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PNSR comments on the National Security Strategy

May 28, 2010

The Obama Administration released its National Security Strategy 2010, yesterday. Several of our staff commented on it in our latest press release:

The new National Security Strategy includes many ideas from PNSR’s Forging a New Shield (November 2008) and Turning Ideas into Action (December 2009).  These recommendations included broadening the scope of national security, balancing and integrating all elements of national power, updating our national security organizational capacity and processes for the 21st Century, adopting a longer view for national security, emphasizing the need for attention to the foundations of national power, aligning resources with strategy, embracing integrated whole-of-government approaches to national security missions, and promoting integration of homeland security and national security efforts to include collaboration with state, local, and tribal governments as well as nongovernmental entities and private enterprise.
PNSR comments:
• The National Security Strategy broadens the scope of national security to reflect the emerging challenges of the 21st Century and recognizes the interdependence between American competitiveness and American power in the world. PNSR Senior Advisor Nancy Bearg comments, “The strategy greatly expands the concept of national security beyond the traditional concerns of the Defense and State Departments. Its attention to the foundations of national power – a sound fiscal policy, education, energy, science and technology, and health – is an important development, as is the emphasis of using all elements of national power.”
PNSR Distinguished Fellow Jack LeCuyer notes: “We have been given the substance of the new national security strategy that mirrors many PSNR recommendations. The new National Security Strategy clearly delineates what is different from the Cold War strategic environment and how our national security strategy must adapt to these changes.  In so doing, the new strategy also sets forth a strong rationale for institutional reform of the national security interagency system to meet these challenges but does not reveal how the administration plans to put these ideas into practice to underwrite success.”
• In summary, PNSR President and CEO James R. Locher III said, “The National Security Strategy envisions a bold transformation of the national security system. To achieve the organizational capacity to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, the Obama administration must initiate sweeping reforms to the current antiquated system. The administration now needs to provide the details of its reform initiatives and a roadmap on how it plans to achieve a modern national security system.”
Also, Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy’s The Cable reported on Hillary Clinton’s speech on the National Security Strategy, where she called for a unified national security budget:
“We have to start looking at a national-security budget,” Clinton said at the Brookings Institution Thursday. “We cannot look at a defense budget, a State Department budget, and a USAID budget without defense overwhelming the combined efforts of the other two, and without us falling back into the old stovepipes that I think are no longer relevant for the challenges of today.”
“Although Clinton’s open support of a unified national-security budget is new, the idea is not. Leading experts have been pushing the concept for a while. The Project on National Security Reform, led by James R. Locher III, proposed just that.”
You can follow discussion on what reforms the Obama administration will need to undertake to achieve the new organizational capacity articulated by its National Security Strategy on LinkedIn.

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