June 06, 2013

The Seven Deadly Sins of Defense Spending

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

    Senior Fellow, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Jacob Stokes is a Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS, where his work focuses on U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign and military policy, East Asian ...

  • Joel Smith

  • Katherine Kidder

  • Nora Bensahel

  • David W. Barno

  • USA (Ret.)