Miller Center

Jamie Morin

Political Science, Yale University

Squaring the Pentagon: The Politics of Post-Cold War Defense Retrenchment

Morin photo

Jamie Morin is the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation for the Department of Defense.

As director, he leads an organization responsible for analyzing and evaluating the Department's plans, programs, and budgets in relation to U.S. defense objectives, projected threats, allied contributions, estimated costs, and resource constraints. To support better defense decision making, CAPE develops analytical tools and methods for analyzing national security planning and the allocation of resources. 

Prior to joining CAPE, Morin served for five years as the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller. As the Air Force's chief financial officer, he was the principal advisor to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force on financial matters, responsible for the financial and analytical services necessary for the effective and efficient use of Air Force resources. 

From 2003 until his current appointment, Dr. Morin was a member of the professional staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget. In this capacity, he served as the committee's lead analyst for the defense, intelligence, and foreign affairs budgets, responsible for drafting the relevant sections of the congressional budget resolution and advising the Senate on enforcement of budget rules. Additionally, he advised the Chairman of the Budget Committee on the full range of national security issues.

In his dissertation, Morin explored how the politics of defense budgeting in the 1990s differed from that of the late Cold War, and how that affected America's national defense. He identified negative consequences stemming from the post-Cold War drawdown, but rejected the idea that they resulted from over-eager cutting of the defense budget. Rather, he argued that they resulted from a budgetary process that failed to optimally balance spending and effectiveness because it was too inflexible to deal appropriately with an uncertain future. Morin's hypotheses placed their roots in the political science literature on defense politics, but were also shaped by his extensive interviews with a long list of defense policymakers, congressional staff, and lobbyists.

Fellowship year: 2003

Mentor: Alton Frye, Council on Foreign Relations

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