Samuel Bendett
Research Analyst


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.


September 4, 2018

Samuel Bendett says that the Vostok exercise “involves a lot of forces from the eastern and central military districts, all airborne forces, long-range forces, parts of the northern fleet. It involves a lot of tanks, a lot of armored cars, a lot of armored vehicles. It involves up to a thousand or so aircraft of all types. So certainly the Russians are making it a very massive and large-scale attempt at an exercise.”

Defense and Aerospace Report: “Threat Report: CNA’s Bendett on Russian and Chinese Vostock Exercise”

August 30, 2018

Samuel Bendett says, “It was interesting that the Russian announcement during Army-2018 stated that the exoskeleton was ‘tested in combat,’ though without any specific details. It’s likely that it was tried in Syria, though the press and media did not cover that development.”

Defense One: “Russia, U.S. Are In a Military Exoskeleton Race”

August 27, 2018

Samuel Bendett writes, “Currently, the Russian military is working on incorporating elements of AI in its electronic warfare, missile, aircraft and unmanned systems technologies, with the aim of making battlefield decision-making and targeting faster and more precise.”

CAAI Blog: “Efforts to Develop AI in the Russian Military”

August 24, 2018

Samuel Bendett says The Orion “most closely resembles America’s Predator/Gray Eagle UAV in its technical characteristics.”

Defense News: “Russian Firm May Sell a Drone Resembling the U.S. Predator to a Mideast Customer”

August 24, 2018

Samuel Bendett says, “The Ministry of Defence is holding competitions among students of various ages to generate new ideas and to get young people interested in emerging hi-tech.”

C4ISRNET: “Russian Student Competitions Are Rebuilding a Military-Industrial Pipeline”

August 24, 2018

Samuel Bendett writes, “This week, Russia is hosting its biggest military exhibition —Army-2018. The exhibition is held at the recently established “Patriot” expo center not far from Moscow.  Dozens of nations, thousands of military technology samples and hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to converge at the Patriot for the next several days.

The National Interest: “Russia Is Giving the World a Preview of Some of Its Most Advanced Military Equipment”