Military Restraint and Defense Savings


Chairman Tierney, Congressman Flake, and members of theCommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify.

My testimony elaborates on the portion of the SustainableDefense Task Force report that my colleague Christopher Preble andI wrote: “A Strategy of Restraint Would Allow Even GreaterSavings.“1 I first discuss that strategy and then thedefense spending cuts that it allows.

Before doing so, let me first say that I am agnostic as towhether our current defense spending is sustainable. Many foolishthings are sustainable, at least for a while. What I do believe isthat it would unwise to spend anything like the $549 billion ($580,including mandatory spending and other agency spending generallycounted as defense) that the administration has requested fornon‐​war defense spending in fiscal year 2011. There is no goodreason to spend more on the non‐​war defense budget in real termstoday than we did in any year during the Cold War.

Arguments about defense spending are arguments about defensestrategy. What you spend depends on what you think we ought to domilitarily, which depends in turn on theories about what causessecurity. My argument here is that a far more modest strategy wouldbetter serve our security and allow a far smaller defense budget.That strategy is called restraint because it starts with theassumption that power tempts the United States to participate inforeign troubles that we should avoid.2 Restraint meansfighting that temptation. It would husband American power ratherthan dissipate it by spreading promises and forces hither and yon,drawing us into conflicts that need not be ours.

Restraint does not require cuts in military force structure andspending. It allows them. A less busy military could be a smallerand cheaper one. But though you can have restraint without savings,you cannot save much without restraint.

Substantially reducing military spending requires reducing theambitions it serves. Efforts to increase the Pentagon’s efficiency‐ through acquisition reform, eliminating waste and duplication, orimproving financial management — might save a bit, but these hardyperennials of defense reform have historically delivered fewsavings.3 The near doubling in our military’s cost inthe last twelve years (adjusting for inflation and leaving out thewars) stems more from the proliferation of its objectives than fromthe way it is managed. We spend too much because we choose toolittle.

Rather than use efficiency gains to drive savings, we should cutspending to enhance efficiency. Market competition encouragesprivate organizations to streamline their operations. No suchpressure exists in government, but cutting the top line and forcingthe military services to compete for their budgets can incentivizethem to find efficiencies.4

That said, it would be a mistake to take up the force structurereductions recommended here without taking up their strategicrationale. That course would save money. But it would overburdenthe force without improving security.

Strategic Overreach

The truth is that United States does not have a defense budget.The adjective is wrong. Our military forces’ size and compositionlack a meaningful relationship to the requirements of protectingAmericans. Unbalanced power and massive budgets limit the need tochoose among priorities. We can confuse the necessary with thedesirable.

Because it can evade choice, which is the essence of strategy,the Pentagon suffers from strategic incontinence. The U.S. militaryis supposed to be a tool to contain China; transform failed statesso they resemble ours; chase terrorists; train various militariesto do so; protect sea lanes, keep oil cheap; democratize the MiddleEast; protect European, Asian, and Middle Eastern states fromaggression and geopolitical competition that might require them todevelop military power independent of ours; popularize the UnitedStates via humanitarian missions; respond to natural disasters athome and abroad; secure cyberspace, and more. The forces needed toaccomplish this litany of aspirations can never be enough. Hence,neither can the defense budget.

Defining security so broadly is counterproductive. Our globalmilitary posture and activism drag us into others’ conflicts,provoke animosity, prompt states to balance our power, and wasteresources. Our military budget should instead be sized to defendus. That does not require $700 billion a year — or anything close​.By capitalizing on our geopolitical fortune, we can safely spendfar less.

