Pentagon Budget: Beneath the Hype

Three nationally recognized experts on the costs of the wars, the first post-Rumsfeld Pentagon spending plan, and the defense budget games Washington plays

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008 , at 10:00 a.m. , the Security Policy Working Group will hold a press briefing at the National Press Club to discuss the new defense budget released on Feb. 4, 2008 . Speakers include Linda Bilmes, professor of budgeting and public finance at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; Steven Kosiak, vice president for budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information.

Rather than the all-too-common recitation of how many dollars are to be spent on what programs, simple calculations of "real growth," and summaries of Pentagon press releases, these individuals will apply their more than 80 years of national security and economic experience to three core national security issue areas:

-- What are the actual budgetary and economic costs of Iraq conflict? Why is $3 trillion the right answer? What have other analyses missed?

-- What is fundamentally new in Robert Gates' first Pentagon budget, and what isn't? Have any of the longstanding trends been altered? What are the implications for the next president?

-- Will new initiatives, if any, change anything in Iraq and Afghanistan or the requirements articulated by the military services for accelerating budget growth as far as the eye can see? Will the Democratic Congress make things better, or worse?

The press briefing will be held at the National Press Club's Lisagor Room from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. To RSVP, please contact Suzanne Ostrofsky at or 202.797.5273 or Ana Marte at or 202.332.0900.

Security Policy Working Group (SPWG), a project of Proteus Fund, is a collaborative policy research consortium, seeking to reshape security policy in the United States and to broaden the public discourse on what constitutes security in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. Membership organizations include the Center for Defense Information, the Center for Budgetary and Strategic Analysis, Economists for Peace and Security, the National Priorities Project, the Project for Defense Alternatives, the Graduate Program in International Affairs at New York University, the MIT Security Studies Program, and the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute.

CONTACT: Suzanne Ostrofsky


SOURCE Security Policy Working Group