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

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

Stop Overspending on the Pentagon


The debate over the contours of next year’s budget is in full swing, and as usual one of the biggest items to be determined is how much to spend on the Pentagon. Unfortunately, so far the debate between Capitol Hill and the Executive Branch has been about how much to increase the Pentagon’s already ample budget, not how to streamline it while making our military more effective.

By 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.


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