matt-hero-team

Elbridge Colby

Co-Founder and Principal


For inquiries, please click below:

Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition. He is the author of The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict (Yale University Press), which The Wall Street Journal selected as one of the top ten books of 2021.

Previously, Colby was from 2018-2019 the Director of the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security, where he led the Center’s work on defense issues.

Before that, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development from 2017-2018. In that role, he served as the lead official in the development and rollout of the Department’s preeminent strategic planning guidance, the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS). The NDS shifted the Department of Defense’s focus to the challenges to U.S. military superiority and interests posed by China in particular followed by Russia, prioritizing restoring the Joint Force’s warfighting edge against these major power competitors. He also served as the primary Defense Department representative in the development of the 2017 National Security Strategy.

Prior to this, Colby was from 2014 to 2017 the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. From 2010 to 2013 he was principal analyst and division lead for global strategic affairs at CNA. Earlier in his career he served for over five years in the U.S. Government working on a range of strategic forces, arms control, WMD, and intelligence reform matters, including service with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 and with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during its stand-up in 2005-2006. Colby has also served on the staff of a number of government commissions, including the 2014 National Defense Panel, the 2008-2009 Strategic Posture Commission, and the 2004-2005 President’s WMD Commission.

Colby’s work has appeared in outlets such as The Wall Street JournalForeign Affairs, The Washington PostThe New York Times, Foreign Policy, and The National Interest as well as in international outlets such as Asahi ShimbunYomiuri ShimbunNikkei Asia, The Hindustan TimesThe AustralianSüddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungInternationale Politik, Die ZeitLe FigaroThe Spectator, Survival, La Stampa, The Taipei TimesHankook Ilbo, The New Straits Times, and The Manila Standard. He is also the author of many book chapters, reports, and articles on defense and foreign policy issues. He has testified a number of times before Congress and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Colby is a recipient of the Distinguished and Exceptional Public Service Awards from the Department of Defense and of the Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Colby is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.


For inquiries, please click below:

The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict

by Elbridge Colby

Elbridge A. Colby was the lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the most significant revision of U.S. defense strategy in a generation. Here he lays out how America’s defense must change to address China’s growing power and ambition. Based firmly in the realist tradition but deeply engaged in current policy, this book offers a clear framework for what America’s goals in confronting China must be, how its military strategy must change, and how it must prioritize these goals over its lesser interests.

Read More

Work

How to keep the peace in the Indo-Pacific

The Japan Times | Still, there is a limit to the appeal of public goods There is a real difference between “new friends” and making hard choices that risk doing real damage to national security. Countries will take what they’re offered but are likely to remain on the fence in a conflict. .....

Podcast: Does Biden have a geopolitical plan?

The Spectator Podcast — The District | Spectator Deputy Editor Oliver Wiseman is joined by Elbridge Colby, a senior Pentagon official during the Trump administration and the author of A Strategy of Denial, to discuss Biden’s foreign policy, the war in Ukraine and whether the US is doing enough to rise to the China threat......

Create a NATO for the Pacific, U.S. senator proposes

Nikkei Asia | Elbridge Colby, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, said that spending political capital to form an Asian NATO would distract America and its allies from preparing for the China challenge......

Ukraine’s Tactics Are Showing Smaller Countries How to Fight Back

Bloomberg | “The clear lesson is: Don’t rely on indirect international pressure. You’ve got to be able to defeat the adversary’s ability to take and hold the key territory of your state,” says Elbridge Colby, a former Pentagon official who was the lead architect of the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy......

‘Strategic confusion’ hurts Taiwan

Tapei Times | As for Washington’s commitment to Taiwan, “the morality of a foreign policy should be judged not by words or intent, but by how well it does that,” American Global Strategies senior adviser Elbridge Colby aptly said.....

Top Republicans dismiss partisan differences

The Australian | Former Trump administration Pentagon official Elbridge Colby, an expert of Indo-Pacific affairs and co-founder of the Marathon Initiative, said he hoped Australia didn’t change its foreign policy stance under Labor........

The Taboo Against Great Power War Is Gone

The New York Times | Two of the key lessons of the Russian-Ukraine war are the tremendous expenditure of the most high-technology ordnance to achieve any useful battlefield effect, and the vulnerability of even the most advanced ships, planes and tanks to enemy action......

