Todd Harrison

Todd Harrison

Senior Fellow, Defense Budget Studies

Areas of Expertise

Defense Budgets, Military Compensation, Portfolio Management, Systems Engineering, Military Space Systems, Defense Acquisitions and Defense Industrial Base



Todd Harrison is the Senior Fellow for Defense Budget Studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

Since joining CSBA in 2009, Mr. Harrison has authored a number of publications on trends in the overall defense budget, defense acquisitions, the defense industrial base, military personnel costs, military readiness, and the cost of the wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan. He frequently contributes to print and broadcast media and has appeared on CNBC, CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera English, and Fox News. He has been a guest lecturer for a number of organizations and is a part-time professor at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs. Mr. Harrison is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and for the past two years has been named one of the Defense News 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense.

Mr. Harrison joined CSBA from Booz Allen Hamilton, where he supported clients across the Department of Defense, assessing challenges to modernization initiatives and evaluating the performance of acquisition programs. He previously worked in the aerospace industry developing advanced space systems and technologies and served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with both a B.S. and an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Mr. Harrison combines his budgetary, technical, and engineering experience with a strong background in systems analysis to lead the Budget Studies program for CSBA.

Author Bibliography for Todd Harrison

How Many Flying Hours Does It Take To Kill a Terrorist?

November 17, 2014 • By Todd HarrisonAnalysis

How many flying hours, steaming days or tank miles does it take to kill a terrorist? I sometimes ask this rhetorical question to people in the military to make a point….

DoD’s Strategy-Resource Mismatch

October 1, 2014 • By Todd Harrison and Jacob CohnAnalysis

Decades ago, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara asked the simple question: how much is enough? The answer, of course, is not a number but rather another more difficult question: enough…

Estimating the Cost of Operations Against ISIL

September 29, 2014 • By Todd Harrison, John Stillion, Eric Lindsey, and Jacob Cohn

With the United States now engaged in military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), there are many questions regarding the cost, duration, and scope of…

Counterterrorism Efforts and the Defense Budget

September 15, 2014 • By Todd HarrisonAnalysis

Todd Harrison, a defense budget senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, talked about the parts of the Pentagon’s budget that will fund counterterrorism efforts against Islamic…

Military Operations and the Shrinking Defense Budget

September 5, 2014 • By Todd HarrisonAnalysis

INTERVIEW>> U.S. surveillance flights are buzzed by Chinese fighter jets armed to the teeth. The Air Force conducts more than 150 bombing raids on the ISIS army in Iraq. President…