In a time of increasingly scarce resources, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) will be reevaluating spending and reprioritizing defense projects. Please join Ashton B. Carter to discuss the Obama administration’s assessment of defense resources and priorities, and DOD’s shifting relationships with Capitol Hill and the business community.
Every four years, the U.S. Department of Defense conducts a congressionally mandated review of national defense strategy and priorities known as the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). As the Pentagon concludes its 2010 QDR–the second such review to be conducted in wartime and the first of the Obama administration–join Michèle Flournoy for an assessment of defense policy over the short and long term.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and highly-decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Senator Jim Webb served as secretary of the Navy under President Reagan and was elected by Virginians to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He is a member of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Armed Services, and Veterans’ Affairs, and is chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Please join Senator Webb to discuss his work in the Senate and his views on U.S. national security strategy.
In the next military budget Congress must provide funding for a wholesale shift toward counterinsurgency to win two wars. At the same time, policymakers must be mindful of the need for another transformation to anticipate future wars.
Authors: Steven Kosiak, Robert L. McClure, Col. Ken Allard, and Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor
The new Pentagon strategic plan calls for a more mobile, modern U.S. military capable of meeting threats posed by non-state actors like al-Qaeda. Cfr.org inteviews four military experts for their views on whether the Quadrennial Defense Review creates a force that is sustainable and adequate for the task at hand.
President Obama's decision to make Leon Panetta head of the Pentagon and Gen. David Petraeus head of the CIA shows the growing influence of the intelligence agency and its integration with the military, says CFR's Micah Zenko.
Defense-spending cuts should be a big part of a deficit reduction deal, says CFR's Richard Betts, with the Pentagon pursuing a budget that reflects a reduced threat environment and limits the production of expensive, state-of-the-art equipment.
Fifty years after President Eisenhower's warning, the "military-industrial complex" still thrives and dictates national priorities, says CFR's Les Gelb, who argues that President Obama should make a case for building a strong domestic economy as a national security issue.
The Obama administration's proposed defense budget fails to align spending with calls to rebuild the military to handle irregular warfare, says expert Todd Harrison. He also cites an inability to get personnel costs under control.
President Obama's new strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan has drawn praise from U.S. forces and international allies. But Afghan Defense Minister Gen. Adbul Rahim Wardak tells CFR.org that Washington's renewed commitment falls short of previous U.S. commitments.
"At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure, Reuters has found. And plugging isn't confined to DFAS (pronounced DEE-fass). Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information."
"[The] country's defense experts and policy makers are now addressing systemic reform and modernization issues, and are talking about breaking down barriers to cooperation with civilian industry and market-driven management."
"Increasingly, without United States assistance, military experts said, Europe's armed forces have trouble carrying out basic operations as its dwindling financial and political commitment has derailed multiple initiatives intended to make the continent more self-reliant."
"The BCA established an automatic process to reduce spending, partially entailing a sequester of budgetary resources, if Congress did not pass and the President did not sign, by January 15, 2012, legislation reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the FY2012-FY2021 period. No such legislation was enacted by the deadline. Therefore, the automatic spending reduction process was triggered."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »