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"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.

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Studies

How I Learned To Start Worrying And Hate Real Growth: Analysis of the 2023 Defense Budget Request

In May 2022, the Pentagon presented its second budget request to the Biden Administration, proposing a $773 billion topline for Fiscal Year 2023. Although estimates of nominal and real growth have varied based on this figure, the question of inflation’s impact on the defense budget looms large. Congress recognizes that accepting the Administration’s request as-is would lead to slim pickings when it comes to funding the DoD’s priorities, but the question remains whether to approve a large increase to avoid a purchasing power gap or to continue the trend of minor budgetary increases. 

Studies

China’s Choices: A New Tool for Assessing the PLA’s Modernization

All militaries confront resource tradeoffs. As China and the United States enter a period of intensifying military competition, understanding the tradeoffs the two must face and their likely consequences will become ever more important. Yet, without a better understanding of China’s own resourcing constraints and associated vulnerabilities, policymakers lack the critical insights to holistically assess the state of the competition and develop effective strategies.

Studies

Deterrence and Defense in the Baltic Region

Deterrence and Defense in the Baltic Region examines security requirements for the Baltic States and NATO in the context of Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine. The war has provided an opportunity to understand the implications for NATO's eastern flank stemming from Russia's demonstrated willingness to use large-scale military force against another European nation, reassess pre-war assumptions concerning putative Russian military effectiveness, and to draw preliminary observations about Russian and Ukrainian combat performance. 

Studies

Living Within One’s Means: Revisiting Defense Acquisition and Affordability

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.

Studies

Slow and Steady: Analysis of the 2022 Defense Budget Request

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.