Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Programs

CNA’s Strategy, Policy, Plans, and Programs division (SP3) provides strategic and political-military analysis to support senior military and civilian decision-makers. The division’s analysts use applied social science methodologies, field research, regional expertise, primary language skills, international partnerships and policy and operational experience to support high-level decisions. This multi-dimensional approach allows SP3 analysts to uncover and access new data sources, add depth and context and provide action-oriented empirical analysis.

SP3 analysts are engaged on a diverse array of issues, ranging from the complexities of North Korean leadership decision-making to autonomous weapons research in Russia; from counterterrorism policy options to nuclear arms reduction treaties. Historical analyses of naval fleet deployment strategies have informed both current and future force structures.


Russian-Venezuelan Defense Cooperation

Russian defense industry and arms trade expert Sergey Denisentsev looks at the history, current state, and outlook for defense cooperation between Russia and Venezuela. Before the arrival of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela was not among the Russian defense customers. The attempted coup in 2002 and the ensuing restrictions on US weapon sales opened up the Venezuelan defense market to Russian suppliers. This paper reviews the Russian arms transfers that enabled a major modernization of the Venezuelan arms forces and the economic crisis that broke out after Chavez died and those transfers ended. However, the 2019 political crisis has given a new lease of life to Russian-Venezuelan defense cooperation—not with weapons contracts ,but with technical support and military advice.
Read the Paper

Russian Military and Dual-Purpose Spacecraft: Latest Status and Operational Overview

Anatoly Zak, a noted expert on the Russian space program, examines Russia's military and dual-purpose spacecraft. He discusses the resurgence of the Russian space program in the past two decades and identifies different satellite classes operated by both military and the civilian programs, providing a detailed overview of radar imagery and early warning technologies in service today. The report discusses antisatellite capabilities in Russian service, and corruption and quality control issues that deter progress.
Read the Paper

Russia's Black Sea Fleet: Toward a Multiregional Force

Dr. Igor Delanoe, Deputy-Head, French-Russian Analytical Center Observo (Moscow), examines the development of Russia's Black Sea Fleet since the 2000s, tracing the origins of structural changes through the State Armaments Program beginning in 2011, the Ukrainian crisis and Moscow's renewed emphasis on Black Sea defense. He examines Russia's presence in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, and new technologies important to Russia's forward operating naval squadrons. The paper discusses the transition from quality naval procurement of the 2011-2020 plan to mass production, in a context of financial pressure and sanctions, and the resilience of the Black Sea Fleet in the face of these challenges.
Read the Paper