Our principal enemy, al Qaeda, has no army, no air force and nonavy. Some contend that we can be safe from al Qaeda and otherjihadists only by occupying and transforming failed states wherethey seek haven. And so, countering terrorism is supposed torequiresomething approaching global counterinsurgency, a permanentwar. That claim does not bear scrutiny. Few failed states haveprovided havens for anti‐​American terrorists.5 Even inAfghanistan during the 1990s, the supposed leading example of thisphenomenon, the trouble was that the government allied with alQaeda, not that there was no government. We have learned the hardway that trying to reorder these nations with military occupationstends to fail, despite great cost in blood and treasure. Experiencetells us, in fact, that occupations can cause terrorism aimed atoccupiers rather than prevent it.6

Hunting terrorists is primarily an intelligence and policingtask. Military forces are useful in destroying well‐​defendedtargets. Terrorists are mostly hidden and lightly armed. The trickis finding them, not killing or capturing them once they are found.The military assets most useful for counterterrorism are relativelycheap niche capabilities: surveillance and intercept technologies,special operations forces, and drones.

Neither can state rivals justify our current military spending.North Korea, Iran, and Syria collectively spend roughly onesixtieth of what we spend on defense. They are local trouble‐​makersbut have little or no capacity to strike American territory. Wedeter them from doing so in any case.

As for our potential great power rivals — Russia and China — wehave no good reason to fight a war with either in the foreseeablefuture. And even if we did, both remain far inferior to us inmilitary capability. That would remain the case even if the cutsproposed here were adopted. For example, even with the 10 percentreduction in research and development funding proposed here, theU.S. military would spend on research and development alone almostas much as Russia spends on its entire military.

Another argument for high military spending is that U.S.military hegemony underlies global stability. Our forces andalliance commitments dampen conflict between potential rivals likeChina and Japan, we are told, preventing them from fighting warsthat would disrupt trade and cost us more than the militaryspending that would have prevented war. The theoretical andempirical foundation for this claim is weak. It overestimates boththe American military’s contribution to international stability andthe danger that instability abroad poses to Americans.

In Western Europe, U.S. forces now contribute little to peace,at best making the tiny odds of war among states there slightlymore so.7 Even in Asia, where there is more tension, thehistory of international relations suggests that without U.S.military deployments potential rivals, especially those separatedby sea like Japan and China, will generally achieve a stablebalance of power rather than fight. In other cases, as with ourbases in Saudi Arabia between the Iraq wars, U.S. forces probablycreate more unrestthan they prevent. Our force deployments can alsogenerate instability by prompting states to develop nuclearweapons.

Even when wars occur, their economic impact is likely to belimited here.8 By linking markets, globalizationprovides supply alternatives for the goods we consume, includingoil. If political upheaval disrupts supply in one location,suppliers elsewhere will take our orders. Prices may increase, butmarkets adjust. That makes American consumers less dependent on anyparticular supply source, undermining the claim that we need to useforce to prevent unrest in supplier nations or secure traderoutes.9

Part of the confusion about the value of hegemony comes frommisunderstanding the Cold War. People tend to assume, falsely, thatour activist foreign policy, with troops forward supporting allies,not only caused the Soviet Union’s collapse but is obviously a goodthing even without such a rival. Forgotten is the sensible notionthat alliances are a necessary evil occasionally tolerated tobalance a particularly threatening enemy. The main justificationfor creating our Cold War alliances was the fear that Communistnations could conquer or capture by insurrection the industrialcenters in Western Europe and Japan and then harness enough of thatwealth to threaten us — either directly or by forcing us to becomea garrison state at ruinous cost. We kept troops in South Koreaafter 1953 for fear that the North would otherwise overrun it. Butthese alliances outlasted the conditions that caused them. Duringthe Cold War, Japan, Western Europe and South Korea grew wealthyenough to defend themselves. We should let them. These alliancesheighten our force requirements and threaten to drag us into wars,while providing no obvious benefit.

Another argument employed to justify our defense budget is thatwe must spend heavily on defense today to prepare for futurerivals. But the best hedge against an uncertain future is aprosperous and innovative economy, unburdened by excessive debt andspending. Advocating substantial defense spending cuts does notrequire predicting that the current, historically‐​benign threatenvironment will never change.

