Policy Forum

Can the Pentagon Be Fixed?

Watch the Event
Date and Time
March 13, 2009 12 - 2 PM EDT
Location
Auditorium/Wintergarden

Join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoEvents. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute. If you have questions or need assistance registering for the event, please email our staff at events@​cato.​org.

Most defense analysts agree: the Pentagon is in serious need of reform. Acquisition programs run above cost and behind schedule. The U.S. defense budget is higher than at any point during the Cold War, but capability has not kept pace. We field fewer ships, aircraft, and tanks than we did in the days of lower procurement spending. And our defense spending prepares us better for the conventional wars we imagine than the unconventional conflicts we fight.

The question is what to do about these problems. Should we give more power over budgets to civilians or combatant commanders? Should we change procurement rules or push the services to buy cheaper but less capable weapons? Should we continue to reform the ground forces to fight small wars or simply avoid them? Should we slash defense spending? Please join us for a discussion about alternatives for defense reform.

Featuring Winslow Wheeler, Director, Straus Military Reform Project, Center for Defense Information; Colonel Douglas Macgregor, U.S. Army (Retired), Straus Military Reform Project adviser; Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project on Government Oversight; Thomas Ricks, Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security, and Special Military Correspondent for the Washington Post; and Benjamin Friedman, Research Fellow in Defense and Homeland Security, Cato Institute;