Henry L. Stimson Center

May 1, 2012

Reframing National Defense Strategy

How can America navigate the dual challenges of military preparedness and, at the same time, major fiscal constraints? One clear answer is for our nation to frame a new national security strategy. To do so, we need a clear understanding of the threats facing us in the 21st century. With these risks and the related costs in mind, we can develop the strategy and missions to counter and reduce them. And with the strategy in hand, we can begin to make sensible and coherent reductions in the defense budget.

The Peterson Foundation has joined with the Henry L. Stimson Center to gather distinguished national security experts to begin working on a new defense strategy for the U.S. Barry Blechman, co-founder of Stimson, is serving as Project Director and Leslie Gelb, former Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs and President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, is serving as a consultant to the Foundation. Working through Stimson’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program (BFAD), the project will produce a report that, based on the group’s assessment of current interests and threats, offers strategies and force structures to keep America safe, while acknowledging that our national security requires us to be on a sustainable fiscal path.

BFAD provides “pragmatic options for strengthening civilian foreign policy institutions and providing discipline and focus to defense institutions, with a particular focus on human and fiscal resources, structures, and planning and budgeting processes, and authorities.” Analyses and proposals are prepared and presented to policymakers, the media, and other organizations working within the foreign policy and national security fields.You can follow BFAD’s work on their blog, “The Will and the Wallet.”

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