Overview of Savings

Without an enemy like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union — a greatpower rival with expansionist intent and capability — there is nojustification for Cold War‐​level defense spending. We can savegreat sums and improve national security by adopting a defensebudget worthy of the name. Our military superiority over allpotential rivals is so substantial that even steeper spending cutsthan those proposed here would not endanger it. As a rich stateremote from trouble, we can take a wait‐​and‐​see approach to distantthreats, letting our friends bear the cost of their defense. Weshould also stop confusing foreign disorder with foreign threats.We should retain the ability to participate in multilateral effortsto prevent humanitarian disasters, but we should not mistake thiswork for our defense.

Restraint means pulling our troops from Japan, Korea, and Europeand dropping our commitment to defend those nations. It means notonly removing conventional forces from Iraq and Afghanistan butswearing off massive state‐​building missions. By avoiding theoccupation of failing states and shedding commitments to defendhealthy ones, we could plan for fewer wars. By shedding missions wecan cut force structure — reducing the number of U.S. militarypersonnel and the weapons and vehicles we procure for them. Bycutting force structure and bringing back forces from overseas, wecan reduce operational costs. The resulting force would be moreelite, less strained and far less expensive.

The following proposals reduce defense spending by more than$1.1 trillion over ten years.10 These reductions areconservative in two ways. First, in several cases we likely erredon the side of under‐​counting savings. Second, a strategy ofrestraint could allow deeper cuts. We could likely eliminate moreprocurement programs, spend less on researching and developing newweapons, close more bases, build less military housing, and closethe geographic combatant commands. The cuts we suggest are notmeant to preclude consideration of more.

Summary (in billions):

Description Savings
Nuclear arsenal(warheads) $100
Reduce the size of theArmy $220
Reduce the size of theUSMC $67
Cut Pentagon civilianworkforce $105
Build/​operate fewerCVNs $43
Operate fewer SSBNs $4
Build/​operate fewer SSNsand SSGNs $34
Build/​operate fewerDDGs $28
Build/​operate fewerLCSs $11
Reduce expeditionary strikegroups $9
Cancel the MPF(F) $17
Build/​operate fewer AirForce fighters $89
Cancel EFV $11
Terminate V‑22 $15
Missile defense $60
Military pay and healthcare $115
Maintenance and supply $13
RDT&E $70
Command, support, andinfrastructure $100
Total $1,111

We would cut the ground forces most. With few conventionalenemies and a disinclination for large‐​scale occupations, theMarines and Army would have far less to do. The Marines are cutless than the Army because we envision a military that typicallycomes from the sea and stays for a short period.

We propose reducing the Navy to eight carrier battle groups andsix expeditionary strike groups. We would terminate the LCS programafter four vessels and buy a low‐​cost frigate or corvette in itsplace. We would eliminate the maritime prepositioning force. TheNavy we would maintain is plenty given the dearth of current navalchallengers and the strike power provided by modern carrier airwings. As Secretary of Defense Gates has noted, no enemy, orforeseeable combination of enemies, has the capability to challengeeven the smaller Navy we propose, on the seas or underthem.11

We would eliminate six Air Force fighter wing equivalents. Thereare three reasons for this cut. First, the Navy already providesconsiderable airpower from the sea. Second, the precisionrevolution has greatly increased the destructive power of eachairframe. Third, the Air Force lacks enemies that challenge its airsuperiority. Because we want an offshore posture rather than aforward defense, we retain our current bomber and refueling tankerprocurement plans. We also maintain the Air Force’s spending onunmanned aerial vehicles, given their flexibility.

The nuclear arsenal has been cut considerably since the end ofthe Cold war with no diminution of American security. Further cutsare warranted. We propose drawing down the arsenal to as few as 500active, deployed warheads and altering the nuclear weapons forcestructure and support infrastructure accordingly.12 Fourto five ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) would suffice to deterany leader foolish enough to contemplate a strike on the UnitedStates.13 To make doubly sure, we would retain 150Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missicles in thecontinental United States. The triad should become a dyad, withbombers out of the nuclear business.14

We would cut research and development spending by ten percent. Asmaller force requires less research and testing to support it. Butbecause this spending helps keep our military far ahead of rivals,we cut it less, as a percentage, than spending on operational forcestructure.

