Charles Lutes

Director, CSWMD

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Areas of Expertise: Biological and chemical defense, Biosecurity, Countering WMD, Deterrence, Missile Defense, Nuclear Issues, Space North Korea, Russia

Mr. Charles D. Lutes is the Director of the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, D.C.  He was previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Center before assuming his current duties.

Prior to joining the Center full time in 2013, Mr. Lutes served in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, where he was a senior advisor for Countering WMD and Acting Principal Director for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy.  Mr. Lutes culminated his 28-year Air Force career as Director for Counterproliferation and Nonproliferation on the National Security Council Staff under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  Mr. Lutes also served as Chief of Strategic Plans and later as WMD Division Chief in the J-5 directorate on the Joint Staff, and was a Senior Military Fellow at NDU’s Institute for National Strategic Studies.  He was a career Air Force pilot with over 3,000 hours in the F-4, T-38, EC-135, KC-135 and C-5 aircraft.

Mr. Lutes holds engineering degrees from Duke University and the Air Force Institute of Technology, an advanced degree in education from The George Washington University and was a National Security Fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  He is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Policy from The George Washington University.  His current research focuses on biological threats, conflict escalation with nuclear armed adversaries, extended deterrence in East Asia, and disruptive technologies.

Publications:

  • 2018, (with Diane DiEuliis and James Giordano) "Biodata Risks and Synthetic Biology: A Critical Juncture," Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense (9:1).
  • 2011, (and Peter L. Hays, Eds.) Towards a Theory of Spacepower: Selected Essays, (Washington DC: National Defense University).
  • 2008, (and M. Elaine Bunn), “Dissuasion and the War on Terror: What is Meant by Dissuasion, and How Might It Apply to the War on Terror?” in Esther Brimmer (ed). Five Dimensions of Homeland and International Security, (Washington, DC: Center for Transatlantic Security, 2008).
  • 2008, “Combating WMD Threats,” in Stephen J. Flanagan and James A. Schear (eds). Strategic Challenges: America’s Global Security Agenda, (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2008). 
  • 2008, (with M. Elaine Bunn and Stephen J. Flanagan) “The Emerging Global Security Environment,” in Stephen J. Flanagan and James A. Schear (eds). Strategic Challenges: America’s Global Security Agenda, (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2008).
  • 2008, “Spacepower in the 21st Century,” Joint Forces Quarterly 49 (2nd quarter 2008) 66-72.
  • 2007, (and Peter L. Hays) “Toward a Theory of Spacepower,” Space Policy 23 (2007) 206–209.
  • 2007, (with Phillip C. Saunders) “China’s ASAT Test: Motivations and Implications,” Joint Force Quarterly 46 (3rd quarter, 2007) 39-45.
  • 2007, (with Phillip C. Saunders) “China’s ASAT Test: Motivations and Implications,” INSS Special Report, (Washington DC: National Defense University, June 2007).
  • 2007, “Can Deterrence be tailored?” in Ronald L. Luman (ed). Unrestricted Warfare Symposium: Proceedings on Strategy, Analysis, and Technology 20-21 March 2007, (Laurel, MD: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 2007). 
  • 2006, “Tailored Deterrence: New Challenges for the Analytical Agenda,” in Ronald L. Luman (ed). Unrestricted Warfare Symposium: Proceedings on Strategy, Analysis, and Technology 14-15 March 2006, (Laurel, MD: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 2006).
  • 2005, (with Judith S. Yaphe) Reassessing the Implications of a Nuclear Armed Iran, McNair Paper, no. 69, (Washington DC: National Defense University). 
  • 2005, “The Global Security Environment of 2010: Implications for National Defense,” INSS Staff Report to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 17 Jun 2005.
  • 2005, “New Players on the Scene: A.Q. Khan and the Nuclear Black MarketeJournal USA: Foreign Policy Agenda, Vol 10, No.1, March, 2005.
  • 2005, “The Military and Operational Aspects of Preemption,” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 29(3), 2005.
  • 2004, “The Role of Dissuasion in Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Strategic Insights, Center for Contemporary Conflict, Naval Postgraduate School.
  • 2001 "Al-Qaida in Action and Learning: A Systems Approach", The George Washington University, Published by Air University.
  • 2000, "Focusing the Lens: A Case-Study in National Missile Defense", Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, National Security Program.