About the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS)

Director:  Dr. Denise Natali

The Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) was established in 1984 by the Secretary of Defense as a focal point for analysis of critical national security policy and defense strategy issues. The Institute operates under a charter from the Secretary of Defense and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Director of the Joint Staff. A component of the National Defense University, the mission of INSS is to conduct research in support of the academic and leader development programs at NDU; to provide strategic support to the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Services and Combatant Commands; and to engage with the broader national security community in the service of the common defense.

Five Year Research Strategy 2017-2021 [PDF] →

INSS Centers and Components

The Institute for National Strategic Studies serves as the principal focus for research at NDU and is composed of three research centers and the NDU Press.

Center for Strategic Research

The CSR mission is to support JPME and provide strategic analysis to the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Combatant Commands through cutting-edge research, reports, briefings, and memoranda on key functional and regional issues. CSR studies encompass different components of national security strategy.  They include, but are not limited to defense policy, cooperation, and organization, transnational security, future warfare, and military strategy issues as they relate to significant countries or geographic areas. CSR’s publication product line includes books, Strategic Perspectives, Strategic Forums, policy papers, conference papers, and journal articles.

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Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs

CSCMA serves as a national focal point and resource center for multidisciplinary research and analytic exchanges on the national goals and strategic posture of the People’s Republic of China and the ability of that nation to develop, field, and deploy an effective military instrument in support of its national strategic objectives. 

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Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction

CSWMD is at the forefront of education and research on the impact of weapons of mass destruction on U.S. and global security.

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NDU Press

NDU Press is the University’s cross-component, professional military and academic publishing house. Its mission is to support the advancement of JPME, national security policy, and international security issues for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the form of accessible, balanced, and thoroughly researched professional publications.  

NDU Press produces Joint Force Quarterly (JFQ). JFQ is the Chairman's joint military and security studies journal designed to inform and educate national security professionals on joint and integrated operations; whole of government contributions to national security policy and strategy; homeland security; and developments in training and joint military education.

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NDU Press also produces PRISM, a quarterly journal on complex operations chartered to inform members of U.S. Federal Agencies, Allies, and other partners on complex and integrated national security operations. 

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