Authors to Discuss Pentagon Reform at Montgomery College

Winslow Wheeler, Thomas Christie and Pierre Sprey at Rockville Campus, April 27

Montgomery College will host a discussion on Monday, April 27 by three authors of a new anthology, “American’s Defense Meltdown: Pentagon Reform for President Obama and the New Congress.” This event will take place at 7 p.m. in the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center on the College’s Rockville Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, Md.

Authors Winslow Wheeler, Thomas Christie and Pierre Sprey contend that the new administration must make far more serious reforms than those already taken to keep America’s defenses from deteriorating. The authors make the following arguments:

  • The existing business model no longer works at the Pentagon; in fact, it hasn’t for decades.
  • At post-World War II highs in terms of spending, US forces are today smaller than at any point since 1946.
  • Weapons are – on average older – and forces are sent into combat in Iraq and Afghanistan with historically low levels of training.
  • The decay at ever increasing cost is the handiwork of both Republicans and Democrats in the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House.

With their book, Wheeler, Christie and Sprey hope to start a national debate about when, where, and how the nation needs to defend itself. They offer basic ideas for major improvement in nine areas: strategy, people and training, land forces, sea forces, air forces, reserves, buying weapons, and managing the bureaucracy and the money. They believe that their proposed reforms will offer far more effective forces at far lower levels of spending.

Combined, the authors have more than 120 years of experience working on America’s national defense issues in the Pentagon and Congress. Wheeler spent 30 years working for Republican and Democratic senators and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on defense budget. Christie has five decades of experience in buying and testing weapons and retired in 2005 as the Pentagon’s most senior career civilian official. For 40 years Sprey was at the core of the design and employment of some of America’s most important combat aircraft, including the F-16 fighter and the A-10 Warthog.

For more information about this event, contact Debra Fyodorov, Parilla Performing Arts Center manager, at 240-567-7536. For directions to Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus, visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/maps/Rvic.html.

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