Thomas Donnelly, a defense and security policy analyst, is the co-director of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at AEI. He is the coauthor with Frederick W. Kagan of Lessons for a Long War: How America Can Win on New Battlefields (2010). Among his recent books are Ground Truth: The Future of U.S. Land Power (2008), Of Men and Materiel: The Crisis in Military Resources (2007), The Military We Need (2005); and Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment (2004). From 1995 to 1999, he was policy group director and a professional staff member for the House Committee on Armed Services.Donnelly also served as a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is a former editor of Armed Forces Journal, Army Times, and Defense News.
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As a result of sequestration, the U.S. military will not be well prepared for any unforeseen contingency, or in fact for a foreseeable contingency, such as North Korea and Iran present on a daily basis, that would require a substantial response force.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has been criticized for cost overruns and project delays, but to what extent does it actually drive the overall budget? Not that much.
If the F-35 is not accelerated and sustained, the United States will essentially have skipped a generation of military modernization.
Questions about what America spends on defense versus what other nations spend on defense should be understood in the context of what we ask our military to do, what our role in the world is, and who our enemies and adversaries are and are likely to be.
In these fiscally difficult times both democrats and republicans have put defense spending on the table. This would be monetarily and fiscally imprudentit wouldnt save much money, and more important, it would undercut Americas place in the world.
National security is neither a sacred cow nor just another federal budget line item. Providing for the common defense of the American people and our homeland is the primary responsibility of policymakers in Washington.