June 24, 2020

The Bottom Line

By Susanna V. Blume

Although lawmakers and the public frequently debate the size of the U.S. defense budget, a fundamental question usually receives less attention: What does U.S. military spending say about America's national security priorities? Expert Susanna V. Blume explains how U.S. strategic principles should drive key decisions in defense spending.

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Defense

Building the World’s Biggest Budget

What do the Pentagon's decisions about military spending say about our priorities as a nation? What goes into the DoD's $700 billion budget each year? Former Pentagon official...

Defense

What Congress Should Do with the 2020 Defense Budget

Summary There are many things that the administration’s 2020 defense budget request gets right. However, the proposal remains too focused on both the size of the joint force a...

Defense

Dear Pentagon: It’s Not How Big Your Budget Is. It’s How You Use It.

Over the past two months, unusually public negotiations between the White House and the U.S. Department of Defense on the 2020 defense budget request have bounced from $733 bi...

Defense

Rising to the China Challenge

The United States and China are locked in strategic competition over the future of the Indo-Pacific—the most populous, dynamic, and consequential region in the world....

Defense

Make Good Choices, DoD

In a new report, Susanna V. Blume and Molly Parrish offer a deep dive into how the U.S. Department of Defense makes decisions about what the U.S. military needs, what to buy a...

Defense

Strategy to Ask

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan promised a “masterpiece” for 2020. The critical question this report asks is: Has he made good on that promise?...

  • Commentary
    • War on the Rocks
    • October 6, 2020
    It’s Time for the Pentagon To Take Data Principles More Seriously

    Defense leaders should create the policies, processes, and programs to turn data into useful information quickly and accurately....

    By Robert O. Work & Tara Murphy Dougherty

  • Video
    • July 22, 2020
    A Deadly Game: East China Sea Crisis 2030

    On July 22, 2020, audience members played along as the CNAS Defense team and leading experts conducted a virtual wargame in the year 2030, exploring command and information co...

    By Richard Fontaine, Susanna V. Blume, Shai Korman, Chris Dougherty, Becca Wasser, Dr. ED McGrady, Elizabeth Rosenberg, Martijn Rasser, Kara Frederick, Bryan Walsh, LTG Anthony R. "Tony" Ierardi, USA (Ret.), Sarah Mineiro & Eric Heginbotham

  • Video
    • July 15, 2020
    Updates on defense appropriations for 2021

    Susanna Blume, Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense Program at CNAS, provides updates on the House Appropriation Committee’s Defense spending bill for fiscal 2021 and its...

    By Susanna V. Blume

  • Reports
    • July 9, 2020
    Investing in Great-Power Competition

    Executive Summary This report asks whether the 2021 U.S. defense budget request is aligned with the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) in selecting priority capability inves...

    By Susanna V. Blume & Molly Parrish

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