"Nobody does defense policy better than CSBA. Their work on strategic and budgetary topics manages to combine first-rate quality and in-depth research with timeliness and accessibility—which is why so many professionals consider their products indispensable." – Gideon Rose, Editor, Foreign Affairs.
Future Vertical Lift (FVL) is a force structure recapitalization effort to design and procure a family of rotary-wing platforms capable of operations in future highly contested environments. The Army’s FVL is the leading edge of an effort that has identified the need for a rotary-wing Family of Systems that can deliver five capability sets for joint use across the Services. Due to budgetary limitations and force modernization priorities, the Army is currently pursuing only two of these capability sets, but they still represent a significant effort for the Army, as they are the first new helicopters designed since the mid-1980s.
The shale revolution has upended nearly a half-century of American energy insecurity. The United States is now the most energy-secure it has been since the 1970s and has returned to its position as the world’s leading energy producer.
In May 2021, the Pentagon presented its first budget request to the Biden Administration, proposing a $715 billion topline for Fiscal Year 2022, representing a 0.2 percent real decrease relative to the previous fiscal year. In a shift from previous budgets, the request also included contingency operations costs within DoD's base budget, eliminating the separate Other Contingency Operations (OCO) account that has supplemented the Defense Department's budget for two decades.
One of the essential hallmarks of deterrence is the ability to effectively detect – and therefore prepare for – a potential adversary’s hostile action in a timely fashion. Just as the threat of effective retaliation must be credible, deterrence also depends on a robust ability to identify and assess aggressive acts, including acts of coercion that fall below the threshold of kinetic conflict. Recent Chinese actions toward Taiwan, for example, have heightened the conviction among U.S. and allied defense planners that effective, interoperable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems are essential for the security of the entire Indo-Pacific theater.
At the individual level, organizations within the Department of the Navy's research and development ecosystem house significant talent and engage in innovative research at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines and technologies that could maintain the U.S. Navy’s technological advantage. However, the Navy’s current unmanned autonomous systems R&D construct has an opportunity to continue improving the organization of this effort to further expand and leverage its recent efforts.
This report summarizes the findings of two Strategic Choices Exercises hosted by The Ronald Reagan Institute and CSBA in October 2020, convening a bipartisan group of senior defense and budget experts, current and former policy makers, and industry leaders. The initiative was supported by the National Defense Industrial Association.