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Recap of PNSR’s “National Security Reform: a Global Roundtable” Event

May 21, 2009
PNSR Executive Director James R. Locher III addresses the Roundtable participants

PNSR Executive Director James R. Locher III addresses the Roundtable participants

On 12 May, the Project on National Security Reform held a lively, intellectual conference entitled National Security Reform: a Global Roundtable, which brought together experts from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, and Singapore. These representatives from the worlds of government, academia, and the private sector met to discuss issues and approaches taken by their respective nations in addressing the challenges of national security in the 21st century.

PNSR Executive Director James R. Locher III opened the event by speaking to the shared need for national security reform among the represented nations, noting that “There is no country around the world that has been able to transfer (national security) to a 21st century structure,”

Close to 50 participants attended the conference

Close to 50 participants attended the conference

The conference presentations were divided into four areas:  a new scope of national security; identification of underlying policy problems; predicates, goals and implementation ; and the transition to a non-linear world. Presentations were followed by discussion amongst participants seated at tables in the room.

Dr. Dorle Hellmuth, DAAD Fellow, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Jack LeCuyer, PNSR Theme Team Lead and Rex Patterson, U.S. State Department, in mid-discussion at PNSR's Global Roundtable event

Dr. Dorle Hellmuth, DAAD Fellow, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Jack LeCuyer, PNSR Theme Team Lead and Rex Patterson, U.S. State Department, in mid-discussion at PNSR's Global Roundtable event

Leon Fuerth, PNSR guiding coalition member and former National Security Adviser to Vice President Al Gore, gave two particularly stimulating and discussion-inspiring presentations. Fuerth first discussed the idea of what he calls, “anticipatory governance”, which he described as “the name of the beast we are after.” Fuerth defines anticipatory governance as “a system of systems in which foresight means that a government can sense and execute policy, provide feedback, and have an open-minded institutional culture.”

Dr. Patrick Cronin, Director of the Institute for National Security Studies, National Defense University addresses conference participants alongside  Leon Fuerth, PNSR Guiding Coalition member, George Washington University, former National Security Adviser to VP Al Gore and Dr. Greg Austin, Director of Worldwide Security Initiative, EastWest Institute

Dr. Patrick Cronin, Director of the Institute for National Security Studies, National Defense University addresses conference participants alongside Leon Fuerth, PNSR Guiding Coalition member, George Washington University, former National Security Adviser to VP Al Gore and Dr. Greg Austin, Director of Worldwide Security Initiative, EastWest Institute

In the closing presentations, Fuerth presented the idea of non-linearity. Linearity, or the orientation towards one actor (in this case the state) was frequently discussed at the event, especially regarding the role of the state in national security policy, and how it relates to policy implementation and the inclusion of all relevant actors.

PNSR guiding coalition member Tom Pickering also participated in the event. The former ambassador to the UN focused on PNSR’s recommendations of predicates and goals needed for effective national security reform as well as other tools to achieve that goal. Pickering also spoke to the urgency for congressional leadership of the effort, which is -so far- developing slowly.

GR_Pickering

Ambassador Tom Pickering discusses issues during table discussion. (L to R: Bob Kravinsky, PNSR Director of Executive Branch Affairs; Dr. James Douglas Orton, Senior Organization and Management Strategist, PNSR; Bill Navas,Executive Director NSPD Integration Office (DOD); Amb.Tom Pickering, PNSR Guiding Coalition member, Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Former Ambassador to the United Nations)

“Overall, I think the event was a great success,” said PNSR Chief Performance Officer and event organizer, Leland Russell. “A lot of great ideas and discussion were compiled today, and I think today really provides a great base for going forward in each of our nations’ reform efforts.”

Dr. Nora Bensahel, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation, shares her table's consensus with participants

Dr. Nora Bensahel, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation, shares her table's consensus with participants

The Global Roundtable is the first in what PNSR plans to be a series of similar events. If you would like to keep abreast of future PNSR plans, please email info@pnsr.org.

For a larger collection of photos from the event, please see PNSR’s Facebook photo album

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