Congress and the National Defense Strategy: A bipartisan conversation with congressional national security leaders - AEI



Event Material


Event Summary

On February 28, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) joined AEI’s Mackenzie Eaglen to discuss current national defense issues and the National Defense Strategy.

Reps. Gallagher and Panetta began with remarks on current events. Both agreed with the president’s decision to walk away from the negotiating table with Kim Jong Un and await a better deal. Additionally, both representatives voted to block the president’s national emergency declaration, although Rep. Gallagher noted that he does support the effort for a border wall, just not the president’s decision to declare a national emergency to secure one.

In addition, the representatives addressed the pivot in the National Defense Strategy away from counterterrorism efforts and toward great power competition. They discussed the importance of shifting from deterrence by punishment to deterrence by denial and the need to examine which programs are being funded by defense spending. Rep. Panetta spoke about relying on democratic efforts to support the Department of Defense, and Rep. Gallagher stressed the importance of diplomatic relationships to help ensure cyber safety worldwide.

The conversation emitted a strong sense of bipartisanship and shared optimism. Reps. Gallagher and Panetta emphasized the importance of cutting across party lines, getting past the politics, and focusing on policy.

— Victoria Casola

Event Description

The Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy declares that the United States has entered a renewed period of great power competition. To pursue this new strategic direction, the Department of Defense requires new budgetary resources, new operational concepts, and energetic oversight from the country’s political leadership — in other words, partners in Congress.

How do defense experts in Congress view the implementation of the National Defense Strategy so far? How does the fiscal year 2020 defense budget request match up with the National Defense Strategy? Will Congress strike another massive funding deal to avert sequestration over the next two years?

Please join AEI’s Mackenzie Eaglen for a discussion with Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA).

Join the conversation on social media with @AEI on Twitter and Facebook.


8:15 AM

8:30 AM
Mackenzie Eaglen, AEI

8:40 AM

Mackenzie Eaglen, AEI
Mike Gallagher, US House of Representatives (R-WI)
Jimmy Panetta, US House of Representatives (D-CA)

9:10 AM

9:30 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Charlotte Kearney at [email protected], 202.862.5904.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829

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