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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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SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 15, 2010) The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), the guided-missile cruiser USS Chosin (CG 65), the guided-missile destroyers USS Sampson (DDG 102) and USS Pinkney (DDG 91), and the guided-missile frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46) operate in formation in the South China Sea. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is conducting operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Mercil/Released)

Reversing the existing trends of Chinese military aggression will not be easy, quick, or cheap, but the risks in the Western Pacific will continue to grow until we do. We might as well start now.

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Vladimir Putin_Shutterstock_500x334

The Pentagon’s new plan to place US military equipment in Eastern Europe is better than nothing, but not by much. Is there any reason for Putin to think that Washington or NATO, with its underwhelming rapid reaction force, are really determined to stand up to him?

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Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force—Crisis Response—Central Command, participate in the riot control portion of the Nonlethal Weapons Course conducted by the Law Enforcement Detachment for Marines from the Logistics Combat Element and the Ground Combat Element in an undisclosed location within the Central Command Area of Operations, May 28, 2015.  Department of Defense | Flickr

In both the Pacific and the Middle East, the United States needs to get right with Napoleon’s God and remember that big battalions—large military formations—win wars and deter enemies.

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Image Credit: White House

President Obama recognizes the need for more defense funding in principle, but is threatening to veto both the Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills on the grounds that Congress is not also increasing non-defense spending. In other words, the president is holding defense hostage to his domestic-spending priorities.

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Military force may not be the ideal solution to the Iran nuclear issue, but it is an indispensable backdrop to viable diplomacy.

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Army machine gunner with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion (Airborne) 509th Infantry Regiment reports his status during a Combined Arms Maneuver Live Fire Exercise on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 8, 2015. Department of Defense | Flickr

AEI’s success in educating lawmakers who are enacting real acquisition reform echoes the Institute’s leading role in other areas of defense reform, such as military compensation, base closures, and rightsizing the defense civilian workforce.

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The House NDAA provision to limit the power of the Pentagon testing office would be a sea-change in the meaning of defense “reform,” a first unraveling of the regulatory mindset that’s made such a mess of Pentagon procurement.

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Then Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno (C), the number two U.S. military commander in Iraq, stands with other U.S. soldiers and residents at the scene of a recent car bombing in Baghdad's central Karrada district August 11, 2007. Reuters

Emma Sky’s The Unraveling chronicles the tragedy of Iraq after President Obama’s election and, most importantly for today’s debates, makes clear that the eventual rise of ISIS was not preordained.

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Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden appears live via video during a student organized world affairs conference at the Upper Canada College private high school in Toronto, February 2, 2015.  Reuters

The federal government’s handling of the legal and political issues surrounding NSA meta-data collection has not been a pretty picture. Somewhere in Russia, Edward Snowden is probably smiling.

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Divisions between policy makers created by the 2011 Budget Control Act risk sacrificing invaluable resources to US national security, primarily the Air Force A-10.

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