Why this defense drawdown must be different for the Pentagon

Video

 

Event Summary

During a panel discussion among leading US defense experts at AEI on Thursday morning, Gordon Adams of the Stimson Center stressed that there is remarkable consensus across both sides of the isle regarding how the Pentagon should best manage the current drawdown. The question, however, is whether military and civilian leaders will use tighter budgets to enact structural reform or continue to kick the can down the road. Clark Murdock of the Center for Strategic and International Studies argued that the US military is facing a "double whammy" of budget cuts and internal pressures driven by overhead and personnel cost growth, which is hollowing out the defense budget from within and reducing the purchasing power of the US Department of Defense.

Major General Arnold Punaro (ret.) stressed that the Pentagon is facing three "ticking time bombs" associated with internal cost growth. Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments stressed that reforms need not consist of "all pain, no gain." For instance, the Pentagon could implement military compensation changes for future enlistees that would maximize the value of those benefits to service members and their families. Panelists concluded that with or without sequestration, the defense drawdown is staying in place for the foreseeable future. Pentagon leaders should therefore use this as an opportunity to reduce bureaucracy, overhead, and excess infrastructure.

--Chas Morrison

Event Description

America's military drawdown is well underway. For years, the Pentagon has been cutting capability and capacity, scaling back war plans, absorbing ever more efficiencies, canceling weapons systems, and reducing readiness in response to roughly $1 trillion in defense budget cuts before sequestration. The onset of sequestration means that this approach is no longer feasible.

How can Pentagon leaders better target reductions to address structural drivers of military spending while prioritizing national security imperatives? In a new AEI paper, Mackenzie Eaglen argues that Pentagon officials must reduce costs by shrinking the civilian and military bureaucracies, reducing overhead, and eliminating excess infrastructure. At this event, AEI’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies will host a panel of defense experts to discuss the right and wrong ways to further cut the defense budget.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Mackenzie
Eaglen

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 27
    MON
  • 28
    TUE
  • 29
    WED
  • 30
    THU
  • 31
    FRI
Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.