2014 FPI Forum: Providing for the Common Defense

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Providing for the Common Defense

Ambassador Eric S. Edelman, Board Member, Foreign Policy Initiative

Representative Jim Marshall (D-GA), Member, National Defense Panel

Vago Muradian, Editor, Defense News (Moderator)

Video  |  Key Quotes Transcript


Key Quotes

The thesis of the National Defense Panel “boils down to a question of whether or not the United States is going to continue to play the role we’ve played since 1945 of providing global public goods and a framework for international order and a rules-based international system, and that essentially we’re at … a turning point, an inflection point if you will. If we don’t get rid of sequester and the [Budget Control Act] caps on the defense budget … the United States will not be able in the future to continue to play that role.”

– Ambassador Eric Edelman

The reason the National Defense Panel “picked the Gates FY ’12 proposed budget [as a benchmark for its recommendations] was in part because Secretary Gates quite clearly was very cost-containment conscious. He had already directed massive cuts to the budget for the Defense Department, so we thought that the Gates budget would have a lot of credibility. It was the last time that the department was free to plan based on strategy as opposed to planning based on budget availability. And we thought that you could hardly argue that that budget was too generous, because Gates was very aggressive about cost-cutting within the department.”

– Representative Jim Marshall (D-GA)

“To me it is incomprehensible how any successful [nuclear] agreement [with Iran] could be reached without dealing with past military dimensions and the ballistic missile program. … How do you have a verification regime for such an agreement if you haven’t understood exactly what they were doing on the military side in the past? How would you even know where to look if you haven’t got resolution on all of those questions?”

– Ambassador Eric Edelman

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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