Samuel Bendett


Samuel Bendett is a 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, Bendett 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's analyses, views and commentary on Russian military robotics, unmanned systems and artificial intelligence capabilities appear regularly in the C4ISRnet, The National Interest, DefenseOne, Breaking Defense, War Is Boring, and The Strategy Bridge. He was also a foreign policy and international affairs contributor to the blog, writing on Russian military technology.

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.


January 13, 2020

Samuel Bendett writes, " Russia . . . worries that information flowing into the country may bring malign foreign influence, while data flowing out may provide leverage to its enemies."

Defense One: "Russia's 'Data Localization' Efforts May Guide Other Governments"

January 12, 2020

Samuel Bendett says, "While the technical solution for this autonomy can evade Russian designers in this decade due to its complexity, developers will be pressured to obtain short-term results."

El Espectador: "These Are the Weapons That Will Change the Conflicts in the New Decade"

January 11, 2020

Samuel Bendett says, "The reason why the Ministry of Defense has announced that it will develop UGVs based on Soratnik and Shturm is that it is now taking over the development initiative from private enterprises as it begins to formulate actual [Concepts of Operation] and [Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures] requirements."

C4ISRNET: "Russian Army Will Develop Storm Robot Tank and Ally"

January 3, 2020

Samuel Bendett says, "Russia is actually working on the next-gen bomber — PAK-DA, which could be in service around 2027. The real question is now whether PAK-DA will be in an unmanned configuration."

C4ISRNET: "Will Russia's Nuclear-Armed Bombers in 2040 Be Drones?"

December 29, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "The changes that were undertaken by the Russian military were first of all a direct result of Russia's performance in the war against Georgia in 2008 and all of the deficiencies that were exposed, and then Russia's reaction to and involvement in Crimea and Syria."

Defense & Aerospace Report: "Year/Decade End Roundtable" [40:59]

December 24, 2019

Samuel Bendett says, "The projection is in line with Russian [defense ministry] thinking about its future force composition -- the growing role of unmanned and robotic systems in the land, air and maritime forces, especially given the increasing role of UAVs in the Russian forces today."

The National Interest: "Russia Wants "a Sixth-Generation Strategic Bomber" by 2040"