Interim Report—Planning for a Deep Defense Drawdown—Part I

A Proposed Methodological Approach

On 29 September 2011, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a daylong conference on “Defense in an Age of Austerity,” which was sponsored by OSD-Policy, to survey the range of views in the Washington think tank community of how declining defense budgets would affect defense strategy, policy, and force structure. As a follow-on effort, Kim Wincup and Clark Murdock, both CSIS senior advisers, formed the Defense Drawdown Working Group (DDWG), consisting of approximately 30 leading defense and budgeting analysts. The principal purpose of the DDWG is to provide feedback on charts, briefs, and draft text produced by the CSIS study team in this self-funded study that will both address how a defense drawdown should be conducted and provide a set of recommendations on what decisions the Department of Department (DoD) should make as it implements a significant reduction in defense spending. Although the CSIS study team had not originally intended to produce two reports, the study timeline has been accelerated and expanded by recent statements of senior DoD officials indicating that the department was “thinking” about the possible imposition on 2 January 2013 of the sequester mechanism mandated by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 and that “serious thinking” or “planning” would be begin in mid- to late-summer. This interim report is intended to provide a methodological and political approach for identifying the must-have and nice-to-have military capabilities (in combination, the “2024 Desired Force”) that must be retained and developed in the face of a deep drawdown (defined as an approximately one-third reduction from the FY2010 peak, implemented over the course of 12 years).

Clark A. Murdock

Clark A. Murdock

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

Ryan A. Crotty, Kelley Sayler