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  • Commentary posted December 20, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen What's Likely in New Pentagon Strategy: 2 Theaters, Fewer Bases, A2AD

    The threat of a $500 billion defense sequestration looms as a result of the Super Committee failure - a prospect that Secretary Panetta has called "potentially ruinous." Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Representative Howard "Buck" McKeon and some of his Senate colleagues have promised to introduce legislation to reverse the cuts.Meanwhile, the Pentagon is…

  • Backgrounder posted December 5, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen, Diem Nguyen Salmon Super Committee Failure and Sequestration Put at Risk Ever More Military Plans and Programs

    Abstract: The Budget Control Act, which ended the impasse over the debt ceiling and created a Super Committee to identify more deficit reduction proposals, cuts the defense budget by $1 trillion and paves the way for further reductions next year. These cuts come on top of successive rounds of deep cuts in defense dollars and capabilities that Congress and the Obama…

  • WebMemo posted November 3, 2011 by Alison Acosta Fraser, Patrick Louis Knudsen, Mackenzie Eaglen Three Pillars of Reform for the Super Committee

    As the “super committee,” created by the contentious Budget Control Act (BCA), grapples with its mandate to find $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction savings, many are urging it to “go big.” And no wonder. Since July 31, the eve of the BCA’s enactment, the federal government has continued to hemorrhage debt to the point that debt held by the public has increased by $371…

  • Commentary posted October 21, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen Will Congress Pull the Trigger and Shoot the U.S. Military?

    Washington's handling of the national debt crisis is sounding a lot like a script for a Hollywood action movie with all this talk of sequestration "triggers" and "doomsday." The thrills will start in a few weeks when the congressional Super Committee will unveil its recommendations to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget or to do less and,…

  • Play Movie Defense Spending and the Super Committee Video Recorded on September 22, 2011 Defense Spending and the Super Committee

    On Thursday, September 8, 2011, the Defending Defense coalition, a joint project of the American Enterprise Institute, the Foreign Policy Initiative, and The Heritage Foundation, hosted "Defense Spending and the Super Committee." The event took place on Capitol Hill with Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), as well as Congressmen Randy…

  • Play Movie Mackenzie Eaglen on Defense Spending on Washington Journal Video Recorded on August 5, 2011 Mackenzie Eaglen on Defense Spending on Washington Journal

    Mackenzie Eaglen discusses defense spending and the budget deal.…

  • WebMemo posted July 21, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen Slashing Defense Makes America Less Safe While Allowing Politicians to Kick the Can down the Road on Entitlement Reform

    Today, America is asking its military to do more than ever before. In the past 24 months alone, U.S. military forces have conducted their 10th year of combat operations in Afghanistan, wound down operations in Iraq, started a new no-fly zone in Libya, dramatically escalated counterterrorism operations in Yemen, maintained counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia…

  • Commentary posted July 18, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen Pentagon Struggles To Keep Ships Sailing, Planes Flying As Budget Cuts Loom

    The U.S. military faces a readiness crisis.A recent Congressional hearing generated headlines about the Navy's surface fleet falling into disrepair. But that was news four years ago. Across all the services, long-standing readiness problems are worsening; breakdowns are happening more frequently.Several years ago, an Air Force F-15C literally broke in half during flight.…

  • Commentary posted July 7, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen, Jim Talent The Dangers of Defunding Defense

    The storms of war have broken in Afghanistan and are gathering in the Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East, eastern Europe, and even in south and central America. Not since the end of World War II has America more urgently needed honest and clear thinking about its enduring national interests and a bipartisan commitment to building up the capabilities—civilian and…

  • Commentary posted June 23, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen How to Spend the 'Peace Dividend'

    Politics matters in war. It's why the Army Chief of Staff after Vietnam tried to institute a doctrine where the nation only makes large or prolonged military commitments using all forces, including those in the National Guard and Reserves. But the politically expedient path to draw down U.S. forces in Afghanistan more quickly than military commanders suggest -- and…

  • Commentary posted June 6, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen A Day Without U.S. Seapower

    The idea of a world without the benefit of preponderant American seapower may sound alarmist and farfetched. Unfortunately, those who follow military cutbacks and world affairs know that it isn’t. Indeed, the following scenario is all too plausible. .  .  . In 2020, several major European nations default on their debt. Contagion in the financial markets plunges the…

  • Testimony posted June 1, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen Evaluating The Efficacy Of The Department Of Defense’s 30-Year Shipbuilding And Aviation Plans

    Testimony beforeSubcommittee on Oversight & InvestigationsHouse Armed Services CommitteeUnited States House of Represenatives June 1, 2011 My name is Mackenzie Eaglen. I am a Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage…

  • Backgrounder posted May 16, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen, Bryan McGrath Thinking About a Day Without Sea Power: Implications for U.S. Defense Policy

    Abstract: America is a maritime power, and a strong U.S. Navy is both in America’s long-term interest and essential to the nation’s prosperity. Yet U.S. sea power is in decline. If not reversed, this decline could pass the tipping point, leaving the country economically and strategically unable to reverse course, which would have profound economic and geopolitical…

  • Commentary posted May 9, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen How to Cut the Military

    Booms and busts, that’s the typical funding pattern for America’s military. “Five times in the last 90 years, the United States has disarmed after a conflict: World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and then the cold war,” testified Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2008. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Clinton cut defense spending dramatically after the cold war.…

  • Commentary posted May 9, 2011 by Mackenzie Eaglen Starving the Military is Risky

    Fiscal responsibility and national security are not mutually exclusive. No budget should escape scrutiny in these tough economic times. But in calling for the Pentagon to kick in an additional $400 billion through spending cuts, President Barack Obama has put the budgetary cart before the horse. To cut defense responsibly, the president must first decide which of…