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September 30, 2011
The Stench of Elitism in Defense Spending (Opinion)
Just as the leaders of U.S. national security thinking led America into the war in Iraq based on the false premise of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and reckless, but politically powerful, rhetoric, Washington's elite are now circling the wagons around the defense budget. They are using the same disingenuous tactics and the same kind of rhetorical gibberish. While they have successfully intimidated the rest of the political system, they are also making huge fools of themselves, explains Straus Military Reform Project Director Winslow Wheeler.
August 9, 2011
On Defense Secretary Panetta and the Dreaded "Doomsday Mechanism" (Opinion)
The rhetoric of people rushing to rescue Pentagon spending from “completely unacceptable” cuts is quite hysterical. Leading the chorus has been Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, explains Straus Military Reform Project Director Winslow Wheeler.
February 14, 2011
E-Release of The Pentagon Labyrinth (Press Release - Backgrounder)
The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It is a handbook guide to national defense issues, such as the defense budget being released today. An example of why the authors wrote this guide to the Pentagon is the incomplete set of numbers the Defense Department will assert today as its budget request for 2012 and the rabbit warren of hiding places that contain all the federal spending that can reasonably be called "defense" or "national security" spending.
February 11, 2011
What is the National Military Strategy? (Analysis)
On Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011, the Joint Staff circulated JCS Chairman Mullen's National Military Strategy document.
February 11, 2011
Decoding the Defense Budget (Analysis)
I am told the the Pentagon will roll out of its 2012 budget at 2:00 on Monday. This annual event has assumed almost ritual characteristics. The press will record the top line amounts from the Pentagon's press release, with and without the funding for Afghanistan and other foreign operations, and tabulate how much is being sought for what are thought to be the most newsworthy accounts, such as the Procurement account. Questions at the "presser" are sure to focus on specific programs (such as the F-35 and its engines) and on this year's particular budget issues, such as the imbroglio over the 2011 budget and the "catastrophic" possibility that the defense budget may grow only insufficiently above its current post-World War II high. As has been the case for several years, Tony Capaccio at Bloomberg News has already scooped the event with advanced notification to us of some of the major details.
February 9, 2011
New CDI Release: The Pentagon Labyrinth (Miscellaneous)
The Pentagon Labyrinth aims to help both newcomers and seasoned observers learn how to grapple with the problems of national defense. Intended for readers who are frustrated with the superficial nature of the debate on national security, this handbook takes advantage of the insights of ten unique professionals, each with decades of experience in the armed services, the Pentagon bureaucracy, Congress, the intelligence community, military history, journalism and other disciplines.
October 12, 2010
Tea Party Nightmare: The Defense Budget (Opinion)
For the last two weeks, the advocates of higher defense spending have shown their nervousness that the times may be changing - that the defense budget may go south after the elections. Organizations like the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), The Heritage Foundation and William Kristol's various interlocked organizations have written about the dire consequences of less defense spending. Slaves to the thinking they preach to others, that more money means more defense, they ignore what has been happening in the Pentagon's budget: as we spend more, we become weaker. This is not just a qualitative judgment based on the handiwork of the neoconservatives in international policy-making, it is a quantitative measure of the size, age and readiness of our armed forces, explains Straus Military Reform Project Director Winslow Wheeler.
May 11, 2010
The Sorry State of Congressional Oversight (Opinion)
Oversight is one of the most important things that Congress does, or rather, these days doesn't do. Straus Military Reform Project Director Winslow Wheeler explains some of his observations on the political theater of "oversight" in the modern Congress.
November 4, 2008
 The Other Meltdown: Little to Show for Huge Defense Budgets (Opinion)
The financial and economic collapse, our deeply flawed healthcare system, the gridlock in Washington, two long wars not going well, and long-term, fundamental problems with energy and Social Security do not complete the list of raging crises the new president must face. Add the ever expanding cost of America's shrinking, aging, less ready military forces, now approaching the meltdown stage. The nature of the problems our defenses face and the basic nature of some possible real solutions are outlined in a commentary Winslow Wheeler wrote for the Nov. 3, 2008 issue of Defense News.
September 18, 2008
It's Not Just the Bases - or the Nukes
(Opinion)
A series of commentaries is being sponsored on the Mother Jones website about the sprawl of American military bases around the world and the implications. Straus Military Reform Project Director Winslow Wheeler contributed to this series with a piece entitled "It's Not Just the Bases - or the Nukes."
September 16, 2008
Ask McCain and Obama about Missile Defense (Opinion)
Since President Reagan’s famous “Star Wars” speech in 1983, the U.S. has spent at least $120 billion, $110 billion just since 2003, on missile defense, making it the most expensive defense procurement program in history. Philip Coyle, Senior Advisor for Center for Defense Information, analyzes the future of the U.S. missile defense program, particularly in light of the 2008 presidential elections.
August 29, 2008
Countdown to Air Force Cyber Command Stopped (Analysis)
Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER) was intended to become operational Oct. 1, 2008, but the launch of this controversial command has been halted. The Air Force's new leadership has wisely decided to evaluate the command's mission, capabilities and size to be sure that if continued, it will be a reasonable and legitimate command. Although all efforts related to AFCYBER have been suspended, many Air Force officials are confident the command will continue. The Air Force's new Chief of Staff along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff should have a decision on AFCYBER this month. CDI Research Assistant Chelsea Dilley analyzes this recent halt in Air Force Cyber Command development.