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Paul Bernstein is a senior fellow at CGSR as well as an expert consultant to the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (CSWMD) at National Defense University in Washington, D.C. From 2011 to 2023 he was a Distinguished Fellow at CSWMD, leading its practice in strategic security analysis. This encompassed a range of advisory, policy support, research, and professional military education activities related to WMD, nuclear policy, deterrence, threat reduction, and regional security. He has worked in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, Services, combatant commands, defense agencies, and DoD interagency partners. From August 2021 through October 2022 he was detailed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Senior Advisor for Nuclear Deterrence Policy and was a lead writer for the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review. For his support to the NPR, Mr. Bernstein received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service.

Mr. Bernstein is a contributing author of the 2014 Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction and has been an advisor to the Defense Science Board and the DoD Threat Reduction Advisory Committee. He is an instructor in the CAPSTONE program for general and flag officers, guest lectures at other joint and service military education venues, and has developed multiple curricula for nuclear and WMD instruction. In 2018 he advised the Joint Staff in the development of Chairman’s guidance on the teaching of nuclear concepts and capabilities in officer professional military education and developed an instructional framework that defined nuclear-related learning objectives and outcomes for the PME community.

Prior to joining NDU, Mr. Bernstein was a Vice President and Senior Program Manager at Science Applications International, where he managed government-sponsored research programs and led strategic analysis projects. Mr. Bernstein earned a BA in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Recent Publications

“Through a Glass, A Little Less Darkly: North Korean Nuclear Command and Control in Light of Recent Developments.” 38 North, 14 November 2022.

“North Korean Nuclear Command and Control: Alternatives and Implications.” (co-author). Prepared for Strategic Trends Research Initiative, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, August 2022.

“Multi-Domain Deterrence: Some Framing Considerations” (co-author), in Getting the Multi-Domain Challenge Right, ed Roberts, Center or Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, December 2021.

“Toward Nuclear and WMD Fluency in Professional Military Education,” Real Clear Defense, 26 June 2021 (co-author).

China’s Hypersonic Weapons, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 27 January 2020 (co-author).

“Weapons of Mass Destruction, Strategic Deterrence, and Great Power Competition” (lead author) in Strategic Assessment 2020: Into a New Era of Great Power Competition, ed. Lynch, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, October 2020.

“Toward an Integrated Strategic Deterrent,” in Fit for Purpose? The U.S. Strategic Posture in 2030 and Beyond, ed. Roberts, Center for Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, October 2020.

“Russia’s Hypersonic Weapons,” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 12 December 2019 (co-author).

“Power Under Parity,” in Power Under Parity, A Virtual Think Tank (ViTTa) Report, NSI, produced in support of the Strategic Multilayer Assessment Office, Joint Staff/J39, September 2019.

“‘Innovating’ versus ‘Out-Innovating:’ Innovation as a Form of Strategic Competition,” in Getting Innovation Right,, Center for Global Security Research, ed. Dreicer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, September 2019.

“Contemporary Deterrence Challenges,” in The Return of Deterrence: Credibility and Capabilities in a New Era, eds. Braun, von Hlatky and Nossal, Kingston Conference on International Security, 2019.