Additional savings come from making national missile defenseinto a research program, rather than continuing the rush to deployit for no clear benefit, stopping production of the Littoral CombatShip, Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and V‑22 Osprey and reformingthe provision of military pay and benefits.

Reductions in personnel spending are inevitably con​tro​ver​sial​.It is important to note that we are not advocating reductions inpay but slowing pay increases. We suggest limiting health carebenefits only in the sense of raising co‐​pays and premiums tocontrol TRICARE’s cost. Such changes are more reasonable under therestraint strategy because it would reduce the burden onservice‐​members by relaxing the pace of deployments and keepingmost troops stateside.

Spending Cuts

1. Cut the nuclear weapons arsenal to 500 deployedwarheads.
This reduction in the nuclear weapons arsenal would save at least$100 billion from 2011 – 2020.15 Savings come primarilyfrom reductions associated with the development and maintenance ofwarheads, though we include reductions in the number and characterof delivery vehicles, especially the elimination of the mannedbomber portion of the nuclear triad.16 Savings fromreducing the number of SSBNs from the planned 14 to six are shownbelow.

2. Cut the active‐​duty Army to approximately 360,000personnel.
A reduction in the number of active‐​duty Army personnel fromcurrent legislated end strength of 547,400 would save $220 billionfrom 2011 – 2020. Our estimate of these savings draws on a 2009 CBOcalculation that reversing the “Grow the Army” initiative, whichadded 65,000 troops to the Army, would save $88.7 billion over thenext ten years.17 We assume that our savings over thesame ten‐​year period would be at least two and a half times the CBOestimate.

3. Cut the size of the Marine Corps to approximately145,000.
This reduction in the size of the Marines would save $67 billionfrom 2011 – 2020. Personnel reductions would occur over a ten‐​yearperiod, approximately 3.5 percent each year. We arrived at thisestimate by modifying the CBO projections for the Army.

4. Reduce the number of Navy aircraft carriers to eight andreduce naval air wings to seven.
A reduction in the total number of carriers from twelve to eightwould save $43 billion from 2011 – 2020. Current Navy plans call for12 carriers by 2020.18 The Navy would continueproduction of the new Ford Class CVN 78, which will be deployed in2015.19 Canceling procurement of CVN 79 and all futureFord Class CVNs would save $16 billion in planned procurementthrough 2020 (approximately $7 billion for CVN 79 and $9 billionfor CVN 80). Decommissioning the Nimitz, Eisenhower, and Vinson(along with the Enterprise) would save at least $5 billion over 10years in reduced operations and maintenance (O&M) costs,including associated air wings. A further $12 billion would besaved in foregone procurement of 60 F‑35 Joint Strike Fighters,assuming a 50 percent replacement of F/​A‑18s with JSFs for eachcarrier eliminated. Associated reductions in personnel would save$10 billion.

5. Operate fewer ballistic missile submarines.
Continued reductions in the nuclear arsenal allow for commensuratereductions in delivery vehicles and platforms. Operating fewerballistic missile submarines would save $4 billion from 2011 – 2020.The annual O&M cost for each SSBN is at least $60million.20 Cutting eight SSBNs would save $3 billionover ten years. The associated personnel savings would be $1billion. The Pentagon is not planning to build new SSBNs in thenext ten years. Therefore no additional savings come fromprocurement.

6. Build and operate fewer tactical submarines(SSNs/SSGNs).21
Reducing the number of tactical submarines would save $34 billionfrom 2011 – 2020. Current plans envision the number SSNs declining to40 ships by 2028. The Navy can reach 40 in 2020 by slowing the rateof procurement from two to one ship per year. Thus, instead ofspending $5.8 billion per year, we could spend $2.9 billion peryear, saving $29 billion in procurement and $1.5 billion in O&Mover 10 years. Eliminating the four active guided missilesubmarines would save a further $1.8 billion in O&M. Theadditional savings from reductions in personnel would be $1.5billion.

