th_flag.jpgProviding clients with unique insight into national security and defense policies, programs, and processes

Shortwaver Consulting provides clients with national security and defense policy advice and expertise.  The consultancy is a limited liability company in Burke, Virginia owned and operated by David J. Trachtenberg. 

With more than 40 years of national security experience in both government and the private sector, Mr. Trachtenberg has served as a government contractor, a legislative staffer for the U.S. Congress, and a senior Department of Defense official.  He has been a Vice President and Senior Vice President for large and small companies working in partnership with the U.S. Government to improve American security in the areas of homeland defense and international security policy.

Shortwaver Consulting has provided consulting services to elements of the U.S. Department of Defense and to corporate entities, including small businesses and large industrial customers. The company's focus is on policy and planning -- to give clients an in-depth appreciation and understanding of how government works and to help them translate that understanding into actions that ensure their success.

Click below for David Trachtenberg's bio. 

Bio Long Version

Bio Short Version

Areas of Expertise:  
    • National Security Policy and Strategy 
    • Missile Defense 
    • Nuclear Weapons
    • Arms Control 
    • Proliferation and Counterproliferation
    • WMD Threat Reduction 
    • Defense Budget Issues 
    • Counter-terrorism 
    • Russian Military Policy
    • Export Controls
    • Technology Transfer
    • Non-Lethal Weapons
    • Homeland Security
    • Executive and Legislative Processes
    • Strategic Planning

You may contact Shortwaver Consulting at the following e-mail address:


Click here to watch a discussion on the need for nuclear modernization that aired on "PBS NewsHour"
on 14 November 2014         1.jpg

Blog posts on national defense issues

"A New Missile Defense Policy for the New Year," The Hill, 7 January 2015.

"Let's Fix Ferguson by Giving Cops More Military Gear," War Is Boring, 27 August 2014

"Perfect: Enemy of the Good & Missile Defense," Real Clear Defense, 28 April 2014

Selected commentaries posted by the American Enterprise Institute's Center for Defense Studies


"Czeching Out on Missile Defense," 16 June 2011

"New START Facts," 10 June 2011

"Dollars and Sense on Defense," 6 December 2010

"No Sale on New START," 22 November 2010

"Moving Missile Defense Forward," 18 October 2010

"Stopping New START," 8 September 2010

"An Opportunity Missed," 30 August 2010

"Red Menace or Red Herring?," 17 August 2010

"Nuclear Wake-Up Call," 21 July 2010

"The Season of Our Nuclear Discontent," 24 May 2010

"Assessing the Nuclear Posture Review: A Closer Look," 20 April 2010

"Six Myths About the 'New START' Treaty," 8 April 2010

"How to Lose Friends and Amuse Your Enemies," 28 September 2009


"Shortwaver" at sea

Boating on the Potomac

The "maritime mobile" Shortwaver is a Bayliner 285 cabin cruiser.  It is an excellent way to relax while cruising the waters around our nation's capital.  And, of course, it is provisioned with its own shortwave radio receivers to stay in touch with world events while at sea.






Why "Shortwaver"?

Shortwaver Consulting's President and CEO developed an interest in national security affairs through exposure to international events and information broadcast on shortwave radio.  What started as a hobby 40 years ago sparked a passion for public service and for helping to shape the role of the United States in world affairs.

Shortwave is a strategically-targeted means of global high-frequency information and radio communications that offers:

  • Worldwide perspectives
  • Global reach
  • International impact

Shortwaver Consulting strives to provide its clients with an in-depth understanding of U.S. national security policy as they develop their own strategic communications plans and strategies.

The company's offices are co-located with amateur radio station N4WWL, licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.



Book Chapters and Reports:

"U.S. Extended Deterrence: How Much Strategic Force Is Too Little?" in Tailored Deterrence: Influencing States and Groups of Concern, published by the USAF Counterproliferation Center, Maxwell AFB, AL, May 2011. 

 Click here to read  

 [An adapted version of this essay was published in the Summer 2012 issue of Strategic Studies Quarterly and is available by clicking here]

"Toward a New 'New Look': U.S. Nuclear Strategy and Forces for the Third Atomic Age" (with Thomas Donnelly), AEI Center for Defense Studies, March 2010
Click here to read 

Links to articles on national security affairs

"Time to Reassess U.S. Missile Defense Policy," National Institute for Public Policy Information Series #409, 25 July 2016

"Rebalancing Missile Defense," Real Clear Defense, 4 May 2016

"The Non-Lethal Option," The Hill, 18 January 2016

"Align US Strategic Forces to New Russian Realities," Defense News, 7 December 2015

"Protecting the Warfighter in an Austere Budget Environment," The American Foreign Policy Council Defense Technology Program Brief, September 2014

"U.S. Benefits from Diversity in Missile Defense," Roll Call, 24 October 2013

"Unilateral Nuclear Reduction Would Hurt U.S. Deterrence," The Washington Post, 10 July 2013

"From Niche to Necessity: Integrating Nonlethal Weapons into Essential Enabling Capabilities," (co-authored) Joint Force Quarterly, Volume 66, July 2012

"Nuclear Fallback," National Review Online, 10 October 2011

"New Days, Old Ways," (Book review of "The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB,") National Security Policy Proceedings, Winter 2010.

"Going Nuclear," Defense News, 8 February 2010

"Disconnected Dots Between Strategy and Means," Defense News, 27 April 2009

"Non-lethal Weapons: The Right Tools for the Job," Jane's Defence Weekly, 11 February 2009

"Death Knell for Nuclear Deterrence?," Defense News, 14 July 2008

"Rethink Arms Control," Defense News, 29 October 2007

"How to Spice Up Voice of America's Dull Broadcasts," Christian Science Monitor, 23 August 2007

"Off the Radar: What Happened to Missile Defense?," Armed Forces Journal International, January 2006

"Understanding American Nuclear Weapons Policy and Strategy: A Citizen's Guide to the Nuclear Posture Review and the Role of Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century," 2005

"Connecting the Dots," Defense News, 13 September 2004

Proud member of the U.S. Air Force Military Auxiliary Radio System

Click here to read an article about the role MARS plays in helping ensure the nation's emergency preparedness, published in the August 2014 issue of The Spectrum Monitor.

Click here to read a speech on MARS delivered on 12 March 2014 to the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of InfraGard, a public-private partnership of business and academic leaders
working with the FBI to help ensure national security.

Click here to read an article highlighting DoD’s reaffirmation of the strengthened civilian-military communications partnership that MARS represents, published on
AFCEA’s Signal Scape web site in September 2010.

Click here to read an article about the role of MARS operators in assisting humanitarian relief efforts
in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti,
published in the May 2010 issue of Monitoring Times

Click here to read an article about the role of MARS in emergency communications preparedness,
published in the February 2009 issue of Signal Connections, the electronic newsletter of the
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).

NTAS Alerts

Click here for a guide outlining the resources to help veterans overcome substance misuse and other addictions.

Shortwaver Consulting, LLC * 9233 Byron Terrace * Suite 100 * Burke, Virginia * USA * 22015
Phone: 703.981.5051 * Fax: 888.745.0460

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