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What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Means for Defense

The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012, signed into law on January 2, 2013, averted much of what has become known as the “fiscal cliff.” While the bill mostly deals with automatic changes scheduled to take effect for tax rates and programs such as Medicare and unemployment insurance, it also makes several important changes to sequestration that affect the Department of Defense (DoD). Specifically, it delays sequestration by two months, reduces the amount of cuts in proportion to the delay, and alters the way the budget caps are applied in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. This backgrounder details how the new law alters sequestration and what it means for defense.


Analysis of the FY2013 Defense Budget and Sequestration

For the first time since the sequestration process was triggered in late 2011, Todd Harrison offers a comprehensive account-by-account and outlays analysis of its potential impact on the DoD budget.


The Geostrategic Return of the Philippines

As the Obama administration executes its strategic “pivot” to the Western Pacific in the face of China’s military buildup, it is rediscovering the importance of a long-standing ally in the region.


The Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Budget: Continuity or Change?

DoD preview of the budget left few surprises for the actual budget release. What is more interesting in this budget request are the major changes that were not made—the dogs that didn’t bark


Strategy in a Year of Fiscal Uncertainty

Defense strategy is about choices. In peacetime, strategy is often expressed in the budget as choices among different types of weapon systems and force structure. Bernard Brodie, writing in a 1959 RAND report, noted, “We do not have and probably never will have enough money to buy all the things we could effectively use for our defense. The choices we have to make would be difficult and painful even if our military budget were twice what it is today.” He went on to write, “In


Backgrounder: Operating from Range to Defeat Iran’s Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threats

The Obama administration has released new strategic guidance for the Department of Defense (DoD) that announces its intent to “rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region” and maintain the capability to “project power despite anti-access and area-denial challenges.” As the U.S. military assesses planning and resource initiatives required to support these objectives, it should not forget the need to address Iran’s emerging anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) strategy and the threat that it represents to the peace and stability of the Persian Gulf.