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IranMonday, January 14, 2013

Special Update: Colin Powell and the “Mainstream”

For many Americans in and outside national security circles, General (ret) Colin Powell, who served as National Security Advisor to President Reagan, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, has come to symbolize a sensible, non-ideological approach to security policy. This week on “Meet the Press,” Powell spoke out on several hotly-contested issues surrounding Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Secretary of Defense: the use of force – “with deliberation and care;” on Pentagon spending cuts – “everything has to be looked at;” and the wisdom of negotiating with Iran – “We should be very, very careful when we sort of toss around theories of use of military for situations that might be resolved in other ways.” Powell, not the small… Read More ›

IranMonday, January 7, 2013

Special Update: Hagel Nomination Represents Progressive, Centrist, Realist Convergence On Key Challenges

Today President Obama nominated former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to be the next secretary of defense.  Hagel is a decorated Vietnam veteran; a former official in the Veterans Administration and the USO; and a two-term Senator from Nebraska. He would be the first enlisted soldier to lead the Pentagon. The political firestorm around him, typified by Senator Lindsay Graham’s (R-SC) recent comment that Senator Hagel’s views are “really out of the mainstream,” couldn’t be farther from the mark: Hagel’s views have widespread support from experts across the political spectrum, diplomats, military leaders and the public alike.  Sen. Hagel’s nomination has received very broad support, across party lines, from the defense and foreign policy community – and the issues under contention will be some of the… Read More ›

Chuck HagelPersonnelMonday, January 7, 2013

Statement on Nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense

Statement on Nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense In response to today’s nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, Major General (ret.) Paul D. Eaton, Senior Advisor at the National Security Network, released the following statement: “Senator Hagel is a decorated war veteran and a strong choice to run the Department of Defense. Senator Hagel has proven himself relentlessly focused on driving America’s national security interests without sacrificing American values, earning my respect and that of my colleagues in the military community.The next Secretary of Defense will face many challenges, from how we reshape the Pentagon, to when and how we use force, post-Afghanistan and Iraq, in the pursuit of peace and security. Senator Hagel will bring to these challenges… Read More ›

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

NSN Quoted in the Boston Globe on the Sequester

Public, private sectors try to gauge impact if cuts happen By Bryan Bender January 1st, 2013 | The Boston Globe WASHINGTON — From the armed forces to the air traffic control system, and programs that support everything from needy citizens to research grants, virtually every industry and community that relies on federal expenditures would be hit with spending cuts that would take effect if Congress fails to pass a compromise in the next few days on the “fiscal cliff.” Negotiators agreed to a stopgap measure that would forestall the cuts for two months, along with raising taxes on the richest Americans. But passage is not certain; the House has yet to vote on the late-night deal. Such a vote is expected Tuesday. For Massachusetts, the… Read More ›

Sunday, December 23, 2012

CHART: The Growing Consensus on Pentagon Spending

In recent months, a number of prominent reports have outlined how the Pentagon’s budget can be reshaped by reducing overall spending while reprioritizing investments to meet future security challenges. These analyses generally agree that the Pentagon can reduce overall force structure and spending while incurring acceptable risk to its ability support a robust national security strategy. The reports propose reductions over the decade ranging from $150 billion to $1 trillion, but average around $510.5 billion. These analyses, which represent an emerging consensus among defense thought-leaders, should be taken extremely seriously as the United States federal government considers the fiscal cliff, deficit reduction, sequestration and the balance between defense and non-defense spending. Taken together, they suggest that Pentagon spending can afford to remain on the table… Read More ›

Human RightsIranThursday, December 20, 2012

Politics Undercut Defense Bill

Editor’s note: the NSN Daily Update will be on hiatus beginning December 21 and will return in the New Year. We wish our readers a happy and safe holiday. The FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) represents a disappointing lack of seriousness about both defense policy and budgeting. The bill mandates counter-productive measures on key national security priorities, including Iran, Guantanamo detainees, ineffective missile defense systems, and military healthcare. Additionally, the bill funds the Pentagon over the caps mandated by the Budget Control Act, including over $70 billion in systems that the Pentagon neither wants nor needs, putting at risk the ability of the Pentagon to align strategy with resources. The NDAA arrives on the same day Speaker Boehner is reportedly preparing an attempt to… Read More ›

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Easiest $100 Billion in Fiscal Showdown Negotiations

Negotiations over the fiscal showdown are approaching the end game as talks between President Obama and Speaker Boehner show signs of progress towards a deal. The latest offer by the Obama administration to the GOP includes $100 billion in Pentagon reductions over the next decade, or $10 billion a year from a base budget of over $500 billion. This figure is substantially below the consensus that has emerged across national security think tanks – and even the defense industry –  that agree the Pentagon budget can be reshaped to be more efficient and effective by smartly managing reductions and setting new investment priorities that reflect 21st century needs. Below, we review how think tanks across the spectrum would go beyond $100 billion to reshape the… Read More ›

Monday, December 17, 2012

NSN Quoted in The Hill Discussing the Defense Budget

Disparate Defense Think Tanks Reach Common Ground on Defense Cuts By Carlos Muñoz December 17, 2012| The Hill Several high-profile defense think tanks from across the political spectrum are on relatively the same page, in terms of what kind of financial hit the Pentagon should take in the coming decade, according to a recently released report. The study, compiled by Washington-based National Security Network, found the average spending reduction to DOD coffers recommended by these think thanks came to just over $510 billion over the next ten years.  That number dwarfs the $100 to $300 billion top defense industry leaders proposed in early December as the most budget reductions the Pentagon could handle, while maintaining national security priorities worldwide. The report is already making the… Read More ›

Heather HurlburtWednesday, December 12, 2012

Heather Hurlburt Quoted in National Defense Magazine on Pentagon Budget Cuts

Defense CEOs More Receptive to Pentagon Budget Cuts By Sandra I. Erwin December 12, 2012 | National Defense Magazine Pentagon contractors are making yet another plea to the Obama administration and Congress to end the stalemate and agree on a budget deal in order to avert mandatory cuts to the defense budget next year. While they firmly oppose across-the-board cuts to defense spending known as sequestration — about $500 billion over 10 years — they said they would support a smaller reduction that was more “orderly” and targeted at lower-priority programs. Remarks by four defense CEOs at a National Press Club event Dec. 3 mark a considerable departure from the industry’s more intransigent position six to 12 months ago, when they staunchly rejected any cuts… Read More ›

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