US Defense Budget

U.S. Defense

Combating 21st century challenges requires smart defense spending. Stimson examines ways to reshape modern defense spending to better address modern security threats.

Photo credit: The US Army via flickr

Current Research

September 17, 2012 | EXPERT: Russell Rumbaugh

By Russell Rumbaugh and Nathan Cohn - As the defense budget comes under increasing pressure, many have suggested nuclear weapons as an area for savings. But estimates of what the United States spends on nuclear weapons widely vary. READ MORE

September 17, 2012 | EXTERNAL: Nathan Cohn , EXPERT: Russell Rumbaugh

As the defense budget comes under increasing pressure, many have suggested nuclear weapons as an area for savings. But estimates of what the United States spends on nuclear weapons widely vary. READ MORE

June 5, 2012

As defense budgets decrease, many observers have called for cutting nuclear weapons to produce savings.  But nobody is really sure how much the United States spends on nuclear weapons.  Official estimates suggest $20 billion a year.  Unofficial estimates say $55 billion a year.  The wide gap READ MORE

May 10, 2012

With the United States facing large budget deficits, a major debate is underway in Washington, DC, over whether defense spending will be subject to cuts. READ MORE

May 10, 2012 | EXPERT: Matthew Leatherman , EXTERNAL: R. Jeffrey Smith , EXTERNAL: Steven Kull

With the United States facing large budget deficits, a major debate is underway in Washington DC over whether defense spending will be subject to cuts. READ MORE

February 23, 2012 | EXPERT: Brian Finlay , EXPERT: Matthew Leatherman

Managing Across Boundaries Director Brian Finlay and READ MORE

February 13, 2012 | EXPERT: Russell Rumbaugh

The President released the FY13 defense budget request today, and the total amount is $5B less than the FY12 appropriated levels. We are certainly into the defense builddown. But we should remember that the defense budget has cycled up and down over the last 60 years. READ MORE

January 6, 2012 | EXPERT: Russell Rumbaugh

Russell Rumbaugh authored an opinion-editorial for CNN regarding President Obama's announcement Thursday on the administration's strategy to cut the defense budget, saying "Obama's defense cuts are too timid." READ MORE

November 28, 2011 | EXPERT: Gordon Adams

Gordon Adams recently published an op-ed in U.S. News and World Report entitled, It Is Time for Discipline, Defense. In the piece, Adams argues that cutting the defense budget is managable, and will still leave behind a globally dominant force. READ MORE

October 31, 2011 | EXPERT: Russell Rumbaugh

Prevailing wisdom on defense spending in the past decade asserts that despite the large amount spent, we did not modernize our weapons systems. In reality, the military services did take advantage of increased procurement funding to modernize their forces, although not always as expected. READ MORE

October 31, 2011

By Russell Rumaugh - As the congressional super committee grapples with the problem of lowering the nation's deficit and controlling its debt, defense budgets have taken center stage.  Some have argued that defense budgets cannot be cut, in part because a decade of war has READ MORE

October 17, 2011 | EXPERT: Matthew Leatherman

Stimson's Matthew Leatherman recently wrote an opinion piece for Defense News entitled Plan for War Costs. In the op-ed, Leatherman writes about the pitfalls of wartime accounting for the Pentagon and the State Department. READ MORE

June 15, 2011

Russell Rumbaugh served as a staffer for Senator Kent Conrad on the Senate Budget Committee covering both the 050 Defense and 150 International Affairs accounts of the US Government budget. READ MORE

May 12, 2011

With today’s tough financial reality, the international community is hard-pressed in meeting both national security and global development objectives as policymakers around the world attempt to do more with fewer resources. READ MORE

May 5, 2011 | EXPERT: Gordon Adams

The foreign policy machinery in the Obama administration is finally grinding away on a difficult long-term policy and institutional problem: What should the US development and foreign assistance strategy be? Such an examination raises a seemingly endless set of questions: What roles should the Defense Department, State Department, and USAID play in the development, security, and foreign assistance mix?  READ MORE

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