Laicie Heeley

Fellow

This is the profile of a former staff member, affiliate, or intern. Biographical information is not maintained and may be out of date.

Laicie Heeley is a Fellow with Stimson’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program. Her areas of expertise include U.S. budget process, defense strategy, nuclear weapons proliferation, and Iran. Prior to joining Stimson, Heeley was Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation where her research focused on nuclear proliferation in emerging states such as Iran and North Korea, as well as budgeting and strategy at the Department of Defense. While in this role, Heeley served as part of the independent Sustainable Defense Task Force formed in response to a request from Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), working in cooperation with Representative Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), to explore possible defense budget contributions to deficit reduction efforts. Heeley previously held positions at Physicians for Social Responsibility, The Counter Terrorist Finance Organization, and Global Green USA where her research focused on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in addition to the financing and structure of terrorist organizations.

Heeley’s work has appeared in well-known newspapers, journals, and periodicals including Foreign Policy and The Washington Post, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and Associated Press. She co-authored a chapter in the book, Getting to Zero: The Path to Nuclear Disarmament (Stanford University Press, 2011).

She holds a B.A. in political science from The George Washington University and an M.A in international relations from St. Mary’s University.

Research & Writing

Press Release
First Full Accounting of US Counterterrorism Finds US has Spent $2.8 Trillion

For Immediate Release May 16, 2018 Contact: Audel Shokohzadeh, [email protected], 202.478.3419 Washington, DC: From 2002 to 2017, the United States spent $2.8 trillion on counterterrorism, including $175 billion in 2017 —an eleven-fold increase ov…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley Quoted on Pentagon Budget Issues

Read article here.

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley’s Interview with WFED-AM on the US Defense Budget

Both Republican and Democratic presidents have used overseas contingency operations (OCO) funds to bolster the Defense Department’s budget, lately outside of the Budget Control Act rules. This year is no different. Laicie Heeley, a fellow at the Stimso…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley’s Op-ed in The Hill on the Defense Budget

The Trump administration’s defense budget has ushered in a new era of fiscal irresponsibility. Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), once a designation meant to increase transparency and shield war spending from the threat of sequestration, has risen…

Issue Brief
Overseas Contingency Operations: The Pentagon’s $80 Billion Loophole

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2017 supplemental request and Congress’ resulting appropriation have ushered in a new era of budgetary irresponsibility. Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), once a designation meant to increase transparency and shie…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley’s Op-ed in The Hill on Pentagon Slush Fund

Democrats delivered a win on the budget this week. The $1.1 trillion spending bill Congress unveiled provided an additional $15 billion in war spending, less than the $30 billion the Trump administration had requested. In exchange for the smaller incre…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in Inside Defense on FY-18

Congress is poised to avert a government shutdown this week with a fiscal year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill that boosts the Pentagon’s warfighting account by $15 billion, which is only half of what the Trump administration had sought, setting the s…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley’s Op-Ed in The Hill on Trump’s DOD Budget

President Trump’s budget proposal was already dead when it arrived at the Capitol dome Thursday morning. Trump, like his predecessors, used his first budget as a blueprint to present a vision for his term. But the parameters have angered Demo…

Report
Military Spending for A New Strategic Reality

The world has entered a new era of “gray zone” conflicts, ongoing shadow wars that present great strategic risk to the United States and the international community. In the midst of this new strategic reality, the role the United States will take in sh…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley’s Op-Ed in The Hill on Pentagon Spending

It seems that those who suggested it would be unwise to take the president at his word were mistaken. In the first two weeks of his presidency, Donald Trump has followed up on campaign promises to build a wall, ban Muslims from entering the U…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in WJLA on Iran Notice

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) — On Wednesday, the White House officially put Iran “on notice” in response to a recent ballistic missile test. As a candidate, Donald Trump repeatedly said the United States would stand up to Irania…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley and Amy Nelson’s Op-ed in National Interest on Iran and Nuclear Deal

Nearly one year after Implementation Day, the Iran nuclear deal (also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) is working, and implementation of the deal is, in large measure, on track. Although the president-elect vowed to toss the d…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley cited in Cosumnes Connection on Trump and the Iran Nuclear Deal

