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.
Agenda
8:45 AM
Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM
Introduction:
THOMAS DONNELLY, AEI

Speaker:
REPRESENTATIVE ADAM SMITH (D-WA), Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee

Question and Answer

10:00 AM
Adjournment
Event Contact Information
For more information, please contact Richard Cleary at richard.cleary@aei.org, 202.862.7184.
Media Contact Information
For media inquiries, please contact Véronique Rodman at vrodman@aei.org, 202.862.4871.
 
Event Summary

Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, argued for maintaining a strong defense amid federal budgetary pressures in a wide-ranging speech this morning at the American Enterprise Institute. The congressman discussed the need to tie the reduced capabilities that come with lower budgets to precise security threats, explaining in concrete terms the consequences of defense budget reductions. But sustaining a strong national defense depends not only on articulating the importance of the defense budget but also on proposing comprehensive solutions, particularly on the revenue side, for reducing the federal deficit and debt. Failing to do so will leave the defense budget to be "crucified," Smith argued.

 

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Speaker Biographies

Thomas Donnelly, a defense and security policy analyst, is the director of the Center for Defense Studies at AEI. He is the coauthor of “Lessons for a Long War: How America Can Win on New Battlefields” (AEI Press, 2010, with Frederick W. Kagan). Among his recent books are “Ground Truth: The Future of US Land Power” (AEI Press, 2008, with Mr. Kagan), “Of Men and Materiel: The Crisis in Military Resources” (AEI Press, 2007, coedited with Gary J. Schmitt), “The Military We Need” (AEI Press, 2005), and “Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment” (AEI Press, 2004). Mr. Donnelly was policy-group director and a professional staff member for the House Committee on Armed Services from 1995 to 1999, and he also served as a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is a former editor of Armed Forces Journal, Army Times and Defense News.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) represents Washington’s ninth district and serves as the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he is a strong advocate for our military personnel and their families. He served until recently on both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. As a 14-year member of the House Armed Services Committee, he most recently chaired the Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces and, before that, the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities. During the last Congress, he also served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he was responsible for overseeing and funding the intelligence community and intelligence-related activities and programs of the US government.

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