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.

Related Content

  • August 20, 2014
  • Blog Posts

#ThinkDefense: CEO Michèle Flournoy and NPR's Tom Bowman's Twitter Chat

CNAS CEO Michèle Flournoy (@micheleflournoy) and NPR Pentagon Reporter Tom Bowman (@TBowmanNPR) took to Twitter to chat about today's most pressing national security issues including: ISIS, counterterrorism, and U.S. defense priorities. Ms. Flournoy took questions from participants including...

Read More

  • August 17, 2014
  • Richard Fontaine
  • In the News

The Evolving Obama Doctrine: Limited Bombing Raids, Stronger Partnerships

WASHINGTON — Iraq again has descended into sectarian violence and political chaos. An Islamic extremist group controls more land than al-Qaida ever has. Vladimir Putin appears poised to invade eastern Ukraine. As those global hotspots — and others, like northern Africa — all moved closer in recent...

Read More

  • August 14, 2014
  • Michele Flournoy, Richard Fontaine
  • In the News

Ex-Obama defense official warns of foreign policy ‘vacuum’

A former top Obama defense official called on the U.S. to remain “vigorously engaged” abroad and urged the administration to make the case for a strong American foreign policy. "The hard truth is that international security abhors a vacuum," wrote former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy ...

Read More

  • August 12, 2014
  • Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

Left Behind: Why It's Time to Draft Robots for CASEVAC

With thousands of air and ground robots in the field, you could be forgiven for thinking that the U.S. military has embraced unmanned systems. The truth is that they are used mostly for niche roles like reconnaissance and bomb disposal.Resistance to expanding their use for more core military...

Read More

  • August 12, 2014
  • Charles Dunlap, USAF (Ret.)
  • Blog Posts

Airpower’s Remarkable Accomplishment

The Pentagon’s announcement on Monday that little more than a dozen airstrikes managed to blunt ISIL’s advances, along with media reports that the bombings enabled 20,000 trapped refugees to escape, illustrates what even a very limited but precise application of airpower can do in situations like...

Read More

  • August 11, 2014
  • Shawn Brimley
  • In the News

Hillary Clinton criticizes President Obama’s foreign policy in interview with the Atlantic

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton has not yet said whether she will pursue the presidency. But for a candidate-in-waiting, she is clearly carving out a foreign policy distinct from the man she used to serve. In the spring, President Obama articulated a philosophy for avoiding...

Read More

  • August 11, 2014
  • Paul Scharre
  • Op-eds

The U.S. Needs More Drones

Al-Qaeda is morphing and metastasizing, spreading like a cancer in an arc of jihadism from the deserts of Northern Mali through Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. Islamic extremists continue to gain ground in Iraq, and President Barack Obama has authorized more than a dozen...

Read More

  • August 10, 2014
  • Paul Scharre
  • Audio

Audio: Paul Scharre on CRIC Podcast on Drones in the Military

Listen to the full podcast at CRIC's website. 

Read More

  • August 10, 2014
  • David W. Barno, USA (Ret.)
  • In the News

Trouble may not be over for Walsh

Sen. John Walsh’s (D-Mont.) political career appears to be over, but plagiarism allegations could have far-reaching implications for his military career, too.  Walsh, who was the upper chamber’s lone Iraq War veteran, withdrew from the Senate race this week after reports he allegedly plagiarized...

Read More

  • August 7, 2014
  • David W. Barno, USA (Ret.)
  • Op-eds

With Shrinking Budgets, Pentagon Should Rely More on Guard, Reserve Troops

The release of the 2014 National Defense Panel reportlanded with a quiet thud last week as most of Washington headed out for August vacations. Much delayed from its original congressionally mandated release three months after theQuadrennial Defense Review, the NDP review seemingly ignored today’s...

Read More

Pages