7. Build and operate fewer destroyers.22
We would save $28 billion from 2011 – 2020 by reducing the number ofdestroyers that the Navy builds and operates. This reduction isaccomplished by maintaining the number of DDG‐​51s at the currentlevel of 62 and canceling the DDG-1000 program. The Navy hasproposed stopping production of the DDG-1000 at three and building11 or 12 new DDG‐​51s, which cost about $1.85 billion each. Thesavings from avoiding production of 12 more DDG‐​51s are at least$22.2 billion, plus $3.3 billion in associated O&M costs, and$2.5 billion from personnel reductions.

8. Build and operate fewer Littoral Combat Ships.
The Navy should halt the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program andconsider buying a less expensive class of frigates or corvettes.Besides the four LCSs already or almost completed, the Navy plansto build about 24 in the next 10 years, at an average cost of $550million each. Forgoing these vessels would thus save $13.2 billionover the next 10 years, plus $3.1 billion in associated O&Mcosts. The Navy could instead refurbish 14 Perry class frigates by2020, at a cost of roughly $100 million each.23 Aftersubtracting the costs of refurbishing and retaining the frigatesand the additional personnel costs they require, net savings wouldbe $11 billion over ten years.24

9. Reduce the number of Marine Corps expeditionary strikegroups.
A reduction in the total number of Marine Corps expeditionarystrike groups from ten to six would save $9 billion from 2011 – 2020.Reducing the number of strike groups to six would save $4.3 billionin O&M over ten years. These reductions are consistent withcuts to the Marine Corps end strength cited above. Associated navalpersonnel cuts would total $4.9 billion.

10. Cancel the Maritime Pre‐​positioning Force (Future).
According to the CBO, canceling the Maritime Pre‐​positioning Force(Future) program would save $17.3 billion over 10years.25 The Navy would maintain sufficient Marinesupply ships overseas. If necessary it can lease ships, as it hasin the past.

11. Build and operate fewer Air Force fighters.
The Air Force should eliminate six fighter air wing equivalents,saving $89 billion from 2011 – 2020. The drawdown would beaccomplished by accelerating the retirement of aging airframes,especially F‑15s and F‑16s, and purchasing 301 fewer F‑35s thancurrently programmed.26 The estimated cost per newaircraft is $200 million, which translates into $60 billion inreduced procurement expenses, plus $29 billion in reduced personneland O&M expenses.

12. Cancel the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.
Existing platforms, including the Assault Amphibious Vehicle 7A,are suitable in the highly unlikely event that the United Stateswished to deploy Marines via amphibious operations on a hostileshore. This option would save the approximately $11 billion neededto complete the program and purchase 573 units.27

13. Terminate the V‑22 Osprey.
The Marine Corps should stop buying V‑22 Ospreys, saving the $23billion needed to finish procurement.28 For troop andmaterial transport, the Marines should instead rely on proven,rotary-wing aircraft with more lift, such as the MH-60 and theCH‐​53. Including the cost of replacement vehicles, total savingsfor the elimination of the V‑22 Osprey program is $15 billion overthe ten year period.

14. Make national missile defense a research program.
Our realignment of the missile defense program would save $60billion from 2011 – 2020. The FY 2011 budget request includes $9.9billion for missile defense. This change shifts missile defenseprograms away from procurement and towards research and developmentand cancels components with excessive cost overruns. Assuming thatDoD plans to spend an average of $9 billion annually over the nextten years, reducing spending to $2 to $3 billion annually wouldsave at least $60 billion over ten years.29 We supportcontinued funding for the Patriot and Aegis missile defensesystems, which are funded primarily by the Army and Navy,respectively.

