Budgets for National Security and International Affairs

Presidents are required by law to articulate a national security strategy. Unless backed by money and other resources, however, such strategy documents are little more than rhetoric. Real strategy means setting priorities and allocating resources to them—generally in the form of money and people.

The project explores how the U.S. government goes about the business of planning and resource allocation. It looks at organizations and processes in the Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security and in other executive branch agencies, in the White House, and in Congress. It examines how budgets are formulated as well as what they pay for, and considers how both could be improved.

Related Publications:

Gordon Adams and Cindy Williams, Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home (Routledge 2010)

Cindy Williams, “The U.S. Defense Budget,” Statement before the Committee on the Budget, United States Senate (February 23, 2010).

J. Michael Gilmore and Cindy Williams, “Costs and Benefits of the Global War on Terror,” Proceedings of the 2008 Defense Economics Conference, The Economics of War (Institute for Defense Analyses: Alexandria, VA, 2008 and 2009).

Cindy Williams, “Research Priorities at DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate,” Statement before the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, Committee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives (October 27, 2009).

Cindy Williams and Gordon Adams, Strengthening Statecraft and Security: Reforming U.S. Planning and Resource Allocation (MIT Security Studies Program Occasional Paper, June 2008).

Cindy Williams, “Strengthening Homeland Security: Reforming Planning and Resource Allocation,” Report for the 2008 Presidential Transition Series of the IBM Center for the Business of Government (Washington, D.C.: IBM, 2008).

Cindy Williams, “Paying for Homeland Security: Show Me the Money,” MIT Center for International Studies Audit of the Conventional Wisdom, May 2007.

Managed by Dr. Cindy Williams, a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Security Studies Program. Dr. Williams collaborates on this project with Dr. Gordon Adams, a Professor of International Affairs at the School of International Service at American University and Director of the Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense Program at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington, DC