June 06, 2013

The Seven Deadly Sins of Defense Spending

By Jacob Stokes, Joel Smith, Katherine Kidder, Nora Bensahel, David W. Barno and USA (Ret.)

In The Seven Deadly Sins of Defense Spending, CNAS Senior Fellows David Barno and Nora Bensahel and Research Associate Jacob Stokes, Research Assistant Joel Smith and Researcher Katherine Kidder identify seven areas of defense spending excess that, if reformed, could save between $340 billion and $490 billion over 10 years.  They add  that, if left unaddressed, each of the “sins” threatens the Pentagon’s ability to perform its core mission and should be tackled regardless of constrained budgets.

Please note: an earlier version of this report contained an error on page 30. It has been corrected to read: “With the currently planned personnel levels, this option would save DOD $14 billion over 10 years.”


  • Jacob Stokes

    Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Jacob Stokes is a Fellow in the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, where his work focuses on U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign policy...

  • Joel Smith

  • Katherine Kidder

  • Nora Bensahel

  • David W. Barno

  • USA (Ret.)