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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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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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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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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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Defense Sense – Fiscal Year 2014 Update: Options for National Security Savings

(printable PDF version) Project on Defense Alternatives, 26 June 2013. Outlines 16 recommendations that, taken together, achieve more than $22 billion in Pentagon savings in Fiscal Year 2014. Leading the list of savings options are reductions in military end strength, missile defense spending, and purchases of the F-35 Lightning II, Littoral Combat Ship, and Virginia-class submarine.
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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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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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Should the United States increase or decrease its spending for defense?

(HTML version) Federation of American Scientists, 15 November 2012. Carl Conetta, Charles Knight, and Ethan Rosenkranz of the Project on Defense Alternatives; Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI); and Christopher Preble of the CATO Institute debate whether the U.S. should increase or decrease its spending for defense.

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Reasonable Defense: A Sustainable Approach to Securing the Nation

(printable PDF version) (summary) (appendix of tables and charts) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #21, 14 November 2012.  Argues for a new balance among the various instruments of  national power reflecting today’s strategic conditions.  Taking a realistic view of security needs, the report advocates a military 20% smaller than today’s.   It advances a “discriminate defense” strategy that would focus the military on cost-effective missions and save $550 billion more than official plans over the next decade.   Main report includes 9 tables.  Appendix has 18 additional tables and charts addressing personnel, force structure, and budgets.
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Rebalancing Our National Security: The Benefits of Implementing a Unified Security Budget

(printable PDF version) by The Task Force for a Unified Security Budget, Center for American Progress and the Institute for Policy Studies, October, 2012.  Carl Conetta is a member of the task force.
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A Smarter Way to Trim the Pentagon Budget

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Time Battleland, 24 August 2012. The Reasonable Defense plan demonstrates how carefully conceived changes to the Pentagon budget can be consistent with economic recovery and also provide ample military capacity to protect America and our core commitments abroad.

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A Reasonable Alternative to Sequester of DoD Funding

PDA Briefing Memo #56, 14 August 2012. (HTML version(printable PDF version). An option for gradually reducing the Pentagon budget over four years that safely achieves savings comparable to the Budget Control Act over ten years.
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USA and Allies Outspend Potential Rivals on Military by Four-to-One; America Carries Much of the Defense Burden for its Allies

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives, 17 July 2012.
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The World’s Top Military Spenders: Comparison of US and Other Nations’ Military Spending

(printable PDF version) ( HTML version) PDA Table, 28 June 2012.
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Defense Sense: Options for National Defense Savings in Fiscal Year 2013

(printable PDF version) (summary of recommendations) 15 May 2012. Cato Institute and Project on Defense Alternatives. The report outlines 18 recommendations for safely reducing the Fiscal Year 2013 defense budget by $17 – 20 billion. Two charts, one table.
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Pentagon Base Budget to Get Bigger Spending Share in 2013

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #54, 23 March 2012. A comparison of discretionary spending in 2008 and 2013 shows an increased tilt toward the “Security Basket” and National Defense. One table.
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How to Pay for Wars

(HTML version) by Benjamin H. Friedman and Charles Knight, The National Interest, 06 March 2012. A war tax or an effective cap on war spending can serve as a disincentive to reckless war making.
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Does President Obama Run Hot or Cold on Defense?

(graph) Project on Defense Alternatives, 13 February 2012. Taking the Temperature of the Pentagon Base Budget Past, Present, and Future.
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Pentagon Base “Non-war” Budget 1976-2017 – Secretary Panetta vs. Sequestration

(chart) Project on Defense Alternatives, 13 February 2012.
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How Much Austerity in New Pentagon Budget?

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta and Charles Knight, PDA Commentary, 13 February 2012. Measured against recent spending levels, the new ten-year plan for Defense base budget spending shows only modest savings. One table.
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Talking About Military Spending and the Pentagon Budget – Fiscal Year 2013

(HTML version) by Chris Hellman and Carl Conetta, National Priorities Project and Project on Defense Alternatives, February 2012. In Q&A format, addresses central issues related to the 2013 defense budget and deficit reduction debate.
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Four Decades of US Defense Spending

(graph) PDA Data Summary, 25 January 2012. One page review and assessment of the change in US defense spending over 40 years. One graph.
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Keep Pentagon Cuts in Perspective: What the administration proposes is hardly dramatic.

(printable PDF version) PDA Briefing Memo #53, 05 January 2012. The roll back in Pentagon budget plans will modestly reduce spending from its recent peak, while retaining most of the post-1998 surge in the defense budget.
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