In their latest analysis, Todd Harrison and Seamus P. Daniels outline overall trends in the defense budget, changes in the FY 2021 request, and issues for Congress and the next administration to consider.
The Defense Department should start preparing now for an uncertain post-coronavirus budget environment. It should clearly identify the “crown jewel” capabilities it cannot sacrifice, start cutting end strength and lower priority force structure, and prepare for a robust debate over global security commitments and budget constraints.
Jointness, meaning cross-service cooperation, is generally a good thing. But one can have too much of a good thing, and the Pentagon has too much jointness. Jointness in organizing military operations makes so much sense that the concept is overprescribed. Enhancing interservice competition for resources and relevance would encourage military innovation, civilian control, and economies in the vast Pentagon budget.
In this episode of The Truth of the Matter podcast, host Andrew Schwartz welcomes Kathleen Hicks, Andrew Hunter, and Todd Harrison from the CSIS International Security Program to discuss the Bad Ideas in National Security series. In addition to analyzing their own pieces, they nominate their frontrunners for what might be considered the “worst” bad idea.
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.