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.
The federal response to the pandemic has been slow and uneven. And it is true that our civic institutions will sometimes let us down and fail to deliver on what Americans need. But, when they do, it is to other civilians — not the military — that we must turn. The military can’t save us from COVID-19, and we shouldn’t ask it to.
As Arctic temperatures rise and the region undergoes extreme environmental change, new economic, scientific, maritime, and political opportunities have led to the gradual militarization of the region and its potential as a new theater for strategic competition between the United States and Russia. Amid such rapid change, the strategic outlook of the Arctic over the next two decades—whether cooperative or competitive—is an open question.
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.