Engage America  Series

The WACA National Office partners with think tanks, foundations, NGOs, corporations, and occasionally government agencies to arrange timely "national conversations" at several World Affairs Councils across the country on critical international topics.

How Much for Defense (Center for International Policy)

Presented by Center for International Policy

The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce its partnership with the Center for International Policy on a new Engage America Speaker Series focused on U.S. defense spending.


About the Program
As the United States begins to emerge from more than a decade of war, its policymakers have begun to focus on a debate over how best to address the security threats of the 21st Century. Over the past decade, the Pentagon has received an unprecedented increase in its budget, bringing it to the highest levels since World War II. As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen has noted, at times this generous flow of funds has reduced budget discipline and relieved the Pentagon of the need to make "hard choices" in deciding how best to defend the country. Meanwhile, as the nation struggles with a mounting debt, non-military components of foreign policy such as diplomacy and international economic development have seen dramatic cutbacks.


Now, with policymakers embroiled in a series of budget battles, it is time to begin making Adm. Mullen's hard choices. To do so involves a rethinking of national security and foreign policy. It is a debate that must be had but to-date has too often been dominated by partisan politics and parochial interests.


At a time when the greatest threats to the country include nuclear proliferation, cyber-attacks, and mass casualty terrorism, what balance should be struck between tradi


policy tool kit play in addressing and preventing our most urgent national security challenges?  What role should our allies play in this new security environment?  And what do the answers to these and other related questions tell us about how much to spend for defense, and for what purposes?


As President Eisenhower noted in his farewell address over 50 years ago, the key to forging an effective national security policy is "an alert and knowledgeable citizenry." Toward that end, the Center for International Policy is offering a policy forum to local councils of the World Affairs Councils of America. These forums include insight and analysis from some of the leading experts on these important issues whose experience includes working in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, as well as working at our nation's leading think tanks.


Selected Councils:

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