Home > Ends Ways and Means, Grand Strategy, Policy, Strategy > Strategy and the Defense Budget

Strategy and the Defense Budget

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, charged by the President with “identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run.  In other words, pay off the national debt.

Considering that the defense budget is one of the largest federal expenditures, and that CJCS Adm. Mike Mullen recently named the national debt as the greatest threat to national security, it follows that decisions about the defense budget aren’t merely fiscal, but indeed strategic.  As such, the recommendations of the “Debt Commission” should be nested within a larger national grand strategy.

Except they won’t be.

The most elegant definition of national strategy is the balancing of ends, ways, and means to achieve national interests.  The Bush administration pursued an unbalanced strategy that focused solely on ends with little regard to balancing ways and means.  Will the Obama administration focus on means without balancing ends and ways?  That remains to be seen.

What seems inevitable is that defense cuts will become a political football in the run up to the 2012 election.  This will probably preclude a grown-up discussion among strategy makers about the most responsible and affordable course of action.

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  1. November 27, 2010 at 2:16 am

    First tribes are not explicitly considered in the National Security Strategy or the National Military Strategy of the United States as a tool of military power.

  1. January 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm

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