Elbridge Colby | The Future of Conservative Foreign Policy Ep. 7

The Vandenberg Coalition | In part seven of our Future of Conservative Foreign Policy series, we talk with Elbridge Colby about areas of agreement and disagreement in the conservative foreign policy community and a range of policy issues, including China, Taiwan, Russia, and the defense budget.”.....

Bridge Colby Denies China Taiwan

The Hoover Institution | Misha talks to Bridge Colby, former deputy assistant secretary of defense, about how to prevent China from taking over Taiwan, whether the Biden Administration is maintaining the Trump defense strategy, and why Taiwan is vital to US interests”.....

미 전직 고위관리 “북한이 중국 통제 원치 않는 한 미북협상 가능성” (Former senior US official says US-North Korea negotiations are possible as long as North Korea does not want to control China)

RFA (Korea) |Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy Elbridge Colby : ( Relating to North Korea ) We should not expect Chinese favor . There appears to be room for negotiations between the US and North Korea, unless North Korea wants to be completely turned into a Chinese tool...............

As Ukraine war drags on, Pentagon makes long-term plans for Europe

The Washington Post | Elbridge Colby, a former defense official in the Trump administration, said that it’s a “really serious concern” what the trend line might be in keeping additional forces in Europe as a result of Russia’s invasion, considering the United States is “doing badly in terms of the military balance in Asia.”.............

Russia is Acute Threat, China is Priority Threat, Speakers Say

Seapower Magazine | The U.S. Defense Department will continue to have a priority focus on China despite the global military community’s recent attention to the war in Ukraine, said Elbridge “Bridge” Colby, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, in a one-on-one April 4 discussion with U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Sean Salene..............

Washington Post: Early 202 – April 1, 2022

The Washington Post | Six questions for … Elbridge Colby: We chatted with Colby, who served as a deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2018, about what President Biden's gotten right and wrong in Ukraine. ............

Putin Stokes Nuclear Fears With Atomic Weapons Warnings

The Wall Street Journal | The point of a tactical nuclear strike to end a conventional conflict, based on doctrine known as “escalate to de-escalate,” is to change the rules on the battlefield while shifting the burden of escalation onto your opponent, said Elbridge Colby, co-founder of The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on great-power competition...........

The Realignment 218: Elbridge Colby: Is Taiwan Next?

The Realignment | For Day 13 of The Realignment's daily Ukraine coverage, Marshall spoke with return Realignment guest Elbridge Colby, co-founder of The Marathon Initiative, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development, where he served as the lead official in the development of the 2018 National Defense Strategy..........

The consequences of electing China’s candidate

The Philippine Star | The Stratbase Institute recently organized a briefing with war expert and author, Elbridge Colby. Colby was the US Assistant Secretary of Defense responsible for defense strategies, armed forces development and analysis of war-related policies. Colby’s talk was a sobering wake-up call for us Filipinos........

‘New prexy needs int’l support in WPS dispute’

The Manila Standard | Manhit cited these developments from a book recently launched by Stratbase ADRi titled, “The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict,” authored by Former US Department of Defense Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development........

The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict, with Elbridge Colby

La Monde | For Elbridge Colby, former Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense (2017-2018), “a real defeat for Russia would leave Beijing quite isolated internationally”. Author of the book The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict (Yale University Press, 2021, untranslated), Elbridge Colby explains to Le Monde that, in his opinion, "the Chinese will support their Russian ally but will try to avoid paying an excessive price........

Guerre en Ukraine : la Chine à l’heure du choix

La Monde | For Elbridge Colby, former Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense (2017-2018), “a real defeat for Russia would leave Beijing quite isolated internationally”. Author of the book The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict (Yale University Press, 2021, untranslated), Elbridge Colby explains to Le Monde that, in his opinion, "the Chinese will support their Russian ally but will try to avoid paying an excessive price........

Bull in a China Shop

Ricochet | We jet eastward and then into the ether this week, unfortunately without our pal James Lileks who’s vacationing somewhere on planet Earth. Our first guide is Elbridge Colby, who explains why we better not sleep on the Pacific theater............

How the US-Russia relationship has changed

Channel 4 News | After his meeting with fellow Western foreign ministers today in Brussels, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that President Putin could open a “Pandora’s box of trouble” for the entire world, adding that Nato did not seek conflict, but “if conflict comes to us, we are ready for it”..........

