Defense budgeting discussions frequently feature all-or-nothing thinking. But considering the marginal costs and benefits of additional spending can lead to better spending decisions.
The U.S. nuclear enterprise is going through a cycle of modernization that touches practically every system in the arsenal. This modernization push requires the nuclear enterprise to engage deeply with the defense acquisition system in a way it has not since its last major modernization cycle in the 1980s.
Control over the production of critical minerals necessary for defense manufacturing processes is a new feature of the escalating tensions between the United States and China. This report explores the state of the supply chain for rare earth elements, a type of critical mineral, the near-monopoly that China holds over it, and potential options for the United States to secure access to those minerals.
Critics of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds point to regular base budget activities funded under OCO and its use to skirt discretionary spending limits. However, blaming OCO for our defense budget blunders, or calling for its complete elimination, punishes those who need OCO’s benefits without effectively punishing those who’ve instigated its abuse.