Video Brief: Defense

March 26, 2012
8:00 am (EST)

Video Brief: Defense
Explainer Video
from Video, National Security and Defense Program, and Transition 2012

"Budgetary pressures will in significant part drive the decisions" on defense policy for the winner of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, says CFR’s Richard Betts. In 2013, the White House and the next U.S. Congress will have to decide whether to reduce the objectives and deployment of armed forces as the defense budget comes under scrutiny, he says.

More From Our Experts

"If the priority is going to be on resolving the gap between resources and spending, then cuts in the defense budget are almost certain, and the debate will be about how much," Betts predicts. If, on the other hand, the priority is going to be maintaining high levels of military power and ambitious policy objectives to shape security developments in other parts of the world, the president and Congress will have to find savings elsewhere, he says.

More on:

Budget, Debt, and Deficits

United States

Betts expects defense budget reductions to center on U.S. Army and Marines ground forces involved in interventions abroad. Support for counterterrorism capabilities will be preserved, he says, as this remains a priority for the United States and relies primarily on special operation forces and intelligence gathering, which are relatively less costly.

This video is part of Campaign 2012, a series of video briefings on the top foreign policy issues debated in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

More From Our Experts

More on:

Budget, Debt, and Deficits

United States

Close

Top Stories on CFR

Coronavirus

Successful vaccine rollouts in the United States and other wealthy nations have made many people hopeful that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight. But the majority of the world’s population does not yet have access to these vaccines. Without a strong global effort to immunize everyone, new variants could tighten the pandemic’s grip on rich and poor countries alike.

United States

The nuclear arms race was perhaps the most alarming feature of the Cold War competition between the United States and Soviet Union. Over the decades, the two sides signed various arms control agreements as a means to manage their rivalry and limit the risk of nuclear war. However, deep fissures have reemerged in the U.S.-Russia relationship in recent years, raising once again the specter of a nuclear arms race.

Haiti