15. Cut the Pentagon civilian workforce.
A smaller military requires fewer civilian support personnel. Wepropose reducing the Pentagon civilian workforce by nearly a third,saving $105 billion over ten years. Most of the cuts could beachieved through attrition. The Government Accountability Officeestimated in 2009 that more than half of DoD’s civilian workforceeligible to retire in the next few years.30 The civilianworkforce will total 789,000 in FY2011 at a cost of $77.07 billion.Reducing the civilian payroll by 30 percent over a ten‐​year periodwould save approximately $105 billion. This estimate mirrors largerreductions in personnel made between 1991 and 2001, when civilianmanpower was reduced by roughly 35 percent and civiliancompensation declined by roughly 25 percent.

16. Reform the calculation of military compensation andrestructure health care benefits.31
Elements of military compensation, including tax advantages andhousing allowances, are not now included in the pay raisecalculations pegged to changes in the civilian sector.32We propose changing this. Phasing in this change from 2011 – 2020would save $55 billion. Premiums for DoD’s health care system,TRICARE, have not risen since the program’s inception.33Lower premiums encourage many working‐​age military retirees tochoose TRICARE instead of health coverage available through theiremployer. According to a June 2009 CBO report, reform of TRICAREcould save more than $60 billion over the 2011 – 2020period.34

17. Reform DoD Maintenance and SupplySystems.35
By reforming DoD maintenance and supply systems, the military couldsave $13 billion over 10 years. Reforms include consolidating DoDretailing, changing DoD’s depot pricing structure for equipmentrepairs, and easing restrictions on depot maintenancecontracting.

18. Reduce RDT&E (Research, Development, Test andEvaluation) expenditures by 10 percent.
Over the period FY 2011 – 2015, DoD plans to spend an average of$72.9 billion annually on RDT&E. The Pentagon should reducetotal RDT&E spending by ten percent annually, generating atleast $70 billion in savings over ten years. Given our weak rivals,the reduced spending levels far exceed what is required to maintainthe U.S. military’s qualitative superiority for the foreseeablefuture. Additional reductions in RDT&E are captured above inchanges to, or cancellations of, specific programs.

19. Reduce expenditures on Command, Support, andInfrastructure.36
If the cuts listed above are implemented, the portion of the DoDbudget that funds headquarters, central support, infrastructure,and other defense‐​wide programs should also be reduced. Less forcestructure and personnel require less infrastructure and support.Assuming these reductions to be 2 percent of the non‐​war budget,approximately $10 billion per year, this would add to $100 billionin savings for the 2011 – 2020 period.

