Alternative Defense Strategies in a Cost-Capped Environment


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Alternative Defense Strategies in a Cost-Capped Environment examines the U.S. Defense Department’s options for strategy and forces if resources are constrained below currently planned levels. The study identifies five alternative strategies and, using CSIS’s Force Cost Calculator, builds a cost-capped force structure, modernization program, and readiness profile for each strategy. It then stress-tests each strategy against four sets of simultaneous conflict scenarios, which the authors devised. The study explores potential ways to mitigate the fiscal pressure forcing these strategic trade-offs. It concludes by making recommendations for the FY 2017 defense budget and the next Quadrennial Defense Review.

Clark A. Murdock

Clark A. Murdock

Former Senior Adviser (Non-resident), International Security Program

Ryan Crotty

Former Fellow, International Security Program