering




Sharon K. Weiner, Associate Professor
School of International Service




Zdzislaw Sliwa, Dean
Baltic Defence College




Adriana Seagle, Program Director
Intelligence and Security Studies



California State University

Mark Clark, Professor and Director
National Security Studies Program

Steven Childs, Associate Professor
National Security Studies Program




Christopher J. Ferrero, Assistant Professor
Intelligence and National Security Studies



Mark Deinert, Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering




Peter Harris, Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science



Command and General Staff College (CGSC)

Barry M. Stentiford, Director
Advanced Strategic Leadership
Studies Program (ASLSP)




Howard W. Buffett, Associate Professor
International and Public Affairs




Erika Moreno, Professor
Political Science and International Relations

Maorong Jiang, Associate Professor
History and Political Science




Colonel George R. Farfour, Commandant
Defense Nuclear Weapons School

James M. Ragland, Coordination/Manager
Nuclear Enterprise Branch/Nuclear Weapons Instructional Museum




Adam N. Stulberg, Professor
The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

Jenna Jordan, Assistant Professor
The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

Margaret E. Kosal, Associate Professor
The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

Lawrence Rubin, Associate Professor
The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs

Rachel Whitlark, Assistant Professor
The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs




Matthew Kroenig, Associate Professor
International Relations Field Chair Dept. of Government




Matthew Bunn, Professor
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs



Indiana University

Sarah Bauerle Danzman, Assistant Professor
Department of International Studies



Maurice E. Dawson, Assistant Professor
Director, Center for Cyber Security and
Forensics Education




Mack Shelley, Department Chair
Political Science

Ellen Pirro, Lecturer
Political Science

Steffen Schmidt, Professor
Political Science

Doug Jacobson, Professor
Electrical & Computer Engineering




Jonathan Bierce, Strategic Architect
Supervisor, Operations and Threat Assessments Group

Rob Vercher, Program Area Manager
Deterrence Analysis Prototyping & Development
Air Force Strategic Systems



Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies




David Graff, Director
Security Studies



         Louisiana Tech Research Institute

Sumeet Dua, Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships
Louisiana Tech University

Warren Ward, Chief of Staff and Director of Operations
Louisiana Tech Research Institute




John P. Rose, Department Head
Department of Defense and Strategic Studies Program

Kerry Kartchner, Member, Distinguished Faculty
Department of Defense and Strategic Studies Program



Naval Postgraduate School

Wade Huntley, Senior Lecturer and Academic Director
School of International Graduate Studies



Richard Evans, Interim Executive Director
National Strategic Research Institute




Paul Bernstein, Senior Research Fellow
Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Justin Anderson, Senior Policy Fellow
Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction



Thomas Ambrosio, Professor 
Criminal Justice & Political Science



Karen L. Hinkle, Professor  
Associate Provost for Research and Chief Research Officer




Bethany Goldblum, Founder & Director
Nuclear Policy Working Group




Przemyslaw Mazur
Institute of Security Studies

Rafal Kopec
Institute of Security Studies



John Hodgson, Associate Director
Center for Security Research and Education

Darryl Farber, Assistant Teaching Professor
College of Engineering and School of
International Affairs




Steve Cimbala, Distinguished Professor
Political Science




Rebecca Hersman, Director
Project on Nuclear Issues



Purdue University

Stacey L. Connaughton, Director
Purdue Policy Research Institute

Daniel DeLaurentis, Professor
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Sorin Matei, Associate Professor
Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts



Royal Danish Defence College


Carina Ann Meyn, Assistant Professor
Institute for Strategy




Amy B. Zegart, Co-Director
Center for International Security
and Cooperation




Nicholas Taylor
United Kingdom Deterrence and Assurance

Academic Alliance




Damon Coletta, Professor/Editor
Political Science/Space & Defense




Edward Kaplan, Dean
School of Strategic Landpower




LTC Michael Rosol, Director
International Affairs, Social Sciences Department 

Thomas Sherlock, Professor
Political Science



National Security, Political Science Department




CDR Daniel Post, Permanent Military Professor Fellow
Strategy and Policy Department




