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Gen. Jim Jones plans for sweeping reform of the NSC and calls for reform of the Transatlantic Alliance

April 22, 2009

National Security Advisor Jim Jones is making clear that it will not be business as usual for the national security system.  In a recent memo and in a speech to the Munich Conference on Security Policy, General Jones announced his intention to lead a top-to-bottom transformation of the National Security Council to meet the realities of the new century.

General Jones is calling for an end to stove-piping in order to make the interagency process strategic, agile, transparent, and predictable.  The Project on National Security Reform is gratified by Jones’ goals, which closely parallel the recommendations contained in its report, Forging a New Shield.  Jim Jones was a member of PNSR’s board at the time the report was being researched and written. In addition to Jones, several members of the Obama national security team were associated with PNSR as board members or in other key roles.

In his March 18 memo, Jones notes that the United States is navigating an environment in which traditional organizations and means of response to global challenges may be inadequate or deficient.  In order for the country to succeed, he calls for the cohesive integration of all elements of national power.

PNSR applauds several initiatives in particular:  Jones believes that a strategic process will ensure that all who should be heard will be heard and the emergence of premature policy consensus will be avoided.  An agile system will enable the NSC to cope with multiple crises simultaneously. Transparency would make the council responsive to the views and perspectives of all NSC members. Finally, Jones emphasizes the importance of the strategic implementation of decisions in such a manner that concrete results are achieved within the agreed time.

In his Munich speech, Jones urged reform upon the transatlantic alliance, saying that the world has changed but that the alliance has not yet changed with it. Echoing the changes he intends for the NSC, Jones called upon NATO to be less reactive and more proactive, less rigid and more flexible; less stationary and more expeditionary, and more -not less- essential to transatlantic collective security.

(Note: PNSR Executive Director Jim Locher is available to journalists for interview or comment on the reform process now underway at the NSC. He is also a frequent public speaker on the subject of national security. Please see contact information below.)

Media Contact
Frances Hardin

(703)387-7613 (o)

(202)640-9387 (c)


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