Thursday, December 04, 2008

Experts' Report Urges Changes in National Security System

Walter Pincus writes in The Washington Post:

A bipartisan panel of foreign policy experts, including some associated with the incoming Obama administration, has recommended changes in the White House national security apparatus that would provide the president and his staff with new tools to ensure interagency cooperation.

Chief among its recommendations is merging the National Security and Homeland Security councils and creating a director for national security who would manage implementation of the president's policies rather than just coordinate the views of Cabinet members and present them to the president, as the national security adviser currently does.

"The basic deficiency of the current national security system is that parochial departmental and agency interests, reinforced by Congress, paralyze interagency cooperation even as the variety, speed and complexity of emerging security issues prevents the White House from effectively controlling the system," says the report of the Project on National Security Reform, released yesterday.

As an example, the report said that "after more than seven years, the U.S. government has proved unable to integrate adequately the military and nonmilitary dimensions of the complex war on terror."

More here.


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