Analysis / Reform

Defense Reform in a New Administration

As the President-elect has indicated since winning the election, defense reform is likely to remain a high priority in the new administration. Decisions that the new administration make over the coming years will shape the future military. This analysis provides recommendations that should be considered for reforming the defense budget.

U.S. Air National Guard photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usairforce/29396127562/
Analysis / Budget

The Enduring Dilemma of Overseas Contingency Operations Funding

Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding poses challenges for the new administration as they prepare its FY 2018 budget request. OCO funding is intended for war-related activities that cannot be forecasted. However, it has become a convenient loophole for defense spending since it is not restricted by the Budget Control Act (BCA) budget caps. This analysis address the challenges presented by OCO funding and possible options for handling base budget activities in OCO.

CSIS photo of Kathleen H. Hicks
Analysis / Reform

Civilian Control of the Armed Forces

On Tuesday, January 10, Dr. Kathleen H. Hicks, senior vice president, Henry A. Kissinger Chair, and director of the International Security Program at CSIS, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on civilian control of the armed forces. Click here to access written testimony or to view a full recording of the hearing.

DoD photo by Cherie Cullen: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Defense.gov_News_Photo_100811-D-7203C-003_-_Secretary_of_Defense_Robert_M._Gates_speaks_with_outgoing_acting_U.S._Central_Command_commander_Lt._Gen._John_Allen_right_and_incoming_commander.jpg
Analysis / Forces, Strategy

Confirmation Hearing Questions Beyond Headlines

The nomination of General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense brings a level of controversy. Though General Mattis is highly regarded he is ineligible to be Secretary of Defense within seven years of his retirement unless Congress provides him a waiver. This article provides a list of questions the Congress should consider proposing to General Mattis on his January 12, hearing.

Photo courtesy of US Air Force: http://www.afgsc.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/2612/Article/673654/minuteman-iii-test-launches-from-vandenberg.aspx
Analysis / Strategy

Time for Nuclear Straight Talk: Words Matter, and So Do Deeds

New and more accessible forms of dialogue will be critical to the conversation on nuclear policy. Social media and other personalized communication tools, which have thus far remained mostly outside the nuclear policy toolbox, are an important part of outreach. President-elect Trump’s administration must use these new tools wisely and with discretion to share a message that speaks to allies, adversaries, and Americans at home.

Photo by Mstyslav Chernov, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license
Analysis / Strategy

Strengthening the Counter-ISIS Strategy

President-elect Trump has stated his intention to strengthen the U.S. approach to defeating the Islamic State (ISIS). The biggest challenge will be developing a sustainable strategy to prevent future terrorist groups from taking root. The United States will need a strategy that synchronizes the right mix of military forces and non-kinetic tools to achieve this outcome. This paper proposes changes the administration should implement as it develops its counter-ISIS strategy.

Photo by SSgt. Romain Beaulinette, IJC Public Affairs
Analysis / Strategy

Afghanistan: Renewed Resolve is Needed

Although the American public is weary of war, Afghanistan is a particularly concerning problem that will need to be a top national security priority for the incoming administration. The region is home to the largest concentration of terrorist groups in the world and on the verge of collapse should the U.S. withdraw forces. Unfortunately, continual U.S. engagement results in high cost. Recognizing this challenge, this paper provides a recommendation for an Afghanistan strategy.

Analysis / Forces

Missile Defense: Time to Go Big

Nations around the world continue to develop a growing range of ballistic and cruise missiles to asymmetrically threaten U.S. forces, allies, and the American homeland. Missile defenses have now become an essential part of U.S. defense policy and strategy, and their importance shows no sign of diminishing.