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Winslow Wheeler


Winslow T. Wheeler is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information in Washington. He worked for 31 years for U.S. Senators from both political parties and the Government Accountability Office. He is the author of “The Wastrels of Defense” (U.S. Naval Institute Press) about Congress and national security.



Why is the press ignoring Panetta’s frenzied rhetoric and data-free myths?
COMMENTARY | October 17, 2011
The defense secretary likens budget-cutters to Nazis and makes assertions that simply aren't true -- but the media don't seem to care, writes Winslow Wheeler.

Is there a desirable jobs benefit from defense spending?
ASK THIS | September 09, 2011
'Overhead' -- not labor -- can take up the lion's share of spending on big-ticket military hardware, writes Winslow Wheeler. That makes spending money on defense a terribly inefficient way to create jobs.

Will Obama veto Pentagon pork, or enable it?
COMMENTARY | September 15, 2009
Veto threats haven’t fazed the Congressional military appropriations slatherers, and until now the president and Defense Secretary Gates have been giving up early and often.

Is Gates fit to serve? Are the senators?
ASK THIS | November 30, 2006
The Defense Department is possibly the worst managed agency in government, unable to even begin accounting for what it does with its $500 billion annual budget. While Iraq is the military’s most pressing and painful issue, the Senate Armed Services Committee may learn more about Robert Gates’s qualifications to be Secretary of Defense by asking basic bread and butter questions. (Last of three parts)

Don’t just ask Gates questions; dig deep
ASK THIS | November 29, 2006
In the rare event that a senator asks a real question at a presidential nominee’s confirmation hearing, it is often read off or summarized from a staff memo. The senator most often will get a non-answer and then move on to another scripted question. Here’s how to break that pattern. (Second of three parts)

Any questions for Gates? (Part 1)
ASK THIS | November 27, 2006
The issue is not what questions Senators might ask in confirmation hearings with Secretary of Defense designate Robert M. Gates but whether they will ask any real questions at all. If past is prologue, there will be few questions posed, and those that are asked will be both pro forma and unanswered.

Pentagon spending? Don't ask Congress
COMMENTARY | August 05, 2006
Government agencies can't even agree on how much Congress has appropriated for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and anti-terrorism efforts in the U.S., let alone on how much has been spent

War cost reports said to be incomplete, understated
COMMENTARY | April 30, 2006
The Congressional Research Service says the total cost for Iraq and Afghanistan will soon be $439 billion; $7 billion that the Pentagon ‘couldn’t track’ is now up to $11 billion.

The Defense budget: ‘A shrinking force at a higher cost’
ASK THIS | February 18, 2006
Defense expert Winslow Wheeler tells reporters how the 2007 Pentagon budget and the new Quadrennial Defense Review are high on gimmicks but low on effectiveness for combating terror.

Defense budget pork: 2,966 items costing $11.1 billion
ASK THIS | February 09, 2006
Winslow Wheeler, a Capitol Hill veteran of many years, walks reporters through the pork in the Defense budget. He tells how to find it, how it gets there and what to do about it.

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