Proceedings Podcast Ep. 258: Bridge Colby on the Strategy of Denial

U.S. Naval Institute | Author Bridge Colby discusses the subject of his book "The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict." This content is made possible by the members of the U.S. Naval Institute. For additional details about the Naval Institute, visit: https://www.usni.org/join..........

Opinion: Putin has a huge advantage in the kind of nuclear weapon he would be most likely to use

The Washington Post | Wouldn’t Russia be deterred from crossing that line in Europe by the prospect of mutually assured destruction? Maybe, but the notion that Washington would escalate to strategic nuclear weapons in the absence of an imminent threat to the homeland “is just too extreme to be convincing and therefore unlikely to work” as a deterrent, conservative strategist Elbridge Colby wrote in Foreign Affairs in 2018.........

Japan should follow Germany’s lead on Ukraine

Nikkei Asia | Russia's abominable invasion of Ukraine is likely to be a hinge point in history. It surely must lay to rest the idea that history is over, that power politics and the possibility of major war are gone from the developed areas of the world.........

Comment from Alfons Mais, Chief of the Germany Army

LinkedIn | "Interessanter Gastkommentar zum Thema: „Hilf Dir selbst, sonst hilft Dir keiner!“ oder besser „Nur wer bereit ist, sich selbst zu helfen, dem helfen auch andere!“ Fazit: Unser Schwerpunkt muss vorne liegen, nicht hinten!".......

Ukraine war: Does China see an opportunity in the US-Russia rift?

Hindustan Times | And finally, the US-Russia rupture has shifted focus to Europe from Indo-Pacific. Observers such as Elbridge A Colby, a former Pentagon official who played a key role in drafting the US national defence strategy in 2018, have been warning that the US has a deficit in terms of its capabilities to fight on two fronts, and must force European countries to take on more responsibilities even as it focuses on Indo-Pacific........

Elbridge Colby on Jesse Watters Primetime

Jesse Watters Primetime | @ElbridgeColby tells @JesseBWatters it was delusional to think the Chinese was going to help us with Russia. China is even a bigger threat than Russia so why would they think they’re going to help solve our problems.......

Ukraine war: Does China see an opportunity in the US-Russia rift?

RealClearWire | This week marks the 50th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s visit to China, a dramatic presidential trip that normalized relations with the country as part of a larger effort to neutralize Soviet influence in China. Today, though, the Beijing-Moscow axis is tighter than it was during Nixon’s historic visit. “Their relationship seems to be about as close as it's ever been, going back to Stalin and Mao Zedong,” said Elbridge Colby, a deputy assistant secretary at the Defense Department during the Trump administration. “It's a very worrisome situation.”.......

Opinion | The Isolationists Are Wrong: The Pax Americana Is Worth Defending

Politico | There are so many advantages to our preeminent position that we take for granted. In an essay titled “After Hegemony,” former Trump official Elbridge Colby notes some of them: “Think how the American-born internet supported Silicon Valley, and vice versa, leading to a World Wide Web governed by formal laws and informal norms almost entirely of American design........

Hawk v. hawk: can we take on China and Russia at the same time?

Responsible Statecraft | The United States might be promising a tough response, but how far are they prepared to act over a conflict so many thousands of miles away? We’re joined by Elbridge Colby, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategy at the Pentagon, and Constanze Stelzenmuller, a specialist in European-US relations at the Brookings Institution.......

CBC: Significant Sanctions?

CBC News | Elbridge Colby, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development, talks with the CBC's Aarti Pole ahead of President Biden's address. The President announced harsh new sanctions aimed at punishing Russia.......

The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict

German Marshall Fund of the United States | The German Marshall Fund of the United States is pleased to welcome Elbridge Colby to present and discuss his book, The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict. As lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, Colby outlines how Washington should recalibrate its defense in the face of Beijing’s growing power and ambition, putting particular emphasis on the goals that the United States should tackle and the interests it should prioritize.......

Deutschland vor

Süddeutsche Zeitung | Amerika wird sich um Europa nicht mehr so kümmern können wie bisher. Das größte Land der EU wird die Leerstelle füllen müssen. Andernfalls ... Gastkommentar von Elbridge Colby.......

February 19: Between the Lines with Tom Switzer

Between the Lines with Tom Switzer | American power: Spread too thin and over extended? The U.S can no longer dominant the world and so should reorder its strategic priorities away from Europe, Ukraine and the Middle East and instead concentrate on the Asia Pacific and China........

