Ends and Means: American Security Strategy and Defense Budgets

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With congressional super committee deliberations underway and the November 23 deadline for this work fast approaching, defense spending has taken a central place in public debate. Additional defense spending cuts, even if not the equivalent of the sequestration “nuclear option,” would push America’s armed forces closer to what General Martin Dempsey has called a “high-risk” scenario. Amid these pressures, ensuring that budgeting is more than an accounting practice—and, instead, considers our strategic needs—has become more important than ever for leaders on Capitol Hill. In this keynote address, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, will reflect on the state of America’s armed forces, including strategic goals; force posture; and, in this environment of fiscal strain, funding needs.
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