Thursday, July 30, 2020

DC Think Tanks Cashing in on Increasing Pentagon Budget

Think tanks in Washington, DC are raking in hundreds of millions of dollars from an increasing Pentagon budget, according to a new report from Center for International Policy's (CIP) Salome Pachkoria and Ben Freeman that was published by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

Here are some excerpts:
Outside the halls of Congress, contractors are able to significantly influence debates about the defense budget process through the sizeable contributions they make to many of Washington’s top think tanks.
In fact, as we have discovered while conducting research for a forthcoming report on defense contractor funding of think tanks, the arms industry has given hundreds of millions of dollars to the nation’s top think tanks in recent years. In many cases these are the very same think tanks that have been clamoring for more Pentagon spending. 
As the analysis for our forthcoming report revealed, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has received at least $6.6 million in donations in the last 5 years from leading defense contractors, who clearly benefit from a large defense budget. Moreover, CNAS has received huge amounts of funding directly from DoD, $500,000 in 2016 for example. CNAS thus has rather strong incentives to applaud huge defense budgets.

The authors note that they have identified more a dozen think tanks that have received sizable donations ($100,000+) from defense contractors in recent years.

Think Tank Watch will be closely following the release of the report, including reaction from various think tanks, stakeholders, and policy experts.