Analysis / Acquisition, Budget, Forces, Strategy

What to Look for in the FY 2020 Defense Budget Request

Expectations have been building for the FY 2020 defense budget request, a budget that acting secretary of defense Shanahan has called the “masterpiece.” As the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) works on finalizing the request, experts from the CSIS International Security Program outline what to look for in the FY 2020 defense budget.

Opinion / Acquisition, Budget, Forces, Reform, Strategy

No Good, Very Bad Ideas in National Security

Bad ideas. How much trouble do they cause in national security? How do they disrupt or hinder the protection and advancement of American interests? Listen to the War on the Rocks podcast featuring authors from the Defense360 “Bad Ideas in National Security” series.  

Opinion / Forces

Bad Idea: Conflating the Space Force with NASA

As the administration moves forward with establishing a new military service focused on space, leaders should keep their language clear and use this opportunity to educate the public about both civil and national security space. Keeping NASA and the Space Force separate rhetorically and organizationally is best for national security and for space exploration.

Opinion / Forces

Bad Idea: Sectored Air and Missile Defense Radars

In a world where unmanned aerial vehicles are plentiful, cruise missiles are becoming more abundant, and hypersonic boost glide vehicles are just over the horizon, air and missile threats are coming from all directions. To address the realities of this environment, effective defenses require an air and missile defense sensor architecture that looks in all directions as well.

Opinion / Budget, Forces

Bad Idea: Using a Growing Force as an Excuse Not to Conduct BRAC

One of the often-used excuses given by Congress not to authorize a new round of Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC) is that the military is currently growing and could use the excess capacity to house that growth. But executing a BRAC round while the force is scheduled to grow will allow DoD to think critically about where that growth should go, instead of simply sending it to where there is room.

Opinion / Forces, Strategy

Bad Idea: Creating a U.S. Department of Cybersecurity

We recognize that the magnitude of the threats posed by malicious cyber activity leads people to look for a big, bold, visible sign of change. Creating a U.S. Department of Cybersecurity is not the answer. We cannot stovepipe thinking about cybersecurity into one centralized place or approach. The threat is so pervasive and so severe that it requires a recognition that a change in thinking is necessary for everyone operating an enterprise.

Opinion / Forces

Bad Idea: Space-Based Interceptors and Space-Based Directed Energy Systems

Although the Trump administration has not yet released its Missile Defense Review, as mandated by Congress, it is considering the possible deployment of space-based interceptors. At a time of growing budgetary pressures as well as increased competition with other great powers, the United States can ill afford to waste precious dollars on space-based missile defenses and a new arms race that will make us less, rather than more, secure.

Opinion / Forces, Strategy

Bad Idea: Ignoring the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), colloquially known as the “Ban Treaty,” is hailed by supporters as the beginning of the end for nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons states, including the United States, have criticized the treaty on its shortcomings as a legal instrument for disarmament. Beyond this criticism, the United States has done little to engage with the Ban Treaty or its supporters. But ignoring the Ban Treaty is a bad idea that will exacerbate the divide between nuclear and non-nuclear states and could lead to a dangerously uneven pace of international disarmament.

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