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.




Recent Publications

Report: Sustainable Defense: More Security, Less Spending

An alternative defense strategy that avoids unnecessary and counterproductive wars, reduces the U.S. global military footprint, takes a more realistic view of the major security challenges facing the United States, and reduces waste and inefficiency could save at least $1.2 trillion in projected spending over the next decade while providing a greater measure of security...

Sustainable Defense Task Force, co-directed by William Hartung and Ben Freeman


Fact Sheet: Sustainable Defense: More Security, Less Spending (Fact Sheet)

This fact sheet summarizes major findings of the report of the Sustainable Defense Task Force, a group of ex-military officers, former White House and Congressional budget experts, and non-governmental analysts convened by the Center for International Policy...

Sustainable Defense Task Force


Latest News

Presidential Candidates - Talk about the Elephant in the Room


The Center for International Policy (CIP), a nonprofit foreign policy "think tank," recently published "Sustainable Defense: More Security, Less Spending," a report that details $1.2 trillion in defense savings over 10 years without jeopardize national defense. That averages $120 billion in yearly savings – enough to largely fund infrastructure renewal. Even greater cuts over the next decade ranging from $2 trillion to $3.5 trillion are proposed by other Washington-based advocacy organizations. While the figures may vary, the conclusion is the same – the Pentagon budget is bloated and can be reduced. These are the savings that can be redirected to support other, unmet needs.

Sustainable Defense Task Force quoted

Sustainable Defense Task Force

Brown University's Costs of War Project Study


If we reduced military spending by $125 billion annually, as proposed by the Sustainable Defense Task Force (details below), we could use those funds to finance part of the Green New Deal. For example, most of the funding required for Warren’s Green Manufacturing could be paid for through reduced military spending. More ambitious cuts in military spending could fully fund Warren’s plan and fund a significant portion of the Sanders plan.

Sustainable Defense Task Force Cited

Sustainable Defense Task Force

The Pentagon Has More Money Than It Can Spend. Both Democrats And The GOP Are To Blame.


Republicans and Democrats find themselves in the debate over how much money to give to the Pentagon in fiscal year 2020. The bid from the Republican controlled Senate is $750 billion. The just passed bid from the Democratic controlled House is $733 billion. Both have radically overbid on the price of the Pentagon.

By Ben Freeman and William Hartung

Sustainable Defense Task Force

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.


Center for International Policy

2000 M Street NW, Suite 720, Washington, DC 20036

(202) 232-3317

Privacy Policy