Mr. Barry Watts

Senior Fellow

Mr. Watts is a Senior Fellow at the Potomac Foundation and co-author of The Last Warrior: Andrew Marshall and the Shaping of Modern American Defense Strategy, published in 2015.

He is one of the world’s most experienced authorities and practitioners of Net Assessment and scholar of strategy. His scholarly work includes Clausewitzian Friction and Future War (book, 1995); What the Gulf War Can (and Can’t) Tell us about the Future ofWarfare (with T. Mahnken, International Security, 1997); Military Innovation in Peacetime (with Wick Murray); and Choosing Analytic Measures (with J. Roche, Journal ofSecurity Studies, 1991).

From 2002 to 2014, he worked at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Prior to joining CSBA in 2002, Barry Watts headed the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation at the Defense Department (2001–2002). Following retirement from the Air Force in 1986 until 2001, Mr. Watts was with the Northrop Grumman Analysis Center, which he directed from 1997 to 2001.

Mr. Watts has written on a wide variety of military topics, including CSBA monographs on the Defense Industrial Base (2011 with Todd Harrison); The Revolution in Military Affairs (2011); Regaining Strategic Competence (2008 with Andrew Krepinevich); The Case for Long-Range Strike (2008); and The Past and Future of the Defense Industrial Base (2008).

Career Highlights


Net Assessment

Defense Industrial Base

Strategic Competence


Mr. Watts holds a BS in mathematics from the US Air Force Academy and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.