A New
American Security

2021 CNAS National Security Conference

New Challenges, Ideas, and Voices

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS), in partnership with Axios, presented the 15th Annual CNAS National Security Conference, A New American Security. The virtual conference explored the new challenges, ideas, and voices transforming America’s national security landscape. It featured a series of interactive online sessions on issues such as technology and economic competition, the future of defense, and the challenges to democratic values. The conference showcased a new generation of national security voices, including in “The Pitch,” the Center’s annual competition of ideas, held before an interactive audience and distinguished panel of judges. This multi-day conference culminated in a live virtual strategy game around the issues shaping the Department of Defense’s next National Defense Strategy.

Presented in partnership with



Happening Now

Happening Now

Series Schedule

Day 1
08 Jun 2021
Day 2
09 Jun 2021
Day 3
10 Jun 2021
Day 4
15 Jun 2021
Day 5
16 Jun 2021
Day 6
17 Jun 2021

Opening Session: A New American Security

Join the Center’s experts and other leading voices in national security for the launch of the CNAS 2021 National Security Conference, A New American Security. CNAS CEO Richard Fontaine will provide...
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Richard Fontaine
Richard Fontaine
Ilan Goldenberg
Stacie Pettyjohn
Kathleen Hicks
David Lawler
Vance Serchuk

Show Me the Crypto

Join EES Adjunct Senior Fellow Yaya J. Fanusie and Research Assistants Jason Bartlett and Emily Jin in an interactive choose-your-own-adventure style scenario following a fictitious South Korean cryptocurrency exchange and...
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Jason Bartlett
Yaya J. Fanusie
Emily Jin

Global Digital Order

As the global technology competition intensifies, how can the United States regain its edge? Watch live as CNAS experts and guests discuss what America and like-minded democratic countries can do...
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Lisa Curtis
Megan Lamberth
Martijn Rasser
Ainikki Riikonen
Bryan Walsh

The Future of Indo-Pacific Strategy

The United States and China are competing across economic, diplomatic, military, technological, and ideological spheres, with implications for the future of the Indo-Pacific region. Join CNAS for an expert conversation...
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Lisa Curtis
Kurt Campbell
Mike Green
Harry Harris
Tanvi Madan

Live Podcast: CNAS Brussels Sprouts

Join the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program for a live, interactive recording of the Center’s Brussels Sprouts podcast with co-hosts Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend, plus other expert guests. Register for...
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Andrea Kendall-Taylor
Steven Erlanger
Anne Gearan
Susan B. Glasser
Jim Townsend
Constanze Stelzenmüller

Protecting Democracy, Protecting National Security

Bolstering democracy at home in the face of an elevated threat from domestic extremist violence is a national security imperative. Watch live as CNAS convenes a virtual conversation about the...
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Carrie Cordero
Rep. Peter Meijer
Rep. Elissa Slotkin
Jonathan Swan

Military Recruitment for an Era of Competition

The makeup of the U.S. military reflects the strengths of American democracy, providing operational advantages in near-peer competition. Yet, the All-Volunteer Force faces a range of issues that hinder representation...
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Katherine L. Kuzminski
Bishop Garrison
Lieutenant Colonel Garrett Kaye
Kori Schake

Russia: An Assumptions Check

How should U.S. policymakers think about the Russia challenge, especially in the face of other national security priorities? From the SolarWinds cyber breach to Moscow’s massive military buildup on Ukraine’s...
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Andrea Kendall-Taylor
Eddie Fishman
Michael Kofman
Margarita Konaev

America and the Middle East

For 20 years, American presidents have tried to withdraw U.S. military forces from the Middle East, only to be pulled back in. As calls for the United States to completely...
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Ilan Goldenberg

The Quad Equation: How Four Democracies Can Uphold the Rules-based Order in the Indo-Pacific

Following the first-ever Quad summit earlier this year, what can we expect from this emerging powerful group of Indo-Pacific democracies? Will the four nations—Australia, India, Japan, and the United States—be...
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Lisa Curtis
Stephen Biegun
Michael Fullilove
Vijay Gokhale
Shinsuke Sugiyama

The Pitch 2021: A Competition of New Ideas

Join CNAS for its annual premier event to elevate emerging and diverse voices in national security: The Pitch: A Competition of New Ideas. Selected applicants will make their pitch for...
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Richard Fontaine
Richard Fontaine
Michele Flournoy
Michèle Flournoy
Michael J. Zak
Carrie Cordero
Katherine L. Kuzminski
James L. Anderson
Jake Brooke
Rachel Brooks
Jamil Brown
John Grover
Andrew Hanna
Tina Huang
Shai Korman
Sophia Lugo
James Mersol
Walker Mills
Sara Plana
Kaleigh Thomas
Bethan Saunders
John Vrolyk
Abigail Wulf

Take Your Seat in the National Security Field: A Make Room Mentoring Session

Join us for a mentoring session focused on the next generation of national security professionals. This session will feature a brief panel on how to build a successful career in...
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Alexis Collins
Rebecca Liao
Kaleigh Thomas
Shelly O’Neill Stoneman

Security in the Balance: Gaming the Next Defense Strategy

Join the CNAS Defense Program and expert guests for a live virtual strategy game exploring some of the critical challenges shaping the Department of Defense’s (DoD) next National Defense Strategy...
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Stacie Pettyjohn
Chris Dougherty
Eric Fanning
Shai Korman
ED McGrady
Sarah Mineiro
Jacob Stokes
Becca Wasser
Robert O. Work