75 years of service to our nation


Samuel Bendett
Associate Research Analyst


Samuel Bendett is an Associate Research Analyst with the Center for Naval Analyses' International Affairs Group, where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. His work involves Russian defense and security technology and developments, Russian geopolitical influence in the former Soviet states, as well as Russian unmanned systems development, Russian naval capabilities and Russian decision-making calculus during military crises.

Prior to joining CNA, he worked at the National Defense University on emerging and disruptive technologies for government response in crisis situation, where he conducted research on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSD-P) and Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OSD-AT&L). His previous experience includes working for US Congress, private sector and non-profit organizations on foreign policy, international conflict resolution, defense and security issues.

Bendett was a foreign policy and international affairs contributor to the RealClearWorld.com blog, writing on Russian military technology, including unmanned systems, and socio-cultural developments across Former Soviet Union. His analyses also appeared in The National Interest, where he wrote on Russian military robotics and unmanned systems capabilities.

Bendett received his M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University and B.A. in Politics and English from Brandeis University. He has native fluency in Russian.


October 10, 2017

Samuel Bendett says "What's interesting about the Ukrainian conflict is that it's the Ukrainian side that is developing unmanned systems it thinks will help it fight. Phantom is one such machine."

Defense One: "Armed Ground Robots Could Join the Ukrainian Conflict Next Year"

October 9, 2017

Samuel Bendett says "Russia does have a wide range of electronic warfare capabilities to disrupt adversary's communications on land and air, in a localized and long-range capacity."

Space News: "Army Rolls out New Plan to Modernize Communications Networks and Weapons"

October 9, 2017

Samuel Bendett says Russia is "looking to streamline that effort at the initial stage from zero to 100" in getting unmanned systems operational.

USNI: "Experts: Syrian War Prompting Russians to Expand Unmanned Systems"

October 5, 2017

Sam Bendett says that “Russia saw a distinct advantage in very quickly acquiring [an unmanned] system and learning from its operations.”

Foreign Policy: “Russian Drone Tech May Include Help From Iran”

October 5, 2017

Sam Bendett says that “Russia’s notoriously bureaucratic military-industrial complex is finally getting its act together on robotics, with massive new investment and significant innovation.”

Breaking Defense: “Russian Robots: Fear Jammers, Not Terminators”

October 5, 2017

CNA analysts Samuel Bendett, Olga Oliker and Michael Kofman spoke on a panel on "Russia's Military Robots: Key Trends and Developments in Russia's Unmanned Systems" at CSIS on Thursday, October 5. Click here to register.