Analysts & Watchdogs
There are three very good watchdog/analysis groups:
- The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment
- Project on Government Oversight, or POGO
- Taxpayers for Common Sense.
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment
CSBA is the best D.C. think tank in terms of explaining the defense budget, which now consumes about 20.6 cents per dollar of discretionary federal government spending. It published a “Strategy for the Long Haul” outlining major defense issues faced by the Obama administration, including the center’s idea of a comprehensive defense strategy. The strategy is a valuable starting point if you are thrust into a defense politics story and don’t have a lot of sources in the area.
- Defense Planning for the Long Haul
- An Air Force Strategy for the Long Haul
- Military Manpower for the Long Haul
- Reshaping America’s Alliances for the Long Haul
- U.S. Defense Budget: Options and Choices for the Long Haul
- All CSBA publications.
Project on Government Oversight
POGO ferrets government waste and abuse. It maintains the Federal Contractor Misconduct Database, which tracks “contracts to companies with histories of misconduct such as contract fraud and environmental, ethics, and labor violations.”
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Taxpayers for Common Sense describes itself as an “independent and non-partisan voice for taxpayers working to increase transparency and expose and eliminate wasteful and corrupt subsidies, earmarks, and corporate welfare. It maintains an extensive database of government budget earmarks, browsable online or downloadable in an Excel file.
Laura Peterson, the national security analyst for Taxpayers for Common Sense, is expert at tracking congressional defense earmarks. Conact her at Laura@taxpayer.net