Affordable Military Working Group
The Affordable Military Working Group is the implementation of key concepts developed in the 2012 Defense Drawdown Working Group, a CSIS initiative that sought to better understand the dramatic effects of both fewer and weaker defense dollars in an effort to deal with a deep drawdown without significantly weakening national security.
The Department of Defense is facing a “double whammy” effect, which is the product of both fewer defense dollars (the caps on discretionary spending imposed by the Budget Control Act and the sequester cuts) and a weaker defense dollar (the aggregate impact of internal cost growth has reduced the purchasing power of defense dollars in terms of their ability to “buy” military capabilities). These two factors will combine to make what looks like a 20% reduction to the defense budget feel more like a 40% reduction.
Since the resource challenges facing the Department of Defense are much more severe than has been generally recognized, the necessary approach to coping with these challenges must be dramatically different. The Affordable Military Working Group is designed to provide a set of recommendations on what decisions DoD should make as it implements a deep defense drawdown. The methodology of this work is intended to establish priorities using realistic cost constraints, seeking to fund the most important capabilities at the highest affordable levels. The project will result in a report outlining a set of 5-7 strategy options (each with associated capabilities) gleaned from other leading think tank reports as well as the study team’s analysis.