The Navy’s Messaging Choke Point

Defense One | Elbridge Colby, a panelist who helped write the 2018 National Defense Strategy as deputy assistant defense secretary for strategy and force development, said the Navy should talk far less about its role in safeguarding commerce and more about how it deters and fights wars.......

Elbridge A. Colby at WEST 2022

AFCEA International | Elbridge A. Colby, co-founder and principal, the Marathon Initiative, discusses China and Taiwan during a panel discussion at WEST 2022........

On Ukraine Crisis, Biden Seeks to Show His Mettle

The New York Times | “We have to focus on China,” said Elbridge Colby, a former Pentagon official in the Trump administration. “The military situation in Asia is increasingly acute, and we’re way behind. Russia’s a secondary issue.”.......

National Security Daily (Feb 16 2022)

Politico | ELBRIDGE COLBY, a former top Trump administration Pentagon official and longtime advocate for devoting most of America’s national security resources to the China challenge, called Bolton out for the piece........

Ukraine Is a Distraction From Taiwan

The Wall Street Journal | The U.S. can no longer afford to spread its military across the world. The reason is simple: an increasingly aggressive China, the most powerful state to rise in the international system since the U.S. itself. By some measures, China’s economy is now the world’s largest.......

US Defense Strategy Amid China’s Quest for Power

Chicago Council on Global Affairs | Former Pentagon official Elbridge Colby offers a new perspective, grounded in the realist tradition and concrete policy experience, on how America’s defense strategy must change to deal with China’s rise......

Abschied vom Reich des Bösen

Süddeutsche Zeitung | In den USA verschieben sich die außenpolitischen Einstellungen: Immer mehr Republikaner sehen Russland nicht mehr als aggressiven Widerpart, dem sich die Vereinigten Staaten entgegenstellen müssen. Was bedeutet das für die Welt.......

“The Strategy of Denial”. Giovedì 10/02 LIVE su Formiche Expert: Elbridge Colby

Formiche | Giovedì 10 febbraio, alle h. 15.00 LIVE su Formiche.net e sulla pagina Facebook di Formiche, la presentazione di “The Strategy of Denial” (Yale University Press), l’ultimo libro di Elbridge Colby, analista americano e presidente della Marathon Initiative, già sottosegretario alla Difesa dell’amministrazione Trump e tra i più noti strateghi americani........

DEFAERO Andy Marshall Strategy Series w/ Bridge Colby

Defense and Aerospace Report | This conversation is part of a series of discussions with leading thinkers and strategists and dedicated to the memory of Andy Marshall, the former director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, and sponsored by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.....

Colin Dueck: How Does Great Power Competition End?

The National Interest | “ ... It is with these concerns in mind that Elbridge Colby argues in his new book, The Strategy of Denial, for a relentless American focus on China, based upon that country’s singular challenge to the international balance of power.....

Global Strategy Forum: The Strategy Of Denial

Global Strategy Forum | GSF January 2022 webinar with Elbridge A. Colby, Co-founder & Principal of The Marathon Initiative; US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy & Force Development (2017-2018); and Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator, The Financial Times....

‘The Ingraham Angle’ on Russia-Ukraine conflict

The Ingraham Angle | Great to be with you, Laura. I think in general you're absolutely right, we should not be removing any leverage. I think what President Trump and the administration that he led really shifted correctly on was understanding that this is not purely a commercial situation with China, that it is intimately connected to our national security and it's been associated with the deindustrialization and tremendous number of problems that our country faces. ...

Tucker Carlson: How US conflict with Russia benefits China

Tucker Carlson Tonight | ELBRIDGE COLBY, FORMER TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OFFICIAL: Absolutely, Tucker, and great to be with you. I mean, China is by far the biggest challenge to American interests in the way that you're talking about it at home, which is really going to affect our economy, our lives, our prosperity, and our freedoms. .....

Building a ‘strategy of denial’ to thwart China

Hindustan Times | After many decades of hoping to avoid a rivalrous relationship with China, both the United States (US) and India now recognise China as their top security threat. sensus that China is one of — if not the — major threats to US stability and prosperity. But concerted action from the Pentagon that matches the gravity of this threat is lacking. .....

