Center for Defense Information

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The Center for Defense Information, which merged into Project On Government Oversight in 2012,[1] was founded in 1972 by retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Gene La Rocque. The CDI is dedicated to:

  • strengthening national and international security through international cooperation;
  • reducing reliance on unilateral military power to resolve conflict;
  • reducing reliance on nuclear weapons;
  • transforming and reforming the U.S. military establishment; and
  • prudent oversight of defense programs.

Currently operating under the aegis of the World Security Institute, it is composed of academics and high-ranking retired U.S. military officers who conduct critical analyses of U.S. defense and security policy.

The CDI regularly publishes the "Defense Monitor". The group also maintains a website that includes information about terrorist activity.

After the 2008 U.S. elections, the CDI released "America’s Defense Meltdown: Pentagon Reform for President Obama and the New Congress", a collection of briefing papers by a dozen defense intellectuals and retired military officers.[2]

Winslow T. Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at CDI, expects costs for the F-35 Lightning II to significantly increase, in one example of the positions he has taken on military weapons systems.[3] The reform project is funded by Philip A. Straus Jr., a photographer,[4] and family.[5] Wheeler, a former U.S. Senate and Government Accounting Office staffer,[6] is a periodic contributor to CounterPunch's on-line site,[7] among other publications.


Because of its frequent opposition to defense spending, CDI often has been criticized by leading U.S. conservatives. The Heritage Foundation's Michael Johns, for instance, wrote in 1987 that "CDI has derided almost every major new weapons system as either provocative, a waste of tax dollars, or not in the security interests of the nation."[8]


  1. ^ CDI Joins POGO
  2. ^ Wheeler, Winslow T. (February 18, 2009). America's Defense Meltdown: Pentagon Reform for President Obama and the New Congress (Kindle ed.). Stanford University Press. 
  3. ^ The F-35 Boondoggle, electric politics, May 21, 2010. Intro and link to one-hour talk on subject by Wheeler.
  4. ^ Board of Directors, World Security Institute webpage. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  5. ^ "Straus Military Reform Project", CDI webpage. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  6. ^ Winslow Wheeler, bio, CDI webpage. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  7. ^ Winslow T. Wheeler articles, Google search of CounterPunch site. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  8. ^ "The Admiral Who Jumped Ship: Inside the Center for Defense Information", by Michael Johns, Policy Review, Spring 1987.

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