Real Specifics:  15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part I:  Budgeting for a Modern Military


When: Friday, February 22, 2013 • 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Where: The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium • 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW • Washington, DC • spacer Map

Media Inquiries: Lindsey Underwood • 202/797-6082 •

General Inquiries: Laura Howell • 202/797-4360 •


Although the president and Congress averted the so-called “fiscal cliff” at the start of the year, budget battles continue in Washington as lawmakers must now agree on specific ways to reduce spending and/or raise revenues.  As a large contributor to the nation’s debt, rising military spending remains a controversial area of discussion.

On February 22nd, The Hamilton Project at Brookings hosted a forum and released new proposals on ways to create greater efficiency in the U.S. defense budget while maintaining our national security.

Retired four-star Admiral Gary Roughead, a former chief of Naval Operations; Kori Schake, a reserach fellow at the Hoover Institution; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Cindy Williams, a former assistant director of the Congressional Budget Office, offered two new proposals for reducing future defense budgets. The authors were joined by former Deputy Secretary of Defense John Deutch, former Undersecretary for Defense Michèle Flournoy, and former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) for a roundtable discussion on the new proposals, and a broader discussion around the dynamics of ongoing defense budget negotiations.  Following the roundtable, the panelists took audience questions.

This forum kicked off a two-part series, during which The Hamilton Project will inject 15 specific, independent ideas into long-standing debates over addressing the federal budget deficit.  The second event will be held on February 26th in Washington, DC.



Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations; Former U.S. Treasury Secretary

Roundtable Discussion

Author:  Adm. Gary Roughead (Ret.), Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Former Chief of Naval Operations

Author:  Cindy Williams, Principal Research Scientist, Securities Studies Program, MIT; Former Assistant Director, Congressional Budget Office

Discussant:  John Deutch, Institute Professor, MIT; Former Director of Central Intelligence; Former Deputy Secretary of Defense; Former Undersecretary of Energy

Discussant:  Michèle Flournoy, Senior Adviser at the Boston Consulting Group; Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy

Discussant:  The Hon. Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative, Inc.; Former U.S. Senator (D-Ga.)

Moderator:  Michael Greenstone, Senior Fellow and Director, The Hamilton Project, The Brookings Institution

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