National Security Network

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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

Budget Battles

Report 26 January 2011
 

Last night in his State of the Union address President Obama said "the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it - in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes." He went on to note that, "The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our military can do without." In short, this is no time for "sacred cows." Bipartisan political and military leaders - led by former Secretary of State Colin Powell -  agree that making smart cuts to defense spending are essential for ensuring American national security. Smart cuts take into account strategy and what Secretary Gates calls the "critical role" of civilian agencies, whether stabilizing Pakistan, training police in Afghanistan or supporting civil society in Tunisia.

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Military

NSN Statement on the Fiftieth Anniversary of President Eisenhower's Farewell Address

Press Release Washington, D.C. 18 January 2011
Today marks fifty years since President Dwight Eisenhower delivered the farewell address which famously warned against the "unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." But the whole of the speech delivers a message that is equally contemporary and challenging, whether warning against "a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties," or calling for diplomacy that will enable us to "learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose."
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Military

Gates’ Opening Salvo in “Massive, Almost Historic Battle”

Report 6 January 2011
 

Today Defense Secretary Gates will announce $100 billion in efficiency savings for the Pentagon.  The announcement targets defense programs with high cost-over runs and performance issues.  But it also represents a first test of Washington's political will - whether Republicans, Democrats and Tea Partiers alike are prepared to match "everything on the table" rhetoric with a serious, responsible effort to balance the threats of today with those of tomorrow and meet our military contributions with those from our diplomatic and development communities.  Conservative strategist Richard Vigurie has called the debate over the national debt "a massive, almost historic battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party."  But it extends beyond partisanship, as Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has reminded us: "the single-biggest threat to our national security is our debt." 

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Military

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Passes, But Fights Remain

News The Wall Street Journal 19 December 2010
Military

Voting Down DADT, Along With Our Integrity

Report 10 December 2010
Yesterday, a procedural vote on the defense spending bill containing the repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) policy came just three votes shy of the 60 votes needed to bring the bill to the floor for debate.  This minority group of senators blocked the important defense bill because of DADT repeal, which is supported by the majority of the country, the military and top bipartisan and nonpartisan military experts.  The current DADT policy harms America's  national security by depriving the military of crucial skills, creating unneeded financial strains and, perhaps most importantly, by violating the core principles that the military's success are based on: integrity and discipline.  This is not a sustainable policy.  A legislative pathway towards repeal is still preferred to ensure an orderly implementation that the Pentagon leadership has been advocating for. However, there remain a number of pathways for repeal, and it is crucial that all tools be considered in order to end this harmful policy.
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Military

Don’t Obstruct Our National Security Policy

Report 8 December 2010
As the Senate moves to begin debate on the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), conservatives are once again seeking to obstruct and delay the priorities of our military and national security leadership.  The NDAA is crucial to the nation's defense, as it provides the budget and policy guidelines for key national security priorities, such as military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It also provides crucial authorization for pay and health benefits to the men and women of the military..  Yet despite the essential role that this legislation plays in securing our country and guiding the nation's military activities for the coming year, conservatives have threatened to filibuster the bill because it contains a provision to repeal the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy.  There is broad support among military leaders, experts, veterans and the public for repealing DADT.  In addition, some lawmakers are attempting to insert funding for wasteful, unwanted programs like the F-35 alternate engine - programs that the Pentagon said it neither wants nor needs.  A responsible defense bill would end, once and for all, wasteful spending on such defense programs.  It is time to listen to our military leadership, to reject conservative obstructionism, and to pass a fiscally sound Defense bill that repeals the discriminatory DADT policy.
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Military

Ratify and Repeal

Report 3 December 2010
This week Capitol Hill, the White House and national media have been largely focused on two national security issues: ratification of the New START treaty and repeal of the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy.  START, which has the broad support of a wide range of national security experts, is awaiting ratification in the Senate.  Meanwhile, the Pentagon released a report this week that surveyed military personnel about on the effects of repealing DADT, finding that "the risk of repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell to overall military effectiveness is low."  Throughout the week, bipartisan military and national security experts as well as public polls continue to affirm the strong support for both ratification of the New START treaty and repeal of DADT. 
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Military

Incoming: Scrutiny of the Pentagon Budget

News The New Republic 10 November 2010