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LeCuyer: We must strengthen planning and resource guidance

December 2, 2010

Transformation of the national security system and fiscal responsibility are two sides of the same coin. This is about more than just the Defense and State Department budgets. It is about taking the president’s national security strategy which includes a broadened definition of national security and asking how to implement it in an efficient and effective way to ensure outcomes that truly enhance our national security and maintain our leadership role in the global environment. The next required step in this process of aligning resources with national security objectives is the development and promulgation of the president’s planning and resource guidance for national security missions to the departments and agencies with the requirement to review each of the major departmental quadrennial reviews in light of this guidance. Each of these reviews to date has been accomplished in a vacuum of strategic guidance from the top — and each of these reviews is more about maintaining a share of the budget to develop departmental capabilities than they are about ensuring a truly integrated whole-of-government approach to accomplishing the goals outlined in the president’s national security strategy. We have the opportunity to do a system check and to ensure that we have properly aligned resources — both for “hard” and “soft” power elements of national power — into a seamless and integrated interagency national security budgetary approach. We need not do more; we cannot afford to do less. Let us begin that path toward transformation of the national security system today.

– Jack LeCuyer, Distinguished Fellow

This is from a series of posts by our staff in response to this question: How can national security transformation contribute to fiscal responsibility?

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