Budgeting for National Security: How Much Should We Spend?

Date & time

Nov 2, 2009, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy Annenberg Auditorium, 1120 Weill Hall 735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor 48109 Reception to follow. Free and open to the public.

Douglas A. Brook, former Acting Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer, is a distinguished graduate of the Ford School (MPA '67) and the 2009 Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

His lecture will address questions about how the U.S. investment in national security should be determined. He will trace the history of defense budgets relative to overall federal spending, then explore the sensitivity of defense budgets to externalities such as presidencies and historical events as well as competition from other discretionary programs and entitlements. Using this base, Brook will then argue that we should consider budgeting for 'national security' rather than 'national defense'. In a Spring 2009 Journal of Government Financial Management article, Brook explains that: 'Security comes from not only military strength, but also from the strength of diplomatic and humanitarian functions of government and non-governmental agents acting in a concerted fashion.' Brook recommends a holistic approach to budgeting that 'disaggregates and recombines elements of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and other agencies.'

Dr. Douglas A. Brook is Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Center for Defense Management Research at the Naval Postgraduate School. He recently completed a 13-month tour as a Presidential appointee in the Pentagon serving first as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller) and later as Acting Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer. From 2002 until 2005, Dr. Brook was Dean of the NPS Graduate School of Business and Public Policy. Before joining NPS, Dr. Brook was Vice President - Government Affairs for the LTV Corporation and he served in two Presidentially-appointed positions. In 1992 he was Acting Director of the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and from 1990 to 1992 Brook was Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management). Brook served on active duty as a Navy Supply Corps officer and was a member of the Naval Reserve for 30 years. He retired with the rank of Captain. Brook earned a BA degree and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Michigan. In 2001 he earned his Ph.D. in Public Policy at George Mason University.