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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
Defense acquisition/industry, Aerospace industry, Government procurement
Visiting Fellow
Building partner capacity, Business of defense, National security policy
Research Fellow
US and foreign intelligence [capabilities], Middle Eastern and South Asian insurgencies
Senior Fellow, Director, National Security 2020 Project
Congress, US-China security relations
Research Fellow
National security legal issues, Impact of Congress on defense

 

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The current decline in US defense capabilities is undermining its conventional deterrence in the Pacific and indeed, around the entire globe.

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A recent hearing on the findings of the blue-ribbon National Defense Panel points to several key items that need to be on the Pentagon’s to-do list over the final two years of the Obama administration.

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The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in the distance.

It remains Congress’s responsibility both to reform the US defense budget and to increase it.

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Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (R) bows during a news conference with party officials after the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party was defeated in the local elections in Taipei November 29, 2014. Reuters

The leadership in Taipei and Washington faced stirring rebukes in recent elections and, going forward, will be faced with an increasingly tense cross-Strait relationship between Taiwan and China.

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Image Credit: David B. Gleason (Flickr) (CC-BY-2.0)

The circumstances of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s dismissal — hasty firing of spotty rationale and the subsequent whisper campaign to tear down his reputation — would have any candidate questioning if they would want to risk being treated like that as his successor.

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“It’s a great honor to have Senator Jim Talent joining us at AEI to lead this important initiative,” said AEI President Arthur C. Brooks. “Jim is uniquely qualified to spearhead this project.”

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McCain and Thornberry couldn’t be more opposite. McCain may need to reluctantly shift his approach to appease Thornberry if he becomes the Secretary of Defense.

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U.S. President Barack Obama (L) listens to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel after the president announced Hagel's resignation at the White House in Washington, November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Unfortunately, it is likely that not much will be different three months from now regarding U.S. strategy to combat Islamic extremists even after a change at the top of the Pentagon.

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s sudden resignation caused many speculations. Secretary of Defense is known as one of the hardest jobs so was it Hagel’s own decision to leave or did disagreements with Obama’s policies and strategies led to Hagel being pushed out?

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel walks out to welcome New Zealand's Minister of Defence Gerry Brownlee at the Pentagon in Washington, November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

While he was not a noisy regular on all the Sunday talk shows, Secretary Hagel was competently managing the largest federal agency’s drawdown at a time of great global unrest.

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