Charles Knight, Senior Fellow
U.S. defense strategy, Asia-Pacific, Korean peninsula
Charles Knight is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Peace & Diplomacy. He is a principal researcher for the Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA). Knight is an Emeritus Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy, Washington, DC and a member of the Studiengruppe Alternative Sicherheitspolitik, Berlin, Germany.
Knight’s specialties are Confidence-Building Defense (C-BD) and U.S. defense strategy. He has detailed concepts for restructuring conventional forces in several regions of high military tension. From 1994 to 1996, he consulted on post-apartheid C-BD force restructuring options with the African National Congress and the South African Ministry of Defense. In 1995, he co-authored an operational model and the order of battle for a standing UN peacekeeping force.
In 2008, Knight was a principal organizer of the Task Force for a Responsible Withdrawal from Iraq. In 2010, he was the contributor of research on reform of U.S. Navy force structure and budget, and the lead organizer for the release event at the U.S. Capitol, for the Report of the Sustainable Defense Task Force.
From 2009 through 2014, he edited PDA’s Defense Strategy Review blog.
In 2017, alarmed by the then real prospect of a devastating counter-proliferation war in Korea, he traveled to northeastern China, far-eastern Russia, and Seoul to engage security specialists and gather regional perspectives. In 2019, Knight developed a novel diplomatic process for eventual conventional force reductions on the Korean peninsula. The method utilizes multiple reciprocating small disarmament steps that build trust and confidence between former adversaries.
While an undergraduate majoring in Government and Economics at Boston University in the late 1960s, Knight was active in the Vietnam anti-war movement. From 1978 to 1983, during Robert Kuttner’s tenure as editor, Knight was publisher of Working Papers Magazine. In 1987, he became a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies. There he studied Confidence-Building Defense and contributed work on restructuring the forces of NATO members to reduce military tensions at the central front in the late years of the European Cold War. In 1991 Knight joined his IDDS colleague Carl Conetta in founding the Project on Defense Alternatives.