Common Defense Campaign

About Common Defense Campaign

Winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and promoting affordable security.

The Center for International Policy’s Common Defense Campaign has three specific goals: 1) to wind down the war in Afghanistan; 2) complete the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq; and 3) make real, lasting cuts in the military budget.  An equally important but harder to quantify goal is to change the way America relates to the rest of the world.  Gone are the days when America could go it alone.

America spends well over one trillion dollars a year on the military when spending by other government departments is included, including the Energy Department’s budget for nuclear weapons and $81 billion for intelligence agencies.  Given that America’s annual deficit is about one-and-a-half trillion dollars, one could argue that military spending is all borrowed money.

The growing consensus that military spending must be brought under control presents an historic opportunity to both cut spending and also to reevaluate how and when America uses its military forces.  We see an opportunity for an alliance with conservatives who share our skepticism about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and believe that the Pentagon budget is rife with waste and unnecessary spending that has nothing to do with national defense.

The Common Defense Campaign coordinates the work of CIP’s five security projects: the Afghanistan Study Group, the Win Without War coalition, the Arms & Security Project, the Project on Defense Alternatives and the National Security Project.

The Littoral Combat Ship: The Warship That Can’t Go to War

By Jacob Marx

Aug-26-2014 | Policy Brief

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is the Navy’s response to perceived changes in naval warfare and falling budgets. In theory, the LCS is a multifaceted and cost-effective answer to these requirements. In reality, the LCS is an overpriced, underperforming vessel that does not meet current needs and is a bad deal for taxpayers... Read More »

Report to Supporters Spring 2014

By Bill Goodfellow

May-19-2014 | Report

2014 has been a successful year so far with major advances in reshaping defense spending, curbing tax evasion and advancing awareness on global climate change... Read More »

Promising the Sky: Pork Barrel Politics and the F-35 Combat Aircraft

By William D. Hartung

Jan-22-2014 | Report

Lockheed Martin's assertions that the development and construction of the F-35 combat aircraft sustains 125,000 jobs in 46 states are exaggerated says Hartung, and his latest report documents how the real number is roughly half of what Lockheed Martin claims... Read More »

What Obama Should Have Said: Alternatives to Another War

By Stephen Miles

Sep-12-2014 | Article

While the professional punditry has busied itself debating just how many bombs should fall and where, we should be asking ourselves, is American military force really the smartest way to address the threat we face from ISIS? The clear answer is no.... Read More »

We Already Have Boots on the Ground in Iraq

By William D. Hartung

Sep-11-2014 | Article

Carrying out the president's new strategy of "destroying" ISIS could mean thousands of more boots on the ground... Read More »

Perpetual War, and Shame, Is Our Policy

By Matthew Hoh

Sep-11-2014 | Article

As long as the United States is shackled with the debilitating psychosis of 9/11 and the resultant moral weakness of our elected officials, the Middle East will be full of targets for our bombs, Iraqi and Syrian mothers and fathers will raise children destined to kill and be killed, jihadist narratives of Crusaders will be validated, and our perpetual war will be as boundless as our shame... Read More »

Recent Posts from our Blogs

Presidents and the CIA: From Truman to Obama

Jun-03-14 | The National Archives at Kansas City

Dr. Goodman will describe the successes and failures of the Central Intelligence Agency from the perspective of the relationship between the U.S. Presidency and the CIA... Read More »

National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism

Nov-07-13 | Space: Bonchek Lecture Hall Building: Ann & Richard Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building

Melvin Goodman, who worked at the Central Intelligence Agency for 24 years and who taught at the National War College for over a decade will speak on his latest book... Read More »

Afghanistan: Past, Present and Future

Oct-18-13 | 2000 M Street NW Conference Room A

Please join us in a lively discussion on how Afghanistan’s rich history will affect its future with two experts who have over 80 years of combined experience analyzing the country’s historical and socio-political context... Read More »

US Policy on Syria: War or Diplomacy?

By Carl Conetta

Sep-23-2013 | Fact Sheet

A selection of critical views and proposals on the way forward with Syria... Read More »

The American Public's View on U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

By Stephen Miles, Angela Miller

Sep-04-2013 | Fact Sheet

Win Without War compiled a fact sheet on opinions in the U.S. about a potential military intervention in Syria... Read More »

Four Decades of US Defense Spending

By Carl Conetta, Charles Knight,

Jan-25-2013 | Fact Sheet

A one page review and assessment of the change in US defense spending over 40 years... Read More »

CIP in the Press