Europe can’t expect America to ride to its rescue against Putin

The Spectator | The issue here is neither Trump nor Biden. Rather, it is the fact that the United States does not have and 'won't have a military big enough to increase commitments in Europe and have a chance of restoring (US) edge in Asia against China,' as Elbridge Colby – the architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, dominated heavily by China – put it recently. 'We must prioritise,' he added, 'either we'll shift gracefully toward Asia, giving Europe a soft landing (maybe too late for that). Or there'll be a shock in Asia and we will have an East of Suez moment, when we'll have to dramatically cut other commitments to prioritise Asia.'.....

China: Strategy of Denial

Council on Geostrategy | The rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the surrounding Indo-Pacific region has altered the global balance of power.....

CIMSEC: The Global Operating Model’s Contact and Blunt Layers

Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) | Further details emerged from the Senate testimony of former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Strategy and Force Development) and 2018 NDS Core Team leader Elbridge Colby: "Contact layer forces “orient activities in the ‘gray zone,’ especially in concert with allies, to prevent Russia or China from dominating the crucial perceptual landscape or surprising the United States and its allies by augmenting allied defenses, collecting intelligence, and challenging salami-slicing activities" .....

Interview: Providing for America’s Defense

City Journal | Elbridge A. Colby is cofounder and principal of The Marathon Initiative and a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development for the Defense Department, where he served as the lead official in the development and rollout of the 2018 National Defense Strategy.....

A Coalition Will Blunt Beijing’s Ambition

The Australian | Beijing’s goals appear to be regional hegemony over Asia, the world’s largest market, as a start, and global pre-eminence from there. Some argue that Australia should accommodate Beijing and hope for the best; but that would result in the compromise of the freedoms and prosperity that make Australia the envy of the world.....

History Ago Go: Elbridge Colby & The Strategy of Denial

History Ago Go | Interviewed by Rob Mellon, Elbridge A. Colby was the lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the most significant revision of U.S. defense strategy in a generation. Here they discuss out how America’s defense must change to address China’s growing power and ambition....

Colby: “US Defence Strategy and Alliances in the Indo-Pacific Elbridge Colby” from Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation: Managing Deterrence in the 21st Century

Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation: Managing Deterrence in the 21st Century (Australian National University Press) | This text is taken from Alliances, Nuclear Weapons and Escalation: Managing Deterrence in the 21st Century, edited by Stephan Frühling and Andrew O’Neil, published 2021 by ANU Press, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia......

WSJ: The 10 Best Books of 2021

The Wall Street Journal | China cannot be contained. It cannot be appeased. It must instead be denied its immediate geopolitical goals and its long-term plans for economic, military and ideological domination in what many pundits call “the coming Chinese century.” .....

After Hegemony

The John Batchelor Show | Peter Berkowitz interviewed on Elbridge Colby's defense of Taiwan on The John Batchelor Show......

The U.S. Military and the Coming Great-Power Challenge

Foreign Affairs | In describing this dangerous new world, The Strategy of Denial touches on a range of topics, including the challenge posed to NATO from a resurgent Russia, rival nuclear arsenal growth, an unstable Middle East, and global terrorism.....

The Rise and Fall of the China Question

The Critic | Despite some such unanswered questions, The Strategy of Denial is a terrific new contribution to the literature. Colby is right to point out that there are limitations on what the US can do, and that it is time for threat prioritisation and trade-offs: this is a vital injection of realism to an American strategic debate sorely in need of it....

The John Batchelor Show: The Strategy of Denial

The John Batchelor Show | Why and how America’s defense strategy must change in light of China’s power and ambition. Elbridge A. Colby was the lead architect of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the most significant revision of U.S. defense strategy in a generation...

Analysis: Pentagon has a Pacific posture predicament

Nikkei Asia | The administration of former President Donald Trump made a clear tilt toward the "denial" camp. One of the chief advocates for that shift was Elbridge Colby, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development and the principal author of Trump's 2018 National Defense Strategy. "....

Horns of a Dilemma: A Strategy of Denial

War on the Rocks | In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, we hear from Elbridge Colby, co-founder of the Marathon Initiative, former deputy assistant secretary of defense, and author of The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Competition......

Hot Wash: China and the Strategy of Denial with Elbridge Colby

RealClear Politics | In this episode of the RealClearDefense podcast "Hot Wash", host John Sorensen and RCD Editor David Craig speak with Elbridge Colby, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development under President Trump, and the lead official in the development of the 2018 National Defense Strategy......

