Think Tanks Propose New Cutbacks in QDR Alternative

A quartet of prominent defense think tanks presented a range of recommendations last week as alternatives to the upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review and the imminent Fiscal 2015 budget. Teams from the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for a New American Security, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies all developed their own strategies to rebalance the Defense Department’s major weapons systems, capabilities, and spending priorities in light of post-sequestration budget constraints. Using a force-building tool built by CSBA, all four teams came up with their own plans for the next two future years defense plans, from Fiscal 2015-19 and Fiscal 2020-2024. The first follows sequester caps and the second allows more funding to buy capabilities back. In both scenarios, all four teams proposed retiring Active Duty A-10s and U-2s, as well as restoring Global Hawk Block 30 funds. All the teams also proposed cutting between two and four aircraft carriers from the Navy’s fleet. All proposals said the US must embrace interoperability with allies, diversify power projection, and “anti access, area denial” capabilities to allow US forces safe areas and bases to deploy during crises. (Read more from the respective scenarios here.)