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Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies

The Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies seeks to define the ends, ways, and means necessary to restore U.S. military preeminence and preserve a balance of power in favor of freedom. Co-directed by Tom Donnelly and Gary Schmitt, the center’s team of scholars includes an array of former policymakers, Pentagon officials, and senior congressional staff dedicated to detailing a program to reform and enhance America’s military and provide policy options to address the country’s security requirements.

AEI Defense scholars

Co-Director, Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies
Defense, National security
Co-Director, Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies
Intelligence, Europe, National security, American citizenship
Resident Fellow
Military readiness, Defense budget, Military personnel, Defense industrial base
Visiting Fellow
Building partner capacity, Business of defense, National security policy
Research Fellow
US and foreign intelligence and special operations capabilities, Middle Eastern and South Asian insurgencies
Research Fellow
Long-term implications of an inadequate defense budget, Military readiness, Defense modernization, Tactical aviation programs
Senior Fellow, Director, National Security 2020 Project
Congress, US-China security relations
Visiting Fellow
National security legal issues, Impact of Congress on defense


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Image Credit: White House

In his negotiations with Iran, President Obama is betting the security of Israel, the United States, and the larger Middle East on the hope that Iran is an exception to history, but he won’t have to pay for it if he’s wrong. The next president, the next Congress, and the nations of the Middle East that will have to deal with the consequences of his strategic gamble.

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Dianna Ingram/Bergman Group

The Obama administration’s actions have shown the Iranians that they can continue their gradual march toward regional hegemony and save their nukes for another day. As a result, Sunni states are likely to feel threatened and go nuclear.

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The House resolution fails to “raise the caps” on defense spending. That means it leaves in place the infamous sequester that is rapidly turning what was the best fighting force in history into a force at high risk of not being able to carry out its missions.

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Image Credit: (CC BY-SA 3.0), Wikimedia Commons

Most other nations provide significant financing aid to their exporters, so closing the Export-Import Bank could make matters much worse for US exporters who must live in a world with those well-financed foreign competitors.

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B-2 crew chiefs Staff Sgt. Jay Purnie (L) and senior airman Heath Traugh watch their jet, the Spirit of Indiana, run up its engines at Whiteman Air Force Base Dec. 17, 2002 near Warrensburg, Missouri. The flight marked the 9th anniversary of the first B-2 arrival at the base.

As it considers which contractor to award the new Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) contract, it’s biggest development program, to, the Air Force must not only take into account design and price concerns, but also the long-term strength of the defense industrial base.

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U.S. Soldiers shoot at targets during the Excellence in Competition (EIC) portion of the Army Reserve small-arms championship at Camp Robinson, Ark., Sept. 23, 2014. Department of Defense | Flickr

As the world burns, the House and the Senate leadership, in the budget resolutions, have responded by tugging their green eye shades ever tighter and affirm the rules of sound accountancy rather than the principles of American leadership.

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Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper (R) listens to CIA Director John Brennan (L) during testimony at the House Intelligence Committee on "Worldwide Threats", in Washington February 4, 2014.

The reforms announced by CIA Director John Brennan may prove beneficial, but, at the end of the day, even the best intelligence can’t overcome a reluctant president.

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The House budget resolution is clear that defense is only one priority of many, and one far down the line at that.

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Militant Islamist fighters on a tank take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014.

The fight over Tikrit shows that a serious American-led campaign to oust ISIS from Iraq is well within our and the Iraqi military’s capabilities. Success in Iraq doesn’t have to wait until next year; it’s within our grasp today if the president were willing to seize the opportunity.

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There is no conceivable world where what amounts to unilateral American disarmament would make sense; but in the world of today it is madness beyond measure.

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