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 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.


July 10, 2018

Samuel Bendett says, “The operator still has to be relatively close by to operate this UGV - up to 1000 feet which may be a liability in and of itself.”

C4ISRNET: “Belarus Shows off ‘Praying Mantis,‘ a Tank Hunting Robot”

June 29, 2018

Samuel Bendett says, “Within the Russian Ministry of Defense, there are now two centers responsible for the development of the latest breakthrough technologies, such as autonomous weapons, but no specific agency-wide effort to develop AI center like JAIC.”

Breaking Defense: “Joint Artificial Intelligence Center Created Under DoD CIO”

June 27, 2018

Samuel Bendett says, “If this UAV will, in fact, be 20 tons in weight it could probably take up to several tons in useful weight, so rockets, missiles, bombs, maybe other equipment.”

Defense & Aerospace Report: “CNA’s Bendett on Russia’s Hunter UAV, Uran-9 UGV, Submarine and UUV Innovation Outlook”

June 25, 2018

Samuel Bendett writes, “Russia is also busy designing and testing many unmanned maritime and ground vehicles for various missions with diverse payloads.”

Mad Scientist Blog (U.S. Army): “Russian Ground Battlefield Robots: A Candid Evaluation and Ways Forward”

June 12, 2018

Samuel Bendett says, “There has not been such automation of Russian weapons before of the kind described here—‘self-learning’ is a new concept that is a result of more advanced software and hardware developments dealing with AI.”

C4ISRNET: “Russia Prepares for a Future of Making Autonomous Weapons”

June 8, 2018

Samuel Bendett says, “Russia is investing in military high-tech development, and especially in domestically produced software and hardware.”

Defense One: “Russia, Too, Is Building a Giant War Cloud”