1Debt, Deficits, and Defense: A Way Forward,Report of the Sustainable Defense Task Force (June 11, 2010),http://​www​.comw​.org/pda/
2 Eugene Gholz, Daryl G. Press, and Harvey M. Sapolsky,“Come Home, America: The Strategy of Restraint in the Face ofTemptation,” International Security, Vol. 21, No. 4(Spring 1997): 5 – 48; Barry Posen, “The Case for Restraint,” TheAmerican Interest, Vol. 3, No. 1 (November/​December 2007):7 – 17; Harvey M. Sapolsky, Benjamin H. Friedman, Eugene Gholz andDaryl G. Press, “Restraining Order: For Strategic Modesty,“World Affairs Journal, Vol. 172, No. 2 (Fall 2009): 84 – 94.These ideas are radical today in Washington, but that is a newphenomenon. The restraint view is consistent with much realistthought, and until recently realists formed a large part of theAmerican foreign policy community. George Kennan and DwightEisenhower would likely have agreed with much of what is proposedhere. Kennan and other Cold War realists like Hans Morgenthau werethemselves inheritors of a tradition of American foreign policythought that runs back the nation’s founders, who would recognizehere a remnant of their belief that the duty of United Statesabroad is to be an example of liberal values, not their armedvindicator. From a broader intellectual and historical perspective,what is radical is the bipartisan belief that our military forcesshould serve a foreign policy built around the pretension that weare the world’s indispensable nation, preventing all instability,protecting freedom everywhere, and guiding history.
3 Secretary Gates’ welcome initiative to increase theportion of the defense spending going to force modernization (whichwould not cut the bottom line) aims to shift $101 billion over fiveyears, with two thirds of those savings coming from cuts in supportand overhead. Those cuts amount to an average of $13 billion ayear, less than 2.5% of this year’s total request. That may be anambitious estimate of what efficiency gains can yield.
4 Harvey M. Sapolsky, “The Inter‐​Service CompetitionSolution,” Breakthroughs, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Spring1996):1 – 3.
5 Justin Logan and Christopher Preble, “Failed Statesand Flawed Logic: the Case against a Standing Nation‐​BuildingOffice,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis 560 (January 2006).
6 Robert Pape, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic ofSuicide Terrorism (New York: Random House, 2005).
7 Stephen Van Evera, “Primed for Peace: Europe After theCold War,” International Security, Vol.15, No. 3 (Winter1990/​91), pp. 7 – 57.
8 Eugene Gholz and Daryl G. Press, “The Effects of Warson Neutral Countries: Why It Doesn’t Pay to Preserve the Peace,“Security Studies, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Summer 2001):1 – 57.
9 Sapolsky et al., “Restraining Order,” pp. 88 – 89.
10 Justin Logan, Charles Zakaib, Jaren Kuchta, and HansLango of the Cato Institute provided invaluable analytical supportin the development of these proposals.
11 Robert Gates, “Navy League Sea‐​Air‐​Space Exposition,” National Harbor, Maryland, May 3, 2010,http://​www​.defense​.gov/​s​p​e​e​c​h​e​s​/​s​p​e​e​c​h​.​a​s​p​x​?​s​p​e​e​c​h​i​d​=1460.
12 A recent article published by the chief of the AirForce Strategic Plans and Policy Division and two Air Force WarCollege professors concludes that as few as 311 nuclear warheadswould constitute an effective deterrent. James Wood Forsyth Jr.,Col. B. Chance Saltzman, and Gary Schaub Jr., “Remembrance ofThings Past: The Enduring Value of Nuclear Weapons,” StrategicStudies Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Spring 2010): 74 – 89.
13 As currently configured, each SSBN carries 96thermonuclear warheads (24 missiles, each with four warheads).Current plans call for reducing the number of warheads per missileto three.
14 This proposal finds support in a report published bythe Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for AirpowerStudies. Dana J. Johnson, Christopher J. Bowie, and Robert P.Haffa, Triad, Dyad, Monad? Shaping the US Nuclear Force for theFuture, Mitchell Paper 5 (Arlington VA: Mitchell InstitutePress, December 2009).
15 This is a conservative estimate that draws on a studyby the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). It ismethodologically consistent with a proposal by the SustainableDefense Task Force (SDTF). Actual savings are likely to exceed $10billion per year. The CSBA study, which projected a nuclear arsenalof 1,050 warheads, calculates annual savings of $10.7 billionrelative to the Bush administration’s present and projected nucleararsenal. Steven M. Kosiak, Spending on US Strategic NuclearForces: Plans and Options for the 21st Century (Washington DC:Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, 2006). The SDTFreport builds on this proposal, identifying additional savings of$650 million per year by including additional cuts in theOhio‐​class submarine fleet; canceling the planned purchase ofTrident II missiles and planned upgrades for nuclear cruisemissiles; eliminating operations and maintenance costs for thebomber leg of the nuclear triad; and foregoing the costs to upgradethe F‑35 Joint Strike Fighter to carry nuclear weapons. Debts,Deficits, and Defense: A Way Forward, pp. 14 – 15.
