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Win-Win Steps to Prevent a New Korean War

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, U.S. News and World Report, 06 April 2107.

“[T]he basis of regional cooperation that can make North Korean denuclearization possible… is the interest shared by the United States and China in a stable peaceful Korean Peninsula and in halting and then reversing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. With the stakes for millions of people in the region so extraordinarily high, our leaders and our diplomats must be prepared to work with keen will and open minds to identify the paths to peace and mutual security – and then leaders must boldly walk them.”

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Choosing war & decline … or not

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Huffington Post, 03 February 2106.

“A cold war framework for our relations with China, Russia and any other powers that might eventually align with them will almost certainly result in the addition of $200 to 300 billion in annual U.S. security expenditures. It would also very significantly divert the energies of Americans from many social and environmental goals. The U.S. will end up deferring domestic investments needed to sustain its economic strength.”

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Is Lockheed Martin too big to fail?

(HTML version) by Leigh Munsil and Austin Wright, Politico, 12 August 2015. “I have never known a congressperson who will oppose federal spending that provides many jobs in their district,” said Chares Knight of the Project on Defense Alternatives, a Washington think tank focused on defense reform. “What makes compelling political sense for the individual member of Congress often ends up in distorting federal spending priorities. As Lockheed Martin becomes even more dominant in the defense sector it becomes more likely that defense spending choices will be distorted by the particular business interest of this one giant corporation.”
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A New Cold War: a costly, unnecessary, and dangerous construct

printable PDF transcript of a panel presentation by Charles Knight sponsored by the Economists for Peace and Security at the Allied Social Sciences Association conference in Boston, MA, 04 January 2015. Full transcipt and video of panel presentations by Richard Kaufman, Robert Skidelsky, Allen Sinai, Stephen Walt, Charles Knight and James Carroll.
knight at podium EPS
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Not a common global home, but a fine mess

transcript of presentation by Carl Conetta on the “World Security Situation – Russia, Iraq and Syria, and Beyond” panel of the Economists for Peace and Security conference in Washington, DC, 17 November 2014. Full transcipt and video of panel presentations by Richard Kaufman, Carl Conetta, Bill Hartung, Heather Hurlburt and others at the Economic and Security Future Conference.

panel one EPS 1114

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Nuevas amenazas a nivel mundial llevan a Obama a pedir mas fondos para el Pentagon

(PDF version) by Nicolas Garcia a de Val, El Mercurio, 03 February 2015. “‘En lugar de seguir gastando gran parte de su limitado presupuesto en equipo y armas, el Pentagono deberia reducir el tamano de sus Fuerzas Armadas y destinar un mayor porcentaje de las tropas a la reserva’, dijo a este diario Charles Knight, experto del Center for International Policy.”
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Friendship City Project builds peace one piece at a time

(HTML version) by Dave Anderson, Boulder Weekly, 06 November 2014. “[Conetta] concludes that while there has been a decline in support for military intervention, ‘polls continue to show majority public support for U.S. global engagement and for a U.S. global role comparable to that of other major powers. Public dissent has focused narrowly on America’s recent wars and on the notion that the United States should assume a uniquely assertive or ‘top’ global role.'”
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Carl Conetta on ‘Isolationism’ and US Public

(audio) CounterSpin, 24 October 2014.
Polls show pretty clearly that the public isn’t enthusiastic about getting involved in more wars. To many elites, this is dangerous isolationism and a retreat from America’s rightful position as a superpower. Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives has taken a deep look at public opinion, and CounterSpin talked with him about the problems with elite rhetoric about isolationism.
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Despite Public’s War Weariness, U.S. Defence Budget May Rise

(HTML version) by Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service, 15 October 2014. “…even if the defence budget does indeed increase over the next few years, it should not be taken as a popular mandate for military activism, particularly for protracted military commitments of large numbers of ground troops given the persistent public disillusionment with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Conetta.”
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Something in the Air: ‘Isolationism,’ Defense Spending, and the US Public Mood

