||Winslow T. Wheeler
Director of the Straus Military Reform Project
Center for Defense Information
Wheeler is the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information in Washington, DC. He has authored two books: The Wastrels of Defense: How Congress Sabotages National Security (US Naval Institute Press) and Military Reform: An Uneven History and an Uncertain Future (Stanford University Press). He is also the editor of two anthologies, The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It and America’s Defense Meltdown: Military Reform for President Obama and the New Congress.
From 1971 to 2002, Wheeler worked on national security issues for members of the U.S. Senate and for the US Government Accountability Office (GAO): In the Senate, Jacob K. Javits (R. NY), Nancy L. Kassebaum (R, KS), David Pryor (D, AR), and Pete V. Domenici (R, NM). He was the first, and according to Senate records the last, Senate staffer to work simultaneously on the personal staffs of a Republican and a Democrat (Pryor and Kassebaum).
In the Senate staff, Wheeler was heavily involved in legislating the War Powers Act, Pentagon reform legislation, foreign policy, and oversight of the defense budget and weapons programs. At GAO, he directed comprehensive studies on the 1991 Gulf War air campaign, the US strategic nuclear triad, and weapons testing. Each of these studies found prevailing conventional wisdom about weapons to be badly misinformed.
In 2002 when he worked on the Republican staff of the Senate Budget Committee, Wheeler authored an essay, under the pseudonym "Spartacus," addressing Congress' reaction to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks ("Mr. Smith Is Dead: No One Stands in the Way as Congress Lards Post-September 11 Defense Bills with Pork"). When senators criticized in the essay attempted to have Wheeler fired, he resigned his position.
He has periodically appeared in interviews on national TV and radio and has written articles and commentaries for national, local, and professional publications. These venues include “60 Minutes,” C-SPAN’s “Book Notes” and “Q & A,” National Public Radio, the PBS News Hour, the Washington Post, the Politico, Mother Jones, Barron’s, Defense News, and Armed Forces Journal.
He lives with his wife, Judy, and son, Matthew, in Hagerstown, Maryland. Another son, Winslow B., lives in Florida with his wife and their three sons.