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.

Update October 2019

Dr. Laird receiving his speaker award from the organizers of BIDEC 19, October 28, 2019.

Recently, Laird participated in BIDEC 19 where he presented a briefing on the Integrated Distributed Force: Implications for Training.

In 2013, Dr. Laird co-authored a book with Ed Timperlake and Richard Weitz with regard to Pacific defense.

 In 2020, Dr. Laird co-authored a book with Murielle Delaporte with regard to European defense.

In 2021, Dr. Laird published books dealing with Australian defence as well as the military transition in preparing for the high-end fight.

And in March 2021, an edited book which looks at the year 2020 and its strategic impact was published.

And in March 2022, a book looking back and forward with regard to USMC transformation:

And in April 2022, an edited book on evolving defense issues for the U.S. and its allies:

And in May/June 2002, a book on the evolving maritime kill web force, co-authored with Ed Timperlake:

For a complete list of books published by Laird:

Scientific-Technological Revolution and Soviet Foreign Policy. (Co-author Erik Hoffmann). 1982.

The Soviet Union and Strategic Arms. 1984 (Co-author Dale Herspring).

The Soviet Polity in the Modern Era (Co-edited with Erik Hoffmann). 1984.

Technocratic Socialism: The Soviet Union in the Advanced Industrial Era (Co-author Erik Hoffmann). 1985.

French Security Policy in Transition: Dynamics of Continuity and Change. 1985.

France, The Soviet Union, And the Nuclear Weapons Issue. 1985. Reissued by Routledge, 2020.

Perspectives on Defense futures : National Developments in Europe. (Jim Lacy co-author). 1985.

French Security Policy: From Independence to Interdependence. 1986. Reissued by Routledge in 2020.

The Soviet Union, the West, and the Nuclear Arms Race. 1986.

Soviet Foreign Policy. (Editor). 1987

Strangers & Friends, the Franco German Security Relationship. 1989

The Future of Deterrence: NATO Nuclear Forces After INF. 1990 (Co-editor Betsy Jacobs). Reissued by Routledge in 2021.

USSR and the Western Alliance (Susan Clark co-editor). 1990. Reissued by Routledge in 2022.

The Europeanization of The Alliance. 1991. Reissued by Routledge in 2021.

Soviet Foreign Policy: Classic and Contemporary Issues. 1991 (Co-editors Erik Hoffmann and Fred Fleron).

The Soviets, Germany, And the New Europe. 1992. Reissued by Routledge in 2021.

The Revolution in Military Affairs: Allied Perspectives (Co-author Holger Mey). 2004

Contemporary Issues in Soviet Foreign Policy: From Brezhnev to Gorbachev. 2008 Reissued by Routledge. (Co-editors Erik Hoffmann and Fred Fleron).

Three Dimensional Warriors: Second Edition. 2013

Rebuilding American Military Power in the Pacific: A 21st-Century Strategy. 2013. (Co-authors Ed Timperlake and Richard Weitz).

The F-35 and 21st Century Defence. 2016

Training for the High-End Fight: The Strategic Shift of the 2020s. 2021.

2020: A Pivotal Year?: Navigating Strategic Change at a Time of Covid-19 Disruption (Editor). 2021.

Joint by Design: The Evolution of Australian Defence Strategy. 2021

The Return of Direct Defense in Europe: Meeting the 21st Century Authoritarian Challenge. (Co-author Murielle Delaporte). 2020.

The U.S. Marine Corps Transformation Path: Preparing for the High-End Fight. 2022.

A Maritime Kill Web Force in the Making: Deterrence and Warfighting in the 21st Century (Co-author Ed Timperlake). 2022

Defense XXI: Shaping a Way Ahead for the United States and Its Allies. (Editor) 2022.

Defense XXII: A World in Transition (Editor). 2023.

The Role of the Osprey in the Pivot to the Pacific. 2023.

Kenneth Maxwell on Global Trends: An Historian of the 18th Century Looks at the Contemporary World (Editor). 2023

Australian Defence and Deterrence: A 2023 Update. 2023

The Coming of the CH-53K : A New Capability for the Distributed Force. 2023.