(printable PDF full version) (printable PDF executive summary) (HTML full version) (HTML executive summary) by Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives, Center for International Policy, 14 October 2014.
Something Report-Cover Is “neo-isolationism” captivating the American public? Or is interventionism back? Will the public continue to support reductions in defense spending? The report offers a comprehensive and critical analysis of current and historical US public opinion polls on global engagement, military intervention, and defense spending. Significant fluctuation in public sentiments is evident. So is an enduring divide between elite opinion and the general public. The report assesses these in light of changes in US policy, strategic conditions, and the economy. It also examines the effect of partisan political dynamics on public debate and opinion. Seven tables and graphs.
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U.S. Public Feeling More Multilateral Than Isolationist

(HTML version) by Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service, 24 April 2014.  “Amidst a roiling and mostly partisan debate over Washington’s global role, a survey released here Thursday suggests that President Barack Obama’s preference for relative restraint and multilateral – over unilateral – action very much reflects the mood of the voting public.”
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A Reality-Based Army

(HTML version) by Michael Cohen, Democracy Journal, Summer 2014.
“Military leaders always have a rational interest in more capability in order to reduce risk by increasing options and flexibility. That interest is, however, a narrow professional interest and is therefore one very important reason that the question of ‘how much is enough’ must not be decided by the military. Civilian leaders have to take responsibility for that decision.”
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Asia Pivot and Air-Sea Battle: Precipitating Military Competition with China?

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, Reset Defense Bulletin, 03 March 2014. Will China come to pose a peer military threat to the United States?  The Obama administration’s 2012 Strategic Defense Review and the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) turn on this eventuality. Both the so-called “Asia pivot” and the evolving Air-Sea Battle (ASB) operational concept are meant to preclude it. But they may serve to precipitate it, instead.
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US Policy on Syria: War or Diplomacy?

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, editor, Project on Defense Alternatives Resource Compilation. Updated: 23 September 2013.    A Selection of Critical Views & Proposals:   ● War or diplomacy?   ● Intelligence   ● International Law   ● International & Domestic Support   ● Congressional War Authorization   ● A broader purpose, a wider war?  ● Military Factors  ● Collateral Effects of War  ● Cost Factors & Budget   ● Alternatives to war  ● General Background
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Kerry for Keeping Option to Use Ground Forces ‘In the Event Syria Imploded’

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Huffington Post, 06 September 2013. “A punishment raid is one thing, but using armed force to attempt to prevent proliferation from Syria is very different sort of activity. In the event of a chaotic collapse of the Assad regime and the disintegration of the Syrian military U.S. air-strikes alone will not be able to stop proliferation of the chemical weapons.”
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Cartwright saga part of wider Iran debate

(HTML version) by Phillip Ewing, Politico Pro, 28 June 2013. 
“The GOP had attempted to make hay over the ‘failure’ of the administration’s Iran policy,” said Carl Conetta, director of the Project on Defense Alternatives. “Throughout the year, others, too, had suggested that the administration’s policy was not effectively curbing Iran. Iran was a central issue at the G-8 summit, and Congress took independent action to strengthen sanctions. In this context, a leak to The New York Times on Stuxnet might assuage concerns within the Democratic coalition about the administration’s handling of Iran.”  But Conetta cautioned against connecting dots and forming the wrong picture: “The fact that I or you or anyone can find a plausible rationale for Cartwright (or someone else) to leak such information doesn’t make it true — just more plausible.”
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Military Intervention in Syria? — American People Show Greater Wisdom Than Washington

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Huffington Post, 07 May 2013. Advocates for U.S. military intervention in Syria are presently confounded by wide and deep opposition from the American public to additional military interventions abroad. When strong majorities hold opinions opposing military intervention in Syria there is something other than isolationism going on. Indeed, a majority of Americans are far ahead of Washington in learning the hard lessons of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
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Three Leadership Steps for Peace in Korea

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Huffington Post commentary, 15 April 2013.If you want China’s help on restraining the Nort Korean state you must make a credible promise to them that you will withdraw all U.S. forces and leave all bases on the peninsula after the old Stalinist regime collapses — as everyone expects it will sometime in the next twenty years. Otherwise, it is in China’s national interest to keep the North Korean regime limping along … as long as possible.”
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New U.S. defense budget means more financial uncertainty for Pentagon

