Center for Defense Information

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The Center for Defense Information (CDI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC. It specialized in analyzing and advising on military matters.[1] CDI was founded in 1971 by an independent group of retired military officers including Adm. Gene La Rocque and Adm. Eugene Carroll.[2]

Center for Defense Information
Abbreviation CDI
Merged into Project on Government Oversight
Formation 1971
Founder Adm. Gene La Rocque, Adm. Eugene Carroll
  • Washington, D.C.

In 2005, CDI expanded by creating the Straus Military Reform Project [2] for the purpose of promoting military reform in the Pentagon and Congress. Winslow T. Wheeler, a former Capitol Hill staffer and General Accounting Office assistant director, directs the Straus Military Reform Project at CDI. The Project was launched by a matching grant from Philip A. Straus, Jr. Straus and his family have long supported activities at CDI and continue to be major supporters of the Project’s endeavors.[3] In May 2012, CDI joined the Project on Government Oversight.[4]

After the 2008 U.S. elections, 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. In 2010, CDI released a second anthology, The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You through It.[5] Since the mid-2000s, CDI has focused on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as the embodiment of the Pentagon’s acquisition problems—being both unaffordable and a huge disappointment in performance.

Formerly, CDI operated under the umbrella of the World Security Institute. In 2012, the World Security Institute closed,[6] and CDI merged with the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).[7] In addition, POGO continued the publication of The Defense Monitor.[8]


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