This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Thomas Donnelly on sparing the Pentagon budget

There is a great deal of debate about the wisdom of any Pentagon budget cuts – even small ones. As Need to Know has reported, there are serious concerns in Washington about Iran’s potential nuclear threat and China’s growing military power. Should we cut the defense budget at all?

Joining host Ray Suarez to discuss this topic is Thomas Donnelly. He is the director of the Center for Defense Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Watch the rest of the segments from this episode.



  • danielet

    Donnolley is an employee of an agency heavily funded by DoD contractors. Should we take funds away from citizens’ entitlements to keep Donnolley on a high-fat diet. A man who never served wants others to serve, indeed he wants return to the Draft. He is a supporter of whatever Israel deems its “security.” That’s a prerequisite for his employment. The other three are in no way financially related to “defense.” Yet here we are with FOUR people– three debating each other– and the fourth simply pontificating. Where’s the MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE?

    Is PBS so scared of further funding cuts that it has become the “kept” thing of the corporate establishment, or is it a seeker of truth through dialogue. I recall how it called for “dialogue” during the LBJ days, imposing instead the anti-Vietnam view alone on grounds that support of Vietnam policy was immoral. If job-loss fear troubles the masters of PBS, then stick to the science programming and stop imposing on us phony “both sides”– as if there were only two– in order to avoid controversy-driven danger to the incredibly high pay (relative to viewership size) of PBS.

    WE need an “educator” that makes itself indispensable through its analysis, not its providing us with bloviation from two sides of every issue when, in fact, there are possibly thousands of contending perspective. Alas, our electoral politics are binay. Our “education” should not perpetuate the illusion that there are only “two sides to every issue,” and then allow those two sides to pontificate at public expense as if there were no others that merit.

  • danielet

    WE have need to investigate. But since YOU don’t know and neither do your experts, why not promote dialogue?

  • Pkbrookshire

    He lied about the defense budget down by 1/3 from cold war. Does he not know about the google? And of course Suarez let him get away with it!

  • Freamone

    I am an independent voting veteran. First, Thomas Donnelly was well coached to avoid numbers when he implied that President Obama has slashed the Defense budget. His description of the magnitude of the reduction used the fuzzy term “a lot”. According to The Council on Foreign Relations (TrendsinUSMilitarySpending.pdf), commenter Pkbrookshire is correct. Mr. Donnelly lied. Secondly, the assertion that the United States has not lost an “airplane” in an air-to-air sortie was also a well coached, nuanced, “snake oil-y” talking point. It was also HIGHLY disrespectful to the memory of the sacrifice endured by the 38 fighters who were lost to a single rocket propelled grenade in Afghanistan in August  2011. I assumed that the interview was recorded at an earlier time, but a chart was labeled “October 2011″. Mr. Donnelly insulted our intelligence, our military and our current debate.

  • Hal

    My neighbor gets 4% of all my payroll checks. I am told that this is what happens
    all over the country. Why? It’s my citizen obligation and a long standing tradition.
    I asked my neighbor for a accounting, after all, it is my money. I earned it on a
    9- 5. My neighbor just ignores me. The Constitution says I’m owed an accounting.
    Obviously, tradition trumps law and working citizens who must submit to it, audits,
    taxes et al.
    My neighbor is the U.S. Defense Department. The thing is, I’ve relocated several times and
    no matter where I relocate, they’re the ubiquitous next door neighbor. I remain cordial always,
    but which comes 1st, “The State or The Citizen” and “The Defense of a Citizen or The Defense Department”? Who owes who accountability? Please forgive this humble citizen for asking!
    Btw- Let the previous “Please” serve as a disclaimer hoping to exempt me from investigations under
    The Patriot Acts! Whew…

  • Guest

    Why has this liar been given top billing by Need to Know???

  • Lynne Findley

    I was furious when the usual suspects took the wonderful hour-long “Need to Know” away from Alison, reduced it to one-half-an-hour and gave the job of hosting to the usual suspects at PBS.

    Now this.  So Michael Donnelly must have been too craven to go on with your first three guests, eh? Why would you give this character from  The Heritage Foundation his own essentially unchallanged segment?  The three gentlemen from the previous segment would not have allowed what the interviewer did. My, what a cozy little Q and A. 

    Question is, just how “fair and balanced” in the old Fox style can PBS get? 

  • LYnne Findley

    Self correction: American Enterprise Institute…. same money.  

  • Lynne Findley

    Wasn’t that a cozy little Q and A?  Yikes.  It’s the old Fox-style “fair and balanced”. 

  • djporto

    Wow!  Mr. Donnelly thinks that understanding DOD spending (via an audit) is not important, and that the benefits of defense spending are not measurable.  How does such a guy ever go grocery shopping?

  • Jeffrey Joseph

    Im very dissapointed at the at the swing to the right by PBS . If you want to be fair and balanced This guy should have been interviewed with people who have opposing views at the same time.
    What I heard was the same claptrap that AEI always spouts. I worked in the Defense industry for 15 years as an engineer and nobody can waste money like they do on overpriced useless weapons systems. I think the defense budget could be cut by 50% over the next ten years. No F-35 no new Aircraft Carriers they are obsolete now. We only need them if we want to Invade or attack China.  

  • Jeffrey Joseph

    I think we could get more bang for our bucks if we just funded Democracy Movements around the World , ie Iranian Peace Protesters, etc, etc. Probably less than one cent on the Dollar. Think of it as Citizens United for World Peace. Never will happen the Bomb Makers wouldn’t allow it.