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Net Assessment

May 13, 2021

Chris, Melanie, and Zack, discuss Frank Hoffman’s recent War on the Rocks essay, “U.S. Defense Strategy after the Pandemic,” which makes the case for adjusting U.S. strategic objectives in light of flat or declining Pentagon budgets over the next few years. While the Pentagon might intend “to implement the 2018 National Defense Strategy as if the pandemic and recession never happened,” Hoffman explains, we “should evaluate US national security strategy under much more austere defense spending scenarios.” And now we can. As it happens, War on the Rocks, in partnership with the American Enterprise Institute and Center for Strategic & International Security, has just rolled out a clever online budgeting tool that allows users to design their own defense strategies according to a wide range of criteria. Be sure to check it out.

Grievances include gun violence and big bugs (cicadas), and for Joe Biden wanting to take away drug maker patents. Shout outs to Liz Cheney, the G-7’s proper stance on Taiwan, and the World Health Organization and think-tank transparency — and a special attaboy for Producer Tre, the hardest working dude in the podcast universe.