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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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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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chinese ship_500x293

The balance of power in the South China Sea is shifting towards the Chinese. Meanwhile, the US government has been dismantling the deterrent power on which the stability of the region depends.

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The Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) originally known as the Middle East Treaty Organization (METO) was formed in 1955 by Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom through the Baghdad Pact. It was dissolved in 1979. Creative Commons 2.0

If the next president wishes to restore American standing in the Middle East, which President Obama has so steeply devalued, he or she might consider revisiting the idea of a formal security agreement with the Sunni states.

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President Barack Obama meets with Saudi Arabia's King Salman (R) at Erga Palace in Riyadh, January 27, 2015. Reuters

The events of recent months are an indication of how spectacularly Obama has failed to fulfill his 2008 promise to restore the world’s faith in American leadership and renew America’s alliances.

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Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha wave as they arrive at Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain May 8, 2015.  Reuters

What remains of the special relationship between London and Washington lies buried within their respective intelligence and defense bureaucracies, and the British elections aren’t likely to change that.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters following the weekly policy lunch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington May 5, 2015.  Reuters

Congressional Republicans need to set their policy priorities and understand that crafting a budget compromise with the president that begins to restore the defense budget is more important than immediately shrinking the deficit.

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President Obama (L) greets Marine Corps' Commandant Joseph Dunford after nominating Dunford to be the next Joint Chiefs chairman, during an event in the White House Rose Garden in Washington May 5, 2015.  Reuters

Gen. Joseph Dunford doesn’t fit the profile of an “Obama General,” but he may be the right man for the job. However, if, like Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, he appears to be an Obama echo chamber rather than an independent-minded professional, his chairmanship will be dead on arrival.

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Image Credit: shutterstock

Whoever wins the UK elections on May 7, one can only see a Great Britain that will be less a player, less great, in the years ahead, and, as such, from Washington’s perspective, a special relationship that continues to drift towards being even less special.

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Getting Washington to get along, let alone agree, can require moving mountains. But this bipartisan group of leading DC think tanks is unanimous: The need to pursue long-overdue defense and institutional reforms is now.

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