Dr. Robbin F. Laird

By defense.info editorial team

A long-time analyst of global defense issues, he has worked in the U.S. government and several think tanks, including the Center for Naval Analysis and the Institute for Defense Analysis.

He is a Columbia University alumni, where he taught and worked for several years at the Research Institute of International Change, a think tank founded by Dr. Brzezinski.

He is a frequent op-ed contributor to the defense press, and has written several books on international security issues.

Dr. Laird has taught at Columbia University, Queens College, Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University.

He has received various academic research grants as well from various foundations, including the Thyssen Foundation, the United States Institute for Peace, etc.

Dr. Laird has worked for many elements of the U.S. government and with think tanks such as The Center for Defense Analysis and the Institute for Defense Analysis.

He is a member of the Board of Contributors of Breaking Defense and publishes there on a regular basis.

He is a regular contributor to Front Line Defence as well.

His work regularly is republished as well on Real Clear Defense.

He is a frequent visitor to Australia where he works with The Williams Foundation in supporting their seminars on the transformation of the Australian Defence Force.

He is also based in Paris, France where he regularly travels throughout Europe and conducts interviews and talks with leading policy makers in the region.

Update March 2018:

At the dinner preceding the Sir Richard Williams Foundation seminar on the transition from fighting the land wars to engaging in high tempo and high intensity operations, Dr. Robbin Laird, the editor of Second Line of Defense was appointed by the board of the Williams Foundation as a Research Fellow.

The appointment reads as follows:

“On behalf of the Board, it is with great pleasure we welcome you as a Research Fellow of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation.

“The Board thanks you for your continued contribution to the core goal of the Williams Foundation; to promote the development and effective implementation of national security and defense policies as they impact on Australia’s ability to generate air power appropriate to its unique geopolitical environment and values.

“The Board and members of the Foundation greatly value the support you have provided in the past and look forward to continuing your involvement in future Williams Foundation programs.”

The letter was signed by AIRMSHL Geoffrey Brown AO (Retired) in his role as Chairman of the Williams Foundation.

Laird recognizes the key role of the Second Line of Defense team over the years in generating the high quality analyses and thinking which was recognized by the Williams Foundation with his appointment as a research fellow.

Our motto at Second Line of Defense from the beginning has been driven by the admonition of General Patton: “If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking.”

That certainly has been something which the Williams Foundation has demonstrated in playing a leadership role in generating new thinking about military transformation in Australia and among the allies, as recognized by the significant and frequent commitment of the allies of Australia in participating and contributing to the seminars.

And looking forward to Fall 2019 events in which Laird is engaged, there are three key conferences in which Laird is participating and will deliver substantial content as well.

The first is the upcoming Williams Foundation conference to be held in Canberra on October 24, 209 which focuses on the requirements for fifth generation maneuver. Laird will write the conference report as he has done for the Williams Foundation for the past five years.


For past reports as well as ongoing assessments being done by the foundation, see the following as well:


The second is a presentation to the conference being held in Bahrain on October 29 and 30 2019.



And thirdly, Laird will participate as a media analyst at the International Fighter Conference to be held in Berlin from November 12-14 2019.


For Laird’s report on last year’s International Fighter Conference, see the following:


He is currently working on a co-authored book entitled, The Return of Direct Defense in Europe: Meeting the Russian Challenge.

This book complements an earlier book on Pacific defense published in 2013: