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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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Congress’s unwillingness to stand up to the administration on the Iran nuclear deal continues its retreat from a serious role in US strategy making. Legislators need to summon the energy and will to challenge this deal before it is too late.

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FBI Director James Comey (L-R), CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson listen during President Obama's speech about the National Security Agency at the Justice Department in Washington January 17, 2014. Reuters

What’s driving calls for greater transparency isn’t ill will toward intelligence professionals or even curiosity: rather, it’s a lack of trust.

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What will Iran do with its new-found cash from the nuclear agreement? It might follow China’s lead and invest in capabilities that will make it harder for the US and its allies to operate in the Middle East.

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A US Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing (FW) at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., flies over the coast of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., May 16, 2013. Department of Defense | Flickr

The nature of aerial combat has changed with technological advances. Gone are the days of pilots dogfighting in silk scarves; modern aircraft, in particular the F-35, look to hit their target before it even sees them.

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Iran views nuclear weapons as a means to achieving regional hegemony, not as an end unto themselves.

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U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment (Iron Rakkasans), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), and Air Force Senior Airman Grant Haefke, a Joint Terminal Attack Controller qualified Tactical Air Control Party Airman assigned to the 817th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, enter a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter at an Afghan National Army combat outpost in Afghanistan, June 23, 2015. Department of Defense | Flickr

As the US Army faces another round of troop cuts, it’s important to remember that war funding, budgetary gimmick though it may be, can be used to pay for personnel and temporarily stop the armed services’ bleeding until Congress permanently repairs the damage its done with the Budget Control Act.

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The use of American power is a moral undertaking; America’s security, liberty, and prosperity depend upon its will to lead and its ability to fight.

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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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