National Security Reform Project Set To Release Recommendations


On Dec. 2, the Project on National Security Reform will make public its recommendations after an exhaustive, $6 million study, reports the Washington Post. The measures will include steps that President-elect Barack Obama might take after his Jan. 20 inauguration, and draft legislation to change congressional oversight of national security and amend the 1947 National Security Act. The project has employed the talents of 25 former senior national security officials and benefited from the advice of a “guiding coalition” that includes high-ranking officials from past administrations.

The project’s examination of U.S. planning for the war in Iraq under President Bush revealed “a national security system unable to develop an integrated strategy for a post-war environment.” A case study on the U.S. operation in Somalia under President Bill Clinton demonstrated “how the U.S. government can misalign objectives and resources in a disastrous fashion.” Among the recommendations: The Pentagon should enlarge its planning process for complex contingencies with inputs from other agencies. The study recommends, “At a minimum, over the next five years, the Foreign Service personnel strength of State and USAID should be raised by fifty percent and the entire budget of the State Department and USAID should be doubled, across the board.” Otherwise, they will remain “poor relations of the Pentagon.”


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