Before DoD Budget Announcement: AEI's Tom Donnelly on President Obama's Defense Strategy

As the Pentagon unveils its new budget numbers today, you might be interested in what AEI expert Thomas (Tom) Donnelly recently wrote about the administration's defense strategy (full text here):

"Beginning with the Libya intervention, the president has been charting a new direction for American strategy and acting with great energy to create a fait accompli that will make it difficult for a successor to reverse course…"

"The president vowed in his defense guidance that the American military will be the "best in the world.” That much is true. But the problem, since 9/11, has not been the quality of the force but its quantity."


Donnelly analyzes the ‘leading-from-behind’ Obama Doctrine and finds that it consists of three main tenets:

  • A smaller, secret, and 'silent' approach to the Long War in the greater Middle East


"The signature instruments of the silent war are remotely piloted aircraft--drones. U.S. conventional forces will no longer be in the regime change or counterinsurgency business but will man an increasingly offshore framework with limited strike capability and, if needed, the ability to patrol contested waterways like the Strait of Hormuz."

  • A 'Pacific pivot' that would deter China from the temptations of aggression but ask allies to carry much of the burden


"To the degree that the Obama pivot represents a new seriousness in responding to the security challenges of China's rise as a global great power and its provocative military modernization, it's a long overdue development". . . "But its promise to continue to make the necessary investments to ensure that we maintain regional access and the ability to operate freely in places like the South China Sea where Beijing has become more intimidating is not borne out in the resources provided."

  • A restructuring of the U.S. military to forestall any future return to a more ambitious--and more traditional--form of American leadership


"[The Obama administration] doesn’t just seek a rebalancing of U.S. strategy, it intends to make a permanent retreat, by removing the military means of mischief. With a smaller force, we'll resist the temptation to fight wars just because we can.”. . .[T]he damage done to American military power are already being felt in the world. The greater Middle East, never stable to begin with, is undergoing an epoch-defining political change--who knows where the Arab revolts will end, or what a nuclear Iran would mean?--while having its American security blanket ripped away."

Tom Donnelly is the director of the Center for Defense Studies. He previously served as a professional staff member for the House Committee on Armed Services. He can be reached at [email protected] or through [email protected]

For help reaching any AEI scholars and for all other media requests, please contact Jesse Blumenthal at [email protected] (202.862.4870).

AEI's in-house ReadyCam TV studio may be booked by calling VideoLink at 617.340.4300. For radio interviews, please e-mail [email protected] to reserve AEI's ISDN facilities.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Thomas
Donnelly

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 27
    MON
  • 28
    TUE
  • 29
    WED
  • 30
    THU
  • 31
    FRI
Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.