(HTML version) by David Alexander, Reuters, 09 April 2013. “It’s a very irresponsible thing,” said Charles Knight, a senior fellow at the liberal think tank Project on Defense Alternatives. “Both Congress and the White House are in denial about the law of the land, which is the Budget Control Act. It’s now in effect and they’re acting as though it doesn’t exist.”
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Time to Reset Defense: Guidance for a More Effective and Affordable US Defense Posture

(video: presentations and discussion) (brief summary) a leadership conference sponsored by the Project on Defense Alternatives, held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 26 March 2013. Panel 1: Dr. Gordon Adams, Stimson Center; Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives; Dr. Gregory Foster, National Defense University; Amy Belasco, Congressional Research Service, discussion interlocutor. Panel 2: Benjamin Friedman, Cato Institute; Melvin Goodman, Center for International Policy; Col. Douglas Macgregor (ret.), Burke-Macgregor Group; Sandra Erwin, National Defense Industrial Association, discussion interlocutor.
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Hagel: Pentagon Prepared to Make ‘Big Choices’ to Reduce Spending

(HTML version) by Sandra I. Erwin, National Defense Magazine, 03 April 2013.
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Furloughs may become way of life at Pentagon

(HTML version) by Jeremy Herb, The Hill, 31 March 2013.
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A Growing Consensus for Shrinking the Defense Budget?

(HTML version) by Charles S. Clark, Government Executive, 26 March 2013. “…visions for the new era in American defense strategy ranged from further troop reductions to narrower overseas missions to abolishing the Marine Corps.”
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Top Pentagon thinker bemoans “civilian subjugation to the military.”

(HTML version) by Bryan Bender, Boston Globe, 26 March 2013. “…a national security establishment, in [Gregory] Foster’s view, that perpetuates an approach to the world that is overly confrontational, lacks critical thinking about long term objectives, and even undercuts the strategic aims of democracy.”
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Funding the military of the future

(HTML version) by Amber Corrin, FCW, 26 March 2013. “Conetta said that reasonable alternatives to today’s military could be based on a different approach – one that helps sustain the economy and receives no more than 2.2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product; emphasizes defense over global environment-shaping; and focuses on multi-lateral cooperation.”
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The Media and Recent Wars — Innverview: Carl Conetta

(video) thevisionmachine, 12 March 2013.
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Obama Getting Ready to Reduce Nukes: A Step in the Right Direction

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Huffington Post, 28 February 2013. As the deployed force gets smaller it makes sense to reduce the complexity of the force structure. There is nothing magic about the triad created at the height of the Cold War. PDA has argued for moving to a dyad made up of submarines and land-based ICBMs. Ending the strategic nuclear role of bombers would reduce the requirement for (and the cost of) the new bomber currently in development and also allow the remaining bomber fleet to more effectively focus on a conventional role.
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Striking a New Deal for Defense

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta and Charles Knight, Government Executive, 13 February 2013. Whether or not the sequester goes into effect — or lasts only a couple of months — the Pentagon’s budget is surely coming down another notch or two. That’s simply the reality of the current economic and strategic circumstance. It’s time for defense leaders to plan accordingly. The surest way to make smaller Pentagon budgets work is to cut end strength and structure — fewer troops, brigades, ships and aircraft. In the near term this might be managed by reducing the number of soldiers and the size of units routinely stationed or rotated abroad.
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President Obama Must Prepare for the Sequester Squeeze Play

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Huffington Post, 01 February 2013. The squeeze play that is now underway will force a disruptive and self-limiting drawdown at the Pentagon that plays nicely to the “hollowing” narrative of hawks like McCain. It will be easy to use the “dire circumstances” at the Pentagon to make President Obama appear to be an ineffective and irresponsible Commander in Chief. To avoid this Obama must move now to set forth the vision and reasoning for a decisive drawdown which will sustain a top notch military with a lighter and smaller global footprint. That is the best strategy for America… and the best play for the White House.
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Hagel should trim military

(HTML version) by Christopher Preble, Orange County Register, 14 January 2013.
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