China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs

The China and Indo-Pacific Security Affairs (CIP) division is the largest non-governmental research group studying Chinese and Indo-Pacific military and security affairs in Washington. More than 40 CIP analysts cover the coastal nations from South Asia to Northeast Asia, including Oceania, and are fluent in Mandarin, Japanese, Russian and Hindi. CNA’s China Studies program has provided the government with great power competition research on China for more than 20 years.

Operational Warfighting

The Operational Warfighting (OPS) division focuses on improving the ability of the Department of the Navy to organize, plan, train and execute at the operational level of warfare. OPS analysis typically links wargaming, concept development, hypothesis testing, and exercise and operational assessment into an iterative cycle. The division’s research emphasizes naval integration, joint and combined operations, cyber effects, intelligence support and special operations.

Resources and Force Readiness

The Resources and Force Readiness (RFR) division provides analysis that helps the Navy, Marine Corps, and other services address critical resource allocation challenges and maximize personnel readiness. Military leaders rely on Resources and Force Readiness analysis to develop, evaluate and implement policies and programs that make their people, budgets and assets more effective and efficient.

Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Programs

The Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Programs (SP3) division leverages social science methodologies, field research, regional expertise, primary language skills, Track 1.5 partnerships, and policy and operational experience to support senior decision-makers. The division’s work is aligned with the National Defense Strategy and has regularly informed decisions critical to national security.

Systems, Tactics, and Force Development

The Systems, Tactics, and Force Development (STFD) division provides classical warfare analyses to the Navy and DOD focused on systems and platforms at the tactical level for great power competition. STFD conducts quantitative analyses of fleet systems and multi-mission platforms to develop performance estimates against China, Russia and other threats. The division analyzes and assesses combinations of networks, sensors, weapons, and platforms to provide maritime warfighting capabilities in all warfare areas, under realistic conditions for current operations and future-force architectures.

Military Advisory Board

CNA’s Military Advisory Board studies pressing issues of the day to assess their impact on America’s national security, ranging from fuel economy to the role of water stress in instability and conflict. The board includes retired three- and four-star flag and general officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence

The Center for Autonomy and Artificial Intelligence promotes the effective incorporation of autonomy, artificial intelligence and related technologies in military operations. The center’s work is guided by four objectives: Connect key stakeholders, conduct multi-disciplinary research, provide useful recommendations for advancing the effectiveness of U.S. military operations, and develop and refine creative approaches to the development and use of autonomy and AI.

Cyber Research Program

Grounded in a deep understanding of military operations, the Cyber Research Program provides objective analysis to military leaders charged with a wide range of cyber related responsibilities. CNA analysts address issues in cyberspace operations; cybersecurity principles and implementation; strategy, policy, deterrence and escalation; cyber workforce management and manpower needs; cyber acquisition; and resource and gap analysis.

Data Science Program

The Data Science Program develops advanced analytics and algorithms, including machine learning and predictive analytics, to optimize outcomes for the Department of the Navy. The program focuses on efforts where the size of the datasets and complexity of the questions demand advanced coding skills for data wrangling and statistical and modeling techniques.

Marine Corps Program

The Marine Corps Program oversees and manages all aspects of CNA’s support to the Marine Corps. The program provides analytic support on a wide range of issues critical to the Marine Corps leadership—this work is executed within the FFRDC research divisions. In addition to CNA headquarters-based analysts, CNA analysts provide full-time on-site support to key Marine Corps operating force commands as part of our field program. The Marine Corps program also includes analytic support to major exercises and on-site deployed support for all major real-world operations and contingencies involving Marine Corps forces.

Operations Evaluation Group

The Operations Evaluation Group (OEG) oversees all aspects of CNA’s field program and exercise support program. The field program is unique among independent military research organizations, deploying analysts in long-term capacities to operational commands around the world to provide full-time, on-site support to commanders and their staffs on a wide range of strategic, operational and tactical issues. CNA supports nearly every major naval exercise, gathering data on site and developing reconstructions and analyses.

Special Operations Research Program

The Special Ops program examines the most complex and challenging issues facing special operations forces both today and for the future. The program maintains key competencies in areas including special operations exercises and training; workforce management and preservation of the force; regional security analysis; acquisition, resource and cost analysis; infrastructure and support activities.

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Critical Incident Analysis

The Center for Critical Incident Analysis employs data driven approaches to reconstruct and analyze responses to real world incidents, disasters and emergencies and identify best practices and lessons learned. The Center supports government agencies and organizations in continuous learning to enhance and improve prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery capabilities.

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Data Management and Analytics

The Center for Data Management and Analytics provides clients with experienced engineers and data scientists to apply proven approaches and frameworks for managing data throughout the data supply chain. The Center applies innovative techniques and frameworks to efficiently transform raw data into products and information that inform decision making, particularly in complex environments.

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Emergency Management and Operations

The Center for Emergency Management and Operations provides experienced resources to support federal, state and local government agencies with development and implementation of the full range of emergency management programs. Using both real-world disaster experience and advanced research and analytic techniques, the Center strives to continually enhance the practice of emergency management nationwide.

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Enterprise Systems Modernization

The Center for Enterprise Systems Modernization empowers clients to make fast-paced decisions in two ways: first, by providing holistic analyses of existing systems and operations to identify gaps and issues, and second, with analyses of cutting-edge technological advances that can help improve operations. The Center analyzes the entirety of systems — people, processes, data and technologies — to define solutions that enhance operational efficiency.

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Homeland Security and Infrastructure Resilience

The Center for Homeland Security and Infrastructure Resilience applies multi-disciplinary data-driven methods to help clients analyze and enhance programs, policies and operations supporting the safety and security of our nation. The security of residents, visitors, environment, infrastructure and cyberspace all fall within scope of the Center. Experienced teams at the Center employ innovative solutions that inform decision-making and drive action within all levels of government and the private sector.

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Justice Research and Innovation

The Center for Justice Research and Innovation translates research and analysis regarding the goals, objectives, operations and outcomes of the American justice system into promising programs, strategies and tactics within justice-related agencies. The Center works with hundreds of justice system organizations nationwide providing holistic approaches for research, training and technical assistance that inform and support system improvements.

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Public Health Preparedness and Resilience

The Center for Public Health Preparedness and Resilience helps public health agencies and organizations around the globe develop, assess, test and evaluate emergency policies, plans, and operational capabilities. Using data-driven research and analysis techniques and methods the Center addresses clients' most pressing preparedness and response challenges.

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Vulnerable Population Protection

CNA’s Center for Vulnerable Population Protection addresses the security of people at risk due to age, income, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, mental health or other vulnerabilities. The Center conducts policy research and development, as well as interventions, program evaluations and implementations of processes and programs. With technical expertise in background check programs, emergency preparedness and response, neglect, fraud and abuse of the elderly and children, human trafficking, displaced persons, food insecurity, and supply chain analysis, our researchers and analysts bring analytic capabilities and solution delivery to local, state, and federal agencies serving these unique populations.