Center for Stability and Development

The Center for Stability and Development (CSD) was established by CNA to focus on the study of:

  • Development and assessment of foreign security forces (e.g., security force assistance, foreign internal defense, building partner capacity)
  • Conflict prevention, crisis response, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts
  • Terrorism and counterterrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, political, unconventional, and information warfare, and stability operations
  • Economic and governance development of fragile and failed states
  • Assessment, monitoring, and evaluation (AM&E) of security, stability, and development programs

CSD's mission is to support decision-makers charged with planning, conducting, and assessing/evaluating prevention, response, stability, and development operations with objective analysis grounded in an understanding of actual operations. In conjunction with CNA's field program, CSD has deployed analysts to conduct field work in Iraq and the broader Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, Central and South America, and numerous former Soviet Union states.

Our analysts often work on-site to provide direct, real-time analytic support to tactical and operational leaders in the military, as well as in other government and non-governmental agencies. These experiences imbue CSD analysts with unique perspectives on current operations that we in turn use to provide insightful, actionable advice to high-level decision makers on issues of strategic importance.

CSD Research Available to the Public

Afghan National Security


Africa Security Issues

US Military Operations


External Publications

Other study topics include:

  • Independent assessment of USG actions against al Qaeda
  • Assessment, monitoring, and evaluation of the Maritime Security Initiative
  • Russian information activities in former Soviet Union states
  • Evaluation of the U.S. Colombia Action Program
  • Synthesis of CNA’s work on special operations
  • Lessons learned from assessment, monitoring, and evaluation in Afghanistan
  • The state of research on transnational challenges
  • Security vulnerabilities in the Balkans
  • The future of the Islamic State in Libya
  • Analysis of the future operating environment for the Marine Corps
  • Strategy and tactics of the Islamic State in the Khorasan
  • Future Joint demand for Civil Affairs
  • Costs and capabilities of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces
  • Conflict assessment framework for Libya
  • Activities of the Gulf States in North Africa
  • Analysis of tactics used by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
  • U.S. military posture for counterterrorism and crisis response in west Africa
  • Security force assessment and civil affairs integration in Central and South America
  • Novel frameworks for assessing counterterrorism operations
  • Countering the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria

To learn more about these and other works by CNA’s Center for Stability and Development or to speak with our analysts, please contact the director, Dr. Jonathan Schroden, at (703) 824-2508 or For classified work and a full listing of CSD publications, please refer to our SIPRnet website:

Team Members

Thought Leadership

CNA Talks Podcast: Episode 11

Experts Jonathan Schroden, Julia McQuaid, Pamela Faber and Zack Gold discuss the findings of CNA’s independent assessment of U.S. government efforts against Al Qaeda. Listen now.

CNA Talks Podcast: Episode 8

Dr. Larry Lewis, Dr. David Knoll and Zack Gold discuss the findings and implications of newly released CNA paper, Decade of War: Applying Past Lessons to the Counter-ISIS Campaign. Listen now.

CNA Talks Podcast: Episode 5

In episode 5, Dr. Eric Thompson moderates a discussion on ISIS’s use of social media, drones, tunnels and more with CNA experts Dr. Jonathan Schroden, Dr. David Knoll, Pamela Faber and Zack Gold. Listen now.