16 Manned bombers, chiefly B‑52s and B‑2s, would bemaintained for their long‐​range conventional strikecapabilities.
17 Congressional Budget Office, Budget Options:Volume 2, Pub. No. 3191, August 2009, p. 7. Our estimates ofsavings from Army and Marine Corps reductions are conservative.Given trends in the cost of compensation and health care, DefenseDepartment projections of Total Obligational Authority for the Armyand Marine Corps during 2011 – 2015 are unrealistic.
18 U.S. Navy projections taken from Ronald O’Rourke,Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background andIssues for Congress, Congressional Research Service ReportRL32665, December 22, 2009.
19 Ronald O’Rourke, Navy Ford (CVN-78) ClassAircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress,Congressional Research Service Report RS20643, December 22,2009.
20 Costs for O&M were derived from the U.S. Navy’s1996 Visibility and Management of Operating and Support Costs(VAMOSC) database, which were inflated using metrics from theNational Defense Budget Estimates for FY 2011 (Green Book),published by the Department of Defense. Many thanks to CharlesKnight for his work on these figures. All naval O&M figureswere calculated by this method.
21 Ronald O’Rourke, Navy Attack SubmarineProcurement: Background and Issues for Congress, CongressionalResearch Service Report RL32418, December 22, 2009.
22 For background on these programs, see RonaldO’Rourke, Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs:Background and Issues for Congress, Congressional ResearchService Report RL32109, December 23, 2009.
23 Navy plans call for removing the 30 remaining OliverHazard Perry Class frigates by 2020. On the cost of refurbishment,see “News Release: Pakistan — Refurbishment of Oliver Hazard PerryClass Frigate,” Defense Security Cooperation Agency, February 19,2010,‑b/2010/Pakistan_09-28.pdf.
24 The Perrys typically require 200 men. LCS is supposedto deploy with fewer than 100 sailors. Net savings from foregoingconstruction of the LCSs and the refurbishment of the frigatestotal $12.3 billion, minus $1.6 billion in additional personnelcosts. 25Budget Options: Volume 2, p. 13.
26 For current Air Force plans, see “2010 United StatesAir Force Posture Statement,” Department of the Air Force, February9, 2010,….
27 Government Accountability Office, DefenseAcquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs,GAO-10 – 388SP, March 2010, p. 61.
28 Ibid., p. 131.
29 CBO has analyzed canceling programs including theFar‐​Term Sea‐​Based Terminal Defense, Sensor Development, MissileDefense Space Experimentation Center, and Special ProgramsBudget Options, Volume 2, p. 21. That reduction would save$11.25 billion over the next five years and $40.09 billion over thenext ten.
30 Government Accountability Office, Human Capital:Opportunities Exist to Build on Recent Progress to Strengthen DOD’sCivilian Human Capital Strategic Plan, GAO-09 – 235, February2009, p. 1.
31Debts, Deficits, and Defense: A Way Forward,p. 26. On other proposals for reforming military pay and benefits,see Cindy Williams, ed., Filling the Ranks: Transforming the U.S.Military Personnel System, (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004).32Report of The Tenth Quadrennial Review of MilitaryCompensation, Volumes I & II (Washington DC: Department ofDefense, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness,February 2008, July 2008). 33 From 1995 to 2009, theTRICARE program saw no increases in co‐​pays. The Pentagon hasregularly called for such increases, but Congress routinely rejectsthem. Tom Philpott, “Gates: Retiree TRICARE Fees Should Rise,“, April 16, 2009,http://​www​.mil​i​tary​.com/​f​e​a​t​u​r​e​s​/​0​,​1​5​2​4​0​,​1​8​9​1​4​5​,​0​0​.html.34 Congressional Budget Office, The Effects ofProposals to Increase Cost Sharing in TRICARE, Pub. No. 3201,June 2009. Note that here, some of DoD’s savings are being shiftedto the private sector. 35 Taken from Debts,Deficits, and Defense, p. 27. See also Budget Options,Volume 2, pp. 28 – 33. 36 Taken from Debts,Deficits, and Defense, p. 27.

Benjamin H. Friedman

Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
United States House of Representatives