Think Tank Outlines Defense Spending Plan

The Stimson Center, a national security think tank in Washington, D.C., issued a report on Sept. 24 outlining a defense strategy designed to cut about $50 billion from the Defense Department’s annual budget, yet still advance US national security. The strategy, called Strategic Agility, is an alternative to the spending cuts DOD is required to make to meet the budget ceilings imposed by sequestration. The report, representing the consensus of the center’s 17-member defense advisory committee, offers 27 specific recommendations to achieve these savings: $22.4 billion from management reforms; $21.4 billion from changing force structure; and $5.7 billion from reducing modernization. With them, DOD would “meet the budget levels required by law; and, by Fiscal Year 2015, eliminate the need for the false economies that are currently ‘hollowing out’ US military forces,” states the report. Among the Air Force-related changes would be shifting some legacy fighters from Active Duty units to the reserve components, retiring one ICBM wing, slowing F-35 procurement, but keeping the Long Range Strike Bomber program on track. The center’s advisory committee includes former Air Force Chief of Staff retired Gen. Norton Schwartz, other retired general officers, and scholars.