The QDR's Catastrophic Report

August 05, 2010

It's time to stop passing the buck on defense spending.
by Lawrence Korb and Charles Knight

We are delighted to note that Tom Mahnken thinks the report of the Quadrennial Defense Review independent panel "should generate a debate over America's role in the world." It is high time we had such a debate. He also correctly states, "The panel's report stands in stark contrast with the recent report of the Sustainable Defense Task Force." We served on that task force and would be pleased to discuss the stark contrasts between our report and the QDR report in person or before Congress.

But we'd need to begin by pointing out that Mahnken misses the substance and purpose of the Sustainable Defense Task Force's report. Mahnken goes on to say that our report seeks "to curtail America's global role to fit a shrinking defense budget," invoking the international role and pursuit of interests "that have animated American grand strategy since the end of World War II." But the Sustainable Defense Task Force budget adjustments aren't focused on curtailing the interests of the postwar years. Instead, our report focused on pulling back the vastly expanded and more ambitious military missions that have been pursued in the last decade by Washington. Even beyond the mindless, needless, senseless invasion of Iraq, this last 10 years has seen far more extensive (and costly) presence ground missions than were attempted during the Cold War.

Continue reading.

This article was first published online at on August 5, 2010, and can be read in its entirety here.

Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Charles Knight is co-director of the Project on Defense Alternatives. They are both members of the Sustainable Defense Task Force.

Posted by coalition at August 5, 2010 11:55 AM

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