Matthew Fuhrmann, Director
Graduate Studies, Political Science




Roberto Furfaro, Associate Professor
Systems and Industrial Engineering




Erik Gartzke, Director
Center for Peace and Security Studies




Lewis Griffith, Lecturer and Director
Defense and Security Policy Lab
Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Jill Schmieder Hereau, Associate Director
Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy




Michael Denning, Director
Office of Graduate Military Programs

Don Haider-Markel, Professor and Chair
Department of Political Science



University of Miami

Brian D. Blankenship, Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science




Tyler White, Director
National Security Program

Elsbeth J. Magilton, Executive Director
Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications
Law Program, College of Law




Chuck M. Rowling, Associate Professor
Department of Political Science




Michelle Black, Assistant Professor
Political Science

Lana Obradovic, Assistant Professor
Political Science




Evan Renfro, Assistant Professor
Political Science




Michael Desch, Director
Notre Dame International Security Center




Phil Williams, Director
Matthew B. Ridgway Center
for International Security Studies




Ashley Townshend, Director
Foreign Policy and Defence




Russel Hirst, Associate Professor and
Managing Editor

International Journal of Nuclear Security




Moriba K. Jah, Associate Professor
Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Alan J. Kuperman, Associate Professor
Coordinator, Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project




Jeannie Johnson, Founding Director & Associate Professor
Center for Anticipatory Intelligence

Matt Berrett, Cofounder & Professional Practice Faculty
Center for Anticipatory Intelligence

Briana Bowen, Cofounder & Associate Director
Center for Anticipatory Intelligence




Shale Horowitz, Professor
Department of Political Science



David Dorondo, Associate Professor
Department of History




Nuno Monterio, Associate Professor
Department of Political Science

Ian O. Johnson, Lecturer
Department of History
Associate Director, Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy

Research Topics

USSTRATCOM Analytic Agenda 2023 Research Questions


Understanding and anticipating change in the environment and impacts to deterrence strategies:

  • What are useful new models for understanding the relationships among multiple nuclear-armed actors?
  • What are strategies for deterring two nuclear-armed peer/near-peer competitors simultaneously?
  • What impact does two nuclear-armed peer/near-peer competitors have on extended deterrence and assurance?
  • How can deterrence be restored? Is a nation’s first response its best opportunity to do so?


Understanding the changing deterrence mission and how to accelerate adaptation:

  • What are ways to operationalize integrated deterrence across the whole of government?
  • How can we shape deterrence of non-nuclear attacks that employ multi-domain and simultaneous effects rising to the strategic level?
  • How might the methods by which we deter nuclear use need to be adapted after nuclear use by an adversary?
  • How do non-state entities taking actions in a crisis or conflict impact escalation and deterrence?
  • What is the risk (probability and consequence) that strategic deterrence will fail given a set of relevant independent variables? 


Understanding the requirements of strategic competition and improving the competitive posture of the U.S. and its allies:

  • Is strategic stability possible in a tripolar long term competition?
  • How does strategic competition, crises, and/or conflict impact extended deterrence? Conversely, how can extending deterrence impact great power competition?      
  • How has the use of economic warfare and sharp power impacted great power competition?
  • How might the U.S. enhance its resilience to counter nuclear coercion? What policies, postures, and/or capabilities could prevent us from being deterred?
  • What integrated deterrence lessons learned can be drawn from the Ukraine crisis?


U.S. Strategic Command Academic Alliance 2022-2023 Academic Year Research Topics in PDF
U.S. Strategic Command Academic Alliance 2021-2022 Academic Year Research Topics in PDF
U.S. Strategic Command Academic Alliance 2020-2021 Academic Year Research Topics in PDF
U.S. Strategic Command Academic Alliance 2018-2019 Academic Year Research Topics in PDF
U.S. Strategic Command Academic Alliance 2017-2018 Academic Year Research Topics in PDF