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Forging a new shield

Author: Project on National Security Reform.; Center for the Study of the Presidency.
Publisher: Arlington, VA : Center for the Study of the Presidency, Project on National Security Reform, [2008]
Edition/Format:   Book : Document : National government publication   Computer File : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The legacy structures and processes of a national security system that is now more than 60 years old no longer help American leaders to formulate coherent national strategy. 1. The system is grossly imbalanced. It supports strong departmental capabilities at the expense of integrating mechanisms. 2. Resources allocated to departments and agencies are shaped by their narrowly defined core mandates rather than broader  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Computer File, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Project on National Security Reform.; Center for the Study of the Presidency.
OCLC Number: 276988282
Notes: Title from title screen (viewed Jan. 14, 2009).
"November 2008."
Preserved in the OCLC Digital Archive. Harvested from http://www.pnsr.org/data/files/pnsr_forging_a_new_shield_report.pdf on Dec. 5, 2008.
Description: 1 electronic tetx : digital, PDF file.
Details: System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader.; Mode of access: Internet from the Project on National Security Reform web site. Address as of 12/12/08: http://www.pnsr.org/data/files/pnsr%5Fforging%5Fa%5Fnew%5Fshield%5Freport.pdf; current access available via PURL.
Responsibility: Project on National Security Reform.
More information:

Abstract:

The legacy structures and processes of a national security system that is now more than 60 years old no longer help American leaders to formulate coherent national strategy. 1. The system is grossly imbalanced. It supports strong departmental capabilities at the expense of integrating mechanisms. 2. Resources allocated to departments and agencies are shaped by their narrowly defined core mandates rather than broader national missions. 3. The need for presidential integration to compensate for the systemic inability to adequately integrate or resource missions overly centralizes issue management and overburdens the White House. 4. A burdened White House cannot manage the national security system as a whole to be agile and collaborative at any time, but it is particularly vulnerable to breakdown during the protracted transition periods between administrations. 5. Congress provides resources and conducts oversight in ways that reinforce the first four problems and make improving performance extremely difficult. Taken together, 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 prevent the White House from effectively controlling the system. The White House bottleneck, in particular, prevents the system from reliably marshaling the needed but disparate skills and expertise from wherever they may be found in government, and from providing the resources to match the skills. That bottleneck, in short, makes it all but impossible to bring human and material assets together into a coherent operational ensemble. Moreover, because an excessively hierarchical national security system does not know what it knows as a whole, it also cannot achieve the necessary unity of effort and command to exploit opportunities.

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