Do Defense Plans and Budgets Add Up? The Quadrennial Defense Review in Context

Thursday, March 13


Congressman J. Randy Forbes, House Armed Services Committee

Dr. Steven P. Bucci, The Heritage Foundation

Todd Harrison, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

 Mackenzie Eaglen, American Enterprise Institute


Christopher J. Griffin, Foreign Policy Initiative

The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) was intended to determine the size and cost of the armed forces America needs to fulfill its strategic obligations. However, since its creation, the effort has largely failed to meet expectations. With the latest strategy just released, did the Pentagon get it right this time?
Please join Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA), AEI, the Heritage Foundation, and the Foreign Policy Initiative for a timely discussion on the 2014 QDR and the future of American defense strategy in an era of constrained budgets.

Speaker Biographies

Congressman J. Randy Forbes, elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2001, serves on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) as Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and as a member of the Readiness Subcommittee. Congressman Forbes is a leading voice in Congress on defense and national security related issues. In addition to his role on HASC, Representative Forbes is also a member of the Committee on the Judiciary, as well as the Congressional China Caucus, among others. Before coming to Congress, he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Virginia State Senate, and Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

Dr. Steven P. Bucci is director of the Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy and the Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation for all issues involving homeland security and defense.  Prior to joining The Heritage Foundation in 2012, Dr. Bucci previously was a lead consultant to IBM on cyber security policy, and prior to that served America for three decades as an Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official. As commander of 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces, he led deployments to eastern Africa, South Asia and the Persian Gulf -- including Operation Desert Thunder in 1998 in response to Saddam Hussein’s threats to violate the no-fly zone over Iraq. Dr. Bucci assumed the duties of the Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld on 1 July 2001. He continued to serve as the Staff Director of the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2005 and was next appointed to serve as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Homeland Defense and Defense Support to Civil Authorities. Dr. Bucci is also an adjunct professor of leadership at George Mason University and an associate professor of terrorism studies and cyber security policy at Long Island University. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in international relations in 1986 and 1987 from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Bucci also is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Hellenic Army War College in Greece and the Senior Seminar of the Department of State.

Todd Harrison is the senior fellow for defense budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Mr. Harrison joined CSBA in 2009 from Booz Allen Hamilton, where he supported clients across the Department of Defense, assessing challenges to modernization initiatives and evaluating the performance of acquisition programs. He previously worked in the aerospace industry developing advanced space systems and technologies and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Mr. Harrison frequently contributes to print and broadcast media and has appeared on CNBC, CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera English, and Fox News. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both a B.S. and an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Mackenzie Eaglen is a resident fellow in the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. She has worked on defense issues in the U.S. Congress, both House and Senate, and at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff. She specializes in defense strategy, budget, military readiness and the defense industrial base. In 2010, Ms. Eaglen served as a staff member of the congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission established to assess the Pentagon's major defense strategy. A prolific writer on defense related issues, she has also testified before Congress.

Christopher J. Griffin is the executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). Previously, he served as legislative director to Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (ID-CT), and between 2008 and 2011, was the senator’s military legislative assistant, with responsibility for the senator's legislative agenda as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Prior to joining Senator Lieberman's staff, Mr. Griffin was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy (2005-2008), where he focused on U.S. foreign and defense policy toward the Asia-Pacific. During his time at AEI, Mr. Griffin was also a contributing editor to the Armed Forces Journal, writing feature articles on international defense industrial cooperation and a monthly column titled the "Blogs of War." Mr. Griffin's writings have been published in The Washington PostThe Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Mr. Griffin received a B.A. in international studies from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and an M.A. in international studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.

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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