Responsible Defense

The United States is in the midst of curtailing government spending by steeply reducing defense and non-defense discretionary accounts. The CNAS Responsible Defense project, co-led by LTG David W. Barno, USA (Ret.) and Dr. Nora Bensahel, examines how the Defense Department (DOD) should manage these cuts while rebalancing its force structure, readiness and modernization priorities. Cuts in acquisitions, changes in service roles and missions, reductions in military end strength and adjustments to U.S. strategy are all on the table, so CNAS is conducting analysis and crafting recommendations for senior policymakers who must make these inevitable tradeoff decisions. Moreover, CNAS is examining the underlying structural reform necessary to put the Defense Department on a sustainable path, suggesting new ways of improving DOD’s deeply inefficient business processes and unsustainable personnel outlays.

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Conference on Civil-Military Divide and The Future of the All-Volunteer Force

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  • October 25, 2014
  • Michele Flournoy
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Cuts in U.S., European defense spending stir fears

With Russia asserting itself in Ukraine and the Baltic States and the U.S. and its allies embroiled in conflict against Islamic State militants, there is mounting concern among defense analysts that the U.S. and western Europe should not continue to reduce defense spending.  Unless President...

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  • October 23, 2014
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Experts call for national debate on U.S. military priorities

A prestigious defense review panel has warned that the U.S. government must “sound an alarm” to build public support among the American people for increased defense spending. “We saw a train wreck coming when we looked at the growth of the threats around the world,” said panel member Eric Edelman...

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  • October 14, 2014
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Boeing executive: Industry should work with commercial innovators

The aerospace and defense industry should look to innovators in the commercial space for inspiration and collaboration, Chris Chadwick, the president and chief executive of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, said today. "Embracing opportunities to work closer with commercial companies will also...

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  • October 14, 2014
  • David W. Barno, USA (Ret.)
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Five Reasons America's Army Won't Be Ready for the Next War

Every October the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) holds its annual meeting and exposition at Washington’s convention center.  It’s a huge event executed with military precision, highlighted this year by the unveiling of a new Army Operating Concept that will guide the development of...

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  • October 12, 2014
  • David W. Barno, USA (Ret.)
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Army Shifts Strategy to Face New Threats

The Army is unveiling a new global strategy for reshaping the largest American military force for a world where the U.S. faces many small and indirect threats, rather than just a few large ones. The policy shift draws on the lessons the Army has learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is meant to...

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  • October 9, 2014
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Learning from the Air Force: Why the Army Needs a Congressional Commission

Over recent months, tensions between the active U.S. Army and the U.S. Army National Guard have escalated dramatically. Instead of working as a team to manage the deep cuts to Army force structure and end strength, the two sides have withdrawn to their corners, donned their boxing gloves, and...

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  • October 7, 2014
  • David W. Barno, USA (Ret.)
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Obama heading to Pentagon to get update on fight against Islamic State

President Obama will be briefed Wednesday at the Pentagon by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and combatant commanders on operations to confront the Islamic State in the Middle East and contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, said Air Force Col. Ed Thomas, a spokesman for the chairman of the Joint...

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  • October 7, 2014
  • Paul Scharre
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Do Drones Have A Future?

Thirteen years ago today the Predator drone saw its first armed reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan. Since then, the U.S. military drone fleet has grown by leaps and bounds. The U.S. Air Force has scores of Predators and Reapers stationed around the globe 24/7, high-altitude drones like Global...

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  • October 5, 2014
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Naval Drones ‘Swarm,’ But Who Pulls The Trigger?

The Navy’s research arm is justifiably proud of its recent experiment with “swarming” drone boats, whose results (with video) were officially released today. But the very thing that’s most impressive about the swarmboats — their ability to act autonomously with minimal human guidance — raises...

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