SCSP’s Defense Panel Releases “OFFSET-X: Closing the Deterrence Gap and Building the Future of Joint Force Report”


The Special Competitive Studies Project (SCSP) released “OFFSET-X: Closing the Deterrence Gap and Building the Future Joint Force,” today. This second Defense Interim Panel Report (IPR) is reflective of the work the defense panel has done for the past year and a half and builds on the October 2022 Defense Interim Panel Report.

“China’s evolving military capabilities force the U.S. military, for the first time in decades, to face the prospect of a conventional military defeat,” said SCSP Senior Director, Justin Lynch. “We are proposing a technology-centered, competitive defense strategy – Offset-X – that lays the groundwork for maintaining or re-gaining our military technological superiority, and to close the near-term deterrence credibility gap.”

“This report provides three essential elements – a competitive institutional strategy, the operational capabilities required to underwrite this strategy, and the joint forces needed to execute it. Cumulatively, we believe these three essential elements will not only close the window of vulnerability we may be facing in the Indo-Pacific in the 2025-2030 timeframe, but also position us well for a competition that will be enduring, exhausting, and – likely – existential,” said SCSP Senior Advisor Ylber Bajraktari. 

To stay ahead of adversaries, we have proposed a way to build the groundwork for military-technological superiority that draws on lessons learned from DoD’s past three offset strategies,” said SCSP Senior Advisor Christine Fox. 

The core elements of OFFSET-X : Closing the Deterrence Gap and Building the Future Joint Force include: 

  • Defining the challenge of the changing character of warfare and People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) theory of victory
  • The objectives for the Joint Force
  • The military-technological foundations of the Offset-X strategy, which is grounded in U.S. persistent asymmetries
  • The capabilities the Joint Force should adopt by 2027, with a selection of technology-based solutions
  • The design characteristics that the Future Joint Force should possess, with actions to drive adoption that have near-term impact, and actions with medium-term impact

For more information about OFFSET-X: Closing the Deterrence Gap and Building the Future Joint Force, please contact Tara Rigler at or Ariana Orne at


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