Barack Obama and John Kerry meeting with veterans and Gold Star mothers to discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2015. Can Trump get rid of it? So if we see what Heeley calls “the deal-maker Trump” rather than the “bombastic” one, the president-el…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in NPR on Trump and the Iran deal

One of the promises Donald Trump made on the campaign trail was to dismantle or renegotiate the U.S. deal with Iran that limits its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. If he makes good on that promise, it won’t be the first time a Republi…

Press Release
Blechman, Heeley Analysis: UN Anticipated To Take Step Toward Banning Nuclear Weapons

In light of the anticipated vote today at the United Nations to approve the process for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, experts from the nonpartisan Stimson Center released the following statements:   Barry Blechman, Co-Founder, Stimson Center: “…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in Agence France-Presse on US Air Force Nuclear Weapons

Hidden underground in steel-and-concrete silos across rural America, more than 400 intercontinental ballistic missiles point to the skies, poised for launch — and ready to obliterate cities across the world. First designed in the 1960s at the height o…

Stimson in the News
Stimson’s Defense Divided: Overcoming the Challenges of Overseas Contingency Operations report cited in The Huffington Post

Yesterday I wrote a piece that analyzed the potential cost of Donald Trump’s Pentagon spending blueprint. The costs of Hillary Clinton’s approach are less clear, but under her current proposals, Pentagon spending would definitely increase. As with my d…

Stimson in the News
Barry Blechman and Laicie Heeley quoted in RTBF on nuclear bombs in Belgium

The US think tank Stimson Center recommended that the administration of President Barack Obama to give up to acquire the new version of the B-61 nuclear bombs deployed in Europe – including Belgium – and to withdraw such weapons ” immediately…

Press Release
US Nuclear Weapons in Turkey at Risk of Seizure by Terrorists, Hostile Forces

Ending B61 Presence in Europe Would Save 3.7 Billion Over Five Years For Immediate Release: August 15, 2016 Contact: Jim Baird, [email protected]; (202) 478.3413 The continued presence of dozens of U.S. nuclear weapons at Incirlik Air Base in…

Commentary
Stimson Analysis: Obama to Seek UN Resolution on Nuclear Test Ban

In light of reporting today that President Obama has decided to seek a new United Nations Security Council resolution that would reaffirm objectives of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Stimson Center experts Laicie Heeley and Michael Krepon released…

Press Release
Stimson Analysis: The Iran Deal, One Year Later

Experts from the nonpartisan Stimson Center released the following statements reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal. The deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached between the P5+1 and Iran…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heely Top of Mind interview on OCO

Guest: Laicie Heeley, Defense Fellow at The Stimson Center in Washington, DC The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are drawing down and troops are coming home, but the budget used for fighting those wars is not declining as you’d expect. The reasons ar…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in Federal News Radio on OCO Budget

A new report from a Washington-based think tank points to an ever-widening disconnect between the size of the Defense Department’s Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund and the troop levels it was originally meant to pay for, citing that…

Commentary
Laicie Heeley Federal News Radio interview on OCO

Listen to the interview here. 

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in Stars and Stripes on Overseas Contingency Operations

The military’s overseas war fund that pays for fighting the Islamic State group might soon be used to help overcome the water crisis in Michigan and ease the heroin epidemic across the United States. -snip- “I think at this point, all of this back and…

Stimson in the News
OCO report cited in Center for Public Integrity

Eight years ago, when America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were still raging at full force, the Pentagon’s annual budget for those conflicts amounted to $1 million for each troop who was actually fighting.  But today, even as the Obama Administr…

Stimson in the News
OCO report cited in Federal News Radio

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who represents a state with one of the largest numbers of federal workers, said he’s not ruling out the possibility of voting for a $17 billion increase in Defense Department funding for 2017. -snip- Last week, the Stimson Cente…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley, Gordon Adams, and Anna Wheeler quoted in The Center for Public Integrity on OCO

