Beyond Offset

The Beyond Offset project is a partnership between War on the Rocks and the Center for a New American Security that aims to build a community-of-interest that will address the challenges of maintaining America’s competitive edge in military technology and advance solutions.

The Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense have both stated publicly that they believe the U.S. military is losing its technological edge. To remedy that decline they have commenced an initiative to assure the U.S. military’s technological edge through the next several decades. Based on the “offset” strategy of the late 1970s, which spurred development of game-changing technologies that helped underpin U.S. defense strategy for decades, this new effort comes at a critical time in the debate over Pentagon policy and investment priorities.

What are the solutions? How should we understand the problem? What is the next offset strategy? Check this page often for answers to those questions and – more importantly – submit your own answers for publication at War or on the Rocks ( Join the conversation on social media using #beyondoffset.

What is an Offset Strategy?

Robert Tomes, “The Cold War Offset Strategy: Assault Breaker and the Beginning of the RSTA Revolution,” War on the Rocks, 11/20/2014.

Robert Tomes, “The Cold War Offset Strategy: Origins and Relevance,” War on the Rocks, 11/6/2014.

Van Jackson, “Superiority at any Price? Political Consequences of the First Offset Strategy,” War on the Rocks, 10/30/2014.

Jon Czarnecki, “Against a Tech-Centric Offset,” War on the Rocks, 10/29/2014

Ben FitzGerald, “Technology strategy then and now – the Long Range Research and Development Planning Program,” War on the Rocks, 10/21/2014.

Shawn Brimley, “Offset Strategies & Warfighting Regimes,” War on the Rocks, 10/15/2014.

What should the U.S. Government do?

Shawn Brimley and Elbridge Colby, “Ash Carter Has One Shot To Keep the Pentagon’s Technology Edge,” Defense One, 2/3/2015

Elbridge Colby, Nuclear Weapons in the Third Offset Strategy: Avoiding a Nuclear Blind Spot in the Pentagon’s New Initiative, CNAS, 1/30/2015

Robert Work, “The Third U.S. Offset Strategy and its Implications for Partners and Allies,” CNAS, 1/28/2015

Alexandra Sander, “Exploring a New Offset Strategy: What the Experts Say,” War on the Rocks, 12/04/2014.

Ben FitzGerald, “When Superiority Goes Wrong: Science Fiction and Offset Strategies,” War on the Rocks, 12/03/2014.

Stephen Rodriguez, “Top 10 Failed Defense Programs of the RMA Era,” War on the Rocks, 12/02/2014.

August Cole, “Finally, a Blank Page,” War on the Rocks, 12/01/2014.

B.J Armstrong, “More than an Offset: Defense Innovation from the Inside,” War on the Rocks, 11/26/2014

Adam Jay Harrison, “Offset 3.0, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Commercial Technology,” War on the Rocks, 11/17/2014.

Jon Czarnecki, “Against a Tech-Centric Offset,” War on the Rocks, 10/26/2014.

Paul Scharre, “To Save Money, Go Unmanned,” War on the Rocks, 10/22/2014

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, “Develop a third, game-changing offset strategy,” in Newport, Rhode Island, 9/3/2014.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, “A technological edge over our adversaries,” at the National Defense University,  8/5/2014.

Robert Work and Shawn Brimley, 20YY: Preparing for War in the Robotic Age, CNAS, 1/2014.


Spitballing Offset Strategy,” War on the Rocks, 12/23/2015

Shawn Brimley, “Interview: Retaining an Advantage in the Air and Maritime Domains,” War on the Rocks, 12/11/2014

Peter Newell, “Interview: Temporary Technological Dominance and DoD’s Offset Strategy,” War on the Rocks, 12/10/2014

Van Jackson, “Interview: Challenges for a 21st Century Offset Strategy,” War on the Rocks, 12/9/2014

Michael Horowitz, “Interview: The Past and the Future of Offset Strategies,” War on the Rocks, 12/8/2014

Adam Jay Harrison, “Interview: Offset and Targeting the Sources of Innovation,” War on the Rocks, 12/6/2014