Past Event

A Unified Security Budget

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT

A Unified Security Budget

Miriam Pemberton, Research Fellow, Foreign Policy in Focus
Lawrence J. Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and Senior Advisor, Center for Defense Information

Moderated by:
Joseph Cirincione, Senior Associate and Director of the Non-Proliferation Project, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

On May 3, the House Armed Services Committee takes up the administration’s request for national defense spending. If the Committee is true to form, it will rubber-stamp the administration’s request. Many of the big security questions will have gone unasked, such as: to protect against nuclear terrorism, should we be spending more on missile defenses or the coast guard? The President’s request favors missile defenses, despite widespread agreement that a nuclear weapon is more likely to arrive via an American port than a ballistic missile with a return address.

That same day, a Task Force of leading national security experts will release a study which poses those big questions. It will outline a rebalancing of national security spending to better reflect today’s security environment.

Convened by Foreign Policy in Focus and the Center for Defense Information, the Task Force argues for a unified national security budget that integrates the offensive, defensive, and preventive elements of our national defense and assesses tradeoffs among all three components. The budgets of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, Treasury and Energy can no longer be viewed separately when the concerns that motivate them are shared. To confront the reality of today’s national security environment, we must look beyond the usual arguments over military hardware and direct more funds to programs ranging from energy and homeland security to nonproliferation and diplomacy

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Miriam Pemberton is a Research Fellow at Foreign Policy in Focus, a joint project of the Institute for Policy Studies and the International Relations Center. For the past three years she has co-chaired the Task Force that produces the Unified Security Budget. Her writing recently has focused on federal budget priorities, military spending and the economic costs of the Iraq war. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Lawrence J. Korb is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Senior Advisor to the Center for Defense Information. He was Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration (1981-85). Prior to joining the Center, he was a Senior Fellow and Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. From July 1998 to October 2002, he was Council Vice President, Director of Studies, and holder of the Maurice Greenberg Chair. Prior to joining the Council, Mr. Korb served as Director of the Center for Public Policy Education and Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, Dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, and Vice President of Corporate Operations at the Raytheon Company. Mr. Korb served as Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Logistics) from 1981 through 1985. In that position, he administered about 70 percent of the Defense budget. For his service in that position, he was awarded the Department of Defense’s medal for Distinguished Public Service. Mr. Korb served on active duty for four years as Naval Flight Officer, and retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Captain.

Joseph Cirincione is the author of Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction (Carnegie Endowment, 2002) and a senior associate in and director of the Non-Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC. He is a frequent commentator on proliferation and security issues in the media, and teaches at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service. Cirincione worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives: six years on the professional staff of the Committee on Armed Services and three and one-half years on the Committee on Government Operations, and served as staff director of the Military Reform Caucus under Congressmen Tom Ridge and Charles Bennett.