The Pentagon Budget: Prospects for Reform

Featuring Dov S. Zakheim, Mackenzie Eaglen, Todd Harrison, Christopher A. Preble, & Kate Brannen

During the Cold War, annual Pentagon spending averaged about $458 billion in today’s prices; over the next decade, its projected budget will average over half a trillion dollars per year. Yet, while our spending is consistent with Cold War levels, that money pays for fewer troops; supports less base capacity; and buys fewer ships, aircraft, and tanks. In short, we are getting less bang for our buck. And the situation is only getting worse as personnel costs continue to demand an ever-increasing share of the Pentagon’s budget.

There is broad agreement that reforms are needed. But what reforms? And are they possible? Our panel of experts will seek to answer these questions, highlighting the changes they believe are necessary to cure the Pentagon’s spending ills, and debating whether such reforms are politically viable. Please join us for this important discussion.