Eight years ago, when America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were still raging at full force, the Pentagon’s annual budget for those conflicts amounted to $1 million for each troop who was actually fighting.  But today, even as the Obama Administr…

Press Release
Stimson Center Experts Analyze President Obama’s Hiroshima Speech

Experts from the nonpartisan Stimson Center share their reactions to President Obama’s speech in Hiroshima today. President Obama — accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima since Ame…

Report
Defense Divided: Overcoming the Challenges of Overseas Contingency Operations

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have drawn down, the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget, initially intended for “emergency” war funding, has been used increasingly for purposes far afield of its original design. Despite troop wi…

Press Release
Misuse of OCO Poses Risk to U.S. National Security Interests

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2016 Contact: Jim Baird [email protected]; (202) 478.3413 The use of emergency war funds as a loophole to pay for programs that are non-essential to ongoing combat operations abroad poses a risk to U.S. national secu…

Stimson in the News
Stimson Overseas Contingency Operations report cited in U.S. News

The White House and Congress are endangering national security by misusing a part of the defense budget usually reserved for waging war, according to a new study. The analysis from the Washington, D.C.-based Stimson Center argues that President Ba…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in PolitiFact on US Relations with NATO

-snip- Laicie Heeley, a military budget expert at the Stimson Center, a defense policy think tank, sees things otherwise. “Sanders’ claim is a commonly quoted misperception, or misleading quote, however you choose to see it,” Heeley said. “The stat say…

Press Release
Stimson Center Experts Analyze President Obama’s Nuclear Legacy

For Immediate Release: April 4, 2016 Contact: Jim Baird; [email protected]; 202.478.3413 Experts from the nonpartisan Stimson Center analyze President Obama’s nuclear legacy in light of the conclusion of the final Nuclear Security Summit in Washin…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in PolitiFact on base discretionary funding

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized defense spending during the Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina, saying that the out-of-control budget isn’t focused enough on fighting modern threats. -snip- Base discretionary funding is the biggest…

Commentary
Analysis Of State Of The Union Address

Following last night’s State of the Union address — the last of Barack Obama’s presidency — experts from the nonpartisan Stimson Center analyze and provide context on the president’s remarks: Johan Bergenas, Director, Partnerships in Security…

Stimson in the News
“Reducing The Risk Of Nuclear War In The Nordic/Baltic Region” Report Cited In Post Times

According to a report published by the U.S. think tank Stimson Center on Tuesday, the danger of nuclear war in the Baltic-Nordic region is small, but it could be reduced further by setting up a nuclear weapons free zone which would be managed by neutra…

Report
Reducing The Risk Of Nuclear War In The Nordic/Baltic Region

Europe is currently experiencing escalating political and military tensions that are rekindling fears of war between Russia and NATO. Any such conflict would inherently include a risk of nuclear weapons use. The Stimson Center, partnered with Project H…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley Quoted In The Military Times On House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has not been a public figure on defense issues in recent years, but he is now poised to become a key influencer on every Pentagon decision that passes through Congress for years to come. The five-term California Rep…

Stimson in the News
Op-ed by Laicie Heeley in Reuters on Iran deal

Though a majority in the Senate may vote against the Iran nuclear agreement, the deal is now expected to survive. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama gained enough support in the Senate to sustain a presidential veto. But that’s not the same as gettin…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley interviewed on FOX Business regarding Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton

Laicie Heeley was interviewed on FOX Business channel regarding Carly Fiorina and Hillary Clinton.   To view interview, click here.

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley interviewed on Fox News on Iran nuclear deal

Watch the full interview here. 

