Reducing Military Spending in the Post-911 Era

Broadcast on September 11, 2012
With Ken Alexander & Matt Southworth

Ken Alexander

Ken Alexander is an engineering consultant and a 30 year veteran of the U.S. Navy
Ken Alexander is a retired U.S. Navy Captain who works with Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) educating lawmakers on military spending. He is currently employed as an engineering consultant focused on small communities and their infrastructure needs. Mr. Alexander served over 30 years in the Navy, primarily in contingency engineering and public works management, but after activation as a Reservist following the events of September 11, 2011, he became involved in Department of Defense (DoD) anti-terrorism efforts at military installations worldwide. In the post-9/11 environment he became highly familiar with DoD procurement practices for so-called war-fighting equipment. From this experience he witnessed a great disparity between the open and technically objective acquisition processes used in facilities engineering and construction at military installations and the looser and relatively nontransparent methods for defining requirements and procuring equipment and services for DoD’s antiterrorism programs. When he retired in 2011, he felt moved to speak out about his experiences as he witnessed first-hand increasingly stringent standards for technical justification and fiscal accountability associated with the use of dwindling federal dollars for basic infrastructure needs which starkly contrasted with the steady growth in military spending and increasingly ill-defined objectives for the DoD “global war on terror”.

Matt Southworth

Legislative Program Associate in Foreign Policy

Matt Southworth joined the U.S. Army as an intelligence analyst. While in the Army, Matt served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2004. His experience in Iraq turned him against war and into an anti-war activist. By happenstance, he was eventually led to Wilmington College, a small Quaker school in Wilmington, Ohio. In May of 2009, Matt graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wilmington College with his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and History and a minor in Psychology. After graduation, Matt spent two months in Israel-Palestine studying Arabic, volunteering at a Christian community center near Bethlehem, and living with a Palestinian family. Matt is convinced that the road to Middle East stability is conducive to U.S. national security and must travel through Israel-Palestine.

Currently, Matt works on Afghanistan policy and greater Middle East issues on Capitol Hill. He has been working closely with a number of Congressional offices in an effort to create a Congressionally led Afghanistan-Pakistan Study Group that will provide President Obama with recommendations moving past the July 2011 transitional phase. Matt also organizes young adults around the country by providing the tools that empower people to influence government through effective lobbying.

Matt serves on the Board of Directors for Veterans for Peace and is the Washington, DC Chapter President of Iraq Veterans Against the War. He is an advocacy leader in the pro-peace veteran community.