We Should Arm Taiwan to the Teeth

National Review | It should be our objective to keep China at bay, toward the goal of keeping it from establishing its dominance over Asia, as former Trump defense official Elbridge Colby argues in his compelling new book The Strategy of Denial.....

The Collapse of Kamala Harris, Plus: Rising to the China Challenge

Spectator World | This evening, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will meet virtually in a bid to reduce rising tensions between the US and China. The remote tête-à-tête comes at an important time, after a Chinese Communist Party declaration that marks Xi as among the greatest figures in its history, with the outlines of the Biden administration’s China policy now visible, and with no shortage of contentious issues for the two leaders to discuss......

How do Westminster and Washington justify AUKUS?

ABC - Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Will our new security alliance with the US and the UK just provoke China? Foreign-policy experts in both Washington and Westminster say that it is, rather, the rising threat of China that has made the collaboration so necessary for Australia.......

The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict Book Discussion

The Reagan Institute | The Reagan Institute invites you to join Elbridge Colby and Mike Gallagher for a conversation on Mr. Colby’s newest book, The Strategy of Denial. This virtual event brings together two defense experts to discuss the pressing issues addressed in Mr. Colby’s book such as the evolving global threat environment, the challenge of a rising China, and recommendations for strengthening American national security through “deterrence by denial.”......

Grounded with Jim Banks – Elbridge Colby

Grounded with Jim Banks | Author Elbridge Colby joins “Grounded with Jim Banks” this week to discuss his newly released book “The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict,” which lays out a military strategy to prevent Chinese hegemony in Asia. .....

Senator Marco Rubio: How to Use America’s New Peace Dividend

The American Conservative | While the Chinese Communist Party has been on a shipbuilding spree, the United States is stagnant. We cannot successfully refocus on the Indo-Pacific region, protect our critical trade routes, and discourage Beijing’s aggression if our Navy cannot project power or maintain order in critical areas......

Former U.S. Defense Official on the AUUKUS Pact

CNBC | “If it had to be this way, it had to be this way, with all due respect to our French allies” Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Elbridge Colby tells CNBC on the AUUKUS Pact....

How to stop worrying and prevent Chinese hegemony

The Washington Examiner | "Physical force, especially the ability to kill, is the ultimate form of coercive leverage. While there are other sources of influence, such as wealth, persuasiveness, and charisma, they are all dominated by the power to kill,” Elbridge A. Colby writes in The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Conflict.....

The Strategy of Denial

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | Join us for a conversation on Elbridge A. Colby's new book The Strategy of Denial which offers a detailed examination of how America's defense strategy must change in order to checkmate China's growing power and ambition and deter war....

What Comes After the 9/11 Era?

The New York Times | A consensus can change slowly and then, under the right pressure, all at once, and for Republicans that pressure came from Donald Trump. No dove or systematizer, he still made realism and anti-interventionism respectable again — with immediate consequences for my friend...

Defending the Next American Century

Law & Liberty | The story is familiar: two great powers lurching toward blows more and more with each passing day, but neither will yield an inch. Geopolitics, national interests, and escalatory rhetoric bring both to an inflection point too dangerous to ignore, but too distant for some to foresee until it is too late....

Deutschland am Scheidepunkt – eine aktive Verteidigungs- und Bündnispolitik ist überfällig (Germany at the crossroads – an active defense and alliance policy is overdue)

SIRIUS – Zeitschrift für Strategische Analysen | If European allies, especially Germany, continue to refuse to increase their defense efforts, the United States is unlikely to fill the security vacuum in Europe, but will rather accept the risks that such a refusal poses to European security.....

Elbridge Colby & The True Purpose Of The American Government

The Ben Domenech Podcast | This week, Ben Domenech is joined by Co-Founder and Principal of The Marathon Initiative Elbridge Colby to discuss America’s involvement in the Afghanistan crisis. Elbridge shares his take on President Joe Biden’s responses in a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos. He also shares his thoughts on American policy and the true purpose of our government....

The China Threat and US Defense Strategies

Global Demons with Robert D. Kaplan | Why should the average American care about the China Threat? In this episode of the Global Demons Podcast, Host Robert D. Kaplan is joined by Elbridge Colby to discuss Chinese military and defense strategies and how the U.S. and its allies should engage with China in the future....

