National Security Needs Must Drive Defense Budget Process

January 29, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
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A list of national security needs will be serving as the template for how the new defense force will be designed in the time of budgetary constraints, said the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Speaking to a packed house at the morning keynote address at AFCEA/USNI West 2013 in San Diego, Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., USN, told the audience that this list must be the decision basis for a force that can operate with reduced funding.

These criteria include elements for ensuring the survival of the nation; ensuring the security of the global economic structure; preventing catastrophic attacks on the United States; protecting allies; protecting Americans abroad; and protecting universal values.

These criteria will be articulated as “a unified field theory,” the admiral said. The best chance for the military to acquire or keep assets that it considers important will be if those assets represent several of these criteria, he emphasized.


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