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CSBA’s Mahnken on National Security Strategy, Priorities

Thomas Mahnken, president and CEO of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, discusses National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster’s preview of President Donald Trump’s national security strategy, identifies priorities, and more during a Dec. 2, 2017, interview with Defense & Aerospace Report Editor Vago Muradian. The interview was conducted during the 2017 Reagan National Defense Forum, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. Our coverage is sponsored by Leonardo DRS.

In the News

America Needs to Step Up the Military to Keep China at Bay

According to a report by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, “In constant dollars, defense spending fell from $768 billion in 2010 to $595 billion in 2015, a decline of nearly one-fourth, and President Obama’s final budget request was for only $583 billion” The report cited defense analyst Katherine Blakely, who has written that the rate of this drawdown “has been faster than any other post-war drawdown since the Korean War at a compound annual growth rate of -5.5 percent.” History will rightly assign the reigning commander-in-chief the lion’s share of the blame, but the so called military spending “sequester” was a bipartisan act that has yet to be reversed.

In the News

Kushner Has No Idea What He Is Saying About the Middle East

Eric Edelman, former ambassador to Turkey, tells me, “The Palestinian-Israeli conflict deserves to be settled — on its own terms.” He continues, “For years the conventional wisdom was that the key to resolving the conflicts of and providing security in the Middle East was an Arab-Israeli peace deal. It was never true.” However, “to put it back at the center of things now, when the strategic circumstances and conflicts in the region are in so much turmoil and so clearly disconnected from anything to do with the occupied territories, is really surprising and also a little disheartening,” he observes.