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Restore American Military Power

Military
Our military is second to none, but eight years of negligence, lack of accountability, and a reckless war in Iraq have left our ground forces facing shortfalls in both recruitment and readiness. Every service is out of balance and ill-prepared. We need a new strategy to give the military the tools it needs for the challenges we face today. And we need leadership that meets our obligations to the men and women who put their lives on the line.
Read the full paper: The Progressive Approach: The Military »

Military

Part Two: An Unserious Plan for National Defense

Report 26 May 2011

As the House of Representatives works its way through the 2012 National Defense Authorization Bill (NDAA), several provisions have drawn veto threats from the White House. The document, intended to be the legislative blueprint for the defense of our nation, is filled with efforts to reverse Department of Defense policy and make sweeping, un-debated policy changes on issues from how the Pentagon selects weapons systems and implements the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to how law enforcement officials investigate and prosecute terror plots.

Yesterday, NSN explored the proposed expansion of the Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the profound changes to how the U.S. pursues and prosecutes terrorists.  Today, we examine four military provisions which seek to reverse past policy decisions and tie the hands of this administration. 

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Military

HASC and Deficit Reductions: The Enemy Is Us

Report 12 May 2011
 

Responsible leaders from both parties recognize that defense cuts must be part of a deficit reduction package. As Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn explained yesterday, "The defense budget alone cannot solve our deficit crisis. But it's hard to envision an overall solution - either economically or politically - that does not include some contribution from the 20 percent of government spending that goes toward defense." Yesterday the lack of coherent House leadership on the issue again came to the fore. While the House Appropriations Committee passed a budget including modest Pentagon cuts, the House Armed Services Committee was busy adding back programs the Pentagon doesn't want and relitigating policy issues - from "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to nuclear reductions to the scope of the military response to terrorism - which are ideological distractions from the pragmatic business of building a lean, effective military and getting our economy moving again.

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Military

Money and Strategy, Strategy and Money

Report 19 April 2011
 

Standard and Poor's decision to downgrade the U.S. long-term credit outlook highlights how much is at stake in the budget debate. Bipartisan experts agree that no effort to tackle the debt is serious unless it includes defense spending, which is at a high in real terms since the end of the Cold War.  A serious review includes not just "efficiency" savings but also a review of strategy, roles and missions - recognizing that, as defense expert Gordon Adams notes, "Money has always driven strategy and strategy has always influenced money."

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Military

NSN Statement on President Obama's Debt-Reduction Plan

Press Release Washington, D.C. 13 April 2011
 

Today President Obama laid out a plan for reducing the national debt, which over the long term poses a threat to our national security. The plan broke new ground by including modest but actual cuts to defense spending -- unlike the plan put forward by House Republicans -- while maintaining the investments in competitiveness that form the foundation of 21st-century national security.

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Military

The 2012 Budget Battle Over Defense Spending

Report 6 April 2011
 

As a potential government shutdown looms, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, yesterday released a budget proposal for the 2012 fiscal year. Ryan's proposal fails to recognize that America's ability to project power and advance our security is derived from our economic well-being and that the cuts being proposed to key investments in America, as well as to our development and diplomatic assets, will undercut our strength. While bipartisan experts agree that cuts to the defense budget should go further, ironically, when it comes to the Pentagon, Ryan's proposal essentially endorses the president's budget request. This has caused deep division among conservatives by pitting those who have called for arbitrary increases in defense spending against Ryan, meaning that conservative infighting will continue to rage over these proposals. While the broader budget debate will be intense, it is clear that the president's coherent vision for defense spending has opened up a debate among his conservative critics, demonstrating that they do not have such coherence.

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Military

Budget Day

Report 14 February 2011
Today sees both the announcement of the 2012 defense budget as well as Defense Secretary Robert Gates' attempt to lay down a line on what he wants - and what he doesn't want - in the 2011 defense budget still being debated by Congress.  Given the depth of concern expressed by bipartisan political, military and national security leaders about the nation's fiscal health - from current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen and past chair Colin Powell, to House Majority Leader Cantor (R-VA) and Minority Whip Hoyer (D-MD) - the 2012 budget leaves much room for further cuts.  On top of this, the GOP's latest proposal for the 2011 Continuing Resolution leaves Defense almost untouched.  Experts from both sides of the aisle agree that if Congress is serious about reigning in spending, everything must be on the table, including defense spending.  But the Tea Party and establishment conservatives have yet to agree on a vision of U.S. security policy that matches up to sensible funding cuts, punting on the difficult decisions that the country is facing.
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Military

US Watches Egypt's Army as Protests Continue

News Voice of America 3 February 2011
Military

Donald Rumsfeld, you're no Robert McNamara

News The Guardian 3 February 2011