SUSTAINABLE DEFENSE TASK FORCE
CIP convened the Sustainable Defense Task Force to craft a 10-year defense budget and strategy document that could demonstrate a way to rein in runaway Pentagon and nuclear spending and encourage informed debate in Congress, the media, and among citizens’ organizations to advance a common-sense approach for protecting the United States and its allies more effectively at a lower budgetary cost.
Meet The Experts
Gordon Adams, Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center and professor in the U.S. Foreign Policy program at the School of International Service, American University
Amy Belasco, former Specialist for the Defense Budget of the Congressional Research Service
Neta Crawford, Professor and Department Chair of Political Science at Boston University
Matt Fay, former Director of Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Niskanen Center
Ben Friedman, Senior Fellow and Defense Scholar at Defense Priorities
Laicie Heeley, CEO of Inkstick, Host of Things That Go Boom
John King, Founder, King and Brown Company LLC
Larry Korb, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and adjunct professor at Georgetown University
Lindsay Koshgarian, Program Director, National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies
Miriam Pemberton, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies
Mandy Smithberger, Director of the Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight
Col. Larry Wilkerson (Ret.), Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy, William & Mary
Col. Isaiah "Ike" Wilson (Ret.), director, Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College
CIP Senior Associate Carl Conetta was a consultant to the project.
ABOUT THE SUSTAINABLE DEFENSE TASK FORCE
CIP convened the Sustainable Defense Task Force in November 2018 to craft a 10-year defense budget and strategy document that could demonstrate a way to rein in runaway Pentagon and nuclear spending and encourage informed debate in Congress, the media, and among citizens’ organizations to advance a common-sense approach for protecting the United States and its allies more effectively at a lower budgetary cost.
Given historically high levels of Pentagon spending and the unprecedented level of U.S. debt, this effort is of particular value in the context of debates in the new Congress that took office in January 2019, and as a touchstone for debates over Pentagon spending and military strategy during the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.
In recent years debates over Pentagon spending have focused primarily on wasteful spending, specific weapons systems, or the need for more fiscal discipline. These discussions are important but can be far more illuminating when they were backed up by solid, evidence-based analysis of how to keep America and its allies safe without overspending on defense. This was the mission of the SDTF.
The original Sustainable Defense Task Force was requested by Rep. Barney Frank in 2010 for use as a tool in debates over how to cut the deficit and was instrumental in ensuring that the Pentagon budget was subjected to caps as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act. Those efforts were a key factor in achieving a cumulative reduction of between $200 and $300 billion in spending relative to Pentagon projections over a five-year period.
The new SDTF is a bipartisan group of experts from academia, think tanks, government, and retired members of the military. The co-Directors are William Hartung, Director, Arms & Security Project of CIP and Ben Freeman, Director, Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at CIP, working in conjunction with CIP Senior Associate Carl Conetta, who served as a consultant to the project.