Budgeting for Hard Power

Budgeting for Hard Power: Defense and Security Spending Under Barack Obama

Michael E. O’Hanlon
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 198
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  • Book Info
    Budgeting for Hard Power
    Book Description:

    These are extraordinary times in U.S. national security policy. America remains engaged in both Iraq and Afghanistan while facing a global economic downturn. Homeland security concerns still abound in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Even as the financial crisis places considerable pressure on the U.S. budget, President Obama will have to spend a great deal of time and money on national security, hard power, and war. How should these competing demands be prioritized? How much money will be needed? How much will be available, and how should it be spent?

    Budgeting for Hard Powercontinues the long and proud tradition of Brookings analysis on defense spending. As with previous volumes, this book examines the budgets of the Pentagon and the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons programs. But Michael O'Hanlon takes his analysis further, addressing the wide range of activities crucial for American security as a result of 9/11 and the ongoing wars. He considers homeland security resources and selected parts of the State Department and foreign operations budgets -offering a more complete overall look at the elements that make up America's "hard power" budget, a concept that he and Kurt Campbell wrote about inHard Power: The New Politics of National Security(2006).

    With future federal deficits projected to top $1 trillion, O'Hanlon calls for Defense, State, and Homeland Security budgets to be as frugal as possible. At the same time, he recognizes that resources should be selectively increased in certain areas to compensate for years of systematic underfunding, especially in certain areas of homeland security, diplomacy, and foreign assistance. In his typically clear and concise manner, O'Hanlon shows policymakers how to wrestle with the resource allocation decisions affecting the national security of the United States.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-0375-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-11)

    These are extraordinary times in American national security policy. The nation remains involved in two of the longest conflicts of its history in Iraq and Afghanistan, with more than 4,000 lives lost over six years in Iraq and more than 600 lost over nearly eight years in Afghanistan, as well as cumulative costs approaching, to date, $700 billion in the former case and $200 billion in the latter.¹ Thankfully the prognosis in Iraq appears far improved in recent years; 2009 and 2010 will be momentous times in Afghanistan as the United States doubles combat forces there in hopes of turning...

  4. CHAPTER TWO A Primer on Military Strategy, Posture, and Budgets
    (pp. 12-38)

    Most of this book is about practical resource allocation decisions. But it is first important to establish the context for these decisions.

    The goals of U.S. national security remain, as they have been ever since World War II, global and ambitious. There are different ways to summarize them, depending on whether one thinks in terms of regions of the world, or types of problems, or possible military scenarios. But the objectives have included, in recent times:

    to be able to prevail in two major regional wars at once (though with somewhat changing assumptions about what those wars might entail and...

  5. CHAPTER THREE Nuclear Weapons and Missile Defenses
    (pp. 39-59)

    Nuclear weapons are no longer a dominant aspect of the United States’ national security budget, as they were during the cold war when annual costs routinely were well in excess of $50 billion a year. But their budgetary significance is hardly trivial, especially when the Department of Defense as well as relevant parts of the Department of Energy that build and maintain nuclear weapons are considered together. Meanwhile, missile defenses are more important, and more costly, than ever. And all of these subjects are at the heart of many contemporary defense policy debates as well.¹ (See figure 3-1.)

    Nuclear deterrence...

  6. CHAPTER FOUR Conventional Military Forces and Operations
    (pp. 60-100)

    As discussed in chapter 2, the lion’s share of U.S. military spending is accounted for by the main combat formations, weapons, and activities of the four military services. They are sized to be capable of two intense regional wars or protracted stabilization missions of the type ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan, to maintain presence and thereby to foster deterrence of great-power conflict in places including the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf and Central Europe, and to retain a qualitative edge that discourages challengers from attempting to reach parity with the United States while also reassuring allies. After two decades of...

  7. CHAPTER FIVE Homeland Security
    (pp. 101-125)

    More than seven years after the attacks of September 11, 2001, where does the United States stand in trying to ensure that such a terrible tragedy—or something even worse—never again befalls this country?

    Answering this question requires attention to a broad gamut of policy tools, many of them in the provinces of foreign, defense, and intelligence policy. The United States cannot, in the end, be secure if its allies and partners around the world are not and if international terrorism flourishes even in distant lands. Such was part of the lesson of 9/11, with those attacks originating in...

  8. CHAPTER SIX Hard Power in the State Department and Foreign Aid Programs
    (pp. 126-143)

    The role of the State Department and of foreign assistance programs in national security has always been important—and in recent years, it has become yet more crucial. For example, the basic stability of societies like nuclear-armed Pakistan is of enormous significance for U.S. security, and various types of aid and cooperation programs can be relevant for addressing these challenges. Assistance efforts also are important for improving the safety and security of nuclear arms, biological materials, and other dangerous technologies in many places. Even in military-led operations, stabilization and reconstruction activities by the State Department are central to mission success....

  9. CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusion
    (pp. 144-146)

    The United States needs to fund all its tools of foreign policy and national security. The times demand it, with two ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; ongoing nuclear challenges in Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea; a resurgent power in the form of Russia; a growing power in the form of China; an unresolved Mideast peace process; and numerous other challenges to U.S. and global security interests.

    Yet at the same time, the United States must budget frugally. Historians and political scientists are right to remind us all that economically weak countries cannot remain great powers. The recent economic crisis...

  10. Appendix
    (pp. 147-154)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 155-180)
  12. Index
    (pp. 181-191)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 192-193)