Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 12/2014

Strategy and Force Planning in a Time of Austerity

Michael J. Meese

May 2014

Institute for National Strategic Studies


Force planning and defense budgeting processes that may work well with spending increases have significant problems with budget reductions under austerity. The current U.S. fiscal crisis and political polarization make strategic planning and defense decisionmaking difficult. As part of strategy, defense leaders need to engage in a credible dialogue about austerity, to include discussing fiscal policy and nondefense spending.