Commentary
Laicie Heeley Discusses the Iran Agreement

With the recent Iran agreement, Stimson Fellow Laicie Heeley discusses what the deal brings for the long term and what it means for those involved. “There really was political will on both sides of the aisle for this agreement,” said Heeley. “It’s very…

Stimson in the News
Interview with Laicie Heeley on Ring of Fire on the Iranian nuclear deal

Last week, history was made when the United States announced that we had reached an agreement with Iran – along with five of our allies – to end economic sanctions against the country in exchange for Iran agreeing to scale down their nuclear capabiliti…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in Military.com on America’s downsized army

The U.S. military’s largest service is downsizing but still has enough troops to deal with adversaries ranging from Russia to ISIS militants, an independent analyst said. -snip- Even as the Army downsizes its footprint in the U.S. and abroad, the end o…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in the Washington Examiner on future Iranian behavior

After purposefully not pushing for the release of American hostages as part of the Iran nuclear agreement, the Obama administration is now reduced to hoping that Iran will soon decide on its own to release them. -snip- “There is optimism there – there’…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley featured as guest on the Jeff Santos Show on Revolution Radio Network

To listen to the full interview click here. 

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in Fox News on nuclear agreement provisions

It was February, 2012, and inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency had information Iran was developing a nuclear warhead at its sprawling Parchin military complex 25 miles southeast of Tehran. -snip- “This might not be a perfect deal, bu…

Stimson in the News
Interview with Laicie Heeley on This Morning with Gordon Adams

Laicie Heeley from the Truman National Security Project breaks down the Iran nuclear deal. Listen to the full interview here. 

Stimson in the News
Interview with Laicie Heeley on MSNBC’s The Ed Show

President Barack Obama hails a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program but Republicans vow to kill it. Ed Schultz, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Paul Eaton and the Stimon Center’s Laicie Heeley weigh in on the historic agreement. Watch the full int…

Stimson in the News
Interview with Laicie Heeley in Huffington Post on the Iran Deal

An Iran nuclear deal may finally be upon us. After decades of sanctions, a handful of missed deal deadlines and a very politicized outcry against negotiations, what will Iran’s place in the international community become and who is benefitting? Watch t…

Stimson in the News
Interview with Laicie Heeley in Al Jazeera America

Former Center for Arms Control director Laicie Heeley and Hooshang Amirahmadi of the Iranian American Council discuss the Iranian nuclear deal. Watch the full interview here.

Stimson in the News
Op-ed by Laicie Heeley in CNN on the Iran Deal

Negotiators in Vienna could be just days away from an agreement that might change the way the world interacts with Iran. Under the best-case scenarios, an initial nuclear agreement could open the way to a broader détente between Iran and the West after…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley featured as guest on Jeff Santos Show on Iran Deal

Listen to Laicie Heeley comment on the Iran negotiations here. 

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley interviewed by Rudaw on Iranian Nuclear Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Iran’s disputed nuclear program has long been at the center of its tensions with the United States. The US has long feared Iran may develop a nuclear bomb. Iran says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes. But as Iran co…

Stimson in the News
Laicie Heeley quoted in Inside Defense on 2017 Defense Budget

The White House is instructing the Defense Department and other government agencies to craft a fiscal year 2017 budget that is 5 percent below President Obama’s FY-16 request, hewing to spending caps required by the 2011 Budget Control Act, but accompa…

Commentary
Congress’ Appropriate Role in Iran Negotiations

Stimson’s Laicie Heeley discusses the ongoing Iran negotiations and the role Congress has played thus far. “When you’re talking about over 500 members of Congress, that’s a lot of folks at the negotiating table who aren’t necessarily representing…

Stimson in the News
Op-ed by Laicie Heeley in Breaking Defense on “Nukes or Conventional Weapons”

As the House and Senate gear up for votes in the coming days to fund the Defense Department, lawmakers are set to support a bow wave of costly nuclear weapons programs increasingly at odds with the needs of U.S. troops and the future threats that domin…

Stimson in the News
Op-ed by Laicie Heeley in The Hill on Congress Budget Fight

A recent, intense period of budget negotiations in Congress has made one thing clear: the real negotiations have yet to begin. As House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) conceded, “budgets are ideological documents.” On the defense side, lawm…

Commentary
Laicie Heeley Joins Stimson’s Budgeting For Foreign Affairs And Defense Program

The Stimson Center announced today the appointment of Laicie Heeley as a Fellow for the Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense (BFAD) program. Heeley will lead the Center’s work on the U.S. defense budget and U.S. defense strategy. She joins Senior…

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