APL Colloquium

June 11, 2021

Colloquium Topic: Disrupting National Defense: A Conversation with Christian Brose

America has been the world's dominant military power for generations. How the US military fights, and the systems and weapons that it fights with, have been uncontested. That old reality, however, is rapidly deteriorating. America's traditional sources of power are eroding amid the emergence of new technologies and the growing military threat posed by rivals such as China. The future will be defined by artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, and other emerging technologies that are revolutionizing global industries and are now poised to overturn the model of American defense. America must build a battle network of systems that enables people to rapidly understand threats, make decisions, and take military actions, the process known as "the kill chain." If this transition does not happen urgently and at scale, America risks losing the next war.

Colloquium Speaker: Christian Brose

Christian Brose is the Chief Strategy Officer of Anduril Industries, a venture-backed defense technology company. He is responsible for business strategy, development, and growth and positioning the company to build technologies that solve the most important defense problems. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, and the author of The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare, (Hachette Books, April 2020)

From 2014-2018, he was the staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In that capacity, he led a team of professional staff who supported Chairman John McCain and other majority Committee members in overseeing the national defense budget, programs, and policies across the Department of Defense and Department of Energy, as well as supervising the confirmation of all senior civilian and military officials in both Departments. He managed the production, negotiation, and final passage of four National Defense Authorization Acts (Fiscal Years 2016-2019), which established policy and authorized spending for all U.S. national defense activities. In that time, he was responsible for leading the Committee’s efforts to launch, and enact into law, landmark reforms to acquisition and technology policy, defense management and organization, strategic planning, military personnel policy, and security assistance.

From 2009-14, he served as senior policy adviser to Senator John McCain, supporting his work on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was Senator’s McCain’s principal advisor on all issues related to national security, foreign policy, intelligence, and trade. During his work in the Senate, he conducted official travel to more than 70 countries.

From 2008-09, he was senior editor of Foreign Policy, following its purchase by the Washington Post, where he helped to lead the transformation of its digital platform, print publication, and editorial staff.

From 2005-08, he served as policy adviser and chief speechwriter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, working as a member of the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff and supporting the Secretary on regular foreign and domestic travel. He began his career in government as a speechwriter for Secretary of State Colin Powell, where he served from 2004-05.

He graduated with highest honors in political science from Kenyon College and received a master’s degree in international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two sons.