Defense Posture Project

Rapid advancements in military technology are challenging existing concepts of deterrence. The Defense Posture Project tracks disruptions to strategic stability in order to provide both a reliable source of public information as well as innovative concepts for maintaining deterrence over the coming decades. Through assessments of military force structure and posture, structured wargaming analysis, and ongoing education of policy and public audiences, the DPP lays the groundwork for a US defense posture that is capable and credible, sufficiently restrained to maintain strategic stability, and fiscally sustainable.

The DPP team closely follows changes to nuclear strategy and force structure in the major nuclear weapons states and is a leading source of analysis and commentary on defense and diplomatic events in North Korea. FAS experts have written widely on the need to develop a sustainable strategy to manage a nuclear-armed North Korea and have provided detailed analysis on its advancing missile capabilities.

The project is directed by Adam Mount, Ph.D., who is studying the role of advanced conventional forces in contributing to or degrading deterrence between nuclear armed states. He is working to develop new operational concepts for effective conventional deterrence, enhancing US credibility and limiting escalation risk.

Adam Mount, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow & Director
Defense Posture Project


Adam Mount and Pranay Vaddi, “An Integrated Approach to Deterrence Posture,” 01/2021

Mercedes Trent, “Over the Line: The Implications of China’s ADIZ Intrusions in Northeast Asia,” 08/2020

Adam Mount, “Conventional Deterrence of North Korea,” 12/2019

Adam Mount and Eugene Saad, “Air-Launched Ballistic Missiles,” 10/2019


Adam Mount and Pranay Vaddi, “Better Informing a President’s Decision on Nuclear Use,” Lawfare, 11/2020

Ankit Panda, “Kim Jong Un Fires a Missile. Is This the Return of ‘Rocket Man’?Daily Beast, 5/2019

Ankit Panda, “What  to make of North Korea’s multiple projectile launch event,” NK Pro, 5/2019

Adam Mount, “The traps Kim can spring on Trump,” Axios, 3/2018

Ankit Panda, “The Trump-Kim Summit and North Korea Denuclearization: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” War on the Rocks, 3/2018

Ankit Panda, “The One Missile Kim Jong Un Might Test Before Meeting Trump,” The Daily Beast, 3/2018

Adam Mount, “Letting the North Korean Breakthrough Run Its Course,” The Atlantic, 3/2018

Ankit Panda, “Trump and North Korea talks: Strange optics of the North Korea announcement,” BBC, 3/2018

Adam Mount, “Trump’s Troubling Nuclear Plan,” Foreign Affairs, 2/2018

Adam Mount, “Letting it Be an Arms Race,” The Atlantic, 1/2018

Abigail Stowe-Thurston, “The Consequences of War With North Korea,” Teen Vogue, 1/2018