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GAO Director Calls for Integrated National Security Budgeting

January 18, 2010

Walter Pincus reports the Government Accountability Office is calling for integrated national security budgeting, reflecting views expressed by reports from PNSR and the Center for American Progress.  Gene Dodaro, GAO’s director and acting Comptroller General commented in a speech that separate budget planning by departments and agencies hinders interagency collaboration and leads to waste.  Dodaro proposed that the NSC (NSS, now) and OMB should work together to establish overarching objectives to drive departmental budgets.

Pincus mentions PNSR:

His call for developing and implementing “overarching strategies to achieve national security objectives” reflects the findings of a December 2008 report by the Project on National Security Reform. The report recommended “issuing an integrated national security strategy and creating a unified national security budget”; several leading members of the Obama administration were involved in that project, including Adm. Dennis C. Blair, now director of national intelligence, and James B. Steinberg, now deputy secretary of state.

He also pointed out how the different regional maps in departments like State and DoD could cause problems with coordinating interagency policy.

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