New America Announces Launch of the Phase Zero Project

Press Release
Nov. 1, 2017

New America is proud to launch Phase Zero, a project to redefine security building for the twenty-first century by helping defense professionals identify potential causes of conflict before they happen.

A project of New America’s Resource Security program, the Phase Zero Project will use big data and a range of analytical tools to research the root causes of war today. By analyzing natural resources, governance, demographics, climate change, and other factors, the project will identify investments and actions that could help avoid conflict, widespread social unrest, and mass migration.

The project takes its name from the Pentagon planning concept called “Phase Zero.” In an unsettled situation, Phase Zero is the time before a conflict starts when it is still possible to shape the strategic landscape and prevent war.

Senior Adviser Sharon Burke, who heads Resource Security and the Phase Zero Project, will provide credible, evidence-backed information with utility for national security professionals.

“In nearly two decades in the Pentagon and State Department, I've seen firsthand that the United States is peerless when it comes to warfighting, but that's not enough to achieve twenty-first century security,” Burke said. “The Phase Zero project aims to take a long-standing Pentagon concept and infuse it with new information technology and innovative thinking to identify emerging threats and challenges to U.S. security, as well as best approaches for building resilience.”

The Phase Zero Project team also includes Emily Gallagher, a program associate in Resource Security; Denice Ross, a Public Interest Technology Fellow at New America; and Braxton Bridgers, a member of New America’s inaugural class of Millennial Public Policy Fellows.

For more information about the Phase Zero Project, visit