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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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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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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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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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Going for Broke: The Budgetary Consequences of Current US Defense Strategy

(printable PDF version) PDA Briefing Memo #52, by Carl Conetta, 25 October 2011. The Pentagon’s adoption of more ambitious goals, strategy, and missions after the Cold War has led to today’s unsustainable defense budgets. Two tables.
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Pentagon Cuts in Context: No reason for “doomsday” hysteria

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #50, 11 October 2011. Analyzes the potential impact of the Budget Control Act on the defense budget under different scenarios and compares likely future budget levels to past ones. Two tables. 

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The Pentagon’s New Mission Set: A Sustainable Choice?

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, 01 August 2011. An updated and expanded excerpt from the Report of the Task Force on a Unified Security Budget (USB) for the United States, August 2011.
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Pentagon Review Must Aim for More than Modest Cuts in Defense Spending

(printable PDF version) PDA Briefing Memo #49, 25 April 2011. The President’s proposal to trim DoD’s future budget plans by 6.5% or $400 billion over 12 years is a modest step. The forthcoming Pentagon review must aim higher in order to achieve sustainability. Two charts summarize past and planned Pentagon budgets. 

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Continuing Resolution: Congress Goes Easy on DoD; Rebalances Budget in Pentagon’s Favor

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #48, 17 March 2011. The struggle over a Continuing Resolution (CR) shows Congress to be reluctant to reduce defense spending. This suggests a future discretionary budget balanced more heavily in favor of the Pentagon.
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The Pentagon and Deficit Reduction: FY-2012 Budget Retains Exceptional Level of Defense Spending

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) PDA Briefing Memo #47, 01 March 2011. Reviews US military spending plans for 2012-2016 in the context of deficit-reduction efforts and the past 12 years of defense budget growth. The base defense budget is set to grow faster than inflation and will claim a greater proportion of discretionary spending. With 10 tables and charts.
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“Are We Ready to Cut Defense Spending? What the Polls Say.”

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta and Charles Knight, Huffington Post, 08 February 2011. Although neither the White House nor Congress seem eager to apply the deficit-reduction axe to the Pentagon’s record-level budgets, the American public appears ready. 

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