Defense: What We Spent, What We Wasted, & What We Need

Tomorrow, the Pentagon will begin to reveal plans to cut $500 billion over the next ten years. In a new report and a Wall Street Journal op-ed, American Enterprise Institute (AEI) defense expert Mackenzie Eaglen explains that:

  • President Obama’s forthcoming 2013 defense budget will surely kill what little is left of the US military’s modernization agenda. The administration presumes that money spent equals better capabilities.


"Amid shrinking budgets, Washington has decided that 40-year old programs will suffice. It’s true in business and it’s true in war. Innovate or die."

  • In fact, bigger defense budgets after 2001 did little to increase the US military’s cutting-edge capabilities. The money needed to fight the wars did anything to increase the U.S. military’s cutting-edge capabilities. These funding increases came at the expense of tomorrow.


"The traditional margins of American technological superiority are declining across the services and domains. Those margins—too often taken for granted as a birthright—have helped uphold the implicit contract most Americans have had with the all-volunteer military and ensured our forces were never in a “fair fight.” That contract no longer exists. . . We’ve mortgaged the future to pay for the wars of today and yesterday in the Middle East."


Mackenzie Eaglen is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and has worked on defense issues on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon. She is available for interviews and can be reached at mackenzie.eaglen@aei.org or through charles.morrison@aei.org.

For help reaching any AEI scholars and for all other media requests, please contact Jesse Blumenthal at jesse.blumenthal@aei.org (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 jesse.blumenthal@aei.org to reserve AEI's ISDN facilities.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Mackenzie
Eaglen
  • Mackenzie Eaglen has worked on defense issues in the U.S. Congress, both House and Senate, and at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff. She specializes in defense strategy, budget, military readiness and the defense industrial base. In 2010, Ms. Eaglen served as a staff member of the congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission established to assess the Pentagon's major defense strategy. A prolific writer on defense related issues, she has also testified before Congress.


     


    Follow Mackenzie Eaglen on Twitter.

  • Phone: (202) 862-7183
    Email: mackenzie.eaglen@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Charles Morrison
    Phone: (202) 862-5945
    Email: charles.morrison@aei.org

What's new on AEI

image The money in banking: Comparing salaries of bank and bank regulatory employees
image What Obama should say about China in Japan
image A key to college success: Involved dads
image China takes the fight to space
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

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