Deter China’s military invasion of Taiwan

47 News | As the conflict between the United States and China deepens and tensions in the Taiwan Strait are worried, Elbridge Colby, who participated in the formulation of the strategy for China as Assistant Secretary of Defense under the former US administration of Trump,....

Pentagon to Speed Up Efforts to Counter China

The Wall Street Journal | At this point, the say-do gap is the problem,” said Elbridge Colby, a former Pentagon official who played a key role in developing the national defense strategy during the Trump administration....

The New Transatlantic Security Agenda

Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique | FRS and U.S. Embassy & Consulates in France are pleased to invite you to a webinar entitled "The New Transatlantic Security Agenda", which will be held online on Wednesday, March 10, from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm (CET)...

Sources of Chinese Conduct: A Debate

CFTNI | More than a half-century ago, George Kennan published an analysis of the sources of Soviet conduct that helped to shape US policy toward Moscow throughout the Cold War. More recently, the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff...

Defending Taiwan is growing costlier and deadlier

The Economist | Rousing music accompanies the h-6k, a hulking Chinese bomber, as it sweeps up into a pink sky. Moments later, its pilot presses a red button, with the panache and fortitude that only a People’s Liberation Army (pla) officer could muster, and a missile streaks towards the island of Guam...

A New Bargain

Internationale Politik | The rapid rise of China is inevitably forcing a major shift in the US-European relationship. It is time for both sides to root the transatlantic bond in shared interests, rather than often ill-defined values. Fortunately, such a basis exists.....

America’s New Defense Strategy

Center for a New American Security | On May 17, 2019, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and Foreign Policy (FP) welcomed visitors for an on-the-record discussion....

The Indo-Pacific After INF

The Heritage Foundation | After six years of failed attempts to get Russia to return to compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty obligations, the U.S. ...

Great Power Escalation

Georgetown University, Walsh School of Foreign Service | The Inaugural Theory and Practice of Security Conference: Nuclear Weapons and International Security Tuesday, March 19, 9:00 – 4:30, Lohrfink Auditorium, Georgetown University...

Take India’s Side, America

WSJ Opinion | The moment of maximum danger in the latest India-Pakistan conflict appears to have passed. But after a major attack by Pakistani militants on an Indian military base...

Do Nuclear Weapons Matter?

Foreign Affairs | Every year, world powers spend vast sums to upgrade and maintain nuclear arsenals and to prevent their spread to other nations—notably, to North Korea...

Additional Articles

Testimony

Media Commentary

Studies

Book Chapters

  • “A World Order Critique of Nuclear Abolition,” in Global Nuclear Disarmament: Strategic, Political, and Regional Perspectives. N. Hynek and M. Smetana, Eds., Routledge, 2016.
  • “The Need for Limited Nuclear Options,” in Challenges in U.S. National Security Policy. D. Ochmanek and M. Sulmeyer, Eds., RAND Corporation, 2014. https://www.rand.org/pubs/corporate_pubs/CP765.html
  • “The United States and Discriminate Nuclear Options in the Cold War,” in On Limited Nuclear War in the 21st Century. J. Larsen and K. Kartchner, Eds. Stanford University Press, 2014.
  • “Defining Strategic Stability: Reconciling Stability and Deterrence,” in Strategic Stability: Contending Interpretations. E. Colby and M. Gerson., Eds. Strategic Studies Institute, 2013. (Also volume co-editor.) https://publications.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/2216.pdf
  • “Why Nuclear Deterrence is Still Relevant” in Deterrence: Rising Powers, Rogue Regimes, and Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century. A. Lowther Ed., Palgrave MacMillan, 2012. https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/
  • “U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy and Policymaking: The Asian Experience,” in Nuclear Weapons and NATO. J. McCausland et al, Eds., Strategic Studies Institute, 2012. https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep12088.7?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
  • “U.S.-Central European Relations After the ‘Pivot,’” in Navigating Uncertainty: U.S.-Central European Relations, Center for European Policy Analysis, 2012.
  • Chapters on the U.S. nuclear force, U.S. alliances, deterring WMD terrorism, and ways to address the challenge of a nuclear Iran in In the Eyes of the Experts: Analysis and Comments on America’s Strategic Posture. Bolz, Ed., U.S. Institute of Peace, 2009. (Compendium of memoranda drafted for the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States.) https://www.usip.org/

Select video panel appearances and interviews